Unrestricted: Interactive Map Exhibit

Brandan P. Buck (George Mason University)

Welcome to the interactive map exhibit for “Unrestricted: The Campaign to Sink the Japanese Merchant Fleet During World War II” .The map is an interactive exhibit of the data in “Japanese Naval and Merchant Shipping Losses During World War II by All Causes” and the “Submarine Operations Research Group (SORG).” The map also depicts Japanese sea lines of communication (SLOC) which connected the Japanese empire’s possessions throughout the Pacific as well as key oil production sites.

The data depicted can be augmented via a collapsible menu in the upper right corner which divides the campaign into ten periods: Dec, 1941- Dec, 1942, Jan-Jun 1943, Jul - Dec, 1943, Jan-Mar, 1944, Apr-Jun, 1944, Jul-Sep, 1944, Oct-Dec, 1944, Jan-Apr, 1945, May-Jun, 1945, Jul-Aug, 1945. These periods were determined to reflect major turning points in the conflict: the results of major operations, or the increases in attrition rates suffered by the merchant fleet.

The data can be interrogated by simply clicking any datapoint. The sinking events are symbolized via their respective sinking agent, Allied aircraft, submarine, mine or surface craft. Vessels which were sunk by multiple agents (ie aircraft and surface craft) were symbolized to the sinking agent which best reflected the operation which caused their sinking. This map is an ongoing project. Some data points may contain locational anomalies due to human error and the proximity of the sinking event to shore. Obvious errors have been corrected using contemporary data.

Japanese maritime territory is depicted by their controlled shipping lanes, also known as Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) and are symbolized by grey lines. As SLOCs are interdicted by the Allied advance, symbolized in green, they will disappear from the map. Oil production facilities are symbolized by black circles. The Soviet Union, which remained neutral until 8 Aug 1945, is symbolized in grey until the final iteration of the map.