REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Gen. George Patton said, "To be a successful Soldier, you must know history."

Army Contracting Command Soldiers and civilian employees can learn about Army history from the more than 500 books and two dozen CD-ROMs in the new ACC History Library, according to Mikhael Weitzel, ACC command historian.

"The ACC History Library serves as the central research collection on the U.S. Army and military history," Weitzel said. "George Santayana said, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' That covers half of it. The ACC History Office strives to encourage historic mindedness and historical perspective. Developing these two traits will not only help to prevent repeating mistakes, but also encourages repeating successes."

Located in the historian's office, the library contains official histories of the Army in World Wars I and II, the war with Spain and the Korean War. It also houses publications about Army aviation, artillery, Signal Corps, military police, military intelligence, and more.

"Today's Army utilizes cutting-edge technology to reach the farthest corners of the world," Weitzel added. "While technology has changed how we do what we do, what we do has not fundamentally changed in 239 years. While specifics as to enemy, location and climate may change, the core fundamentals have not. A knowledge of the past, the successes, the mistakes and the miracles prepares today's Soldiers and civilians with a broader perspective and historic templates to apply to current and future situations."

Weitzel labeled the book, "Hardtack and Coffee," by John Billings, as the library's most unusual publication. It is a noncommissioned officer's perspective of rations, sustainment and campaigning during the Civil War, he said.

For those interested in the history library but are not in the local area, Weitzel offered several options. Most of the books are official Army publications. Centers, brigades and battalions can order them through the Army publication system. Or, Weitzel can order the books and forward them to the unit. Some of the publications are part of Weitzel's personal collection and not available for extended checkout, but Weitzel said he will supply titles and authors for people to pursue on their own.

Headquarters visitors are encouraged to visit the library and check out a text.
He said there is no time limit on returning the books.

For more information about the ACC History Library or about ordering publications, contact Weitzel by email at, or by phone at 256-955-7661