The attack that never was: 1945 U.S. Army map of Tokyo published in advance of Operation Downfall.

City Plan of Tokyo

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SKU: NL-00764 Categories: ,
Date: August 1945
Place: Washington, D.C. (?)
Dimensions: 73.5 x 56 cm (29 x 22 in)
Condition Rating: VG+
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Published concurrently with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this map of Tokyo and environs was repurposed from an earlier Japanese base map, and shows the target area of part of Operation Downfall. In red overlay, all roads lead to the heart of the Japanese capital, with a large inset at bottom right showing critical infrastructure.

Operation Downfall was the proposed Allied plan for the invasion of the Japanese home islands near the end of World War II in Asia. The planned operation was canceled when Japan surrendered following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet declaration of war and the invasion of Manchuria. The operation had two parts: Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. Set to begin in November 1945, Operation Olympic was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island, Kyūshū, with the recently captured island of Okinawa to be used as a staging area.

Curiously, while a note in pencil in the bottom margin of the map reads: “(Olympic Operation),” the scope of the map makes it more likely to be connected to Operation Coronet. The main action of Coronet was the invasion of Honshu at the Kantō Plain south of the Tokyo. It was to begin on “Y-Day,” which was tentatively scheduled for 1 March 1946. Coronet would have been even larger than Olympic, with up to 40 divisions earmarked for both the initial landing and follow-up (by comparison, the Overlord invasion of Normandy deployed 12 divisions in the initial landings). In the initial stage, the First Army would have invaded at Kujūkuri Beach, on the Bōsō Peninsula, while Eighth Army invaded at Hiratsuka, on Sagami Bay. Later, a follow-up force of up to 12 additional divisions of the Tenth Army and British Commonwealth Corps would be landed as reinforcements. The Allied forces would then have driven north and inland, meeting at Tokyo.

A series of insets adapted from different maps have been added to show the topography, population, and zoning of the area of operations.


General Headquarters U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific

General Headquarters U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific (GHQ AFPAC) was part of the South West Pacific Area, the name given to the Allied supreme military command in the South West Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Condition Description

Very good.