Spring Auction 2019 Sale 75
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2019
A rare D-Day document with impeccable provenance to the staff of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. HAROLD W. BLAKELY (1893-1966), commander of the 4th Infantry Division Artillery at the time of Operation Overlord, a highly important map showing the topography and German defenses surrounding the pivotal town of Ste. Mere Eglise, the sight of landings by U.S. airborne units at the outset of the invasion. The 28" x 21" map is titled: "DEFENCES STE. MERE EGLISE Information as at May 44". Additional printed notes include: "TOP SECRET until issued for briefing ground troops; thereafter SECRET" and "This map will NOT be carried in operational aircraft". No credit is given the map's creators, but it is numbered "G.S., G.S. 4347". The map has light topographical and structural details, with a blue printed overlay of all of the artillery and machine gun defenses, redoubts, pillboxes, blockhouses, and fields of fire in the region, along with suspected but unconfirmed defenses. The defenses surrounding St. Mere Eglise itself include networks of trenches and anti-tank ditches in red, while much of the area is shown to be susceptible to flooding, which would prove a major obstacle on the day of the invasion. Other areas heavily involved in the battle are also shown, including La Fiere, Chef du Pont and Beuzeville au Plain, the latter of which would be the sight of the 7th Division Artillery's command post from June 8-10. The verso of the map bears an exhaustive key to every symbol used on the map. Shows folds with a few small chips to the edges, else very good. This particular example was utilized prior to and during the invasion by Maj. Gen. Blakeley, and was retained by his aide-de-camp, Capt. Roswell F. MacGillivray, the stepfather of our consignor. Among MacGillivray's duties during the Normandy Campaign was to perform reconnaissance and target spotting for the 4th Division Artillery, which landed on Utah Beach with the bulk of the 4th Division on June 6, 1944, and it is highly likely that he consulted this and other maps offered in this sale in the course of these missions. Present with the map are photocopies of a number of documents related to MacGillivray's service in the 4th Division under Maj. Gen. Blakeley, including: MacGillivray's citation for the Bronze Star, 1p. 4to., [n.p., n.d.], by order of 4th Division commander Maj. Gen. RAYMOND O. BARTON, for: "...courage and aggressiveness in executing the numerous reconnaissance missions he was assigned... He skillfully observed enemy concentrations, gun emplacements and vehicles and directed artillery fires upon them with great accuracy and destructive results..." Barton signs at the conclusion in black ink; A second Bronze Star citation, 1p. 4to., [n.p., n.d.], awarded by command of Blakeley for the superior performance of his duties as aide-de-camp; a partial list of the general staff of the 4th Infantry Division, 1p. 4to., [n.p.], May 15, 1945, listing Blakeley as the division commander (following his promotion in December of 1944), with MacGillivray listed beneath as his aide-de-camp; a partial handwritten list of command posts occupied by the headquarters of the 4th Division Artillery during the Normandy Campaign, showing them at La Houssaye and Audouville la Hubert on June 6, and Beuzeville au Plain, from which they provided artillery support to forces struggling against German counterattacks in the area; an extracted appendix to an after-action report, 1p. 4to., [n.p.], Jan. 7, 1945, reporting that Blakeley and MacGillivray, with their command group, entered Paris on Aug. 25, 1944 and were present at the surrender of the German garrison; a personal postwar T.L.S. from Blakeley to MacGillivray, 1p. 4to., Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 1955; a pass, 1p. 4to., [n.p.], June 24, 1945, allowing MacGillivray to travel from Le Havre to Endinburgh and Glasgow, by order of Blakeley; a travel plan, 1p. 4to., Camp Butner, North Carolina, Aug. 23, 1945, indicating that Blakeley and MacGillivray are to travel to a reception in Washington; and MacGillivray's honorable discharge certificate, enlisted record, certificate of service, separation qualification record and post-dated promotion certificate to the rank of captain. Overall a fine relic of Operation Overlord with a wealth of accompanying information.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $750.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
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