Illustrated. London. December 9, 1939. Loose printed map, originally a double-page spread in 'Illustrated' magazine, news article 'What the R.A.F. sees over Berlin' to verso. Paper size 445 x 615 mm. English. 445 x 615mm. 0.5kg. . Very good; fold in map is faint, original staple holes expertly repaired to verso, edges expertly reinforced to verso, very slight toning; a very well-preserved copy of an ephemeral item, in much better condition than usual.
Rex Whistler's double-spread satirical map commemorating the first R.A.F. raid over Berlin of the Second World War. The raid took place on the night of the 1st October 1939 and involved no bombs, rather the four planes from No. 10 Squadron dropped propaganda leaflets on the Berlin population. It was the early years of the war, before the bombing raids had wreaked havoc across Europe, and such daring exploits captured the imagination and patriotism of the British public. Whistler's map was printed in the news magazine Illustrated on 9th December 1939. In the top right-hand corner a cartouche contains the full title - 'Flying Visit of Truth to Berlin in the form of an R.A.F. Leaflet raid here fancifully depicted - but not forgetting a great many hard facts - by Rex Whistler'. The cartouche's frame contains caricatures of the faces of Hitler, Goebbels and Goering. A winged Britannia in the top left-hand corner hovers over a detailed plan of the Berlin streets and landmarks, surrounded by cherubs in flying caps and goggles. In the bottom right-hand corner, a fist-waving trio of Hitler, Goering and Goebbels tremble under a Jolly Roger flag, whilst Ribbentrop cowers under a table. Whistler modified his design in the following months, including details of the No. 10 Squadron, and reissued the map as a personal memento to R.A.F. personnel involved in the raid. Although the map was printed as a commemorative item, it's ephemeral nature means that copies are now hard to find.
[Whistler & Fuller. The Work of Rex Whistler. No. 571]