The Art of War: Collecting Government Illustrated Booklets and Publications

Today’s post will be a little different than most of my typical photographically-centered material. Various government offices and departments printed these for a multitude of reasons.  Some were printed by the Red Cross, others were aimed at health and hygiene, some were distributed by the Stars and Stripes to help wounded soldiers feel a bond with their Division or branch of the Army, while others were directed towards tourism and cultural sensitivity.  All the scans in today’s post are from my collection and have been picked up over the years for a few dollars each.  Some are very common, while others are scarce.  The most popular amongst collectors are the divisional histories printed and put out by the Stars and Stripes.  Some can fetch upwards of $100 US.

Many of the artists and writers for these publications are unknown and lost to history.  In a few cases I’ve been able to track down the names of the original illustrators.  Here are a few that I’ve researched for this website:


And here are some illustrated booklets which were printed in order to direct US service members stationed or visiting foreign countries:


A Pocket Guide to Luxembourg “Do you know Luxembourg?”


Pocket Guide to the Dutch East Indies


Welcome to Australia


How to See Paris “For the Soldiers of the Allied Armies”


Pocket Guide to the Cities of the Netherlands


Pocket Guide to Paris and Cities of Northern France


Pocket Guide to Egypt


Pocket Guide to France


A Short Guide to Iraq


Pocket Guide to Australia


And here’s an obscure language guide specifically printed for US soldiers, marines and airmen in Iceland.


TM 30-313 Language Guide to Icelandic


This one was given out by Coca-Cola as a notebook and calendar:


WWII Coca-Cola Notebook


These two booklets were aimed at keeping sailors from catching venereal diseases while away on shore leave:


Shore Convoy for Merchant Seamen



Hull Down – Guide to Venereal Diseases in Japan


This rare booklet was a pro-socialist publication”


Victory Through Unionism


Here are some example of divisional histories put out at the end of the war:


Terrify and Destroy – Story of the 10th Armored Division



The 45th Division



“Right to be Proud” – 65th Division Unit History


And these were focused on specific service branches:



American Red Cross Nurses



The Special Service Division



Coastal Artillery Corps – “We Keep ’em Falling!”


Combat Engineers

Combat Engineers


And some are tough to categorize:

Field Fortifications Guide

Field Fortifications Guide



Australian Booklet


Ellington Field

Ellington Field


How to Hatch a Nest Egg – War Department Pamphlet No. 21-19


29 Gripes About the Filipinos

29 Gripes About the Filipinos

Digitized 10th Mountain Division Unit History: Mountaineers

I’m starting a new thread here on PortraitsofWar in which I plan to post scanned versions of popular divisional, regimental, and company histories.  I have access to 98% of all published WWI and WWII unit histories and can field most requests given adequate time.  I’m starting with one of my favorite WWII units, the 10th Mountain Division.  I personally own a copy of this history, but I’m posting a link to the Bangor (Maine) Digital Commons page with a PDF download of the book available.  Enjoy!


Here’s the details on the book (from the Bangor Library website listed below):



It was Washington, D.C., July 15, 1943. At the War Department it was noted that a new division was being ac­tivated as of that date – the 10th Light Division. Out in Colorado the usual afternoon cloudburst broke loose as the journal clerk recorded the fact that the division had been officially activated. A month later there was a formal oc­casion; Pando, Colorado witnessed the parade and cere­monies honoring the birth of the Tenth. Major General Lloyd E. Jones reviewed the troops.

 The cover art was done by Jacques Parker, a MG squad leader and artist in C Co., 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment.  To hear an audio recording of Mr. Parker recorded in Telluride, CO in 2009 check out this site:
Jacques Parker Photo By: Clint Viebrock

Jacques Parker
Photo By: Clint Viebrock

Mountaineers Cover Art

Mountaineers Cover Art

To download a PDF copy of this unit history, please click here

Publication Date



United States Army Mountain Division 10th World War 1939-1945 Regimental histories United States 10th Division World War, 1939-1945 Campaigns Italy


Military History