Very best books

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Chris C, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    What are a few (no more than 3) of the best books you have read about WW2, WW2 memoirs, etc?

    I'm not sure about the other two at this instant, but one for me has to be With The Jocks. Partly I hadn't read anything much about the infantry experience, and it brought home the reality of cold and wet and mud. But also it has a lot of detail (long book, covering only six months) and is I think well written.
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  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    This could change on any given day, but three that I'd recommend to anybody are:

    Quartered Safe Out Here
    by George MacDonald Fraser (enjoyed listening to him read it on the radio, too).
    Prisoners of Hope by Michael Calvert.
    The Road Past Mandalay by John Masters.

    Above all, all three are very well-written and evoke atmosphere. I've waded through a number of non-edited, scarcely literate self-published memoirs and the difference between those and these is night and day. Fraser and Masters were professional writers and Calvert was an extremely intelligent man (I listened to days' worth of his IWM interview); the result is that their tales carry you to the places they hold in their memories.

    Edit: there are some great RAF memoirs.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Alanbrooke's Diaries.
    British Armour in the Normandy Campaign. - Buckley
    Through Hell for Hitler. - Metelmann.

    All subject to varied change, except Alanbrooke.
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  4. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Fields of Fire - The Canadians in Normandy - Terry Copp
    A Thousand Shall Fall - Murray Peden
    The Guns of Normandy: A Soldier's Eye View - George Blackburn
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  5. ecalpald

    ecalpald Chick LaPlace

    D-Day to Victory - The Diaries of a British Tank Commander - Sgt Trevor Greenwood
    A Higher Call - Adam Makos
    The Battle for the Rhineland - R.W. Thompson
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  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Crusade in Europe - Dwight Eisenhower
    Guadalcanal Diary - Richard Tregaskis
    Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - William Shirer
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  7. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    The Forgotten Soldier - Guy Sajer
    With The Old Breed - Eugene Sledge
    The Guns of War: A Soldiers Eye view; France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1944-45 - George Blackburn
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  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    1. Company Commander by Charles B. Mac Donald
    (his auto-biography of his experiences as an captain CO in a US infantry Coy in the 2nd US Infantry Division - absolutely my no. 1).

    I'm a great fan of MacDonald's books: The Battle of the Hurtgen forest and his A Time for Trumpets: the untold story of the battle of the Bulge are among my favourites.

    2. So few got through by Martin Lindsay

    shares the second place with

    "The Guns of Normandy: A Soldier's Eye View" - George Blackburn - I read vol II. The Guns of Normandy and Vol III. The guns of Victory. (courtesy to 17th DYRCH who tipped me on these books).

    3. US Army in WW2: the European Theater of Operations or the Green Series ... I've all of them and think they are unsurpassed.

    Cross Channel Attack
    Breakout and Pursuit
    The Lorraine Campaign
    The Siegfriedline Campaign
    The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge
    The Last Offensive
    Riviera to the Rhine
    The Supreme Command
    Three Battles: Arnaville, Altuzzo, Schmidt

    BTW The Green Series is accessible online: U.S. Army in World War II Series - U.S. Army Center of Military History
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    To Lose a Battle,France 1940 :Alistair Horne
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  10. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron

    British Armour in the Normandy Campaign, John Buckley
    Stout Hearts, Ben Kite
    and either
    Tank !, Ken Tout
    The Collapse of the Third Republic, William Shirer, which, I think, is unjustly over-shadowed by his Third Reich book.
  11. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Fighter Pilot - Paul Richey
    Night Fighter - Rawnsley/Wright
    Stolen Journey - Oliver Philpott

    I went for my favourites of the RAF big sellers.
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  12. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Very difficult to name only three, even if I think about air war
    Francis H. Dean, America's Hundred-Thousand U.S. Production Fighters of World War Two
    John B. Lundstrom, The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway
    Yefim Gordon, Soviet Air Power in World War 2
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  13. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Haven't read Calvert, but Fraser and Masters are wonderful.
  14. kopite

    kopite Member

    Alanbrooke Diaries
    Quartered Safe Out Here - Fraser
    The Struggle for Europe - Chester Wilmot
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  15. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Any book by Martin Middlebrook.
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  16. vestingjager

    vestingjager Well-Known Member

    OK, just don't do this to

    Just ordered: British Armour in the Normandy Campaign, John Buckley

    Personally, anything from Mark Zuehlke, Koskimaki or Nordyke are great.
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  17. canuck

    canuck Closed Account


    Based on your recommendation I picked up Company Commander by Charles B. Mac Donald.
    Good choice. It's excellent.

    If I were to name a 4th book it would have to be With The Old Breed - Eugene Sledge.
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  18. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Along with the Blackburn trilogy, "Because We Are Canadians"; memoir of Sgt. Charles Kipp of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment.
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  19. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Taking a break not sure when I will be back

    All quite old books. Ones that stick in my mind.
    1. Assault in Norway Thomas Gallagher the story of the Telemark Raid
    2. The Little Men KW Cooper Infantry in Burma
    3. Air Raid the bombing of Coventry 1940 Norman Longmate
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  20. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Three books.

    Some old, some new, none borrowed, some blue.

    And, with your permission (and indulgence) one letter. Optimism after the tragedy (identifying names respectfully removed as requested by the elderly relatives of the writer).

    Kind regards, always,


    Attached Files:

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