The Center for Military History (CMH) is the office of the Department of the Army responsible for "the appropriate use of history throughout the U.S. Army." While mainly focused toward the education of military personnel, the Center provides much material of interest to a wider audience.
The site contains an extensive range of material. Changing exhibits are prominently featured and include "Native Americans in the U.S. Army," "Remembering Desert Shield/Desert Storm 10 Years Later," and "Remembering the Korean War." Particularly noteworthy at the time of this review is a strong bibliography on Afghanistan. Primary and secondary resources include online publications, other Web sites, and print materials covering general history, the Taliban, Islam, and the Soviet-Afghan War, as well as current analysis. The page is being updated frequently, and while displaying a somewhat conservative bent, should prove valuable to people seeking a better understanding of the current situation.
Other resources of interest include a chronologically arranged list of Medal of Honor recipients from all services, with additional information on the history of the medal and a list of Black WWII recipients. The FAQ page should be of interest to reference librarians who are helping patrons locate service records or other Army information. The "Online Bookshelf" contains a growing number of electronic publications, including unit histories and several of the famous "green books" on World War II. An "Artwork and Images" section offers digitized combat art and photographs, and is particularly strong in WWII, Korea, and the Gulf War. Much of this material has not been well publicized, and is a welcome addition to available resources.
Especially noteworthy for students of history are the "CMH How to Guides," covering oral history techniques and the preparation of annual unit histories. Included in this section is an outdated guide to conducting military history research on the Internet. The remainder of the site is current and maintained by historians and CMH personnel.
The site is attractively designed, but information can be hard to locate due to the lack of a site map or search engine. It will be of value to anyone interested in U.S. history, or American military operations.
Mark A. Stoffan
University of North Carolina at Asheville