"The Daily Telegraph" War Map of Egypt and the Near East (Number 6)


This general map of the Middle East was published in London 1918. It shows Anatolia, Egypt, and the Arabian Desert.  Despite the title, it is not focused on the region as a theater of battle. The political borders shown on the map are vague, except for the eastern border of Egypt and the Iranian and Russian frontiers. The map was issued at the end of World War I, before the division of Ottoman territories by the League of Nations. Armenia is shown to cover a large portion of Asia Minor. The Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf is marked as “Pirate Coast.” The present-day states of the Persian Gulf states are labeled “East India Co (Brit).” Railroad routes, both actual and proposed, roads, and tracks are marked. Inset maps depict the Sinai Peninsula and surrounding countries and the wider Southwest Asia region. The map probably was distributed with The Daily Telegraph newspaper. It was published by Geographia, a British firm that issued numerous war maps between 1914 and 1918, described in advertising as “the most extensive series of popular-priced war maps issued.” Maps were sold as single sheets, as this one, or in folding pocket editions. Geographia was founded in 1911 by cartographer Alexander Gross. He was by all accounts a colorful personality, “a truculent Hungarian immigrant.” His daughter, the successful commercial mapmaker Phyllis Pearsall, called him “an impossible father (loved in retrospect).” After the war, Geographia went into bankruptcy and Gross immigrated to New York, where he reestablished his business. In the 1930s, Pearsall continued the map company in London as Geographers’ A−Z Map Company.

Last updated: March 21, 2016