This intriguing map shows the routes of the U.S. Army’s Ninth Infantry Division which fought its way through North Africa and Europe during World War II. The terms in the title refers to ‘NATOUSA’ (North African Theater of Operations, United States Army) and ‘ETOUSA’ (European Theater of Operations, United States Army). The map is divided into five parts, with the ‘The Big Picture’ in the upper left corner depicting the Ninth’s total itinerary in both Africa and Europe.
Part I, the register that occupies the top third of the work, shows the Ninth’s route in North Africa, which saw them land on November 8, 1942 in Casablanca, Morocco, and then fight and march their way across Algeria and then up to Bizerte, Tunisia, where their operations ended on May 20, 1943.
Part II, in the lower left corner, shows the Ninth’s experiences in Sicily, where they traveled from North Africa, with operations occurring in July and August 1943.
Part III, in the lower right corner, shows the vicinity of the Ninth’s rest/retraining hiatus in Westchester, England, before their deployment to invade Nazi-occupied Continental Europe.
Part IV, which takes up the middle register, depicts the Ninth’s route from its participation in the D-Day Landings in Normandy, across France, running south of Paris and then up through Belgium into Germany, reaching Dessau on V-E Day (May 8, 1945), the last day of the war in Europe. The Division then continued south to Ingolstadt, Bavaria, where they were based for a time before most of the troops were sent home.
The map was prepared by the Ninth Division’s G-3 Section (operations and planning unit), drafted by Corporal A.G. Burns, and was published in July 1945 (only two months after the end of the war) in Germany (perhaps Ingolstadt) on cheap wartime-era paper by the press of the 664th Engineering Topographical Corps. The map would have been made as a memento for the members of the Division, and while many such regimental retrospective maps were made, the present work is notable as being one of the few such works to depicts itineraries in. North Africa, as a opposed to exclusively showing operations in France, the Low Countries and Germany.
A Note on Rarity
The present map would have been produced in only a very small print run for the members of the Ninth Division to retain as souvenirs. Due to it ephemeral nature and the fact that it is printed on fragile paper, the survival rate would have been very low.
We can definitely trace only a singe institutional example, held by the Library of Congress.
References: Library of Congress: G8221.S7 1945 .U5 VHP MS03; U.S. Department of the Army, Unit Histories of World War II: United States Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy (Washington, D.C., 1950), no. 184A (p. 22); U.S. Department of the Army, Histories of American Army Units: World Wars I and II and Korean Conflict, with Some Earlier Histories (Washington, D.C., 1962), no. 1268 (p. 165).