Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 36

Complete Set of Nav War Maps

"[Complete Set of 6 Nav War Maps - On 3 Sheets]", U.S. Navy Dept.

Subject: World, World War II

Period: 1944 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

57.2 x 38.1 inches
145.3 x 96.8 cm
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This complete set of six Nav War maps was issued on three sheets by the Educational Services Section of the U.S. Navy. One of the division's primary goals was to inform American service members of the status of the war and to provide context for the battles they would be supporting. Each map is filled with graphic illustrations and related text, providing the reader with a vivid depiction of each theater of war. Included are:

A. Nav War Map No. 1 - The Mediterranean [on verso] Nav War Map No. 2 - The South China Sea Area. Map #1 (recto) emphasizes the Allied fleet along the north African coast and the many islands in the Mediterranean including Sardinia, Malta, Sicily and Crete. An inset map filling the interior of Africa shows the sites of past wars in the Mediterranean with the note "Our Navy Has Been Here Before." A second inset shows the extended range of Allied Bombers into mainland Europe. A legend at bottom right identifies naval bases, airfields, British Army lines, U.S. Army lines, and possible invasion routes.

Map #2 (verso) depicts a host of wartime events along with a history of United States relations with Asia from 1784-1925 at left. The map vividly shows numerous Japanese invasion routes in yellow and their supply lines in white along with a note at center indicating "Jap Supply Ships Loaded with Booty from Conquered Countries, sunk by U.S.N. submarines." Numerous battle scenes are depicted throughout including the sinking of H.M.S. Repulse, H.M.S. Prince of Wales, and H.M.S. Langley. General MacArthur's route from the Philippines to Australia is shown at right. The map is further decorated with several illustrations at lower left demonstrating "The Wealth of the South China Sea Area is Produced by Human Energy."

B. Nav War Map No. 3 - World War 2 in the North Sea Area [on verso] Nav War Map No. 4 - The North Pacific Area. Map #3 (recto) depicts a host of wartime events along with a chronological listing of key dates at right. In England, it depicts hundreds of Allied planes heading toward the Axis' strategic locations on the mainland with a note stating that "The R.A.F. And The A.A.F. Control The Industrial Heart Of Europe From England." Also highlighted is the German invasion of Norway in April of 1940 with swastikas marking the route. The seas surrounding Europe are filled with scores of planes and ships engaged in battle with notations describing the action including in large letters "Our Navy Breaks the U-Boat Scourge On The Allies' Supply Lines With Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts, And Escort Carriers."

Map #4 (verso) shows Japanese invasion routes in yellow with text stating "The Japanese Struck Boldly at Every Strategic Naval Base in the North Pacific." A United States counterattack is shown along the "North Pacific Road to Tokyo", after the U.S. defeated the Japanese at Attu (Aleutian Islands) in 1943. Insets at bottom include comprehensive accounts of the Battle of Midway and Battle of Attu. Detailed topography is represented with an interesting three-dimensional effect.

C. Nav War Map No. 5 - Southwest Pacific [on verso] Nav War Map No. 6 - We Fight a Global War. Map #5 (recto) depicts the region from the Philippines south to New Guinea and Australia with Japanese invasions colored in red and Allied offensive efforts in blue. Much activity is presented in the region surrounding the Solomon Islands with an inset at right describing the Solomons Campaign from August 1942-43. Features a nice illustration of the "Peoples of the Pacific" at lower right.

Map #6 (verso) covers the entire world with an emphasis on the oceans, showing the major supply lines from the United States to the Allies abroad. The locations of U.S. Armed Forces are shown with stars, while the Axis nations are identified in yellow (Japan) and green (Germany). Two smaller maps occupy the top corners of the sheet and show air distances between locations in the Pacific Ocean as well as the Arctic region joining North America with Russia and Europe. An interesting graphic below the map reveals that 70% of the supplies sent abroad go either to the United Kingdom or Russia. Related text at bottom states that "in this global war the world's largest Navy speaks with authority."

There are no auction records or dealer listings for this complete set in the last 40 years. No institutional holdings found on OCLC.

References: Curtis & Pedersen (War Map) pp. 184-193.

Condition: B+

Overall very good to near fine, issued folding. There are a number of small separations at the fold junctions with minute loss of image, as well as a few separations from the sheet edges on the second and third sheets that extend 1-3" into the image.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $1,600

Closed on 9/11/2019