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Maps found in Leslie's WW1 Book. What are they?


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I apologize if this is not the right area to ask this question. I'm new to this forum. Mods, feel free to move as you see fit.


I have a 1919 edition of "Leslie's photographic review of the great war". I was attempting to research whether or not it is a first edition, and I noticed some maps tucked into the back cover.


The first map is titled "BAR-LE-DUC (Verdun)". On the back it is stamped in black ink, "51 BAR-LE-DUC" and it has "COC" is blue grease pencil.


The second map is titled "COMMERCY" and on the back it is stamped "52 COMMERCY". This one is interesting because it has a fancy water mark around the edges that, to my eyes, looks like it says "RENAGE (ISERE)".


The bottom left corner says:

Levée par les officiers du corps d'état-major et publiée par la Dépôt de la Guerre en 1835


Can anybody tell me more about these maps?

Edited by Metacomet
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Hi and welcome to the forum.  You are in the right place too!


This is a nice find.  These fold-out maps were extensively used by the French in the early stages of the war.  This is from the series of maps made using the Bonne Projection and original coordinate reference system.  It was also known as the projection du Depot de la Guerre, The Dépôt de la Guerre, was established in 1688, responsible for all military surveys.


The Imperial War Museum in London has an extensive collection and many of these were overprinted with the Lambert Conical Grid during the war, like this one, courtesy of the Western Front Association.  This one was revised in 1913 (ie the map was revised) and the magnetic declination is given from 1917.  Your examples pre-date this.





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Thank you, WHITESTARLINE! That's very intersting info, I appreciate your help. Do you know anything about the water marks on the map?


From what I can gather, Renage, Isere is a place in France. I find the fact that it has a water mark like that really interesting. Thanks again!

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  • 4 weeks later...

These are interesting maps, although not rare. As the previous reply mentions, they were surveyed in the 19th century. In the lower margin you may find the small “revisee” marking with a WW1 date. Although they don’t feature printed military tactical data such as trenches, depots, airfields etc, they are interesting because they were used by Britain and Germany, as well as France, as the basis for their own maps. They are said to have been unpopular - frequently inaccurate, out of date and visually somewhat busy looking. Nonetheless, for the French sector they were all that was available to begin with.

It’s quite common and rather satisfying to find personal notations such as the grease pencil you mention.

The 1:80,000 series sheets were issued as a set for the use of junior officers. I have an index somewhere, I’ll dig it out and post it up. Yours looks like a full size sheet; sometimes they were printed in quarter sheets for easy handling.

Be warned, if you want to buy more, some dealers will ask silly prices. In France they sell for a few Euros each.

The water mark is probably RENAGE ISERE. Renage is a commune in the Isere department, SE France. The area was a centre of papermaking. Almost every WW1 French 80,000 map I have has a comparable marking. It shows that yours is the real thing.


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I’ve attached the index for the 1:200,000 series. The 1:80,000 series are shown by the smaller rectangles. The poor young sous-lieutenants had quite a heap of paper to lug around with them. I expect it came in useful for other purposes.

You might see in your map’s margin, in very small type, a date preceded by ‘r’ eg r 19.7.15. I think this is the actual date of printing, r for reproduite. Happy to be corrected!


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