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Old 07-30-2010, 03:00 PM   #16
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Time to get this thread back going again.

I notice many of the suggestions in this thread so far focus on the war in Europe. I spent the last year reading various WWII memoirs, mostly pertaining to the Pacific theater of operations. I must admit part of my interested was due to my anticipation of the (then upcoming) miniseries on HBO, "The Pacific"

So, to start off my recommendations, the following three titles were used as the basis for The Pacific miniseries, and are very compelling reads:

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa - By Eugene B. Sledge
China Marine: An infantryman's Life after World War II - By Eugene Sledge (published posthumously from discarded material from his Old Breed manuscript)
Helmet for My Pillow - By Robert Leckie

I'd recommend people read them if they plan on watching the miniseries down the road at some point. They did a fair job in the miniseries, but of course nothing compares to the books. While I admit my initial interest was somewhat shallow, since I was just "preparing for a movie" basically, I ended up developing quite a substantial interest in the PTO as a result.

Additionally some really great titles that I don't see mentioned here include:

Ghost Soldiers - by Hampton Sides
Flags of our Fathers - by James Bradley
Flyboys - By James Bradley (his personal bias got under my skin in this one, but it was still a very informative read)
Goodbye, Darkness - By William Manchester
In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors - By Doug Stanton (already mentioned previously, but I wanted to give it my hearty endorsement, as if that means anything )
Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944--The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War - By Bill Sloan


There are so many more I've yet to read, and, quite frankly, I'm still interested in the Pacific theater, so I'm always open to new suggestions for that. I much prefer the infantryman's view as opposed to books devoted to the tactics and high-minded strategy of great Generals.

Lastly, I'll add that one book I personally don't recommend is Hugh Ambrose's The Pacific which was rushed to market as a companion piece to the miniseries, and while I read it, it was pretty terrible. I'd much rather people read the memoirs of the men themselves, as well as Brotherhood of Heroes as movie tie-ins, than that piece of crap the younger Ambrose put out.

Hopefully this can get the thread going again, I'd love to hear what any other WWII buffs have to suggest.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:16 PM   #17
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Here are a few off the top of my head...


Panzer Battles, by Major-General F. W. von Mellenthin

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William L. Shirer

The Second World War, by Winston S. Churchill

A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War, by Williamson Murray and Allan R. Millett

Samurai!, Saburo Sakai

At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor, Gordon W. Prange

The Battle of Kursk, David M. Glantz & Jonathan M. House

Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944, John Keegan
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:26 PM   #18
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Ohhh, you know what, At Dawn We Slept is one I've thought about reading. Might put that on my list to be next on deck.

Also, I just saw today a book called Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory which is a sort of espionage book about WWII and the way they fooled the germans into anticipating the invasion from a different direction than they ultimately came from....I'm doing a horrible job of explaining it: http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Minc...0525095&sr=8-1

When my K3 comes I might christen it by making that my first official purchase on it.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:25 PM   #19
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There are a lot of great WW II books out there, just not a lot of great WW II books available in ebooks format. I'm slowly starting to work through the ones that I've found in ebook format. Army at Dawn is very interesting and a different perspective for someone who is a Patton fan. I just read several Pacific War books (Hammel's Guadalcanal books, which are ok, Lackie and Sledge's books which are excellent).

I tend to prefer the "General's" books, i.e. the books that discuss battles, tactics and strategy, rather than the solder's in the trench books. There are not very many good ones available in ebooks that I have found. I would love to get Liddel-Hart's The Second World War in ebook. I've got it in paper and it's very good. Part of the problem is that the Army at Dawn series is really the first major set of WW II battle books in a long time, thus many of the older classics are not available in digital format.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:04 PM   #20
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The Fall of Berlin - Antony Beevor - Ebook available
Quote:
By December 1944, many of the 3 million citizens of Berlin had stopped giving the Nazi salute, and jokes circulated that the most practical Christmas gift of the season was a coffin. And for good reason, military historian Antony Beevor writes in this richly detailed reconstruction of events in the final days of Adolf Hitler's Berlin. Following savage years of campaigns in Russia, the Nazi regime had not only failed to crush Bolshevism, it had brought the Soviet army to the very gates of the capital. That army, ill-fed and hungry for vengeance, unloosed its fury on Berlin just a month later in a long siege that would cost hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides. But as Beevor recounts, the siege was also marked by remarkable acts of courage and even compassion. Drawing on unexplored Soviet and German archives and dozens of eyewitness accounts, Beevor brings us a harrowing portrait of the battle and its terrible aftermath, which would color world history for years to follow.
Hitler's Panzers - Dennis Showalter - Ebook available
Quote:
A leading World War II historian provocatively analyzes Germany’s armored forces, the most influential branch of the Wehrmacht on modern warfare. He exposes the roots of the panzers, pointing out that Heinz Guderian was only one of a number of highly innovative commanders who created the panzers and then led them into the highly successful opening battles of the war. The early panzer victories made Hitler a passionate panzer advocate, and that in turn affected the status of the armored forces within the Wehrmacht and their loyalties to Hitler and the Nazi regime in general. Showalter has, as usual, researched thoroughly and written well but furnishes less background than non-scholarly readers will want.
The Forgotten 500 - Gregory A. Freeman - Ebook available
Quote:
Bombing of the Ploiesti, Romania, oil refineries, a key German resource, started in 1942. Allied pilots sustaining damage frequently bailed out over Serbia in German-occupied Yugoslavia, where the resistance and others hid them. By 1944, more than 500 were stranded and slowly starving. The OSS concocted the daring Operation Halyard to airlift them, but they had to construct a landing strip without tools and without alerting the Germans or endangering local villagers, and then the rescuers had to avoid being shot down themselves. The operation's story is an exciting tale, but it was kept from general knowledge for decades; the resistance leader most responsible was a rival to Tito. Nazi-baited by a Stalinist mole in British intelligence, he was executed in 1946 with the consent of Britain and America, which thereafter refused to acknowledge having been snookered (the State Department kept many details classified more than 50 years). Evoking the rescuees' successive desperation, wild hope, and joy, and their gratitude to the Serbians who risked their lives to help, Freeman produces a breathtaking popular account.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:58 PM   #21
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Kokoda by Paul Ham and another on the same subject by Peter Fitzsimmons

Tobruk by Peter Fitzsimmons

About the best reads around regarding Australian military history of WW2
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt314159 View Post
Also, I just saw today a book called Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory which is a sort of espionage book about WWII and the way they fooled the germans into anticipating the invasion from a different direction than they ultimately came from....I'm doing a horrible job of explaining it: http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Minc...0525095&sr=8-1

When my K3 comes I might christen it by making that my first official purchase on it.
Lots of great books on here. Matt, I got Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory on my Kindle, standing by. If any of you like the espionage angle, you might really like Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal:

http://www.amazon.com/Agent-Zigzag-E...=AG56TWVU5XWC2

It's about the British ex-crook and charmer playboy Eddie Chapman, who served as a double agent. And it's by the same author, Ben Macintyre. Apparently he likes long titles. But it's both great reading and the result of solid research -- not always a combo you get everyday.

Steve

Last edited by Steve Anderson; 08-01-2010 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:02 PM   #23
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I was revolted to see a book by David Irving listed as a historical reference.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:00 PM   #24
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Anton Beevor: D-Day

The girlfriend is in love with WW2. So much that it's almost unhealthy. I tried to point out that there were other wars where people died, but there have not been television series based on them, so she kindly passes.

But, this is a thread I'm going to print out for her. Maybe she'll stop reading US Weekly and pick up a book again
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:30 PM   #25
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My all-time favorite on this topic is Winston Churchill's Memoirs of the Second World War. Read it for the first time when I was in middle school (yeah, I was a nerd, I know). But it's a really great book.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:13 PM   #26
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I don't actually read much WWII non-fiction, but this one interested me:

http://www.amazon.com/Shinano-Sinkin.../dp/0312909675
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:43 AM   #27
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Beevor's book is pretty good. I prefer Max Hastings' Overlord. BTW, I just noticed that Ryan's classic books, The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far are both available in ebook now. Excellent books well worth reading.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:32 AM   #28
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Of the writings about World War Two, there is no end . Here are a few of my favorites:

But Not in Shame, John Toland
Infamy, John Toland
The Longest Day, Cornelius Ryan
The Last Battle, Cornelius Ryan
A Bridge Too far, Cornelius Ryan

Underreported on WW2: the China-Burma-India threater
The Eastern Front,where 10 of the 15 land battles of WW2 happened.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:12 PM   #29
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Woo hoo, this old thread revived from the dead! I forgot about it till I received a notification in my inbox.

Since it's a lot closer to publication (< 2 months now!) I'll take this moment to hawk the book I proofread in 2010.

Sterling Mace served as a BAR man in K/3/5 (think: Eugene Sledge). Sterling and his fellow riflemen were indeed the true tip of the spear of the assaults on Peleliu, Ngesebus, and Okinaway in 1944 and 1945...some of the most gruesome and visceral combat of WWII. Last month, Sterling celebrated his 88th birthday, yet he recalls events with a surprising alacrity given the amount of time that has passed.

The book goes on sale May 8th in both print and kindle format, and I'll leave the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Battleground-P...2356717&sr=8-1


Since I last posted here, I took up a job in IT at a small midwestern college, and have enjoyed the opportunity to take classes free-of-charge. (at $580/credit hour, it's no small benefit!) and I recently finished an undergraduate course entitled "The United States in World War 2" ...quite an interesting class, and I found it quite valuable.

Thanks for keeping the suggestions running, I'll refer back to this thread when I'm out of reading material.

If I were to list my five favorite WWII books today, they would be, in this order:

1) Unbroken
2) With the Old Breed / China Marine (do yourself a favor, read them both)
3) Flags of our Fathers
4) Ghost Soldiers
5) Flyboys
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #30
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The Patton Papers Vol I,II,III by Martin Blumenson
A Bridge Too Far, The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
Battle of the Generals: The Untold Story of the Falaise Pocket, Martin Blumenson
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
Any Stephen Ambrose works.
Second world war 6 volumes by Winston Churchill

Not WWII but very good reads
The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam
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