Very rare Top Secret-rated pair of maps showing the German defenses across a large swath of the D-Day beaches Omaha (at the right) and Utah (at the left), prepared by the Geographical Section of the General Staff right before the landings on June 6, 1944. This is the May 1944 overprint edition of the map, the last produced before the landings early the next month.
The map extends from the famous Les Moulins beach exit, just east of Vierville-Sur-Mer, through the western end of Omaha Beach, the famous U.S. Army Ranger battlefield of La Pointe du Hoc (here, erroneously, "Pointe du Hoe", as often during this time), across La Baie des Veys (Bancs du Grand Vey), to the southern section of Utah Beach.
The map encompasses an astounding level of detail about the immediate beach defenses that would be encountered by landing American troops, as well as the defenses farther inland.
The maps indicate they were compiled from aerial photographs taken on a control provided by existing French triangulation.
The backs of the maps have detailed keys relating what symbols indicate what kinds of guns were in place at the German defenses, etc.
In June of 1944, fierce combat took place in the areas spanning from the Les Moulins beach exit, located just east of Vierville-Sur-Mer, to the southern section of Utah Beach. The combat was waged by the U.S. Army and its allies against the German forces, as part of the larger Normandy landings that marked a turning point in World War II.
The map of the combat zone includes several strategic locations that witnessed intense fighting. One of these is the western end of Omaha Beach, which was one of the primary landing sites for the U.S. forces. Despite facing heavy resistance from the German defenders, the U.S. troops managed to establish a foothold on the beach and eventually gain control of the surrounding areas.
Another key location in the combat zone was La Pointe du Hoc, also known as "Pointe du Hoe" during this time. This was a U.S. Army Ranger battlefield that required the troops to scale a 100-foot cliff while under heavy fire from the German defenders. Despite the odds, the Rangers were able to successfully take control of the area and neutralize several key German positions.
Finally, the southern section of Utah Beach was another critical location that witnessed significant combat during the Normandy landings.
Overall, the combat in the areas covered by the map was a critical part of the larger Normandy landings, which played a pivotal role in the Allied victory in World War II. The bravery and sacrifice of the troops involved in this operation will forever be remembered and celebrated as a testament to their heroism and determination in the face of overwhelming adversity.
We locate no original editions of these maps in OCLC (two later imprints, in one copy each, are located in institutional collections).
The British Library illustrates an example of Bigot-rated version of the eastern sheet.