Catalogue description War Office: Geographical Section General Staff: War of 1914-1918: Western Front: Maps

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Details of WO 297
Reference: WO 297
Title: War Office: Geographical Section General Staff: War of 1914-1918: Western Front: Maps

Maps produced or used during the First World War. This series consists mainly of topographical maps produced in series by British survey, mapping and printing units in the field or in the United Kingdom. It also includes maps produced by French, Belgian and German agencies. Some maps were specially produced for use by Indian and Portuguese contingents. A few contemporary indexes and some later manuscript index maps to irregular sheets are included in the series, but there is no comprehensive index map showing all sheets.

The main purpose of these maps was to depict the ground positions on the Western Front of the enemy trench lines (shown in the catalogue as 'G') and, often in skeletal form, the Allied lines ('A'). This information on the trenches forms the main overprint on the base topographical map, although other thematic overprints on these base maps are sometimes included.

The area covered is mainly that of British operations, lines of communications and forward areas into Germany, with some adjacent areas primarily of Belgian and French interest also included.

Although the majority of maps were produced during the war itself, there are some maps, particularly at smaller scales, which were made prior to 1914 and which were extensively used during the campaign. There are also a few maps produced after the war.

The series includes some maps originally held in the Cabinet Office Historical Section.

Date: 1909-1919

The maps are arranged by scale, by nationality and by publisher. The sometimes irregular nature of the production of maps by various units has resulted in a variety of map sizes and styles. Sub-sequences have been created to bring together maps with some common features.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

War Office, Directorate of Military Operations, Geographical Section General Staff, 1908-1922

Physical description: 6649 flat sheet(s)
Access conditions: Open
Unpublished finding aids:

A contents list and an explanation of abbreviations are in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew

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