100 books like ANZACS on the Western Front

By Peter Pedersen, Chris Roberts (contributor),

Here are 100 books that ANZACS on the Western Front fans have personally recommended if you like ANZACS on the Western Front. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War

Ross McMullin Author Of Life So Full of Promise: further biographies of Australia's lost generation

From my list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front.

Who am I?

I’m an experienced historian, biographer, and storyteller. I’ve written widely about Australian politics, social history, sport, and World War I. My biography of Australia’s most famous fighting general, Pompey Elliott, won multiple national awards, and I assembled his extraordinary letters and diaries in a separate book, Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. Another biography, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, about a remarkably versatile artist–writer who was Australia’s first official war artist, was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. My multi-biography Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, and I’ve written a sequel, Life So Full of Promise.

Ross' book list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front

Ross McMullin Why did Ross love this book?

The Broken Years is a wonderful book about what Australian soldiers thought and felt during the war.

It originated in Bill Gammage’s PhD thesis, which was the first systematic study of the soldiers’ letters and diaries collected by the Australian War Memorial. The result is an illuminating and moving masterpiece, which proved transformational.

When he began his thesis he was in unfamiliar territory, as the concentrated use of these sources was unprecedented — in fact, military history itself was not popular. But he persevered, gradually sensing he was on to something, and indeed he was.

The Broken Years became an enduring classic. It was personally very influential for me during the 1970s when I was a dissatisfied, recently graduated lawyer considering a change to something more aligned with my interest in history. I took the plunge, left the law, and I’ve been a historian and biographer ever since.

By Bill Gammage,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WHEN THE GREAT WAR STARTED, MOST AUSTRALIANS BELIEVED IN THE NOTIONS OF PATRIOTISM, COURAGE AND UNSWERVING LOYALTY TO THE BRITISH EMPIRE. BUT AS THE WAR DRAGGED ON, AS THE HORRORS INTENSIFIED AND THE CASUALTY LISTS GREW, PATRIOTISM GAVE WAY TO CYNICISM AND COURAGE TO DESPAIR. USING THE DIARIES AND LETTERS OF ABOUT ONE THOUSAND FRONT LINE SOLDIERS IN THE FIRST AIF, BILL GAMMAGE SHOWS HOW AND WHY THESE CHANGES TOOK PLACE. THE BROKEN YEARS IS A VIVID, OFTER HORRIFYING AND MOVING PORTRAYAL OF SOLDIERS AT WAR - MEN LOCKED IN A TRAGEDY THAT ENGULFED AN AGE.


Book cover of John Monash: A Biography

Ross McMullin Author Of Life So Full of Promise: further biographies of Australia's lost generation

From my list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front.

Who am I?

I’m an experienced historian, biographer, and storyteller. I’ve written widely about Australian politics, social history, sport, and World War I. My biography of Australia’s most famous fighting general, Pompey Elliott, won multiple national awards, and I assembled his extraordinary letters and diaries in a separate book, Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. Another biography, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, about a remarkably versatile artist–writer who was Australia’s first official war artist, was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. My multi-biography Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, and I’ve written a sequel, Life So Full of Promise.

Ross' book list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front

Ross McMullin Why did Ross love this book?

Geoffrey Serle was an outstanding Australian historian who wrote a number of fine books, and one of the best was his award-winning biography of the most renowned AIF commander, John Monash.

Various other authors have compiled books on Monash, but none are as good as Serle’s. This is a magisterial whole-of-life volume, with plenty on Monash’s life before WWI and during the 1920s. It was a marvellous precedent for me to keep prominently in mind after I embarked on my whole-of-life, warts-and-all biography of Monash’s contemporary, Pompey Elliott.

By Geoffrey Serle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A major Australian university and a great Victorian freeway are named after Sir John Monash, but many people - especially younger generations - know little about him. The son of Jewish immigrants from Prussia, Monash graduated from the University of Melbourne in three faculties - Arts, Law and Engineering. He was a man of wide-ranging intellect, and especially devoted to literature, music, theatre, languages and Jewish scholarship. He achieved fame as a soldier - a citizen-soldier - in World War I. Before the war, Monash pioneered the Australian use of reinforced concrete, then a revolutionary construction material. On his return,…


Book cover of Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War

Ross McMullin Author Of Life So Full of Promise: further biographies of Australia's lost generation

From my list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front.

Who am I?

I’m an experienced historian, biographer, and storyteller. I’ve written widely about Australian politics, social history, sport, and World War I. My biography of Australia’s most famous fighting general, Pompey Elliott, won multiple national awards, and I assembled his extraordinary letters and diaries in a separate book, Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. Another biography, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, about a remarkably versatile artist–writer who was Australia’s first official war artist, was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. My multi-biography Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, and I’ve written a sequel, Life So Full of Promise.

Ross' book list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front

Ross McMullin Why did Ross love this book?

It’s not common for books about WWI to contain detailed analysis of both the battlefields and the home front (although this dual coverage is a feature of my lost generation multi-biographies).

To compile a comprehensive history of Australia during the war that combines what happened at home with what occurred at the various fronts is indeed a daunting task, yet Joan Beaumont accomplished it with conspicuous success in this acclaimed and award-winning book. 

By Joan Beaumont,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History.The Great War is, for many Australians, the event that defined our nation. The larrikin diggers, trench warfare, and the landing at Gallipoli have become the stuff of the Anzac 'legend'. But it was also a war fought by the families at home. Their resilience in the face of hardship, their stoic acceptance of enormous casualty lists and their belief that their cause was just, made the war effort possible.Broken Nation is the first book to bring together all the dimensions of World War I. Combining deep scholarship with powerful…


Book cover of The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918

Ross McMullin Author Of Life So Full of Promise: further biographies of Australia's lost generation

From my list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front.

Who am I?

I’m an experienced historian, biographer, and storyteller. I’ve written widely about Australian politics, social history, sport, and World War I. My biography of Australia’s most famous fighting general, Pompey Elliott, won multiple national awards, and I assembled his extraordinary letters and diaries in a separate book, Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. Another biography, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, about a remarkably versatile artist–writer who was Australia’s first official war artist, was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. My multi-biography Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, and I’ve written a sequel, Life So Full of Promise.

Ross' book list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front

Ross McMullin Why did Ross love this book?

Charles Bean’s epic volumes were pioneering, illuminating, thorough, deeply researched and far superior to equivalent official histories produced by other nations involved in the conflict.

Although Bean’s books were written long ago — between 1921 and 1942 — they are still the starting point for any credible project concerning itself with what the AIF did in battle. And he edited various volumes in the Official History series compiled by other writers as well, including a book about the home front during the war.

Bean was remarkable. His Official History, and the records and research materials underpinning it, have been crucial in so much of my work—not only my lost generation multi-biographies, and also my books on Pompey Elliott and Will Dyson, but many other research projects as well.

Book cover of Somme Mud: The War Experiences of an Infantryman in France 1916-1919

Andrew Dunkley Author Of All I See Is Mud

From my list on World War 1 in the trenches.

Who am I?

I’m an author, radio broadcaster, journalist, and podcaster. I’ve been in the media for almost 40 years. Oddly, writing came to me very late but it hit me light a lightning bolt when it happened. I researched my Grandfather’s time on the Western Front in WW1 after discovering a letter he wrote to a friend. That was the moment I knew I had to write a book. My career has taken me from rock n roll radio to talkback in Commercial, Public, and now Community radio in Australia. I love what I do, but most of all, I just love telling stories to my audience, whatever the platform.

Andrew's book list on World War 1 in the trenches

Andrew Dunkley Why did Andrew love this book?

This is a first-person account of life in the trenches in France and Belgium in WW1. It’s actually a difficult read in places because his writing style is quite unusual and by no means eloquent, but once you get used to it, it’s truly intriguing. He wrote the book with a pencil on exercise books after the war, probably to try and exorcise his demons. It wasn’t until his family found it and took it to a publisher that his story came to light, a very frank and occasionally morbid description of war at its very worst but an essential read.

By E.P.F. Lynch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'It's the end of the 1916 winter and the conditions are almost unbelievable. We live in a world of Somme mud. We sleep in it, work in it, fight in it, wade in it and many of us die in it. We see it, feel it, eat it and curse it, but we can't escape it, not even by dying...' Private Edward Lynch enlisted in the army when he was just 18. He was one of thousands of fresh-faced men who were proudly waved off by the crowds as they embarked for France. The year was 1916 and the majority…


Book cover of The Great War

Andrew Dunkley Author Of All I See Is Mud

From my list on World War 1 in the trenches.

Who am I?

I’m an author, radio broadcaster, journalist, and podcaster. I’ve been in the media for almost 40 years. Oddly, writing came to me very late but it hit me light a lightning bolt when it happened. I researched my Grandfather’s time on the Western Front in WW1 after discovering a letter he wrote to a friend. That was the moment I knew I had to write a book. My career has taken me from rock n roll radio to talkback in Commercial, Public, and now Community radio in Australia. I love what I do, but most of all, I just love telling stories to my audience, whatever the platform.

Andrew's book list on World War 1 in the trenches

Andrew Dunkley Why did Andrew love this book?

I read this book cover to cover. It was incredible, full of well-researched detail and analysis. Les really got into the nuts and bolts of the Western Front and why things happened the way they did. It must have been exhausting to research, but well worth it. I found it invaluable in researching my own story. This book chronicles the reality of war in the trenches and goes much deeper than anything I’ve read before. Truly brilliant.

By Les Carlyon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SELF-INTEREST was the dominant note of the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the Great War. In economics and in politics, among individuals, social classes, and nations, flourished a self-interest that tended more and more to degenerate into mere cynical selfishness. Pseudo-scientists there were to justify the tendency as part of an inevitable "struggle for existence" and to extol it as assuring the "survival of the fittest."
            Economic circumstances had provided the setting for the dogma of self-interest. The latest age in world history had been the age of steam and electricity, of the factory and the workshop, of the…


Book cover of Monash: The Outsider Who Won a War

Andrew Dunkley Author Of All I See Is Mud

From my list on World War 1 in the trenches.

Who am I?

I’m an author, radio broadcaster, journalist, and podcaster. I’ve been in the media for almost 40 years. Oddly, writing came to me very late but it hit me light a lightning bolt when it happened. I researched my Grandfather’s time on the Western Front in WW1 after discovering a letter he wrote to a friend. That was the moment I knew I had to write a book. My career has taken me from rock n roll radio to talkback in Commercial, Public, and now Community radio in Australia. I love what I do, but most of all, I just love telling stories to my audience, whatever the platform.

Andrew's book list on World War 1 in the trenches

Andrew Dunkley Why did Andrew love this book?

John Monash was a master tactician and instrumental in some of the great Allied victories in 1918 on the Western Front. He was of German/Jewish heritage which didn’t sit well with some very powerful people. Famous journalist, Keith Murdoch along with Australian WW1 historian, CEW Bean were great critics and tried to convince the Prime Minister, Billy Hughes to relieve Monash of command. Even so, Monash held sway and developed tactics that British Commanders thought unworkable, and yet, they were very successful. His approach to fighting certainly shortened the war and gained him the respect of a nation. More importantly, he developed tactics to preserve the lives of his men, something that British commanders never considered. I certainly support efforts to have him posthumously promoted to the rank of Field Marshall, so great was his contribution to Australia in WW1.

By Roland Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Australian General Sir John Monash changed the way wars were fought and won. When the British and German High Commands of the First World War failed to gain ascendancy after four years of unprecedented human slaughter, Monash used innovative techniques and modern technology to plan and win a succession of major battles that led to the end of the Great War.

But Australia's greatest military commander fought as many battles with those on his side as he did with his enemies. Monash was the classic outsider who rose to greatness despite the mighty odd of his 'handicaps of birth' –…


Book cover of Friedr & Wim 1916-1927

Michael J. Murphy Author Of Beneath the Willow

From my list on fiction to immerse yourself in a historical narrative.

Who am I?

My passion for historical fiction writing stems from a lifelong interest in history and a love for creating stories that have rich characters, with deep and meaningful personalities. My interest in history led me to study the subject at university, which has worked hand-in-hand with the pleasure I get from writing. Researching stories is another aspect that I enjoy, and it has seen me travel to destinations all over the world, where I have made some wonderful friendships.

Michael's book list on fiction to immerse yourself in a historical narrative

Michael J. Murphy Why did Michael love this book?

Friedr and Wim is a novel that I can highly recommend and one of those gems you find outside of the mainstream.

The story moves from the trenches of World War One to a Germany in the 1920s that is in turmoil: politically, economically, and socially. The author gives the reader a different perspective to the one we might be used to in relation to the time period, by following the lives of two young German men as they move through arguably the most traumatic period in world history.

The author creates a story that is historically accurate, but rich in emotion and drama, while at the same time raising many questions for the reader.

By Teresa van der Kraan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Friedr & Wim 1916-1927 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For those long years on the Western Front, they had known only war. They carried it with them even now, as they marched home with holes in their boots, broken, defeated. The only thing keeping Friedrich upright, placing one foot in front of the other, was his best friend's presence by his side. While Wilhelm still cared for him, still needed him, he could never forget the promise they had made: together, or not at all. Friedrich had never wanted to be a soldier. He had questioned it every time he raised his Mauser on the front line. Now, he…


Book cover of War Horse

Michele Sheldon Author Of The Mystery of The Missing Fur

From my list on animals, wildlife conservation, and kindness.

Who am I?

I’ve travelled to the Pantanal and along the Amazon both ways from Brazil and Colombia while I was teaching English in Brazil and will never forget the destruction of the Amazon. A visit to the gaping hole of Serra Pelada, a gold mine, had a lasting effect on me as did the forest fires and scorched earth, devoid of any bird or animal apart from the skinny cattle grazing amongst the blackened trees, stretching for miles. A run-in with a hyacinth macaw egg thief, who was smuggling the beautiful birds into Europe, spurred my interest in writing a children’s series which touches on conservation, endangered species, and illegal wildlife trafficking.

Michele's book list on animals, wildlife conservation, and kindness

Michele Sheldon Why did Michele love this book?

The story is narrated by Joey, a beautiful bay horse brought up on a farm, who is ‘called up’ during World War I to carry supplies, guns, and pull ambulances among the trenches of the Western Front. Joey witnesses the horror and futility of war with great compassion and a simplicity that still affects me today when I think of the 20 million people who died and the eight million horses, mules, and donkeys killed by their injuries, disease, and exhaustion. The book further resonates because I live in the town where Joey and 10 million soldiers and nurses, including my grandfather, left for France. The officers’ stables still stand at Shorncliffe Barracks and charity, the Shorncliffe Trust, is trying to get listed status to stop them being knocked down.

By Tom Clohosy Cole, Michael Morpurgo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked War Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Michael Morpurgo's global bestselling children's book War Horse has been adapted into a picture book for the first time. Illustrated throughout, it brings the beloved children's classic to life for children aged 5 and up.

Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo has adapted his much-loved novel, War Horse, for a picture book audience. This powerful book for younger readers tells the enduring story of a friendship between a boy and his horse and is a gateway to help children understand the history and chaos of the First World War. As we move beyond centenary commemorations and continue to strive for peace across…


Book cover of The Swordbearers: Supreme Command in the First World War

Nick Lloyd Author Of The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918

From my list on the Western Front of WW1 and what it was like.

Who am I?

Nick Lloyd is Professor of Modern Warfare at King's College London, based at the Defence Academy UK in Shrivenham, Wiltshire. He is the author of five books, including Passchendaele: A New History, which was a Sunday Times bestseller, and most recently, The Western Front: A History of the First World War. He lives with his family in Cheltenham.

Nick's book list on the Western Front of WW1 and what it was like

Nick Lloyd Why did Nick love this book?

Published almost sixty years ago, this compelling study of four senior commanders who served (mostly) on the Western Front remains as fresh as when it was first written. Barnett’s prose is exquisite, bringing us directly into the world of Helmuth von Moltke, John Jellicoe, Philippé Pétain, and Erich Ludendorff, telling us how they coped (or not) with the enormous stresses and strains they encountered as ‘supreme commanders’. It is a stunning portrait of men (and their command systems) at war. 

By Correlli Barnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Interprets the major events of World War I through an analysis of the actions and characters of four supreme commanders, Ludendorff, Petain, Jellicoe, and Moltke


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Western Front (WW1), World War 1, and Australia?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Western Front (WW1), World War 1, and Australia.

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