12/26/14

Five For Friday 32: Yet More WW2 Books

My World War 2 reading over the past 18 months has been heavily influenced by the bibliography in Max Hastings' Inferno: The World at War 1939-1945, where he draws heavily on first person accounts by ordinary soldiers, sailor, airman, and non-combatants.

  • Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941 by Ian Kershaw--I thought this book was fantastic. Kershaw provides a lot of detailed, well-reasoned analysis, backed up by plenty of research. Well-written, but not a quick read.
  • The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War by Martin Gilbert--I was frustrated with this book at first, until I understood it. It is more of a chronicle and witness to those who died, rather than your typical history book. There are a lot of names, places and dates and not much analysis. Reading this was more like participating in a solemn memorial ritual for the dead than was reading history. In the end, that is the power of the book. Absolutely gut-wrenching, but I am glad to have read it.
  • Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James Hornfischer--A well-written and balanced account of naval actions in the fight for Guadalcanal, most of which happened at night. The Japanese had better tactics and torpedoes. The Americans had been logistics, intelligence and radar. In the end, the Americans learned from their mistakes and the Japanese did not.
  • A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in a Conquered City by Anonymous--I had been wanting to read this book for awhile, but I kept putting it off, knowing that it would be an emotional experience. I did read it and it was emotional, but it was also funny at times and, surprisingly, full of hope.
  • Woodbine Red Leader: A P-51 Mustang Ace in the Mediterranean Theater by George Loving--A nice read.
Previous World War 2 related posts:
My Favorite World War 2 Books
My Latest World War 2 Reads
More World War 2 Books
Even More World War 2 Books

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