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Soviet Falsification of Maps

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  • Soviet Falsification of Maps

    The falsification of maps for reasons of military security has a long tradition; forthe preservation of national security, it can, indeed, be considered legitimate.
    In the Soviet Union, such falsifications—which did not not only serve to improvemilitary security—were implemented in a comprehensive fashion as of the end ofthe 1930s, and in its satellite states barely thirty years later.
    In the 1930s in the Soviet Union, the NKVD took over control of the cartographic institutions and cartographic products. As of the end of the 1930s, falsification of the content of publicly accessible maps—not only medium-scale topographic maps but also small-scale atlas maps—took place by order of Josef Stalin.
    The falsification of medium-scale topographic maps12 for purposes of militarysecurity is, indeed, understandable and in World War Two was advantageous forthe Soviet Army. Thus Kiril D. Kalinov recounts the success of the pertinent Soviet services.
    Wolfgang Pillewizer reports a more recent falsification of landscapes:at thebeginning of 1940, after the German occupation of Poland, in accordance with asecret additional protocol to the Molotow-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, theborderline between the German and the Soviet spheres of influence was fixed bymeans of a survey. In the area of Brest-Litowsk Fortress, the Bug River formed the border;at the time, it flowed directly through the citadel located south-west of Brest-Litowsk.Before the German border troops arrived, however, Soviet troops had redirected the Bug so that the citadel lay east of the Bug River, i.e. within the Soviet sphere of influence.
    During the Battle of Moscow, Soviet officers found a map of the environs of Moscow on a captured German colonel. On this map, roads leadingfrom east to west as well as towns were shown. In actual fact, however, there were numerous gorges and swamps in that area, which were not entered in the map; the towns and their names were fictitious, and the roads did not exist. Such falsified maps had been slipped to the left-leaning German military attaché in Moscow before the war.
    City maps for tourists to Moscow and other accessible Soviet cities were greatly falsified and contained no mention of scale right up until the end of the SovietUnion.
    Falsifications of small-scale maps are harder to comprehend. Such falsificationsof small-scale atlas maps were, for example, recognised by German cartographers who, after the Second World War, were planning to produce new atlases . Medium-scale topographic maps are generally those in a scale range of 1:25 000 to about1:500 000. Of course, U.S. Army offices also noticed these falsifications. Around 1970, they compiled a list of the ‘puzzling peregrinations’ of towns. hese ‘peregrinations’ of the town of ‘Logashkino’ on the Alazeya River on the coast of the East SiberianSea, as well as the displacement of the town of ‘Salmi’ on the eastern bank of Lake Ladoga near 32° E.

  • #2
    Hardly unique. British maps (even modern ones) show correct road layout but usually not military installations.


    • #3
      during that time the soviets falsifyed maps to fool the germans when they were captured on intel gathering missions
      Oh Sure The Old Man's Off His Rocker If Grampa Says He's Dead He Must Be Alive
      Grampa Simpson


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