Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

US Army in World War II (Series) (Center of Military History)

US Army in World War II (Series) (Center of Military History) – http://www.history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/collect/usaww2.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What were Americans doing in both Iran and Iraq during World War II?
  • How did World War II affect the Caribbean?
  • Whom did Soviet Russians employ to clear rubble in occupied Berlin?
  • Where can I read about the successful Axis evacuation of Sicily?


This is literally an entire library related to US Army operations in World War II. From the forward to the US Army in World War II “Readers Guide”:

The United States Army in World War II series describes the organization, plans, and operations of the War Department and the Army, in the zone of interior and in all of the Army’s five theaters of operations from 1939 to 1945. Since the Army authorized the project in 1946, seventy-eight volumes have been or are being published representing an organized treasury of knowledge on the world’s greatest conflict. Behind them lies one of the largest masses of records and recollections ever produced. These documents, including those of the enemy, have been explored by professional historians, with the cooperation of a host of participants and with all the facilities and assistance that the Office of the Chief of Military History and its successor, the Center of Military History, could provide to ensure that this endeavor was as comprehensive, accurate, and objective as possible. The final result has provided commanders and staff officers, historians, and students-military and civilian alike-with an unprecedented professional guide to past experience as they seek light on the uncertain path ahead.

The series is subdivided into the following sections:

  • The War Department
  • The Army Ground Forces
  • The Army Service Forces
  • The Western Hemisphere
  • The War in the Pacific
  • The Mediterranean Theater of Operations
  • The European Theater of Operations
  • The Middle East Theater
  • The China-Burma-India Theater
  • The Technical Services
  • Special Studies
  • Pictorial Record

If you’re uncertain where to start, visit the series’ “Reader’s Guide.” It has summaries of all 78 volumes, which will give you some basic information and lead you to a specific volume for greater depth.

Most of the of the volumes contain maps, charts and illustrations. Others will have bibliographic notes for further reading. A number of the books in this series appear to be offered in both PDF and HTML. The Pictorial Record series and a handful of other books appear to be in PDF format only. This seems unfortunate in the case of the Pictorial Record series as it makes the public domain photographs harder to share.

Search Tip:

It is possible to search across HTML formatted books of the US Army in World War II books by typing in [(keywords) inurl:books/wwii site:army.mil] into your favorite search engine. For example, searching [women inurl:books/wwii site:army.mil] brings up over 300 results, including:

  • An escaped woman refuge bringing word of massed German equipment in the woods.
  • A picture of a Belgian woman salvaging grain in a gutted barn.
  • The Soviets use of women to clear rubble piles in occupied Berlin.

Searching [drowned inurl:books/wwii site:army.mil] brings up instances of troops drowned in battle and also instances of cut communications.

If you don’t get the results you expect, it may be the volumes you thought you were searching are not in HTML format.


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One thought on “US Army in World War II (Series) (Center of Military History)

  1. Pingback: US Army in World War II Pictorial Record (Center of Military History) | Writer's Guide to Government Information

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