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War maps
Cartographic propaganda during WWI and WWII was used to polarize states along the lines of war and did so by appealing to the masses. Fred Rose's "Serio-comic war map for the year 1877" portrayed the Russian Empire as an octopus stretching out its tentacles vying for control in Europe and was intended to solicit distrust of the Russian Empire within Europe.
This concept was used again in 1917 during WWI; (Vichy) Francee commissioned a map which portrayed Prussia as the octopus.
The octopus appeared again in 1942 as France intended to sustain its citizens' morale and cast Winston Churchill as the octopus, a demonic green-faced, red-lipped, cigar-smoking creature attempting to seize Africa and the Middle East.

Propaganda and potical use
In the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries the political potential of cartographic shapes became used more widely and began to be used for more blatantly propagandistic purposes. Map and globe can be used as symbols for abstract ideas because they are familiar to the masses and they harbor emotive connotations.
Maps are often incorporated as an emblematic element in a larger design or are used to provide the visual framework on which a scenario is played out.
Fred W. Rose created two propaganda posters depicting the British general election in 1880 in which he used the map of England, "Comic Map of the British Isles indicating the Political Situation in 1880" and "The overthrow of His Imperial Majesty King Jingo I: A Map of the Political Situation in 1880 by Nemesis.".
He was also the creator of the 1899 "Angling in troubled waters".
Henri Dron used the figure of the world map in the 1869 propaganda poster, "L'Europe des Points Noirs."

Current stock of war maps and propaganda items.



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Author: Paulus Swaen 2017