French victory map of France, celebrating the efforts of soldiers that participated in the initial Battle of France and contributed to the liberation. This example of the map is dedicated to Roger Cherenin, a French combattant, using calligraphy in the center and a pasted portrait of Cherenin. Maps such as these would have been personalized for each combattant of a certain regiment, region, or prisoner of war camp.
Roger Cherenin was attached to the 242 Regiment d'Infanterie, which was stationed in Alsace at the start of the war. The regiment spent the Phony War displaced up and down the Maginot Line, but was encircled rapidly during the June 1940 offensive. Its soldiers were then taken prisoner.
Cherenin served out the war in Stalag VI-H, one of the German army's many notorious Stammlager (POW) camps. While a limited number of French soldiers were returned from captivity in exchange for labor conscripts, most remained in camps until liberation. Cherenin was freed in May of 1945, just before the war's end.
The map shows some of the most notable events of the Second World War in France. In the lower-left is an image of the burning of Oradour, in which over six hundred civilians were burned alive by the SS as retaliation for partisan activity. In the southeast are the Glieres and Vercors Massifs, in which independent Maquis organizations represented some of the most well-organized operations of the Resistance. In the North is the Liberation of Paris and the crossing of the Rhine.