Political Map of the World [:] The Alignment of Forces in the Global Arena.

Date: ca. 1971
Place: Leningrad
Dimensions: 29 ½”h x 45”w at neat line plus title, imprint and margins
Condition Rating: VG

Out of stock

SKU: NL-00825 Category:

Cold War persuasion: a Warsaw Pact propaganda map emphasizing the imperialist threat.



A fantastic propaganda map, issued at the height of the Cold War and using geopolitical statistics and other simple persuasive techniques to overstate the threat posed to the Warsaw Pact countries by “imperialist” forces.

The map was produced by overprinting geopolitical statistics on a standard-issue Russian-language world map. A table at top center lists 14 “Socialist” countries (in red, naturally!) along with their populations, followed by a list of the seven members of the Warsaw Pact, which had been established in 1955 (An eighth member, Albania, left the Pact in 1968.)

Carefully arrayed around this are tables in blue describing other multinational alliances, including NATO (est. 1949); CENTO (Central Treaty Organization, est. 1955); SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, est. 1954); ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations, est. 1967); and others. The member nations of each alliance are listed, along with their populations and numbers of military personnel (Note that the latter statistic is conveniently omitted on the chart of Socialist countries, and that for countries in more than one alliance—the U.S. in particular—the military personnel are essentially double counted.)

At lower center a final table lists the locations and numbers of American troops stationed on bases outside the United States, more than 900,000 in all, with a note that “Altogether the USA has 1400 military bases. Of which: 200 main bases, 150 airbases, and more than 60 naval bases. Surrounding the socialist countries are 209 air bases of the imperialist states.” No mention is made of Warsaw Pact bases or forces based abroad.

The overall impression conveyed by the map is that the Warsaw Pact is surrounded and badly outnumbered by its geopolitical foes. The vast population of Red China, given here as 740 million, would have been of little comfort, given its at-best tense relationship with the Soviet Union.

Condition Description

Some wear and discoloration along old folds, one panel and some edges noticeably toned, fold reinforcements on verso.


While the base map was likely printed in thousands of copies, the overprinted version likely had a much smaller print run. The Cyrillic text makes a census difficult, but a search for the Latinized title yields no listings on OCLC.