100 books like An Army at Dawn

By Rick Atkinson,

Here are 100 books that An Army at Dawn fans have personally recommended if you like An Army at Dawn. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War

Steven Casey Author Of The War Beat, Pacific: The American Media at War Against Japan

From my list on understand WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Steven Casey is Professor in International History at the LSE. A specialist in US foreign policy, he is the author of ten books, including Cautious Crusade, which explored American attitudes toward Nazi Germany during World War II; Selling the Korean War, which won both the Truman Book Award and the Neustadt Prize for best book in American Politics; and When Soldiers Fall which also won the Neustadt Prize. In 2017, he published War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany, which won the American Journalism Historians Association 2018 book of the year, the panel judging it “a landmark work.” 

Steven's book list on understand WW2

Steven Casey Why did Steven love this book?

“Another book on Churchill?” asks Reynolds on the first page. “Can there be anything new to say?” Yes, is the emphatic answer. Churchill’s magisterial memoir shaped how many readers came to understand World War II. In this equally magisterial book, Reynolds dissects how Churchill wrote his memoir, exploring how the politics of the post-war era were often as important in shaping Churchill’s judgments as the events of the war itself. Methodologically sophisticated and elegantly written.

By David Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winston Churchill fought the World War II twice over-first as Prime Minister during the war, and then later as the war's premier historian. From 1948-54, he published six volumes of memoirs. They secured his reputation and shaped our understanding of the conflict to this day. Drawing on the drafts of Churchill's manuscript as well as his correspondence from the period, David Reynolds masterfully reveals Churchill the author. Reynolds shows how the memoirs were censored by the British government to conceal state secrets, and how Churchill himself censored them to avoid offending current world leaders. This book illuminates an unjustly neglected…


Book cover of Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

Richard Overy Author Of Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War 1931-1945

From my list on key moments in World War II and the soldiers who fought in them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional historian who has been writing books for more than forty years. Most of the books have been about war and dictatorship in the first half of the twentieth century. My last book, The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945, developed my long interest in air war history, which goes back to my first major book written in 1980 on air warfare in World War II.

Richard's book list on key moments in World War II and the soldiers who fought in them

Richard Overy Why did Richard love this book?

This is simply one of the finest books to be written on the final critical two years of the Pacific War, with extensive detail on the Japanese side of the conflict and plenty of new insights into the better-known American story. It is a big book, but this was a large conflict both in terms of space, time, and the resources deployed. It was also chiefly a story of amphibious naval warfare, an original and significant development in modern warfare that too often gets understated. By the end of the conflict, the American armed forces had created the shape that they were to employ for the next half-century in projecting power overseas.

By Marc Gallicchio, Waldo Heinrichs,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Implacable Foes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

May 8, 1945, Victory in Europe Day-shortened to "V.E. Day"-brought with it the demise of Nazi Germany. But for the Allies, the war was only half-won. Exhausted but exuberant American soldiers, ready to return home, were sent to join the fighting in the Pacific, which by the spring and summer of 1945 had turned into a grueling campaign of bloody attrition against an enemy determined to fight to the last man. Germany had surrendered unconditionally. The Japanese
would clearly make the conditions of victory extraordinarily high.

Following V-E Day, American citizens understandably clamored for their young men to be shipped…


Book cover of Brave Men

Clément Horvath Author Of Till Victory: The Second World War By Those Who Were There

From my list on World War II letters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Frenchman with a great interest in the history of the Second World War, specializing in the correspondence of Allied soldiers. Almost 20 years of collecting WWII letters led to the publication of my first book Till Victory which was an award-winning bestseller in France, before it was released in English worldwide in 2021. I also host a podcast (Till Victory: a podcast about WWII and Peace), where I interview British and American veterans, and have made documentaries such as Red Beret & Dark Chocolate or The Missing Highlander. It's all about trying to understand what the young men who fought and died to liberate my country went through when they were my age.

Clément's book list on World War II letters

Clément Horvath Why did Clément love this book?

Alright, this is not technically a book about WWII letters, but it’s very close, and my favorite historical accounts’ book ever. Just like with wartime correspondence, Ernie Pyle wrote from the battlefield about the daily routine of the regular GI while experiencing it himself. Just like in a personal military letter, you get to know a tired civilian in uniform rather than a multi-medal bearing superhero with a thirst for action. With his exceptional writing, Pyle painted touching and realistic portraits, not of the Generals we've already read all about, but of the simple soldier who simply did his job and won the war with his sweat and blood.

By Ernie Pyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle's on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier's experience. There were really two wars, John Steinbeck wrote…


Book cover of Scoop

Steven Casey Author Of The War Beat, Pacific: The American Media at War Against Japan

From my list on understand WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Steven Casey is Professor in International History at the LSE. A specialist in US foreign policy, he is the author of ten books, including Cautious Crusade, which explored American attitudes toward Nazi Germany during World War II; Selling the Korean War, which won both the Truman Book Award and the Neustadt Prize for best book in American Politics; and When Soldiers Fall which also won the Neustadt Prize. In 2017, he published War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany, which won the American Journalism Historians Association 2018 book of the year, the panel judging it “a landmark work.” 

Steven's book list on understand WW2

Steven Casey Why did Steven love this book?

A savage counterpoint to Pyle’s brave frontline reporting. The English novelist made two trips to the Ethiopia to cover the war launched by Mussolini in 1935. While in Africa, Waugh complained bitterly about a rival reporter who “never set foot in Abyssinia . . . he sits in his hotel describing an entirely imaginary campaign.” And in this satire, he gave savage voice to this incendiary allegation, describing a group of reporters who spent the bulk of their time far from the front, writing stories based on either misleading briefings by local propaganda chiefs or ingenious inventions that fit the prejudices of their editors and proprietors back home. A hilarious romp.

By Evelyn Waugh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Evelyn Waugh's brilliantly irreverent satire of Fleet Street, now in a beautiful hardback edition with a new Introduction by Alexander Waugh

Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of The Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs Algernon Stitch, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. But for,…


Book cover of Desert War: The North African Campaign 1940-1943

John Sadler Author Of Blitzing Rommel

From my list on the War in the Desert 1940 – 1943.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a successful published author of military history nonfiction and fiction with 44 titles in print and have been a lifelong obsessive on the subject of WWII which was my parents’ war. I started on a diet of black & white war movies, then epics such as Tobruk, Raid on Rommel et al. I have been lecturing on the subject at the former Centre for Lifelong Learning at Newcastle University (Now the ‘Explore’ Programme) for 25 years. I am also an experienced and much travelled WWII Battlefield tour guide, with experience of guiding all the major Western Front campaigns. I’m a lifelong historical interpreter and re-enactor.

John's book list on the War in the Desert 1940 – 1943

John Sadler Why did John love this book?

One of the earlier classic accounts of the whole of the Desert War from the pen of a celebrated war correspondent of the era who was actually there. This is a good and accessible history of the War which features all the main advances and retreats of both sides and includes interesting commentary on the desert generals, ours and theirs.

By Alan Moorehead,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A celebrated war correspondent offers his eyewitness account of the desert campaign in North Africa during World War II, describing the epic conflict between Allied and Axis powers from 1940 to 1943, in a volume that incorporates the complete texts of The Mediterranean Front, A Year of Battle, and The End of Africa. Reprint.


Book cover of War As I Knew It

Daniel P. Bolger Author Of The Panzer Killers: The Untold Story of a Fighting General and His Spearhead Tank Division's Charge into the Third Reich

From my list on American combat leaders in World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a combat veteran and longtime soldier trying to figure out my own wartime experiences by learning about what others did. Soldiers may join up for mom and apple pie and the grand old flag. But they fight for each other, and they follow leaders they trust. I tried to be one of those solid combat leaders. Since I had never been under fire before that day came, I endeavored to learn from—and write about—the lives of others who led soldiers in war. I’m still reading and still writing about battlefield leadership.

Daniel's book list on American combat leaders in World War II

Daniel P. Bolger Why did Daniel love this book?

He was our greatest ground combat commander in World War II. I wanted to know why. So here is the story in the general’s own words. Most of the text comes from Patton’s wartime diary. He did not pull any punches in battle and he sure didn’t sugar-coat anything in this book, either. It’s pure Patton, unfiltered and unafraid, “war in the raw,” as he liked to put it. 

By George S. Patton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

General George S. Patton, Jr., was one of the most brilliant military strategists in history. War As I Knew It is the personal and candid account of his celebrated, relentless crusade across western Europe during World War II. The Book is an absorbing narrative that draws from Patton's vivid memories of battle and his detailed diaries, covering the moment the Third Army exploded onto the Brittany Peninsula to the final Allied casualty report. The result is not only a grueling, human account of daily combat and heroic feats—including a riveting look at the Battle of the Bulge—but a valuable chronicle…


Book cover of History

Charles Lambert Author Of Birthright

From my list on set in 20th century Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in the UK, in Lichfield, but moved to Italy in 1976 and to Rome in 1982. Over the past forty years, Rome has become my city, my home, and my inspiration, as it has for hundreds of thousands of other people during its millennia as caput mundi. It isn’t always the easiest place to live, but it’s varied and colourful and endlessly stimulating. It’s provided a backdrop to several of my novels and not only that. Rome is a character in its own right, boisterous, elegant, breathtakingly beautiful, unutterably sordid. Roma è casa mia!

Charles' book list on set in 20th century Rome

Charles Lambert Why did Charles love this book?

Morante’s classic novel about the impact on Rome of World War 2 and its aftermath had been on my TBR list for decades but I only got round to it during the first Covid lockdown. I couldn’t have found a more appropriate time.

It’s a novel about oppression, from without and within, laced with the fear of death and an overhanging sense of impotence. This all sounds pretty grim, and the novel certainly doesn’t pull any punches, but it’s also vivid, deeply touching and an extraordinary picture of a city under siege.

It’s particularly poignant for me because I read it while I was holed up in the district of San Lorenzo, one of the main settings of the novel and a place where the destruction wrought by WW2 can still be seen.

By Elsa Morante, William Weaver (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

History was written nearly thirty years after Elsa Morante and Alberto Moravia spent a year in hiding among remote farming villages in the mountains south of Rome. There she witnessed the full impact of the war and first formed the ambition to write an account of what history - the great political events driven by men of power, wealth, and ambition - does when it reaches the realm of ordinary people struggling for life and bread.

The central character in this powerful and unforgiving novel is Ida Mancuso, a schoolteacher whose husband has died and whose feckless teenage son treats…


Book cover of To War with Whitaker

Christina Lynch Author Of The Italian Party

From my list on women in wartime.

Why am I passionate about this?

Doing the research for The Italian Party meant submerging myself in the Cold War Italy of the 1950s. But I found I couldn't understand that period without a better understanding of World War II and Italian Fascism. Cue an avalanche of books from which this list is culled, and the new novel I have just finished. I am drawn to first-hand accounts of women’s lives in wartime because I wonder how I would react and survive such challenges. Recent events in Europe have revived the nightmare of life under an occupying army. These stories are back at my bedside right now because I need their humor and wisdom.

Christina's book list on women in wartime

Christina Lynch Why did Christina love this book?

It’s rare to find a war diary that makes you laugh out loud, but this had me snorting tea through my nose. Lady Ranfurly broke the law by following her new husband, a British officer, to the North African front in 1940 and staying there for the duration. No pampered aristocrat, she’s a hard-charging career woman who ends up working for, and spying on, a secret war organization running covert missions, and then becomes personal assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander (nicknamed “Jumbo”). Her diary is hilarious and touching as she weathers fear, tragedy, and colossal male egos with maximum moxie. 

By Hermione Ranfurly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly, kept a diary all her life. To War with Whitaker is an account of the most adventurous, most defiant and most valiant of those years.

Hermione and Dan Ranfurly married only months before the Second World War erupted. So when Dan was posted to the Middle East, taking their faithful butler Whitaker with him, Hermione resolved to join them there. This memoir offers astounding displays of commitment and independence. After vowing not to go home without her husband, Hermione travelled alone from Cape Town to Cairo, and remained in the Middle East and North Africa for…


Book cover of Alamein: War Without Hate

John Sadler Author Of Blitzing Rommel

From my list on the War in the Desert 1940 – 1943.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a successful published author of military history nonfiction and fiction with 44 titles in print and have been a lifelong obsessive on the subject of WWII which was my parents’ war. I started on a diet of black & white war movies, then epics such as Tobruk, Raid on Rommel et al. I have been lecturing on the subject at the former Centre for Lifelong Learning at Newcastle University (Now the ‘Explore’ Programme) for 25 years. I am also an experienced and much travelled WWII Battlefield tour guide, with experience of guiding all the major Western Front campaigns. I’m a lifelong historical interpreter and re-enactor.

John's book list on the War in the Desert 1940 – 1943

John Sadler Why did John love this book?

A good modern account of the battle with a well-researched and detailed context. The authors are primarily journalists and the story is fully fleshed out with a good, well-paced contextual analysis and their version makes an interesting comparison/contrast with the more traditional, often hagiographic accounts of the Battle and of Montgomery as a general.

By John Bierman, Colin Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Excellent ... a remarkable achievement and ought to be recognised as one of the most successful histories of the Western Desert and North African fighting yet to have appeared' John Keegan, Daily Telegraph

For the British, the battle fought at El Alamein in October 1942 became the turning point of the Second World War. In this study of the desert war, John Bierman and Colin Smith show why it is remembered by its survivors as a 'war without hate'. Through extensive research the authors provide a compellingly fresh perspective on the see-saw campaign in which the two sides chased each…


Book cover of Secret Flotillas: Vol. I: Clandestine Sea Operations to Brittany, 1940-1944

Anne-Marie Walters Author Of Moondrop to Gascony

From my list on escaping from occupied France during WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anne-Marie Walters was born in 1923 in Geneva to a British father and French mother. At the outbreak of war in 1940, the family escaped to Britain, where Anne-Marie volunteered for the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force). Having been approached by SOE in 1943, she was accepted for training and in January the following year dropped into France by parachute to work as a courier with George Starr, head of the Wheelwright circuit of the SOE in SW France. This she did until August 1944, when Starr sent her back to Britain under somewhat controversial  circumstances. Anne-Marrie was awarded the OBE in 1945 in recognition of her “personal courage and willingness to undergo danger.” 

Anne-Marie's book list on escaping from occupied France during WW2

Anne-Marie Walters Why did Anne-Marie love this book?

A detailed and authoritative account of the vitally important secret naval operations mounted to rescue Allied service personnel and also ferry secret agents to and from occupied France. Recognised as the official historian of the ‘secret flotillas’, as a Royal Navy officer Brooks Richards took part in many of these operations and thus vividly describes the hazardous voyages, often in small fishing vessels under cover of darkness and well before the days of GPS and other modern navigation tools. In addition to his own wartime experiences, Brooks Richards’ account is informed by extensive personal research, including access to what were then (and some still are) closed government archives.

By Brooks Richards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the fall of France, almost the entire coastline of Western Europe was in German hands. Clandestine sea transport operations provided lines of vital intelligence for wartime Britain. These 'secret flotillas' landed and picked up agents in and from France, and ferried Allied evaders and escapees. This activity was crucial to the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) and the SOE (Special Operations Executive).

This authoritative publication by the official historian, the late Sir Brooks Richards, vividly describes and analyses the clandestine naval operations that took place during World War Two.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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