Striking Second World War map of ” Global War “

Prepared by The Educational Services Section Bureau of Naval Personnel / U.S. Government Printing Office, Nav War Map No. 6[:] We fight a GLOBAL WAR. Washington: Navy Department, 1944.
Offset lithograph printed in color recto and verso, printed area 38”h x 57”w plus imprint and margins. Old folds with some wrinkling and a few tiny breaks at intersections, else excellent.

A mammoth and colorful pictorial map of the world issued by the U.S. Navy near the end of World War II.

This impressive, separately-published world map was produced to emphasize the vast scale on which the U.S Navy operated during the Second World War. It gives particular attention to the Navy’s role in protecting the 56,000 miles of supply lines along which men (and women) and materiale were shipped to the battlefield and to America’s allies.

The map is printed in a somber gray tone, with white stars indicating major concentrations of American forces and remaining areas of Axis control shown in yellow (Japan) and green (Germany), reflecting the status quo as of late 1944. The United States is outlined in white and shown filled with armaments, munitions and supplies, with vibrant red arrows from its coastlines delineating major supply lines to the rest of the world. Hemispherical charts at upper left and right indicate distances. A chart at lower right quantifies exports under the Lend-Lease program, while figures in red circles on the map itself indicate recipients of Lend-Lease aid. The overall impression given by the map is that the United States is not merely the “Arsenal of Democracy,” but of the entire world, with all other nations either enemies or passive beneficiaries of American aid and protection.

This is one of six “Nav War Maps” issued in 1944 by the U.S. Navy, with the other five focusing on individual theatres of war. All are visually compelling, with vibrant colors and energetic graphic design—most notably the use of bold arrows to indicate movements of the opposing forces.

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.

Rumsey 8760.006. OCLC 8918770 et al.