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Thread: Recommended WWII Readings

  1. #1
    Staff Emeritus
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    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
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    23 Feb 05

    Recommended WWII Readings

    Please list your favorite WWII readings.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  2. #2
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    12 May 05
    Philadelphia, PA.
    The shattered Sword..The true tales of Midway
    Seas of Thunder........Coral Sea and Gaudalcanal
    Lost subs of WWII..... Detailing Axis and Allied Subs
    Cities of Steel............Rise of the Dreadnoughts
    Full Fathom Five.........Allied sumariners

    Just a few.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  3. #3
    Lei Feng Protege
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    23 Aug 05
    Arlington, VA
    for a broad overview of the war, a great, great book is: A War To Be Won: Fighting the Second World War: Books: Williamson Murray,Allan R. Millett

    it includes a lot of new information gleaned from the opening of the imperial japanese and russian archives.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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  5. #5
    Banned Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    24 Nov 04
    Columbia Heights, MN
    "There's a War to be Won! The U.S. Army in WWII" - Geoffrey Perret
    "Company Commander" - Charles B. MacDonald
    "Blood, Tears, and Folly" - Len Deighton
    "A Bridge Too Far" - Cornelius Ryan
    "Stumbling Colossus" - Glantz

    I have many more, but these come to mind first.


  6. #6
    Staff Emeritus Lunatock's Avatar
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    03 Aug 03
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Band Of Brothers -Stephen Ambrose.

    Biggest Brother: The Story of Easy Company. Major Dick Winters & Larry Alexander. Recommended reading by Larry Alexander.

    The Malmedy Massacre. John M. Bauserman.

    Recommended reading by Robert "Sketch" Mearig. A WW2 Veteran and survivor of the Malmedy massacre.

  7. #7
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    06 May 07
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    "It Never Snows in December" by Robert Kershaw. Market Garden from German side.

  8. #8
    Staff Emeritus Lunatock's Avatar
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    03 Aug 03
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Another Bowl Of Kaputska -Lt. Gottfried Dulias.

    Autobiographical book by Lt. Dulias. He reccomended it when I met him last August (But he didn't feel the least bit sorry for my broke ass and only gave me a flyer in return for the portrait I snapped of him )

  9. #9
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    22 Oct 06
    With our backs to Berlin, Tony LeTissier
    The Greatest War, Gerald Astor
    Fire in the sky, air war in the s pacific, Eric M. Bergerud
    Panzer battles, Mellenthin
    German Genrals of WW2, Mellenthin
    Panzer Commander, Von Luck
    Panzer Leader, Guderian
    German Generals talk, Liddel Hart

  10. #10
    WAB Resident Historian Senior Contributor Kansas Bear's Avatar
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    01 Jul 06
    Talisker distillery
    "Inside The Third Reich" by Albert Speer.

  11. #11
    Banned Military Professional Elbmek's Avatar
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    31 Dec 06
    Sutton Coldfield
    The Fighting Captain - Alan Burn
    Walker RN - Terrence Robertson
    Battleship Bismarck A Survivors Story - Baron Burkhard Von Mullenhein-Rechberg
    Oradour - Massacre & Aftermath - Robin Mackness
    On A Sailors Grave (No Roses Grow) - Mike Kemble
    The Battle of The Atlantic - Andrew Williams
    Scourge of The Swastika - Lord Russell of Liverpool
    The Knights of Bushido - Lord Russell of Liverpool
    The Battle of the Narrow Seas - Lt Comdr Peter Scott

  12. #12
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    24 Feb 07
    Guadal Canal-Richard Frank
    Adolf Hitler-John Toland
    The Rising Sun-John Toland
    Rise and Fall Of the Third Reich-William Shirer
    Two Ocean War-Samuel Elliott Morrison
    Desert Foxes-Paul Carrel
    Scorched Earth-Paul Carrel
    Panzer Leader-Heinz Guderian

  13. #13
    In Memoriam/OAF-Old Aggravating Fart Senior Contributor Shamus's Avatar
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    13 Apr 07
    1. Citizen Soldiers-Stephen Ambrose
    2. The Wild Blue-Stephen Ambrose
    3. Battle-John Toland
    4. Company Commander-Charles B. MacDonald
    5. Biggest Brother-Larry Alexander
    6. Beyond Band of Brothers-Major Dick Winters/Colonel Cole C. Kingseed
    7. Enemy at the Gates-William Craig
    8. Brothers in Arms-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Anthony Walton
    9. War in the Boats-Captain William J.Ruhe
    10. Blood on the Sea-Robert Sinclair Parkin
    11. The Victors-Stephen Ambrose
    12. The Mighty Endeavor-Charles B. MacDonald
    "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories." Thomas Jefferson

  14. #14
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    22 Oct 06
    Not WW2, but describes the days in August that led directly to WW2.

    The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman

  15. #15
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    13 Dec 06

    Big picture

    In general: The best one-volume history of the war is probably Keegan's The Second World War. Keegan provides a list of further reading, which includes very good books on most aspects of the war.

    Good overview also provided by Richard Overy's Why the Allies Won.

    The most important single campaign of course was in Russia, and unfortunately a really authoritative history of that campaign has not yet been written, although during the '90's much more archival material became available.

    --Standard works, based mostly on German sources, are Earl Ziemke's and Paul Carrill's. Liddell-Hart's chapters of analysis in Strategy are also in this school, and are still worth reading today.
    --Until recent years John Erickson's volumes (Soviet High Command, The Road to Stalingrad and The Road to Berlin) were the only widely available English works based on Soviet sources.
    --But now David Glantz has produced a number of books, such as When Titans Clashed and Colossus Reborn, which while stylistically mediocre, are very important works simply because no one else has yet closely studied that body of data.

    War economics: old but good is Alan S. Milward's The German Economy at War. Also good is the British Official History by M.M. Postan, Design and Development of Weapons for its insight on the overall nature and course of procurement decisions and criteria.

    The vogue in economic history has now gone radically monetarist, but I'm no longer up-to-date on this, and need to do more reading myself. The thing to bear in mind, however, is that the writing of economic history tends to track contemporary economic thought, and thus like so much historiography, tells us as much about the historian's own age as it ever does about the subject itself!

    The climax of the postwar, command-view, economics is perhaps Georgi Ranki's Economics of the Second World War which while published posthumously and unfinished, is nevertheless important for the light shed on the economics of German-occupied Europe, and for its consideration of oft-overlooked matters, such as agriculture during the war.

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