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Daily Mail War Map

  • Author: DAILY MAIL
  • Publisher: London Geographical Institute / George Philip & Son, London (publishers)
  • Date: 1914
  • Dimensions: Image: 77 x 51 cms / Sheet: 85 x 56 cms.


A popular & detailed Map of the Continent of Europe published by the Daily Mail shortly after the outbreak of war in August 1914

About this piece:

Daily Mail War Map

Linen-backed. Printed colours. Folding down into plain dark green contemporary board covers, 19.5 x 11.5 x 0.5 cms, with original printed label to front. Map in generally fine clean condition, outer boards slightly worn and bumped along spine and edges.

An attractive early “War Map”, probably dating from the very first weeks of the war, and one of the first in a series of maps, charts and panoramas of the widening global conflict issued in a cooperative venture between the Daily Mail newspaper and the well-known Fleet Street map, atlas and globe publishers, George Philip & Son, operating as The London Geographical Institute. The map was issued in two formats, a simple 1 shilling edition, unbacked and folding into orange printed paper covers (removed), and a second, more luxurious edition, as here, costing 2/6, linen-backed and folding into sturdier and more elaborate printed covers, though in this instance the map folds into somewhat plain green cloth boards than the more usual  embellished red cloth boards.

The map is particularly interesting in its portrayal of the Allied and Central Powers. Portugal and Spain are tentatively placed on the side of the Allies, in the light of their Treaty agreements with Britain, whilst Italy is provisionally though not definitively placed on the side of the Central Powers, this despite her clear declaration of neutrality on Aug 3rd. The comparative war strengths of the Allied & Central Powers are tabulated in attractive panels on the right of the map, with details of their armed forces, navies & air forces. The respective financial resources and peacetime strengths of the Great Powers are compared & the wartime armed forces of the smaller European powers, including several of the neutrals, quantified.

In August 1914, Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the Daily Mail, felt vindicated in his anti-German sentiment, promoting the Mail as “the paper that foretold the war”. As events unfolded, Northcliffe took an increasingly trenchant stance against those he saw as preventing the efficient prosecution of the War. Numerous official casualties followed, most famously Kitchener (and the Asquith Government) in the wake of the Shell Crisis in May 1915. Others considered the Mail’s reporting of events at the Front, for example the first day of the Somme, as blatant news censorship & manipulation. For many wartime critics, the newspaper readily deserved its pejorative nickname, the Daily Liar.