Catalog Archive
Auction 179, Lot 808

"Target Tokyo", U.S. War Department

Subject: Pacific Ocean, World War II

Period: 1943 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

34 x 45 inches
86.4 x 114.3 cm
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This impressive piece of World War II-era persuasive cartography centers on Tokyo, Japan. The "photographic map" stretches from Scandinavia and Russia through Asia and across the Bering Strait to show Alaska and the west coast of North America down to San Francisco. The map also extends to include Australia, a large polar ice cap, and Greenland. A detachable scale at bottom can be used to measure distances along any line running through Tokyo; two helpful diagrams at bottom demonstrate how to use it. Despite the map's title, at the time of the map's publication, there had been relatively few bombing raids on Japan aside from the 1942 Doolittle Raid. The heaviest strategic bombing campaigns on Japan came after the introduction of the B-29 Superfortress bomber in 1944. Drawn by F.E. Manning.

The map is one of the "newsmaps" published by the U.S. Army from 1942-46. These maps were designed to keep American troops updated on the war. The weekly posters were distributed and posted in every American installation in the world and were intentionally more visual than descriptive to help engage and motivate personnel.


Condition: B+

Issued folding with some minor wear along the folds and several small holes mostly confined to the sheet's edges. There is light soiling, much of it concentrated in the bottom left corner, and a small chip and associated 3.25" tear in the right blank margin that has been closed on verso with tape.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $500

Closed on 9/16/2020