The Pacific – Monday Map

This map helped win the War in the Pacific, 77 years ago today

(click to enlarge)

The Pacific 1942 National Geographic Map

The February 1942 issue of National Geographic contained this map entitled the Pacific Theater of War.

It was published less than two months after the coordinated attacks launched by Japan across the Pacific and Western Asia on December 7 – 8, 1941, including the aerial bombardment of Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands.

It is not an exaggeration to say this map actually helped win the Second World War

On the 30th of September, 1942, a B-17 bomber of the United States Air Force left the island of New Caledonia, 912 miles east of Australia. It was heading to Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands, some 830 miles over open seas. On board was Admiral Chester Nimitz, the overall commander of the American force that had been engaged in a ferocious battle on Guadalcanal for nearly two months against the Empire of Japan, which would continue until February of the following year.

Due to poor weather and insufficient navigational charts, the plane was in danger of running out of fuel before it found the way to its destination. But the Admiral’s aide, Commander Hal Lamar, happened to have the February issue of National Geographic in his gear. It contained the map displayed above, which the pilot was able to use to navigate successfully, arriving with a scant few gallons of fuel remaining.

The Pacific 1942 National Geographic zoom

source: natgeo maps

The Admiral and his staff touched down in a driving rainstorm on Henderson Field, where he immediately performed an inspection of the front lines, at a time when it was seriously in doubt that the Americans could hold out against a foe that was determined to win at all costs.

Based on his firsthand assessment, Nimitz’ actions over the coming month included replacing high ranking officers involved in the battle, and proved decisive in the Allies’ first significant victory of their “island hopping” strategy in the Pacific Theater.

Without this map, Admiral Chester Nimitz and his staff could very well have ended up among the 78,700+ American service men and women listed as Missing in Action by the war’s end. And the Battle of Guadalcanal and the ensuing War in the Pacific might have gone very differently.

A wonderfully zoomable map made from the original 1942 map can be seen HERE.

 

Rome From Start to Finish – Monday Map

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

I’ll Say!

Monday Map – The History of Rome

A special birthday edition features an animated map that explores the entire history of Rome, from its earliest days as a kingdom, through the massive expansion during the Roman Republic, and on through Roman Empire, which split in two for its final tumultuous years.

Please expect to want to hit Pause and stop to look at certain moments of the timeline in detail!

I never grow tired of history or maps, and love it when they come together so very well.

Presidents Day – Monday Map

Presidents Day Map of all the birthplaces

Our Presidents of the United States

The entire bunch were born in but 21 of our 50 States

Fun Facts from the Washington Post

* Ohio is the birthplace of seven presidents, second only to Virginia’s eight. But, Ohio hasn’t elected a president since Warren Harding in 1920. And Harding didn’t even last a full term, dying in 1923. (Random Warren Harding factoid: His size 14 shoes were the largest of any president.)

* Texas’ two native-born presidents may not be who you think they are. Neither George H.W. Bush (Massachusetts) nor George W. Bush (Connecticut) were born in the Lone Star State. The two? Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower. (Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas.)

* Vermont is the smallest state with the biggest presidential punch as the birthplace of both Chester Arthur and Calvin Coolidge.

* California has produced only a single president — and it was Republican Richard Nixon.

The map is sadly out of date.

Polar Vortex on the Way – Monday Map

 

Polar vortex

A Polar Vortex is actually no laughing matter

Chicago is supposed to be colder than Antarctica by the middle of the week. Mornings of frostbite and lung damage are being issued across Canada and the northern United States.

Polar vortex warn

Apparently warm air from Morocco has made its way to the North Pole causing the upcoming vortex where a southerly Jet Stream poles super-freezing air down into temperate zones. An increase in such vortices fits well within even conservative scientific models of the effect of climate change, which is increasing faster than anyone had ever dared to fear possible.

Please bundle up and bring animals indoors. Please report any stray animals you see two authorities as the serious cold approaches.

Update Jan 31.:  Chicago reached windchill of -52 below zero.

At least four locations have tied or set all-time record lows:

  • Minus 33 degrees Thursday morning in, Moline, Illinois, shattered the all-time record low of minus 28 degrees from Feb. 3, 1996.
  • Minus 30 degrees in Rockford, Illinois, Thursday morning topped their previous record of minus 27 degrees from Jan. 10, 1982.
  • Minus 30 degrees in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Thursday morning beat the previous all-time record of minus 29 degrees.
  • Minus 43 degrees northwest of Mather, Wisconsin, Wednesday tied the all-time low at that location in records dating to 1903.

Monday Map – 1965 Selma March

The Selma March Historic Byway

Martin Luther King Day

On March 7th, 1965, the historic Selma to Montgomery March took place. Hundreds of marched in support of civil rights for all Americans, and expressly for the rights of African-Americans subjected to institutionalized segregation and bigotry.
The march was blocked by Alabama state troopers and aborted. A second march on March 18th was cancelled due to a court order.
Over 25,000 gathered on March 21st, and with the help of federal troops and law enforcement, they completed the 54 mile trek to the state capital in Montgomery.
While the reality of who Doctor King was and what is actual legacy has been. There is no question that assassinated leader stands today as a martyr to social justice in America. And the Selma March remains one of the most tangible symbols of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was introduced in Congress during the Selma March, and once passed became among the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history.
Selma http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/byways/2050/maps

The route of the Selma March is now one of the Federal Highway Administration’s America’s Byways and also a National Park Service Historic Trail that is currently closed due to the ongoing attempted Right Wing coups that has shut down the Federal Government.

Selma http://www.nps.gov/common/commonspot/customcf/apps/maps/showmap.cfm?alphacode=semo&parkname=Selma%20To%20Montgomery
A period map from the time: HERE
More Monday Maps: HERE

Sumatra – Monday Map

When Marco Polo visited the island Sumatra in 1292 he recorded its name as Samarcha.

Much of the population had already converted to Islam by that time. But nearly three-hundred years earlier the “King of the Land of Sumatra” (Haji Sumatrabhumi) had sent an envoy to China in 1017. And long before that it was known as the Land of Gold, because of the mines in its highlands.

Sumatra 1588 map onemanz.com

Map from 1588

And before international jetliners, it was about as far away as one could go, the very edge of the earth, and as exotic an alien world as ever visited by Westerners outside of science fiction.

Below is a section of a much larger map of South East Asia from 1710, with an example of the wonderful detail.

Sumatra 1710 section onemanz.comSumatra 1710 map detail onemanz.com

Until well into the twentieth century most of the Sumatran interior was dense rain forest jungles. Over 50% of its natural forests have been removed for farming and human population requirements. The result is the serious endangerment of its many native species, like the Sumatran tiger and the newly discovered the Tapanuli Orangutan, the first new member of the Great Apes in almost a century.

Normandy, June 1944 – Monday Map

Complete with relief photos and elevation tables, the actual maps from the Normandy Invasion still inspire awe.

Classified as “Bigot,” the highest top secret security level possible, a very few persons even knew of the existence of this and other maps prepared for the assault on Hitler’s Fortress Europe.

Half of Omaha Beach

omaha_beach_east_f_1944_ Normandy2

omaha_beach_east_b_1944 Normandy

Source: Wikipedia

June Gloom and a Full Moon

June has come with gloom under low, unseasonably cool skies over New York City, mirroring the climate in Northwest Europe at the opening of the most monumental June in human history. [Now June 6, 2017, and it is 56 degrees and with a intermittent sea mist rain that makes this 73rd anniversary’s weather all the more like the 6th of June in Normandy in 1944, than when this was originally posted in 2015.]

The weather was so bad in the spring of 1944 that D-Day was postponed at the last minute, for 24 hours. So the first courageous airborne troops dropped from the sky a few minutes after midnight on June 6, to begin operations prior to the full scale assault that slammed into five beaches, as dawn lit the Normandy coastline west of Caen.

These maps give some indication of the enormity of the invasion, and the amount of detailed planning that went into it.

Some are taken from painstaking copies of original Bigot maps created for the D-Day landings, and available for sale at Alan Godfrey Reproductions.

 The Full Invasion Area

Allied_Invasion_Force_Normandy

Half of Utah Beach

Utah_Beach_Map_Front_A Normandy

American Naval Operations (Operation Neptune)

D-Day navy map Normandy

British Empire Operations

Normandy Invasion Map

Canadian Assault on Juno Beach

Canadian D Day Landings Normandy

British Main Assault at Sword Beach

Sword Beach Normandy

Detail from Bigot map of Sword Operations (English and Free French Commandos)

ouistreham Normandy map

Detail of British Bigot Map Legends

Map Legend Normandy

Other Reading:

Britannica’s D-Day site was created years ago, so it has some bad links, but it is full of interesting oral histories by veterans, as well as detailed charts and maps, and other information of interest.

http://kids.britannica.com/dday/browse?browseId=237176

U.S. Army official report on the action at and around Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944. This was prepared and provided to veterans at the 50th Anniversary commemoration in 1994, and based closely on the official report by the War Department, 20 September 1945

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/100-11/100-11.HTM