|World War II Books Reviewed:
Biographies and Recommended Reading
Reading recommendations by Combat! fans for Combat!
(You can also browse
reviews of all recommended books in alphabetical order by title.)
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recommend or review a book]
Authors and publishers: books for review can be sent to:
Strange New Worlds, 5591 Shady Brook Trail, Sarasota FL 34243
||Patton- A Genius for War by Carlo D'Este
recommended by Carl on Feb 27, 2003 "... it really is an eye opener in terms of
relating to the accuracy of the movie ..."
Read Carl's entire review of Patton : A
Genius for War
||June 7, 2000 Recommended by David Steinert
Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley.
A son of one of the Iwo Jima flag raisers writes a gripping history of the men who raised
the flag. "It's my opinion that this is the 'Saving Private Ryan' of books. Highly
recommended. Read more...
recommended by DANIEL WYATT (Usma) on Friday,
December 24, 1999:
Heroes of World War II Author
Edward F. Murphy writes of the feats of selfless courage during World War II, of men who
earned the nation's highest award: the congressional medal of honor. 433 were given the
highest award for valor. Only 190 of these men survived to be given their medal.
||Fellow fans Rob and Claudia Dressen recommend: September 16, 1999
"I just wanted to recommend a book to all the Combat! fans. It's called Donald's Story. It tells the true story of
an Army Air Corp. pilot's experience in WWII. The pilot's niece wrote the book and she
tells his story through letters that he wrote home. I have never read a book that gives
you so many perspectives of the war both on a personal level and an historical one. It's
one of the most touching stories I have ever read. All you P-51 fans will really enjoy the
technical stuff! Truly a unique account."
chronicles the story of the frontline Catholic priests who served on all fronts in WWII.
||Recommended Dec 15, 2002 by Scout:
Once Upon a Town : The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen
true story of the North Platte canteen in a Nebraska town of 12,000. where the citizens
decided to dedicate themselves to the war effort by providing love and kindness to all of
the soldiers that passed through on the troop trains. Over 6 million soldiers passed
through. Read more ...
||Recommended by Jo October-3-2002
A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century
by Ben Shephard
This definitive history illuminates the bumpy efforts to understand the ravages of war on
the human mind, and points towards the true lessons to be learned from treating the
aftermath of war. Read more...
||Recommended by "Scout" February 21-25, 2002:
Prisoners of the Japanese by Gavan Daws. Another fantastic book (and
appalling!) by Gavan Daws. It's one of those books you read and don't 'get over'
(emotionally) very soon. But then, it seems like all the books I've read on the PTO have
that effect (especially 'With the Old Breed'). The Pacific war was so
different in so many ways from the war in Europe."
||Those Devils in Baggy Pants Recommended by
"Scout" February 21-25, 2002: Tale of the 82nd Airborne Divisions' fight
across North Africa, culminating in the Battle of the Bulge. The author was one of three
men who survived the suicide stands of his platoon of paratroopers. First published in
1951, over one millon sold. Read more...
||Carnage and Culture: Landmark battles in the rise of
Scholarly and fascinating! Great examination of how free citizen soldiers and western
values create superior armies. Read
||Silent Night : The Story of World War I Christmas Truce
Recommended Christmas, 2001
The truly remarkable, and almost forgotten, story of the WWI Christmas truce. This truce
is generally ignored by most major historians of the First World War. Read more...
||Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories
of the Kindertransport
March 26, 2001: "I was glad to see "Into the Arms of Strangers"
win the Oscar for best full-length documentary. I highly recommend this, and the book it
was based on. It tells of the Kindertransport -- about 10,000 Jewish children evacuated
from Europe just prior to the outbreak of the war. A heart-wrenching tale of parents
giving the greatest sacrifice, gaving up their children to strangers so that they might
live. One of the producers is the daughter of a one of the children rescued this
way." - Jo Davidsmeyer
For info about the book click here, or
see info on DVD
||Recommended Mon Feb 26, 2001by Scout
Nazi Prisoners of War in America by Arnold Krammer. A lot of good
information in this book. So many things to consider when housing prisoners on our
soil that I never considered. Read
||Jan 24, 1999 Marty Black
The Deadly Brotherhood: The American Combat Soldier in World War II
by John C. McManus
The combat soldier, who was he? This books looks into the heart of an infantryman in WWII.
"If you have an interest in the psyche of the WWII combat GI, or perhaps writing
stories about WWII GI's, this is a great book for you." Read more...
April 2, 1999
Travis Weir recommends the following non-fiction titles:
- D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by
Stephen E. Ambrose 1994.
Travis says: A fantastic operational and tactical narrative on the day that ensured
freedom for the latter half of the 20th century. Ambrose does an incredible job of piecing
together many first-hand accounts of Omaha, Utah, Gold, Sword, and Juno beaches and
spinning a tale which will keep you spellbound.
(Also available in hard cover, audio cassette and large print edition)
- Citizen Soldiers: The
U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7,
1944-May 7, 1945 by Stephen E. Ambrose Travis says about this book: As
with "D-Day," Ambrose continues where he left off in early June of '44 with this
account of the Allies' romp through Europe that year, the resulting breakthrough at the
Bulge and onward into the German's heartland to Berlin. Again, Ambrose paints a
masterful portrait story thanks to many retired Allied soldiers, nurses, and surgeons.
(Also available in paperback, audio cassette and large print edition)
- The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich
by William L. Shirer Travis recommends: Written by an American
journalist who was the NY Times' contact in Berlin from the late 1920s until after
WWII. A simply breathtaking and exhaustive account of the rise of Hitler, his years
building the National Socialist party, the triumphant rise of the Third Reich, and the
pathetic fall of the same in 1945. If you are at all interested in just how Nazi Germany
came to be, this is the book you have to start with !
- Stalingrad by Antony Beevor Beevor's
account of the battle that was possibly Hitler's greatest blunder. The long and
bloody siege of Stalingrad by the German Sixth Army and it's encirclement and ensuing
slaughter by January of 1943 by the Russians is covered here in great detail combined with
Beevor's easy-to-read style of writing.
The Last First Sergeant - a WWII memoir
I received the email below from a son who has published his father's
memoir about his WWII experience.
I would like to invite you to visit the www.lastfirstsergeant.com site
which I established in March of this year. My father, Layton Black, Jr. was a paratrooper
in the 101st Airborne Division, with the 502, Company 'C', during WWII. Beginning in June
of 1975, he began writing his "Screaming Eagle" memoirs. Through the process of
continued research, communication with fellow soldiers, and ongoing revisions and
rewrites, the story of one infantry soldier took shape. [...] I invite you to visit the
Christmas, 1944 page at www.lastfirstsergeant.com
for a seasonal sampling from the text and the most recent addition to the site.
From: Green Recruit
Thu Mar 1, 2001
A New Book Series...
The other day, I had some time to kill between stops to visit my customers. Entering
the nearest Barnes & Noble, I headed right to the bargain book display. There I
found a series of books written in English, French and German and published by B
& N. The series is titled "The
Hulton Getty Picture Collection" and each book covers a different decade of
the 20th century. I picked up the one for the 1940s and found it to be quite fascinating.
In fact, there were some pictures in it that I had never seen before. The price
of these books is a very reasonable $9.98... or at least *I* think it's reasonable!
Divided into chapters, the book covers everything from WWII, sports, children and show
August 11, 2000:
From Jo Davidsmeyer: I recently sat down with fellow Sarasota writer
Robert E. Witter. He kindly shared with me his article about Neville Brand, along with his interview of the
late Dick Peabody. Bob is a meticulous researcher who has several excellent reference
books to his credit:
I highly recommend the above Small Boats and Large Slow Targets
for its frank and revealing loook at the men who took the beaches. Bob has recently
completed a book about the amphibious assault on Tarawa and is seeking a publisher.
July 20, 2000: Books recently purchased by your fellow
- The Naked and the Dead
by Norman Mailer
Hailed as one of the finest American novels to come out of WWII, the story concerns
a platoon of 13 Marines stationed on the Japanese-held island of Anopopei in the Pacific.
- Operation Drumbeat : The Dramatic True Story of Germany's
First U-Boat Attacks Along the American Coast in World War II by Michael
February 22, 2000:
Army Photo Album : Shooting the War in Color, 1941-1945 USA to Eto by Jonathan
Gawne. I bought this book myself to keep in my reference library. Another excellent book
from the author who brought us Spearheading
D-Day. Fabulous photography throughout and well researched. Highly recommended!
- Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War
II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel
- I'll Be Home for Christmas: The
Library of Congress Revisits the Spirit of Christmas During World War II
- The G.I. Series provides great WWII history for young adults. Short, 80-page
books filled with photos and illustrations, both black-and-white and color. Aimed at young
adults, this best-selling series is a good primer for anyone starting to learn of WWII.
Most books of the series are available in both paperback and hardcover editions.
Added June 23, 1999:
The Marine Corps Professional Reading Program List
Commandant's recommended reading for:
Privates, Privates First Class, Lance Corporals, Corporals, and Sergeants
June 23, 1999
Brad Hicks recommends:
I was very pleasantly surprised and enjoyed immensely "Hart's War" by John
Katzenbach. The book is the story of a murder and subsequent trial within the confines of
a German POW camp. The book was well written with good character development and an
intense plot that kept your interest throughout with a wide range of emotion.
Click here for more
March 30, 1999
Your fellow fans recently purchased the following books through Amazon.com:
March 1, 1999
Marty Black recommends: I recently took a chance on a softbound D-Day photo book,
that was advertised as having "many never before published photos." We've all
heard that before, but although this book has many photos that we've seen in every other
D-Day book, it does include many that I hadn't seen before. Many look like scenes from
Saving Private Ryan! [...] 128 pages, mostly photos, and a little text. If you're into
D-Day photo books, or a fan of Saving Private Ryan, this is a decent book. Day of Destiny : The Photographs of D-Day
But don't forget to squirrel away an additional $6.95 plus $2.50 P&H
for the "After the Battle" issue #103, due in at RZM Imports at the end of
March. That will have a 29-page article on the making of Saving Private Ryan. That's got
my strongest recommendation....Marty B.
Feb 3, 1999
American Special Units, 6 June 1944
by Jonathan Gawne
Just released December, 1998, this is a *must* for anyone needing research
of D-Day, especially writers. Phenomenal detail at the soldier and platoon level. Covers
not just the rifle companies, but all the support troops and special units that made it
work, including info, pictures, and detailed illustrations of the uniforms, equipment, and
maps. What a fabulous resource. I can tell already that I'll be re-visiting this book
Order Spearheading D-Day
Jan 29, 1999 Marty Black
Beyond the Beachhead:
The 29th Infantry Division in Normandy
by Joseph Balkoski
Joe Balkoski is of "our" generation, and has written a
tremendously good book on the 29th Div's fight, from D-Day through the taking of St. Lo.
It was carefully written to appeal to the non-WWII-buff as well as us "hardcore
experts." Joe takes care to explain the command structure, organization of both
armies, the differing weapons, etc.
Ernie Pyle : WWII War Correspondent
- see recommended books about this great war reporter who died in the war doing his job.