Research Finds: World War II War Department Technical Manuals

TM 1-410 Airplane Structures (1940), Examples of Airplane Structures
TM 1-410 Airplane Structures (1940), Examples of Airplane Structures

Doing research often can feel frustrating, especially when you know something exists and you can’t seem to track down a copy of the item. I was researching a piece of military equipment and wanted to find its World War II technical manual.

For those who don’t know, the US Military technical manuals (TMs) are essentially “instructional manuals” for all kinds of military equipment, processes, and more. Many military inventions made their premiere during World War II and so the WWII technical manual can provide a great resource into the infancy of certain technologies.

I knew the World War II technical manuals existed somewhere… the Library of Congress has a great list of them available on their website, but no digital copies. However, I finally discovered them on the Hathi Trust Digital Library! It may be difficult to search, but if you know what specific TM number you are looking for, this website is an amazing resource.

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