National Geographic : 1942 Feb
New Map Shows Immense Pacific Battleground T HE vast Pacific theater of war-the most far-flung battleground the world has ever seen-is revealed in its en tirety in a new ten-color map sent to the 1,165,000 members of the National Geographic Society as a supplement with this issue of their NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.* This lucid map of the world's largest ocean and its myriad islands includes the shores of the four great continents which look out upon that embattled sea. Within its scope are most of North America, including all of continental United States; the whole west coast of South America, much of Asia, all of Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands Indies. From the Burma Road to Bermuda and from Calcutta to Cape Cod-such is the tre mendous span of this map. It covers a total east-west distance of some 13,800 miles, more than half the circumference of the earth. Thus such distant places as Sumatra and Singapore may be seen at once in terms of their direc tion and approximate distance from Seattle or San Diego, or even from inland cities such as Syracuse, New York, or Charlotte, North Carolina. To all members following the progress of American and allied arms in the Pacific, to students and strategists, to soldiers, sailors, and the families of men fighting far away, the map is a timely aid. Your Editors began its preparation months ago, as skies over the Pacific grew ever darker. Measuring 20/ by 26'2 inches, the supplement is designed for ease of handling and for ready reference. Table Gives 861 Distances "How far away is Manila?" "What's the distance from Vladivostok to Tokyo?" To help in answering such questions the map carries a table which gives, in statute miles, 861 different airline distances between important points. It shows immediately, for example, that Manila is 6,965 miles from San Francisco and that Tokyo and Vladivostok are only 665 miles apart. Principal steamship routes are indicated on this Mercator Projection map by blue lines with distances in nautical miles. Listeners to radio news reports from the Far East and readers of newspaper dis patches will be able to visualize, with the aid of this map, the time of day at the point where the news is originating. White lines mark the time zones, and dials show the time in any given zone when clocks in Greenwich, England, are striking midnight. United States islands in the Pacific are more numerous than most persons realize. Many bear witness to the far-ranging voyages of Yankee whalers and clippers in the days of sail. Now the needs of ocean-spanning air craft bring almost forgotten bits of land into prominence again. Besides Hawaii and the Philippines, United States Pacific islands are: Guam, the Aleu tians, Wake, Johnston, Kingman Reef, Pal myra, Howland, Baker, Jarvis, Eastern Samoa, and Swains. Midway is in the Hawaiian group. The map also shows United States claims to Christmas, Malden, Starbuck, Vostok, Caro line, Flint, Danger Islands, Tongareva, Raka hanga, and Manihiki, in the Line Islands; to Nukulaelae, Nukufetau, and Funafuti, in the Ellice Islands; to Canton, Enderbury, Mc Kean, Birnie, Hull, Gardner, Phoenix, and Sydney, in the Phoenix Islands; and to the Tokelau or Union group-Atafu, Nukunono, Fakaofo. Almost in the center of the map lie the Hawaiian Islands, chief American bulwark in the Pacific, where the Japanese attacked the base at Pearl Harbor while their diplomats talked peace at Washington and Tokyo. Other important bases are Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, which jut out even farther toward Asia; and Pago Pago, in Samoa. Pago Pago, with its carefree, brown-skinned natives, lies in the midst of the South Sea Isles, glamour land of story and song. But today, with war ranging the Pacific in steel ships and bombing planes, few indeed may escape its touch. The very name "Pacific" now seems ironical. In the western Pacific lie the islands of Micronesia ("small islands") scattered like stars over a distance about equal to the total coast-to-coast width of the United States. Secret Japanese Bases in Micronesia Most of these isles are of coral formation, built up through the centuries by tiny living coral polyps which lived, died, and left their limestone skeletons for others to build upon. And here the Japanese for years have been as ceaselessly busy as the coral creatures them selves-preparing for war. They hold the Marianas, Caroline, and Marshall Islands, three of the four chief Micronesian groups; Britain owns the Gilbert Islands. * Members wishing additional copies of the map, "Theater of War in the Pacific Ocean," may obtain them by writing the National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C. Prices, in United States and Pos sessions, 50¢ on paper (unfolded); 75¢ mounted on linen; Index, 25¢. Outside of United States and Pos sessions, 75¢ on paper; $1 on linen; Index, 50-all remittances payable in U. S . funds. Postage prepaid.