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Collection of map making resources

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There have been a lot of links to great sites with historical maps or aerial photographs in these forums, but there has been no single thread to actually collect all of these in one place, so I thought I'd start one.


Great page with a lot of maps from different sources (Polish, German and Soviet) for Germany, Poland and Byelorussia.

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Great idea.

Here are some more on a variety of topics that I've found on these forums or across the internet in general:


Pre-war Soviet military topographic maps. There's an index here or at the top of the page to help locate which map you need.

Soviet military topo maps from 1989 are available at loadmap, which is sort of Google Maps-style with the topographic maps overlaid on it.

US Army technical manual on Soviet topographic map symbols, which in addition to its obvious uses includes an alphabet transliteration and translations of commonly-used abbreviations and map terms.

Mapywig.org has pre-war Polish maps.

This thread here on the BFC forums has some good information on reading contour lines on Soviet maps (and probably more resources that I've forgot about): thick lines are generally 50m intervals; “normal” lines are 10m intervals; dashed lines are 5m intervals on gentler slopes.


The Nafziger Collection has a lot of detailed information about the orders of battle for the Germans and Soviets in Bagration. I think some people argue about how accurate these are but they are at least a good start. Its two biggest shortcomings for CM scenario making purposes are that (1) it contains little if any information about unit movements and locations and (2) it very seldom contains any detailed information about the equipment in the formations it lists. The index to find the document you want is here.

Bayonet Strength has some information on German divisional and regimental TO&Es, which can be helpful for filling in the blanks between the CM battalions and their parent formations' organizations and equipment (unfortunately nothing about the Soviets).

Feldgrau.com has a listing of all the German divisions raised during the war and some information about them, but the detail varies pretty widely from division to division.

Axis History has a lot of the same, and sometimes additional, information on units at the division level as Feldgrau, as well as a little bit of detail about Soviet forces.

I haven't been able to find any good sites with detail at the level of Feldgrau or Axis History for Soviet forces lower than Army.


JonS' Sheriff of Oosterbeek scenario design thread is a really great walk-through of one way to build a scenario and is full of tips and tricks to make the process a bit easier.

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  • 5 months later...

Rokko, hi,

Unfortunately, 1:250 000 maps can hardly be used for CM mapmaking.

The way I use them, and with most to the former Soviet Union for this time period there is little alternative to these maps, is to use them as an outline then I use photos from the Eastern Front in WWII as a guide for likely detail of the look of the terrain and buildings and such.

Here and there more detailed maps do exist, as the sources show.... but the US Army series taken from the best sources they could find for the 1940s I think a good starting point.

All the best,


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A link to a Russian blog with interesting info for those who are interested in making maps and scenarios for the fighting in the Demyansk Pocket, where German troops were encircled by the Red Army around Demyansk, in the Novgorod area from 8 February to 21 April (20 May) 1942. The blog is in Russian so if you don't know the language you could either see it as a good reason to talk to that gorgeous Russian woman you see in the grocery shop or use Google Translate.

If you don't care about what actually happened and only want sources to your scenario maps, there are quite a lot of handmade drawings by Soviet soldiers to use and also maps with troop movements and frontlines.

Novosele Pic 02 and Novosele Pic 03 show the handmade maps of that area with elevation in meters. The area today.

The pictures of Velikoe Selo 01 - 03 seem to show where the Russians had put their guns to shoot at the Germans on the other side of the river Shubinskaya Rob'ya. The area today.

Novosele 01.jpg

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