Description

These three maps were produced during the First World War: 

15. 'Sketch map of German East Africa and surrounding territories'

27. 'Stanford's map of Europe & Northern Asia: Showing the route of the Great Siberian Railway and its Trunk connections East & West, the Japanese land route to Europe, 1918'

28. 'Stanford's map of Europe, Africa & Western Asia: Showing the Areas embraced by Mittel-Europa & Mittel-Afrika: The German ideals in the war of 1914-1918'.

During the First World War, Stanford’s began to produce maps of the theatres of war, as well as wartime propaganda.

For instance, maps 15 and 27 were designed to help the public understand where military campaigns were taking place, as well as the logistical routes for trade and resources. Map 15 highlights the presence of European colonial rule in parts of Africa.

Map 28, titled ‘Mittel-Europa & Mittel-Afrika: The German Ideals of the War of 1914-1918’, is an example of British propaganda that focuses on Germany’s foreign policy and its aim to expand its empire. With thick red lines, the map illustrates whole swathes of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires absorbed into ‘Mittel-Europa’, while central Africa – areas colonised by Britain, France, Portugal and Belgium, as well as the small independent states – has been occupied as a ‘Mittel-Afrika’ zone. The title is somewhat misleading, as it was published before the end of the war. By imagining a potential outcome following a German victory, its purpose was to highlight what was at risk for Britain and the Allies if they should lose.

Transcript