Where Nazis and Reds Clash

Cartographer(s): Howard Burke
Date: 1941
Place: San Francisco
Dimensions: 42 x 54.5 cm (16.6 x 21.5 in)
Condition Rating: VG

Out of stock

A classic image for the “Totalitarian Tussle” where the expanding Nazi and Communist empires were at odds.


Part of the San Francisco Examiner’s Pictorial Review, this newspaper map was drawn by Howard Burke. It shows the influence of famed graphic artists and cartographers Richard H. Owens and Richard Edes Harrison, who began experimenting with new map projections in the late 1930s. These projections put the viewer in space, with the result that flat surfaces now took on the curvature of a globe — global maps for a global crisis.

This map was published in July, 1941, one month after the launch of Operation Barbarossa, the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941. The operation put into action Nazi Germany’s ideological goal of conquering the western Soviet Union so as to repopulate it with Germans. It opened up the Eastern Front, in which more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in history.

The ultimate failure of Operation Barbarossa reversed the fortunes of the Third Reich. The map shows the resource richness of the U.S.S.R., countering the spreading influence of the Nazis. Two large insets feature the Kremlin and Leningrad.

Overall, a really interesting piece of cartographic ephemera for collectors of World War II.


Howard Burke

Howard Burke (ca. 1900 — 1967) was a commercial newspaper artist based first in San Francisco, and later Los Angeles.

Condition Description

Minor soiling and toning, with splits at folds.