10 books like D-Day

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

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

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Band of Brothers

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

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

My students always identify with the story of E Company and its march across northern France and into Germany. As part of the 101st Airborne Division, the members of E Company parachuted into France as part of the D-Day invasion and then participated in a failed attempt to cross quickly into Germany in Operation Market Garden. At the end of 1944, Germany attempted to break through allied lines in the Battle of the Bulge, with E Company engaged in the crucial battle for Bastogne. Finally, inside Germany, E Company helped in the assault on Hitler’s alpine retreat called Eagle’s Nest. Throughout these battle stories, Ambrose focuses on one character in each chapter, allowing students to identify with individual struggles that create an emotional attachment between the reader and members of E Company.

Band of Brothers

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Band of Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They fought on Utah Beach, in Arnhem, Bastogne, the Bulge; they spearheaded the Rhine offensive and took possession of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden. Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. BAND OF BROTHERS is the account of the men of…


Pegasus Bridge

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Book cover of Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944

One of my all-time favorite books; it inspired me to become a military historian. Through extensive interviews with the actual participants, Ambrose detailed how gilder-borne British commandos pulled off a nearly textbook example of how to take an enemy-held bridge. Whenever I lead tours to Normandy, I always make sure we stop at Pegasus Bridge and recount the valor of the British troops who performed what many said was impossible.

Pegasus Bridge

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The author traces each step of the D-Day preparations and gives a minute by minute account of the conflict.


Call of Duty

By Marcus Brotherton, Lynn Compton,

Book cover of Call of Duty: My Life Before, During, and After the Band of Brothers

Buck Compton led an extraordinary life. Not only was he one of the heroes of the storied "Band of Brothers,” in which he fought in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, and the frozen hell of Bastogne, but he had been a remarkable athlete before the war (baseball and football at UCLA). After the war he went into law and became a prosecutor in California and helped convict Sirhan Sirhan for the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. An excellent, fully realized autobiography.

Call of Duty

By Marcus Brotherton, Lynn Compton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The national bestselling World War II memoir by Buck Compton, a hero from the famed Band of Brothers, with a foreword by John McCain.

As part of the elite 101st Airborne paratroopers, Lt. Lynn "Buck" Compton fought in critical battles of World War II as a member of Easy Company, immortalized as the Band of Brothers.

This is the true story of a real-life hero. From his years as a two-sport UCLA star who played baseball with Jackie Robinson and football in the 1943 Rose Bowl, through his legendary post-World War II legal career as a prosecutor, in which he…


Paratrooper!

By William P. Yarborough, Gerald M. Devlin,

Book cover of Paratrooper!: The Saga of the U. S. Army and Marine Parachute and Glider Combat Troops during World War II

This large (718 pages) book covers the entire history of U.S. military parachute and glider operations—from the early evolution of the concept through landings in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, Southern France, Holland, Battle of the Bulge, Leyte, Manila, and Corregidor. Anyone wanting to appreciate the myriad American parachute and glider operations will find a wealth of information in Devlin’s book.

Paratrooper!

By William P. Yarborough, Gerald M. Devlin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Photographs and text document the bravery and daring exhibited by American parachute and glider combat forces and offer in-depth treatment of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and French parachute operations


The Longest Day

By Cornelius Ryan,

Book cover of The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day

First published in 1959, some 15 years after the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, Cornelius Ryan’s book stands as a classic narrative of that amphibious assault. Writing in the vivid prose of an experienced journalist, Ryan also conducted research like a seasoned historian. He interviewed combatants of every nation and rank and sent questionnaires to many others. I feel like I am in the thick of the fight alongside Allied soldiers in the landing craft approaching the beach and with Germans hunkered down in the fortifications trying to stop their amphibious assault. Throughout his narrative, Ryan blends analyses of the good and bad decisions made by both sides.   

The Longest Day

By Cornelius Ryan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Cornelius Ryan tells the story of the hours that preceded and followed H-Hour of D-Day ? June 6, 1944, when as dawn approached, as paratroopers fought in the hedgerows of Normandy, the greatest armada the world had ever known assembled off the beach -- almost 5000 ships carrying more than 200,000 soldiers. a military This is the story of people: the men of the Allied forces, the enemy and the civilians caught up in the confusion of battle. 700 D-Day survivors were interviewed for the book.


The Guns of Normandy

By George Blackburn,

Book cover of The Guns of Normandy: A Soldier's Eye View, France 1944

Why two books instead of one. Well, because the two are equally excellent accounts that taken together span the combat service of a young Canadian artillery forward observation officer (FOO). The life span of many FOOs was short, the long antennas of the wireless sets they carried out front with the advancing infantry to call in artillery support were magnets for Germans snipers. But Blackburn beat the odds and survived to write this remarkably frank and honest memoir of eleven months of almost constant battlefield action. Over this course of a journey from Normandy through Belgium, the Netherlands, and into northwestern Germans in the final push, the reader feels literally by Blackburn’s side and inside his thoughts and emotions. From early confidence in his abilities and training to a slow descent toward fatalism and a simple grim determination to survive, Blackburn’s journey is both highly individualistic and simultaneously an epic…

The Guns of Normandy

By George Blackburn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the weeks after D-Day, the level of artillery action in Normandy was unprecedented. In what was a relatively small area, both sides bombarded each other relentlessly for three months, each trying to overwhelm the other by sheer fire power.

The Guns of Normandy puts the reader in the front lines of this horrific battle. In the most graphic and authentic detail, it brings to life every aspect of a soldier’s existence, from the mortal terror of impending destruction, to the unending fatigue, to the giddy exhilaration at finding oneself still, inexplicably, alive.

The story of this crucial battle opens…


American Nightingale

By Bob Welch,

Book cover of American Nightingale: The Story of Frances Slanger, Forgotten Heroine of Normandy

I confess to a passion for WW2 fiction and non-fiction, so this book was a no-brainer for me. Frances Slanger, a Polish Jew who immigrated and grew up in Boston, was the first nurse to due during the D-day invasion at Normandy. She left a legacy in writing that helps the author piece together her story and offer insight into what military nurses faced.

American Nightingale

By Bob Welch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The heart-wrenching and inspirational WWII story of the first American nurse to die at the Normandy landings, the true account of a woman whose courage and compassion led to what a national radio show host in 1945 called "one of the most moving stories to come out of the war—a story of an army nurse that surpassed anything Hollywood has ever dreamed of."

She was a Jewish girl growing up in World War I-torn Poland. At age seven, she and her family immigrated to America with dreams of a brighter future. But Frances Slanger could not lay her past to…


Enemy North, South, East, West

By Robert Weiss,

Book cover of Enemy North, South, East, West

Imagine being 20 years old, and a freshly minted lieutenant with just two weeks in the line. You are a forward observer for a 105mm artillery battalion. Your first duty position is atop a 314-meter-high hill at Mortain France. It is early August 1944 and Adolf Hitler sends four panzer divisions to Mortain to stop the Allied breakout from Normandy. First they must take that hill.

Weiss’s stunning book details how he and 700 other men held Hill 314 for five long days. Chronicled more recently by an Aurora Award-winning documentary on PBS it is one of those World War II personal memoirs one never forgets.

Enemy North, South, East, West

By Robert Weiss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Enemy North, South, East, West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the Germans launched their biggest counter-attack in France during WWII, the elite troops of the 2nd SS Panzer Division surrounded a battalion of less than 700 US infantry on top of a key hill near Mortain in Normandy. The American "Lost Battalion", equipped with very little food, medical supplies, ammunition, or anti-tank weapons, held out for sixty days. At the end of the battle, 277 of the riflemen were dead, wounded, or missing. Author Robert Weiss experienced those harrowing days of the war, directing much of the fire as a field artillery forward observer on the hill. As the…


Fragments of Light

By Michele Phoenix,

Book cover of Fragments of Light

When Ceelie, reeling from everything cancer has stolen from her, sets out to track down her ailing friend’s father, who disappeared decades ago, she uncovers a story of faith, heroism, and heartbreak dating back to the Normandy beaches in World War II—and finds her own life transformed.

Michele Phoenix does it again in Fragments of Light. With prose that takes your breath away, she expertly navigates two time periods while exploring themes of loss, love, forgiveness, regret, and redemption. And France! What could be better! These themes often populate my novels and Michele’s novel was an inspiration for me.

Fragments of Light

By Michele Phoenix,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An impossible decision in the chaos of D-Day.

Ripples that cascade seventy-five years into the present.

And two lives transformed by the tenuous resolve to reach out of the darkness toward fragments of light.

Cancer stole everything from Ceelie-her peace of mind, her selfimage, perhaps even her twenty-three-year marriage to her college sweetheart, Nate. Without the support of Darlene, her quirky elderly friend, she may not have been able to endure so much loss.

So when Darlene's own prognosis turns dire, Ceelie can't refuse her seemingly impossible request-to find a WWII paratrooper named Cal, the father who disappeared when Darlene…


Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

Book cover of Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

If you want to read about one of the most amazing operations of World War II, then this is the book for you. It is the story of the Allied double agents (five in particular) who successfully tricked Hitler into thinking the invasion of France would occur in a different location than planned. In my opinion, this book is enjoyable to read because of the five agents and their backgrounds, personalities, and how they went about tricking the Germans. One of the agents was used by Ian Fleming as a model for the James Bond character. Another agent was the only person in the war to have been awarded both the German Iron Cross and the British MBE. I have several favorite World War II genre authors and Ben Macintyre is one of them.   

Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force.

The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty…


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