The first world war is not ended that Michelin publishes the first volumes of a collection intended to describe battlefields and cities bruised by the conflict. In 1917, two titles appear: " Ourcq - Chantilly - Senlis-Meaux "and" The Swamps of St-hinge - Coulommiers - Provins - Sézanne ". Until 1938, they will be followed by the other numerous titles and the republications. Certain titles will cover Belgium and Italy.

This collection pursues three big objectives:
- preserve the remembrance of the big facts of the first world war,
- develop the tourism in the form of patriotic pilgrimages on the scene of the conflict,
- work for the benefit of the " French Repopulation " by developing the birthrate to compensate for the bloodbath, for the profits of the sale of guides being put back in the French Alliance.

The collection knew an enormous success: they were almost all republished and about two million copies will be sold.
- 31 different titles and approximately 50 editions in French,
- 15 titles and approximately 23 editions in English (British and American editions),
- 1 title in German,
- 4 specific titles in Italian in the Italian battlefields.

This collection benefited from a remarkable advertising campaign: in the guide France, in the guide Great-Britain, on the fourth of coverage of cards in 1/200 000 ° until 1922, on the Italian cards of the 1920s, on the back page of the review ' La Petite Illustration Théâtrale ", on picture postcards.

Every volume consists of a part redrawing the military facts, illustrated with plans and with photos allowing to follow very exactly the operations, followed by a tourist part also illustrated with numerous photos. Very often are juxtaposed a photo showing the monument, the place, before the war and a photo taken under the same angle after the war. Certain descriptions are already very detailed and will be partially resumed in the future Regional Guides and even in "Green" guides.

Illustrated Guides Michelin Battlefields are thus indeed the precursors of the tourist guides which will appear in 1926 and which, today, always have so much success. THE ACGCM published the catalog of all the titles and the republications known for its members. This catalog is available by joining the association

Jean-Louis Le Bail


Bibliography:
- Catalogue des guides Michelin des champs de bataille , ACGCM 2009.
- the Green Guide Michelin, Marc Francon, Published Economica, on 2001.
- the Legend of the Guide Michelin, offered with Red Guide France 2004.
-Bibendum, advertisement and Objects Michelin, Pierre-Gabriel Gonzalez, Editions du Collectionneur, on 1995.

Map “Great Britain” of 1922 >

< Guide of 1917
“Les marais de St Gond”

Advertisement of May, 1919 >

Catalog of Michelin Battlefields guides made by ACGCM for its members, it describes all French and foreign editions, and all editions and variants.