Striking U.S. Navy map of the North Pacific in WWII

Designed by Bureau of Naval Personnel Training Aids / U.S. Government Printing Office, Nav War Map No. 4 / THE NORTH PACIFIC AREA. Washington: Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Dept., 1944.
Offset lithograph printed in color, printed area 40”h x 58”w plus margins. Minor breaks at fold intersections and a bit of edge wear, but about excellent.

A mammoth and colorful propaganda map of the North Pacific issued by the U.S. Navy near the end of World War II.

This impressive, separately-published poster highlights events across the North Pacific, beginning with the Japanese strikes of late 1941 and early 1942. The attack on Pearl Harbor is highlighted, for example, by a depiction of the island of Oahu entirely consumed by flames. The sequence of events depicted culminates with the American recapture of Attu and Kiska in mid-1943, which “ended Jap occupation in the Western Hemisphere, and in turn opened the NORTH PACIFIC ROAD TO TOKYO” Insets include a clever diagram of the Battle of Midway and a map of the Battle of Attu. A chart lists examples of “Japanese Aggression” as far back as 1895, emphasizing that the attacks of 1941 were only the latest in a long pattern. It is interesting to see such emphasis placed on events in the North Pacific, whereas today the “island hopping” campaign in the South Pacific receives most of the attention.

Maps such as this help make an excellent case that should Second World War material deserves an honored niche in the antiquarian map market. The magnitude, horror and importance of the events shown; the skill with which they are here depicted; and the propagandistic tone make render this a piece worthy of both display and further study.

OCLC lists numerous institutional holdings.