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Remembered Today:

The New CWGC/Michelin Map


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At last the replacement for the CWGC overprinted maps is available.

The overprinted maps were invaluable to most great war travellers in France and recently went out of print with the promised of a replacement in a new format. That volume is now with us.

It comes in the form of a little atlas using, as before, the Michelin maps but is now presented as a little booklet with pages pretty much the same size as the folded maps that preceded it.

It covers Northern France & Belgium and gives the location of the more significant cemeteries and memorials using three symbols to identify:

1. Cemeteries

2. Cemeteries co-located with memorials

3. Memorials

As with its predecessors it does not include many smaller cemeteries with a small number of graves, typically where one or two graves are in a French communal cemetery.

It does include areas outside the previous overprinted Michelin Sheets (51; 52; 53) so we now have areas such as Normandy included which is a useful and positive change.

The locations, of which almost 1000 are included, are indexed both by name and by reference number. The reference by index number being a useful improvement on its predecessor maps. The indices are also included in the atlas itself adding a significant number of worthwhile pages and providing one index for all of Northern France & Belgium is a great help. It is a folded stapled binding in card covers presented in full colour with a short introductory note in three languages.

As well as the fuller coverage I am sure the biggest boon will be not having to make sure you don't lose the index sheets which were tucked in the old maps and were easily lost.

If I have one criticism it is that I could not find any scale given anywhere in the volume for the Michelin maps. They appear to be pretty much the same scale as before (1:200,000) but I could not find this confirmed anywhere in the volume though it is confirmed on the CWGC web site.

In many areas you will still find larger scale maps invaluable to locate cemeteries exactly and the CWGC web site pages are still a useful source of directions.

The criticisms are minor, the new format and extended coverage (all in one volume rather than three maps) are great improvements. This is a new volume which every battlefield tourist in France & Flanders will find invaluable.

Available from the CWGC and various outlets it costs either £7 or 10 euros depending upon where you are,

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Sadly the 1st edition has not been proof read by anyone with half a knowledge of these burial sites, and I have already noticed a large number of errors on the maps showing (incorrectly) where cemeteries are located.

I hope there will be a second edition shortly.

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They mainly relate to WW2 cemeteries, but as and when I get a spare moment (!) I will try and do this. I was going to write to CWGC during the Winter when I am less busy; personally I like this new map book and think it much better than the previus seperate maps. I am just surprised as some of the mistakes, that's all.

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