In the 1920s and 1930s the Army War College had representatives at the German Reichsarchiv in Potsdam who were making exact copies of Imperial German military documents so that they could be studied and analyzed by the U.S. military. One subset of documents is the tracings of daily situation maps created by the individual German Armies. These situation maps are an important resource for examining the German side of the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives!
Created at the individual Army level, the original Lagenkarten (plural) show the disposition of German Army Groups, Corps and divisions within the stated German Army; adding to a better understanding of the German forces on the ground and the command structure. To varying degrees, the maps include major defensive lines, aviation units (balloon and aircraft), unit headquarters, units in reserve, major training areas and some railroad lines. They also provide a glimpse of the enemy units that the German Army believed it was fighting. (Note: The latter is not always accurate.)
These maps were generally updated and produced daily at the Army level; making it possible for researchers to analyze the changes in units on an almost-daily basis.
The collection also includes 3rd Army maps from 25 – 30 September as “Group Argonne” was part of the 3rd Army until 5 October, 1918. Unfortunately, NARA’s collection does NOT include 3rd Army maps from 1-5 October; leaving a gap in coverage during crucial days in the Argonne in early October.
The original 5th Army maps were produced in 1:100,000 scale and the Army Detachment C maps were produced in 1:300,000 scale. Because of this scale, the focus is largely on divisions and higher echelon units; although they do show individual regiments in the case that only 1 or 2 of a division’s 3 infantry regiments are in the line.
The U.S. Army tracings (of the originals) were produced on a transparent sheet similar to wax paper. However, most are in very fragile conditions. Therefore, at some point, the National Archives created duplicates of these on white or light blue plastic sheets. The maps in this collection are large-scale scans from those duplicates.
Each map included in this collection has been scanned at 200dpi and each map is provided in two file formats: .jpg and .tiff. As a result, this collection is about 5GB in size!
More details can be found in the User’s Guide below.
As researchers know, the fun is found in the details. These maps are a treasure trove of information on the Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel Offensives–from the German point of view!
For Additional Details:
To better understand this product, readers are encouraged to view the documents below before purchasing:
Complete User’s Guide: Lagenkarten User Guide Feb 2019 Final
Complete List of Maps Included: Maps Included in Collection Feb 2019 Final
German Order of Battle During the Meuse-Argonne: German Order of Battle Details Feb 2019 Final
Price: $25 for Electronic Delivery; Add $10 for mail delivery via USB flash drive
Payment: Cash, check and PayPal to [email protected]
Email the following information to Randal Gaulke at [email protected] or send a hard copy of the order form to:
Randal Gaulke, 584 Valley Road, Gillette, NJ 07933 USA
Delivery Method: Electronic vs. Wetransfer Mail using a USB Stick*
*Remember to add $10 for mail using a USB stick