The best World War 2 books that I used as research for my horror novel

Who am I?

Andrew is a long-time WWII history buff and writer who looks for any excuse to do a deep dive into his favorite history topics. For his WWII horror novel One Last Gasp, he spent over a year researching the Battle of the Bulge, from first-hand accounts of front-line soldiers to official U.S. Army documents.


I wrote...

One Last Gasp

By Andrew C. Piazza,

Book cover of One Last Gasp

What is my book about?

Near the end of World War II, during the Battle of The Bulge, a US Army unit pursues a renegade SS panzer battalion into the secluded Ardennes forest. There, hidden deep in the snow-covered pines, they find an ancient manor house containing an inhuman evil that defies any sense of reality.

Confronted with a supernatural evil inside the manor, and surrounded by enemy troops outside, the soldiers will have to unravel the mysteries of the creature called The Geist and face a nightmarish battle for body and soul if they are to survive.

The books I picked & why

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Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Book cover of Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

Why this book?

The source material for the HBO miniseries and a fantastic glimpse at a unit that had a knack for being in the middle of some of the biggest parts of World War II in Europe. Easy Company gives us a front-line soldier’s look at D-Day, The Bulge, and even post-war life as they roll into the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s mountain refuge. If the author is a bit of a cheerleader for “our guys,” he can be forgiven, I think, considering the extraordinary courage and sacrifice we witness on the part of the men of Easy Company.


The Fall of Berlin 1945

By Antony Beevor,

Book cover of The Fall of Berlin 1945

Why this book?

A bit dry and occasionally over-focused on rattling off official numbers and unit designations, The Fall Of Berlin is also a low-key horror novel. Surrounded on all sides by a massive Russian army hell-bent on revenge, the people of Berlin are caught between those invaders and their own leadership forcing them into a suicidal last stand. The scale of brutality is numbing; this is a battle fought without mercy by two adversaries locked in a death struggle.


Ordinary Men

By Christopher R. Browning,

Book cover of Ordinary Men

Why this book?

A fascinating look at the men who carried out the gritty day-to-day murders of the Holocaust, particularly the early days. It’s written by a historian, so there is a lot of dry description of source documents and that sort of research-related discussion to back up everything that is discussed. For all that dryness, this book does an incredible job of shining a light on the question everyone asks about the Holocaust… how could ordinary, decent men commit such atrocity?


A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge

By Charles B. MacDonald,

Book cover of A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge

Why this book?

A meticulous examination of the Battle of The Bulge, the largest battle ever fought by the US Army. What I found so fascinating was that, even given the massive scale of the fight, it reads more like a wide series of small engagements, scattered and disconnected from each other.  Individual units, often cut off from each other and vastly outnumbered and outgunned, still put up a stiff resistance, enough to pick away at the juggernaut advance of the Germans, each one slowing the enemy a little more and a little more and a little more, until reinforcements can finally put a stop to the enemy advance.


Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II

By Charles B. MacDonald,

Book cover of Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II

Why this book?

An infantry company commander’s first-hand account of his experiences in the European theater. His first command was to be thrust smack dab into the middle of the Battle of The Bulge, and his account is filled with surprisingly raw and honest observations not only about the war but about his reaction to it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 2, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Holocaust?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about World War 2, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Holocaust.

World War 2 Explore 975 books about World War 2
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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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