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1940 Chapin Map of the Pacific and a Potential War Between the U.S. and Japan

USVersusJapan-chapin-1940
$625.00
U.S. v. Japan The Pacific Problem. - Main View
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1940 Chapin Map of the Pacific and a Potential War Between the U.S. and Japan

USVersusJapan-chapin-1940

Highlights the realities of a possible war between the United States and Japan in the Pacific.

SOLD

Title


U.S. v. Japan The Pacific Problem.
  1940 (dated)     28 x 41.75 in (71.12 x 106.045 cm)     1 : 22000000

Description


This is a rare 1940 Robert M. Chapin, Jr. map of the Pacific Ocean and the potential for war between the United States and the Empire of Japan. Stretching from Asia to the Americas and from Alaska to New Zealand and Cape Horn, Chapin highlights areas that could become battlegrounds if the tensions between the U.S. and Japan boiled over into war. Black and white stripes identify the United States, a deliberate reference to the American flag. It is worth noting that the Philippines, an archipelago in the East Indies, is also shaded with this pattern, as the islands were a U.S. possession in 1940. Japanese territory is black, including Manchukuo, the puppet state the Japanese created in northeastern China, Taiwan (Formosa), and Hainan.

With the benefit of hindsight, modern viewers know what lies ahead, but Chapin and those viewing this map in TIME Magazine in 1940 could only guess. Islands across the Pacific are labeled and captions provide context for the most important locations. The Hawaiian Islands, specifically Pearl Harbor, are one such location, with a caption providing distances between the naval base and San Francisco, Tokyo, and Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The American base at Dutch Harbor, Alaska is also among the locations singled out, as is Guam, and island in the Western Pacific and a U.S. possession, but unfortified and poorly defended. The map also posits that the Panama Canal Zone, then occupied by the United States, could be used as a base for the fleet. Two large circles emanate across the Pacific from the Americas and Hawaii, illustrating just how far the American military can reach. This clearly informs the viewer in no uncertain terms that as of the publication of this map, the U.S. military is unable to reach the Western Pacific and Japan.

The Japanese position, however, appears to be much stronger. By 1940, the Japanese had been fighting in Asia for nine years and, as Chapin points out, had recently gained a foothold in French Indochina, a benefit gained from Nazi Germany's stunning defeat of France in June. Japanese fortified islands in the Marshall Islands and Marianas Islands are also highlighted, creating a stark contrast between Japanese and American preparedness in the region. These islands, Saipan, Jaluit, and Truk to name a few, are relatively close to Guam, and the Japanese have taken the time to fortify them, while the American have left Guam essentially undefended. Chapin also posits the question of whether or not the United States would fight for oil, rubber, and tin in the Dutch East Indies (Java, Sumatra, Borneo), and quickly states that Japan would, creating yet another noticeable difference between the two powers.

Yet another important comparison is drawn by an infographic along the bottom border: the relative tonnage of the U.S. Navy and Japanese Navy are compared side by side. The strength of each country's battleships, cruisers, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines are all compared, and the U.S. tops Japan in nearly every category. This advantage, though important, would be difficult to maintain in the beginning stages of the coming war. But Japan was not completely outnumbered, as their greatest advantages, their technological superiority in torpedoes and fighter planes for example, more than made up for slightly less in naval tonnage.
Publication History and Census
This example of this map is a separate issue enlargement of a map that was created by Robert M. Chapin, Jr. and published in the July 1, 1940 issue of TIME Magazine. The OCLC records one example in the institutional collection at Franklin and Marshall College.

Cartographer


Robert M. Chapin Jr. (fl. 1933 - 1970) was a prominent architect, cartographer and illustrator active during World War II and the Cold War. Chapin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933 with a degree in architecture. Since this was the height of the Great Depression, and architects in low demand, he instead took work as a staff cartographer at Newsweek. Catching the attention of Manfred Gottfried of Time, Chapin was offered an accepted a position at the head of Time's cartography department. He remained with Time for some 33 years, from 1937 to 1970, often drawn 2 - 3 new thematic maps weekly. With an architect's gift visualizing information, Chapin became a skilled informational cartographer, heading the cartography department at Time Magazine. Chapin, like Fortune Magazine chief cartographer, Richard Edes Harrison, Chapin was at the forefront of infographic propaganda cartography, a genre that matured during the World War II Era and remains popular today. Working for Time Magazine, Chapin developed a signature style for his long run of 'War Maps.' Chapin was known for his maverick airbrush technique which lead to strong color splashes and intense shading. He also incorporated celluloid stencils to illustrate bomb explosions, flags, sinking ships, and more - generating a instantly recognizable standardized style. Chapin's Time war maps were further distinctive for their use of strong bold reds as a universal symbol of hostility. Chapin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933 with a degree in architecture. Since this was the height of the Great Depression, an d architects in low demand, he instead took work as a staff cartographer at Newsweek. Catching the attention of Manfred Gottfried of Time, Chapin was offered an accepted a position at the head of Time's cartography department. He remained with Time for some 33 years, from 1937 to 1970, often drawn 2 - 3 new thematic maps weekly. Chapin live in Sharon Connecticut. Learn More...

Condition


Very good. Light wear and toning along original fold lines. Verso repairs at fold intersection and to fold separations. Small area of infill. Blank on verso.

References


OCLC  947055062.