With pictorial vignettes of an American bomber, tank, rail gun, battleship, and the Statue of Liberty, this World War II era Rand McNally map highlights strategic military positions and natural resources within the continental United States. It is clearly designed to give Americans a sense of security; along with the strength projected by the vignettes, exaggerated shading along the coasts makes the United States seem like a fortified island with high, protective cliffs.
The cartographers have chosen a simple base map of important mountain ranges and rivers (both key natural features for military movement), and state boundaries and capitals. Onto this backdrop have been plotted American naval bases, army and navy airfields, and military posts. The strategic importance of ports is clear, and on the West Coast we see how San Francisco, with its many installations and adjacent airfields, would become the gateway to the war in the Pacific.
In addition, areas of strategic raw materials, vital to the sustained war effort, have been mapped, including: petroleum in Oklahoma, Texas, and California, sulphur, lead, zinc, Kentucky coal, iron, and many more.