History Gift Guide – World War II Books

History Gift Guide – World War II Books

The horrors of World War II never grow old and they shouldn’t.  We need to remember the terrible stories from World War II, to ensure they are never forgotten.  There were a few history books on World War II that were released this year and quickly became bestsellers.  Also checkout the World War II history movies section.

Here’s a list of some of the best selling history books on World War II!

[amazon_link id=”1594203148″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw[/amazon_link]

Drawing on original testimony from ordinary Germans and arch-Nazis alike, award-winning historian Ian Kershaw explores this fascinating question in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the German capitulation in May 1945. Hitler, desperate to avoid a repeat of the “disgraceful” German surrender in 1918, was of course critical to the Third Reich’s fanatical determination, but his power was sustained only because those below him were unable, or unwilling, to challenge it. Even as the military situation grew increasingly hopeless, Wehrmacht generals fought on, their orders largely obeyed, and the regime continued its ruthless persecution of Jews, prisoners, and foreign workers. Beneath the hail of allied bombing, German society maintained some semblance of normalcy in the very last months of the war. The Berlin Philharmonic even performed on April 12, 1945, less than three weeks before Hitler’s suicide.

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[amazon_link id=”0891419195″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge[/amazon_link]

An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division–3d Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic. Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill–and came to love–his fellow man.

[amazon_link id=”0061228591″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts[/amazon_link]

In researching this magnificently vivid history, Roberts walked many of the key battlefields and wartime sites in Russia, France, Italy, Germany, and the Far East, and drew on a number of never-before-published documents, such as a letter from Hitler’s director of military operations explaining the reasoning behind the FÜhrer’s order to halt the Panzers outside Dunkirk—a delay that enabled British forces to evacuate. Roberts illuminates the principal actors on both sides and analyzes how they reached critical decisions. He also presents the tales of many little-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the terrible depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.

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[amazon_link id=”0671728687″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer[/amazon_link]

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a 1960 non-fiction book by William L. Shirer chronicling the general history of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. The book is based upon captured Third Reich documents, the available diaries of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, General Franz Halder, and of the Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano, evidence and testimony from the Nuremberg trials, British Foreign Office reports, and the author’s recollections of six years’ of Third Reich reportage, for newspapers, the United Press International (UPI), and CBS Radio, ended by Nazi Party censorship in 1940. In 1961, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich earned a National Book Award, and was adapted to television as a sort of miniseries and broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company network in 1968. Three hours long, the program was telecast one hour a night over three nights.

[amazon_link id=”0143114093″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945 by Norman Davies[/amazon_link]

A clear-eyed reappraisal of World War II that offers new insight by reevaluating well-established facts and pointing out lesser-known ones, No Simple Victory asks readers to reconsider what they know about the war, and how that knowledge might be biased or incorrect. Norman Davies poses simple questions that have unexpected answers: Can you name the five biggest battles of the war? What were the main political ideologies that were contending for supremacy? The answers to these questions will surprise even those who feel that they are experts on the subject.

[amazon_link id=”0465002390″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder[/amazon_link]

Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.” But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness. Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

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[amazon_link id=”0312569513″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds by Christina Olds, Ed Rasimus, Robin Olds[/amazon_link]

Robin Olds was many things to many people. To his West Point football coach he was an All American destined for the National College Football Hall of Fame. To his P-38 and P-51 wartime squadrons in WWII he was the aggressive fighter pilot who made double ace and became their commander in nine short months. For the pioneers of the jet age, he was the wingman on the first jet demo team, a racer in the Thompson Trophy race, and the only U.S. exchange officer to command an RAF squadron. In the tabloid press he was the dashing flying hero who married the glamorous movie star. For the current crop of fighter pilots he is best known as the leader of the F-4 Wolfpack battling over North Vietnam. For cadets at the Air Force Academy he was a role model and mentor. He was all of those things and more.

[amazon_link id=”0812979354″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson[/amazon_link]

The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Averell Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR’s Lend-Lease program in London; and John Gilbert Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain. Each man formed close ties with Winston Churchill—so much so that all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister’s family. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and reluctant American public to back the British at a critical time. Deeply human, brilliantly researched, and beautifully written, Citizens of London is a new triumph from an author swiftly becoming one of the finest in her field.

[amazon_link id=”092389165X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Hiroshima by John Hersey[/amazon_link]

Hiroshima is the story of six human beings who lived through the greatest single manmade disaster in history. With what Bruce Bliven called “the simplicity of genius,” John Hersey tells what these six — a clerk, a widowed seamstress, a physician, a Methodist minister, a young surgeon, and a German Catholic priest — were doing at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, when Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atomic bomb ever dropped on a city. Then he follows the course of their lives hour by hour, day by day.

[amazon_link id=”055380670X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer[/amazon_link]

Neptune’s Inferno is at once the most epic and the most intimate account ever written of the contest for control of the seaways of the Solomon Islands, America’s first concerted offensive against the Imperial Japanese juggernaut and the true turning point of the Pacific conflict. This grim, protracted campaign has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice—three sailors died at sea for every man lost ashore—Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in brilliant cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August of 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. But at Guadalcanal the U.S. proved it had the implacable will to match the Imperial war machine blow for violent blow.

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