Military History Books


January 17, 2003, 06:50 PM
I'm looking for a really readable account of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

Also, I've got a 13 year old who is interested in WWII military weaponry (particularly planes). Anyone got any great titles to recommend?

Also, a good general account of the WWII years would be nice. I'm currently enjoying Harry Turtledove's alternative-history science fiction WWII books, and would like to immediately follow them with a refresher course in what really happened. Ideally, I'd like to find a book which focuses more on people/biography than on weaponry and tactics -- though as I said above, I also need a weaponry book.

Thanks for your thoughts.


History is the essence of innumerable biographies. -- Thomas Carlyle

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4v50 Gary
January 17, 2003, 07:01 PM
Dan Kurzman's The Bravest Battle and then Jurgen Stroop's report on the uprising.

January 17, 2003, 07:06 PM
"Samurai" by Saburo Sakai is a good review of the Japanese air force during the war. Sakai was the highest scoring Japanese pilot to survive the war (60+), and he reviews his training in the pre war years and how he continued to fly even after losing an eye.

"Stuka Pilot" is a great account, forget the author's name, Jeff Cooper interviewed him and has this in one of his books. This pilot set up his Stuka as a tank killer, and destroyed hundreds of tanks on the Russian front with the semi auto cannon he had mounted under the wings.

"No Surrender" by Hiroo Onoda, is an account of post war survival in the Phillipines by the last Japanese soldier to surrender after the war. I think he held out into the 70's, only coming out when his former CO appealed to him over a pa system. He was sent to the Phillipines in the waning days of the war, to organize the remaining Japanese troops as guerilla units. Unfortunately for him, he was not provided the authority to keep the troops from leaving or surrendering, and took to the hills with just a handful of followers.

"A Dance with Death" Stories of the Russian women who flew combat missions in WWII. Each year their annual reunion grows smaller, and an American author collected their stories.

These give a different perspective on WWII, and are interesting reading.

January 17, 2003, 08:25 PM
His name was Hans-Ulrich(?) Rudel. Two 37mm cannon in pods under the wings of his Ju-87. The British did something similar with the Hurricane in N Africa - two 40mm guns.

January 17, 2003, 09:38 PM
Thanks, Kalvan. IIRC, he even shot down a few planes with them! I imagine it would be like shoot Trap with an '06!

January 17, 2003, 10:21 PM
Citizen Soldiers by Ambrose and A Special Valor by Wheeler.

Although if you want a very interesting and personal touch on the war, Bill Mauldin's Up Front recently saw another printing in hardback. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Stephen Ewing
January 17, 2003, 11:54 PM
Mauldin says more with fewer words than anybody this side of Sam. It's even possible he's got Sam beat.

I'll strongly recommend the West Point Military History series. Plain language by educated professionals.

Didn't Rudel get most of his aircraft kills in a 190? Not that 519 tanks and a battleship is a bad place to start a resume...


January 18, 2003, 01:44 AM
A World At Arms: A Global History of World War II by Gerhard L. Weinberg is the best single volume account of WWII I have ever read.

January 18, 2003, 02:45 AM
Rudel supposedly scored on some planes air to air with his cannon. It was in the single digits, don't recall the exact number. Kalvan may be able to help with this.

Second the motion on Mauldin's book. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy last year at a flea market for 25 cents!

January 18, 2003, 03:07 AM
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Books (

Accurate Account of WWII Books (

Some to pick from Sir.

January 18, 2003, 07:15 AM
Uniform wise, check out the Osprey and Osprey elite series of books.

January 18, 2003, 11:45 AM
I can't recommend too highly Winged Victory by Perret. This is a history of the the U.S. Airforce from it's beginnings through WWII. An excellent history of the war from the Japanese viewpoint is Rising Sun by Toland.

4v50 Gary
January 18, 2003, 01:32 PM
Aeroplane books I have enjoyed:

John Howard's Roar of the Tiger. A former AVG (American Volunteer Group - Flying Tiger) ace who transfers to Europe and wins the CMH by taking on 50 German fighters - alone.

Donald Lopez's Into the Teeth of the Tiger. Written by a former pilot of the 14th AF. Picks up where Howard leaves off. Buy it direct from the Smithsonian though. Write the author (he's deputy director for the Aerospace Museum) and buy it direct from him. He'll autograph it for you.

Daniel Ford Flying Tigers - Post war history of the famous Flying Tigers. The book to read about them.

Robert Scott God is My Co-pilot - Classic account of WW II aviation in China.

OK, the above are just what I have at hand and the vast majority of my WW II aviation books concern the European theatre of operations.

Ben Drew The Katzenjammer Ace. Drew even got himself a Me-262 to his credit. Order direct from him at: Drew Enterprises, Spring Terrace 34#, 4242 Spring St., La Mesa, CA 91941.

Robert Goebel Mustang Ace. A two time ace over Europe.
Heinz Knoke I Flew for the Fuhrer
Adolph Galland The First and the Last Classic account of air to air combat and of politics in the Luftwaffe.
Robert Johnson wrote two books. I think his WW II book is Wing Commander. Oh, those Spitfires!
To War in a Stringbag. Can't find my copy and it must be boxed (must build a couple more bookcases). British Swordfish (biplane) pilot who gives a stirring account of flying the obsolete Swordfish. Describes how he figured out and used an effective manuever against German fighters.
Benjamin Davis American. General Davis gives an account of his military career including his days as a squadron and fighter group commander. His father was the first Afro-American general in the U.S. Army.

There's many more first hand accounts that I read. Thrilling stuff. BTW, you guys may be amused to hear this, but I've never read Douglas Bader's Reach for the Sky. I will when I find a copy.

January 18, 2003, 05:26 PM
One option you may want to check out also is the: Steel Panthers, World at War computer game. It's a free wargame download, although you should probably not consider it unless you have a broadband connection (500MB + download). I was a play tester for the series a couple years ago and it's excellent. It has literally hundreds of scenarios and campaigns to choose from varying from historical to theoretical "What if" scenarios. The wealth of information on vehicles available in the game itself through the built in encyclopedia is first rate.

This can be found over at:

Look under the downloads section for a link.

Dave Markowitz
January 18, 2003, 08:00 PM
Check out "The Bravest Battle" by Dan Kurzman. It's a very readable account of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. I read it a couple of years ago.

JPFO/Amazon Link (

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