During World War II, the newly-created Office of Strategic Services was tasked to conduct intelligence gathering and analysis, and wage unconventional warfare. OSS chief, Major General William J. Donovan, divided his organization into functional branches depending on the specialized task that each was to perform. OSS recruits would be briefed on the information contained within each of these manuals that pertained to their branch assignment. Thus, these field manuals represent the functions of each of the OSS branches that are relevant to ARSOF today.
In addition, the OSS produced detailed graphic booklets for some of the OSS branches to explain to policy makers what that element did and what it had accomplished. Those graphic booklets that are available have been included in this collection. The original copies of these manuals are in the holdings of the National Archives II in College Park, MD. There, as part of Research Group 226, they represent just a small portion of the records of the OSS that are now open to researchers.