Colorful arrows and xerox copies: Towards a history of cartography in Cold War military operational plans

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Recent years has seen an increasing focus on the history of cartography in relation to the Cold War, and a decent body of research have analyzed the Soviet military mapping program. In addition, several publications deals with the development national mapping and geospatial intelligence programs for both NATO and Warsaw Pact states. Yet, very little research have so far analyzed the use of maps and cartographic representations in Cold War military operational planning.
Military operational planning constitutes a set of complex spatial-temporal relations between; (1) the physical and cultural environment of the operational area, (2) the desired operative objectives, and (3) information about the capability of own and enemy forces. Information about the operational environment is often presented in form of topographic as well as thematic maps at different scales. Topographic maps are also use as the main geographic reference for the content of plans, typically drawn either directly on topographic maps or on different types of overlays. Thus, cartographic representations are often used as one of the main conveyor of the spatial implications of operational plans. This is also the case with NATO and Warsaw Pact plans from the Cold War. While the two alliance had very different ways of applying cartographic representations in their operational planning, maps and spatial diagrams forms an important component of the operational planning of both sides.
Based on comprehensive archives from the Danish military commands at COMLANDZEALAND and COMLANDJUT as well as the Polish General Staff during the Cold War, we propose the first steps towards a research agenda as well as a methodology for analysing the history of cartography of Cold War operational planning.
Publikationsdato2 jul. 2024
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2 jul. 2024
BegivenhedInternational Conference on the History of Cartography: Confluences - Interdisciplinarity and New Challenges in the History of Cartography - Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University , Lyon, Frankrig
Varighed: 1 jul. 20245 jul. 2024
Konferencens nummer: 30


KonferenceInternational Conference on the History of Cartography
LokationJean Moulin Lyon 3 University