The Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library (CARL), is the digital repository of U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. It contains a diverse collection of student papers, issues of the Military Review (the professional journal of the U.S. Army), and World War II operational documents. All are available for free through the CARL database.
Some of the most interesting documents available on CARL are "Combat Lessons - Rank and File in Combat: What They're Doing and How They Do It." First published in 1944, "Combat Lessons" was intended to quickly disseminate information on combat experiences of officers and enlisted men in all overseas theaters of operations. Each issue of "Combat Lessons" covers a wide array of topics, from leadership to the training of replacements, and frequent discussions of how to best employ weapons and equipment based on experiences at the front.
While offering a general view of how trends may have developed across the Army, "Combat Lessons," typically identifies the individual soldier quoted or their organization.
All nine issues of "Combat Lessons" are available on the CARL database and below (click each title below to view a pdf. of the issues).
Similar to "Combat Lessons," Army leadership in the European Theater of Operations collected their own information from units in the field. The resultant document, "Battle Experiences," contains the cumulative lessons-learned while fighting the German Army in Northwestern Europe. Like "Combat Lessons," the topics are varied, but "Battle Experiences" usually contains much more detailed information, however, earlier reports often do not identify the particular organizations that are the source of information.
The European Theater also prepared a complimentary document on information learned from fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. Dated May 1, 1945, "Battle Experiences Against the Japanese" was published as the European war was winding down and Army leadership was already planning the redeployment of certain combat units to the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Both "Battle Experience" volumes are available on the CARL database and below (click each title below to view a pdf. of each document).
The CARL Digital Library
"Combat Lessons" and "Battle Experiences" are just two examples of the types of documents available on the CARL Digital Library. With a little patience and creative keyword searching, it can be an invaluable research tool.