Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark!

Magnificent serio-comic map of Europe portraying the warring Entente and Central Powers as quibbling canines.

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In the months following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, there were few on the continent or in Britain who could have predicted the immensity of the forthcoming global conflict. In general, the French and German public were supportive of the war and the idea of settling questions left unanswered since the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Austrians were outraged at the offense of the Serbian assassin Gavrilo Princip, and excited to exploit the opportunity for more territory in the Balkans. Russia, as the unwritten protector of Slavic and Eastern Orthodox Christians, saw the need to protect Serbia and prevent further Austro-Hungarian encroachment. The English were concerned with maintaining their empire and ensuring an appropriate balance of power on the continent – German aggression, especially in Belgium, had to be stopped. Other belligerents, like Turkey and Italy, were opportunists, hoping to join the winning side at the right moment for the most gain. These broad generalizations provide a glimpse of the competing motivations of the various powers, and hindsight shows us clearly that a protracted conflict was likely, although still not inevitable.

When this map was issued, likely September or October 1914, the English audience did not have the benefit of such hindsight. Many thought that the war would be short, decisive and glorious. Germany had just advanced through Belgium and the Battle of the Frontiers was ongoing. The British Expeditionary Force was once again fighting on the soil of Europe, and in conjunction with powerful allies in the form of France and Russia. The cartoonish image on this map reflects the pugnacious attitude of the English public, emblemized by the regal English bulldog. Elsewhere in Europe, other powerful nations are also represented by a canine personification.

Germany is shown as a Dachshund chained to an Austrian Mongrel, who is howling with pain as it’s bitten by the little Serbian mosquito. Both dogs in their humorous headgear are squaring off against the combined efforts of the bulldog, French Poodle, and small Belgian Griffon. In the east, the references are somewhat more literal. Tsar Nicholar II can be seen driving the slow, but powerful, steamroller across an image of the Russian Bear, used as a symbol for the country since as early as the 16th century. The Ottomans are crouching over the Dardanelles and caring for a small German pup, in addition to the ships Goeben and Breslau. Accompanying text identifies the “dogs of Constantinople” as the only friend of the Dachshund; the bitterness reflecting the Turk’s decision to open the strait for the German battlecruisers.

The remaining text also reflects the contemporary attitudes of the primarily English audience, and ends with a chilling warning. “All this, and more, may be seen depicted above. Search well and you may find many things, but not peace. Peace has gone to the dogs for the present – until a satisfactory muzzle has been found for that Dachshund. Meanwhile, the Dachshund’s heart bleeds for Belgium, and his nose for Great Britain.”

The image was published for the popular book and map selling firm of G.W. Bacon & Co, likely specifically for the Christmas season of 1914. It was designed and printed in Southwark by Johnson, Riddle & Co. and a separate French version was also issued.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1914

Author: Johnson, Riddle & Co.

Sheet Width (in): 30.00

Sheet Height (in): 22

Condition: A

Condition Description: Fold lines as originally issued, with the back of the paper cover still attached on verso. Some wear and very faint discoloration along fold lines, but overall an excellent example of this scarce map.

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SKU: 000524 Categories: , , , , Tags: , , ,