World War II records from the Adjutant General’s Office of the War Department (Record Group 407) have been digitized and are available to view and download from the National Archives Catalog.
This series consists of maps and charts, overlays, city plans, aerial photographs, photomaps, pencil sketches, and architectural drawings relating to the European, Mediterranean, and Pacific theaters of war during World War II. The records were prepared by Allied armies, corps, divisions, and subordinate engineer components and collected by the Adjutant General’s Office. Typical records found in this series include terrain studies, maps showing defenses, maps relating to military operations, maps showing engineer activities, maps showing roads and bridges, and maps showing administrative boundaries.
Below is a map of the world showing the various theaters of war during World War II:
Among the records pertaining to the European theater are a number relating to the invasion of Normandy, including maps showing terrain near Utah Beach; city plans; defense overprints; a map showing defenses near Point de Doc; and “Bogus” maps of the Normandy area featuring false place names. Additional records relate to the Maginot Line fortifications and defenses along the Rhine River. Also included are several records relating to the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
Below is a “Bogus” map of “Oslo,” or Ouistreham, France:
Although most of the records of the Mediterranean theater relate to Italy, some pertain to North Africa, Sicily, and southern France. Among these are maps of Tunisia annotated to show military operations at Kasserine Pass. Maps relating to the Anvil landings in southern France include operation maps; order of battle maps; and a map showing convoy and aircraft lanes between Corsica and the French Coast. Records of military operations in Italy include maps relating to the Anzio landings (Operation Shingle), maps showing troop movements and objectives during the battles to break through the Gustav Line before Monte Cassino, and maps and overlays showing enemy defenses along the Arno and Gothic Lines.
Below is a map showing troop movements on February 23-24, 1943 at Kasserine Pass, Tunisia:
The records relating to the war in the Pacific include operation maps of invasions at Saipan; Angaur Island of the Palau Islands; and Lingayen Gulf on Luzon in the Philippine Islands. Also included is a map showing the locations and strengths of guerrilla forces in southeastern Luzon and a map showing the greatest extent of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific.
Below is a map showing the Japanese Empire as of August 1942:
Most records in this series date from the World War II time period, although there are a few records that date from the Third Army’s occupation duty in Germany following World War I.
The records are arranged numerically by military organization (Army, Corps, Division), thereunder geographically, and thereunder by subject.
For more information on World War II records held by the Cartographic Branch, please refer to our webpage and our records guide. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in records that have not been digitized or if you are looking for records that you do not see listed in our catalog. Our research room is open by appointment only. Visiting information and operating status may be found here.