Military Maps

Maps have long been essential items for any military campaign and the modern Ordnance Survey maps can be traced back to its original purpose of mapping the country for military purposes. Over the years military maps have been updated multiple times and today we are looking at a small number of military maps that date from just after the Second World War and were produced by the Ordnance Survey for military use, each bearing the words ‘War Office Edition’ as well as other markings that indicate their military provenance: 

The first of these maps covers ‘England, North Central’: 

The large brown areas of the map indicate the hills of the Pennines with many contour lines close together and the conurbations of northern England as well as the main roads and railways are marked on the map: 

This sheet also includes an inset area depicting the Isle of Man: 

Down in the bottom corner the purple overstamping dates this to 1948: 

The second of our sheets covers Bodmin and Launceston in Cornwall: 

This map has been downgraded at some point and is marked that it is only suitable for use by Army and Combined Cadet forces: 

This suggests that at some point it was felt to be too outdated for military operations, but still adequate for the sort of adventurous training a cadet unit might perform. The landscape here is much flatter than our previous map so the brown contour lines are fewer and further apart, population centres are also far smaller and spread out: 

In contrast to these two maps, our final example depicts the Forth, Clyde and Tay in Scotland: 

The mountainous terrain here is easy to see, together with the coastal landscape of firths and lochs: 

These maps are still inexpensive and having many map cases, I am slowly collecting up enough to allow me to place one in each case, ideally with a different location in each just for interest. 

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