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Old 05-08-2009, 12:17 AM   #1
snape
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WWII (non-fiction) recommendations

I'll start the topic off with a few of my favorites:

In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors by Doug Stanton. I can't remember how many times I said "Wow" while I was reading it.

David Howarth's The Shetland Bus: A WWII Epic of Escape, Survival, and Adventure as well as The Sledge Patrol: A WWII Epic of Escape, Survival, and Victory were fantastic. While the titles seem a little too similar, the books weren't redundant in the least.

Unfortunately, I don't think any of these are available electronically. I'd still recommend them without reservation.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:28 AM   #2
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Winston Churchill's magnum opus is available at Fictionwise - all 6 volumes of The Second World War

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:53 AM   #3
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If you want an overview of the war, the best is:
History Of The Second World War
by B. H. Liddell Hart
http://www.amazon.com/History-Second.../dp/0306809125

Also good:
Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle by Richard B. Frank
Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian
Samurai! by Saburo Sakai - account of a top japanese ace.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:28 AM   #4
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'Stalingrad' by Antony Beevor

Won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, the Wolfson History prize, and the Hawthornden prize.

It's quite good.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Some of my favorites, but most are only available for Kindle. A few in PDF by the publisher by the publisher directly or specialty shop (At least I didn't see them when I just looked.)

I'll tell you right off though, I'm more interested in personal memories and scholarly research than I am in touchy-feely retroactive rewritings of history for the purpose of selling books. So you'll see that theme.

Quartered Safe Out Here - George MacDonald Fraser (war in Far East/Burma)

An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 - Rick Atkinson

Admiral Arleigh Burke - E.B. Potter (general pre-war navy and war in the Pacific mostly)

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour - James Hornfischer

Down to the Sea - Bruce Henderson

The Depths of Courage: American Submariners at War with Japan, 1941-1945 - Flint Whitlock and Ron Smith

The Bravest Man: Richard O'Kane and the Amazing Submarine Adventures of the USS Tang - William Tuohy

The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections - Tom Brokaw


Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles As Seen Through Japanese Eyes by Tameichi Hara, Fred Saito, and Roger Pineau

Goodbye Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War - William Manchester (audiobook only I think)

With Wings Like Eagles by Michael Korda

The Lady and the Tigers: Remembering the Flying Tigers of World War II by Olga Greenlaw and Daniel Ford

Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
I'm more interested in personal memories and scholarly research than I am in touchy-feely retroactive rewritings of history for the purpose of selling books.
Same here.

@wayspooled - Your list looks a lot like my shelf. I have several of the titles you mentioned, but some of the others I haven't read yet. I'll have to track them down.

Another that I found fascinating was Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story by Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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I recommend The Rising Sun by John Toland, WWII from the Japanese perspective.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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You may want to try Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. The mini-series was based on this book.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snape View Post
Same here.

@wayspooled - Your list looks a lot like my shelf. I have several of the titles you mentioned, but some of the others I haven't read yet. I'll have to track them down.

Another that I found fascinating was Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story by Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya.
Ralph Sir Edward, aye, that John Toland book I vaguely remember as being most excellent. I read it a long time ago and I think it was probably the first WWII book I ever read from an Axis perspective.

@snape - Neat I'll check out the Midway book, thanks! Another book that I've been told is very good but which I haven't read myself is "The Magnificent Mitscher" by Theodore Taylor.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:35 PM   #10
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War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War by John Dower
The Pacific War 1931-1945 by Saburo Inega
A Boy Called H: A Childhood in Wartime Japan by Kappa Senoh
A Diary of Darkness: The Wartime Diary of Kiyosawa Kiyoshi by Kiyosawa Kiyoshi
Hiroshima by John Hersey
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:05 AM   #11
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On the german side on the eastern European front, Kaputt by Malaparte is irreplaceable; it's also a litterary masterpiece (and --I think-- one major inspiration if "the kind ones").
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:58 PM   #12
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I loved Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted W. Lawson.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:22 AM   #13
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All of these books and not one biography of Patton?

I confess I don't know which Patton book is the best but there are many:
http://www.generalpatton.com/library.html
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:29 AM   #14
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The Great Escape

The Colditz Story

for the Allied POW angle
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:25 AM   #15
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Autobiographies, Memoirs, and Diaries
All in actual books... I read a lot of WWII stuff before I got my PRS700.

Eisenhower - Crusade in Europe
Charles DeGaulle - War Memoirs
Raeder, Edward - Grand Admiral
Speer, Albert - Inside the Third Reich
MacArthur, Douglas - Reminiscences
Alanbrooke - Diaries (bit of a slog, this one..but interesting)
Moran, Lord - Churchill at War
Montgomery - Memoirs
Mussolini - My Rise and Fall
Shirer, William - Berlin Diary and of course Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Goebbels, Joseph - Final Entries (Diary entries from spring 1945)
Ciano, Galeazzo - Diary (haven't read this one yet)
Mannerheim, Carl - Memoirs (WWII and after in Finland)
Doenitz, Karl - Memoirs
Sonnenfeldt, Richard - Witness to Nuremberg
Clark, Mark - Calculated Risk
Bradley, Omar - A Soldiers Story

Other good stuff (not autobiographical):

Potter, Elmer - Nimitz
Sorley, Lewis - Thunderbolt (Abrams)
Irving, David - Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe
Meacham, Jon - Franklin and Winston
Reuth, Ralf - Goebbels
Padfield, Peter - Himmler
Hart, BH - The Rommel Papers
Colville, John - The Fringes of Power
Gamble, Bruce - Black Sheep One
Ambrose, Stephen - Eisenhower
Eberle, Henrik - The Hitler Book
Lee, Bruce - Marching Orders
Morrison, Samuel - History of US Naval Operations in WWII (15 volumes)
Manchester, William - The Arms of Krupp (last part covers WWII)
Brinkley, David - Washington Goes to War
Millar, George - Bruneval Raid
O'Neill, Richard - Suicide Squads
Ambrose, Stephen - Citizen Soldiers
Overy, Richard - Interrogations (transcripts of post-war interrogations..haven't read this one yet..)
Ambrose, Stephen - D-Day
Pyle, Ernie - Here is your war
Eisnehower - D-Day to VE Day: Eisenhower's report on the invasion of Europe
Glantz, David etc. - Hitler and His Generals (transcripts of military conferences...haven't read this one yet either)
Shirer, William - This is Berlin (pre-war Berlin)
Various: Reporting World War 2 (Library of America volume)
Miller, Russel - Behind the Lines
Binney, Marcus - The Women Who Lived for Danger
Beaven, Colin - Operation Jedburgh
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