This map was used for propaganda, to appease the French people who were upset after the mutinies of summer 1917. It was meant to justify a lingering war that claimed many lives. It denounces the ambitions of the enemy, pointing out the historical power of Prussia over German land since the early 18th century. The reference in the top left-hand corner to Mirabeau, an 18th-century French revolutionary, writer and diplomat, introduces this historical aspect. Mentioning the declarations of a pan-Germanist association gives a contemporary twist to the Prussian threat. The purpose of this map was to give the impression on the French side that this war was a fight for freedom against Prussian ambitions, that it would liberate the French territories ‘seized’ by the treaty of 1871, which gave Alsace-Moselle to the Germans. The image of the octopus, popular at the time in this kind of document, suggests a threatening power that spreads its tentacles all over Europe.
A copy of this map is also available at the British Library. Please explore our catalogue for more details.