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Posted: 6/6/2008 9:11:56 AM EST
Can anyone recommend a good, comprehensive book covering WWII?

Today's anniversary of D-Day made me realize that my knowledge of the war is fragmented, and I'd like to read one book that would give me a nice, organized overview.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 9:35:23 AM EST
You are correct there are thousands on particular battles. A website World at Wat, a history of ww3, 1939 1945 gives a great and complete overview.

For individual in sequence I recommedn.

Japan- David Bergamini's Japan's Imperial Conspiracy. The John Tolands books on the war in the Pacific.

Europe, Winston Churchill's 3 book set. The Eisenhowers Crusade in Europe.

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 9:40:55 AM EST
Thanks.

I guess I'm looking for an easy way to wrap my head around the whole thing.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 9:47:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 9:48:10 AM EST by Cypselus]
Gerhard Weinberg's "A World at Arms" is a good high-level view of the whole war (even so, it's a very long book). It is concerned almost entirely with strategy and diplomacy, and does not descend into the operational weeds.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 9:51:19 AM EST
The only one book I've seen that comprehensivly covers the whole war is Lt. Col Edward Bauer's The History of WWII. It's bigger than most dictionaries and it's still only a brief summary of the war. World War II isn't a subject that can be expertly covered in a single book.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 9:54:24 AM EST
A very good single volume book is "A World At Arms" by Gerhard L. Weinberg, Cambridge University Press. The author was in England when the war started, and then served in the U.S. Army of occupation in Japan. There's a lot of info on what life was like on the homefronts as well.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 10:32:54 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 10:51:54 AM EST
James Dunnigan's "Dirty Little Secrets of WWII"
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:05:35 AM EST
B.H. Liddell-Hart's History of the Second World War.


Not 'complete', but good reads for what they cover:

War As I Knew It, Patton

Panzer Leader, Guderian (Aka Memoirs of a Soldier, in the German)
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:12:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mazeman:
Can anyone recommend a good, comprehensive book covering WWII?

Today's anniversary of D-Day made me realize that my knowledge of the war is fragmented, and I'd like to read one book that would give me a nice, organized overview.


For the european Campaign get the book "Armageddon" by Max Hastings.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:15:37 AM EST
World War 2 - John Keegan (One of the best historians ever)

Six Armies in Normandy - John Keegan

Defeat in the West - Milton Shulman

Fall of Berlin - Anthony Beevor

Fatefull Seige Stalingrad - Anthony Beevor

A Bridge too Far - Cornelius Ryan

On to Berlin - Gen. James Gavin

The Rommel Papers - Field Marshal E. Rommel

For starters...

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 1:55:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By Big_Bear:
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer


thats a good starter, on the other side, is a book, IIRC The Eagle and The Lance or similar. I got it at the base library in Yokota, it was brand new so I figured finding a copy for my self would be a piece of cake. that was 17 years ago. Starts out with the Japanes decision in the late 1800s that they were going to have to fight the US for dominance in the Pacific. Deals with the China conflicts and the lead up to the war and a small portion on the war. The Pacific War is covered in a lot of books, most unfortunately giving a very good view on a small section.

Samuel Elliot Morrison's history, but it's almost all Navy side of things.
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