Thursday, June 05, 2014

D-Day Normandy Invasion Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion:  D-Day Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries’

Tomorrow, June 6, marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied Forces on the beaches of Normandy, France, during World War II.  Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes several original maps and historical reproductions of the D-Day invasion.

The map exhibit for the "Map of the Month" in the front windows of the GRMC is a map of the invasion published by Michelin in 1947.  The map features a detailed depiction of the major military actions at Normandy printed in French and English.

The GRMC houses several maps produced by the Office of Strategic Services (intelligence agency) in 1943 prior to the invasion.  These maps show the locations of roads, railroads, ports and other locations used for planning the invasion and other fronts of the War.  The map above (click to enlarge) shows roads of northwest Normandy.

The Army Information Branch in New York published newspaper-type maps during World War II, and the GRMC includes several original “Newsmaps” in its collection.  The photographs above show American and Canadian troops landing on the beaches of Normandy—Canadians with bicycles.  These photographs were included in the “Newsmap” published for the week of June 8, 1944.  The map showing southern Great Britain and the northern coast of France is part of a map included in the same edition of the “Newsmap.”

The GRMC also includes a reconnaissance aerial photograph (above) of troops landing on Omaha Beach in 1944.  Landing craft can be seen along the beach and reinforced German lines are shown at the top.

The Normandy landings were code-named “Operation Neptune.”  The last map shown above, “Operation Neptune,” shows the different landing locations of the American, British, and Canadian forces.  This map is an inset included on the Normandie Jour J, 6 Juin, 1944 map.  The tourist map was published in French in 2004 and shows museums, cemeteries, monuments, and battle lines.

The D-Day Atlas: Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign is one of the many atlases about World War II available from the Atlas Collection.  This atlas was published in 2004 and features photographs and detailed maps of the invasion in France.

All maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  For more information, please visit or contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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