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Rare WWII Propaganda map, published in India, showing the theater of War near Japan and Korea.

This fascinating map embraces much of the Pacific theatre of World War II as it appeared in the early months of 1944. It shows how the Japanese gains made in the wake of their attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (December 1941) had been reversed, and depicts the American plans to move towards attacking Japan proper by seizing Japanese island bases, one island at a time. It shows that, by this time, the Americans had successfully permeated the Japanese outer defense line. Specifically the map was made shortly after the U.S. conquest of the important Japanese base of the Kwajelein Atoll, Marshall Islands (January 31 to February 6, 1944) - an inset map details the attoll in the upper right. The assault included the most concentrated aerial bombing of the entire war, and its capture ensured American control of the Mid-Pacific.

The map was issued in British India at the height of World War II, likely at the instigation, and certainly with the blessing of the colonial government, as a propaganda piece to educate readers on the Allied progress of the War in the Pacific. The Japanese, striking from occupied Burma, would unsuccessfully attack the eastern frontier of India proper in the spring of 1944. Learning that the Japanese were loosing ground in the Pacific would have acted as something of a morale boost to Allied forces in India.

The present map is very rare. It was printed in small quantities by a press in India (perhaps Calcutta) and issued to British officers, officials and interested native Indians. As it was viewed as an ephemeral piece for temporary use, almost all examples would have been discarded, making this example a rare survivor.