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Russia and its Empire in Eurasia: Cartographic Resources in the Library of Congress


De-Lazari, A. N. (Aleksandr Nikolaevich), 1880-, cartographer. Likvidat︠s︡ii︠a︡ Kolchaka i ego posledysheĭ. 1929. Serii︠a︡ plakatov "Grazhdanskai︠a︡" voĭna v 10 listov. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

The division holds maps and atlases of wars involving Russia and the former Soviet Union. By and large falling into one of three categories, they can include the kinds of materials that depict troop positions and movements; those that are essentially topographic in nature, emphasizing terrain and cultural features for planning operations and artillery strikes; and those that essentially are pictorial, in that they illustrate specific events or periods of wars for purposes of history or propaganda.

Among the division's collections are sets issued at various scales by the German General Staff of western Russia before and during the Second World War, in addition to similar materials issued by the Japanese military of Siberia and the Russian Far East during the same era. Most of those maps were confiscated by Allied forces in Germany and Japan at the end of the War, and subsequently transferred by the U.S. Army to the Library in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.

The researcher should keep in mind that maps of individual wars in which Russia and the former Soviet Union participated can be filed with maps of other countries. Thus, uncataloged maps of the Russo-Turkish Wars can be filed under Turkey; maps of the Crimean War can be filed under Europe and Ukraine; those of the Russo-Japanese War can be filed under China, Manchuria, and Japan; and those of the First and Second World Wars can be filed under Europe, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Japan, and Asia. Maps relating to wars generally are limited to the subject categories of "military" and "wars."

Cataloged maps are listed on the Library of Congress online catalog under general and specific search terms. Examples include "World War, 1939-1945 Russia maps" and "Russo-Turkish War maps" and "Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905 maps" and "Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815 Campaigns Russia maps" and so forth. Uncataloged items are noted below. Also included are brief descriptions of sets of large-scale topographic maps of Russian territory on which fighting occurred during the First and Second World Wars.

Single Maps

There are thirty uncataloged maps of wars involving Russia and the former Soviet Union for the years 1787 to 1922. An example is described below.


Physical Map of the Crimea, With enlarged Maps of the Seat of War, And Views of Sebastopol & Balaklava. Ernest Sandoz. (Boston: J. P. Jewett & Co., 1854). Chromolithograph. Scales vary. Filed under Russia -- War, Crimean (Sub.) -- 1854 -- var. scales -- E. Sandoz

Standard commercial sheet with three maps depicting the seat of war in the Crimea. Includes a general map of Crimea; a map showing troop dispositions on the southern Crimean Peninsula; and a map showing troop dispositions in the immediate vicinity of Sevastopol and Balaklava. Maps can show forts, roads, railroads, place names, and relief. Sheet also includes three views: one of the fortress of Sebastopol from the middle of the bay; a bird's eye view of the south coast from Cape Fedlente; and another of the town and harbor of Balaklava from the north. Also includes two cross sections and textual description of the maps. Small legend identifies English, French, Turkish, and Russian troops.

The division holds approximately 110 uncataloged maps in four drawers depicting wars in European Russia. Although publication dates range from 1741 to 1969, much of the coverage is historical in nature and spans the period from the mid sixteenth century up to 1945. Coverage is heavily weighted on the first and second world wars. One unique cataloged item is described below.


Plan des Castels Cronslot in Finnischen Meer Busen : nebst den fürnehmsten Vestungen an den beiden Küsten derselben : Kron Schloss / aus russischen und schwedischen Hülfsmitteln heraus gegeben von den Homænn Erben A. 1750 = Plan du château de Kronslot dans le golfe de Finnland : conjointement avec les plans des plus célèbres forteresses du meme golfe / tiré des morceaux des russiens et des suédois par les Héritiers de Homann l'an. MDCCL = [Kron Shlot]. (Nuremberg: Homann Erben, 1762). Printed and engraved plan, hand-colored. Not drawn to scale. Filed under LC call number G7064.K8A35 1750 .H6 Vault

Well-executed and colorful low-angle view of the island fortress of Kronshtadt in the Gulf of Finland. Plan depicts embankment, canon and canon emplacements, and conical tower. Includes colored illustration of flag atop fortress. Plan includes the following insets: Der Finnische Meerbusen von Cronstadt bis S. Petersburg [low-angle view] -- Cronstad auf der Insel Rebusarri -- Kexholm -- Wiborg -- Narva -- Wilmanstrand -- Frederichshamn -- Revel. Atlas plate removed from Homann Erben's Städt-Atlas, Nuremberg, 1762. Title in German, French, and Russian.

There is a single uncataloged map depicting war in Lithuania dated 1939.

There are three uncataloged maps depicting war in Siberia for the years 1769 and 1919. One unusual item, available as a digital image through the LC website, is elaborated upon below.


Karta Dal'niago Vostoka S.S.S.R., Severnogo Kitaia (Man'chzhurii) i Mongolii. (Moscow, Russia : Izdanie Goskontory Moskva: "Transreklama" NKPS, Napechatano Krasnodar: tipo-litografiia "Sevkavpoligraftresta"., 1930). Typo-lithograph, color. Scale 1:6,000,000. Original held by the National Library of Russia.

1930 Soviet propaganda map referring to the armed conflict between the U.S.S.R. and the Chinese Northeastern Army in 1929 over control of the Chinese Eastern Railway, which resulted in the first international military success for the Soviet Red Army. Covering southeastern Siberia, Mongolia, Manchuria, and part of Kuomintang China, the map shows towns and villages; place names; railroads and railroad stations; roads; international borders; administrative boundaries in Siberia; and rivers. Inset in the lower right is a schematic map of southern China. The portraits on the left and right sides of the map are, respectively, of V.K. Bliukher, a Soviet military commander later executed in Stalin's Great Purge in the 1930s, and a Comrade Simanovskii, about whom little is known. The top slogans read, in English, "For the strengthening of the military-sanitary fund of the Red Cross" and "Citizens of the USSR must remember the Chinese adventure of 1929"; while the bottom slogan reads "The Army and the Red Cross--together serving the defense of the USSR."

Although original is held by the Russian National Library, a digital image is available through the LC website.

There is a sinlge uncataloged map depicting the war in Primorskii Krai in 1905, as well as a map of fortifications around Vladivostok in 1930.

The division holds a single uncataloged map depicting the Eastern Front in "Moldau und Sud-Bessarabien" in the 1940s.

The division holds nine uncataloged maps depicting military affairs and war in Ukraine for the period 1914 to 1943. Three are filed under the subject category "military." An additional item filed in the division's vault is described below.


Ichnografia munitissimae Arcis Otzakoff, quce Ao. 1737 die 3 Iulii auspicus Supremi Campi Mareschalli Comitis de Münnich ab exercitu Russorum vi occupata. (Augsburg: M. Seutter, [173-?]. Map, hand-colored. Scale 1:3,600. Filed under LC call number G7104 .O2S4 1737 .S4 Vault

Colorful plan of the Ottoman Turkish fort of Ochakov (Ochakiv) when captured by Russian forces under Burkhard Christof von Münnich early in July 1737. Plan depicts the fort's defenses and environs, vegetation, and relief by hachures. Also includes a profile of the fort, an index to points of interest, and a lively cartouche illustrating the Turkish surrender.

Plan de la Position des Vaisseaux Turcs brulés flottantes Russes, sous le Komendament du Prince de Nassau-Siegen, le 1er Juilett, 1788. (S.l.: s.n., [1788?]). Manuscript, pen-and-ink and watercolor. Scale 500 sazhen to 1 verst. Filed under unverified LC call number G7104 .O2S4 1788 .P5 Vault

French manuscript map showing the naval battle of Ochakov (Ochakiv), July 1788, at the time of the siege of the Ottoman fortress during the Russo-Turkish War (1787-92). Depicts ship positions and movements; Turkish ships set on fire; batteries on the coast; Russian detachments; and the squadron under command of Rear Admiral John Paul Jones. Includes an extensive legend.

Set Maps

[Maps of the Southern Boundary Region of Asiatic Russia and Central Russia]. (Washington, D.C.: U. S. War Department, General Staff, 1918-). Maps, partly colored. Scale 1:1,680,000. Filed under LC call number G7201 .F2 s1680 .U5

Set of thirty-one maps prepared on behalf of U.S. Army Expeditionary Forces serving in Siberia from 1918 to 1920. Coverage includes Siberia, the Russian Far East, and Central Asia. Each sheet may comprise combinations of overlays, manuscript maps, and printed maps. Overlays, either print or manuscript on tracing linen, depict railway lines, place names, hydrography, roads and boundaries, and relief by contours. Printed maps depict cities, towns and villages; place names; forts and posts; monasteries; wells and springs; rivers; ports; mines; factories; railway lines and stations; roads and paths; post roads; state, district, and provincial borders; submerged lands; and general relief by form lines. Printed sheets include English translations of Russian terms for common geographic features. Notation reads "Translated and redrawn by the Military Intelligence Branch, Executive Division, General Staff, Washington, 1918." Graphic index available for use with set.

Map of Archangel District Russia. (S.l.: U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Allied Mapping Section, 1919). Scale 1:42,000. Filed under LC call number G7063 .A7 s42 .U5

Set of large-scale maps prepared by the U.S. Army's Allied Mapping Section for use by American troops during the Archangel Campaign in northern Russia during the Russian Civil War. Coverage more or less is limited to lands along the major river systems, i.e. Northern Dvina, Onega, Pinega, and their tributaries. Maps depict towns and villages, block houses, buildings and houses, entrenchments, wire entanglements, good (all-year) roads, winter roads, trails, railroad lines and sidings, rivers and creeks, bridges, and place names. Each sheet includes a legend, coordinate scale, and notes. Maps overlaid with one verst grid coordinate system. Graphic index available for use with set.

[Topographic Maps of the Former Russo-Finnish Border Region in Karelia between Vyborg (Viipuri) and Zelenogorst (Terijoki)]. (S.l.:  Voenno Topograficheskaia Sluzhba, (192-)]. Maps, with colored overprint. Scale 1:20,000. Filed under LC call number G7061 .R3 s20 .R8

Set of ninety-six (96) topographic maps covering part of the Karelian Isthmus along the former Russo-Finnish border between the cities of Vyborg (Viipuri) and Zelenogorst (Terijoki). Many of the sheets have been prepared for front-line use with military overprints indicating fortified areas, troop positions, obstructions, lines of defense, and lines of communication. On the whole sheets depict major highways and roads; single and double track railroads; country lanes, winter roads, horse trails, and paths; state, oblast, and gubernia boundaries; stone and wire fences; electrical wires; telephone and telegraph lines; churches; gardens; mills and water wheels; bridges; rivers and streams; cultivated and uncultivated vegetation; settlements; place names; and relief by form lines. Each sheet includes a legend and a graphic/numerical index to the series.

[Befestigungskarte. European Russia]. (Berlin: Germany. Heer. Generalstab, 194-). Maps, colored. Scale 1:300,000. Filed under LC call number G7011 .R4 s300 .G4

Set of eight Germany Army topographic maps depicting Soviet military defenses in an around the cities of Rostow (Rostov), Nisnnij-Tschirskaja (Novocherkassk), Saljsk (Salsk), Joschkar-Ola (Yoshkar-Ola), Ulijanowsk (Simbirsk), Saratow (Saratov), Stalingrad (Zaryzin), and Kujbyschew (Samara). Military information overlaid in manuscript on Landesaufnahme sheets of the Vorläufige edition, with separate legend attached to each map. Maps can show protective barriers, barbed wire defenses, anti-tank barriers, anti-tank ditches, heavy artillery positions, flamethrower lines, earth bunkers, concrete bunkers, fortified concrete bunkers, mine fields and mined areas, fortified beaches, and bridges. Maps also shows cities, towns, and villages; railroads; rivers and canals; state and administrative sub-division boundaries; but no relief. Place names in Cyrillic with Romanized overprint. Maps also include insets, standard legend of cultural features, and table of the Russian alphabet.

Festungsumgebungsplan von Brest-Litowsk. ([Vienna?]: Kaiserliche und Königlische Technologische Militärkomitee, [191-?]). One map on six sheets. Scale 1:25,000. 1 cm. = 250 m. 3 cm. = 1000 paces. Filed under LC call number G7094.B7R4 191- .A9 MLC

Topographic map on six sheets depicting fortifications in the environs of Brest-Litovsk (Brest Region) during World War I. Map depicts existing fortifications, as well as those projected and under construction; roads with distance markers, country roads, and questionable fortification routes; railroad lines; iron bridges; river widths and depths; wind directions; forests, gardens, and vegetation; rivers; submerged lands; and relief by contours and spot heights. Each sheet includes legend, abbreviations, and foreign pronunciation guide.

Festungsumgebungsplan von Rowno. ([Vienna?]: Kaiserliche und Königlische Technologische Militärkomitee, [191-?]). One map on four sheets. Scale 1:25,000. 1 cm. = 250 m. 3 cm. = 1000 paces. Filed under LC call number G7104.R6R4 191- .A9 MLC

Map on four sheets depicting fortifications in the environs of Rivne (Rivne Region) during World War I. Map depicts existing fortifications, as well as those projected and under construction; roads with distance markers, country roads, and questionable fortification routes; railroad lines; iron bridges; river widths and depths; wind directions; forests, gardens, and vegetation; rivers; submerged lands; and relief by contours and spot heights. Each sheet includes legend, abbreviations, and foreign pronunciation guide.


Special Collections

World War II military intelligence map collection : declassified maps from the American, British, and German militaries. Filed with special collections under LC call number G3201.S7 coll .G7

In general this is a collection of declassified maps and textual documents used by the Americans, British, and Germans during World War II to plan military operations between 1931 and 1945. Included are handbooks (Planheften) of occupied territories and potential invasion areas prepared by the military geographic unit of the Military Mapping and Survey agency of the German Army. Among those territories mapped and described were Russia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Coast, Eastern Europe, and the Baltics.

The handbook titled "Transkaukasien," 1943, (item 209) includes flight preparation information on the South Caucasus, which can include text, maps, diagrams, aerial imagery, and photographs of its borders, climate, hydrography, society and culture, economy, industry, transportation network, and major regions.

The handbook titled "Kuesten-Beschreibung der russischen Schwarzmeerkueste (Odessa bis Batum)," 1942, (item 210) includes aerial imagery, photographs, and text on major ports such as Odessa, Batumi, Eupatoria, Sebastopol, Feodosia, Kerch, Novorossisk, Sochi, Poti, Taganrog, and others.

The handbook titled "Luftgeographische Beschreibung Europaisches Russland," 1941, (item 211) includes text, maps, aerial imagery, and photographs of major transportation, industrial, and economic sites, such as Minsk, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Saratov, Magnitogorsk, Grozny, and others, as well as descriptions of boundaries, hydrolography, climate, population, .and society.

There are additional German military intelligence Planheften related to Russia within this collection, but those by and large are limited to compilations of map indexes at various scales. The finding aid to the entire collection is available via the Library of Congress website.