The Teberda Nature Reserve is one of the most visited reserves in all of Russia, which is pretty impressive considering how far south it is, down on the Georgian border. Located on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains it’s a suitable hilly environment, as can be seen on this wonderful tourist map of the area.
Showing a hilly region pictorially is a common way of drawing maps as it highlights the relief in a more immediate way than a ‘birds-eye view’ (more blogs on relief and pictorial mapping here here, and here.)
The map is produced by the cartographic division of the Soviet Union, the Glavnoe Upravlenie Geodezii i Kartografii (GUGK). You’d imagine something state run in a Soviet society to be an unimaginative organization producing efficient but dull maps. With the GUGK this couldn’t be further from the truth, their use of bold colouring and uniform text styles make their maps instantly recognizably while at the same time both informative and aesthetically pleasing, and the Teberda map is a case in point. The map has been made with south at the top, this has enabled the cartographer to show off the region and hills to its best advantage, a decision no doubt influenced by the way the hills, especially those to the west and north of the valley floor, all seem to come towards the viewer, while at the same time giving a clear view of the main north-south road system between the two main resorts (Teberda at the bottom and Dombay towards the top right). The soft pastel colours and clever use of occasional shading give a sense of altitude and also, in the higher points, a hint of snow.
On the reverse of the map is text about the region and a panorama of the higher mountains found at the top right of the main map. There’s also a lovely cover, highlighting the mountainous landscape along with the beauty on show.
Casablanca is one of those names which is more than a location; how many of us think of the movie before the place? The film features the best use of a map (a globe really) in an opening sequence
With France under Marshal Petain agreeing a neutrality which favoured the Germans after French defeat in the Second World War Casablanca became one of the key points in safe passage of people escaping Fascist rule from Europe. From Casablanca boats and planes would go onto to Lisbon and from there across the Atlantic to America (as explained in the opening sequence). This map of Casablanca is contemporary with the film
Mil.-Geo.-plan von Casablanca, 1941. E23:20 Casablanca (12)
Published by the cartographic department of the German Army (Generalstab des Heeres), this is typical of German town plans from the war. Based on a French map published in 1935 the map has been enhanced by the highlighting of key administrative and military positions in the town. It was common for German military cartographers to make maps of countries and locations which were either neutral, as in this case, or actual allies of the Germans during the war.
Here is another version of the French map from 1935 the German plan is based on, this time published by the War Office in, like the German plan, 1941 (Plan de Casablanca, 1941. E23:20 Casablanca (14)).
These maps by both Allied and Axis forces shows the importance of Morocco generally and Casablanca in particular in the North African Theatre of War. Comparing the two maps it is evident how much more information the German maps included, as is the case with most of the mapping that the Germans produced throughout the war. By using existing guide books, maps and postcards and gathering information from spies, Embassy staff and the general public the German military were able to map important locations to a level that up until the plans for the D-Day landings Allied forces often weren’t able or attempting to match (a blog on D-Day mapping can be found here)