100 books like D-Day

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Here are 100 books that D-Day fans have personally recommended if you like D-Day. 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 Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

Harold J. Goldberg Author Of D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan

From my list on on World War II according to my students.

Who am I?

In 1974 I started my full-time teaching career at a small liberal arts college and realized how much I love teaching and discussing historical events with students. With Russian and Soviet history as my areas of specialization, expanding my course offerings to include World War II was a natural addition. My World War II class became extremely popular and led to demands that I take students to Europe to visit many of the places we discussed in class. Every summer for about ten years I led study-abroad trips to England, France, and Germany. Watching student reactions to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery made every trip worthwhile.

Harold's book list on on World War II according to my students

Harold J. Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944

Flint Whitlock Author Of If Chaos Reigns: The Near-Disaster and Ultimate Triumph of the Allied Airborne Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944

From my list on D-Day airborne operations.

Who am I?

Flint Whitlock spent five years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army (1965-1970, including tours in West Germany and Vietnam), and is a qualified parachutist (Fort Benning, 1965). He has been an award-winning, full-time military historian since 2003, and has 14 books (mostly about WWII) to his credit. He has also been the editor of WWII Quarterly magazine since 2010 and gives battlefield tours for the Smithsonian, National Geographic, and other organizations.

Flint's book list on D-Day airborne operations

Flint Whitlock Why did Flint love this book?

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.

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.


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

Flint Whitlock Author Of If Chaos Reigns: The Near-Disaster and Ultimate Triumph of the Allied Airborne Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944

From my list on D-Day airborne operations.

Who am I?

Flint Whitlock spent five years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army (1965-1970, including tours in West Germany and Vietnam), and is a qualified parachutist (Fort Benning, 1965). He has been an award-winning, full-time military historian since 2003, and has 14 books (mostly about WWII) to his credit. He has also been the editor of WWII Quarterly magazine since 2010 and gives battlefield tours for the Smithsonian, National Geographic, and other organizations.

Flint's book list on D-Day airborne operations

Flint Whitlock Why did Flint love this book?

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.

By Lynn Compton, Marcus Brotherton,

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…


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

Flint Whitlock Author Of If Chaos Reigns: The Near-Disaster and Ultimate Triumph of the Allied Airborne Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944

From my list on D-Day airborne operations.

Who am I?

Flint Whitlock spent five years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army (1965-1970, including tours in West Germany and Vietnam), and is a qualified parachutist (Fort Benning, 1965). He has been an award-winning, full-time military historian since 2003, and has 14 books (mostly about WWII) to his credit. He has also been the editor of WWII Quarterly magazine since 2010 and gives battlefield tours for the Smithsonian, National Geographic, and other organizations.

Flint's book list on D-Day airborne operations

Flint Whitlock Why did Flint love this book?

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.

By Gerald M. Devlin, William P. Yarborough,

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


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

David J. Ulbrich Author Of Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Modern Marine Corps, 1936-1943

From my list on storming enemy beaches during amphibious assaults.

Who am I?

Listening to my father’s stories about flying for the U.S. 15th Air Force in the Second World War kindled my love for military history at a young age. He brought to life the individual experiences and strategic context of bombing targets like Ploesti and Brenner Pass. Later, I pursued my doctorate in history and focused on U.S. Marine Corps history. More recently, my interests shifted to writing about broader topics like American military history, grand strategy, and race and gender in warfare. Even so, my father left me with an enduring desire to understand human interests and emotions, whether among common soldiers or senior generals. This desire affected my work as a teacher and author.

David's book list on storming enemy beaches during amphibious assaults

David J. Ulbrich Why did David love this book?

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.   

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.


Book cover of A. J. Liebling: World War II Writings

Richard Fine Author Of The Price of Truth: The Journalist Who Defied Military Censors to Report the Fall of Nazi Germany

From my list on American war reporting.

Who am I?

I’ve been curious about how reporters covered D-Day, and their interactions with the army, for more than thirty years, and my research into media-military relations, begun in earnest fifteen years ago has led to more than a dozen archives in several countries. Most accounts suggest that the press and the military fully cooperated during World War II, but documentary evidence reveals a far more nuanced story, with far more conflict between officials and the press than is supposed. After publishing work about the campaign in French North Africa, and a book about Ed Kennedy’s scoop of the German surrender, I’m now back where I started, working on a book about press coverage of D-Day.

Richard's book list on American war reporting

Richard Fine Why did Richard love this book?

I first encountered Liebling’s work about Normandy during World War II when I received a Fulbright fellowship to teach at the university in Caen in the 1980s.

His Normandy Revisited was the only book in the library at VCU that had Normandy in the title. I’ve been a fan ever since, as his work is both canny and often laugh-out-loud funny. Liebling worked for the New Yorker for many decades, and wrote the best long-form journalism of the war.

Liebling possessed an intimate knowledge of French language and culture, which gave him unparalleled access to civilians both in French North Africa and in Normandy in the months after D-Day.

By Pete Hamill (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the most gifted and influential American journalists of the 20th century, A. J. Liebling spent five years reporting the dramatic events and myriad individual stories of World War II. As a correspondent for The New Yorker, Liebling wrote with a passionate commitment to Allied victory, an unfailing attention to telling details, and an appreciation for the literary challenges presented by the discursive, centrifugal, both repetitive and disparate nature of war. This volume brings together three books along with 26 uncollected New Yorker pieces and two excerpts from The Republic of Silence (1947), Liebling's collection of writing from the…


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

Mark Zuehlke Author Of Juno Beach: Canada's D-Day Victory -- June 6, 1944

From my list on Canadians on their World War 2 service.

Who am I?

Since the mid-1990s, I’ve written thirteen volumes in The Canadian Battles Series—more than a million words on the battles, campaigns, and experiences of my nation’s army during World War II. I started this because Canadians were usually no more than a footnote in the WWII histories written by American and British historians, despite having been the third-largest army serving alongside their armies in Italy and Northwest Europe. Realizing that the Canadian story would only be told if we wrote it ourselves, I embraced the task and continue to do so thirty years later.

Mark's book list on Canadians on their World War 2 service

Mark Zuehlke Why did Mark love this book?

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…

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…


Book cover of Fields of Fire: The Canadians in Normandy

Serge Durflinger Author Of Fighting from Home: The Second World War in Verdun, Quebec

From my list on Canada’s Second World War - that aren’t memoirs.

Who am I?

I read my first book on WWII when I was 8 years old. It was about the Battle of Britain and I’ve never looked back. I began specializing in 20th Century Canadian military history in very literally all its facets. Discussing the war with hundreds of Canadian veterans over the last half century has been immensely inspirational to me. I’ve obtained a Ph.D. in Canadian military history from McGill University, visited Canadian battlefields in Europe at least 15 times, worked as the WWII historian at the Canadian War Museum, and have published on many aspects of Canadian military history. For more than 30 years I have been able to teach these subjects to students.

Serge's book list on Canada’s Second World War - that aren’t memoirs

Serge Durflinger Why did Serge love this book?

Terry Copp is one of Canada’s foremost military historians and his towering knowledge is on full display in this brilliant study of Canada’s role in the 1944 Normandy Campaign. Copp interviewed dozens of veterans and visited Normandy some 20 times to walk the ground and see the unfolding of the battle through the men’s eyes.

Fields of Fire redresses an imbalance in our understanding of Canada’s battlefield performance in Normandy that several leading international and some Canadian scholars feel was underwhelming. But not Copp.

He minutely and compellingly re-examines and convincingly contextualizes Canadian generalship, the terrain over which the men fought, the nature of German defences, Canadian casualties of 18,000 in just ten weeks, including psychological casualties due to battle exhaustion, and other factors that oblige us to assess the Canadians’ performance more positively.

He is palpably proud of these men’s achievements and deeply sensitive to the cruel fates of…

By Terry Copp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fields of Fire offers a stunning reversal of accepted military history. Terry Copp challenges and refutes the conventional view that the Canadian contribution to the Battle of Normandy was a 'failure': that the allies won only through the use of 'brute force,' and that the Canadian soldiers and commanding officers were essentially incompetent. His detailed and impeccably researched analysis of what actually happened on the battlefield portrays a flexible, innovative army that made a major, and successful, contribution to the defeat of the German forces in just seventy-six days. Challenging both existing interpretations of the campaign and current approaches to…


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

Cheryl Dellasega Author Of Toxic Nursing: Managing Bullying, Bad Attitudes, and Total Turmoil

From my list on wellbeing for nurses.

Who am I?

Juggling roles as a professor, nurse practitioner, author, mother, and grandmother would seem to limit my reading time but instead, I always have a book in my car, on my phone, or in my hands. I read broadly and enjoy all genres, from fiction to nonfiction, poetry to medical comics, as well as the creative essay columns nursing journals are beginning to embrace. In particular, I gravitate toward resources that help nurses create a positive relational workplace where their best efforts can be even more effective. Whether it’s ending the RN-RA (relational aggression) Rut, using poetry to express feelings about caregiving, or writing creatively about the many aspects of nursing, I am ready to read! And of course, the best part of reading is having a discussion with colleagues or friends about what exactly that book was about…

Cheryl's book list on wellbeing for nurses

Cheryl Dellasega Why did Cheryl love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Enemy North, South, East, West

Robert W. Baumer Author Of The Journey of the Purple Heart: A First Infantry Division Soldier’s Story from Stateside to North Africa, Sicily and Normandy during World War II

From my list on war memoirs and what makes them special.

Who am I?

When I was in my early 40’s I walked into the hospital room of a 99-year-old near-death relative who mistook me for my father’s brother who had been killed on the beachhead in Normandy during World War II. I was always a history buff, but this moment changed my life. I directed my energies to military history, starting with memoirs and writing a column for Armchair General magazine when it was in circulation. Published official histories (American Iliad, Aachen, Old Hickory) followed that were reliant on well-expressed memoirs written by participants, so full circle I’ve come back to my passion for writing, and reading war memoirs.

Robert's book list on war memoirs and what makes them special

Robert W. Baumer Why did Robert love this book?

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.

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…


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