13th Armored (Black Cat) Division A History in Pictures Jan – May 1945

A customized cartographic record and souvenir from the ‘Black Cat’ Division’s campaign during World War II.

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 “Here is a picture map of the 13th Armored Division’s movements in France and Germany, from the day they marched down the gangplank at La Havre until the bright May day when the German High Command surrendered unconditionally.” [Taken from the page]

Illustrations of towns, armored vehicles, and several military engagements add vibrancy and a sense of action to the image, which otherwise shows the route of the campaign over a nearly empty map of Europe. The “Black Cats” earned their nickname from caterpillar tractors, a close relative of the tanks that comprised the majority of its armored division.

In the five months of fighting depicted in the map, the 13th consumed nearly 2 million gallons of fuel, spent over a million rounds of 30mm ammunition, suffered over 1,100 casualties, and took nearly 30,000 prisoners. The map was drawn by Tec-4 W.H. Lovett and published in June of 1945 by the 660th Engineer Topographic Battalion.

I’ve encountered a few examples of this commemorative map previously, but this is the first to display the signatures from over 75 different members of the unit. The autographs include Sgt. Charles Thompson, one of four members of the division to be awarded a Silver Star.

References: United States Army, “The Thirteenth armored division: a history of the Black Cats from Texas to France, Germany and Austria and back to California” (1945). World War Regimental Histories. 185.

Combat Divisions of World War II (Army of the United States). Distributed by Army Information Branch, Information and Education Division, War Department, 1946.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1945

Author: Technician W.H. Lovett

Sheet Width (in): 28.50

Sheet Height (in): 14.25

Condition: B

Condition Description: Moderately creased throughout from where previously rolled and heavy wear along the outer edges of the sheet. Scattered soiling visible in a few spots, but overall in fair to good condition. Includes dozens of contemporary signatures from veterans of the division, making for a unique commemorative souvenir from the war.

Out of stock