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Remembered Today:

Sensational Map set of the Somme 1916


Gunner Bailey
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I've just bought a set of 13 maps produced by the Ordnance Survey in 1929 showing the complete battle of the Somme on the 1st July. The maps are :

1 The Somme battlefield 1916 (Topographical)

2 The Somme battlefield 1916 (Military grid)

3 The Objectives for 1st July. The Battle of Albert

4 Situation Western Front 30th June 1916

5 General situation at Zero 1st July 1916 and position of reserves

6 The Attack of XIII Corps & the French XX Corps on 1st July – The Capture of Montauban

7 The Attack of the French Sixth Army on the 1st July

8 The Attack of XV Corps on 1st July –The assault on the Fricourt Salient

9 The Attack of III Corps on 1st July – The fight for La Boiselle and Ovillers La Boiselle

10 The Attack of X Corps on 1st July – Astride the River Ancre – Their fight for Thiepval

11 The Attack of XIII Corps on 1st July – North of the Ancre – Their fight for Beaumont Hamel and Serre

12 Gommecourt 1916 – The Attack of the VII Corps on the 1st July

13 Result of the fighting on 1st July with the positions held at nightfall.

An example of the detail is shown. Can anyone tell me more about these maps? Whilst not being original trench maps, they are the best I've ever seen.

John

post-8629-1257090332.jpg

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John - that looks like a great find - can I ask where you got them from?

Alan

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I'm sure I've seen maps like this before; I can't remember if they are from Divisional Histories or the OH, but they sure are familiar.

Nice find John :)

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they are the maps from the OH, they have been reprinted by battery press in the states. however these are the original ones as they are in colour, far easier to read (the reprints would have been more expensice if they had reprinted them in colour), a nice find

matt

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Thanks for the information. The only question now is where did the Official History go?

Alan, I bought them in an antiques fair in Folkestone from a dealer I know well who gets all his military stuff in France. I paid quite a lot for them, but compared to 13 brand new OS maps they were cheap. Every map is in mint condition as though they have never been looked at, except one that is still mint but on the back, someone, long ago wrote some battalion troop numbers in light pencil in an elegant hand. He was probably there.

John

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And here is one detail from the Beaumont Hamel map. The only one in the set.

You can see how pristine the paper is.

John

post-8629-1257102756.jpg

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John I hope he wasn't also selling the OH with the maps missing!

Mick

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John I hope he wasn't also selling the OH with the maps missing!

Mick

Well if he does it will be his loss. Separating the book from the maps certainly lowers the value of the book, but the maps could be sold individually.

I'll e-mail him and ask what became of the book.

John

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Strangely the drawing captioned as the Hawthorn mine actually shows the Y Sap mine blown at La Boisselle - here is the original in the National Archives.

4065609778_9a07a5cbca_o.jpg

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The diagram is certainly pretty much the same, just the figures were altered.

EDIT Actually I think there are some slight variations now that I look again.

keith

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Well if he does it will be his loss. Separating the book from the maps certainly lowers the value of the book, but the maps could be sold individually.

I'll e-mail him and ask what became of the book.

John

I think these same maps are available digitally on an IWM CD.

I got a reprint set of the histories from Battery Press at a very reasonable price but did not get the B/W maps because I have the Imperial War Museum / N&M Press CD "The Official History of the Great War : Military Operations in France and Belgium 1014-18" and understood these were the same maps.

The titles of the maps appear the same.

Chris

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I think these same maps are available digitally on an IWM CD.

I got a reprint set of the histories from Battery Press at a very reasonable price but did not get the B/W maps because I have the Imperial War Museum / N&M Press CD "The Official History of the Great War : Military Operations in France and Belgium 1014-18" and understood these were the same maps.

The titles of the maps appear the same.

Chris

Thanks Chris. For information, these maps are not a standard size, and printing from a CDRom would not reflect the supurb detail of the originals. The first two are very big, maybe AO size whilst some come down to just a but larger than A3. Most are standard map size.

John

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The diagram is certainly pretty much the same, just the figures were altered.

EDIT Actually I think there are some slight variations now that I look again.

They look identical to me, i.e. what purports to be Hawthorn crater is actually Y Sap crater. There is a good reason why: Y Sap area was taken and therefore could have been measured soon after 1st July. THe RE spent quite a long time investigating the area around La Boisselle and measuring the craters would have no doubt been done then. Hawthorn ridge crater was not taken until 13th November when another mine had been blown there making it an 8 shaped double crater. I doubt whether anyone had the time or the inclination to measure the crater on 1st July when part of it was briefly occupied.

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They are the same as those from the OH even the folds are the same.

Mick

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They look identical to me, i.e. what purports to be Hawthorn crater is actually Y Sap crater. There is a good reason why: Y Sap area was taken and therefore could have been measured soon after 1st July. THe RE spent quite a long time investigating the area around La Boisselle and measuring the craters would have no doubt been done then. Hawthorn ridge crater was not taken until 13th November when another mine had been blown there making it an 8 shaped double crater. I doubt whether anyone had the time or the inclination to measure the crater on 1st July when part of it was briefly occupied.

Agreed - the mistake occurs in the RE historical volume on Military Mining published in 1922 which is presumably the origin for the error on the OH map.

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They are the same as those from the OH even the folds are the same.

Mick

Nice confirmation Mick!

Ta - John

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  • 5 months later...

Hi Bart

How much are the reproduction maps from Battery Press?

John

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