The best war books that go beyond the battles

Who am I?

I am a retired police officer, except I don’t write about law enforcement. I write about the military. My degree is in Political Science and History. I am a meticulous researcher. My emphasis has been on the Vietnam War. My father served in both the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard. One of my great uncles served in Africa during WWII. His brother during the Occupation of Germany. I have a step-uncle who spent time as a POW in Laos during the Vietnam War. My step-father served in the Army National Guard, and my step-brother in the U.S. Army, Korea and Ft. Hood.


I wrote...

The Jackson MacKenzie Chronicles: In the Eye of the Storm

By Angel Giacomo,

Book cover of The Jackson MacKenzie Chronicles: In the Eye of the Storm

What is my book about?

War, it changes everyone and everything it touches. But especially the men who live in the trenches who fight the battles. Lt. Colonel Jackson Joseph MacKenzie is one of those men. He grew up in the shadow of a legendary Marine. Part of a family tradition to serve, he joined the United States Army. His first war in Korea taught him death the hard way, both personal and professional. His second in Vietnam taught him never-ending pain. And betrayal by those above him. Those he trusted. Given a top-secret mission to help end the war, he carried out his orders. Then upon his return, they disavowed any knowledge of it. He found himself in a six-by-eight cell with no way out and no hope.

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The books I picked & why

We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

By General Harold Moore, Joseph Galloway,

Book cover of We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

Why did I love this book?

This book is a complex but excellent read. It is laced with moments of sheer bravery and interludes of absolute terror. Lt. Colonel Hal Moore commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division—part of the “The Garryowen” Brigade. This book covers the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley during the early years of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, in November 1965. The first major engagement between the forces of North Vietnam and the United States. I want to highlight one thing in the book, “The country that sent us off to war was not there to welcome us home. It no longer existed.” While good in its own right, the movie does not do the book justice. Read this book.

By General Harold Moore, Joseph Galloway,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked We Were Soldiers Once... and Young as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'If you want to know what is was like to go to Vietnam as a young American... and find yourself caught in ferocious, remorseless combat with an enemy as courageous and idealistic as you were, then you must read this book. Moore and Galloway have captured the terror and exhilaration, the comradeship and self-sacrifice, the brutality and compassion that are the dark heart of war' THE TIMES

THE MUST READ CLASSIC OF THE VIETNAM WAR

In November 1965, 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt.Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small…


Book cover of Welcome Home from Vietnam, Finally: A Vietnam Trauma Surgeon's Memoir

Why did I love this book?

Dr. Gus Kappler contacted me via my Facebook page. After we spoke, I ordered his book, Welcome Home From Vietnam, Finally: A Vietnam Trauma Surgeon’s Memoir. Since I write Vietnam War fiction, I found his memoir both enlightening as to how it really was for the doctors saving the lives of our troops. M*A*S*H it is not, while themes in that classic show have a ring of truth. I will not mention them as you need to read the book to understand. The book is written from Gus’ heart and soul of his experiences and illustrated with the pictures he took in-country. The book is gritty, down-to-earth, and above all, how it truly was to work in a Vietnam War field hospitalthe 85th Evacuation Hospital. You need to read this book.

By Gus Kappler, MD,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Welcome Home from Vietnam, Finally as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gus Kappler MD served as an Army trauma surgeon at the 85th Evacuation Hospital, Phu Bai, Vietnam. The 85th routinely witnessed the devastation of war on body, mind, and soul. Every known and out-of-the-box technique was employed to salvage life and limb. At the 85th a wounded soldier had a 95% chance of survival. It was that 5% that still haunt the surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists today.

"Welcome Home From Vietnam, Finally" is the medical memoir of a surgeon in the most intense environment possible. It is a gripping, honest, real-life, disturbing wartime memoir.


Vietnam: A Complete Photographic History

By Michael Maclear, Hal Buell,

Book cover of Vietnam: A Complete Photographic History

Why did I love this book?

Twenty chapters and 732 pages, not including the Preface, Acknowledgements, Introduction, and Chronology, of the history of the Vietnam War. From the Preface, you are thrown into a photograph-rich hardback book that covers the beginnings of what lured the French to Indochinatrade, to the final surrender in April 1975. Gritty, sometimes horrifying black and white pictures jump out at you from the pages. There are over 2,000 photographs and maps inside the book. It is truly the book for anyone interested in the Vietnam War.

By Michael Maclear, Hal Buell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vietnam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vietnam by Michael Maclear Complete Photographic History Hardcover Tess Press


Book cover of Day of Infamy: The Classic Account of the Bombing of Pearl Harbor

Why did I love this book?

I got this book as a teenager. As a WWII history buff, I read it cover to cover so many times that the cover wore off. This is a complete account of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. From the workers dipping soup with their oily hands to eat on breaks while trying to free men from the capsized USS Oklahoma to the use of coke bottles to store donor blood, it is a gritty account of the bravery of the U.S. forces caught by surprise by the attack. While newer books on Pearl Harbor have been published, this one is still my favorite.

By Walter Lord,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Day of Infamy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special 60th anniversary edition of the bestselling re-creation of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, by the author of A Night to Remember.

Sunday, December 7, 1941, was, as President Roosevelt said, "a date which will live in infamy." Day of Infamy is a fascinating account of that unforgettable day's events. In brilliant detail Walter Lord traces the human drama of the great attack: the spies behind it; the Japanese pilots; the crews on the stricken warships; the men at the airfields and the bases; the Japanese pilot who captured an island single-handedly when he could not get back…


Book cover of Pork Chop Hill: The American Fighting Man in Action: Korea, Spring, 1953

Why did I love this book?

This book is a detailed account of the fighting at Pork Chop Hill, aka Hill 255. It was aptly named because on the topographical map it resembled a pork chop. They call this the forgotten war. It is a gritty, blow-by-blow, extremely detailed account of the battle in April 1953. This book describes the incredible feat of bravery and heroism by the men of the 7th Infantry Division. Pork Chop Hill was not the only place of the combat as Old Baldy, Hill 266, was a short distance away.

By S.L.A. Marshall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pork Chop Hill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Battle of Pork Chop Hill fought during the Korean War, was made into a famous movie starring Gregory Peck. The outcome of this war and the tremendous loss of human life is what we have today. The war started on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. The fighting war ended on 27 July 1953 when an armistice was concluded. However, the two sides never signed a peace treaty. The two sides are still technically at war. South Korea has prospered and it is one of the most advanced countries of the world. North Korea is in…


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Interested in Vietnam, the Vietnam War, and Japan?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Vietnam, the Vietnam War, and Japan.

Vietnam Explore 142 books about Vietnam
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Japan Explore 443 books about Japan