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A Military Encyclopedia
Based on Operations in the Italian Campaigns,
This book was prepared at the end of the World War II hostilities by the 15th Army Group, the Allied command responsible for combat forces in Italy. Its major subordinate units were the American Fifth Army and the British Eighth Army. The work is less than complete in that it was written primarily for and about the American forces. This is understandable: the commander at that time was American General Mark W Clark. But had it been written six months earlier, when its commander was British Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander, we might then have learned more about the UK formations, organization, and operations.
My comment, however, must not be taken as lessening the value here. The work is encyclopedic in nature and presentation. Its chief value, aside from being a transcription of a rare book, lies in bringing together insights and information not seen elsewhere nor organized as well.
There are fourteen chapters and an introduction section; each part is now available here as a downloadable PDF file:
1. Personnel (36K, pp. 3-27)
2. Intelligence (100K, pp. 31-104)
3. Operations and Training (84K, pp. 107-166)
4. Infantry (36K, pp. 169-192)
5. Artillery (76K, pp. 195-249)
6. Signals (56K, pp. 253-289)
7. Engineer (76K, pp. 293-342)
8. Supply (24K, pp. 345-360)
9. Ordnance (68K, pp. 363-411)
10. Quartermaster (60K, pp. 415-454)
11. Transportation (64K, pp. 457-505)
12. Medical (24K, pp. 509-523)
13. Chemical Warfare (12K, pp. 527-532)
14. Allied Military Government (68K, pp. 535-581).
A number of images in "A Military Encyclopedia ..." have also been scanned, but should have further processing in order to be inserted into the PDF files. You may, meanwhile, view them here. Each image is presented in a separate free-standing webpage.
Signature, p. xxii
Chapter 2. Intelligence
Organization Chart, p. 84
Chapter 6. Signals
Drawing, p. 268
Drawing, p. 269
Chapter 8. Supply
Table, p. 346
Map, p. 348
Map, p. 349
Chapter 9. Ordnance
Organization Chart, p. 364
Table, p. 376
Form Heading, p. 387
Form Heading, p. 388
Form Heading, p. 389
Form Heading, p. 400
Form Heading, p. 403
Chapter 10. Quartermaster
Organization Chart, p. 419
Chapter 11. Transportation
Organization Chart, p. 459
Organization Chart, p. 460
Map, p. 501
"A Military Encyclopedia ..." is a public domain document, was printed in very limited quantity in Italy, and is only rarely available from book dealers. It can be borrowed through the national interlibrary loan system from institutions which hold copies. Cite it as "A Military Encyclopedia Based on Operations in the Italian Campaigns, 1943-1945", published in 1945 by the 15th Army Group.
The document as presented here was - within the limits of my vision, alertness, and stamina - an accurate rendering of the original; but it is not a "true copy". Occasional misspellings and typographic errors in the original have been corrected without comment. Stylistic changes have been made for online presentation. Abbreviation and acronym expansions, and addition or insertion of clearly correctable or dropped words appear in [square brackets].
- Patrick Skelly, for Miltitary History Network
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