This page shows German maps, mostly of Poland and
other Central and Eastern European Countries. The main mapping
organization in Germany was Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme (1921– 1945)
which took over from the Königlich Preußischen Landesaufnahme,
disbanded with the end of World War 1.
Please Note: some files
can be quite large, up to 90 Mb; try NOT to open the scans by clicking
on the link (usually map name) with left button of your mouse. Unless
you have plenty of RAM and a fast processor, you can expect your
Internet Explorer or Firefox to “hang” and a browser is not a good
program for viewing maps anyway. We recommend that you download the
file(s) on the computer first: click on the file with the RIGHT mouse
button and you will see a list of options - then choose “save link
as..”, or “Save target as…”. This will open a window to show where on
your computer to download the file. Once the download is completed, you
can open the file with any graphics / image viewing software,
irfanview, photoshop, global mapper, etc).
Detailed German maps in 1:25,000 scale, so-called “Meßtischblatt”, or “Topographische Karte” (TK) can be downloaded from the Mapster.
The scans below also include maps created or co-made by the following German bodies:
• OKH/Gen St d. H (Oberkommando des Heeres / Generalstab des Heeres),
Chef des Kriegskarten- und Vermeßungsgewesens. This army department,
alongside and, sometimes, in cooperation with the Reichsamt für
Landesaufnahme, was responsible for mapping of Poland and of other
countries. For the territory of Poland they were usually copies of
pre-war maps by the Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny in 1:100,000 scale,
usually, in a joint, 4-sheet edition, identical coverage and numbering
as Einheitsblatt and Grossblatt sheets covering the whole of Germany.
Another scale was 1:25,000, in various combinations, such as straight
copies of pre-war Polish 1:25,000 maps, blown-up copies of Polish
1:100,000 maps, where original 1:25,000 maps were not available, hybrid
editions, combining the two as well as new editions based on Polish
materials unreleased by the outbreak of World War 2. A sizeable number
of sheets are also semi-based on pre-1917 Russian maps of Poland,
various scale, from 1:21,000, through 1:42,000 up to 1:84,000. In
general, while RfL dealt (at least with the start of World War 2) with
the maps of III Reich and annexed territories for administrative
purposes, Chef des Kriegskarten- und Vermeßungsgewesens printed maps
for the German armed forces, particularly of the areas of combat. Those
maps were made from 1940 – 1945.
IV Mil.-Geo. (Abteilung für Kriegskarten und Vermeßungswesen), was an
army department with a mission to prepare materials, including genera
and detailed maps, town and city plans on the countries which were a
potential, or actual target of attack. Please Note:
Generalstab der Luftwaffe, 7 Abteilung, a mapping unit of the German
Air Force, which used re-printed Polish, Soviet and other maps, with an
overlay of airforce grid, as well as German maps, such as
Übersichtskarte von Mitteleuropa and Osteuropa, etc, as airforce maps..
Other scans are a somewhat accidental collection of maps, tourist and general, which we have got into our hands.
The maps are presented according to scale, although this format is not always retained, due to a variety of map types available.
Some abbreviations in use:
– Karte des westlichen Rußlands (1:100,000), map type dated approx.
1890 - 1921, used until WW2, mainly for the territories of Lithuania,
Latvia and Estonia
ÜvM – Übersichtskarte von Mitteleuropa (1:300,000), approx. 1942 some maps of this type were re-named "Osteuropa" (OstE)
KDR – Karte des Deutschen Reiches (Map of the German Reich), 1:100,000
OstE – Ost Europa (1:300,000)
KvM – Karte von Mitteleuropa (1:500,000)
WK – Weltkarte (1: 1,000,000)
WIG – Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny, mapa taktyczna (tactical map, 1:100,000)
KPL – Königlich Preußischen Landesaufnahme ( - 1918)
RfL – Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme (1920 - 1945)
Ausg. - (Ausgabe) edition
last update: 11 June 2013
1:25 000 Topographische Karte (Mestischblatt)
you will find some of the more interesting index sheets for this map
type (eastern sheet) dated 1940 and 1942, and two post-WW2 American
index sheets from 1950s, demonstrating, probably, the easternmost
coverage of this map type. All sheets of this map type, can be downloaded from Mapster
|Topografische Karten (Meßtischblätter) 1:25 000
||Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme
|Topografische Karten (Meßtischblätter) 1:25 000 Östliche Hälfte
||Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme
|INDEX TO GSGS 4414 (GERMANY 1:25,000)
||Directorate of Military Survey (GSGS)
||British index sheet for the German 1:25,000 maps, dated
1944, from the publication "NOTES ON G.S.G.S. MAPS OF GERMANY DENMARK
AND CENTRAL EUROPE" (MARCH 1944)
|OPERATIONAL INDEX OF WESTERN & CENTRAL EUROPE FOR, 1:25,000 SCALE MAPS SHEET 2 OF 6
||Army Map Service (AMS)
||Covers the mainland of German and western part of Poland, the so-called "ziemie odzyskane" (recovered territories".
|OPERATIONAL INDEX OF WESTERN & CENTRAL EUROPE FOR, 1:25,000 SCALE MAPS SHEET 5 OF 6
||Army Map Service (AMS)
||Easternost coverage of the "Topographische Karte", from
Lithuania through, practically the whole of Poland, Czechoslovakia and
|MAP SETS PUBLISHED BY MIL.-GEO
||Army Map Service (AMS)
||A very interesting, post-WW2 American index sheet of the
German special, military-geographical map editions (Mil.-Geo), produced
by various IV Mil.-Geo sections. The index sheet shows both the sheets
held after the war, as well as those, which had been produced, but were
(at that time) not yet found.
German photomaps in 1:25,000 scale, so-called Bildplan and Bildskizze) dated 1939 – 1944
- from the collection of Wydział Nauk Geograficznych i Geologicznych, Uniwersytet im. A. Mickiewicza in Poznan, Poland
, usually in 600 or 400 dpi.
These photomaps covered the whole of III Reich (within its 1937
borders), probably the whole of western Poland incorporated into
Germany after the 1939 September campaign, an unknown area of central
Poland and - also uknown - coverage of eastern Poland, the so-called
Kresy (borderlands), which are now a part of estern Belarus and western
For many reasons, a photomap of this type does not match
the clarity of a map of the same scale, but what is crucial is that
such photomap shows - reliably - information as of specific date the
air photos were taken. Nevertheless, you should not expect details
similar to those you can see on google earth.
Most sheets lack
publication date, but they do retain the key element, which is the date
of the air photos takne (bottom left corner of each sheet).
German photomaps, which cover the area of our interest, are cut identically as three map types:
also called “Topographische Karte” – the photomap sheets which cover
eastern sections of III Reich (Pommern, Schlesien) and those areas of
Poland, which, after 1939, was incorporated into III Reich, have the
numbering identical with that of new numbering of Messtischblatt
sheets, and cover exactly the same area (the link takes you to the appropriate Mapster index sheet)
Maps identified by the WIG 1:100,000 map numbers (link to the Mapster index sheet).
The sheets were split as per Polish numbering system, e.g. where Polish
"Pas 44 Słup 27 Wieluń" = German "4427 Wielun”. Such sheets were then
split into quarters:
- NW (Nordwest) – north-west
- NO (Nordost) – north-east
- SO (Suedost) – south-east
- SW (Suedwest) – south-west
The sheets of these photomaps are much larger than others, and were -
probably - prepared in 1939 for the imminent invasion of Poland. As the
photos were taken from high altitude, they are not as sharp, despite
high resolution, as other photomaps.
3. Photomaps with numbering identical with that of WIG 1:25,000 maps (link to the Mapster index sheet)
The sheets of this photomap type were split as as per Polish WIG
numbering system, e.g. where Polish "Pas 40 - Słup 29 – A Kutno” =
German "4029A Kutno”.
Most of the photomap sheets of this type is dated 1944 and covers some patches of central / western Poland.
Photomaps from Eastern Poland (Kresy, Borderlands). As we haven't got
any sheets, we can only say that they were divided as per Soviet maps
of that area (the so-called "international system"), and the sheet
numbering was identical to that used after the war in Poland.
File size: 10 – 22 Mb.
Other sheets of the photomaps (give or take 2,000 - 3,000) we will get - hopefully - in 2014.
Three German maps from the current
Polish-Czech border, probably based on a re-scaled "Grundkarte", German
map in 1:5,000, which was, originally planned to cover the whole area
of Germany. Given the size of the country and the scale, it's not
suprising it never happened - at least not by 1945. Polish place names
have been linked to web pages where you can see the area as satellite
images or maps (via bing, google maps, wikimapia, etc). Files 11 – 18
Falkenberg (1926) [Sokolec]
Tuntschendorf (1926) [Tlumaczów]
Wünschelburg (1926) [Radków]
Deutsches Reich 1:25 000 Blatt Nr. 366-D-3 Radom SW (approx. 12 Mb)
A mapping curiosity, a 1:25,000
Ed25 (Deutsches Reich) sheet from central Poland (near Radom). The
content itself is nothing special (re-scaled Polish map known from
original sources), even though, as the source the following was quoted:
“Polnische Karte 1:75 000” (which shouldn't be the case, as these were
1:100,000. And, additionally, on warning, as is the case with such
re-scaled maps, that it is not appropriate for directing artillery
Sheet numbering is also interesting, i.e. Blatt Nr.
366-D-3, Radom SW, compatible with Grossblatt sheet numberign (No 366
Radom) and the numbering of a new German 1:50,000 map of "former
Poland" (ehem. Polen), with large 50K sheet divided into four: 366 A,
B, C, D, each of which would be, again split into four small 50K
sheets: 1, 2, 3, 4, and each of those would be, eventually, split into
4 sheets of 1:25,000 scale, like this one, marked as NW, NO, SO and SW.
Maps with such numbering were produced - most probably - only for a
small area of central Poland (Radom, etc). The south section of the map
borders on the "regular" 1:25,000 numbering taken from Polish WIG maps,
e.g. "4432A" (original Polish "Pas 44 Słup 32 A") and "4432B" (Polish
Pas 44 Słup 32 B).
It is probably the last edition of this sheet, dated January 1945:
Other, earlier sheets of this map type, dated from approx. 1939 - 1944, can be seen in Mapster via this link.
German Map (Deutsche Karte), scale 1:50 000.
(link to the index sheet and several sheets available in Mapster)
This map type was to replace an already aged and not too clear Map of
the German Reich (Karte des deutschen Reiches) in 1:100,000 scale, but
it was never implemented widely, with the exception of southern
Germany, where in Bavaria it had been introduced much earlier. The
1:50,000 scale sheets from 1930s cover mainly the area of Berlin. Also,
approx. 30 - 50 sheets from the area of Lower Oder river (currently in
Poland) and Pommern (Pomorze). Small, test sheets were printed approx.
1927/1928, while full size ones in 1937 - 1939.
1:50 000 map of the Polish occupied territories, so called “Deutsche Reich, ehem. Polen”
(link to the few sheets in Mapster).
little is known about this map type. Other than the scale it has
nothing to do with the abovementioned Deutsche Karte. Accoding to the
information from mid-1944 (Planheft ehem. Polnisches Raum, Juli 1944):
are plans to make a map suitable for directing artillery fire for the
front troops. Regular sheet of an Ed50 map covers ¼ of a Grossblatt
Ed100 sheet. However, due to the need to provide maps faster, the
regular Ed50 sheet also has to be divided into four smaller sheets.
Therefore, a Grossblatt Ed100 sheet is made up of 4 regular 1:50,000
(Ed50) sheets or 16 x small 1:50,000 sheets.
Ed50 numbering structure:
sheet will have the same numbering as Grossblatt sheets, and they will,
additionally come with an extra letter, from A to D, e.g. "375B"
sheet will have the same numbering as Grossblatt sheets, and the A to D
letters will be followed by a number from 1 to 4, e.g. "375B-3"
the the American index sheets from 1950s (available below), between
February and December 1944, around 50 small and several large sheets of
this map type were made, scattered over a very large area of central
Europe, from Polesie (Polesia) in Belarus, through central Poland and
Czechoslovakia, with a few odd sheets elsewhere. The maps were based on
various sources, e.g. re-scaled 1:100,000 Polish WIG maps from 1930s,
Polish 1:25,000 maps, unpublished, pre-war WIG survey materials and
German air-photos from 1944.
Post-war index sheets:
|Sheet title:||Size (MB)||DPI||Publisher||Comments|
|INDEX TO MAPS OF POLAND|
DEUTSCHES REICH 1:50,000 1 of 3
|4.8||200||Army Map Service (AMS), approx. 1951||Digits in the top left corner of each sheet indicate the month and year this particular sheet was made.|
This index sheet shows the (small) coverage of this map east of Brest until Dawidgródek (Davyd-Haradok), in Belarus.
|INDEX TO MAPS OF POLAND|
DEUTSCHES REICH 1:50,000 2 of 3
|4.6||200||Army Map Service (AMS), approx. 1951||This
index sheets shows the bulk coverage of this map type in central Poland
(Częstochowa – Radom – Lublin i Tarnowem) and single sheets from
Czechoslovakia and the Ukraine (near Worochta / Vorokhta).|
|INDEX TO MAPS OF POLAND|
DEUTSCHES REICH 1:50,000 3 of 3
|5.1||200||Army Map Service (AMS), approx. 1951||This index sheet shows a fringe coverage in Belarus and some in the Ukraine (several regular and some small sheets).|
|Availability of Deutsches Reich (Gen. Gouv.) 1:50,000||200||Directorate of Military Survey (GSGS)||Index
of the British Directorate of Military Survey, covers the sheets (both
originals and copies) held in the library of the British military
cartographic servce in 1950s. They follow the US index sheets (no
discrepancies with exception of regular and small sheets being marked
on the same sheet), but it shows interesting information about
"materials" for some new sheets of this map type from the area of
Warsaw, which probably never made it into new maps.|
Karte des Deutschen Reiches, tzw. „Generalstabskarte” 1:100 000 The
most popular German map, in the 4-sheet editions known as
"Einheitsblatt” or "Großblatt”. These maps were produced by the
Reichsamt fuer Landesaufnahme and, during WW2, also by the cartographic
detachements of Wehrmacht. Therefore, most sheets exist in a large
number of editions and reprints, easily exceeding 20, on top of which,
a large number of sheets were also produced, with extra information
overprinted on them, as special editions, e.g. "Panzerkarte", or
"Mil.-Geokarte". "Maps of the neigbouring countries" and those conqured
by the III Reich were simple copies, and sometimes, re-worked editions
of the maps produced by those very countries, e.g. Polish, Czech or
All editions we have managed to gather by now, are available via Mapster index sheet.
Below you will find, for reference, several original index sheets for this map type.
"Kreiskarten” and "Umgebungskarten”, scale 1:100,000
Based on the "Karte des Deutschen Reiches”, with added administrative borders and tourist information (youth hostels).
The sheets available in Mapster:
(including a few "special" maps, such as two sheets from the East
Prussia, made by a locally-stationed printing unit, or a map of the
"Mitte" training ground)
Manöverkarten (maps produced for specific units participating in manouvers)
A few original index sheets for these maps:
German maps of the USSR (1940 - 1944), "Russland 1:50 000" and "Russland 1:100 000" based on Soviet maps.
A quote from a person who had a chance to take a good look at a large
collection of those maps: "There is no end to the German maps of this
type. There are individual sheets. Sheets joined - in twos, fours,
sometimes three in a row. Or large, 9-sheet sets. Some are
straight, reprinted copies of Soviet originals. Others include
corrections or updated, e.g. overprinted place-names. Some are updated
from intelligence reports, others from air photos, some are fully re-drawn…"
Some time in summer 2013 we will make available index sheets for these
maps, currently we only have a few dozen sheets in total, in both
scales, and we do not expect to receive any large "boost" by the end of
List of individual sheets of "Russland 1:50 000" in Mapster
List of joint sheets of "Russland 1:50 000" in Mapster
List of individual sheets of "Russland 1:100 000" in Mapster
List of joint sheets of "Russland 1:100 000" in Mapster
Topografische Übersichtskarte des Deutsches Reiches 1:200,000
The map which was intended to replace the "Uebersichtskarte von
Mitteleuropa" in 1:300,000, considered to be outdated. Nothing came out
of it, the German "300K map" carried on regardless, developed and
modified (particularly from 1942/43 onwards) until the end of WW2,
while the "200K map" died some time between 1941 - 1943, even though it
was revived, and successfully developed, after the war, in West Germany.
All scans of this maps are available in Mapster, most sheets available in 400 dpi.
Two original index sheets of this map are available below:
1:300,000 Übersichtskarte von Mittleuropa
Map type produced in 1919 - 1945, scale 1:300,000, continued development of pre-WW1 "Übersichtskarte von Mittleuropa".
Early sheets, such as Frankfurt, Königsberg are straight reprints of
the Königlich Preußischen Landesaufnahme editions from before World War
1. From mid-1930s, Polish 1:300,000 were used (copied), and during WW2,
captured Soviet maps in 1:100,000 and 1:200,000 scale were used to
produce new editions of the German map. Approx. in 1942, a subset was
creaated, called “Osteuropa”, followed by “Mitteleuropa” and “Europa”.
Apart from a sheer number of sheets, which stretched from Western
Europe to Moscow, their editions and updated, there were also variants
with overprinted fortifications (Befestigungskarte),
military-geographical editions (Mil.-Geokarte), road editions
(Reichs-Autokarte) and a large number of sheets were also produced as
the so-called Fliegerausgabe (Airman edition) with overprinted air grid
(Luftwaffe Meldenetz, Lw.M.N. A smaller number of air editions came
with a grid for fighter pilots (Jägergradnetz).
All sheets currently available in Mapster (Please note, it's a VERY large index sheet, so it loads very, VERY slowly!)
(joint edition of this map type dated 1939 - 1945 are also available in Mapster).
Several original index sheets of this map type are available below:
A single sheet, which does not conform to the regular 1:300,000 sheet lines:
It is hard to establish, whether this is WW1 or WW2 edition; possibly it comes from 1940 / 41 (the area around Łomża)
German 1:500,000 map
All sheets available in Mapster
Two original index sheets of this map are available below:
Übersichtskarte von Europa und Vorderasien 1:800,000
to WW1 it was referred to as "Operationskarte”. This map type was
discontinued and replaced, in mid-1930s, by 1: 1,000,000 (1 milion) map.
Sheets of this map type available in Mapster
Original index sheet dated 1939:
ÜBERSICHTSKARTE VON EUROPA UND VORDERASIEN
WK – Weltkarte (1: 1,000,000 mln), sometimes also referred to as the "DWK" (Deutsche Weltkarte)
Sheets of this map available in Mapster only a few, currently
Original index sheet
|Weltkarte 1:1 000 000 (index sheet)
|Ubersichtskarte zur Durchgängigkeit des Pripetgebieties
||WK 1000 (Mil.-Geo)
||Abt. f. Kr. u.Verm Wes (IV Mil.-Geo)
||A very interesting, military-geographical edition, a section
of a "Welkarte", scale 1:1,000,000, showing a section of the Pripyat
Marshes, and detailed description along the margins. The map has been
printed on the reverse of the Mil-Geo edition of a 1:300,000 Osteuropa
sheet "Dąbrowiza", which is available from Mapster amongst other
German administrative and other maps (rail and road maps, post maps, etc.), from the times of WW2., available in Mapster
Maps by private German publishers in Mapster:
Freytag und Berndt
maps, mainly from the mountain areas of (then) east Germany,e.g.
Riesengebirge / Karkonosze, Eulegebirge / G. Sowie, etc., by
various private publishers - available in Mapster.