This operational map depicts with levity the operations undergone by the Rainbow Division (42nd Infantry Division of the United States Army) during World War II. Organized shortly after America’s entry into WWI, the division consisted of National Guard units from across the United States. Douglas MacArthur commented that the division would “stretch over the whole of the country like a rainbow.” And indeed it did – ultimately being comprised of units from 26 states and the District of Columbia.
The division’s arrival in the European Theater, as shown on the map, began near Marseille in 1944 and saw the unit knife through France into Germany and settle as an occupation force in Austria after V-E day on May 8, 1945. In addition to operational locations of significance, such as Hatten, Schweinfurt and Munich, elements and priorities of a soldier’s life are also depicted.
Illustrations of a grinning G.I. with a 3 day pass in Paris, mules being tugged up mountainsides, French women, the dreaded German railroad gun, and beer halls reflect this perspective with a comedic twist. The awful realities of the war are hidden behind this lighthearted facade, but confused German citizens, Dachau, and soldiers wearing the Iron Cross allude to the devastation witnessed during the march across Europe.
For more information, or to purchase the map, please visit the Curtis Wright Maps store page here.