Friday, June 03, 2016

D-Day Maps Available from Ball State University

D-Day Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied Forces on the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6.  Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes several original maps and historical reproductions of the D-Day invasion.

One of the D-Day maps in the Collection is a Michelin map published in 1947.  The map features a detailed depiction of the major military actions at Normandy printed in French and English.

The GRMC also 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  World War II.  The map of northwest Normandy (above, click to enlarge) identifies roads.

The Army Information Branch in New York published newspaper-type maps during World War II, and the GRMC includes several original “Newsmaps.”  The photographs above from these maps 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.”  (Many news readers followed along with the events of the War with these special maps, and this particular map has handwritten dates and locations marked in red pencil).

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

All maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  For more information, please visit or contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 from 7:30 to 4:30 pm on the second floor of Bracken Library.

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