Between 1939 and 1945, the world witnessed the largest armed conflict in history. The following scholars offer book recommendations on World War II, ranging in scope from the Holocaust to the storming of Omaha Beach on D-Day.
Bookmarks Staff Picks
D-DAY: JUNE 6, 1944
The Climactic Battle of World War II
By Stephen E. Ambrose (1994)
In more than 1,400 interviews with veterans of the war--paratroopers, infantrymen, military commanders, civilians, and others--Stephen Ambrose offers firsthand accounts of how soldiers from the Allied forces triumphed over the German army on the war's most eventful day.
BAND OF BROTHERS
By Stephen E. Ambrose (1993)
The 147 combat paratroopers of Easy Company experienced basic training, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, and combat near Hitler's Eagle's Nest. The survivors describe their camaraderie and the senselessness of war.
THE LAST BATTLE
The Classic History of the Battle for Berlin
By Cornelius Ryan (1965)
Author of The Longest Day (1959), about D-Day, and A Bridge Too Far (1974), about the Battle of Arnhem, Cornelius Ryan, the late war correspondent, examines the military, political, and personal aspects of the Battle for Berlin, the last pivotal fight to bring down the Third Reich.
WAR AS I KNEW IT
By George S. Patton, Jr. (1947)
George S. Patton, Jr.--a brilliant military tactician--headed the Third Army in World War II. In this classic memoir drawn from his diaries, he recalls the personalities, daily combats, and feats of the war as his army swept across western Europe.
THE CAINE MUTINY
By Herman Wouk (1951)
* Pulitzer Prize
Based on Herman Wouk's own experience aboard a destroyer-minesweeper during World War II, this novel explores life aboard the USS Caine. Since its publication, the fictional creations of Willie Keith, the eccentric Captain Queeg, and Lieutenant Steve Maryk have put a more human face on the war.
THE NAKED AND THE DEAD
By Norman Mailer (1948)
In the South Pacific, battles between officers and foot soldiers fighting for the Japanese-held island of Anopopei play out.
FOR THE OVERLY AMBITIOUS
THE SECOND WORLD WAR
By Winston S. Churchill (6 vols., 1948-53)
* Nobel Prize
In this monumental parthistory, part-memoir, Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister during most of World War II, provides a comprehensive account of events leading up to the war and of the war itself. Most critics consider these volumes an intensely personal history of Churchill's leadership rather than a definitive, comprehensive history. Start with The Gathering Storm, which charts Hitler's rise to power.
Joseph M. Balkoski
Joseph Balkoski is a World War II historian...