The 10 Best WWII Books

Updated July 01, 2017 by Quincy Miller

10 Best WWII Books
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We spent 20 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. One of these WWII books would be the perfect gift for any history buff or student, or could simply make an informative and attractive coffee table addition. These riveting accounts of various individuals' and groups' experiences in differing theaters of the war provide a thorough understanding of the period, and should serve as a warning to us all about the horrors of any and every armed conflict. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wwii book on Amazon.

10. The Liberator

Sometimes following one man's journey is the best way to get a larger sense of a place and period. The Liberator, by Alex Kershaw, makes much of WWII accessible in this way. It's a bloody, riveting accounting of a soldier's odyssey that lasts some 500 days.
  • tells of the dachau liberation
  • gives background on patton as well
  • lots of choppy paragraphs
Publisher Broadway Books
Model n/a
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Ghost Soldiers

If you're looking to read a tale of unbridled heroism and bravery, then Ghost Soldiers is your book. The author vividly recreates the daring raid of 121 hand-selected U.S. troops who slipped behind enemy lines to rescue 513 POWs languishing in the Filipino jungle.
  • action-packed and gripping
  • account of bataan death march
  • not suitable for readers under 18
Publisher Anchor
Model n/a
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Code Talker

Code Talker tells the now-famous story of the part Navajo heroes played in the war, overcoming discrimination to achieve greatness. Punished for speaking their language as children, they later used it to create the only unbroken code in modern warfare.
  • digs into native american culture
  • includes the actual navajo codes
  • little info on any battles
Publisher Nez, Chester
Model n/a
Weight 10.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich has been considered a definitive account of the Nazi Party's history for decades. This National Book Award-winner was written by an author who had years of firsthand exposure working as a reporter during the war.
  • extremely well-researched
  • reads like a novel
  • very long at 1600 pages
Publisher Simon Schuster
Model n/a
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

6. The Longest Winter

The Longest Winter is the story of a vastly outnumbered American platoon that was told to hold their position at all costs, and repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle. They only surrendered when they completely ran out of ammunition.
  • vivid and dramatic prose
  • an epic tale of survival
  • begins to drag midway through
Publisher Kershaw, Alex
Model n/a
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Eyewitness to World War II

Published by National Geographic, Eyewitness to World War II brings you up close and personal with the tragedies and triumphs of the war. It creates a dramatic tapestry of events from both the battlefield and the home front for a comprehensive look at what took place.
  • incredible first-person stories
  • lots of rare photographs
  • pictures can be rather graphic
Publisher Kagan, Neil
Model n/a
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. A Higher Call

A Higher Call is a moving tale of unexpected compassion in the heart of a brutal war. It tells the amazing story of two enemy pilots who faced each other in battle and then met up decades afterwards, and serves to remind us of the beautiful humanity that unites us all.
  • heartwarming and uplifting
  • seamlessly moves between narratives
  • perfect for aviation aficionados
Publisher WaterBrook Press
Model n/a
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers tells of an ordinary group of men who became some of WWII's most extraordinary heroes. It follows the 101st airborne division from training in Georgia to their eventual disbanding, covering everything from D-Day to taking Hitler's Bavarian outpost.
  • inspiration for celebrated tv series
  • comments from one of the veterans
  • capably juggles many characters
Publisher Ambrose, Stephen E.
Model n/a
Weight 12.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. World War II in 500 Photographs

It's good that a picture says a thousand words, because World War II in 500 Photographs will leave you speechless. It contains moving, shocking, and inspiring imagery, and is just as entertaining as it is informative, making it the ideal gift for the war buff in your life.
  • replete with color maps
  • includes profiles of key players
  • perfect for coffee tables
Publisher Time Home Entertainment
Model n/a
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken

Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken tells an almost unbelievable, yet true, story of a man who lived through a series of incredible catastrophes, from floating adrift at sea to spending years in a Japanese POW camp. It's a moving testament to the endurance of the human spirit.
  • vivid depictions of characters
  • based on interviews and diaries
  • inspiring spiritual messages
Publisher Random House
Model n/a
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on July 01, 2017 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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