Original U.S. WWII Navy Education Services Map Posters of Northwest Europe and Mediterranean Sea - NavWarMap Series - 2 Items

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Lot of 2 Available. This is an incredible pair of massive educational posters. The “NavWarMap” series is a series of six maps created by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, part of the Navy Department, and distributed by the Educational Services Section of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. It is unclear exactly what the duties of the Educational Services Section entailed, but by the appearance of these maps, they were created to educate and train Naval and Marine personnel. Knowledge is power, military personnel equipped with knowledge would become an unstoppable force. These maps were printed in both single and double-sided versions.

The single-sided maps featured in this lot are:

- NavWarMap No. 1, The Mediterranean: This is a pictorial map of the Mediterranean region. The map depicts the region from the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, including Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and the Red Sea and from the English Channel, Germany and Switzerland to the North African coast. This is a highly detailed and visually stunning “map” in full color. This NavWarMap effectively summarizes Allied operations in the Mediterranean theater through the September 1943 Allied invasion of Italy.

There are numerous engagements throughout the Mediterranean theater that are illustrated, including the Allied invasions of North Africa (Operation Torch) and Sicily (Operation Husky). Countries in southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa are labeled, along with their capitals and other large cities. Naval bases and airfields are indicated by different symbols, along with the routes of the British 8th and 1st Army (in red) and the U.S. 5th and 7th Army (in yellow). General information about the Mediterranean region is situated on the left. This information was included because the Navy education sections believed that troops that understand the greater context of why they are fighting are better soldiers. To that end, a brief history of American military involvement in the Mediterranean is also included, along with the locations of ancient sea powers, such as Phoenicia, Rome, Athens, Crete, and Carthage, and the more recent sea powers Genoa and Venice.

- NavWarMap No. 3, World War II in The North Sea Area: This a pictorial map of Northwestern Europe and the North Atlantic. The map depicts the region from the Atlantic Ocean to Russia and from the Arctic Ocean to central France and Switzerland. Illustrating two crucial aspects of the war in Europe, the Battle of the Atlantic and the Allied strategic bombing campaign of targets in France and Germany, a clear portrait of the current state of the war in Europe is painted here. This map is also in full color and has incredibly detailed illustrations.

Elements of both the Battle of the Atlantic and the Allied strategic bombing campaigns are illustrated here. Large, light blue arrows spread across the Atlantic, allowing the viewer to better grasp how far Allied convoys traveled, particularly as they broke 'the U-boat scourge on the Allies' supply lines'. Five numbered captions trace one of the most talked about events of the Battle of the Atlantic, the sinking of the Bismarck. The Bismarck, and her sister ship the Tirpitz, were the largest battleships in the German navy, and, consequently, the largest battleships built in Europe. If she had been able to safely reach the Atlantic, the destruction wrought upon Allied convoys would have been disastrous. However, through friendly forces in the Swedish Navy, British military officials were alerted that the Bismarck was heading for the Atlantic, a fact which was supported by radio intercepts from Bletchley Park. After a series of engagements across the north Atlantic, the Bismarck succumbed to British torpedoes.

As for the Allied strategic bombing campaign, R.A.F. and U.S.A.A.F. forces are illustrated bombing targets in the French cities of Brest, Lorient, Rouen, Le Havre, and Paris, along with German targets in the industry-rich region of the Ruhr Valley, Hamburg, and Berlin itself, labeled with a NSDAP eagle holding a blood-red swas.

These maps were created by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, most likely by the training division, and distributed by the Educational Services Section. The maps of the NavWarMap series were created both to inform, but also to motivate, Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen.

Both measure individually at 58 ½” x 40”! Clear some wall space because you are going to need it. Comes ready to display!

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