This intriguing military map depicts northern Somalia (including British Somaliland and part of the former Italian Somaliland), Eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and the strategically vital Socotra Island (part of Yemen), made by the British War Ministry in 1942.
Upon the beginning of World War II, Italy assumed the offensive in Somaliland. This was of concern to Britain, as the region guarded the vital Suez-Red Sea-India shipping lanes. In August 1940, Italian forces, from their bases in occupied Ethiopia took over the British Somaliland Protectorate (the Berbera region). However, the British soon regrouped and conquered Italian Somaliland by February 1941, and recapturing British Somaliland the following month. By November 1941, the British had defeated the Italians in Ethiopia, assuming dominance over the entire Horn of Africa.
The present map follows a novel design, employing purple tints to denote elevation, making the relief much clearer for aviators. The map also shows all major landward details, such as rivers, mountain ranges, swamps, lakes, cities and towns, as well as transportation and communications infrastructure. Additionally, the map delineates lines of magnetic variation for establishing flight vectors.
The present map is of the 3th edition, published in 1942, while the first edition, which assumed a more rudimentary form, was published in 1926. While a separately issued chart in and of itself, it was designed to connect seamlessly with charts of adjacent sectors.
The present map is scarce, all such aeronautical charts were issued in small print runs for use in the cockpits, so have low survival rates.
References: OCLC: 756232909 / 255354604.