The best books on WW2

Gerhard Weinberg Author Of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II
By Gerhard Weinberg

The Books I Picked & Why

Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War

By David M. Glantz

Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War

Why this book?

A truly extraordinary examination of the army that would do a majority of the fighting and suffer as well as inflict the largest portion of the military casualties of the European part of World War II. The "Bibliographic Essay and Selective Bibliography" is extraordinarily helpful in its account of the fate of Soviet archives and publications over the years.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East

By David Stahel

Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East

Why this book?

The author provides an analysis of the initial stages of the fighting on the Eastern Front that effectively revises several of the prior generally accepted views of that critical portion of the war. Here is one book that extensively utilizes German sources without becoming enslaved by them as too many works appear to become.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War

By Noriko Kawamura

Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War

Why this book?

At last (2015) there is a balanced and carefully researched study of a central figure in the modern history of Japan and the war in the Pacific. The substantial utilization and integration of Japanese sources enhances the work but does not lead to any distortion of the real picture.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle

By Richard B. Frank

Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle

Why this book?

The author provides a most thoughtful and well-presented coverage of the longest battle of the Pacific War and of American history. Covering a war in a part of the world that very few are acquainted with, the author has enhanced his account with a large number of maps that truly help to orient the reader.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific

By Walter R. Borneman

MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific

Why this book?

In view of the numerous controversies and varied views of General MacArthur’s actions and policies in the Pacific War, it is great to have a balanced and very carefully researched and presented account of a commander who was in it from Japan’s attack on the United States to Japan’s surrender. While dealing fairly with some of the criticisms of the general, Borneman does note his repeated announcements of battles being ended when they were not as well as the hopeless incompetence of his intelligence chief.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Random Book Lists