From D-Day to VE-Day
These maps—prepared by the Twelfth Army Group Engineer Section —trace the progress of the Allied liberation of Europe during the final year of the Second World War.
Each map identifies the estimated position of Allied and German forces for each day, starting with D-Day on June 6, 1944 and ending with VE-Day on May 8, 1945.
Originally classified as Secret, the maps were declassified on June 18, 1979.
The maps show how the gains made after the D-Day landing stalled until the breakout made possible by Operation Cobra. You can see how Operation Market Garden runs off the northern edge of the map and ultimately fizzles out. The most dramatic change in the front line is the creation of the bulge that marked the Battle of the Bulge. You can see how quickly the Germans dented Allied lines and how long it took to grind down German forces and restore the front as it existed in mid-December.
Click and drag on a map to move the map. Use the number pad keys to move the view relative to the map in the eight cardinal directions. Click on the plus or minus signs to zoom in or out. Alternatively, use the plus and minus keys on the number pad. Click on the left or right double-arrows to go backward or forward one day. Click on the major events or months listed above and below the map display to jump to a specific date.
The maps are provided courtesy of the U.S. Army and the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.
June 6, 1944
July 25, 1944
September 17, 1944
December 16, 1944
May 8, 1945
This map viewer was originally hosted at Igfip™ as a demonstration, but it never made any sense to put it there. The original motivation for writing the demo was as a proof of concept to improve the interface for browsing the Library of Congress's online map collection, which at the time was unusable (circa mid-2000's). The project didn't go anywhere and by now (2014) I hope the Library of Congress has improved its Web interface. That said, I find the viewer a useful resource to study the advance of Allied forces in Europe from D-Day to VE-Day.
The code for the viewer is very old and klugey, having to support MSIE6 at the time it was written. Many improvements could be made. For example, map dragging does not work out of the box with touch interfaces. I will respond to feature requests, but do not plan on improving it otherwise. I just wanted to preserve it for the benefit of the interested public.