48 – Nazi War Aims
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
A British map, I presume, made between 1937 and 1940, showing the German plans for the conquest of Europe "revealed by Secret Nazi Map" – I don’t know if that isn’t a bit of British propaganda, or if there actually was such a map.
In fact, this map, whether or not derivative of that supposed secret map, is quite accurate in the scope of the German conquest, especially in the Latin countries (with ambitions towards Portugal and Northern Spain perhaps a bit too, well, ambitious, but with the occupation of France predicted rather well: the territory occupied by the Vichy régime is about right).\n
In some cases, it’s off by just a year, as in the occupation of the Low Countries: actually happened in 1940, was predicted here by 1941. And of course neither Sweden, Switzerland nor the British Isles were ever occupied by the Nazis (except for the Channel Islands, the only part of Britain ever occupied by foreign forces for a significant length of time since the Norman invasions).\n
And to my limited knowledge, Hungaria, Romania and possibly also Bulgaria weren’t really occupied by the Germans, but rather ruled over by nazi-friendly, but at least nominally independent regimes.\n
Map found at the British Library.\n