Good Reads - Nonfiction
War Stories: True Accounts of Combat
Heart-Stopping Tales of Combat, Sacrifice, and Courage
World War II
War Beneath the Waves: A True Story of Courage and Leadership Aboard a World War II Submarine by Don Keith - 2010
Miracles on the Water: The Heroic Survivors of a World War II U-Boat Attack by Tom Nagorski - 2006
A British liner on its way to Canada to escape the German blitz was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank in a half an hour. What followed is an inspiring tale of human courage and triumph.
Escape from the Deep: The Epic Story of a Legendary Submarine and Her Courageous Crew by Alex Kershaw - 2008
The USS Flier: Death and Survival on a World War II Submarine by Michael Sturma - 2008
Especially for readers who are interested in taking side trips to learn about the many aspects of warfare, such as the history of mines and undersea tactics.
Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War by John D. Lukacs - 2010
Recounts the only successful POW escape from a Japanese prison camp.
Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben Macintyre - 2010
A World War II operation so improbable it was the basis for several novels.
Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre - 2007
“One of the great true spy stories of World War II, vividly rendered.”
The Brenner Assignment: The Untold Story of the Most Daring Spy Mission of World War II by Patrick K. O’Donnell - 2008
This gripping, character-driven narrative reads like a novel.
The Longest Day: June 6, 1944 by Cornelius Ryan - 1994
“A moving masterpiece” about the men who stormed the Normandy beaches on D-Day.
Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose - 2001
Follow the adventures of a courageous company of Airborne soldiers during World War II. The reader becomes familiar with each soldier and is witness to heavy-duty warfare.
The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII’s Most Decorated Platoon by Alex Kershaw - 2004
After fierce fighting, U.S. soldiers were captured yet survived to the end of the war.
The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and the Assault on Hitler’s Europe by McKay Jenkins - 2003
Relates the victories of the short-lived 10th mountain division, skilled in skiing and surmounting the unique challenges of high-terrain warfare.
Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission by Hampton Sides - 2001
Thrilling tale of U.S. Rangers who embark on a near-impossible operation to rescue Allied POWs in Japanese-controlled territory.
940.5426 BRA also PB NF BRA
Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley - 2000
Focusing on the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima, “this stirring chronicle of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II follows young men into the fiercest hand-to-hand combat of the war.”
A Tale of Two Subs: An Untold Story of World War II, Two Sister Ships, and Extraordinary Heroism by Jonathan J. McCullough - 2008
940.5459 STA also PB NF STA
In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors by Doug Stanton 2001
Classic, bone-chilling account of the worst disaster in U.S. Naval history and the ordeal of those who escaped a sinking ship, only to be left adrift in freezing, shark-infested waters.
The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill - 1950, 2004
British and American soldiers collaborated to escape from a Nazi prison camp. This suspenseful thriller involves the reader with a sense of being on the scene.
We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by David Armine Howarth - 1999
Lone survivor of a Nazi ambush, Jan Baalsrud struggled to survive the Arctic and stay one step ahead of his pursuers.
PB NF SLE
With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge - 2007
One reader calls this “the quintessential experience of the Marines in the Pacific War. It is one of the best eloquent, haunting, and poetic reads I have ever come across, and more than most war memoirs, it is very, very scary.”
Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea by David Sears - 2010
The little-known story of the pilots who had to fly outdated planes during a time of transition in technology that created special problems during combat.
The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat by Bob Drury - 2009
Heart-pounding, action-packed story of a small unit of U.S. soldiers defending a critical hill in Korea against thousands of Chinese soldiers.
The Secrets of Inchon: The Untold Story of the Most Daring Covert Mission of the Korean War by Eugene Franklin Clark - 2002
Kirkus Reviews called this a “rip-roaring first-person narrative of an espionage mission that may well have saved 100,000 American lives during the Korean War.”
PB NF OWE
Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir by Joseph R. Owen - 1996
Fire Mission: The World of Nam, a Marine’s Story by Earl J. Gorman - 2008
Last Men Out: The True Story of America’s Heroic Final Hours in Vietnam by Bob Drury - 2011
PB NF RAS
Palace Cobra: A Fighter Pilot in the Vietnam Air War by Ed Rasimus - 2007
Continues the adventures begun in When Thunder Rolled listed below.
We Were Soldiers Once… and Young: Ia Drang: the Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore - 1992
You are there for the first battle fought by U.S. troops in Vietnam. This first-hand account details the savagery of the battle and the bravery of the soldiers who were involved.
PB NF HEN
Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills by Charles Henderson - 1988
PB NF MAN
The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America’s “Tunnel Rats” in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam by Tom Mangold - 1985
PB NF RAS
When Thunder Rolled: An F-105 Pilot over North Vietnam by Ed Rasimus - 2003
956.70442 SWO also PB NF SWO
Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swofford - 2003
A well-told, frank, and riveting account of the new warriors that “smokes and screams in your hands.”
Operation Restore Hope
967.73 BOW also PB NF BOW
Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden - 1999
You are there with a downed group of U.S. Special Forces in hostile territory as they engage in an intense and costly firefight in Somalia.
967.73 DUR also PB NF DUR
In the Company of Heroes by Michael J. Durant - 2003
The sole survivor of the firefight chronicled in Black Hawk Down tells his story, providing background information on the elite squadron of which he was a part and technical analysis of the operation.
Hunters: U.S. Snipers in the War on Terror by Milo S. Afong - 2010
956.70443 BEL also PB NF BEL
House to House: An Epic Memoir of War by David Bellavia - 2007
A look at war on the ground as troops took Fallujah, block by block. One reviewer notes, “The frantic, present-tense narrative abounds with scenes and dialogue that make this account of battle read like a realistic war novel.”
Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood by Donovan Campbell - 2009
Riveting stories of house-to-house combat in Iraq and the close personal relationships of the soldiers working in the war zone.
The Good Soldiers by David Finkel - 2009
The narrative of an embedded journalist who followed a platoon during the surge in Iraq. This action-packed account allows the reader to know the soldiers as individuals and reveals the war from their viewpoint. Not for the squeamish.
Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War by Evan Wright - 2004
An embedded journalist writes about the war in Iraq.
Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War by Matt Gallagher - 2010
This blog-based memoir, is “as funny as it is harrowing.”
958.104 MAC also PB NF MAC
Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghur Mountain, Afghanistan by Malcolm MacPherson - 2005
Navy SEALs attempted to rescue a lone U.S. soldier who was stranded and surrounded by fanatical al Qaeda fighters.
War by Sebastian Junger - 2010
The author of The Perfect Storm “blends popular science, psychology, and history with a breathlessly paced narrative” as he follows a single platoon through a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America’s Most Secret Special Operations Team by Michael Smith - 2007
SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin - 2011
SEAL Warrior: Death in the Dark: Vietnam 1968–1972 by Thomas H. Keith
“A direct, dispassionate memoir by one of the Navy’s most highly decorated soldiers.”
PB NF LUT
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell - 2009
The Night Stalkers: Top Secret Missions of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment by Michael J. Durant - 2006
That Others May Live: The True Story of a PJ, a Member of America’s Most Daring Rescue Force by Jack Brehm - 2000
Relates the hazardous adventures of the little known Pararescue Jumpers of the Air Force/National Guard.
359.984 PFA also PB NF PFA
Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL by Chuck Pfarrer - 2004
Beyond Valor: World War II’s Ranger and Airborne Veterans Reveal the Heart of Combat by Patrick K. O’Donnell - 2001
Oral history of the war from various members of elite forces. Deemed “raw and dramatic stuff.”
Delta Force by Charlie A. Beckwith - 1983
Prepared by Marty Krause, August 2011