100 books like The Battle of Hamburg

By Martin Middlebrook,

Here are 100 books that The Battle of Hamburg fans have personally recommended if you like The Battle of Hamburg. 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 I Flew for the Fuhrer: The Memoirs of a Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot

Jon Trigg Author Of The Air War Through German Eyes: How the Luftwaffe Lost the Skies over the Reich

From my list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my first memories as a kid are of films and TV shows about World War Two; the theme tune and credits of The World At War TV series still haunt me even now. But to be honest, the bombing of Germany never gripped me as much as, say, the war in Russia, that is, until I started to read up on it. It was a revelation. Suddenly, I saw incredibly young men fighting to survive in the most hostile environment on the planet–or rather above the planet, miles above, in fact. To me, I find the war they fought alien, but at the same time so absorbing I lose myself in it.      

Jon's book list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!

Jon Trigg Why did Jon love this book?

This book horrified me.

As I devoured the pages, I saw a normal young German Catholic boy who loved camping and the outdoors turn into a fanatical Nazi fighter pilot revelling in the slaughter of Russian ‘sub-humans.’

Because it’s based on Knoke’s diary, I could chart his war day by day, week by week, and see his innermost thoughts and feelings. He holds nothing back, and reading his words gave me a fascinating–if terrible–insight into what makes an unrepentant Nazi.   

By Heinz Knoke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Flew for the Fuhrer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Heinz Knocke was one of the outstanding German fighter pilots of World War II and this vivid first-hand record of his experiences has become a classic among aviation memoirs, a best-selling counter-balance to the numerous accounts written by Allied pilots.

Knoke joined the Luftwaffe on the outbreak of war, and eventually became commanding officer of a fighter wing. An outstandingly brave and skilful fighter, he logged over two thousand flights, and shot down fifty-two enemy aircraft. He had flown over four hundred operational missions before being crippled by wounds in an astonishing 'last stand' towards the end of the war.…


Book cover of Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich: A War Diary, 1942-45

Jon Trigg Author Of The Air War Through German Eyes: How the Luftwaffe Lost the Skies over the Reich

From my list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my first memories as a kid are of films and TV shows about World War Two; the theme tune and credits of The World At War TV series still haunt me even now. But to be honest, the bombing of Germany never gripped me as much as, say, the war in Russia, that is, until I started to read up on it. It was a revelation. Suddenly, I saw incredibly young men fighting to survive in the most hostile environment on the planet–or rather above the planet, miles above, in fact. To me, I find the war they fought alien, but at the same time so absorbing I lose myself in it.      

Jon's book list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!

Jon Trigg Why did Jon love this book?

I’ve always liked Donald’s work; he’s a specialist in the air war, and I really enjoy reading something by an expert in their field, but for my money, this book is the cream of the Caldwell crop.

I love the format; he kicks off in 1942 and details every Allied air raid and the German reaction from then on. I thought it could be quite dry, but instead, it charts so clearly how the air war evolved into truly gigantic battles fought out over vast tracts of Europe’s skies.

I would struggle to think of another book on the subject that gives me the same sense of scale–an incredible achievement.   

By Donald L. Caldwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich is a detailed, comprehensive daily reference to the air operations flown by the Luftwaffe. These operations were designed to combat the daylight strategic missions by the United States Army Air Force targeting the German Reich and the western zone occupied by Germany.This volume is a unique look at the German air defences as they struggled to cope with the threat posed by the American 8th and 15th Air Forces, which were charged with destroying Germany's critical war industries and wresting control of the air over the Reich from the Luftwaffe.The previous volume in…


Book cover of Night Airwar: Personal Recollections of the Conflict over Europe 1939-45

Jon Trigg Author Of The Air War Through German Eyes: How the Luftwaffe Lost the Skies over the Reich

From my list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my first memories as a kid are of films and TV shows about World War Two; the theme tune and credits of The World At War TV series still haunt me even now. But to be honest, the bombing of Germany never gripped me as much as, say, the war in Russia, that is, until I started to read up on it. It was a revelation. Suddenly, I saw incredibly young men fighting to survive in the most hostile environment on the planet–or rather above the planet, miles above, in fact. To me, I find the war they fought alien, but at the same time so absorbing I lose myself in it.      

Jon's book list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!

Jon Trigg Why did Jon love this book?

The best thing about reading this book was that it shone a light–if you can forgive the pun–on the otherwise unseen world of the nighttime air battles over Germany.

Before I read it, I admit I thought of the night war as some sort of game of chess, somehow fought at a comfortable distance. Boiten’s book shredded that distance and brought me face-to-face with the reality of it all in a gratifyingly unsentimental way.

Perhaps the most powerful image it left me with was of young British (and allied) airmen suddenly being blown out of the sky by an enemy they all so often never saw until their aircraft was turned into a horrifying fireball.      

By Theo Boiten,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The night airwar over Western Europe was a long, intensive and costly airwar campaign. Theo Boiten tells this often harrowing and sometimes inspiring story using the personal accounts of over 70 veterans from both sides. The book is illustrated with many rare and previously unpublished photographs from the personal collections of those veterans and forms a record of this important aspect of 20th-century history.


Book cover of Flak: German Anti-aircraft Defenses, 1914-1945

Jon Trigg Author Of The Air War Through German Eyes: How the Luftwaffe Lost the Skies over the Reich

From my list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my first memories as a kid are of films and TV shows about World War Two; the theme tune and credits of The World At War TV series still haunt me even now. But to be honest, the bombing of Germany never gripped me as much as, say, the war in Russia, that is, until I started to read up on it. It was a revelation. Suddenly, I saw incredibly young men fighting to survive in the most hostile environment on the planet–or rather above the planet, miles above, in fact. To me, I find the war they fought alien, but at the same time so absorbing I lose myself in it.      

Jon's book list on the bombing of Nazi Germany–war miles in the sky!

Jon Trigg Why did Jon love this book?

I must admit I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book; it was too dry, too academic, and too detail-obsessed. To be honest, I found it to be all those things, and yet it was absorbing!

I came to the conclusion that I really liked it because I was either a) a geek or b) quite sad, and both are true. Anyway, what I discovered was that I liked this book exactly because it was dry and detailed.

It told me a story I hadn’t heard before and one that opened my eyes and my thinking to a hugely important aspect of the air war–the world of guns and those who crewed them, who, increasingly as the war went on, were schoolchildren. 

By Edward B. Westermann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Air raid sirens wail, searchlight beams flash across the sky, and the night is aflame with tracer fire and aerial explosions, as Allied bombers and German anti-aircraft units duel in the thundering darkness. Such "cinematic" scenes, played out with increasing frequency as World War II ground to a close, were more than mere stock material for movie melodramas. As Edward Westermann reveals, they point to a key but largely unappreciated aspect of the German war effort that has yet to get its full due.

Long the neglected stepchild in studies of World War II air campaigns, German flak or anti-aircraft…


Book cover of Bomber Boys: Fighting Back 1940-1945

Helena P. Schrader Author Of Moral Fibre: A Bomber Pilot's Story

From my list on R.A.F. Bomber Crews.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I heard tales of my uncle Ken, an RCAF Halifax navigator, who was shot down over Berlin in January 1944. As an adult, I lived in Berlin while earning a PhD in History and left roses on my uncle’s grave. Now, I am retired, and with the noise of earning a living silenced, I can hear the voices of those who want their story told. Among them are men from Bomber Command who feel they have been ignored and disparaged in fictional writing about WWII. I hope to correct that injustice and depict them as people rather than symbols or victims.

Helena's book list on R.A.F. Bomber Crews

Helena P. Schrader Why did Helena love this book?

Bishop’s Bomber Boys is a good, solid history full of facts, stats, and the bird’s eye view.

Bishop provides cogent summaries of the policy and command decisions, analyzes the social structure of the RAF, aircrew, and Bomber Command, and tackles a range of important issues topically.

For example, he has a chapter on crewing up, on “the chop,” the “crack up,” and “love in uniform,” among others. It also offers aircraft diagrams and maps, which can be very useful.

It is an excellent starting point for learning about the subject, providing useful context and framework to a researcher, although it cannot serve as a substitute for reading first-hand accounts. 

By Patrick Bishop,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Following on from his best-selling 'Fighter Boys', in this very different book, Patrick Bishop looks back at the lives, human realities and the extraordinary risks that the painfully young pilots took during the strategic air-offensive against Germany from 1940-1945.

In 'Fighter Boys' Patrick Bishop brought to life the pilots who flew Spitfires and Hurricanes in the summer of 1940. Their skill and bravery decided the Battle of Britain, which saved the nation from invasion and created the conditions for Hitler's defeat.

In 'Bomber Boys' he tells a different but equally fascinating story. The 125,000 men from all over the world…


Book cover of Malta 1940-42: The Axis' Air Battle for Mediterranean Supremacy

Melvyn Fickling Author Of Falcons

From my list on the Siege of Malta and the Mediterranean War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was seeking a direction for the third novel in the Bluebird series and my dates led me to Malta. Even as an avid reader of history, I knew shockingly little about the island’s tortuous punishment at the hands of Axis air forces. After much reading I was compelled to visit Malta myself, to tour the locations I would use, and ensure my fiction reflected the character of the landscape and the nature of the people that defended it so doggedly. Standing at Ta’Qali, where an airfield received in one single raid the same tonnage of bombs that crippled Coventry, I felt I’d been given permission.  

Melvyn's book list on the Siege of Malta and the Mediterranean War

Melvyn Fickling Why did Melvyn love this book?

This compact, but detailed, history has been painstakingly researched from original Italian and German sources. The author explains the technical and tactical capabilities of the Axis air forces involved in the attacks on Malta and how their campaigns related to the wider Mediterranean war. We are treated to three full colour battle scenes painted by the renowned aviation artist, Graham Turner, as well as 3D tactical diagrams that recreate the airspace during key moments of the battle. The concise text is peppered with contemporary photos of the aircraft used, the personalities involved, and scenes on the ground. An essential handbook to fully understand the siege of Malta.

By Ryan K. Noppen, Graham Turner (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Malta 1940-42 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1940, the strategically vital island of Malta was Britain's last toehold in the central Mediterranean, wreaking havoc among Axis shipping. Launching an air campaign to knock Malta out of the war, first Italy and then Germany sought to force a surrender or reduce the defences enough to allow an invasion. Drawing on original documents, multilingual aviation analyst Ryan Noppen explains how technical and tactical problems caused the original Italian air campaign of 1940-41 to fail, and then how the German intervention came close to knocking Malta out of the war. Using stunning full colour artwork, this fascinating book explains…


Book cover of RAF On the Offensive: The Rebirth of Tactical Air Power 1940-1941

Vic Flintham Author Of Close Call: RAF Close Air Support in the Mediterranean Volume II Sicily to Victory in Italy 1943-1945

From my list on modern military aviation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in London at the height of the Blitz I am a retired NHS Director with a lifelong interest in military aviation. My first journal article, on the Suez Campaign, was published in 1965 since when I have written some 90 articles and eight books and have contributed chapters to several more. Most of my books are triggered by a challenge and I always try to cover ground hitherto ignored so that my books become a unique reference. Works in progress include a history of the RAF involvement in Greece from 1940 to 1950 and the work of the RAF between the wars. I live in Sherborne, Dorset, England.

Vic's book list on modern military aviation

Vic Flintham Why did Vic love this book?

Greg Baughen had written over a million words on the evolving role and functions of the Royal Air Force from its foundation in 1918 to the post-second world war period, then decided to find a publisher!

The work is thus published in a number of volumes this being the fourth. Never frightened to challenge conventional wisdom the author deals with the RAF and British Government’s preoccupation with strategic bombing at the cost of developing effective tactical air power. As he notes German occupation of much of Europe was accomplished on the ground with effective air support.

By Greg Baughen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked RAF On the Offensive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Long before the start of the Second World War it had been believed that strategic bombing would be the deciding factor in any future conflict. Then Hitler launched the Blitzkrieg upon France and the Low Countries in 1940, and the much-vaunted French Army and the British Expeditionary Force were swept away in just six weeks.

This new form of warfare shook the Air Ministry, but the expected invasion never came and the Battle of Britain was fought in the air. It seemed that air forces operating independently could determine the course of the war. An Army scarcely seemed necessary for…


Book cover of One Wing High: Halifax Bomber - the Navigator's Story

Helena P. Schrader Author Of Moral Fibre: A Bomber Pilot's Story

From my list on R.A.F. Bomber Crews.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I heard tales of my uncle Ken, an RCAF Halifax navigator, who was shot down over Berlin in January 1944. As an adult, I lived in Berlin while earning a PhD in History and left roses on my uncle’s grave. Now, I am retired, and with the noise of earning a living silenced, I can hear the voices of those who want their story told. Among them are men from Bomber Command who feel they have been ignored and disparaged in fictional writing about WWII. I hope to correct that injustice and depict them as people rather than symbols or victims.

Helena's book list on R.A.F. Bomber Crews

Helena P. Schrader Why did Helena love this book?

This a rare autobiography about flying in RAF Bomber Command from the perspective of a navigator rather than a pilot.

Also unusual among books of this nature, the author flew in the Halifax rather than the Lancaster. The book opens as the author prepares to report for induction into the RAF and follows him through initial, advanced, and operational training, then into the war and the early post-war period as well.

Although written long after the events depicted, the author relied on his diaries, letters, and logbooks when putting it together, so it does not feel distant from events or didactic.

The author does not focus on the darkness but instead tells his story in an easy, anecdotal fashion. His voice and personality shine through, engaging you easily. 

Book cover of No Ordinary Pilot: One Young Man’s Extraordinary Exploits in World War II

Michael Tappenden Author Of Pegasus to Paradise

From my list on war that show the awful impact on the individual.

Why am I passionate about this?

On D-Day 1944, three gliders carrying elite British soldiers landed to capture and hold the vital Pegasus bridge. In the first glider to land was my father, Ted Tappenden. Ted was one of several close relatives who served with distinction in WW2 including a naval officer and two fighter pilots. It was then no surprise when instead of following my grammar school direction to University, I volunteered instead to serve with the Parachute Regiment (my degree came later). My close connection with the military allowed me an insight into both the physical and mental strain and the awful consequences that might afflict those who serve and their nearest and dearest.

Michael's book list on war that show the awful impact on the individual

Michael Tappenden Why did Michael love this book?

This book is written about my uncle Bob Allen. He was a career RAF officer, not easy to know, quite distant and intimidating, and he had a secret.

This is a true story that lay deliberately hidden for fifty years until unearthed on his death by the author. I say deliberately because of the need – common-felt amongst survivors of war – to remain tight-lipped. Even when his hand-written memoirs were discovered, they had been written in the third person. But this is the story of an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary times. He joined the RAF aged nineteen, was flying a Hurricane in dogfights that year, saw action in West Africa, in Normandy at D-Day, was shot down, presumed killed and captured by the SS. Interrogated by the Gestapo and sent to Stalag-Luft 3. In 1945, he suffered one of the infamous winter marches on which many POWs…

By Suzanne Campbell-Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Ordinary Pilot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After a lifetime in the RAF, Group Captain Bob Allen, finally allowed his children and grandchildren to see his official flying log. It contained the line: 'KILLED WHILST ON OPERATIONS'. He refused to answer any further questions, leaving instead a memoir of his life during World War II.

Joining up aged 19, within six months he was in No.1 Squadron flying a Hurricane in a dog fight over the Channel. For almost two years he lived in West Africa, fighting Germany's Vichy French allies, as well as protecting the Southern Atlantic supply routes. Returning home at Christmas 1942, he retrained…


Book cover of First Light: The True Story of the Boy Who Became a Man in the War-Torn Skies above Britain

Martin Dugard Author Of Taking London: Winston Churchill and the Fight to Save Civilization

From my list on fighter pilots Winston Churchill Battle of Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a young boy who made model airplanes and hung them on his bedroom ceiling with fishing lines and thumbtacks as if the planes were dogfighting. The aircraft were inspired by a movie called The Battle of Britain and were the same Messerschmitts, Spitfires, and Hurricanes. The boy grew up and began writing books for a living, making it his mission to help people love history as much as he did. One day, it dawned on him to write about his long-ago planes and their epic battle. I am that boy, and that's when I wrote my book. 

Martin's book list on fighter pilots Winston Churchill Battle of Britain

Martin Dugard Why did Martin love this book?

Geoffrey Wellum was the youngest pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain, getting his wings as a teenager. I love this book for its beautiful descriptions of flight training, the rigors of squadron life, and the odd way he feels after taking a life in combat–all while being so young he sleeps in his childhood bedroom when returning home on leave.

But I love this book most because Wellum kept these stories to himself for almost forty years, writing these memoirs and then publishing them only when he was in his old age.

This beautiful memory of life as a fighter pilot is Wellum’s one and only book and one of the great adventure books of all time. 

By Geoffrey Wellum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first-hand account of a 17-year-old Englishman who became an ace fighter pilot with the RAF, the youngest at the time, and flew Spitfires during the Battle of Britain.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the British Royal Air Force, Germany, and Nazi Germany?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the British Royal Air Force, Germany, and Nazi Germany.

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