Skip to main content

World War II Topographic Maps

The Map Room has an extensive series of topographic maps, with some coverage of foreign jurisdictions. The largest component of the foreign topographic map collection has been acquired by the Military and Strategic Studies Program of the Arts Faculty at the University of New Brunswick. These maps are housed in the Map Room of the Harriet Irving Library and are available for consultation during the normal hours of operation of the library.

These maps were acquired from the Directorate of History, National Defence Headquarters, in 1997 when the Directorate disposed of their collection. The UNB collection consists largely of maps produced for the army and the General Staff between 1939 and the 1960s for operational purposes, and which were subsequently acquired by DHist both for archiving and for use in their official history projects.

As a result, this collection covers most of the areas in which Canadian forces operated or planned to operate during this period, both combat operations in war and UN peacekeeping missions: Europe (primarily Italy and northwest Europe), the Mediterranean basin, Korea, India and a few other places. A very small number of the maps contain overprints of an operational nature (defence, intellgence on enemy positions, AFV going etc ). The bulk of the maps range in scale from 1:25,000 to 1:500,000 and the collection provides an especially unique reference source for Northern Europe for the mid-20th century, including many small scale urban maps.

The list above provides a link to the holdings of this collection, arranged by country or region. Note that maps are organized by the name of the country at the time of publication. For example, the maps of Vanuatu would be listed under New Hebrides because the name change did not come until the independence of Vanuatu in 1980. The map series are listed by country or region in descending order of scale.