War Books

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by Bill the Butcher, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. Bill the Butcher

    Bill the Butcher Roscoe's favorite poster
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    Doesn't matter the conflict I like to read about all of them. I finished a couple recently and was hoping some of you could weigh in on books you have enjoyed. Pretty much all the Amazon reviews are over the top positive and of no help as there have been some piles of shit.

    Pile of shit category
    The Last Punisher
    Embarrassing Confessions of a Marine Lieutenant
    Service
    Into the Fire

    Good Reads
    D Day through German Eyes
    The Things Our Fathers Saw
    Horse Soldiers
    Rocky Bleier Story

    Must Reads
    Dog Company
    Outlaw Platoon



    The two in the must read category are great if you really want to understand how fucked our military is and the real restrictions that cause Americans to lose their lives.

     
  2. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Went through a WWII binge a while ago. Recommend all of these:
    With the Old Breed - Eugene Sledge
    Brotherhood of Heroes (Pelelui) - Bill Sloan
    The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945 - Bill Sloan
    D-Day - Stephen Ambrose
    Citizen Soldiers - Stephen Ambrose
    Band of Brothers - Stephen Ambrose
    Flags of Our Father (Iwo Jima) - James Bradley
    Iwo Jima - Richard Newcomb
    One Square Mile of Hell (Tarawa) - John Wukovits
    The Longest Winter (Battle of the Bulge) - Alex Kershaw

    Also
    The Last Stand of Fox Company - Bob Drury (Korea)
     
    #2 billdozer, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  3. lhprop1

    lhprop1 Fullsterkur
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    Pre-Civil War

    The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
    -I've attempted to read this, but the language is difficult to understand. Those who've read it say it's good, though.

    Nelson's Trafalgar by Roy Adkins
    -Excellent book. It really opened my eyes as to how awful naval warfare in the 19th century really was.

    Civil War

    Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson
    -Another great book. It's comprehensive in its scope, covering everything from the battles to the struggles on the home front to the political wrangling behind the scenes.

    The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers by Richard Moe
    -One of my favorite books. Tells the story of the 1st Minnesota Regiment from enlistment through their ultimate sacrifice at Gettysburg.

    WWII

    The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
    -An oldie, but a goodie. After seeing so many shows and reading so many books on WWII, I didn't think there was anything that hadn't at least seen or heard about D-Day yet. This book proved me wrong. Having been written in the 50s, D-day was still fairly fresh in the mind of the author and the people he interviewed. Did you know there was a Scottish soldier who rallied his troops by marching up and down the beach, under fire, playing his bagpipes? That's in the book.

    Flyboys by James Bradley
    -Great book about the naval aviators of WWII. Lots of stuff about George H.W. Bush and other pilots as well.

    Having seen this list, I realized that my Revolutionary War and WWI bibliography is seriously deficient. I need to get on that.
     
  4. billdozer

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    I've read about the bagpipe guy before, can't remember if it was in Ambrose's book or if it was somewhere else though. Can't imagine that it isn't in his book though, it's over 650 pages solely on D-Day.
     
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  5. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead DILLIGAF
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    I'm a vet, so my takes may be different than some/most. But here's a short list of my all-time favorites. I have a (much longer) list of others I liked very much; just not quite this much.

    Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes (Vietnam)
    Ashley's War, by Gayle Lemmon Tzemach (GWOT)
    Fearless, by Eric Blehm (GWOT)
    My Early Life, by Winston Churchill (Boer War, WW1 + WW2)
    One Bullet Away, by Nathaniel Fick (GWOT)
     
    #5 Hammerhead, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  6. Bill the Butcher

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    Loved One Bullet Away, didnt care for Fearless.

    Although Brown's story isnt like any other SEALs, I think Im burnt out on the SEALs tbh. Story was more about being a crackhead than actual fighting and tactics.
     
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  7. SenatorClayDavis

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    Matterhorn is probably the best book I've ever read.
    Along those lines, I'd recommend Goodbye to All That by Graves.
     
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  8. TC

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    Not quite a war book but military related...anybody have a recommendation for a good book about the CIA? I checked out "Ghost Wars" but that's specifically about Afghanistan. Would like something that has kind of an overview/history of the whole agency
     
  9. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    There's also a sister book on the FBI.
     
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  10. TC

    TC Working from home
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    Pretty much exactly what I'm looking for; thanks :thumb:
     
  11. Popovio

    Popovio The poster formerly known as "MouseCop"
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    Citizen Soldiers is an incredible book, might be my favorite one by Ambrose.

    I read Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills - Charles W. Henderson, not too long ago. It's about Carlos Hathcock's tour in Vietnam, I really enjoyed it.
     
  12. football501

    football501 I once ate a Twix with the wrapper on it
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    Different sort of war boon but I recently read Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Giles Milton and really enjoyed it. It chronicles the British sabotage effort against the Germans
     
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  13. Joe_Pesci

    Joe_Pesci lying dog-faced pony soldier
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    Wolfsburg

    I liked Company Commander

    Thirded on Matterhorn
     
  14. Joe_Pesci

    Joe_Pesci lying dog-faced pony soldier
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    Wolfsburg

    Killing Hope by William Blum
     
  15. lhprop1

    lhprop1 Fullsterkur
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    I'll have to check this out.

    A Man Called Intrepid by William Stevenson is another book about the Allied espionage efforts in WWII. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/82022.A_Man_Called_Intrepid
     
  16. Willpépé

    Willpépé Miles of D.
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    Dispatches, Michael Herr. My all time favorite book far and away. I am ex-military as well, and the reason I tell you that is because I passed this book to many non military friends. Has a ton of acronyms in it. Can be expected when reading a military book but just wanted to throw it out there before anyone jumped in. There's no better job of capturing the psychological mindfuck of war.

    The Coldest Winter, David Halberstam. My favorite author of all time. This is his break down of the Korean War. Aka, the forgotten war, I never learned about anything regarding the conflict outside of brief mentions in school, military or college. He more than breaks it down, boggles my mind how he even completes a book, but that's another topic all together. He literally examines every angle but if you can get through the political pieces (still fascinating) the combat and what the soldiers dealt with was insane.

    The Tunnels of Cu Chi, Tom Mangold. This is about the Tunnel Rats in Vietnam. I can't even imagine how fucked those guys are. Day 1 on that job I would be signing up to run point on any infantry squad in country (Probably second most terrifying job there).

    Poilu, Louis Barthas. Translated from French, basically WWI infantry life. Really fucked up, really good read.

    I have tons more as well.
     
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  17. Willpépé

    Willpépé Miles of D.
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    Pretty please. Trying to line up my beach reading!
     
  18. TC

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    Share some more if you want Wallcoq, I just added most of those to my list
     
  19. Willpépé

    Willpépé Miles of D.
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    I kind of veer out of military and into genocide or other fucked up shit that's usually outside the realm of a solid war/military/tactical book.

    Hell in a Very Small Place, Bernard Fall. You can read the description online, but French unit got absolutely skull fucked but the Viet Minh before the US got involved. You read it and everything about it is common knowledge before we entered the conflict. Great book.

    On Killing: Psychological cost of learning to kill in war and society, Dave Grossman. Kind of a crossover, book was released early 2000's I believe but tons of overlap with the military and subsequently mass shootings.

    Highly emphasize these are not light reads, from a content perspective, not something to take on vacation and you probably won't finish the first time through.

    The Rape of Nanking: If you think what the Germans did to Jews was horrible, it was. The Japanese were on another level, tough read, also called the forgotten holocaust.

    To Destroy you is no loss, Joan Criddle: Cambodian Genocide, again not light reading.

    And I have more work to do today and just spent an hour going through my books and trying to get ready for more vacation reading!
     
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  20. TC

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    Have you read/heard of "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War"?

     
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  21. Willpépé

    Willpépé Miles of D.
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    I have not, but it's now on my list. Pretty much read technical bullshit for 10 months out of the year for work and then the other two on this sort of shit. Right up my alley. Also, any other good non fiction you have I will take as well. Probably not the right thread here but if you can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.
     
  22. One Knight

    One Knight Waiting for the other shoe to drop
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    Did all of these on Audible so I can't attest to availability in print, etc, but I highly recommend all of them -

    American Revolution
    The Glorious Cause
    by Jeff Shaara - I love everything Shaara does and this was no exception, love how he gives voice to the main actors in the war. This is the second half of his series on the Revolution, the first being Rise to Revolution, which I haven't read, but I will eventually.

    Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick - Amazing look at the beginnings of the Revolution and Bunker Hill specifically. Will be listening again soon.

    Civil War
    The Civil War - A Narrative (Fort Sumter to Perryville)
    by Shelby Foote - The first of the trilogy by the author, exhaustive is an understatement for these books. So much detail, but if you are a hardcore Civil War nerd you will love every second.

    The Killer Angels
    by Michael Shaara - Amazing work about Gettysburg, this is by the father of Jeff Shaara, who continued his dad's work in the same style, giving voice to the players of the war.

    WWII
    The Second World War
    by Antony Beevor - One of the foremost WWII historians, this book covers the war from stem to stern. The audio book is 48 hours plus, so that gives you some idea of the scope. While he spends a tad too much time on the details of the suffering of the innocent victims of the war, I get the need for the inclusion of those details. I've listened to this twice, I'm sure I will again, its that good as far as an overview of the entire conflict. Covers a lot of stuff not usually covered, especially the land war in China. And he isn't afraid to level criticism on any of the big players, which is something I found very interesting, as most think of the men who waged the war on both sides as either evil or heroic, and there are obviously many shades between those two colors to every man who led the war efforts.

    D-Day
    by Antony Beevor - D-Day gets the same treatment as the entire war did in the above book. Loved all the details I hadn't heard before, this is my second favorite D-Day book next to Ambrose's stuff. Highly recommended.

    Pacific Crucible (War in the Pacific 1941-1942)
    by Ian W. Toll - Tells the story of Pearl Harbor through Midway, its a fantastic listen on a subject that gets a lot of press compared to the rest of the Pacific campaign, but I still learned a lot of new things from it. Led me to want to learn even more about Midway, which led me to....

    The Battle of Midway
    by Craig L. Symonds - An amazing detailed look at the Battle of Midway, and the events leading up to it. I always knew it was the turning point of the war in the Pacific but the details and new look into the Japanese mindset are incredibly interesting. One of the high points of the US Navy to be sure.

    Retribution: The Battle for Japan by Max Hastings - Really enjoyed this one, as there aren't as many widely known details of the end of the Pacific Campaign, and this one does it right. The portraits of the commanders involved were really eye-opening to me, and I am looking forward to reading more of Hastings' stuff.
     
  23. gus_chiggins

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    Dairy Queen You recommended a civil war book one time that I meant to buy, but never did. Can’t remember the name now
     
  24. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    Auburn Tigers

    Rebel Yell maybe? It had about the best descriptions of the brutality of the war that I’ve cone across. Grant was pretty good too although not exclusively about the Civil War...the details of his generalship and other goings on in the CW were excellent...American Ulysses was the better book on that subject though.
     
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  25. gus_chiggins

    gus_chiggins AND STAY OUT OF THE WOOLWORTH
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    It was Rebel Yell. Thanks
     
  26. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    Auburn Tigers

    Get The Earth is Weeping by Peter Cozzens...GOAT book
     
  27. gus_chiggins

    gus_chiggins AND STAY OUT OF THE WOOLWORTH
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    What’s that one cover?
     
  28. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    Auburn Tigers

    The Indian wars in the west in the second half of the 19th century
     
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  29. Dudley Dawson2

    Dudley Dawson2 Well-Known Member
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    Genghis Kahn and the Makings of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

    Gates of Fire (fiction but historically accurate) by Steven Pressfield

    I second the Legacy of Ashes book about the CIA

    Stalingrad, the Fateful Siege by Anthony Beavor
    Enemy at the Gates as well....

    Some great 'beach reading books' are the Carlos Hathcock Book, 1776, Unbroken,
     
  30. One Knight

    One Knight Waiting for the other shoe to drop
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    Stalingrad is definitely on my list after reading Beavor's other books.
     
  31. Dudley Dawson2

    Dudley Dawson2 Well-Known Member
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    I think it's his best book, though i haven't ready all of his. I've read, D-Day, Ardennes 1944 and Second World War.



    Fwiw, I'm currently reading Derliction of Duty by HR McMaster. It really goes into the weeds on the joint chiefs. Pretty interesting.
     
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  32. One Knight

    One Knight Waiting for the other shoe to drop
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    That one is on my list, seems like a fascinating topic.