A Complete Set of TOP SECRET Landing Maps For Okinawa Produced in the Lead Up to the Invasion.
Six color-printed sheets (of six, i.e., complete), showing all of the American landing beaches on Okinawa.
Each sheet is composed of ten frames: the central frame shows a map of the landing beach and interior, labeling and delineating the beach sections (e.g., Black 1, Black 2, Black 3, etc.) and providing the width in yards of each beach section; at the top of the sheet, is an isometric view of the beach, which provides a more intuitive understanding of the topography and vegetation, and which possibly could also be used for visual navigation by pilots engaged in close air support; on the left of the sheet are three frames that function as keymaps, showing the map and view in the context of the rest of the beaches; on the right side is the title, which includes names of the beaches covered, the right side also has three legends, one for the standard map elements, one for beach markings, and one for defensive symbols (not printed here).
One of the noteworthy features of the map is the omnipresent Okinawan burial vaults (or so-called turtleback tombs) - these were clearly of some strategic interest, as masonry and earth structures, they could be reinforced into machine-gun nests and bunkers.
We have seen a handful of single sheets from the six-sheet set trading in the market separately -- including a sheet which sold on eBay in 2017 for $400 -- however when tracing institutional copies, we can locate only the British Library's record for a set they title "Okinawa, Shima, western beaches, preliminary beach sketch..." Though the BL's set is doubtless related to the current maps, they are evidently not exactly the same. Thus this set is the only complete set that we have found.
The United States Army and Marine Corps landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945, as the specially-created 10th Army; the landing was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, lasted for 82 days after the landing, to June 1945. The Battle claimed the lives of 14,009 to 20,195 American personnel and between 77,166 and 110,000 Japanese. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were planning to use Kadena Air Base on the large island of Okinawa as a base for Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands, 340 miles away.