After seeing quite a few threads asking for good wartime historical narratives, I decided to make this thread. This thread is for anyone who is looking for good, authoritative books on wars throughout history, and discussion of these pieces. If you guys want a section of it devoted to fictional war stories I can add that too. I'll compile my own list and you guys can suggest anything you think is a good book addressing a war which I will then add to the list.
The American Revolution
April Morning - Howard Fast
This novel examines many aspects of the first battle/shots of the American Revolution through the fictional narrative of a teenage boy making the transition to manhood.
The Civil War, or for you southern folk The War of Northern Aggression
The Horrid Pit - Alan Axelrod
This book describes one of the worst military blunders in history. It's about the Battle of the Crater, during which Union soldiers dug the longest military tunnel in history (by hand no less), which ended with what one scholar has called "perhaps the most powerful military detonation before Hiroshima." It's a gruesome tales of one of the lesser known battles of the Civil War.
All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
This story follows a German soldier during the First World War and details the horrors of the Great War. Also evident in the story is the sense of detachment felt by German soldiers when they returned to their civilian homes.
Russia's War: Blood Upon the Snow - Richard Overy
This is basically an overview of WWII from the Russian perspective. It doesn't follow a personal story or anything like that, but it's a great historical perspective of the eastern front during WWII.
Stalingrad - Antony Beevor
This focuses on the battle of Stalingrad during WWII. It's a fantastic historical account which addresses the battles leading up to Stalingrad and the battle itself. Although it's a historical overview of the battle in a military perspective, it gets down to personal stories from time to time. Great, great book.
Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army - Catherine Merridale
In this book, Merridale attempts to find out who "Ivan" really is. She tells the story of Russian infantry at the most basic level, dealing with the personal struggles and anguishes they went through. She was attempting to really figure out what made a Russian soldier work, and she did an amazing job at defining the Russian soldier during WWII. It's a harrowing, personal tale that deals with many, many soldiers' personal stories. This book is amazing and if you want to learn anything about Russian history during WWII, this is essential reading.
Combat Jump: The Young Men Who Led the Assault Ė Ed Ruggero
This book is about the 101st airborne jumping into Sicily. This book is a great historical narrative but gets down to the personal level quite well. It really tells a great story about a campaign that not many people know much about, because it was really overshadowed by Operation Overlord. As was typical of paratroopers back then, many of them were scattered among the island and had an insanely difficult time fighting through Axis tanks and infantry trying to relocate their units and take the island.
The Day Of Battle - Rick Atkinson
This is a pretty large volume from The Liberation Trilogy
which covers the American and British troops invading Sicily and Italy from 1943-1944. It's a very authoritative read and Atkinson is a fantastic writer. Some may find parts of historical narratives boring but Atkinson writes with such finesse that I swept through this almost 600 page book in a week or so.
Band of Brothers - Stephen Ambrose
This book is about a company of men that went from jumping on Normandy on D-Day to taking Hitlers retreat, HBO made a Mini-series about it but read the book before watching the miniseries.......
11 Days in December - Stanley Weintraub
This book is about Christmas during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. It really gives you a personal feel of the soldiers during this time, especially because it was during Christmas, and it's a very good read.
Roll me over - Pending
The book follows a soldier who gets drafted and sent in as a replacement following D-Day, it follows him from the race across Europe to the occupation of Berlin. Really in depth book that brings you a new perspective on the American Soldier during World War II.
Tunnels of Cu Chi - Tom Mangold and John Penycate
This is a great book about the Vietnam War and the daunting task of fighting through the complex series of tunnels dug by the Vietnamese troops. This book really opens your eyes to how difficult this war really was.
We Were Soldiers Once... and Young - General Hal Moore
Although I'm only a few chapters in, I can tell that it's a well written book. It's about the first real Air Assault (Air Mobile) forces ever deployed on the battlefield, and is written by LT Gen Harold Moore and Joseph L Galloway. Unlike many other books by higher ranks in the military, though, the work gives proper credit to many enlisted men and fails to allow for Moore to write about himself in a gallant manner; in fact moments of "courage" are often down-played and shed onto his subordinates. Where moments that could be interpreted to be patriotism of the author are given, Moore is sure to allow for this moment to be read through the eyes of another; both quotes from Moore's men and quotes from the Vietnamese side are often. Quite frankly, it is deserving of Norman Schwarzkopf's approval (which he called"a 'must' reading for all Americans," and the Commandant of the Marine Corps's choice for 1993.
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brian
The Things They Carried is about a Vietnam vet who returns to the country later on and revisits all the places he has been and recounts the events.
Fallen Angels - Walter Dean Myers
Fallen Angels is about a squad of Black marines in Vietnam and their missions. They have problems within their own platoon as well as with other squads on their base. It's a good story that I believe accurately depicts some of the struggles soldiers had to deal with.
Operation Gothic Serpent
In the Company of Heroes - Michael Durant
A story written from the perspective of Durant describing the moments before, after, and during Operation Gothic Serpent. Asides include his service in other operations/outfits (ie. in Seoul, in Desert Storm, in Panama, and as an operator in the Iraq/Iran conflict).
Black Hawk Down - Mark Bowden
A good reading for the general "jist" of how Operation Gothic Serpent/Code Irene went down. Some factual errors are disputed by the Operators of Task Force Ranger, but they're overall minor attributes; as always, reading the book (which is more written like a novel) should be done as well. For instance, many of the men of TFR refuted Bowden's assertion that there was an air of distinction between the Delta boys and the Rangers. Other issues I experienced include the assertion that American operators wantonly engaged the civilian populace.
The Battle of Mogadishu: First Hand Accounts From the Men of Task Force Ranger edited by Matt Eversmann and Dan Schilling.
A good book, combining the story of many Rangers and other elements of Task Force Ranger. This story refutes many of Bowden's more... lucrative assertions and spiraling motions towards yellow journalism.
The Lone Survivor - Marcus Luttrell
The book is about the war on terror, and based on the true story of 4 Navy SEALs who were compromised and ambushed by 100-200 Taliban, and only one lived - All were awarded the Navy Cross and one was awarded the Medal of Honor.
No True Glory - Bing West
A good book about the situation in Iraq and the battle for Fallujah. He starts out with a lot of political stuff, and background info about the Iraq War, but it really sets the scene for the marines invasion into Fallujah. Most of the actual invasion is written from marines' personal perspectives, which makes it a great read.
If anyone has any suggestions of books for me to add to the list, just post up the same type of information about the books Iíve posted and Iíll edit this list. If anyone has any questions about these books, just ask and I'm sure someone will answer it for you.
Yeah, I started editing the frontpage because the whole nonfic/fic thing got confusing, but it's rather late... *yawns*