'Japanese Thrust' map

At the maximum extent of their conquests in mid-1942 the Japanese occupied a vast territory.

In the north they controlled Manchuria, northern China and a series of enclaves along the Chinese coast. All of South East Asia was occupied except Thailand which had limited sovereignty. Japanese power also extended east into the Pacific including the Mariana and Caroline islands, and northern New Guinea. Its land advance was finally halted in Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands between August 1942 and early 1943.

'The Japanese Thrust': map description

Map title: 'The Japanese Thrust–maximum extent of Japanese expansion July 1942'.

The map covers an area that includes part of the Asian mainland and all of South East Asia. On the Asian mainland the map extends west as far as Tibet and India. In the north the map extends to Manchuria and the bottom of (the then) USSR (with the city of Vladivostok at its southernmost tip). In the north-west corner Outer Mongolia is identified as a separate territory. Below South East Asia, the top part of Australia and the Coral Sea marks the limit to the south with the Solomon Islands in the south-east corner. To the east of India, the Indian Ocean marks the limit of the map to the south-west.

Japan, with its capital Tokyo, is highlighted (in deep red) as the central point of Japanese expansion in all directions. Two arrows indicate the extent of the expansion east across the Pacific Ocean beyond the eastern side of the map. The first arrow extends from Japan and is marked 'December 1941 to Pearl Harbor'. The other arrow extends from the Mariana Islands and is marked 'December 1941 to Wake Island'.

While Tibet and India, Outer Mongolia and mainland USSR are shown (in green) as unoccupied by Japanese forces, the southern part of a large island off the coast of the USSR directly to the north of Japan is shown as occupied.

Westward from Japan and extending down the Asian mainland, Manchuria, Korea and north-east China, coastal points of southern China, Burma, French Indochina are shown in lighter red as occupied territories—with the cities of Seoul, Peking, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Saigon, Rangoon and Bangkok also identified as occupied. Apart from its coastal pockets including Hong Kong, southern China is shown as unoccupied.

All of South East Asia is shown as occupied except Thailand which had limited sovereignty and is shown in lighter pink. Off the coast of southern China the islands of Okinawa, Taiwan (Formosa) are shown as occupied, as are the Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, Borneo, Celebes, the Netherlands East Indies, (including Sumatra, Batavia, Java, Timor, Ambon), the Mariana Islands, Guam, Palau and Caroline islands, and northern New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

To the south, Australia and the southern part of the island of Papua New Guinea is shown as unoccupied, with the towns of Darwin and Port Moresby marked.


Last updated: 28 February 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), 'Japanese Thrust' map, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 24 July 2021, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/burma-thailand-railway-and-hellfire-pass-1942-1943/events/building-hellfire-pass/background-history/japanese-thrust-map
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