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TejasHorn
Texas Fan
High Plains Driftin'
Member since Mar 2007
6135 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
quote:

Rise and fall of the third reich by William Shirer


Intimidating by weight, but an easy read. As you would expect from a journalist.
Definitely 2nd this recommendation.


FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Farmerville LA
Member since Mar 2006
17721 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
The G.I. Journal of Sgt. Giles


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BigPapiDoesItAgain
LSU Fan
Shreveport
Member since Nov 2009
673 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
quote:

City of Thieves

Excellent tome from an excellent storyteller.

More fiction:
Herman Wouk's Winds of War/War and Remembrance (two books which are essentially one work) is one of the finest examples of historical fiction to be found.


Buckeye06
Ohio State Fan
Member since Dec 2007
14093 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
I like Craig Symonds. He does a few about WWII naval affairs.


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Stonehenge
Alabama Fan
Wakulla Springs
Member since Dec 2014
99 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Tigers In The Mud-Otto Carius


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TigerFanInSouthland
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2012
14088 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Brothers, Rivals, Victors it's about the relationship of Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley.


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jrenton
New Orleans Saints Fan
Houston
Member since Mar 2007
1848 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Five Days in London by John Lukacs


frankenfish
LSU Fan
Crofton, MD
Member since Feb 2008
575 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
I am reading the Second World Wars by Victor Davis Hanson. He is a professor of the classics, so it is "text booky" but he does have many takes on WWII that I hadn't heard before. It's about how WWII was a truly global war, how the Axis stumbled into IT (I didn't know Germany didn't tell Italy or Japan they were invading the USSR) and how the Allies decided total defeat was needed to correct how incorrectly WWI was wrapped up.


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tigahbruh
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Jun 2014
305 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Stephen Ambrose books are easy reads that provide a viewpoint based around the everyday American soldier. Citizen Soldiers and D-Day are both good reads.
Rick Atkinson is another prolific WWII author.
Both are legit historians but write for regular readers (ie not for academics- getting too in the weeds and/or technical).


tigger1
Member since Mar 2005
2603 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

by Jonathan Parshall, and Anthony Tully

Great work on the battle of Midway.

Only problem I have with the work is blaming Isoroku Yamamoto for the lose. Hindsight is always 20/20, plan was sound, the only blame Yamamoto should take is the appointment of Chuichi Nagumo as commander of the Kido Butai.



McGregor
Alabama Fan
Member since Feb 2011
2559 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
quote:

E B Sledge - With the Old Breed.

very good

China Marine also by Sledge is the follow up to that too, also very good.


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FootballNostradamus
Clemson Fan
Member since Nov 2009
19436 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
quote:

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall, and Anthony Tully Great work on the battle of Midway.


Fantastic book if you're into Naval histories and strategies. It also does a really good job of detailing the build-up of both Japan and the US's navies and how they differed and then how these differences translated into combat.

quote:

Only problem I have with the work is blaming Isoroku Yamamoto for the lose. Hindsight is always 20/20, plan was sound, the only blame Yamamoto should take is the appointment of Chuichi Nagumo as commander of the Kido Butai.


I don't think he blamed him excessively. Yamamoto deserves significant blame for the fleet decisions prior to Midway. Japan's entire naval strategy was built on consolidated forces and strength in numbers. They were the pioneers of carrier strike forces, and they did it better than anyone at this point in time.

Then you're going to engage the US in a pivotal battle without your entire carrier fleet present? It's such a catastrophic change in their philosophy that it can't not be criticized. It is easily a top 2 reason they lost Midway IMO.


tigger1
Member since Mar 2005
2603 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Shattered Sword:

The authors of the book Shattered Sword did not go into detailed research on the Japanese Naval Air arm, so many opinions in the book are based on guess work at best and misunderstanding of the naval arm and scope of the war.

There are 6 fleet carriers, of those the Shokaku was completed 8 August 1941 and the Zuikaku September 25 1941. Zuikaku pilots were filled out by the last of the reserves of the trained naval pilots, with a few core well trained pilots. The Shokaku was filled out with what was left and the navy pulled up 70% of the class in training to fill out it crop. Both were so under trained in carrier operations that on Dec. 7th 1941 their groups were limited to airfield attacks, except for 17 dive bombers from the Zuikaku attacked the USS Maryland and USS California.

As said in the book the Kaga was a slow carrier at 28 knots, this is why she was hit so many times. If not for Best hitting the Akagi the battle still well could have ended up in a Japanese win.

As seen above the Japanese are very short carrier pilots, which brings us to the Shokaku she has been hit 3 times and in need of repair from the battle of Coral Sea. Shokaku is damaged so bad, she nearly capsized in heavy seas on the way back to Kure. She enters Kure on May 17 1942 and dry dock on June 16th and can not take part in the battle of Midway. Shokaku fight deck was damage and could not land aircraft at Coral Sea.

Zuikaku at the Battle of Coral Seas took a heavy lose in Naval pilots and trained aircraft crew, as seen above the Japanese near deleted the class in training filling out the Shokaku and had already deleted the pilots in reserve. Zuikaku made it back to Japan around May 17 after losing near 50% of her air personnel. To get pilots to fill out her depleted ranks would have meant calling in all the smaller carriers which would have taken time, the Midway operation did not have at that time.

The Japanese carriers of the Midway operation sail around May 24 1942. The slower carriers used in the Alaska operations the Jun'yo 25.5 knots and Ryujo 29 knots are support carriers, Ryujo has 18 B5Ns and 16 Zeros and the Jun'yo has 18 A6M3 Zeros, a 13 D3A2s. The Jun'yo had just been commissioned before the Alaska operation May 3 1942.

The attack on Alaska was meant to draw the America fleet north and hit Midway the next day.
This post was edited on 1/10 at 11:29 pm


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PJinAtl
Auburn Fan
Atlanta
Member since Nov 2007
9268 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
In the historical fiction category, Jeff Shaara wrote four books on WW2 - three on the fight in Europe and one on the Pacific. As with all of his books they are very well researched.

In the non-fiction category, I really like Hugh Ambrose's The Pacific. It is the companion book to the HBO series that followed Band of Brothers. It follows several individuals through the war in the Pacific.


tigger1
Member since Mar 2005
2603 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Battalion of the Damned: The 1st Marine Paratroopers at Gavutu and Bloody Ridge, 1942

The unsung heroes of the battle for Guadalcanal.

Very good book.

The Battalion is about 1/3 of it's strength when it is covering the left flank on Edson's ridge.

Harry L. Torgerson is one of the many unsung heroes that night on Bloody Ridge. He was awarded with a Silver Star on Gavutu in an action he should have gotten the Navy Cross, but his commanding officer is wounded and in the rear and the ex is hiding in the hq.

On the night of the attack he leads the bayonet attack from the ridge that breaks up the Japanese on the left flank and is by passed on awards because the commanding officer has been relived that night by Edson and Harry was placed in command of the battalion. This bayonet charge is at the key point when the Japanese are pressing from the west and south side of the ridge. This the same time the Japanese got the 75mm cannon on the ridge and trying to take out the small hill on the ridge at point blank range. He should have been awarded a medal equal to his actions on Gavutu.

I had a chance to pick up Colonel Robert H. Williams famous Marine Guadalcanal "George medal" ribbon, he is the commander on Gavutu, he missed the fight on Edson ridge as he is recovering from wounds.
This post was edited on 1/11 at 9:17 pm


tigereye58
Louisiana Tech Fan
Member since Jan 2007
1842 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
If you're looking for an easy read go get Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand. Even if you've seen the movie the book will blow your mind and it's a great kick start to your New Years resolution.


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Methuselah
LSU Fan
On da Riva
Member since Jan 2005
19353 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
They've both already been recommended up-thread, but two of the books that the mini series The Pacific was based on are excellent:

Helmet for My Pillow by Leckie
With the Old Breed by Sleldge

Two books about ground level Marines who saw a ton of action in the Pacific Theatre. Both very good books by different personality types (Leckie was a self described "brig rat" from the northeast, Sledge was the polite son of Doctor from Alabama), that are not hard reads at all.

To be honest, I preferred the books to the series, but then again I usually do prefer the written account.


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RabidTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2009
1936 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is a legit page turner despite being nonfiction. You'll learn a ton of detail about the war along the way.


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BamaFinland
Alabama Fan
Lahti, Finland
Member since Oct 2015
1409 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
Battle Cry- Leon Uris

best WW2 book I have ever read. Helmet For My Pillow would be my number 2.



purpletiger006
LSU Fan
At Work.....Always
Member since Oct 2007
2601 posts

re: Recommend a Good WWII Book
The Ghost Soldiers

One of my favorites and of course...Band of Brothers


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