The Basic Encyclopedia is an encyclopedia of the United States Air Force that lists places that are targets for bombing. It was begun in 1946 during the Cold War as the Bombing Encyclopedia and included over eighty-thousand potential targets around the world during the Cold War. This included their B.E. number (which consisted of an eight digit identifier), a brief description, longitude and latitude, elevation, category (i.e. military, industrial, or an airfield).
- Schlosser, Eric (2014). Command and Control Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (1st ed.). Penguin Group USA. p. 204. ISBN 0143125788.
They began by poring through the Air Force's Bombing Encyclopedia, a compendium of more than eighty thousand potential targets located throughout the world. The book gave a brief description of each target, its longitude and latitude and elevation, its category—such as military or industrial, airfield or oil refinery—and its "B.E. number," a unique eight-digit identifier. From that lengthy inventory, twelve thousand candidates in the Soviet Union, the Eastern bloc, and China were selected.
- Gregory, Derek (3 August 2012). "Bombing Encyclopedia of the World". geographical imaginations. Retrieved 1 June 2015.