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World war II remains a marked event in the history of mankind because of its outcomes. What we know about it today comes from many sources and textbooks which tell a tale of the war. These texts are often first hand accounts from people or a thrilling recounting of the events that unfolded during those times.
Every year, newer books on world war II emerge and hit the shelves but here are some of the best picks that you can make on the subject.
7 Best World War 2 Books & Reviews
1. Normandy ‘44: D-Day and the Battle for France
Author: James Holland
Publisher: Transworld Digital
The author of this book holds a stark reputation as a powerful historian and author, so he describes the book in a formal fashion. In this release, he talks about a crucial battle during world war II because it shines a light on some fascinating developments which took place during that time. He draws inspiration from archived materials and collects first hand accounts from numerous witnesses from that period so that he could jot down this edition.
This book isn’t like any ordinary D day narrative which spans the dramatic element of the war. This book is a deeper insight into the operational brilliance and the Allied Forces which formed to gain victory. The author describes with stark clarity about the operations because of which the forces in the battle retreated. He deserves praise for the manner in which he portrays his storytelling skills because it grips the imagination of the reader in this superb account of invasions and defeats.
This book is not only a window to the author’s knowledge but also his sensitive skills to enumerate a topic such as this one. The authors make use of an exciting pace so that he can transform real life events into a storyline. Even with its familiar outcome, the tale is different because the author succeeds in making it one.
Summary: The readers will appreciate the balance of words used by the author to describe his story because the sensational events will raise the reader’s knowledge and interest in equal measures.
2. 1942: The Year That Tried Men’s Souls
Author: Winston Groom
Publisher: Grove Press
This book comes from an award winning author who has penned down this exciting page turner. The book spans the journey of America’s entry in the world war II because of unwarranted attacks on its territory. From the beginning, the author glooms about the entry of an unprepared country in a war because of the terror that it imposed on its land and people.
Many people who lived to recount the aftermath of the war call it the turning event of the 20th century. This is where the plot of the author comes into play as he describes the war that played out in 1942. The pages run the defeat of several forces and the offensive that was picked up by the opposing end.
From a storyteller’s perspective, this book allows the reader an entry into the battlefront and the perspective of nations which found themselves in the middle of the war. In many ways, this story is a conglomeration of several other ones, which have been skilfully written by the author.
This book is almost like a live commentary from the days of the war. In doing this, the author does an excellent job of gathering the interest of his readers and enticing them with his play of words.
Summary: Many will find the book primarily focused on the pacific war, with little details about Europe and Germany. So, those seeking content on both might be slightly disappointed with this book.
Author: John Hersey
While not the most illustrated or extensive books on world war II, this one is a true treasure. This book was initially published in 1946 and is a tale of six survivors who made it out of the atom bombings on Hiroshima. The tale is a rich one, extracting the essence of events which unfolded on that day. The book had gained immense popularity right after it was published because it happened to be an account of the impact of nuclear warfare, which many countries were not aware of. The events of the story were a true horror, to say the least.
The text in this book might send the reader in a state of bewilderment since it contains words that describe the mutation of the people and the soldiers in Hiroshima, who were impacted by the nuclear bomb. Readers will find this classic tale to be one of the most endearing recountings of the second world war.
Probably anyone who can read should read this book. The description of the events which unfolded soon after and before the first atom bomb which was dropped on a city recounts the true tale of what went down in Hiroshima that day. In a final chapter, the author revisits the people who had contributed to the account of the events in his book and tells a final tale from them.
Summary: There isn’t another book which is as elegant as this one. Because this is a tale of what we are capable of doing to our fellow breed and it is something that everyone should read.
4. With the Old Breed: The World War Two Pacific Classic
Author: Eugene B. Seldge
Publisher: Ebury Digital
This one time classic novel on the second world war is an absolute must read. Presented with brutal honesty and lucid language, this book is an account of the infantry combat that took place in the Pacific. Today, this book has also inspired a complete television series, based on its story.
The author uses various elements to exaggerate the elements which characterised the war. The Peleliu and Okinawa, which are known to be the filthiest battles that were fought in the pacific, are dramatically recounted by the author in this book. Before starting it, know that you are going to be hooked to it because it contains a narrative that might compel you to stay.
The sheer plainness with which the author extracts the conditions of war is nerve wracking. The author describes the brutality of the fighting forces with words that seem to stay with you for a long time and drive emotions for an era that might have passed but remains with us until today.
He remembers how he maintains his notes, which he later converted to this book. Extraordinary might be too little a word for this book.
Summary: This legendary book is a must read for anyone willing to know about the second world war. In this unvarnished raw account of events because the author makes fair play with the truth and reality.
5. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Author: William L. Shirer
This title happens to be a bestseller as well as an award winning book. More than sixty years after it was first published, it remains one of the best books on the second world war. In this book, the author does the commendable job of defining the Nazi rule in Germany. The author draws his sources from memos, letters and diaries, which could not be destroyed.
This book continues to be regarded as one of the most important documents on the Third Reich. The readers will appreciate the effort that the author has put in this book so that he could make good use of the sources laid down in his hands.
The detailed and illustrious account of Adolf Hitler and how he almost invaded the world is one of the main edges of this book that keep the reader hooked. The intense commercial success of the book can be easily attributed to the hard work that the author has put in this book.
Summary: The readers will appreciate the recollection of events laid out in this book. The proactive approach of the author in collecting the content of this book is commendable.
6. Guadalcanal Diary
Author: Richard Tregaskis
Publisher: Open Road Media
This book opens a bloody chapter in the history of the second world war. It talks about an assault and the advance of the Americans on an approaching Japanese army. They used the medium of land, sea and air in combination to charge this attack. It was the first of its kind in those days.
It is said that this event was the most brutal attack on the Japanese in the pacific theatre and this is why it is remembered by many till date. The author recounts the experiences of the marines who gained a victory for their army but at the harrowing cost of loss of life and property.
The book turned out to be a major blockbuster gaining mass popularity among readers all these years. The strength of the book lies in its accurate storytelling pattern because readers find themselves enlightened and taken by surprise over the events of the second world war.
Summary: The manner in which the author has reported the events in this book, succeed in gaining the attention and attraction of the readers. Thus, the versatile book emerges as a fruitful reading choice.
7. Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad
Author: William Craig
Publisher: Open Road Media
This book is the result of well over 5 years of research made by the author because of which it has turned out to be no less than a huge success. The author makes a historical narrative come alive in this book because he explores the battle between the Germans and the Soviet Union forces. It is known that this battle resulted in the death of more than 2 million people.
The author describes how this battle was decisive in turning the battle against the Hitler regime. He also describes how he traversed three different continents to gather the content for this book and it reflects very well in the context with which the author has written this book.
The reader will be fascinated with the fluid spread of language used to describe the contents of the book because it keeps him glued to the book and enumerates the structure of the book in a readable manner. Following the same title, this book has also been converted into a movie.
Summary: The readers will find it easy to explore the book for its structural format and expansive exploit of real events. The book is truly a treasure that describes real life events.
It is truly fascinating to read about the second world war. It gets even better when you end up picking an excellent title for it. We hope that the titles listed down by us will prove to be of immense interest to you. If you have read another amazing book on the second world war, do share it with us below.