Sunday, November 21, 2010

A treasure trove for military history enthusiasts

Online friend Mike B. e-mailed me a link to Lone Sentry, a Web site dealing with photographs, documents and research on World War II. The site contains online versions of the wartime 'Intelligence Bulletin' and 'Tactical and Technical Trends'. They're described as follows:

Printed by the Military Intelligence Service throughout WWII, the Intelligence Bulletin was designed to inform officers and enlisted men of the latest enemy tactics and weapons. For the historian and collector, the bulletins offer a rare view into the Allied knowledge of the Axis forces.

"Tactical and Technical Trends" was published by the U.S. Military Intelligence Service in WWII from June 1942 to June 1945. Publication was initially biweekly, and later monthly. "Tactical and Technical Trends" covered much of the same material as the Intelligence Bulletin, although generally more in-depth. The same articles frequently appeared in both publications.

I've taken a brief look (so far) at both sets of documents, and they're quite fascinating. Many of them aren't altogether accurate, of course: they represent what was known at the time, whereas we're reading them with the benefit of hindsight and a great deal of post-war fact-checking. However, that's not the point. They contain intelligence information in the form in which it was disseminated to our fighting men, who depended on it to plan and fight, and stay alive in combat. From that perspective, the documents shed a whole new light on what our military leaders were facing, and how they understood the challenges confronting them. A few examples:

Fascinating reading for those interested in military history, and highly recommended reading. A grateful tip o' the hat to Mike B. for circulating the link.