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Pocket Guides

The US War Department produced an extensive collection of pocket guides to the many places a soldier might be stationed, covering history, local customs, basic phrases, and other things that would help the soldier get along, or at least avoid causing an international incident. Examples can often be found on eBay for a few dollars, but if you're not interested in starting a collection (or bidding against the Hero Files webmaster) the best resource is the Internet Archive, which has scans of a number of them. The scans are of varying quality, and the un-proofread OCR'd versions (text, epub, etc.) range from worthless to mind-destroying, but if you're looking for a view of countries and regions the world from a soldier's perspective, there is nothing better. Unfortunately, these books (booklets, really) have some serious scanning problems. Some are blurry, some are scanned sideways, some are very tiny and zoom