Book Reviews

Books Read by the Webmaster About War and Battles

"The Longest Day"

The pitched battle that took place on June 6, 1944, led the Allied war to it's inevitable conclusion. The outcome was hardly predictable that day, especially on Omaha Beach. Cornelius Ryan
identifies the names and places on that historic day.

 

 

 

"All Quiet on the Western Front"

Perhaps one of the most gut-renching depictions of war I have ever absorbed. The author pulls no punches when he tells the story of a young German pulled into the trench warfare of World War I. By Erich Maria Remarque

 

 

 

 

 

"The First and The Last"

I read this book while in high school. It gave a brilliant insight into the air war in Europe in WWII. From the early years of the war to the first ME262 jet aircraft, it is a very good read. By Adolf Galland.

 

 

 

 

“We Were Soldiers Once and Young”
This story, penned by Lt. General Harold Moore and Joseph L. Galloway recounts the first use of air Calvary in Viet Nam in 1965. Riveting from beginning to end this book tells of the bravery and courage of Americans being brought to the battle site by helicopter. This battle took place in the Ia Drang valley smack dab in the middle of enemy territory. The most striking revelation was the utmost sacrifice demonstrated by American draftees. Highly recommended for great reading. (made into the movie, “We Were Soldiers”)

 

"Saving the Breakout"

A tale of courage by the embattled 30th Infantry Division that may have saved the entire Invasion.
By Alwyn Featherston.

P.S. I was strongly encouraged by a Veteran to read this book - because he was there during the battle.

 

 

 

"The Wooden Horse"

While a teenage I of course read the book, "The Great Escape", popularized in a Hollywood movie of the same name. But at the same time in an adjoining British POW camp, prisoners used guile and daring to allow an escape that totally mystified their captives. This story kept this teenaged reader riveted. See the review here. By Eric Williams

 

 

 

“Miracle at Midway”
by Gordon W. Prange

Late in 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Early in 1942 heroic Jimmy Doolittle led a raid on Tokyo from a carrier carrying light bombers.

The Empire of Japan was itching to gain a better foothold in the Pacific as a means of launching more attacks on the American mainland. What America needed was a miracle. It came in the daring battle using intelligence and great leadership. This battle in the summer of 1942 was a gut-punch to the Japanese and let them know they were in for more than they bargained for. 

 

"The Great Escape"
by Paul Brickhill

I read this book as a young teenager and was delighted when Hollywood put it into a film version. While I marveled at the heroism and courage it took to tunnel out of a German prisoner-of-war camp, the addition of Steve McQueen as a character was Hollywood's typical spicing up history for the benefit of movie-goers. No such character was in the book but this writing does detail the effort not only to create three escape tunnels but their efforts to forge documents, uniforms and civilian dress in order for the escapees reach safe haven in Switzerland. Truly a depiction of Allied soldiers at their best and the historic punishment meted out to those captured after the attempt. A real tribute to World War II heroism.