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SirJinks
05-07-2004, 06:25 AM
There are dozens out there ranging from individual pilots' memoirs to academic historians' reviews, but which one have you read that you rate above any others?

Mine has to The Most Dangerous Enemy by Stephen Bungay. A detailed review of the Battle of Britain which is essential reading for anyone interested including everything from the political decisions involved to the tactics used. Many a time I would be reading with a lump in my throat when individual pilots would recount their experiences.

[This message was edited by SirJinks on Fri May 07 2004 at 05:33 AM.]

SirJinks
05-07-2004, 06:25 AM
There are dozens out there ranging from individual pilots' memoirs to academic historians' reviews, but which one have you read that you rate above any others?

Mine has to The Most Dangerous Enemy by Stephen Bungay. A detailed review of the Battle of Britain which is essential reading for anyone interested including everything from the political decisions involved to the tactics used. Many a time I would be reading with a lump in my throat when individual pilots would recount their experiences.

[This message was edited by SirJinks on Fri May 07 2004 at 05:33 AM.]

Huxley_S
05-07-2004, 06:32 AM
Hitler - My Part in His Downfall by Spike Milligan

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WOLFMondo
05-07-2004, 06:32 AM
Not sure how I'd rate it as a read now but my Grandfather bought me Janes Fighting aircraft of WW2 when I was around 10. I read it from cover to cover. Some great photo's etc but I can't find it for the life of me now.

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SUPERAEREO
05-07-2004, 06:51 AM
"Stalingrad" by Antony Beevor

For aerial war maybe still "Fighter" by Len Deighton.

S!


"The first time I ever saw a jet, I shot it down."
Chuck Yaeger

capt_frank
05-07-2004, 07:05 AM
the three volume civil war anthology by shelby foote...

http://home.bellsouth.net/coDataImages/p/Groups/118/118940/pages/277850/30.jpg

capt_frank
05-07-2004, 07:05 AM
the three volume civil war anthology by shelby foote...

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Udidtoo
05-07-2004, 07:17 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
Not sure how I'd rate it as a read now but my Grandfather bought me Janes Fighting aircraft of WW2 when I was around 10. I read it from cover to cover. Some great photo's etc but I can't find it for the life of me now.

http://bill.nickdafish.com/sig/mondo.jpg
http://www.wolfgaming.net&lt;HR&gt;&lt;/BLOCKQUOTE&gt; (http://www.wolfgaming.net<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>)

Amazon.com
Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II
by Leonard Bridgman (Author)


see larger photo
Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days


50 used & new from $9.00

Edition: Hardcover

..............................
I always have just enough fuel to arrive at the scene of my crash.

purzel08
05-07-2004, 07:54 AM
I just read a book about late war III./Jg 54 and Jg26 which were equipped with Fw190D9. First I bought this book because I am a big fan of this plane. But now I find it more interesting to read the story of a german Jg in the last days of WW2 and the problems they were faced like lack of supply, planes or experienced pilots. I did not know that even Gefreite (privates) flew planes at these days.

greetings...

uberweng
05-07-2004, 08:02 AM
I am enjoying the second volume of "Germany and the Second World War." I just wish it didnt cost $250 a book.

I recommend the book "Brazen Chariots" to anyone who wants an interesting read and and you can get it for a buck or so from amazon.

Finally, the best book i have read for a long time is "In Deadly Combat," possibly the best memoir to emerge from the second world war. I know thats a big call but this book is pretty damn special.

Uberweng

Uberweng

Mikester2112
05-07-2004, 08:04 AM
Just a few:

They're Coming!
A Bridge Too Far
Enemy at the Gates
The Forgotten Soldier
Fire in the East
One More River: The Rhine Crossings of 1945


I enjoy the books that take me from the guys making the strategic decisions to the guys down in the trenches that had to live with them.

Tank50
05-07-2004, 08:15 AM
I just finished The First Heroes by Craig Nelson. Basically a detailed story of the Doolittle Raid. Gives some really good insights into the mood of the pre-superpower USA going into WWII. Also relates the incredible series of missteps which assured Japanese success at Pearl Harbor and follows the highlights of the Pacific campaign. Stories of the individual airmen are given and their matter of fact heroism as well as that of the Chinese who helped some of them shines through. Highly recommended.

clint-ruin
05-07-2004, 08:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tank50:
I just finished The First Heroes by Craig Nelson. Basically a detailed story of the Doolittle Raid. Gives some really good insights into the mood of the pre-superpower USA going into WWII. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've got "Four Came Home" [Carroll Glines] which goes into a lot of detail on the kind of treatment those captured by the Japanese got after the raid.

Not exactly a pleasant read.

My favorite in the collection is probably "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives" [Alan Bullock] which is a kind of dual biography of both men staggered through the same periods/years of each persons life chapter by chapter. Just incredible the kinds of bastardry both got up to. Bosworths' Mussolini is a bit of a grind to read through but it's great as well.

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BaldieJr
05-07-2004, 08:40 AM
I prefer to wait for Hollywood to spice history up a bit. I like lots of butter and salt on my popcorn, by the way.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">
Specs:
More expensive than the dining set.
Less expensive than the couch.
Smaller than the dishwasher.
Just as noisy as the refridgerator.
Faster than the cars' computer.
Less practical than the car.
Face it, people who put thier computer specs in thier signature are pretty ****ing wierd.

</pre>

Mikester2112
05-07-2004, 08:54 AM
Yup, sure hope Tom has some hot babes to look at in between shooting down hordes of 109's in "The Few". mmmmmmmmmm.....popcorn http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Peachy9
05-07-2004, 09:23 AM
It Never Snows in September - The Battle of Arnhem from the German Perspective

Peachy9
05-07-2004, 09:26 AM
Forgot to add all of Martin Middlebrooks Bokks on Bomber Command Raids

BM357_TinMan
05-07-2004, 09:34 AM
I'm just starting a book called, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". It's not a military book, but it is a history book from that period.

The thing is HUGE! If anybody has read it, let me know what you think.

The author is ?Shimer? or something like that.

BTW - the Emil in the update for BoB today is looking pretty sweet http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

BM357_TinMan
xo BM357 VFG
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Mikester2112
05-07-2004, 09:39 AM
"The Rise and Fall of Third Reich" is one of the definitive histories of Nazi Germany. Definitely a worthwhile read, it does get a little dry in places but stick with it, you'll be glad you did.

William Shirer is the author.

ASM 1
05-07-2004, 10:04 AM
Through Hell For Hitler - Henry Metelmann (sp?)- A Panzer Driver's story from 1941 - 45. Have seen him on tv in documentaries too. Interesting.

Hitler - A study in Tyranny - Alan Bullock. Heavy stuff but supposedly the definitive book on old Adolf.

German Aircraft of World War II (forget who the publisher is) and its companion British Aircraft of World War Two from about the mid 70's, with forewords by Adolf Galland and Douglas Bader respectively.

S!

Andrew

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BP_caocao
05-07-2004, 10:30 AM
So many good ones...
3 I go back to frequently:

World War II --John Keegan
Straits of Messina -- J. Steinhoff
World II Chronology 1933-145 (a day by day chronology) -- various editors (?)

Black Sheep
05-07-2004, 10:39 AM
John Keegan wrote one of my favorites too - The First World War: An Illustrated History.

Black Sheep
05-07-2004, 11:10 AM
One of my all time favorite books also deals with WWI - it's called 'Forgotten Voices Of The Great War' and was put together by Max Arthur.

In 1972 The Imperial War Museum set about the task of tracing survivors of The Great War and interviewed them, on tape, in detail; all nationalities were included - British, French, German, American, Canadian and Anzac soldiers.

Thirty years on, the author was given complete access to these archives and put them in chronological order - it thus becomes a history of WWI in the words of the men who were there.

It is as such a very humbling book and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone. Here is a short extract from the German gas attack on Ypres:

Private W. A. Quinton
2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Fusiliers

The men came tumbling from the front line. I've never seen men so terror stricken, they were tearing at their throats and their eyes were glaring out. Blood was streaming from those who were wounded and they were tumbling over one another Those who fell couldn't get up and eventually they were piled up two or three high in this trench.

Lieutenant Victor Hawkins
2nd Battalion. Lancashire Fusiliers

The effect of this gas was to form a sort of foamy liquid in one's lungs, which would more or less drown you. A lot of the men died pretty quickly , and others soon came down - they were in fact drowning in this beastly foam. Out of the 250 men we started with at 5 o' clock this morning, we were very soon down to about 40 or 50 men.

Private W. A. Quinton
2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Fusiliers

One chap had his hand blown off and his wrist was fumbling around, tearing at his throat. It was in fact the most gruesome sight I'd seen in the war. We manned the firing step, thinking the Germans would be on their way over by this time, but strangely enough they didn't attack us.

When we got relieved we made our way four or five miles back from the line. Going along this country road were just like a rabble - you know how men are when they're tired and exhausted.

Then we passed by an orchard were there must have been two or three hundred men. they were reeling around tearing at their throats, their faces black, while an RAMC sergeant stood by and, well, I've never known a man look so despondent. He said 'Look at the poor bastards, and we can't do a thing for them'...

erauflyer
05-07-2004, 11:51 AM
Whilst we are on the topic of WW1 books, may I also recommend No Parachute by A.G. Lee. It is one of my all time favorite aviation books and it is one that I continually find myself coming back to. It is a compilation of letters and diary entries that the author wrote during his time as a pilot in No. 46 squadron, RFC. What makes it so incredibly unique is that Lee's letters are very candid and to some extent, naive. It becomes interesting to see how he progresses from a flegling fighter pilot to a Captain with seven victories. Oh, and almost forgot, the descriptions he gives of air to air combat are some of the most exciting and vivid I've yet come across!

Black Sheep
05-07-2004, 12:29 PM
'No Parachute' ?

I'll have to keep a look out for that one, sounds pretty interesting.

Baron_Kiptofen
05-07-2004, 12:39 PM
"The Rise And Fall Of The Great Powers: Economic Change And Military Conflict 1500-2000"; One of the greatest general-interest books ever written, one you can dip into for an anecodote about virtually everything from that time period, but also a book which has an extremely strong central thesis; that revolutions in economic potential are what really over time defines a military power too...

swortsoul
05-07-2004, 01:03 PM
Has anyone read Winston Churchill's memoirs? It's a 6 volume set. I've only made it through part of the 3rd (contains the Battle of Britain, which is why I started it first, of course). It's pretty dry at times, but I've found it very interesting reading about his day to day thoughts on the war. I guess that's my favorite book right now.

DuxCorvan
05-07-2004, 03:30 PM
My faves are:

'The military revolution' an essay by Geoffrey Parker, about changes in warfare in 16th and 17th century that made Western civilization and domination spread throughout the world.

'La aviaci├┬│n de caza en la Guerra Civil Espa˝ola' ('Fighter air war in Spanish Civil War', memoirs of Republican pilot Captain Lacalle, the CO of main 'Chato' (I-15) squadron during SCW. It's a disordered book, full of anecdotes and really sincere, that he wrote during his exile in Mexico. No myths in this book, maybe the best 'first person' testament about air war in Spain. It's a pity it is not translated into English.

I'd like to contact Lacalle's family to have permission for a translation to be shared for free with plane lovers, but I don't know where to search. The book is from the early 70s -I assume he may be dead by now- and was published in Mexico. It's rather unknown, a rarity I found in an old, second hand book store.

- Dux Corvan -
http://www.uploadit.org/DuxCorvan/Altamira2.jpg
Ten thousand years of Cantabrian skinning.

Slickun
05-07-2004, 04:02 PM
"One Day in a Long War" by Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price.

The story of the single most intense day of air-to-air combat in Viet-Nam. The men, planes, tactics and results of both sides.

The two authors have written three aviation books together that I know about. The other two, "Air War South Atlantic" (Falklands) and "Target Berlin" (first big Berlin daylight raid) are equally fantastic.

The book includes an absolutely riveting account of Randy "Duke" Cunningham's 3 kill sortie, with the long rolling scissors dogfight with an unknown North Vietnamese pilot.

I can't reccomend an aviation book any higher, and I've read a ton.

Best first person book, by a flier? Knoke's "I Flew for the Fuerher". I just really like the book, I guess.

ASM 1
05-07-2004, 04:11 PM
Also have got the Time-Life Series "The Third Reich" (Given to me by a history teacher before he moved house.) Still havent got through all the books yet LOL http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/blink.gif and there's a fair few! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Looks good on the bookcase! - People think I'm http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif

S!

Andrew

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eddie_slovik
05-07-2004, 04:19 PM
blitzfreeze - sven hassel

nickdanger3
05-07-2004, 04:33 PM
Couple comments on previous posts:

"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is by William Shirer who was a correspondent for CBS in Europe from the early 1930's through the end of WWII. Like you mention, not strictly a war book but gives you a good idea about why Germany lost the war even before it began.

"The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" is a fun read since, when it was written in the late 1980's, Paul Kennedy was not so sublty hinting that the USA was on it's way out as a great power - nearly 20 years on now, I don't know that this is very evident. Two years after he wrote the book, the structural weaknesses of the Japanese economy sent them into a tailspin, making Kennedy's predictions of Japan's ascendancy rather, cough, optimistic. Still, both books make the case that by instigating WWII, Germany was committing suicide, as many in the highest levels of the German army knew quite well.

I'm reading a book called "Incredible Victory" that seems to be a well balanced, detailed, yet readable account of the Battle of Midway (start brushing up for Pacific Fighters). You sure come away with the idea that in terms of air power the US was outclassed by the Japanese in terms of planes and pilots. Without the cracking of the Japanese codes and the hard work of US Naval Intelligence officers, the Japanese invasion most likely would have suceeded or at least dealt a devastating blow. Also, the dedication and bravery of the pilots (from both sides) in Midway is simply heartbreaking and inspiring. Many knew that they would not return, but they committed themselves and fought with incredible courage and tenacity.

buz13
05-07-2004, 04:34 PM
The Wrong Stuff (B17's)
A Question of Honor (Polish fighter pilots)
The Forgotten Soldier
The Big Show
To War in a Stringbag

PraetorHonoris
05-07-2004, 05:36 PM
"Lost Victories" by Manstein.
A great book if you are interested in German strategies on the southern front in the East from 1941 to early 1944.
Manstein was a brilliant military and his memories are absolutely worth reading.

Also interesting, although not purely military stuff is the novel "The Night of the Generals" by H. H. Kirst. It is a crime story with WWII background but a very good read. A German Major has to solve a case, in which three Generals are the suspects, moreover one of them is involved in the attempt to kill Hitler. A very exciting book.

"Everyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the
battlefield will think hard before starting a war." - Reichskanzler von Bismarck

http://www.rkwetterau.de/assets/images/verdun_franz_helfen.jpg
Humanity

peashooter03
05-07-2004, 08:07 PM
"The First and The Last", Adolph Galland.
Edward Jablonski has several good titles, including "Flying Fortress".
Jeff Ethell was a great writer, haven't found one of his I didn't like.
"Mighty Eighth" by Roger Freeman is a classic.
"A Bridge Too Far" is an excellent read, much better than the movie.
"Citizen Soldiers" and "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose, not a highly pollished writer but didn't care to be.
"Bomber Command" by Max Hastings is a detailed look at the night bombing campaign.
"They Were Expendable" was a best seller in 1942, a very interesting look into the loss of the Phillipines.
"Doomed From the Start" also about the Phillipine campaign, focussing on U.S. fighter action.

wayno7777
05-08-2004, 03:00 AM
Hard to say, The Greatest Aces
The First and Last
Aces
Fly for Your Life
Reach For the Sky
Fighter
Forked Tailed Devil
A Bridge Too Far
The Few
I Flew For the Fueher
Thunderbolt!
Dustoff!
ChickenHawk
Stuka Pilot
V-2
Samurai
Like I said, hard to say....

World War Two Weekend June 4-6, 2004 Reading, PA
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Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!

ImpStarDuece
05-08-2004, 08:36 AM
"The Guns of War" by George G. Blacburn.

I have over 100 millitary history books in my library and this is by far an away the MOST gripping and the most interesting account of life on the Western Front i have ever read.

Comprised of two books, "The Guns of Normandy" and the "The Guns of Victory" they trace the fighting around Normandy, Cean, Falaise and then move into Holland, Belgium and Germany tracing form mid July 44 to MAy 15 (VE day).

The Author was the only FOO (foward artillery observer) who served in Normandy to make it through the whole Western European campaign uninjured, with ten months of continous service, most of it on frontline positions! MAde up of his personal diaried, unit diaries from the Canadian divisions, uit histories, interviews with survivors and other first hand sources it covers both the small scale as well as the big picture with amazing depth and clarity.

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

I.GJ53Hoepner
05-08-2004, 09:23 AM
Above all :
Lost Victories,by Meinstein

Second place:
Panzer Leader,by H.Guderian

Third:
Memories of third Reich,by Albert Speer,

4th:
The other side of the hill,By Liddel Hart(a very interesting book of interviews taken directly by Liddel Hart at Spandau Prison during late 40s'

5th
The war in Europe,By Frido Von Senger(great memories of war)

6th
Rommell's papers,by E.Rommell

Chainsawofdoom
05-08-2004, 07:40 PM
The Blond Knight of Germany: a biography of Erich Hartmann.

grist
05-08-2004, 08:32 PM
I usually like personal memoirs rather than hard historical works. The memoirs can be misleading due to the limited experience and memory of the author, but they can be emotional, entertaining and educational.

I can recommend the following:

"Currahee! : A Screaming Eagle at Normandy",
"The Road to Arnhem : A Screaming Eagle in Holland", "Seven Roads to Hell : A Screaming Eagle at Bastogne", and "Beyond the Rhine : A Screaming Eagle in Germany" all by Donald R. Burgett.

"Panzer Commander : The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck" by (You guessed it!) Hans von Luck

"With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa" by E. B. Sledge

"Suicide Charlie: A Vietnam War Story" by Norman Russell

"Platoon: Bravo Company" by Robert Hemphill

SKIDRO_79FS
05-10-2004, 02:28 AM
Yes, grist, "Panzer Commander" is a great read that I keep returning to on a fairly frequent basis! I would also suggest "Happy Jack's Go Buggy" by Jack M. Ilfrey; "The Mighty Eighth" by Gerald Astor (even though he ignored several fighter groups completely); "Fated To Survive" by William P. Maher (excellent glimpse into the life of a POW); "I Flew For The Fuerher" by Heinz Knoke and anything by Roger Freeman or Jeff Ethell.

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VICTORY BY VALOR, GENTLEMEN TO THE END

RIPelliottsmith
05-10-2004, 02:53 AM
"We Will Not Cease" By Archibald Baxter

An autobiography of a New Zealand conscientious objector during WW1. He was shipped to the front, imprisoned, starved, beaten, crucified, tortured, used for artillery target practice and eventually sent to a mental hospital when his body gave up and the shell shock sent him mad...all by my own government and the British Army. He never backed down.

Very well written, very understated and not hysterical, and fascinating to see that even while the officers tortured him, the regular soldiers stuck up for him, snuck him food etc..

Very uplifting story of *human beings* during wartime, how war changes people, and a different take on bravery. I really recommend it!

fluke39
05-10-2004, 03:26 AM
for me i would have to say "First Light" by Geoffrey Wellum - covering his career in the RAF on spits during BoB etc
- i defy any brit to read this book and not rank it as one of the best.

(fighter pilot also deserves a mention & stalingrad is excellent too)

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