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 traces the journey from boyhood to manhood of the protagonist. Further, the novel examines many potential aspects of the first battle/shots of the American Revolution.
1776 - David McCullough -- Nonfiction
Anyone who's interested in early Revolutionary war history should definitely pick this up. Actually gives you insight to what it was like to be apart of the colonial Army and how truly larger then life George Washington was. For instance, a large snowball fight erupts into a massive brawl between kentucky rifleman and the colonial regulars. George Washington steps in the middle of the brawl, grabs two of the biggest fighters by the throat and ends the fight by his mere presence. Great read. I highly suggest it.
The Civil War, or for you southern folk The War of Northern Aggression
The Horrid Pit - Alan Axelrod -- Nonfiction
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 -- Nonfiction
It follows a German soldier during the First World War, and about the horrors of that war and also the deep detachment from German civilian life felt by many men returning from the front.
Russia's War - Richard Overy -- Nonfiction
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 -- Nonfiction
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 - Catherine Merridale -- Nonfiction
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 – Ed Ruggero -- Nonfiction
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 -- Nonfiction
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 -- Nonfiction
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 -- Nonfiction
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 -- Nonfiction
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.
June 6th, 1944: The Voices of D-Day - By Gerald Astor -- Nonfiction
On the 50th anniversary of the single greatest combined land-sea-air operation of World War II, American and British soldiers and sailors who were there tell for the first time what really happened as they braved a firestorm of Nazi shot and shell. They reveal what went wrong and why, and how they pressed through fearsome resistance.
A Blood-Dimmed Tide: The Battle of the Bulge By the Men Who Fought It - By Gerald Astor -- Nonfiction
As the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge approaches, this engrossing oral history--told in the words of those who were there, from the top decision-makers to foot soldiers in the trenches--addresses the still lingering controversy over who did what to whom, who performed with valor and who committed the most egregious errors.
Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends by William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, Edward "Babe" Heffron, Robyn Post -- Nonfiction
I don't want to give anything a way, but it's pretty much told from the 1st person perspective of Babe Heffron and Bill Guarnere, two paratroopers from Easy Company in the 101st Airborne during WW2 who grew up blocks apart in South Philidelphia but didn't meet until Bill got back from Normandy. This book is completely real, and it isn't sugar coated like some books, these guys give the facts. This book also describes Bill and Babe's childhood up until now. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a very accurate and personal account of Easy Company through Normandy all the way up to the end of the war.
Unless Victory Comes by Gene Garrison -- Nonfiction
Another great WW2 book, told in the 1st person by Gene Garrison, who was machine gunner in Patton's 3rd Army. This book is also very personal, and it really shows what the average infantrymen went through during the war.
The Deadly Brotherhood by John C. McManus -- Nonfiction
Basically, its a book that describes the entire war from the perspective of the average infantryman, tanker, marine, combat engineer and pilots in the United States Military. The book is made up of complete personal interviews conducted with stories from many soldiers during their harrowing experiances inWorld War 2. You see everything from Burma to the Buldge. Great read if you want to really understand what drove an American solider to fight during World War 2.
An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson. -- Nonfiction
Goes into detail on American forces in North Africa from Algiers until the surrender of Tunisia. There are few books on this theater and fewer still that go into as much detail as Atkinsons. Gives the best description ever of the battles around Kasserine Pass. Isn't shy about the mistakes the military made, from the first day to the last.
Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson -- Nonfiction
His second book, going from the invasion of Sicily to the taking of Rome. Again, not very many good on this theater. Still isn't afraid to tell the truth about the mistakes the Allies made, and definitely shows it wasn't a cake walk. Both his books were amazing reads.
Tunnels of Cu Chi - Tom Mangold and John Penycate -- Nonfiction
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 -- Nonfiction
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.