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Posted on 08/29/2002 12:11:34 PM PDT by erikm88
I figured this would be the best place to post this inquiry. I've always been interested in WWII history, and military history in general, and I've been scouring the web for good books to read, however, I don't want to run into "revisionist" books, and basically search-engine inquiries have led me to those kinds of books. So.....
The criteria for book recommendations are:
- True, historical accounts
- Interesting, and not dry!!!
- easily accessible, online, or offline..
The subjects I'm interested in are...
- Attack on Pearl Harbor
- Dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki
- Most if not anything pertaining to WWII
- Any Military History you would recommend for a self-proclaimed military history nut, whether you think i'd be interested or not :)
thanks in advance, and keep up the good work freepers!
TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: historicalbooks; wwii
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posted on 08/29/2002 12:11:34 PM PDT
War As I Knew It by George Patton, any library and used bookstore should have one.
Baa Baa Blacksheep by Gregory Boyington is a pretty good book.
Reminiscences by Douglas MacArthur is a must read.
I recently read, and thoroughly enjoyed, a book called Battleship Sailor by Theodore Mason. It is his account of serving on a battleship on the eve of WWII, including his account of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:16:56 PM PDT
Try Winston Churchill's history. There's even an abridged addition if you don't want to read all the volumes. Also, Kagan's book is very good.
John Costello, The Pacific War 1941-1945.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:17:34 PM PDT
The Forgotten Soldier - Guy Sajer, about life on the Eastern Front. Very detailed description of combat tactics, I know some US military officers use some of these descriptions in training to describe defense tactics.
Also, Richard Rhodes, The Making Of The Atomic Bomb.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:18:52 PM PDT
Absolutely. Fantastic reading from a direct source.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:19:53 PM PDT
"Reminiscences" General Douglas MacArthur's auto biography tells it like it was,
Also "America's Retreat From Victory". by Joe McCarthy
These are a great start.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:21:58 PM PDT
I just read Ambrose's "D-Day", and the anecdotes are fantastic. Most of the history itself is relatively standard, but he had excellent access to some great stories. Whole new appreciation of Higgins boats.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:25:06 PM PDT
by Mr. Bird
To: Mr. Bird
"Ghost Soldiers" and "Flags of Our Fathers" - both Pacific Theater non fiction, and both best sellers as I recall.
The Game of the Foxes
This is a great book, talks about how entrenched the German spies were here and in the UK during the 20's and 30's when the NAZI's were coming to power in Germany...google search points at other sources (used book stores/etc)
You can't go wrong with Ambrose, D-Day, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, and even though it's off topic, Undaunted Courage (about Lewis and Clark) is superb
"Code-Name Down-Fall", The secret plan to invade Japan - And why Truman dropped the bomb. Written by Thomas Allen and Norman Polman.
This is a good analysis of why we dropped the bombs and the planning for the invasion.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:38:14 PM PDT
Try "With The Old Breed".
It's a marine's story of his time on Peleliu and Okinawa.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:38:56 PM PDT
You might want to look at the library for this one: Corregidor The Rock Force
by Lt Gen E.M. Flanagan, Jr.
My step-dad is mentioned in it on page 210. He was T/5 Frank Arrigo, he and Pfc Clyde Bates members of the 503d Parachute Regimental Combat Team raised the US flag on Corregidor when they re-took it in Feb 1945.
JUMPSTATION Lots on interesting pics and info at this site
posted on 08/29/2002 12:38:59 PM PDT
My favorite is The Second World War by Winston Churchill. Great first hand history and analysis from one of the primary players and a great writer. I have the Time/Life set from the 50s with great illistrations from Life magazine and various archives.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:39:59 PM PDT
"Famous Tank Battles", Robert J. Icks, Doubleday, 1972
Highly recommend Command Decisions
first printed in 1959 by authors Blumenson and Greenfield. It provides insight on why high level command decisions were made, to include:
Why the Japs attacked the US
Internment of the Japs in the US
I had to get mine through the Library as it was out of print.
Best historical novels about the Revolutionary war are by Kenneth Roberts. His most famous book is "Northwest Passage," but his books in the trilogy -- Arundel, Rabble in Arms, and Oliver Wiswell -- present the Revolutionary war incredibly well. The first two see it from the American view with Benedict Arnold as the hero, and the third from the British view without being so much about Arnold who'd switched sides by then.
Comment #22 Removed by Moderator
My short list of excellent WWII books would include:
Panzer Leader Gen. Heinz Guderian
The Two Ocean War Adm. Samuel Eliot Morison
Reminiscences Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Brazen Chariots Maj. Robert Crisp. this is hard to come by and lesser known in the US than it should be (the Brits and Israelis still read it, I'm told), but an excellent book on the North African campaign by a British tank officer; there is a companion volume, the title of which I don't recall off hand, on his experiences in Crete and Greece.
War as I Knew It Gen. George Patton
The Second World War Sir Winston Churchill
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich William Shirer
To: erikm88; Vic3O3
"Descent into Darkness", an account of the salvage operation at Pearl. It was a horribly fascinating read.
Also check out Leon Uris' Battle Cry for fiction, Chesty, (about Lewis Burwell Puller), anything Ambrose or Keegan.
Vic, can you add some others?
posted on 08/29/2002 12:48:21 PM PDT
Go to your local flea market, antique stores, old book stores. You can usually find quite a few, sometimes obscure books published in the 40's-60's that are fairly accurate, and some provide insight that newer books don't cover. Most of my library has been filled this way.
The Face of Battle is outstanding, a must read, but his book specifically about WWII is Six Armies in Normandy. That's good, but did not impress me as much as his The Mask of Command, which is the only other of his books to equal The Face of Battle, IMHO.
Richard Rhodes book, "Making of the Atomic Bomb"
Gordon Prange's books on Pearl Harbor and Midway.
Arrgghhh! I forgot Con Ryan. Read anything by Cornelius Ryan. Fantastic reading about the European theater.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:52:23 PM PDT
A few other books worth mentioning...
Lost Victories: War Memoirs of Hitlers Most Brilliant General--Erich von Manstein
Interesting first hand account from the other side.
A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945 by Paul S. Dull
The most comprehensive history of every action fought by the Imperial Navy in WWII. A bit dry, but intersting.
Citizen Soldiers--Stephen Ambrose
Very readable and detailed history of D-Day to VE day from the soldier's point of view.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:52:25 PM PDT
"They fought alone" Story about one guy left in the philipines to rally the natives and fight the japanese. Good book.
Another if it could be found is " Master of the girl pat" Which sounds dirty but is a story about a guy that does under cover work for the british navy. The girl pat is a boat that he is captain of.
To: Taylor42; erikm88
"With the Old Breed"
You beat me to it. Excellent book. The author is E.B. Sledge, who unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago.
I would add the brilliant (and new) two-volume biography of Hitler by Ian Kershaw. The first volume is "Hubris," the second, "Nemisis."
posted on 08/29/2002 12:54:17 PM PDT
There is a book banned in Japan.......The Rape of Nanking.....not easy to find but well worth the read.
Agree re: Guderian. Great book!
You can't go wrong with Ambrose
Ditto. Steve's writing a book about the war in the Pacific relying on first person stories. Hope he finishes it before his lung cancer finishes him.
Comment #35 Removed by Moderator
Flight of the Enola Gay, Paul W. Tibbets
posted on 08/29/2002 12:57:07 PM PDT
by Dead Dog
"War Diary of Major Rocky Gauss" Details his escape from the Phillipines, yet another good read.
posted on 08/29/2002 12:57:24 PM PDT
I would also add Alan Bullock's Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (3rd edition or later -- it was fairly extensively revised in the early 60's as new material was available) and his more recent Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives.
Comment #39 Removed by Moderator
To: skull stomper
It is an amazing story.
Yes it is.
posted on 08/29/2002 1:02:37 PM PDT
Thirty seconds over tokyo by capt. Ted W. Lawson.
If I remember right, it covers everything from the start of training for the Doolittle raid to when he finally gets out of china.
If you can find them, there is a four volume set titled, "Eyewitness History of World War II" that is very good. I also started on Churchill's "Triumph and Tragedy" from his Second World War series but I had to put it down for a bit, it was requiring more concentration than I could seem to muster up at that point and I wanted to actually take in what I was reading. However, of what I have read of it so far, I would definitely recommend it. The correspondence from Churchill to Stalin alone is fascinating.
Try:Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story
, by Mitsuo Fuchida, Masatake Okumiya, Thomas B. Buell
Submarine!, by Edward L. Beach
Thunder Below!: The Uss Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II , by Eugene B. Fluckey
For Marine history
GOODBYE DARKNESS by Manchester
SEMPER FI MAC by I don't remember
posted on 08/29/2002 1:11:55 PM PDT
To: skull stomper
I will second the recommendation for The Washing of the Spears
. An absolute must read, along with Churchill's book on his experiences in the Boer War, if you want to understand anything about the history of South Africa. There is an excellent description of the defense of Rourke's Drift, popularized in the film Zulu
, which I also recommend.
Despite the disaster at Ishandalwana, it all comes right in the end at Ulundi, where the Zulus unsuccessfully attack Lord Chelmsford's square anchored with artillery and gatling guns, and at the right moment, the Zulus are broken and ridden down by a charge of the 17th Lancers.
If you like 19th century stuff, there is also a wonderful little book on the Crimean War (remember, charge of the light brigade), The Reason Why, by the famous English historian (primarily 17th century) Cecil Woodham-Smith. It is every bit as good, if not better, than Douglas Southall Freeman's Lee's Lieutenants and Bruce Catton's Army of the Potomac trilogy (Mr. Lincoln's Army, Glory Road (covers Gettysburg), and A Stillness at Appomatox.
The only better and more important things to read on the American civil war are Grant's Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant and Sherman's Memoirs of General William T. Sherman.
My favorite is Delivered from Evil, by Robert Leckie. He served with the Marines in the South Pacific, & appears in his own book as the private Lucky. There are short (10 page or so) bios of all the major leaders & generals, coverage of major battles on both fronts, good index. I think it's about 1000 pages.
posted on 08/29/2002 1:19:00 PM PDT
You have to read several sources and develop your perception from all of them. One great way is to go to a library and find text books written back in the days before PC and rampant liberalism. Go look at college history texts from the 1950's and sociology texts from the same time. Remember these too carry a bias, but you will get a different point of view than you will from the current texts.
Comment #48 Removed by Moderator
Incredible book on the Eastern front from the German perspective: Forgotten Soldier, Guy Sajer.
posted on 08/29/2002 1:31:26 PM PDT
Red Storm Rising, Tom Clancy (before Jack Ryan).
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