1943 Manning World War II Propaganda World Maps: Target Berlin and Target Tokyo


1943 Manning World War II Propaganda World Maps: Target Berlin and Target Tokyo


An iconic set of American World War II propaganda broadside maps 'targeting' Berlin and Tokyo.


Target Tokyo; Newsmap. Monday, October 18, 1943. / Target Berlin; Newsmap. Monday, October 25, 1943.
  1943 (dated)     47 x 35 in (119.38 x 88.9 cm)


Two of the most iconic American World War II propaganda maps, these are F. E Manning's 1943 propaganda broadsides 'Target Berlin' and 'Target Tokyo'. The focus of the broadsides are dramatic shaded panoptic views centered on Berlin and Tokyo, respectively, from which a series of concentric circles radiate creating a distinctive target-like effect. The ever widening circles extend to include much of the world.

The first broadside, Target Berlin, formally entitled Newsmap. Monday, October 25, 1943, Vol. II No. 27, is an aptly timed prelude to the first major allied airstrike on Berlin. Just days after this map was published British Air Marshal Arthur 'Bomber' Harris led a series of air raids on the German capital that did not relent until March of 1944. Although much of the city was destroyed, the Battle of Berlin, as it is now known, is generally thought to have been a failure. The effort accomplished little in the way of crippling or even limiting the German war machine. In fact it led to reprisal attacks, Operation Steinbock, on London.

The second broadside, Target Tokyo, is formally titled Newsmap. Monday, October 18, 1943, Vol. II No. 26, was actually issued first, but did not reflect significant bombing efforts in the Asia-Pacific theater. It was not until the introduction of the B-29 Superfortress long range bomber in 1944 that significant strikes commenced. These continued from November 17, 1944 to August 15 1945, the day that Japan capitulated.

Below the maps there is an ingenious cut away distance scale and the following instructions,
This map is a photographic view of the world with the center at Berlin [Tokyo]. Thus with the detachable scale distances can be measured along any line running thru Berlin [Tokyo]. It should be noted that an inch at the center represents less mileage than an inch closer to the edges. The detachable scale has been designed to compensate for this and should be used only with the center on Berlin [Tokyo]. The photographic process used in making this map makes all distances measured with the tape approximate only. Distances are shown in statute miles. Lines between key cities do not represent regular air routes in all cases. They show distances between points that do not fall on a line going thru the center of the projection.

The verso of both maps features a segmented breakdown of the most recent war news on various fronts. Most of it is quite good for the Allies. Following a series of Allied victories in Italy, Russia, at Stalingrad, in East Asia, and Indonesia, the War had, by this date, turned firmly against the Axis powers. As such, there was little need for 'sugar coating' and the general message was, in as much as war can be, truthfully positive.

These are two of many 'Newsmaps' published weekly by the Army Orientation Course of the Special Service Division Army Service Forces, a propaganda arm of the United States War Department. The Newsmaps typically employed bold typesetting and dramatic imagery to relay the most recent war news from a distinctly 'positive' perspective. Few Newsmaps were as dramatic or impactful as Manning's 'Target Berlin' and 'Target Tokyo’.


F. E. Manning (fl. c. 1940 - 1945) was an American journalistic cartography employed with the Chicago Sun. During World War II he produced numerous propagandistic maps for the Army Orientation Course of the Special Service Division Army Service Forces, a division of the United State War Department. Our research has, unfortunately, been able to unearth significant details regarding his personal life or his career at the Chicago Sun.


Very good. Set of two maps. Minor wear and toning along original fold lines. Some soiling on Berlin map and damage near lower margin not affecting printed text.


Rumsey 6769.000, 6770.001.