Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “20th Century-Military”

Office of Medical History (Army)

Office of Medical History (Army) – http://history.amedd.army.mil

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What were some preventative measures taken by the US Army in the American Revolution?
  • When were US soldiers first vaccinated for smallpox?
  • What was considered typical care during the Civil War?
  • What were World War I base camp hospitals like?

Description:

This site is divided into a number of sections, but the most helpful will be:

Books and Documents – materials from Revolutionary times to the the Iraq War. Some representative titles are:

  • The Evolution of Preventive Medicine in the United States Army, 1607-1939
  • Medical Men in the American Revolution, 1775-1783 by Louis C. Duncun
  • Thesis: A Study of the Medical Support to the Union and Confederate Armies During the Battle of Chickamauga: Lessons and Implications for Today’s U.S. Army Medical Department Leaders by David A. Rubenstein
  • The U.S. Army Medical Department in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
  • Women in the Army Medical Department in World War II
  • Battle Casualties in Korea: Studies of the Surgical Research Team, Volume II, Tools for Resuscitation
  • In Their Own Words: The 498th Air Ambulance Company in Iraq, 2003

Historical Art Work – Captioned images and photographs from WWI through the Iraq War. The Office of Medical History discourages the use of this imagery for commercial or partisan publications, but does not disclose their authority for prohibiting these uses.

Medal of Honor recipients – Short citations of medical personnel awarded the Medal of Honor.

AMEDD Unit Patches and Lineage – Patches and organization histories from Army Medical units.

As you might gather from the title of this resource, it will be most helpful in determining what level of field medicine is available to your military characters in a given period of time.

Iraq And Vietnam: Differences, Similarities, And Insights

Iraq And Vietnam: Differences, Similarities, And Insights (2004) – http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/00367.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How did the scale of the Vietnam War compare to that of the Occupation of Iraq?
  • What tactics did the US under the pacification of Vietnam?
  • Who were allies of North and South Vietnam?

Description:

This 76 page study from the Strategic Studies Institute is a compare and contrast to the wars in Iraq and Vietnam and provides a useful background to each conflict. From the introduction:

The authors conclude that the military dimensions of the two conflicts bear little comparison. Among other things, the sheer scale of the Vietnam War in terms of forces committed and losses incurred dwarfs that of the Iraq War. They also conclude, however, that failed U.S. state-building in Vietnam and the impact of declining domestic political support for U.S. war aims in Vietnam are issues pertinent to current U.S. policy in Iraq.

Pages 64-76 of this volume consists of endnotes and references to other works.

Insurgency In Iraq: An Historical Perspective

Insurgency In Iraq: An Historical Perspective (2005)
http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB592.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What tactics did Menachem Begin’s resistance group, Lohamei Herut Yisrael use in the 1940s?
  • What were the main causes of death among US soliders in Iraq 2003-2004?
  • What were some earlier examples of IEDs used against Western soldiers?

Description:

This 27 page work offers a sketch of insurgent movements from around the world from the 1920s forward with particular emphasis on the Middle East. There is significant coverage of the tactics used by the Stern Gang in British Palestine prior to the formation of Israel. There is also some coverage of Iraq’s 1920s insurgency against the British Empire.

Pages 18-21 of this work consists of endnotes and references to other works.

The Whirlwind War: The United States Army in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM

The Whirlwind War: The United States Army in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM – http://www.history.army.mil/books/www/WWINDX.HTM

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What were the disposition of Iraqi forces in September 1990?
  • How were Patriot batteries used against SCUD missiles?
  • What were the specifications of Iraqi and US armament during the First Gulf War?

Description:

This work begins with a general background to Iraq and the Persian Gulf region from WWI to the time the book was written.

Then there are a set of chronological chapters taking the reader through the buildup (Desert Shield) and the actual war (Desert Storm). The narrative section is followed by three appendices on the Patriot missile system and specifications for American and Iraqi equipment used during the war. The online work concludes with lists of tables, maps, charts and illustrations.

United States Navy in Desert Shield / Desert Storm (Naval History and Heritage Command)

United States Navy in Desert Shield / Desert Storm (Naval History and Heritage Command)

(HTML: https://web.archive.org/web/20141006090324/http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/dstorm/index.html)
(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/25081170)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How were Navy medical personnel deployed to the Gulf as part of Desert Shield?
  • What was involved in carrying out the marine interception campaign?
  • How did the navy treat peace activists who opposed the marine interception campaign?
  • How much and what kinds of food did the carrier John F. Kennedy get prior to their six month deployment to the Gulf?

Description:

The online version of this document is divided into an executive summary, seven sections and a set of appendices. The odd part about the appendices is that a list of appendices from A – P is provided, but text is only available for appendices A and B without any explanation of the missing text. The missing appendices should available in paper copies housed in libraries.

The main sections of this report are:

  • I. Overview (Includes history of Mideast Navy operations since 1945)
  • II. “The Gathering Storm” (Activities during Desert Shield)
  • III. “A Common Goal” (Joint Operations)
  • IV. “Bullets, Bandages and Beans” (Logistics)
  • V. “Thunder and Lightning” (Air & Ground Action)
  • VI. “Lessons Learned and Summary”
  • VII. Epilogue

This work provides a background of the issues and challenges that Navy characters would have had to face during this period. It could also be used as a template to create reports on fictitious wars of the future.

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the I Marine Expeditionary Force in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the I Marine Expeditionary Force in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Col Charles J. Quilter II, USMCR. 1993. 131 pp.

(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/28365610)

(Online Text)

(Page Images)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was the Baghdad Express?
  • What were some examples of so-called “friendly fire” incidents?
  • What was the “Scud Bowl” and why did Saudis find it offensive?
  • What did Marines think of Saudi driving?
  • How did the liberation of Kuwait begin?

Description:

From the preface:

This monograph was written from mid-1991 to February 1992 and consists of events and issues from the perspective of the I MEF commander, Lieutenant General Boomer, who incidentally made the historians’ job infinitely easier by recording all of his staff meetings.

This work appears to be arranged chronologically. It has both an index and subject descriptive chapter headings in the table of contents. The work concludes with three appendices.

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the 2d Marine Division in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the 2d Marine Division in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. LtCol Dennis P. Mroczkowski, USMCR. 1993. 107 pp.
(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/29231691)

(Text)

(Page Images)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was an AAV and what was its purpose?
  • What did the 2nd Division do after the cessation of hostilities?
  • When are night vision goggles useless?

Description:

From the preface,

This history is also limited in scope, partly because of time constraints. It also is not meant to be the definitive work on the 2d Marine Division’s participation in the war in the Persian Gulf area; that is intended by the Director of Marine Corps History and Museums to come later. This volume studies the participation of the division as an entity, and is written from that perspective. The actions of regiments, battalions, companies, small units, or individuals are noted as they are exceptional or contributed significantly to the division’s overall efforts.

This work is mostly arranged chronologically, with information on preparations and intelligence efforts prior to the start of hostilities. The narrative concludes with an epilogue that is part celebratory, part reflective and part summary. It also includes a statement on how many Iraqis surrendered and how much enemy equipment was captured or destroyed.

Between the narrative section and the index are four appendices.Two that will be valuable to writers of stories during this period are Appendix C, List of Acronyms and Abbreviations and Appendix D, Chronology.

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the 1st Marine Division in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the 1st Marine Division in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. LtCol Charles H. Cureton, USMCR. 1993. 154 pp.

(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/631292176)

(Text)

(Page Images)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What happened at the Kuwait International Airport during the war?
  • How did the 1st Marine Division interact with their British allies?
  • How many M220A4 TOW II Missile Launchers were available to the 1st Division during the Persian Gulf War?

Description:

From the foreward:

The material in this monograph is based on personal observation, unit command chronologies 1 August 1990 – 30 April 1991 (located in the Archives Section, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C. Navy Yard), unit combat operations center journals, situation reports, and interviews.

This work is arranged chronologically, with most of the detail reserved for the actual four day war itself. Background material is provided, as is an index. Between the narrative section and the index are four appendices. The two likeliest to be important to writers of stories set in this period are Appendix B, Major Weapons Systems and Appendix D, Uniforms in the 1st Marine Division.

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: Anthology and Annotated Bibliography

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: Anthology and Annotated Bibliography. Maj Charles D. Melson, USMC (Ret), Evelyn A. Englander and Capt David A. Dawson, USMC. 1992. 258 pp.

(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/27257737)
(PDF)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was the state and thinking of the Marine Corps the day before Iraq invaded Kuwait?
  • What was involved in getting US forces supplied and sent to the Middle East?
  • What joint training was done with Saudi Forces prior to the opening of Desert Storm?
  • How did some US servicemembers view their service in Kuwait and Iraq?

Description:

From the foreward:

The 26 entries comprising this anthology provide a general overview of Marine involvement in the Persian, Gulf conflict. The first five focus on the Marine Corps’ contribution to the American. effort to defend Saudi’ Arabia–Operation Desert Shield. The second group concentrates on, the Marine Corps’ role in the liberation of Kuwait–Operation Desert Storm. Within these two sections, the entries have been, organized to progress from the highest level of organization, the Marine Expeditionary’ Force, to the lowest, the platoon, squad,.and. individual Marine. The last three entries deal with the aftermath of the war, and issues raised during the war. Al:so included is. an appendix consisting of an annotated bibliography of articles that appeared’ in the U.S.. Naval Institute Proceedings, Marine Corps Gazette, and Naval War College Review, from October 1990 to December 19.91. While excellent articles pertaining to, the Persian Gulf have been published: in many other periodicals, due to the limitations of time and resources the History and Museums. Division confined its attention to the’ three aforementioned, publications. Finally, two additional appendices, one showing the’ task organization of I Marine Expeditionary Force in February 1991 and another giving a chronology of significant events. Involving Marines in the. Persian Gulf from August 1990: to June’ 1991, have been included.

There are a number of maps and photos in the anthology, though no finding aid is offered and no general index is available. The Table of Contents is descriptive enough for a writer to locate an article on a subject of interest. Most of the articles in the anthology section are under copyright protection. The writer should still find them useful in obtaining background on the Persian Gulf War.

The bibliography begins on page 250 of the PDF file (p. 239 in paper). The entries are alphabetical by author with no effort at a subject organization. Most entries are annotated with a single sentence, but some entries have up to a full paragraph.

Timeline for Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Department of Defense)

Timeline for Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Department of Defense) – http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/timeline/index.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What sort of medical record keeping did the US military do before and after the Persian Gulf War?
  • Where can I find an account of incidents involving bioweapons detection by US allies?
  • When was awarding of the National Defense Service Medal authorized for US forces?
  • How were SCUD missiles used by Iraq during the Persian Gulf War and what payloads did they carry?

Description:

A timeline of the major events of the Persian Gulf War with full text links to reports and other documents created during and after the conflict. Aside from providing a useful scaffold of events for your stories, the linked reports may help in giving characters physical and psychological complications.

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