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Reid22's avatar

What are some good ww2 books from the soldiers point of view?

Asked by Reid22 (4points) March 24th, 2010


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13 Answers

Snarp's avatar

Catch 22.
Slaughterhouse Five.

Nullo's avatar

There were a lot of war correspondents back in the day; that would be a good place to start researching. A lot of soldiers also composed memoirs upon their return.
Audie Murphy’s autobiography, To Hell and Back, is pretty awesome.

jaytkay's avatar

Run Silent, Run Deep

“Editorial Review – Kirkus Reviews Copyright© VNU Business Media, Inc.
A story of submarines in the Pacific tells Edward G. Richardson’s responsibility in not permitting Jim Bledsoe, Executive Officer of the S-16, a premature qualification as skipper. It is not until they are on full duty that the hurt is covered up and then Jim shows the daring and brilliance of which Rich felt sure. The boats, their crews, and undersea battles are all here for the dedicated audience.”

CyanoticWasp's avatar

The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monserrat

Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis (one of the war correspondents @Nullo mentioned)

Flags of Our Fathers and Fly Boys by James Bradley

Whatever book was the basis of “Letters from Iwo Jima” (from the Japanese soldiers’ point of view)

faye's avatar

Band of Brothers by Syephen Ambrose. It is a true story- the book is in the non fiction section of the library.

dpworkin's avatar

There is a series of books on reportage from WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. I suggest you look for the one that carried Ernie Pyle’s correspondence.

Nullo's avatar

Long ago, Landmark Books published a story titled “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” which recounts the experiences of one Ted Lawson, pilot of the B-25 christened “The Ruptured Duck,” before, during, and after the Doolittle B-25 raid early in the War. The account is autobiographical, though I suspect that Landmark Books encouraged Lawson to write a version that could be marketed to younger readers, like the rest of their titles.
The book’s title, while somewhat cheesy, does allude to the fact that the bulk of the story pertains to their extensive training before the fact, and the months of traveling across rural China with nasty injuries and a single leg afterward.

The book was made into a movie not long after, though I do not expect that the adaptation is any good.
Even so, the book is still better than “Pearl Harbor.”
If you’re picky about details, you will find PH’s rendering of the Doolittle raid nothing short of grating.

There was another book that I read about the same time that was a series of vignettes, reconstructed from the diaries of soldiers throughout the war. I do not remember what it was called, but it’s out there.

@CyanoticWasp You’ve read Guadalcanal Diary!? My dad found that for me when I was going through a WWII phase. The same exact copy, we surmised, that he read when he was a kid. Read that thing to bits.
I’ve never met anybody else who’s even heard of it.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Nullo, no, I admit that I haven’t read it, but it’s on the list…

I only know about Tregaskis because I saw him featured on a program on History channel about WWII correspondents, and I happened to read Shaara’s 1942 recently, which featured a long account of the Guadalcanal campaign (among all of the other major Allied actions of 1942, including Bataan, Corregidor and Torch. That… and that Guadalcanal Diary fit the OP’s request.

UScitizen's avatar

General Kenney Reports, by George C. Kenney… One of the best examples EVER of right man, right place, right time… fascinating reading for the history buff

Snarp's avatar

The Great Escape.

UScitizen's avatar

I second “The Great Escape.”

@Nullo I first read “Guadalcanal Diary” several decades ago. I agree with you. Excellent suggestion.

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