It kinda worked, but seemingly intermittently. I spent a couple hours googling, checking the list of countries available for offline downloading (which you can find here) before I hit upon this cause-effect-solution someone posted here:
- connecting the phone to a computer with a cable seems to break Offline Maps functionality — downloading maps hangs and queued tasks (like deletion of existing offline maps) never complete
- simply rebooting the phone after connecting the phone via cable to the computer seems to clear up the problem: you can resume downloading those maps and the queued tasks finally complete!
It’s not optimal, of course. But I am glad someone else found this partial work-around. It should make for some progress in my quest to further reduce the amount of stuff I schlep around while traveling.