Map of the Gilbert Islands: Military-Very Secret (with a Proviso, Classified as Military-Secret in the Front)


This series of detailed topographic maps shows ten islands in the Pacific Ocean: nine in the Gilbert Islands chain and the separate island of Nauru. At the time these maps were made, the Gilbert Islands were part of the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Nauru, a former German colony, was a League of Nations protectorate administered by Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Japan captured and occupied all of these islands during World War II. The maps appear to be of English origin, with detailed annotations subsequently added in Japanese. The maps show relief by shading and water depth by soundings, as well as provide information about navigation, population and settlements, and physical infrastructure. The maps were classified as "Military-Very Secret" and "Military-Secret" by the Japanese authorities. In 1979, the Gilbert Islands became the major part of the independent country of Kiribati. Nauru became an independent country in 1968.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Sanbō Honbu, Tokyo


Title in Original Language

Hyakumanbun no ichizu Girubāto Shotō: gunji gokuhi (tadashi senchi ni arite wa gunji himitsu)

Type of Item

Physical Description

10 color maps; 51 x 46 centimeters or smaller


  • Contents include: [1] Abaian -- [2] Apamama -- [3] Beru -- [4] Maiana -- [5] Makin -- [6] Marakei -- [7] Nauru -- [8] Nonuchi -- [9] Onotoa -- [10] Ōshan.
  • Scale 1:1,000,000

Last updated: February 12, 2016