Who was the greatest military strategist in history?

Security Policy and Military Strategy
of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s

Main content

Tools and institutions for researching sources and literature in the USA and Germany

compiled by
Thomas Christoph Marx

To person:

Dr. phil. Thomas Christoph Marx, MA, born 1974, doctorate in February 2004 at the Department of History and Cultural Studies at the Philipps University of Marburg, studied Modern and Contemporary History, Scientific Politics, and Economic and Social History at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg im Breisgau, at the University of Basel and at the Europa-Institut in Basel with a focus on German-American relations, US history and foreign and security policy. The dissertation with the title Between Sword and Shield The US armed forces in Germany 1953 to 1963 and the implementation of the US military strategy was written by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Krieger, Philipps University of Marburg.

This text is also available as a quotable PDF version with page numbers.

This compilation lists resources and institutions with the associated websites and the addresses for contacting us by post or email, which are important for dealing with the topic of security policy and military strategy in the USA in the fifties and sixties:

  1. Federal Archives: Military Archives
  2. Cold War International History Project (CWIHP)
  3. Conferences on Modern American Presidents
  4. Dwight D. Eisenhower Library (DDEL)
  5. Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)
  6. German Historical Institute (GHI)
  7. Government Printing Office (GPO)
  8. John F. Kennedy Library (JFKL)
  9. Library of Congress (LOC)
  10. National Archives (NA)
  11. National Defense University (NDU)
  12. National Security Archives (NSA)
  13. National Security Council (NSC)
  14. Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC)
  15. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  16. Nuclear History Program (NHP)
  17. Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Joint History Office
  18. Office of the Secretary of Defense: Historical Office
  19. United States Air Force: Air University and Air Fore Historical Research Agency (AFHRA)
  20. United States Air Force: Center for Air Force History
  21. United States Air Force: US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)
  22. United States Army: Center of Military History, United States Army (CMH)
  23. United States Army: Department of the Army (DA)
  24. United States Army: Military History Institute (MHI)
  25. United States Army: US Army Europe (USAREUR)
  26. United States Army: US European Command (EUCOM)

The aim of this compilation is to point out the numerous possibilities that are available for research on the US armed forces in Germany in the USA and in Germany. The resources of the Internet are a focus here. The aids listed here are the result of research in the course of a doctoral project on this topic.

The Doing Cold War History: A Practical Guide published by Marc Trachtenberg on the Internet provided the impetus for this compilation and is recommended as an indispensable reading material for getting started. In particular, the chapters on literature research and primary sources are of general use and of particular interest. The Trachtenberg Guide can be found online at URL:


Three of the most important links in connection with this guide should be listed:

A list of the volumes of the History of the JCS (1945-1976), which not only lists those already published and available at the Government Printing Office, but also those that have already been completed but still classified, is available online at URL:


A list of around 1000 declassified documents from the Department of Defense (List of Documents Released by the Defense Department in Response to Freedom of Information Act Requests and available in the DOD FOIA Office as of May 98) is available online at URL:


The NSC Summeries of Discussion: The Eisenhower Period can be found online at URL:


In the meantime, a reference guide published by the DHI in Washington, DC on the US military presence in Germany has been published:

SCHARNHOLZ, Theodor (Ed.), The American Military Presence and Civil-Military Relations in Germany (= A Guide to Sources in American and German Archives, Reference Guide # 16), German Historical Institute, Washington, DC 2002 (see in particular Part I, pp. 7-20).

For inquiries to American military facilities, the following information and general recommendations can be formulated from the experience that the author himself has made:

It is advisable to wait for a first answer after the first cover letter with the processing number then given, as otherwise no reference can be made to the correspondence already made in further correspondence.

Otherwise, every further letter will be treated as a new receipt. In view of the fact that the first answer can often be a long time coming, the patient's patience is severely tested and the temptation to ask prematurely becomes overwhelming.

If possible, you should try to contact us by email right from the start. The email usually reaches the responsible person directly, saves postage and speeds up both processing and postage (this usually also goes automatically via the USA for US military stations in Germany).

The more precisely a request is formulated and the more precise the information on the desired inventory or sources, the greater the chances of success that it will be processed quickly and given a specific answer. Consequently, it is always worthwhile to first exhaust the resources of the Internet.

This applies in particular to requests for clearance (declassification) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or on the basis of the Mandatory Request (MR).

A lot of time should be taken into account for these declassification applications (13 years), so that this option is usually ruled out for a dissertation project.

A sample form for a FOIA application can be found online at URL:


If an application is rejected, there is the possibility of requesting a re-examination of the application with a kind of objection (appeal). A sample form for such an objection can also be found online at URL:


Approval requests for holdings of a Presidential Library require a Mandatory Request Form, which can be found online at URL:


In cooperation with the US Information Service, the Federal Foreign Office has published a German-English address book:

Directory of German-American Resources / Address Book of German-American Cooperation, 6th edition, Bonn 1996.

One of the most important online catalogs, with which libraries in Europe and the USA can be searched in a very short time, is the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog (KVK), which cannot be strongly recommended online at URL:


Via the archive school in Marburg an der Lahn, archives' websites can be accessed directly via a link catalog sorted by country. The website of the Archive School Marburg can be reached online at URL:


The institutions and resources, the description of the respective holdings and the contact addresses now follow in alphabetical order:

1. Federal Archives: Military Archives

The military archive in Freiburg could be an important point of contact, especially for NATO holdings, and can be reached online at URL:


Contact address:
Federal Archives-Military Archives
Post office box
79024 Freiburg im Breisgau
Email: [email protected]
Visitor address:
Wiesenthalstrasse 10
79115 Freiburg im Breisgau

2. Cold War International History Project (CWIHP)

The Cold War International History Project was set up in 1991 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has set itself the primary goal of evaluating the sources of the former communist bloc that are becoming available in order to broaden the study of the Cold War to include the perspective of the communist opponent of the West. The CWIHP has been publishing a bulletin since 1992.

The best way to reach the CWIHP is via its website, which offers a wealth of links in addition to a virtual archive and the CWIHP publications (also for download). The CWIHP Document Library in particular is a valuable source of information. Online at URL:


Contact address:
Cold War International History Project
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300, Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-3027, USA

3. Conferences on Modern American Presidents

The Conferences on Modern American Presidents are usually organized by HOFSTRA University in New York with the corresponding Presidential Libraries and deal with different topics and policy areas of an administration, the results of which are published. These conferences represent a very early historical and political science preoccupation with the respective presidencies.

Contact address:
HOFSTRA University
Conference on Modern American Presidents
Conference Director
Department of Politcal Science
Hemstead, Long Island, New York 11550-1090, USA

4. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library (DDEL), Abilene / Kansas

The Eisenhower Library is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) Presidential Libraries. The Eisenhower Library can be reached on the Internet on its homepage at URL:


Contact address:
Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
200, SE 4th Street
Abilene / Kansas 67410-2900, USA
Tel 001 (785) 263-4751
Fax 001 (785) 263-4218
Email: [email protected]

Eisenhower researchers have their own researcher apartment in Abilene / Kansas. Further information can be obtained from the library. A finding aid for the holdings, which is arranged alphabetically and also lists the people involved in the Oral History Transcript program, is available online at URL:


Current publications will be sent free of charge on request:

Historical Materials in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library (current catalog).

Dwight D. Eisenhower. A Select Bibliography of Periodical and Dissertation Literature, DDEL, Abilene / Kansas 1981.

The Eisenhower World Affairs Institute awards grants for research stays in Abilene as part of the Abilene Travel Grants Program.

Contact address:
Eisenhower World Affairs Institute
1620, Eye Street, N.W., Suite 703
Washington, DC
United States

5. Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)

A list of all previously published FRUS volumes with links to the volumes available online, as well as price information and ordering can be accessed online at URL:


The start page of the Office of the Historian of the State Department is also a valuable help (here you will find not only directories of the current administrations, but also of the employees of past administrations), which can be reached online at URL:


6. German Historical Institute (GHI)

The German Historical Institute in Washington, DC (GHI) has published an archive guide on American sources in German archives:

MAUCH, Christoph / REUTHER, Thomas (Eds.), Americana in German Archives: A Guide to Primary Sources Concerning the History of the United States and Canada (= Reference Guide No. 12), GHI, Washington, DC 2001.

A list of the publications, events and projects issued by the DHI Washington, DC is available online on the institute's homepage at URL:


In particular, the bulletin and the library (especially because of the large number of periodicals) are helpful.

Contact address:
German Historical Institute
German Historical Institute
1607, New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009, USA
Email: [email protected]

7. Government Printing Office (GPO)

For official publications of the US administration (History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Histories of the individual departments and the most important offices, etc.) the Government Printing Office (GPO) in Washington, DC is the crucial point of contact. The GPO homepage can be reached online at URL:


Orders at the GPO can also be submitted online to the Superintendent of Documents. The catalog of available publications and the order form are available online at URL:


or url:


The following catalogs are available in printed form, opening up the Subject Bibliographies and the more than 10,000 publications of the GPO:

US Government Information. Publications, Periodicals, Electronic Products: New and Popular Titles. Catalog, Government Printing Office.

Subject Bibliography Index. A Guide to US Government Information, Government Printing Office.

Contact address:
Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburg, PA 15250-7954, USA
Superintendent of Documents
US Government Printing Office
732, North Capitol Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20402-0003, USA

8. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library (JFKL), Columbia Point, Boston / Massachusetts

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Boston / Massachussetts and numerous Finding Aids can be found on the Internet at URL:


It is possible to order the printed and current catalog of the collections of the Kennedy Library via the website, which will be sent free of charge:

Historical Materials in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, compiled and edited by Ronald E. Whealan, Boston / Massachussetts 2000.

Contact address:
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston / Massachusetts 02125-3398, USA
Tel 001 (617) 514-1600
Fax 001 (617) 514-1652
Email: [email protected]

In addition, almost all National Security Action Memoranda are available at the URL:


The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation awards grants for work stays in Boston with the Kennedy Library Research Grant. Application documents can be requested from

Contact address:
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation
Columbia Point
Boston / Massachusetts 02125-3398, USA
Email: [email protected]

9th Library of Congress (LOC), Washington, DC

Research in the Library of Congress (LOC) is a must in any case. The Library of Congress can be found online on its website at URL:


Contact address:
Library of Congress
101, Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20540
United States
Tel 001 (202) 707-5522
Fax 001 (202) 707-1389

Almost all stocks can be browsed online (even if the online catalog on site with appropriate specialist advice stands out!) At URL:


For research into military history and security policy, the so-called ALCOVE 9 is an indispensable bibliographical tool: It contains systematic specialist bibliographies, online Finding Aids and links to numerous other institutions and libraries. ALCOVE 9 can be found online at URL:


There is also a reference to the Military Reference Desk, one of the most extensive collections of material on the subject of the US military and military history, which can also be accessed directly online at URL:


The US Army Europe's Stars & Stripes magazine is completely available in the Library of Congress. There is a finding aid for the inventory that can be accessed online:

SWEENEY, Mark (Comp.), Library of Congress Holdings of the Stars and Stripes: Newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe, the Mediteranean, and North Africa, 1942-present, (Serial & Government Publications Division, Library of Congress), 1994, online at URL:


The minutes of the meetings of the congress committees of both houses can be easily accessed through a separate bibliography up to 1974:

BURT, Richard (Ed.), Congressional Hearings on American Defense Policy. An annotated Bibliography, Lawrence 1974.

This material is very difficult to use because of its incredible abundance. Burt's bibliography allows you to restrict your search to the names of the people heard before the committees.

The Declassified Document Reference System (DDRS) microfiches are available in the Library of Congress.The DDRS homepage provides an overview online at URL:


10. National Archives (NA), Washington, DC

The National Archives should be the natural starting point for any source work. An overview of the stocks can be obtained very well on the Internet. Above all, a working visit can be prepared very well with the information available on the Internet. This preparation saves valuable time on site.

The National Archives have two locations. Basically, the source inventory is decisive for which Record Center is relevant for your own work. A free hourly shuttle bus is available for transportation from NA I to the Record Center in Maryland.

Contact addresses:
National Archives I.
700, Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20408
and National Archives II
National Archives at College Park
8601, Adelphi Road
College Park / Maryland 20740-6001

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has published numerous information brochures on the holdings and their use, which can be requested free of charge by post from the addresses listed above:

Accomodations Guide for Researchers and Visitors to the National Archives at College Park / Maryland.

Military Service Records in the National Archives of the US, NARA Washington, DC, General Information Leaflet # 7.

Guide: State Department Records in the National Archives.

Most of the holdings of the Modern Records Branch are located in NA II, including the Modern Military Records Unit in room 2000. There is a three-volume catalog of key words for the holdings, with the help of which the most important Record Groups (RG) can be opened up in a first step without having to have a profound knowledge of the institutional structure of the bodies relevant to a topic. These volumes can also be viewed in the Library of Congress:

Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 3 Vols., Washington, DC, GPO 1995 (Vols. 1 & 2: Record Group Descriptions; Vol. 3: Index to Vols. 1 & 2).

On the home page of the National Archive there are numerous useful links, including those to the Presidential Libraries, online at URL:


Further general information can be found online at URL:


The Archival Research Catalog is available online at URL:


The Microfilm Publications Catalog can be found online at URL:


An alphabetical search for Executive Agency Record Groups is possible under URL:


11. National Defense University (NDU)

The Fort Lesley J. McNair complex in Washington, DC houses the National Defense University (NDU), the National War College, and the US Army's Center of Military History (CMH). A useful resource is the Military Education and Research Library Network (MERLN), which as a collection of links brings together numerous valuable links to libraries online at URL:


A special security clearance is required to use the library, which must be requested from the military attaché of the German Embassy in Washington, DC. Since this approval is clarified with the Foreign Liaison Office of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Pentagon, the application should be made at least four (better six) weeks in advance. When submitting the application, make sure that the NDU library is actually entered in the form.

The holdings include a Special Collections Department, the Maxwell D. Taylor Papers and numerous personal papers from the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR).

The National Defense University Library catalog can be viewed online at URL:


12. National Security Archives (NSA), George Washington University, Washington, DC

The National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington, DC is a government-independent institute that collects previously classified and FOIA-cleared documents primarily on the Cold War and nuclear issues. Since the Declassified Document Reference System (DDRS) is used as the basis, there are not only overlaps, but occasionally a duplication.

The DDRS is available on microfiche in the Library of Congress. Finding aids, bibliographies and collections of documents that can be accessed online, as well as the newly declassified section of the NSA are accessible online at URL:


Contact address:
The National Security Archive
Gelman Library, Suite 701
2130 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States
Tel 001 (202) 994-7000
Fax 001 (202) 994-7005
Email: [email protected]

13. National Security Council, The White House (NSC)

Numerous documents on national security policy can be found on the website of the National Security Council (NSC) and many are available for download. Further left refer to research possibilities for different administrations of the post-war period. Can be found online at URL:


14th Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC)

On the website of the Natural Resources Defense Council there is an Archive of Nuclear Data, which has compiled comparative tables of American and Soviet nuclear capacities for the time of the Cold War, online at URL:


There is also a lot of information on nuclear weapons and programs online at URL:


15. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

With regard to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), two different archives are important. On the one hand the SHAPE archive in Mons / Belgium and on the other hand the NATO archive in Brussels.

The SHAPE archive contains all SHAPE files including the plans and the SACEUR files. These holdings are highly classified and very difficult to access.

Contact address:
Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)
Chief, Historical Office
Command Group
B-7010 SHAPE / Mons, Belgium

Things are different with regard to the NATO archive in Brussels, which was set up in 1999 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Alliance. The files of the Military Committee (MC), the Standing Group (SG) and the North Atlantic Council (NAC), as well as the Defense Committee (DC) and the Military Representatives Committee (MRC) are located here. Almost all of the holdings were released by 1962 and can be viewed on site.

Contact address:
NATO Archives
B-1110 Brussels
Email: [email protected]

You can get a good overview on the very good website of the NATO archive online at URL:


The communiqués of the Council of Ministers are completely available for download. A library is also available online in which basic texts, fact sheets, a press archive, the NATO review, the NATO manual and numerous speeches are available. The following collection of security policy documents is particularly recommended:

NATO Strategy Documents 1949-1969, edited by Dr. Gregory W. Pedlow, Chief, Historical Office, SHAPE, in collaboration with NATO International Staff Central Archives, online at URL:


16th Nuclear History Program (NHP)

The Nuclear History Program has published a very helpful bibliography of archives and records in the United States related to nuclear weapons:

WAMPLER, Robert A., Nuclear Weapons and the Atlantic Alliance. A Guide to US Sources, Nuclear History Program (= Center for International Security Studies at Maryland / CISSM Occasional Paper, College Park / Md. 1989.

17. Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Joint History Office

A main task of the Historical Office is the official historiography of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Chairman of the JCS. In this capacity, the Historical Office is the editor of the History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff series. The employees have in-depth knowledge and access to the sources. Under certain circumstances, tips for searching for files can be obtained here.

Contact address:
Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint History Office
Director of Joint History
JCS / JHO The Pentagon, Room 1B707
Washington, DC 20318-9999

18. Office of the Secretary of Defense: Historical Office

A main task of the Historical Office is the official historiography of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this function, the Historical Office is the editor of the History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense series. The employees have in-depth knowledge and access to the sources. Under certain circumstances, tips for searching for files can be obtained here.

Contact address:
Office of the Secretary of Defense
OSD Historical Office
Suite 5000, Rosslyn Plaza North
1777 Kent Street
Arlington, Virginia 22209-2100

The Historical Office can also be used as a point of contact when looking for organizational charts, directives and semi-annual reports from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the Armed Forces. However, since most government printed matter is either sent through Congress or is published directly at the Government Printing Office, a search in the Library of Congress is usually more promising.

19. United States Air Force: Air University and Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama

The files of the Air Force and thus also those of USAFE are collected centrally at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery / Alabama in the Air University and are available and can be ordered on microfilm. The Air University of the Air Force can be reached online via its homepage, on which numerous other links to the Air Force can be found under URL:


The Air University Library catalog can be accessed online at URL:


The Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), which is also responsible for processing microfilm orders (US $ 30.00 per microfilm) and offers many links on its site, can be found online at URL:


Contact address:
Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA)
600, Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB
Alabama 36112-6424, USA

20. United States Air Force: Center for Air Force History, Washington, DC

For information regarding files of the US Air Force and the Department of the Air Force, the Center for Air Force History at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC can also be contacted.

Contact address:
Air Force History Support Office
200, McChord Street, Box 94
Bolling Air Force Base
Washington, DC 20332-1111, USA

Finally, for Air Force files, the Air Force Records Officer of the Department of the Air Force can be contacted:

Contact address:
Air Force Records Officer
Department of the Air Force (AFCIC)
1250, Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1250, USA

21. United States Air Force: US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)

The US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) with its headquarters in Ramstein can be reached online at URL:


The Historical Office and the Command Historian can also be reached in Ramstein.

Contact address:
HQ USAFE / HO [APO AE 09094-5055]
Unit 3050, box 55
Building 201, airfield
66877 Ramstein
Email: [email protected]

The USAFE FOIA officer responsible for the release of classified documents can be reached on site at:

Contact address:
Building 406, room 316
66877 Ramstein
Email: [email protected]

22. United States Army: Center of Military History (CMH)

For the United States Army, Center of Military History (CMH), Washington, DC, a security clearance is required, which must be applied for via the military attaché of the German Embassy in Washington, DC (4 weeks processing time).

The CMH is responsible for the official historiography of the US Army under the Chief of Military History. The CMH has its own Force Structure and Unit History Branch. A comprehensive catalog of publications can be requested from the CMH:

Publications of the US Army Center of Military History 2000-2001, compiled by Linda F. Holbert and LaJuan R. Watson, Washington, DC, 2000.

Documents can also be downloaded online from the CMH homepage at URL:


Contact address:
Historical Resources Branch
103, Third Ave.
Fort McNair, Washington, DC 20319-5058, USA
Email: [email protected]
Building 35
102, Fourth Avenue
Fort Lesley J. McNair
Washington, DC

23. United States Army: Department of the Army

The Washington, DC offices typically pass inquiries to local subordinates. Since these have already been listed and it is possible to contact them directly, an inquiry in Washington, DC is in most cases a time-consuming detour. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness, two other departments of the Department of the Army are listed, which are primarily responsible for the release of files:

Contact address:
Department of the Army
FOIA and Privacy Acts Office
7798, Cissna Road, Suite 205
Springfield / Virginia 22153-3166

The US Army FOIA and Privacy Division is responsible for Official Operational Records:

Contact address:
US Army FOIA and Privacy Division
Hoffman Building I, Room 1146
2461, Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria / Virginia 22331-0301

The ABC of the US Army is very useful online at URL:


24. United States Army: Military History Institute (USMHI), Carlisle Barracks, PA

The United States Military History Institute (USMHI) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania has the largest collection of materials on the military history of the US Army. One of the main focuses of the MHI is the US Civil War; However, if you are looking for materials from the Cold War era, you will not miss out. The comprehensive collection of military journals (especially those of the armed forces) and the collection of Army Unit Histories of the 20th century are particularly valuable.

Also to be mentioned are the collection of the bequests of individual army commanders (after 1940) and the Oral History Program, which makes the interviews conducted with former army leaders accessible as transcripts, as well as the extensive collection of technical and field manuals and maneuver reports.

The working conditions are excellent: The user has the opportunity to rummage through the magazine area himself, so that there is a chance of some chance finds on the shelf that could not have been made accessible by bibliographing on the computer catalog. The MHI is also home to the Omar N. Bradley Museum. The MHI can be reached online at URL:


The MHI has put a chronological list of the most important holdings in a digital library on the Internet, sorted by subject area, at URL: