The boring life of Jerod Poore, Crazymeds' Chief Citizen Medical Expert.

Happy 100th Birthday World War 1 (the 2nd)

In honor of the WWI centenary I present the 1914 War Map of Europe:
Click to Enlarge
Aside from being its being in pretty bad shape - it was over 90 years old and pretty tattered when I bought it, and at 47.5 by 36 inches it is not suitable for framing - this map has a lot of things besides a few intentional or unintentional errors to make it unique.

Not that they needed to use any intentional errors to protect their copyright, as they used the information overload style popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and still popular with the cartographers with National Geographic and the Encyclopedia Britannica.  From what I've been able to find, this is Pitman's improved adjustable war map of Europe, which is really most of H. Buchardt Petersen's Map of Europe published by the A.R. Ohman Map Co.  Whom Pitman has actually credited.  I haven't been able to find any pictures of either, just listings in a couple of library catalogs, the Library of Congress' A List of Atlases and Maps Applicable to the World War and a couple of antiquarian book listings (in the shape it's in I'd guess mine's worth between US$100 & US$200).

By "most" I mean it's obvious (even with my atrocious photography) part of the map is missing.  Note how names are cropped:
It's even blurrier up close
Why was part of the map cut off?  To make room for the sidebar of of information about demographics, infrastructure, and the militaries of the combatant nations, or ones that, at the time, seemed likely to join the festivities.  Appending these sorts of data to maps was popular in atlases of the time, but this is the only instance where I've seen it done on a map independent of an atlas:

I Guess Size Does Matter
Something I've never seen in an atlas is pictures of the heads of state.  Which makes sense, as atlases are supposed to last longer than the reigns of kings.  Or something like that:
Europe's Most Wanted
Note the bullshit term "Mikado" for Japan's Emperor that was popular at the time.  Missing from the pictures is the inbreeding.  King George and Emperor William were both grandsons of Queen Victoria.  Czar Nicholas was a first cousin of King George (their mothers were sisters), and his wife was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, thus a first cousin of George and William.  No wonder his son was a hemophiliac.  Another grandchild of Victoria, their cousin Marie, was married to the King of Romania, and William's daughter Sophia was married to the King of Greece.  It could have been worse.  Franz Joseph may have lost his heirs to suicide and Balkan anarchists, but he managed to avoid the Habsburg Jaw.  Granted, the Habsburgs managed to inbreed themselves into extinction 50 years before Franz Joseph was born, but you never can tell.

Back to the cartography.  For some reason someone, my guess is Pitman, thought it necessary to slap the name of each country in big, red letters near, or over, the same name that was already there in large, black letters in a typeface reserved for country names.

Most glaring error: Misspelling Luxembourg in big red letters:
Who Cares About Those Luxembourgers Anyway?
Bonus irony points: Luxembourg the country isn't identified in black letters with the appropriate typeface, just the capital city.  That may have been an intentional error of omission.

Close second: Making the Balearic Islands look like they belong to France.  That, however, could have been the printer's fault.  Some of the Greek islands, notably Corfu, look as if they belong to Serbia.  Yes, it's spelled "Servia" all over the place.  It was often spelled that way in the US, especially in places with a large Greek population, like New York City.  Anyway it's annoying that neither Buchardt nor Pitman bothered to identify which islands belonged to whom.  Then again, it may have been expected that the audience for this map was going to know that sort of thing.  Even Gibraltar has no indication that it was a British possession.  An atlas I have from 1907 is the same way.  The prevailing attitude seems to have been: If you didn't learn that in school you have no business looking at our fine cartographic products.  This sucker cost $1.50 in 1914, when the average worker, who never attended high school, was making around $2 a day.
Except, they did indicate a couple of things were Spanish:
Mistakes Were Made
I guess these are intentional errors used as copyright protectors.  Ceuta wasn't an island then and it isn't now, although it is still a Spanish enclave in Morocco.  Perejil 'Island' is little more than a large rock poking above the surface of the Mediterranean.  Spain is still holding onto its claim of it, because you never know what you'll find under the seabed in a three mile radius ... or however the hell they determine who gets what where in a narrow strait with three countries involved.  Listing anything in Morocco visible on this map as being Spanish is redundant, as all of northern Morocco was a Spanish 'protectorate' by 1912, but listing only three of the named features as such implies that the rest aren't Spanish, and thus incorrect.

If you think this is obsessive, you should hear me yell at the Hitler Channels whenever they display incorrect maps.

And what the fuck do I mean by World War 1 the 2nd?  WWI was the first global conflict fought where most combatant nations used all-out total war - where each nation uses practically, if not actually all of its resources, infrastructure, policies, and social structures, for the war effort - but it was the second truly global conflict.  The first, where the concept of total war began, is generally considered a series of wars that happened 100 years prior to WWI: the Napoleonic wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  They are not so much a series of wars with a bunch of treaties everyone ignored than a single prolonged war fought at a much slower pace than today, with more time between battles.  Battles that were fought in Europe, Africa, Asia (barely), the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Caribbean Sea, and North America.  The US was involved as well.  Our disastrous War of 1812 was siding with Napoleon for his original reasons (spreading revolutionary democracy) as well as getting tired of having our ships stolen and sailors kidnapped by the British Navy.  We botched it for a lot of reasons, like joining in on the fun several years too late and not taking the invasion of Canada seriously.

While the war was basically between the French and British empires, it really pitted France, and later Denmark (after it was attacked by England for being in the way), a newly liberated Poland, Persia (briefly), and eventually the US, against England, Russia, Sweden, Sardinia (it was an important country back then), the Ottoman Empire (thus the battles in Africa and Asia), and whatever countries failed to keep Napoleon from conquering them, including Switzerland.  Prussia, Spain and Austria fought on both sides at one time or another.  So did some other countries, but they weren't seriously on Napoleon's side.

The aspects of total war developed at the time included the mass conscription of soldiers and having most of the industrial output of France and England being dedicated to producing war matériel.  There were also insurgencies in occupied countries, most notably Spain, and brutal repression of same.  Modern guerrilla tactics were born during Napoleon's occupation of Spain, and they haven't had to change much in 200 years.  While they didn't invent it, nobody does scorched earth like the Russians.  Invading Russia is a sucker's game.  For the technology available at the time, the Napoleonic Wars were the closest thing to total war seen until the American civil war, the first true total war.