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Old 11-08-2004, 06:16 AM
Shirley Ujest is offline
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Recommend books on WW1 & WW2. Please.


My FIL is going in for surgery in a about 11 days. His entire recovery will be spent in bed for 6 weeks. At home.

My MIL might go insane.

He loves the WW2 time period ( being that he was born in 1941 in Prussia and lived in Germany his whole life) .

I need book recommendations for books about the First and Second world war. Fiction, Bio's, Mystery, Factual Compendiums & whatnot. Links appreciated.

Danke
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Old 11-08-2004, 06:43 AM
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Why the Allies Won - Richard Overy

How Hitler Could have Won WW II - Bevin Alexander

The Atlantic Campaign - Dan van der Vat

Dirty Little Secrets of World War II - James F. Dunnigan

Duel of Eagles - Peter Townsend

The German Navy in World War II - Edward P. Von der Porten

(All WWII books; WWI bores me to tears.)

Very readable and fun books. Anything by James Dunnigan or John Keegan will be an interesting read. (Dunnigan more fun, Keegan more informative.)
My local Barnes and Noble tends to have pretty high prices on the good war books, so hit Amazon (or favorite online store) and save a few bucks.
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:13 AM
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Len Deighton, has both non fiction and fiction on WW2, Jack Higgins has a few good ones out there. Daniel Silva is a good read too. Fiction, he goes back and forth between WW2 and present day.
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:26 AM
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WW2 fanatic checking in. Commiserations and best wishes for your FIL's speedy recovery (this might sound more sincere if I knew what an FIL was!)
Well, if I was to spend six weeks in bed, and I was allowed say 5 WW2 books, I'd choose these for myself, in no particular order (if I hadn't already read them, obviously )...

Fiction:

1. A Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson. Novel about a squadron of British fighter pilots in the early part of the war. The only book I've ever finished and gone straight back to the start to read again.

2. Night over day over night by Paul Watkins. Novel about a young German soldier in the Battle of the Bulge. Like Robinson, Watkins writes amazing fiction, good enough for both of them to have been linked to the literary Booker Prize.

Non-fiction:

3. Actually, Why the Allies Won as suggested by Brutus is pretty darn good, it really makes you think about the course the war took.

4. The Desert Generals by Correlli Barnett. Classic account of the war in North Africa, full of controversial conclusions and wrapped in Barnett's elegant prose.

5. Six Armies in Normandy by John Keegan. A good account of UK, US, Polish, German etc soldiers' experience on D-Day and beyond.
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:28 AM
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Doh, FIL=Father In Law, right?
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:29 AM
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WWI nonfiction:

The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:42 AM
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Enemy at the Gates, a really excellent book about the seige of Stalingrad in WWII. It's nothing like the movie - instead of concentrating on the sniper battle, which it spends all of five pages on, it's more a history of the entire thing. How many men Hitler threw at the problem, how the Soviets countered, and how they ultimately won.

It's fascinating. It also has a large cast, but once you get sucked in, you're hooked.
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:01 AM
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Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne From Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest - Stephen Ambrose
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:22 AM
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The best WWI book (and one of the best history books ever written is The Price of Glory by Alastair Horne. Amazon is bundling it with the Tuchman (also a fine book). Get it.
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Old 11-08-2004, 11:30 AM
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Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road by Pat Barker, and The Wars by Timothy Findley.

They're all absolutely brilliant.
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:06 PM
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Winston Churchill's 6 volume history of the Second World War is a must-read for all armchair generals.
Consider--
  • Hitler kept no diary, & did not share his innermost thoughts.
  • Stalin was utterly paranoid, & never wrote anything down, in a non-official capacity.
  • Hirohito was smart to keep his mouth shut.
  • Mussoloni was executed. His (purported) journals were lost or burned (allegedly).
  • Roosevelt died in office.
  • Truman was a non-entity for 80%+ of the war.
  • What little DeGaul wrote, post-war, merely Flamed his old Allies, often for little cause.
  • Who else is left, other than Churchill?
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:16 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will happily accept more for my Father In Law
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:22 PM
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I love Tuchman as much as anybody, but there's been a whole generation, maybe two, of scholarship since she wrote. Specifically, while all the papers of Germany's Gen. Helmuth von Moltke had been thought to have been destroyed, a trove of documents have recently been discovered, giving insight into his role in deliberately instigating the war.

A good popular history incorporating these papers is Europe's Last Summer: Who Started The Great War in 1914? by David Fromkin, which debunks almost all the facts you think you know about the immediate causes of the war. I have a higher opinion of the book than most of the reviewers on Amazon, BTW, whom I think have misread his meaning. I also find it hard to take Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War as seriously as they do.

John Keegan is as good as analyst on the military and war as there is, and he also has a recent book, The First World War, that has been getting impressive reviews, although I haven't read it yet to check.

BTW, what's wrong with Amazon this morning? Is someone doing a DoS attack on them? I've never seen it this slow.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:26 PM
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Three by A.J.P Taylor, The First World War; The Origins of the Second World War; The Warlords (studies of the five main leaders during WWII).

John Keegan, The First World War.

Ewen Montagu, The Man Who Never Was - about one of the most ghoulish counter-intelligence ops ever - dropping a dead body in the sea with fake info about where the Allies would invade in the Med.

Two by John Lukacs: The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler, focusing on the period between Churchill assuming power and the fall of Dunkirk; and Five Days in London - an account of the power struggle that led to Chamberlain's resignation and the choice of Churchill over the Duke of Halifax as the Prime Minister; Churchill, with a "civilization is in the balance - fight to the end" policy, and Halifax with a more traditional "balance of power - should we reach an accomodation?" approach.

Ballard, the guy who found the Titanic, later searched for and found the Bismarck, then wrote about it: The Discovery of the Bismarck: Germany's Greatest Battleship Surrenders Her Secrets. Interesting mixture of a day-by-day account of the chase, and the technology that went into finding the ship.

And for light humour, set in the war: Whiskey Galore, by Compton Mackenzie - about a ship laden with Scotch that founders on a Scottish island where whiskey is under strict war-time rationing.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:34 PM
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Okay, it's not based on WWII and it's set mostly in America, but

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

is set during that time period and involves the war in the storyline. It's one of the best books I've ever read...I actually started rereading it last night.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutus
Why the Allies Won - Richard Overy
I'm pulling a NEAR jinty with this one--it's been a few weeks since I finished it but there is so much to digest.
Quote:
Dirty Little Secrets of World War II - James F. Dunnigan
It's rare that I find a book to be too short. This one is a treat and a quick, easy read.
Quote:
Duel of Eagles - Peter Townsend
If only Princess Margaret had been able to marry him.....
Quote:
WWI bores me to tears.
Too bad. It was a total horrorshow. Millions killed for, basically, no reason at all. And you cannot ignore that, as was concluded here a couple years ago, it gave us the better poetry of the two.

I started Keegan's book but will have to buy it because I read at talking speed (when I say something is a quick read that's SAYING something ) and it's too long to be taking out of the library. (Hmmmm, Amazon has it used from $4.20 and I have a gift certificate! But Amazon is, like EM says, very slow today.)

What bores me is most war non-fiction by British authors. Yes, they are thoroughly, even obsessively, researched but they are as dry as the sands of El Alamein. If you know which unit Dad was in you can follow his military career day by day but there is a point where you have to throw away the charts, statistics, and lists of which petty nobleman ran which unit and start blowing things up. Speaking of blowing things up, is there a good book on the Long Range Desert Group (you may remember them from "The Rat Patrol") and the Special Boat Service, including after the the North Africa campaign and the LRDG stopped getting to use Jeeps loaded up with more machine guns than a '60s TV budget could show and the SBS stopped using boats?

Dry books may help FIL sleep but he'll need something lighter to stay awake and the same British attention to detail that makes their nonfiction so boring does the opposite for their fiction, which often has a verisimilitude that keeps a reader going when the action slows. For mindrotting fun I recommend the WWII novels of Alistair MacLean, including "The Guns of Navarone" and "Where Eagles Dare." "The Key to Rebecca," by Ken Follett, is an exciting spy story in WWII Cairo.
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:29 PM
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I found Martin Gilbert's The First World War: A Complete History excellent, very readable and moving. He's also written one on WWII, which I've not read.
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:22 PM
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I forgot to mention that for good short overviews for wars you're not already familiar with, there are two series I find immensely readable.

One is by the historian James L. Stokesbury, whose produced A Short History of...
the American Revolution, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea and of air power.

There's also the American Heritage histories of the various wars. These are each done by a historian specializing in the period. A downside is that these have been around forever, and even the millions of updated, revised, and reorganized editions don't have the latest specialty research available. But they are written to be narrative histories of the most classic, i.e. readable, kind.
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:24 PM
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Aaarrgghh! who's, not whose.
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:36 PM
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Just finishing reading Tommy, by Richard Holmes; excellent, not at all dry (Dropzone!) social history of the British soldier in WWI;

also Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World , by Margaret MacMillan, which should be required reading in every senior high school in the English-speaking world, IMHO;

Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943 is superb, based on new material (new to the West, anyway) from former Soviet archives. His The Fall of Berlin 1945 is good, but not as much so as "Stalingrad."

I've flogged this round the boards before, but don't miss George MacDonald Fraser's autobiographical Quartered Safe Out Here; possibly the best personal WW2 memoir I've read; entertaining, moving, thought-provoking (and extremely well-written!)
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:39 PM
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The Wars by Timothy Findlay.

One of the most "beautiful" books I've ever read. ('Beautiful" because of the prose -- the subject matter is of course, horrific).
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:04 PM
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World War I:
Ditto on Keegan.
Also: Castles of Steel by Massie, covering the war at sea, especially Jutland.
Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour by Persico

For fiction, Derek Robinson's War Story does for WWI aviators what his Piece of Cake did for their WWII counterparts.

World War II:
Don't know if the Pacific war will be as much interest, but Touched with Fire: The Land War in the South Pacific by Bergerud covers the land war before the tide turned completely in favor of the Allies. His Fire in the Sky does the same for the air war there.
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:18 PM
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Try William March's 1933 novel, Company K. An interesting, absurdist precursor to Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse Five, it was wildly popular with the American troops during WWII, and stayed in print as a pocket book well into the 1950s. Only available now as a university press reprint....an extremely handsome piece of bookmaking.
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:28 PM
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Two by Walter Lord, the guy who wrote the definitive Titanic books A Night to Remember and The Night Lives On:

Day of Infamy, about Pearl Harbor. Short book but makes you feel like you were there and wonder what's going to happen, even though theoretically, of course, you know.

The Good Years--takes each year between 1901-1914 and narrates and dissects a major event--the McKinley assasination for 1901, the North Pole races of 1909, the Wilson election, child labor laws passage, women's suffrage, etc. Good along with the Tuchman book as a prelude to more technical military histories of WWI.

God rest his soul, Lord made you have a great deal of fun while quietly and skillfully stuffing you with facts and figures. The books just seem to fly by.
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:41 PM
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A WWII book that I recommend to anyone with an interest in naval matters is Daniel V. Gallery's U-505. In June of 1944 an American Hunter-Killer task group cornered and then captured on the high seas a German U-boat. U-505 is the story of both ships involved told from the view point of the commander who made the capture happen: Gallery himself. Part of the book is his own view of fighting WWII up to the point where he captures the sub, part of it is a meticulously researched history of the German POV, including quite a lot of details of the Kriegsmarine's U-boat men. An incredible read. And a description of one of the bravest things I can imagine doing: climbing into a submarine whose crew just set it to scuttle to see if they could save it, instead. <shuddering>

Similarly, Edward Beach's books are well worth reading, too. Not simply Run Silent, Run Deep, but I'd also recommend Around the World Submerged: The Voyage of the Triton. I know the latter isn't WWII, but it's still fascinating reading.

I'd also recommend any of the books about the way that four Destroyer Escorts held off the (scraps of the) Japanese surface fleet during the Leyte Gulf battles. Talk about David and Goliath - the Japanese Admiral was freaked because his shots were hitting these miniature tin cans, and he was seeing no explosions or damage from his rounds. The reason for this was that the battleship rounds were fused such that they were detonating after travelling through the DE's. I've not read any of the recent account that I'm going to list here, but the story itself is one that is well worth reading, and any honest account will be heart stopping.


The Men of the Gambier Bay: The Amazing True Story of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, by Edwin P. Hoyt

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

And I'll second the recommendation for Ballard's book - he's a very good writer.
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Old 11-08-2004, 05:02 PM
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I Had Seen Castles, by Cynthia Rylant.

You can find the book, as well as a couple reviews, on amazon.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:02 PM
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Even though more books have been recommended than you'll ever need, I couldn't resist making a pitch for The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer.

It is, IMHO, unrivaled in conveying the horror and stupidity of war. A (supposedly) true story of a German soldier in WWII, it contains descriptions and images that will stay with the reader forever. Not for the squeamish.

If nothing else, FIL may never have encountered this one before.
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodd Hill
Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943 is superb, based on new material (new to the West, anyway) from former Soviet archives. His The Fall of Berlin 1945 is good, but not as much so as "Stalingrad."
I preferred Ryan's book on Berlin.

In fact all of Cornelius Ryan's WW II books - The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far ( also a good film by the way - literally star-studded and easy to find on DVD )and The Last Battle ( the aformentioned book on the battle of Berlin ) are probably worth a gander. Easy reads for the homebound.

- Tamerlane
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Old 11-08-2004, 11:22 PM
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Dreadnaught-Robert K. Massie

Exploring the Lusitania-Bob Ballard (mentioned above as the the man who found the wreck of Titanic).
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Old 11-09-2004, 12:33 AM
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Here's one. Shameless plug because my grandfather is mentioned in the acknowledgements.

The Battle of St. Lawrence

Canadian bookstore link, but should be available anywhere.
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:21 AM
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Since I don't know your FIL, I coudn't say if he would be bored by the more scholarly works during his convalesence. If not, I'd recommend "The Great War and Modern Memory," by Paul Fussell. Since it covers just about all of the worthwhile books about World War One, you may then have to make follow-up trips for the actual books that Fussel mentions that may interest your FIL.

If your FIL is more interested in a good, simple war yarn or two, and isn't comfortable with seeing his country of origin as the bad guys, I recommend John Biggins' three books "A Sailor of Austria," "The Emperor's Coloured Coat," and "Two Headed Eagle," adventure books with a nice mixture of the grim and silly about Austria-Hungary's war.

Or to hell with the World Wars; if, like a lot of Germans, he likes Westerns, get him some Louis L'Amour!
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:59 PM
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I have neglected this thread but I have not forgotten all the wonderful, well thought out book suggestions.

My attention was drawn today with the news that Iris Chang , the author of The Rape of Nanking committed suicide the other day and brought her book back into the forefront of my mind.

I will be getting this book for myself. I was wondering about War books from Japan/China /Aussies...
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirley Ujest
I will be getting this book for myself. I was wondering about War books from Japan/China /Aussies...
I just tried looking it up, but I don't recall the name or the title offhand - when I next visit my parents I'll look it up - but there's a great narrative of the Pacific War from the view of a Japanese Naval officer. He was only a small cog, but still it's a view of WWII that is not often seen. The only reason the book was published and translated to English was that the man who wrote it was the captain of the detroyer that ran over JFK's PT 109. But that's a poor reason to read the book - it's only a very small part of the story, mostly it's one man trying to survive a losing war with personal honor and duty.

Of course, it also solidified my view of JFK's PT 109 incident as being the outgrowth of a major FUBAR.

The thing that most affected me when I read it was a mid-war vacation that the captain and his wife took, and how they'd had a lovely time. As an aside, the author mentioned how if he could he'd love to go back there, but it's not possible - it had been in Nagasaki, you see.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:35 PM
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For epic fictionalized adventure, you can't go wrong with The Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:42 PM
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Keegan's histories of the two wars - named, originally enough, "The First World War" and "The Second World War" - are the best-organized, best-written, clearest, and most accurate single-volume histories I've ever read.

I agree, though, that World War I is kind of boring. Its impact on world history is interesting, but the war itself was a pointless meat grinder and is generally notable only for the amazing level of stupidity and pointlessness it represents.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:47 PM
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WWII Books


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirley Ujest

I need book recommendations for books about the First and Second world war. Fiction, Bio's, Mystery, Factual Compendiums & whatnot. Links appreciated.

Danke
The Rising Sun : The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945 (Modern Library War Series 1970) John Toland - Pulitzer Prize; Very exciting and comprehensive long book on the Pacific.

Chesty (The Story of Lt. Gen. Lewis B. Puller, USMC, 2001) by Col. Jon T. Hoffman, USMC

Carlson's Raid (The Daring Assult on Makin, 2001) by George W. Smith
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Old 11-11-2004, 02:20 PM
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Macro level:

WWII: Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II


Closer look at the east:

David M. Glantz, When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler


Also:

William L. Shrier: Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (for the historiography value if he is interested in that)


My personal viewpoint, having read three Ambrose books, is that most if not all of what he writes is anecdotal crap. Even taking myself out of hardcore historian mindset, his "tales of the common soldier" type of approach did not capture me. I found him quite irritating from the context of a true historian. Of course plenty of others love him.
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Old 11-11-2004, 02:34 PM
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WWI fiction: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. The best I've ever read. Really puts you in the horror of the trenches, to powerful and devastating effect.
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:03 PM
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Chesty Puller's a fun one. Think of Cotton Hill with an attitude.

My problem with Ambrose is not that it's "anecdotal crap" (one guy's anecdotal crap is another guy's oral history) but that he is so damned reverent of these guys! Yeah, they did a tough thing, but PLEASE! I have gotten more descriptive elsewhere on this board but this is the wrong forum for it. Let's just say that Easy Company didn't even have to take him to dinner and a movie.
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snickers
Enemy at the Gates, a really excellent book about the seige of Stalingrad in WWII. [ ... ] How many men Hitler threw at the problem, how the Soviets countered, and how they ultimately won.
Aw, geez! Now you went and spiled the ending. Don't'cha believe in using SPOILER warnings?!
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:22 PM
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What would be some good accounts of a ship at war?

I read the fictional H.M.S. Ulysses, which is a story about a British cruiser on the Murmansk convoy route. Very good book. I read Battleship at War, the non-fictional story of the USS Washington (or N.Dakota?) during WW2. Very good.

Any other good books regarding a single ship during WW2?
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutus
I read the fictional H.M.S. Ulysses, which is a story about a British cruiser on the Murmansk convoy route. Very good book.
Good. I've been rereading Navarone and that gets mentioned on the cover and I had HEARD it was good but now I HAVE to track it down.
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Old 11-13-2004, 12:14 AM
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I agree, though, that World War I is kind of boring. Its impact on world history is interesting, but the war itself was a pointless meat grinder and is generally notable only for the amazing level of stupidity and pointlessness it represents.
That's why I liked A.J.P. Taylor's book on the Great War over Keegan's. Taylor's is heavily illustrated, and his captions are wryly funny. I need pictures to get me through the war!
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Old 11-13-2004, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Brutus
Any other good books regarding a single ship during WW2?
Two by C.S. Forester, although they've been criticised as being propaganda pieces (both were written during WWII). I found them good reads:

- The Ship, an account of a British ship in the Med, fighting the Italian navy;

- The Good Shepherd, about an American ship on convoy duty, protecting the convoy from U-boats.
  #45  
Old 11-13-2004, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kythereia
Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road by Pat Barker, and The Wars by Timothy Findley.

They're all absolutely brilliant.
Dammit, Kythereia, Pat Barker was MY pick.
  #46  
Old 11-13-2004, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone
What bores me is most war non-fiction by British authors. Yes, they are thoroughly, even obsessively, researched but they are as dry as the sands of El Alamein. If you know which unit Dad was in you can follow his military career day by day but there is a point where you have to throw away the charts, statistics, and lists of which petty nobleman ran which unit and start blowing things up. Speaking of blowing things up, is there a good book on the Long Range Desert Group (you may remember them from "The Rat Patrol") and the Special Boat Service, including after the the North Africa campaign and the LRDG stopped getting to use Jeeps loaded up with more machine guns than a '60s TV budget could show and the SBS stopped using boats?
Permit me to recommend Quartered Safe Out Here, by George MaDonald Fraser {author of the Flashman novels, among others}: not so much non-fiction as a personal memoir {he even makes the comparison between official accounts and his own first-hand experiences} of his experiences as a callow 19 year old fighting the Japanese in the Burma campaign. It's very reflective, beautifully written, utterly engrossing, and probably one of the best accounts ever of war as experienced by an ordinary infantryman.
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Old 11-13-2004, 03:13 AM
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That is , of course George MacDonald Fraser.
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Old 11-13-2004, 03:38 AM
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God is my co-pilot Robert Scotts famous tale of flying with the American Volunteer Group aka "The Flying Tigers" in China

Firebirds!: Flying the Typhoon in action.

Devil Boats: The PT War against Japan

U-Boats Offshore: When Hitler struck America by Edwin P. Hoyt - has some amazing stories about how close the allies came to defeat due to massive shipping losses close to the American coast.

Eagle against the Sun: The American war with Japan Excellent one-volume account of the Pacific War

Codename Downfall: The Secret Plan to Invade Japan by Norman Polmar & Thomas B. Allen - Examines the pros & cons of the plans to invade Japan, looking at both the Army & Navy estimates of casualties, the differing invasion plans for each Island and how they changed with the advent of the Atomic bomb (the plan for a beach-head near Tokyo called for the use of at least six nukes! - the planners had no briefing on radioactivity & just treated them as really big conventional bombs)
  #49  
Old 11-13-2004, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
That's why I liked A.J.P. Taylor's book on the Great War over Keegan's. Taylor's is heavily illustrated, and his captions are wryly funny. I need pictures to get me through the war!
Those Brits do know how to inject their wry humor into just about anything. In one of my WW2 airplane reference books (Axis Aircraft of WW2, I think), in the blurb for the Betty or some other Japanese bomber, the author wrote something like:

Unfortunately, the lack of self-sealing fuel tanks meant that this wonderful and useful bomber would frequently be turned into a terrible and useless flaming wreck ...

I'll check out those A.J.P. Taylor books. They may be propaganda, but worry not! Nothing will dissuade me from my steadfast hope for the ultimate victory of the Thir-err, nevermind. I'll give'em a look!
  #50  
Old 11-13-2004, 06:19 AM
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Another book that doesn´t have Germans as the bad guys:

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence, which I just finished reading and found to be very good.

Also, it´s WWI, which seems to be getting a pretty short shrift in this discussion...
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