New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

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Stephan H.
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New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by Stephan H. » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:49 am

Several days ago while I was at NARA scanning H.Gr. Weichsel maps I learned that thousands (yes thousands!) of German army group and army level daily situation maps spent the last 70+ years misfiled. These are not scans or transparencies but the original 6 foot hand drawn daily situation maps.

They are contained in over 1,000 boxes. These have only recently made their way into the 3rd floor Cartographic section and appropriately indexed. In fact I believe I may have walked out of Archives II with the first copy of the map index. It is a 21 page document and I have attempted to abbreviate some of it below. However, I’ve only had time to type in less than half of what they have. There are individual boxes that contain military operational maps for specific cities like Stalingrad, Leningrad, Sevastopol, and other locations. Other army level maps exist for AOK 1, 2, 10, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, Ostpreussen, etc.,. The RG is 242 like the other LO Maps, and they are filed in Stack 331/Rows 80, 110-112.

Some of the daily army group situation maps with the corresponding dates of the converge:
H.Gr. Nord / Jun 12, 1941-Apr 4, 1945
H.Gr. Mitte / Jun 12, 1941-Apr 30, 1945
H.Gr. Sued / Jun 11, 1941-Apr 28, 1945
H.Gr. A / Aug 4, 1942-Dec 30, 1945
H.Gr. A & B / Jul 1, 1942-Aug 3, 1942
H.Gr. B / Aug 4, 1942-Jan 26, 1943
H.Gr. B & Don / Jan 27, 1943-Feb 12, 1943
H.Gr. N & Ukraine / Apr 5, 1944-Sep 22, 1944
H.Gr. S & Ukraine / Apr 5, 1944-Sep 22, 1944
USSR Northern Front / Sep 17, 1939-Jul 29, 1942
USSR Central Front / May 27, 1938-Feb 2, 1943
USSR Southern Front / Jul 12, 1941-Jul 5, 1943
Lage Rote Armee / Jun 30, 1941-Feb 22, 1945

Many more topics including fortifications, rail lines, and airforce positions are covered in these maps.

I asked the archivist specifically if these were originals or copies of the maps sent back to Germany in the 1980s. He assured that to the best of his knowledge these were originals that no one has touched since the 1950s and that they were located only at NARA (no copies sent to BAMA). Apparently they remained misfiled in the seconf floor Contextual Records holdings for decades. I personally did not try to access them (yet) so I did not out “eyes on”.

Hopefully this is a new source of information to other researchers.

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Tom Houlihan
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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by Tom Houlihan » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:01 pm

If'n ye happen to see any from Karelia, call me?! Please?
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GaryD
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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by GaryD » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:49 pm

Very interesting Stephan!

The USSR maps you mention,

USSR Northern Front / Sep 17, 1939-Jul 29, 1942
USSR Central Front / May 27, 1938-Feb 2, 1943
USSR Southern Front / Jul 12, 1941-Jul 5, 1943

Are those Soviet maps?

Gary

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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by Stephan H. » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:01 am

Tom - In looking at the guide I have, Box 688 is titled "Murmansk May 1, 1944-May 26, 1944". Other than that, I'd try Boxes 564 & 565 "USSR Northern Front / Sep 17, 1939-Jul 29, 1942".

Gary - Great question. These could be FHO produced maps of Soviet positions. It seems unlikely to me that these are captured Soviet maps, given the date range and daily dispositions.

Someone is going to have to request some boxes and take a look. . .

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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by GaryD » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:17 am

Stephan H. wrote:Someone is going to have to request some boxes and take a look. . .
I'll try to go in January.

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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by MadDog » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:21 pm

I would ask that anyone going soon (I should be there in April) should collectively try and assemble a complete index of what is available, and try and figure out how to get these digitized. Aaron has indicated that these are probably too big for the map scanner on the cartography floor, and I am unsure if a third party agency exists that is authorized to make copies.

Mad Dog

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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by GaryD » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:06 am

MadDog wrote:I would ask that anyone going soon (I should be there in April) should collectively try and assemble a complete index of what is available, and try and figure out how to get these digitized. Aaron has indicated that these are probably too big for the map scanner on the cartography floor, and I am unsure if a third party agency exists that is authorized to make copies
Mad Dog,

It's been a couple of years since I've been in the cartography room, so what specifically are you referring to when you say "map scanner"? I've always used the color copier that makes 11x17 copies for 35 to 50 cents a copy. Most of the captured Soviet maps from WWII can be copied in 4 sections. I take the sheets to Staples to have them scanned and then I digitally piece them together using a graphics program. Is there an easier way nowadays?

Gary

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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by GaryD » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:51 am

GaryD wrote:It's been a couple of years since I've been in the cartography room, so what specifically are you referring to when you say "map scanner"? I've always used the color copier that makes 11x17 copies for 35 to 50 cents a copy. Most of the captured Soviet maps from WWII can be copied in 4 sections. I take the sheets to Staples to have them scanned and then I digitally piece them together using a graphics program. Is there an easier way nowadays?
Ooops, I'm sorry. I was confusing the Library of Congress Georgraphy and Map Room in the James Madison Building with the NARA cartography room. The LOC is where I was copying maps. I didn't know there was a scanner at NARA.

Gary

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Re: New (possibly) Lage Ost Maps Discovered at NARA

Post by MadDog » Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:01 am

In the back of the cartography room, to the left, they installed a large map scanner, maybe 3-4 feet wide. I had some oversized maps from some FMS documents scanned. You have to have the cartography personnel scan the maps for you, so it costs $$$, but it was relatively cheap.

Mad Dog

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