The best WWII books you have probably never heard of

Who am I?

Having been born two months before Pearl Harbor, as I grew older, I vaguely remember hearing my parents talking about the war. When I was able, I used to pull my little red wagon around the neighborhood to collect bacon grease I donated to the local butcher shop to support the war. After retiring from the technology industry, I tried my hand at writing books. After a few futile attempts, I finally started writing novels about WWII. I first wrote Return to La Roche-en-Ardenne, then Innocence Lost - A Childhood Stolen, and finally Thou Shall Do No Harm – Diary of an Auschwitz Physician which will be re-released in early 2023.


I wrote...

Innocence Lost – A Childhood Stolen

By Philip Sherman Mygatt,

Book cover of Innocence Lost – A Childhood Stolen

What is my book about?

A fictional Holocaust survivor's story. The autobiographical story of a young, Polish Jew caught up in the Holocaust who is sent to Auschwitz in cattle cars along with her entire family. While standing in the Auschwitz selection line, she is pulled out of line by an SS doctor who takes her home to raise as his own daughter as she watches her entire family being marched to the gas chambers. As she begins to unravel the lies he tells her about her family being resettled in Russia, she also comes to love and trust him.

Right before Auschwitz is liberated by the Russians, she and her savior flee Auschwitz disguised as refugees. They finally have a discussion they have long avoided. What really happened to her family? A view of the Holocaust through two different lenses.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-Boat Battles of World War II

Philip Sherman Mygatt Why did I love this book?

Being claustrophic, the title immediately caught my attention. I tried to imagine what it would be like to live in such small quarters and not being able to escape if you had a panic attack, especially while being under attack with depth charges. It takes a very special person to want to serve in a submarine. This is a fascinating autobiography written by a German U-Boat captain who survived the war to share his personal experiences in the German U-boat force in World War II. He is only one of a handful of U-boat captains that survived the war to tell his story.

By Herbert A. Werner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The former German U-boat commander Herbert Werner navigates readers through the waters of World War II, recounting four years of the most significant and savage battles. By war's end, 28,000 out of 39,000 German sailors had disappeared beneath the waves.


Book cover of The Men of Company K: The Autobiography of a World War II Rifle Company

Philip Sherman Mygatt Why did I love this book?

I love reading true stories of WWII told by people who lived through it. I find it difficult to understand how ordinary men could live, fight, and die in a foreign land without questioning in order to protect the United States; they were certainly true patriots. In the fall of 1944, two hundred true patriots of K Company, 333rd Infantry, 84th Division landed in Europe. For the next one hundred days, they were on the edge of the Allied spearhead into Nazi territory. If you ever wanted to be in the infantry, you need to read this book. 

By Harold P. Leinbaugh, John D. Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Men of Company K as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Offers a moving dramatic portrait of the soldiers and officers of the K Company and their experiences on the Siegfried Line, at the Battle of the Bulge


Book cover of Fork-Tailed Devil: The P-38

Philip Sherman Mygatt Why did I love this book?

Being a pilot who flew F-4’s over North Vietnam, I have always been fascinated by WWII planes and how sophisticated they seemed at the time but, in retrospect, they were quite unsophisticated flying machines. The first model plane I built as a child was the P-38 and this book puts me right in the cockpit. The P-38 was a huge advancement in technology and demanded special skills to fly as it foreshadowed the complexity of the upcoming generation of jet fighters. Why not join me in the cockpit? 

By Martin Caidin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fork-Tailed Devil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of America's greatest military aviation historians relates the astonishing--and true--story of the only American warplane to fight in every operational theater in World War II from Pearl Harbor to Alaska and North Africa to Northern Europe.


Book cover of Typhoon of Steel: The Battle for Okinawa

Philip Sherman Mygatt Why did I love this book?

Little has been published about the Battle of Okinawa having been overshadowed by the recent victory on Iwo Jima the prior week, and yet the United States needed control of Okinawa to launch its upcoming invasion of Japan. Okinawa was considered part of the Japanese homeland and the Japanese were determined to fight to the end, and they had a new terror weapon; the Kamikaze. To be on board a Navy ship surrounded by a swarm of Kamikkazes must have been a terrifying experience. 

By James H. Belote, William M. Belote,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

HARDBACK BOOK


Book cover of History of the 745th Tank Battalion

Philip Sherman Mygatt Why did I love this book?

This is a reprint of the personal diary of Olin Johnston and is a complete history of the battalion from its formation in Texas, through its landing on D-Day and almost every subsequent battle in Europe after it landed supporting the 1st Cavalry Division. It contains many photographs of the battalion including photographs taken during their many battles across Europe. Since I reprinted this book with the author’s son’s permission, I have spoken to several surviving members of the battalion and their personal stories would make another captivating book. 

By Philip Sherman Mygatt, Olin Garner Johnston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked History of the 745th Tank Battalion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The History of the 745th Tank Battalion (supporting the "Big Red One" - First Cavalry) is the fascinating, personal diary, with numerous photographs, written by one of its members, Olin Garner Johnston, that chronicles the battalion from its formation, through its landing on D-Day and possibly every major battle in Europe. It is a day-by-day account of their actions as they fought their way into Germany and finally into Czechoslovakia. As a bonus, it also includes the personal account of another member, Bud Spencer as well as speech by Captain S. Scott Sullivan given on 22 Sep 99 at the…


You might also like...

The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

Book cover of The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

New book alert!

Who am I?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

What is my book about?

From the author of Washington’s Spies, the thrilling story of two rival secret agents — one Confederate, the other Union — sent to Britain during the Civil War.

The South’s James Bulloch, charming and devious, was ordered to acquire a clandestine fleet intended to break Lincoln’s blockade, sink Northern merchant vessels, and drown the U.S. Navy’s mightiest ships at sea. Opposing him was Thomas Dudley, an upright Quaker lawyer determined to stop Bulloch in a spy-versus-spy game of move and countermove, gambit and sacrifice, intrigue and betrayal.

Their battleground was the Dickensian port of Liverpool, whose dockyards built more ships each year than the rest of the world combined and whose merchant princes, said one observer, were “addicted to Southern proclivities, foreign slave trade, and domestic bribery.”

The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Washington's Spies, the thrilling story of the Confederate spy who came to Britain to turn the tide of the Civil War-and the Union agent resolved to stop him.

"Entertaining and deeply researched...with a rich cast of spies, crooks, bent businessmen and drunken sailors...Rose relates the tale with gusto." -The New York Times

In 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, two secret agents-one a Confederate, the other his Union rival-were dispatched to neutral Britain, each entrusted with a vital mission.

The South's James Bulloch, charming and devious, was to acquire…


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