Most helpful critical review
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Problems with the Maps
on May 27, 2000
Too many things are shown in the wrong places on the maps.
The most hilarious example is on page 97. Laos had two capital cities: the royal capital of Luang Prabang, where the (purely ceremonial) king lived, and the administrative capital of Vientiane, where there was an actual government. On this map, Luang Prabang has been moved across the border into North Vietnam (a very strange place for the royal capital of Laos), while Vientiane has been moved across the other border into Thailand. The same map also has the town of Vinh, in North Vietnam, shifted westward from its actual location near the coast; it appears on this map to be closer to the Laotian border than to the sea.
Flip one page back to look at the map on page 95, which shows the Tonkin Gulf Incidents and the U.S. air strikes of August 5, 1964. This map has Vinh in the right place, but Hanoi has been mislocated; it is shown as being southwest of Haipong (Hanoi is actually northwest of Haiphong). More important, the map shows Hon Gai, one of the targets of the U.S. air strikes, as being right next to the Chinese border. Hon Gai is actually well to the southwest of the location shown; if it had been close to the Chinese border, Lyndon Johnson would not have approved the strike against it in this operation. The location shown for the aircraft carrier Constellation, which launched the planes for the strike against Hon Gai, is also seriously inaccurate.
A small inset map on page 95 shows the tracks of the two U.S. destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy, on the night of August 4, 1964, and the tracks of objects that appeared on their radar, believed to be torpedo boats attacking them. The track shown for the supposed torpedo boat designated V2 bears no resemblance to any track that shows in the records of the destroyers, and the track shown for V1 does not bear a close resemblance to any track that shows in the records of the destroyers.
I have not found so many errors in other maps in this atlas, but I have found more than I liked. The one thing an atlas is absolutely supposed to do is show things in the correct locations on the maps.