Brian Horowitz, Science Reference Section intern and fellow, Science, Technology and Business Division
Ashley Cuffia, Reference & Research Specialist, Science, Technology and Business Division
Sean Bryant, Reference & Research Specialist, Science, Technology and Business Division
Note: This guide is updated from the original Science Reference Guide: United States War Department/Department of the Army Technical Manual Inventory series.
Last Updated: Mar. 16, 2023
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U.S. Army Technical Manuals, commonly known as 'Army manuals,' are part of a series of official U.S. military manual publications intended to be instructive and informative for all branches of the military.
Of interest to military historians, curators, military enthusiasts, re-enactors and collectors, army manuals can be used to trace the evolution of the Army's doctrine, organizational structure, equipment, uniforms, and weapons. They are also helpful in terms of the care, maintenance and preservation of military artifacts.
Army manuals include publications on historic U. S. military vehicles, including military motorcycles, jeeps, military trucks, scout cars, tanks, amphibians, and aircraft. Subjects of the manuals also include radio, cooking, language dictionaries and phrase books.
Army manuals also included a number of so-called "enemy" manuals. These are manuals, which are official U.S. Army publications concerning enemy equipment or forces. The letter E in the manual number indicates that a particular manual is an enemy manual. For example, Technical Manual TM E9-803 on the German Volkswagen appears just after Technical Manual TM 9-803 on the Jeep. A number of enemy manuals about foreign forces are included, like TM E30-420 Handbook of the Italian Military Forces.
The publication of enemy manuals was authorized by Section II. Processing of Captured Material for Intelligence Purposes of War Department Training Circular 81, 6 November 1942 External
Because the majority of the Library's U.S. Army Technical Manuals do not generally have individual bibliographic records it has been difficult in the past for the researcher interested in locating these titles to identify what the Library of Congress has available. This guide attempts to reveal the depth and breadth of the collection available to the researcher. This inventory focuses on those War Department and Department of the Army Technical Manuals that were primarily received into the general collections from the 1940's to the 1970's. (In the 1970's the Library of Congress ceased receipt of this material.) A little over 300 titles were fully cataloged; individual volumes were received as serials with the TM number issued as the volume number, under the single Library of Congress classification U408.3.A13.
In this guide we have not attempted to provide a comprehensive list of those items that can be easily found in the catalog under their title, however this inventory does attempt to provide a sampling of items that were classed separately or were received as reprints. You can find a selection of these titles in the section "Items with Individual Catalog Records."