Best Books on the War

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Best Books on the War

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mar 29, 2014, 1:14 pm

Looking for opinions concerning the best books about World War II. What are the top 100 books on the war, from personal accounts to narratives to analytical looks at the largest war the world has ever seen.

mar 30, 2014, 10:55 am

You'll find some in the List of "Best military history books".

Redigerat: mar 30, 2014, 12:09 pm

On personal narratives, I will read

The Diary of Young Girl by Ann Frank

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

On analytical view:

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan ( on D -Day)

The Second World War by John Keegan

The Second World War by Martin Gilbert

The Second World War by Winston Spencer Churchill- a set of books ( 6 books)

Notable mentions: tion

Many other websites on 2WW books.

mar 31, 2014, 9:29 pm

I can add a few suggestions:

Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings has moved to the head of my list as a general history of the war, combining readability with sound analysis. More comprehensive and academic is A World at Arms by Gerhard Weinberg, which is especially strong on diplomatic issues. A War to be Won by Williamson Murray and Allan Millett is an excellent account focusing on military operations.

Rick Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy--An Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle, and The Guns at Last Light is outstanding for the war in Western Europe. For the Soviet war, see When Titans Clashed by David Glantz and Jonathan House, as well as Absolute War by Chris Bellamy. Fatal Decision by Carlo D'Este and The Bitter Woods by John S. D. Eisenhower are a pair of excellent accounts of specific campaigns/battles, while Fire and Fury by Randall Hansen is good for the air war against Germany.

Eagle Against the Sun by Ronald Spector remains a superb history of the Pacific War. It should be supplemented by Empires in the Balance by H. P. Willmott. First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway by John Lundstrom and Shattered Sword by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully are outstanding on the early stages of the naval war, especially the carrier air war.

Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War, by Eric Larrabee is very important on high-level strategy issues; Army high command issues are given excellent coverage in Marshall and His Generals by Stephen Taaffe. And Battle of Wits by Stephen Budiansky is superb on code-breaking and intelligence issues.

Okay, more than a few there--I get carried away sometimes.

Redigerat: mar 31, 2014, 11:11 pm

There are few hundreds or maybe thousands of books on the 2nd World Wars and much more in fiction.

The choice is wide open.

Boldness Be My Friend by Richard Pape

Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean - fiction

The Naked Island by Russell Braddon - Japanese's involvement

Wooden Horse by Eric Williams

The Jungle is Neutral by Spencer Chapman

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute-fiction

Empire of the Sun by J G Ballard-fiction

apr 6, 2014, 5:07 pm

Each year I pick a book and call it the book of the Year, being the best book I read that year.

A few of such winners have involved World War Two:

1954: The Caine Mutiny

1990: The Making of the Atomic Bomb

2000: Flags of Our Fathers

2001: With the Old Breed

2006: A World at Arms

2007: The Day of Battle

2009: FDR

apr 7, 2014, 9:08 am

How about a few about the lesser known battles and turning points?

The Thousand Mile War Japan invades Alaska

The Lonely Ships The Life and Death of the U. S. Asiatic Fleet. The story of the US Navy Fleet posted in the Philippines at the outbreak of the war.

The Destruction of Convoy PQ 17 How the west armed the Soviet Union told by examining one convoy.

Ten Days to Destiny: The Battle for Crete, 1941 The German "victory" that cost them the war. That could just be my opinion but this island cost them dearly in highly trained men, ships, and time. The last could be the most important.

"The Good War" A wide range of interviews with Americans who lived through the war.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History How a tiny international unit saved European culture.

I want to add one work of fiction that I think illustrates life on a war ship in WWII.

H. M. S. Ulysses

apr 9, 2014, 1:51 pm

The viewpoint might be partisan and Europe prevailing over the Pacific, but "The Rise and Fall ofthe Third Reich" by William L. SHIRER impressed and moved me more than the other many, many, books I read on the subject.

apr 9, 2014, 11:54 pm

Frank McLynn's The Burma Campaign seems to give a good overview of the war in Burma from a moderately high level, mostly from the Allied viewpoint. The author is not shy about his opinions of the various players, and is an unabashed fan of Slim, a tempered admirer of Stillwell, generally critical of Mountbatten, considers Wingate a loon, and despises Wedemeyer and Chiang Kai-shek. Covering both the military and the weird politics of the theater, I found it a good read.

apr 21, 2014, 11:02 am

Echoing a book noted several times above, A World At Arms stands out for me for its thorough grasp of the big picture, especially but not only politically.

apr 21, 2014, 11:45 am

#11, it is excellent. If you're going with a single volume history, this might be the one.

Redigerat: apr 21, 2014, 10:43 pm

The World at War by Mark Arnold-Foster is now a classic on WWII.

There is also a well produced documentary series based on the book of the same title by Richard Holmes. They are two different boks.

apr 21, 2014, 1:28 pm

#10 Ernie Pyle and Bill Mauldin! Great choices.

apr 21, 2014, 1:37 pm

#15 What comprehensive list about WWII could not include at least one by those two?

apr 21, 2014, 2:53 pm

I have 3 by Pyle and 14 by Mauldin and I am ashamed to say I neglected to mention either one.

apr 21, 2014, 7:38 pm

#16 There are probably several more all of us could add...