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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16498164 10/04/21
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For Europe--anything by Antony Beevor. He puts Ambrose to shame. Ambrose is a good storyteller but not a good historian. Beevor is both a historian and a storyteller.
For the Eastern Front--anything by Pritt Buttar, a British doctor. Very long reads but very interesting.
For the Pacific--anything by Ian Toll or James Hornfischer.

Last edited by UPhiker; 10/04/21.
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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16664813 11/28/21
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Just finished "The Guns at Last Light" yesterday, the third in Atkinson's trilogy. Excellent series and thanks for that recommendation. He does a good job of showing the big picture with enough detail and small anecdotes to put a real human side to the war. These books plus Ambrose's "The Supreme Commander" gave me new insights into Eisenhower, both his less than stellar (sometimes) role as a decisive commander but also his near saintly tolerance for Montgomery and the French. I would have been tempted to sack Monty about the third or fourth week of Overlord if not somewhere in Italy.

Going to start Ian Toll's trilogy on the Pacific War next.



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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16664990 11/28/21
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Lotsa good books listed.

A few more:

"D" Day by Ambrose, often called "THE" book about "D" Day.

The Art of Resistance , forgot the Jewish author Justus Rosenboom? Jew escapes the Nazis then goes back to spy on them.

Never call me a Hero by Dusy Kleiss story of WWII pilot sunk 3 Jap Carriers at Midway in his Dauntless dive bomber.

Anything about the Battle of the Bulge

Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16665010 11/28/21
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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16665164 11/28/21
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It's not printed, but if you enjoy a good documentary, Mark Felton has tons of them on youtube.

http://markfelton.co.uk/

Many of them are short and cover some of the more obscure subjects of WWII. I've watched lots of them and there seems to be not end to them.

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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16665205 11/28/21
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I have a dozen or so of dad's "Stars and Stripes" ETO edition, reading those probably gives you a good dose of "how it IS" vs. "how it was". Probably the one trip I've been on that shaped my life was when dad took me through Normandy and he & I retraced his steps through some of France. This was in the late 60's - early 70's when dad was stationed in Heidelberg at USAREUR back then.

Miss ya, you old drunk infantryman...

Re: Good WWII history books [Re: OMCHamlin] #16665545 11/28/21
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Back in 1970 I spent an entire Sunday afternoon going through the stacks at the U of FL, reading US News and World Report magazines from 1942 through 1945. Didn't read every word but skimmed through each of them, looking at article headlines and such.

It was about as close to watching the war in real time as you could get. History was being made daily, no one knew the outcome so you'd see it unfold as the folks did at the time, from the tenuous landings on Guadalcanal and North Africa through Sicily, Italy, the southern and central Pacific battles, Normandy, etc., right up to VE and VJ days. Obviously, the stories were cleaned up and full of rah rah jingoism, nothing about having two entire Ranger battalions wiped out trying to cross the Rapido River, the slaughter on Omaha beach or an entire division wiped out of existence at the start of the Bulge ("heavy resistance" or "heavy casualties" was about as bad as they'd describe it) but the mood of grim determination turning to wary optimism and finally one of inevitable victory was pretty neat to read.


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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: JeffyD] #16670643 11/30/21
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Originally Posted by JeffyD
The best book I have read about WW II in Europe is "The Last 100 Days" by John Toland. It was published in 1964, and the author interviewed many of the men involved, including Generals and Field Marshals from both sides of the conflict.

Another favorite of mine is "The Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sager. A brutal first-person account of the fighting on the Eastern Front.





I've read The Forgotten Soldier, too. Excellent book. A mostly forgotten book by many WWII historians.



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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16670685 11/30/21
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The Bitter Woods, the story of the Battle of the Bulge an excellent account of one of the most hard fought battles of WWII.

Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16671235 11/30/21
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Already mentioned here by several others; Rick Atkinsons' trilogy, An Army At Dawn, The Day Of Battle and The Guns At Last Light about the US army and Allies from North Africa to the end of the war is outstanding IMO. I read somewhere that it's relatively recent publishing starting in 2002 provided some information that had not been released until quite a while after the war.

It describes the overall scope of our participation with a lot of personal accounts as well as interesting side notes. One good example covered the allied saturation bombing of Germany beginning in early 1944. At one point in six days we lost "226 bombers, 28 fighters and 2,600 crewmen". Any member of a bomber crews chances of not being killed, wounded, missing or captured before completing 25 and later 35 missions weren't good. The casualties were so bad that 88 bombers left formations and landed in neutral countries.

Just saw you've already read these.

Last edited by 43Shooter; 11/30/21.
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Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16671424 11/30/21
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Many-
The Bridgebusters by Cleeve
The dead and those about to Die jy John McManus
Tigers of Bastogne by Collind & King
Shifty's War by Brotherton
Smashing Hitler's Panzers by Zaloga
Pursuit by Ludovic Kennedy
Black May by Michael Gannon
The Longest Battle by Richard Hough
Attack of the Airacobras by Dmitry Loza
Forgotten Fiftenth by Barrett Tillman
The Naval War Against Hitler by Macintyre
Alamo in the Ardennes by John McManus
Ardennes 1944 by Beevor
With Wings like Eagles by Korda
The Battle of Britain by James holland
Operation Drumbeat by Michael Gannon
Big Week by James Holland

Re: Good WWII history books [Re: Jim in Idaho] #16671449 11/30/21
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No man escapes
When freedom fails,
The best men rot in filthy jails;
And they who cried: “Appease, Appease!”
Are hanged by men they tried to please.
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