10 books like All Hell Let Loose

By Max Hastings,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like All Hell Let Loose. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Fall of Berlin 1945

By Antony Beevor,

Book cover of The Fall of Berlin 1945

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.

The Fall of Berlin 1945

By Antony Beevor,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Fall of Berlin 1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A tale drenched in drama and blood, heroism and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal."-Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc-tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known.

Antony Beevor, renowned…


The Day of Battle

By Rick Atkinson,

Book cover of The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944

The Day of Battle was Volume Two of Rick Atkinson’s acclaimed Liberation Trilogy. While all three volumes of this series are well worth reading, Atkinson was at his best in the second volume which deals with the much-neglected campaigns of Sicily and Italy. The doyen of British military history and a veteran of the Italian campaign, the late Sir Michael Howard wrote that The Day of Battle was ‘one of the truly outstanding records of the Second World War’. I think it is too.

The Day of Battle

By Rick Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In An Army at Dawn - winner of the Pulitzer Prize - Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of the Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north. The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill and their military advisors engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once underway, the commitment to…


Pendulum of War

By Niall Barr,

Book cover of Pendulum of War: The Three Battles of El Alamein

This was the book that established Niall Barr’s reputation as one of the United Kingdom’s leading historians of the Second World War. Meticulously researched, thoroughly readable, and compelling, Niall Barr’s Pendulum of War has become the recognised standard work on the desert war in 1942. Anyone interested in the battles of El Alamein must read this book.

Pendulum of War

By Niall Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In late June 1942, the dispirited and defeated British Eighth Army was pouring back towards the tiny railway halt of El Alamein in the western desert of Egypt. Tobruk had fallen and Eighth Army had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Rommel's Panzerarmee Afrika. Yet just five months later, the famous bombardment opened the Eighth Army's own offensive which destroyed the Axis threat to Egypt. Explanations for the remarkable change of fortune have generally been sought in the abrasive personality of the new army commander Lieutenant-General Bernard Law Montgomery. But the long running controversies surrounding the commanders of…


The Blood of Free Men

By Michael Neiberg,

Book cover of The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944

Written with crystal clarity and a flair for the telling anecdote, this book unfolds the multi-dimensional chess game that culminated in the liberation of Paris after four long years of Nazi occupation. Neiberg shows how diverse actorsleftist resistance fighters bent on liberating the city from within, Allied officials fearing just such a “red” takeover, a willful Charles de Gaulle determined to dominate the victory, anxious collaborationists, and German officersfueled a volatile crisis that changed from moment to moment in the city’s streets.

The Blood of Free Men

By Michael Neiberg,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Blood of Free Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the Allies struggled inland from Normandy in August of 1944, the fate of Paris hung in the balance. Other jewels of Europe,sites like Warsaw, Antwerp, and Monte Cassino,were, or would soon be, reduced to rubble during attempts to liberate them. But Paris endured, thanks to a fractious cast of characters, from Resistance cells to Free French operatives to an unlikely assortment of diplomats, Allied generals, and governmental officials. Their efforts, and those of the German forces fighting to maintain control of the city, would shape the course of the battle for Europe and colour popular memory of the conflict…


Stumbling Colossus

By David M. Glantz,

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

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.

Stumbling Colossus

By David M. Glantz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Germany's surprise attack on June 22, 1941, shocked a Soviet Union woefully unprepared to defend itself. The day before the attack, the Red Army still comprised the world's largest fighting force. But by the end of the year, four and a half million of its soldiers lay dead. This new study, based on formerly classified Soviet archival material and neglected German sources, reveals the truth behind this national catastrophe.

Drawing on evidence never before seen in the West-including combat records of early engagements-David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red Army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently…


The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin

By Vladimir Voinovich, Richard Lourie (translator),

Book cover of The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin

This is the first and probable the only truly comic novel to come out of the old USSR. Set in the army during World War II, it riffs unsparingly on the absurdities of Soviet life and takes digs at human follies of every kind. The most memorable chapter, which brings tears to my eyes just when I think about it, contains a recipe for homebrew vodka made from the commonest of human products. Don’t miss this one! You’ll not look at your garden the same way ever again. 

The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin

By Vladimir Voinovich, Richard Lourie (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ivan Chonkin is a simple, bumbling peasant who has been drafted into the Red Army. Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, he is sent to an obscure village with one week's ration of canned meat and orders to guard a downed plane. Apparently forgotten by his unit, Chonkin resumes his life as a peasant and passes the war peacefully tending the village postmistress's garden. Just after the German invasion, the secret police discover this mysterious soldier lurking behind the front line. Their pursuit of Chonkin and his determined resistance lead to wild skirmishes and slapstick encounters. Vladimir Voinovich's…


The Red Army and the Second World War

By Alexander Hill,

Book cover of The Red Army and the Second World War

The Eastern Front has not always attracted the most readable scholarship, while two of the major works by British writers are by those who cannot read Russian. Hill is a welcome relief. His scholarship is impeccable and his book is readable. An important contribution.

The Red Army and the Second World War

By Alexander Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Red Army and the Second World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a definitive new account of the Soviet Union at war, Alexander Hill charts the development, successes and failures of the Red Army from the industrialisation of the Soviet Union in the late 1920s through to the end of the Great Patriotic War in May 1945. Setting military strategy and operations within a broader context that includes national mobilisation on a staggering scale, the book presents a comprehensive account of the origins and course of the war from the perspective of this key Allied power. Drawing on the latest archival research and a wealth of eyewitness testimony, Hill portrays the…


When Titans Clashed

By David M. Glantz, Jonathan M. House,

Book cover of When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler

The Great Patriotic War is central to Russian politics and thinking about international affairs today. It is important as a symbolic and political reference, but senior military figures often point to the war’s relevance to how Russia should think about war today. There are so many good books to read on this, but I think David Glantz is the doyen of Western historians of the Russian military, and this book is the ideal overview guide to understanding the trajectory and key features of the war: a concise but highly informative examination of one of the most catastrophic wars. Essential reading, I think, and shows why history is important to understanding where we are today.

When Titans Clashed

By David M. Glantz, Jonathan M. House,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On first publication, this uncommonly concise and readable account of Soviet Russia's clash with Nazi Germany utterly changed our understanding of World War II on Germany's Eastern Front, immediately earning its place among top-shelf histories of the world war. Revised and updated to reflect recent Russian and Western scholarship on the subject, much of it the authors' own work, this new edition maintains the 1995 original's distinction as a crucial volume in the history of World War II and of the Soviet Union and the most informed and compelling perspective on one of the greatest military confrontations of all time.…


Ivan's War

By Catherine Merridale,

Book cover of Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945

Merridale uses archival material and interviews with Soviet war veterans to personalize the war on the Eastern Front. This work moves beyond the number of combatants and tanks to focus on real life at the frontlines. She talks about issues that help the reader “feel” the war: what did soldiers eat given the well-known shortages and privations throughout the USSR; how did soldiers get warm clothes and boots; how did they obtain ammunition and artillery shells and new guns despite the long supply lines; was stealing accepted in the army; what behaviors were tolerated and which ones were punished; how did hierarchy allow officers to get first choice of captured enemy equipment. She reveals how officers might not report all the dead in their unit so they would not lose the lost soldier’s food ration. While Alexander Werth’s Russia at War provides a sweeping view of Soviet organization, suffering, and…

Ivan's War

By Catherine Merridale,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ivan's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerful, groundbreaking narrative of the ordinary Russian soldier's experience of the worst war in history, based on newly revealed sources.

Of the thirty million who fought in the eastern front of World War II, eight million died, driven forward in suicidal charges, shattered by German shells and tanks. They were the men and women of the Red Army, a ragtag mass of soldiers who confronted Europe's most lethal fighting force and by 1945 had defeated it. Sixty years have passed since their epic triumph, but the heart and mind of Ivan -- as the ordinary Russian soldier was called…


The Unwomanly Face of War

By Svetlana Alexievich, Larissa Volokhonsky (translator), Richard Pevear (translator)

Book cover of The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II

Many Americans know relatively little about the war on the Eastern Front and the wartime experience of the Soviet Union. The oral histories presented in this extraordinary book come as a revelation, shedding important new light on the role of women—soldiers, doctors, nurses, pilots, partisans, and others—to the Soviet war effort. Alexievich masterfully weaves these stories together. The reader walks away with a fresh appreciation of the Soviet contribution to the victory, the extent of Soviet suffering under the Nazi occupation, the critical role of women in the war, and the ways that we remember (or choose to forget) the past. This has become my go-to book on the Second World War.

The Unwomanly Face of War

By Svetlana Alexievich, Larissa Volokhonsky (translator), Richard Pevear (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Unwomanly Face of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A must read' - Margaret Atwood

'It would be hard to find a book that feels more important or original' - Viv Groskop, Observer

Extraordinary stories from Soviet women who fought in the Second World War - from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"Why, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history? Their words and feelings? A whole world is hidden from us. Their war remains unknown... I want to write the history of that war. A women's history."

In the late…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 2, the Soviet Union, and kamikaze?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about World War 2, the Soviet Union, and kamikaze.

World War 2 Explore 1142 books about World War 2
The Soviet Union Explore 251 books about the Soviet Union
Kamikaze Explore 6 books about kamikaze