Archive: Hand-colored map of the division of Germany; 25 V-Mail letters

WORLD WAR II   |   Geoffrey KEYES

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Item#: 101776 price:$12,000.00

Archive: Hand-colored map of the division of Germany; 25 V-Mail letters
Archive: Hand-colored map of the division of Germany; 25 V-Mail letters


(WORLD WAR II) KEYES, Geoffrey, Lt. Gen. Archive: Hand-colored and annotated map outlining the division of Germany; 25 contemporary V-Mail letters from Keyes to his wife. Waiblingen-bei-Stuttgart, Germany: 649th Engineer Topographic Battalion, June 1945. Broadside, map measures 22 by 29 inches, titled "Administrative Map of Western-Germany, June 4, 1945." V-Mail letters each measure 4-1/4 by 5-1/4 inches. $12,000.

Lieutenant General Geoffrey Keyes' unique hand-colored and annotated map outlining the division of Germany per the Berlin Declaration, produced just after Germany's unconditional surrender, along with 25 contemporary letters by Keyes to his wife discussing the dramatic events of these historic times.

It was agreed at the Yalta Conference, held in Crimea, February 4-11, 1945, that after the war, Germany would be split into four occupied zones: American, British, French and Russian. On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Reims, France, to take effect the following day. The Berlin Declaration of June 5, 1945, confirmed the division of Allied-occupied Germany into four occupation zones according to the Yalta Conference.

The map is titled "Administrative Map / Western-Germany," dated "4 June 1945," printed by the 649th Engineer Topographic Battalion (649th Engr. Top. Bn 1945") in Waiblingen-bei-Stuttgart. The landkreise (rural district), stadtkreis (urban district within landkreis), and land boundaries (made up of adjoining stadtkreis) are noted. Identified with flags, there are three Region Headquarters (Darmstadt, Marburg, Stuttgart) and five R.B. Headquarters (Frankfurt, Kassel, Wiesbaden, Mannheim, Karlsruhe).

Eight areas are outlined by hand in various colors. There are 17 landkreis at the western and southern borders of this map which are not outlined. These areas are in the French occupied zone. France was not represented at Yalta and Russia would only agree to a separate French occupation zone "within the British and American zones." It is possible that when this map was printed, it was not yet determined if the 17 non-outlined landkreis were American. The four divisions were not confirmed until the Berlin Declaration on June 5, 1945, the day after this map was published. The French zone includes the stadtkreis Baden-Baden and Bavaria. The French zone bordered mostly France and Switzerland, but also small parts of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Austria. (Included is a color photocopy of the four occupied zones indicating the area depicted in the Administrative Map of Western-Germany here offered.)

Also present are 25 pages of V-mail, each 4-1/2 by 5-1/4 inches, from Lieutenant General Keyes to his wife, May-August 1945. She was living at the Hotel Tayer, West Point. V-Mail used standardized stationery and microfilm processing to produce lighter, smaller airplane cargo, making space available for war supplies. V-Mail was used from mid-1942 to the end of 1945. Excerpts: "The capitulation of the Germans yesterday has us all on the hump—just as much so as while we were still fighting… We are still awfully busy even if the fighting has ceased on this front… VE Day!! Now if we can quickly wind up the Jap affair we can really relax… We move to Salzburg this week… Well here we are installed in the Archbishop's Palace sweetheart each room is large enough for a battalion almost… flew to 3d Army to attend the homecoming ceremonies for Gen. Patton. It really was a great show and he was in rare form – Had a nice visit with him… With the approaching end of the Jap war it will certainly be open season on generals!… Sunday is to be a gala day – All the High Commissioners of Austria are gathering and Gen Clark's guests and others are going to the music Festival… just had a call and a concert by the Vienna Boys Choir… This afternoon the No 1 British, French & Russian VIPs are coming to Salzburg as Gen Clark's guests and big festivities are slated…" From the estate of Lieutenant General Geoffrey Keyes.

Map folded into quarters, with a few minor wrinkles, pinholes at corners from posting it on a wall or bulletin board. Near-fine condition, an exceptional archive.

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