Skip to Main Content

United States Army Technical Manuals: A Resource Guide and Inventory

This inventory focuses on War Department and Department of the Army Technical Manuals that were primarily received into the Library of Congress general collections from the 1940s to the 1970s, along with links to digitized versions of selected materials.


Wanted! 500 bakers for the U.S. Army, (also 100 cooks). 1917. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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

For those seeking information about the Library's Army Field Manual (FM) collection, please consult the Science Section's U.S. Army Field Manual (FM) Resource Guide and Inventory.

Scope of this Guide

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."