100 books like Shadow Warriors

By Paul O’Brien, Wayne Fitzgerald,

Here are 100 books that Shadow Warriors fans have personally recommended if you like Shadow Warriors. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

By Joseph Galloway, General Harold Moore,

Book cover of We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

Angel Giacomo Author Of The Jackson MacKenzie Chronicles: In the Eye of the Storm

From the list on war that go beyond the battles.

Who am I?

I am a retired police officer, except I don’t write about law enforcement. I write about the military. My degree is in Political Science and History. I am a meticulous researcher. My emphasis has been on the Vietnam War. My father served in both the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard. One of my great uncles served in Africa during WWII. His brother during the Occupation of Germany. I have a step-uncle who spent time as a POW in Laos during the Vietnam War. My step-father served in the Army National Guard, and my step-brother in the U.S. Army, Korea and Ft. Hood.

Angel's book list on war that go beyond the battles

Why did Angel love this book?

This book is a complex but excellent read. It is laced with moments of sheer bravery and interludes of absolute terror. Lt. Colonel Hal Moore commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division—part of the “The Garryowen” Brigade. This book covers the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley during the early years of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, in November 1965. The first major engagement between the forces of North Vietnam and the United States. I want to highlight one thing in the book, “The country that sent us off to war was not there to welcome us home. It no longer existed.” While good in its own right, the movie does not do the book justice. Read this book.

By Joseph Galloway, General Harold Moore,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked We Were Soldiers Once... and Young as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'If you want to know what is was like to go to Vietnam as a young American... and find yourself caught in ferocious, remorseless combat with an enemy as courageous and idealistic as you were, then you must read this book. Moore and Galloway have captured the terror and exhilaration, the comradeship and self-sacrifice, the brutality and compassion that are the dark heart of war' THE TIMES


In November 1965, 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt.Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small…

The Forever War

By Joe Haldeman,

Book cover of The Forever War

Nathan W. Toronto Author Of Rise of Ahrik

From the list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans.

Who am I?

I care about military SFF because it has the potential to contribute to a just and prosperous society by building bridges of understanding between military professionals and civilians. I've never served in the military, but I taught operations and strategy to US Army officers for six years, after which I went to Abu Dhabi as one of the founding faculty members of the UAE National Defense College. I wrote a book, How Militaries Learn, which is one of the few academic books on civil-military relations to use large-n statistical analysis. I’ve lived in ten countries and I speak four languages, including Arabic.

Nathan's book list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans

Why did Nathan love this book?

When I met Joe Haldeman, I was struck by how such an unassuming, witty person could write such a gritty, visceral novel about war. Haldeman served in Vietnam, and (by his own admission) his combat experience shines through in Forever War. Yes, this novel captures combat in unflinching detail, but I’m a former professor of war, so what I really care about is the intriguing interplay of time, space, and war. As captured so well in the short story version of the novel, “Time Piece,” this novel is less about fighting and dying and more about what war over relativistic distances does to society. I love this novel because it says just as much about those who stay home as it does about those who go into combat.

By Joe Haldeman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic-- Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi

The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time…

Smokepit Fairytales

By Tripp Ainsworth,

Book cover of Smokepit Fairytales

Damien Larkin Author Of Big Red

From the list on military books written by veterans.

Who am I?

I served for seven years in the Irish Reserve Defence Forces, finishing as a weapons specialist in the infantry. I’m very grateful for the time I served in uniform and the lifelong lessons I learned that have helped me in my personal and professional life. Being a lifelong fan of military science fiction, I wrote Big Red from the point of view of a young Irish soldier thrown into a genocidal war on Mars. I’m a co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community and our online magazine Bard of the Isles.

Damien's book list on military books written by veterans

Why did Damien love this book?

Smokepit Fairytales is one of the most provocative, original and surreal works of military science fiction I’ve ever read. Written by US Marine veteran Tripp Ainsworth, Smokepit Fairytales is the first book in an epic series following the trials and tribulations of a small band of Marines. Each of the characters in this book are normal, flawed human beings trying to pass the boredom in between deployments with anything they can do to distract themselves. When a war unexpectedly breaks out, they must face down their fears and band together to get the job done and get home in once piece.

This book is not for the fainthearted, but from the sheer volume of 5-star rankings on Amazon, it is not one to be missed.

By Tripp Ainsworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hank and his trusty Corpsman, "Doc," only thought they knew what to expect when they were deployed to Iraq, but after getting trapped in an ancient Babylonian temple, things only got weird. After months of combat in a war that wouldn't end, Hank returns to California to face a different type of immigrant, the kind that comes from space.
Follow Hank through this wildly imaginative science fiction romp as he tries to figure out what it means to be human, or if he even still is one.

Starship Troopers

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Book cover of Starship Troopers

Travis I. Sivart Author Of Silver & Smith and the Jazeer's Light

From the list on sci-fi that explode the concept of reality.

Who am I?

I’ve always believed a story should be world changing and epic on some level. Perhaps on a personal level, perhaps in the actual sense of world changing. Whether it’s for my readers of a short story, the players in a tabletop role playing game I’m running, or the arc of a novel. Some of these books help form that idea, and others supported it later in my life. I love it when a tale shakes my world—in addition to the world of the characters—and makes me question what I believe. With a doctorate in metaphysics and a love of fantasy and sci-fi, I’m always looking for ways to shake up my worldview!

Travis' book list on sci-fi that explode the concept of reality

Why did Travis love this book?

If you’ve seen the movie, then you’re familiar with about four chapters from what is a pretty short, concise book. The book does have the bugs and the war, but it also has so much more. This was one of the books I read when young that opened my eyes about the constant struggle of the Individual vs. Society, and how neither is correct. This exploded my concept of reality on a socio-political level, and has left me questioning everything since then.

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Starship Troopers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The historians can't seem to settle whether to call this one 'The Third Space War' (or the fourth), or whether 'The First Interstellar War' fits it better. We just call it 'The Bug War'. Everything up to then and still later were 'incidents', 'patrols' or 'police actions'. However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an 'incident' as you are if you buy it in a declared war.'

5,000 years in the future, humanity faces total extermination. Our one defence: highly-trained soldiers who scour the metal-strewn blackness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy: an…

Killer Elite

By Michael Smith,

Book cover of Killer Elite: Completely Revised and Updated: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team

Robert Patrick Lewis Author Of Love Me When I'm Gone: The True Story of Life, Love, and Loss for a Green Beret in Post-9/11 War.

From the list on non-fiction on US special operations at war.

Who am I?

I’m a former Green Beret and combat veteran of OIF (Iraq), OEF (Afghanistan), and OEF-TS (North Africa). My first unit within Special Forces is the oldest within SF, and as such, I had the opportunity to work alongside some legends amongst men, people who were there in the early days of Special Operations. After leaving Special Forces I have written three published Special Operations-focused books, both fiction and non-fiction, which has led to a life of studying everything there is to know about Special Operations, the intelligence behind wars, and the history of both.

Robert's book list on non-fiction on US special operations at war

Why did Robert love this book?

Although they once hoped to remain as eternally clandestine and unknown units, the famed Delta Force and Seal Team 6 had their covers blown and have now been memorialized in various books, movies, and television shows. There are still units within the Special Operations and Clandestine Services worlds that remain shrouded in mystery, though, which is exactly how they like it.

This book walks you through the history, jobs, and some of the high-profile missions of one of these such units, once known simply as “The Activity.” A unit so secret that they changed their official unit name every 30 days, their soldiers do not wear uniforms, and who performs the types of missions that everyone hopes are being conducted but nobody knows who has the capabilities to do so. 

This book is the perfect representation of the pinnacle of intelligence, strength, and bravery that exists within the US Special…

By Michael Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

America's most secret Special Forces unit does not even have a name. Formed as the 'Intelligence Support Activity', it has had a succession of innocuous titles to hide its ferocious purpose. It exists to 'undertake activities only when other intelligence or operational support elements are unavailable or inappropriate'. Translated from Pentagon-speak, this means operating undercover in the world's most dangerous places, penetrating enemy organizations including Al Qa'eda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. 'The Activity' combines the spy work of the CIA with the commando/SAS role of the Green Berets. It not only provides the intelligence on the ground - it translates…

Bravo Two Zero

By Andy McNab,

Book cover of Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq

Tim Pritchard Author Of Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War

From the list on battles that go wrong.

Who am I?

In 2003 I was travelling through Baghdad with US forces to report on the Iraq war. Suddenly an ear-shattering explosion cracked through our Humvee and a rush of hot debris swept past my face. The heavily armoured door warped inwards, and the vehicle lifted off the ground. Soldiers were screaming in terror and anger, clutching at bloody faces, arms, and legs. We’d been attacked by unknown members of the Iraqi resistance. The sheer terror of that moment gave me a new understanding of war  the sight, smells, sounds, and touch of combat – and a desire to tell the stories of the young soldiers who get caught up in it.  

Tim's book list on battles that go wrong

Why did Tim love this book?

This is a detailed account of a secret military mission behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War and how a series of minor setbacks can quickly escalate into a full-blown disaster. I first read it years before I'd had any knowledge of a battlefield. I read it again after I'd been caught up in my own terrifying experience of combat and took away a new appreciation of the realities of war – how stress on the battlefield narrows the field of vision to minute details which distort what is really going on. It's a lesson about war, but also about life – even with all the planning and the training, it's almost impossible to control what happens in the heat of battle. 

By Andy McNab,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bravo Two Zero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sergeant Andy McNab recounts the story of the top secret mission that would reveal the secrets of the SAS to the world for the first time.

Their location: Iraq
Their mission: to sever a vital enemy underground communication link, to find and destroy mobile Scud launchers
Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero

When eight members of the elite SAS regiment embark on a highly covert operation, they are each laden with 15 stones of equipment, needing to tab 20km across the desert to reach their objective. But within days, their location is compromised. They engage in a fierce battle. They…

Marine Sniper

By Charles Henderson,

Book cover of Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills

Ronny Bruce Author Of The Grunts of Wrath: A Memoir Examining Modern War and Mental Health

From the list on infantry life during modern war.

Who am I?

I’m an OG ATLien (born in Atlanta, Georgia) and served in the US Marine Corps and the US Army. I hold a degree from Kennesaw State University and taught high school social studies from 2004 - 2006, before my military reenlistment which jumpstarted the events in my memoir.   

Ronny's book list on infantry life during modern war

Why did Ronny love this book?

Charles Henderson wrote a banger of a true story involving the exploits of USMC scout sniper Carlos Hathcock during Vietnam.

Hathcock isn’t your average grunt, though. He’s a highly skilled and award-winning shooter who is arguably the greatest American sniper of all time. Sometimes crawling through thick jungle, mud, and extreme filth, Hathcock stalked his human prey for hours and days - patiently waiting for the perfect kill shot.

If a top Vietnamese general needed to be taken out, Gunny Hathcock got the call. While tracking his objective, Hathcock navigated the harsh jungles and hills of Southeast Asia better than his enemies who lived underground there. This book takes you on a helluva ride.  

By Charles Henderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Marine Sniper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The explosive true story of Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a legendary Marine sniper in the Vietnam War.

There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.

He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines-on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.

This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos…

X Troop

By Leah Garrett,

Book cover of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From the list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Who am I?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Why did Boaz love this book?

While I direct Penn State’s Holocaust Education Initiative and produce and write documentaries, books, and articles that involve the Holocaust, I am not an expert on this topic. I am a student of it. Studying the Holocaust for 30 years, I gaze in awe at the frontiers that remain to be explored. X Troop offers one of the latest examples. Prior to reading it, I’d never heard of the German and Austrian Jews who became British commandos during World War II. One of the lessons I picked up: We should follow these men’s examples of turning weaknesses—in their case, coming from enemy territories and facing suspicion and persecution—into strengths. This is far from a perfect book. As I read it, I found myself time and again wishing it showed more and told less. In several key spots, I wanted to better understand what these commandoes did and how they did.…

By Leah Garrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


June 1942. The shadow of the Third Reich falls across Europe. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan - a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees. This top secret unit becomes known as X Troop. Others simply call them a suicide squad.

From British internment camps, to the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp, Leah Garrett follows this band of brothers who will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis.

'A thrilling,…

The Perfect Horse

By Elizabeth Letts,

Book cover of The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

Catherine Ryan Hyde Author Of Seven Perfect Things

From the list on animals by people who actually understand them.

Who am I?

In addition to being the author of lots of books, I am a wrangler of lots of pets. I live with a dog, two cats, a Belgian warmblood horse who I rode in dressage for many years, and his pasture pal who is a miniature horse. I’m known for writing books with animals in which the animal is a character, not a caricature. So many authors don’t seem to know animals deeply, and so just insert them in a scene like a placeholder. But every animal is an individual, and I try to reflect that in my work.

Catherine Ryan's book list on animals by people who actually understand them

Why did Catherine Ryan love this book?

This is quite possibly the best nonfiction book I’ve read. I loved it so much that I traveled to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to see the Lipizzaner horses in person, and listened to the audiobook for a second time while traveling. This one has it all: History, suspense, people who care about horses, horses. As a plus, if you’re into audiobooks, the narrator of The Perfect Horse, Paul Boehmer, is the perfect voice. I would listen to this guy read a laundry list all day long. Put him to the task of reading a truly important story like this one and you will be educated and entertained. I can’t say enough good things about this book.

By Elizabeth Letts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II


In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an…

Rangers at War

By Shelby L. Stanton,

Book cover of Rangers at War: LRRPs in Vietnam

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the LRRPs: Rangers in Vietnam

From the list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War.

Who am I?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. I was an instructor in the Florida Phase of the U.S. Army Ranger School for two years.

Michael's book list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War

Why did Michael love this book?

Stanton, one of the earliest and most prolific writers on the Vietnam War, details LRRP/Ranger operations primarily through unit Quarterly After Action Reports from the National Archives. Although mostly numbers and places with few actual combat stories, the book nonetheless offers an accurate assessment of the actions of LRRPs/Rangers in the war.

By Shelby L. Stanton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Shelby Stanton has emerged as the leading military historian on the war in Southest Asia."
One of the toughest and most challenging jobs in Vietnam was to be a U.S. Army Ranger running Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols. The LRRPs took volunteers only, and training was designed to weed out all but the best. What emerged was an elite outfit of warriors in the finest sense of the word. Now Shelby Stanton, renowned military authority on the war in Southeast Asia, presents the first and only definitive history…

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