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FM 21-25: Elementary Map and Aerial Photograph Reading

The purpose of field manual 21-25 is to present in simplified form necessary information for instruction of all military personnel in elementary map and aerial photograph reading.

This manual covers elementary map reading, conventional signs and military symbols, distances and scales, directions adn azimuths, coordinates, relief, slopes, profiles and visibility, map readinf in the field, and aerial photograph reading to an extent sufficient to permit soldiers adn platoon leaders to read aerial photographs and aerial mosaics.

FM 21-26, Advanced Map and Aerial Photograph Reading, takes up the subject where this manual stops, and covers more technical phases of the subject. Other publications of a general nature pertaining to maps, mapping, and aerial photograph reading are listed in the appendix.


  • 1956-03-28: Superseded by FM 21-26.
  • 1953-10-13: Change No. 3
  • 1950-11-10: Change No. 2
  • 1945-06-12: Change No. 1
  • 1944-08-15: [pdf]
  • 1942-06-19: Change No. 3
  • 1942-04-20: Change No. 2
  • 1942-01-17: Change No. 1
  • 1941-04-12: This manual [pdf] supersedes chapter 5, Basic Field Manual, volume I, 2 April 1938.