My Favorite World War 2 Books

I am a big time history buff. My favorite topics include ancient Greece, Medieval (particularly Byzantium), the Reformation, Central Asia, and the 20th Century (particularly cultural history and also science). But WW2 has always been the big draw...maybe it was having two uncles in the war. Anyway, I have read a fair amount of WW2 history over the years. The following is not meant to be a bibliography or reading list--there are some holes in my list (nothing on southeast Asia, the Balkans, or small unit tactics for example). Here is simply an annotated list of some of my favorites, in alphabetical order:
My World War 2 To Read List
And when I retire (or win PowerBall) I will finally read Morison's 15 volume work on the U.S. Navy in WW2 and Winston Churchill's classic 6 volume history of WW2.


  1. If you haven't read it already, you should look at "Japanese Destroyer Captain" (http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Destroyer-Captain-Guadalcanal-Midway-/dp/1591143845/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364469155&sr=1-1). The author captained a Japanese destroyer through most of the major Pacific battles, and you get a good sense of the war from the Japanese perspective. His personal view of the Battle of Midway - from an escort of the transport fleet - is probably the oddest version of Midway I've ever seen, but it gives a good example of what fog of war really means.

  2. @Mark: Thanks for the recommendation (and for including the Amazon link!). I just added it to my wish list. It looks really interesting.

  3. Some of my favorite books are on your list. I'm especially a big fan of Keegan's The Second World War and Six Armies in Normandy, Beevor's Stalingrad, Abrose's Band of Brothers and .

    I'm a little ashamed to admit that I haven't read Ryan's Bridge Too Far, even though it's one of my favorite movies ever, and I've lost count of how many times I've watched it.

  4. Odd, blogger cut off Citizen Soldiers after my "and" in the first part of my comment above. But that's one of my fav's too.

  5. Citizen Soldiers is a good one. I appreciate Ambrose's dedication to capturing the experiences and stories of the average GI Joe.

  6. Really surprised you left off Ambrose and Flags of Our Fathers, but I suppose even a casual WWII buff knows all about them.

    I'd also recommend Chew's A Frozen Hell about the Winter War between Finland and the USSR.

    If you want some fiction, you can't beat The Eagle Has Landed, Catch-22, Eye of the Needle, Slaughterhouse Five, and Cryptonomicon... and many more of course.