[Map of Slovenian Territory. 1: 200,000]
2 sheets photographically reproduced maps, each 47,5 x 99 cm (18.7 x 39 inches), old manuscript annotations in grey, red and blue pencil (old folds reinforced on the back with thin stripes of old paper, small losses of paper, old manuscript on the back).
The present maps are pocket, or field, map of South Slovenia and Soutwestern Croatia with Zagreb on the East, printed on thin paper. They were to be folded and carried by Partisan troops and agents as they were engaged in combat operations in the countryside, long hotbeds of Partisan activity.
The red and blue lines are most probably the marching routes of the partisan troops and the word STANE in a lower left corner of the right part marks the location of the partisan commander and war hero Franc Rozman, with a nom de guerre Stane, who was leading the troops in that part of the country. Only a few months later, on November 7, 1944, Stane died in an accident, while mishandling a mine thrower, given to the partisans by the Allies. The maps are photo-reproduced updated copies of two lower parts of a map Zemljevid slovenskega ozemlja (Map of the Slovenian Territory, Ljubljana, 1921) and were made by an unidentified underground Partisan press in the Primorje region.
Field maps, such as these, were carried by troops on the move and used during the actual operations themselves. They were only issued separately in quarter sections, as operatives in the various regions had no need to carry large maps embracing larger regions. Thus, while the present maps superficially appear to be only a half section of a full map, it is, in reality, complete as issued.
The very few other surviving examples of such maps all only exist in quarter sections. The present example of the map was evidently used in the field, as contemporary manuscript additions, in coloured pencil, depict various un-described Partisan operations upon the woody and hilly regions, which were central to the Partisan movement. Not only did the area occupy a strategic location, as the gateway between the Adriatic and the Slovenian interior and Austria, but the incredibly rugged terrain afforded the Partisans a base for their grander operations.
By the spring of 1944, after the capitulation of Italy in the autumn a year before, the Slovenian Partisans controlled large sections of the countryside, which they referred to as the “Liberated Territory.” Especially large That being said, the Nazis and their local affiliates controlled most of the major towns and cities, as the Partisans engaged in a constant campaign to raid Axis positions and to liberate the urban areas. Such Partisan field maps are today incredibly rare, as few were ever made and very few survived the tribulations of the battlefield.
We know of only a single other institutional example of this map (along with the corresponding field map of Northwestern Slovenia), at the Slovenian National Library in Ljubljana, and an example in a private collection (see our catalogue Partisans. The Underground Society, item no. 33 http://antiquariat-pahor.de/thepartisans.pdf).
References: Cf. Branko KOROŠEC, Vojaške topografske karte – arhivsko kartografsko gradivo, in: Arhivi, 1984, I-II, pp. 5-14.