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Capsule Review

Atlas of World War II: History’s Greatest Conflict Revealed Through Rare Wartime Maps and New Cartography

In This Review

Atlas of World War II: History’s Greatest Conflict Revealed Through Rare Wartime Maps and New Cartography
Atlas of World War II: History’s Greatest Conflict Revealed Through Rare Wartime Maps and New Cartography
By Stephen G. Hyslop
National Geographic, 2018 256 pp. Purchase

This splendid book is largely based on artifacts and maps collected by Kenneth Rendell for his International Museum of World War II, in Massachusetts. The archival material is backed up by over 100 new maps illuminating many of the most important battles and campaigns of the war, along with an illustrated history of the campaigns, the people involved, and their kit. The new cartographic work is excellent, but the stars of the book are the high-quality reproductions of maps first produced as part of the war effort. These include the Allied invasion plan for Sicily in 1943, a table map used by the British Fighter Command during the Blitz, and playing cards with backs that pows could peel off to reveal escape maps printed on tissue paper. The book also features presentations on the organization of Moscow’s defense in August 1941, a situation map from Nazi General Erwin Rommel’s North African campaign, and Japanese maps covering the first stages of Japan’s December 1941 offensive.

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