National Geographic : 1942 Jul
Western Front Map Embraces Three Continents A A notable addition to the long list of National Geographic maps now aiding the Nation's armed forces and en lightening our membership of 1,165,000, The Society presents with this issue an extraordi nary supplement, "Theater of War in Europe, Africa, and Western Asia." * Really three maps in one, this unusual presentation makes it possible to follow on a single sheet the vast storm of war which cen ters around its guilty place of origin in Central Europe but reaches out into the steppes of Russia, the deserts and jungles of Africa, and the icy seas of the Arctic. Military planners, armchair strategists, those who make the news and those who fol low it with maps, will find it no longer neces sary to struggle with three or four large sheets. Here on one sheet, 26/ x 31 inches, they can watch the limits of Hitler's world begin to close in about him. In this war of immense distances the entire area might be designated as the Western Front as contrasted to the Eastern Front, shown in The Society's recent map "Theater of War in the Pacific Ocean" (February, 1942). In view of the growing A. E. F.'s and Presi dent Roosevelt's recent statement that Ameri can bombers would be carrying the war to the enemy, this front will become increasingly familiar to American fighting men. Showing principal railroads, canals, oil pipe lines, and oil fields as well as cities, the area contains many a potential "target for tonight." Numbers of military centers have already been repeatedly battered by the Royal Air Force in the greatly intensified British aerial offen sive, or raided by the daring, dexterous Com mandos. No Such Map, So We Made One The new map was undertaken to meet a demonstrated need, to fulfill a function that no other single map serves. Behind it lies a story which begins some six months ago, about, the time of Pearl Harbor. Like many other officers in the Nation's armed services, a keen young United States Army Air Force lieutenant (now a major), came to the headquarters of the National Geographic So ciety in quest of geographic information. His needs were promptly filled-except one. He requested a map which would show the en tire theater of war against Hitler on a uniform scale-not only Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East but also the sea and air approaches from America, much of Asia, and Africa all the way to its equatorial jungles. No such map existed, but in view of the obvious need among laymen as well as military men, the Editors of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE assigned the crack cartographers of The Society to the task of preparing one. From Newfoundland Airport, through which the flooding stream of American bombers pours out to Europe, the map area extends to Irkutsk, busy Soviet industrial center in the Lake Baikal region of Siberia. From the North Pole it reaches to below the Equator, touching Diego Suarez in Madagascar and extending eastward to India's Karachi and Khyber Pass. The western edge includes Dakar, the Cape Verde Islands, Canaries, and Azores. The map is made on an azimuthal equi distant projection centered at 20 east longi tude, 40 north latitude, which is in Albania and squarely in the center of the map area. From this focal point in the vital Mediter ranean battle region, all distances and direc tions are true. An Hour's Bomber Flight to the Inch The scale of the new map is 1:15,000,000. This is 236.7 miles to the inch, which is ap proximately the hourly cruising speed of the modern bomber. Thus with a ruler the user of the map can closely approximate the flying time from point to point, allowing one inch to the hour. In other important respects this map will appeal to the skilled United States airmen who have long been using Geographic maps. Many of them have aided in its making. One of the first officers to see the original layout prepared by Chief Cartographer James M. Darley was Brigadier General Martin "Mike" Scanlon, then chief of Army Air Corps Intelli gence in Washington but recently reported to have led a successful bomber raid on Rabaul in faraway New Britain. By merely glancing at this map the flyer can tell the type of terrain toward which he is heading, for elevations are shown by contour lines and distinct tints instead of by the hachures ordinarily used. High mountains (above 2,000 meters, or 6,562 feet) are indicated by a conspicuous brown .tint which makes the ranges stand out clearly. In addition to the contours showing approximate heights, the map includes many * Members wishing additional copies of the new map, "Theater of War in Europe, Africa, and Western Asia," may obtain them by writing the National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C. Prices, in United States and Possessions, 50¢ on paper (un folded); $1 on linen; Index, 25¢. Outside of United States and Possessions, 75¢ on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index, 50¢. All remittances payable in U. S. funds. Postage prepaid.