100 books like The Battle of Okinawa

By George Feifer,

Here are 100 books that The Battle of Okinawa fans have personally recommended if you like The Battle of Okinawa. 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 The Burning Sea of Iron Bottom Bay

Herb Marlow Author Of Gunner Hobbs: WWII in the Pacific! Tulagi! Tarawa! Saipan!

From my list on Pacific island combat World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by accounts of the Second World War, particularly the war in the Pacific Theater. Perhaps because I had an uncle and a step-father (Bronze Star awarded for bravery) who fought in that theater. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and traveled in the USS Bennington, CVS 20, too many of the islands captured by the Japanese in blood-soaked battles–Pearl Harbor, Guam, Okinawa, Midway, and the Philippines. Further, I was stationed at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Japan for twenty months, which allowed me to look into World War II history from the other side. 

Herb's book list on Pacific island combat World War II

Herb Marlow Why did Herb love this book?

I really enjoyed this book by Rich Rostron for several reasons: I am an enthusiastic reader of World War II historical fiction set in the Pacific Theater.

I loved the format of an old veteran telling his great-grandson the story of the battle. I also really liked the way the author wove the war story into the teenager’s (Kyle) need to learn how to deal with a bully at school.

By Rich Rostron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Burning Sea of Iron Bottom Bay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WWII Naval Combat explodes from the pages of The Burning Sea of Iron Bottom Bay as a US Navy veteran shares his experiences with his great-grandson and the reader. Culminating in one of the most chaotic and destructive naval battles in history, this book tells the story of a Friday the 13th struggle, on a pitch-black night in the waters north of Guadalcanal, that tests the metal of man and machine.

The battle represents a desperate throw of the dice by Admiral Halsey that results in a confrontation where the US Navy is David to the Imperial Japanese Navy's Goliath.…


Book cover of Swift, Silent, and Deadly: Marine Amphibious Reconnaissance in the Pacific, 1942-1945

Herb Marlow Author Of Gunner Hobbs: WWII in the Pacific! Tulagi! Tarawa! Saipan!

From my list on Pacific island combat World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by accounts of the Second World War, particularly the war in the Pacific Theater. Perhaps because I had an uncle and a step-father (Bronze Star awarded for bravery) who fought in that theater. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and traveled in the USS Bennington, CVS 20, too many of the islands captured by the Japanese in blood-soaked battles–Pearl Harbor, Guam, Okinawa, Midway, and the Philippines. Further, I was stationed at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Japan for twenty months, which allowed me to look into World War II history from the other side. 

Herb's book list on Pacific island combat World War II

Herb Marlow Why did Herb love this book?

I have read several books about the special units of soldiers, Marines, and sailors in the Second World War, and this book is at the top of those accounts.

I particularly liked the way author Bruce E. Meyers, an experienced Marine officer, tells the story of the Recon Marines from their beginnings in World War II to today’s silent warriors. I had a hard time putting this book down. 

By Bruce F Meyers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An experienced reconnaissance Marine officer, Bruce Meyers paints a colorful and accurate picture of the special recon landings that preceded every major amphibious operation in the Pacific War. Credited with saving countless lives, these Marine scouts went in stealthily at night from submarines, PT boats, Catalinas, and high-speed transports. Swift, silent, and deadly, they landed on more than two hundred enemy beaches, from Tarawa to Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa to collect intelligence on potential landing sites. They measured water depths, charted coral heads, gathered soil samples, sought out enemy locations, and took photographs. In short, they obtained information vital…


Book cover of Annihilation Beach: A Story about the Horrific Marine Battle for Tarawa: Day One

Herb Marlow Author Of Gunner Hobbs: WWII in the Pacific! Tulagi! Tarawa! Saipan!

From my list on Pacific island combat World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by accounts of the Second World War, particularly the war in the Pacific Theater. Perhaps because I had an uncle and a step-father (Bronze Star awarded for bravery) who fought in that theater. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and traveled in the USS Bennington, CVS 20, too many of the islands captured by the Japanese in blood-soaked battles–Pearl Harbor, Guam, Okinawa, Midway, and the Philippines. Further, I was stationed at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Japan for twenty months, which allowed me to look into World War II history from the other side. 

Herb's book list on Pacific island combat World War II

Herb Marlow Why did Herb love this book?

I was and am fascinated by accounts of the Battle of Tarawa. As James Dwyer’s book relates, the battle was a brutal series of Navy and Marine mistakes by the attack leaders from day one.

I particularly like the way he uses the fictional voices of Marines and Japanese Rikosentia (basically Japanese Marines) to tell the story of the terrible battle with its ‘horrific’ casualty rates on both sides.

By James F Dwyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before the historic battle for Iwo Jima was fought...there was Tarawa!!! Experience the incredible horrors and the distinguished heroism of the battle for Tarawa with a platoon of marines who must fight their way ashore and then battle the Japanese defenders in their hidden bunkers and foxholes! The hellacious fighting for this tiny island took place in November of 1943 and the legendary battle went on for three and a half days between the elite Japanese Rikosentai who refused to give up...and the marines of the Second Division...who refused to stop. When this bare-knuckled brawl was finally over, four Medals…


Book cover of Battle Story: Iwo Jima 1945

Herb Marlow Author Of Gunner Hobbs: WWII in the Pacific! Tulagi! Tarawa! Saipan!

From my list on Pacific island combat World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by accounts of the Second World War, particularly the war in the Pacific Theater. Perhaps because I had an uncle and a step-father (Bronze Star awarded for bravery) who fought in that theater. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and traveled in the USS Bennington, CVS 20, too many of the islands captured by the Japanese in blood-soaked battles–Pearl Harbor, Guam, Okinawa, Midway, and the Philippines. Further, I was stationed at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Japan for twenty months, which allowed me to look into World War II history from the other side. 

Herb's book list on Pacific island combat World War II

Herb Marlow Why did Herb love this book?

I am very pleased with the way author Andrew Rawson begins this book by describing the commanding officers on both sides, and then the weapons the Marines and Japanese soldiers used in the battle. This makes the later descriptions of actual combat more realistic.

Another aspect of this book that I liked was Rawson’s account of the tactics planned and used on both sides. His accounts of individual Marines' exploits and decorations are excellent and detailed.

The author ends his book with a short synopsis of the Battle of Okinawa and the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. This is a book I will read again.

By Andrew Rawson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Operation Detachment, the US invasion of Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945, was the first campaign on Japanese soil and resulted in some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific. If you truly want to understand what happened and why - read Battle Story. Detailed profiles explore the leaders, tactics and equipment of the US and Japanese armies. Nine specially commissioned maps track the progress of the battle and the shifting frontlines. Rare photographs place you in the centre of the unfolding action. Diary extracts and quotes give you a soldier's eye-view of the battle. Orders of Battle reveal the…


Book cover of Typhoon of Steel: The Battle for Okinawa

Philip Sherman Mygatt Author Of Innocence Lost – A Childhood Stolen

From my list on WWII stories you have probably never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been born two months before Pearl Harbor, as I grew older, I vaguely remember hearing my parents talking about the war. When I was able, I used to pull my little red wagon around the neighborhood to collect bacon grease I donated to the local butcher shop to support the war. After retiring from the technology industry, I tried my hand at writing books. After a few futile attempts, I finally started writing novels about WWII. I first wrote Return to La Roche-en-Ardenne, then Innocence Lost - A Childhood Stolen, and finally Thou Shall Do No Harm – Diary of an Auschwitz Physician which will be re-released in early 2023.

Philip's book list on WWII stories you have probably never heard of

Philip Sherman Mygatt Why did Philip love this book?

Little has been published about the Battle of Okinawa having been overshadowed by the recent victory on Iwo Jima the prior week, and yet the United States needed control of Okinawa to launch its upcoming invasion of Japan. Okinawa was considered part of the Japanese homeland and the Japanese were determined to fight to the end, and they had a new terror weapon; the Kamikaze. To be on board a Navy ship surrounded by a swarm of Kamikkazes must have been a terrifying experience. 

By James H. Belote, William M. Belote,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

HARDBACK BOOK


Book cover of Crucible of Hell: The Heroism and Tragedy of Okinawa, 1945

Malcolm H. Murfett Author Of Naval Warfare 1919-1945: An Operational History of the Volatile War at Sea

From my list on Asian theatre in the Second World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived and taught in Asia for over 30 years and love the place to bits. Leaving Oxford for Singapore may have seemed like a daring adventure in 1980, but it complemented my doctoral research and introduced me to a wonderful set of students who have enriched my life ever since. Asia has a fascination for me that I can’t resist. I have written and edited 15 books on naval and defence themes, much of which have been set in the Asian continent. An associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for the past 25 years, I am also the editor for the series Cold War in Asia. 

Malcolm's book list on Asian theatre in the Second World War

Malcolm H. Murfett Why did Malcolm love this book?

If you know your Pacific War and are familiar with all the major land and sea battles, you may think there’s not much that’s new to discover about the campaign for Okinawa. And maybe there isn’t. But for those who aren’t specialists, this book will prove fascinating. It’s not a page-turner in the accepted sense of the term because most pages appall with the dreadful futility of it all. I couldn’t read more than a dozen pages at a time without feeling a sense of desperation at the almost casual sacrifice of lives on both sides in this war of attrition. No wonder many veterans of Okinawa found it difficult to talk about the horror of it afterward and carried dark memories of their tortured experiences to their graves.

By Saul David,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the award-winning historian, Saul David, the riveting narrative of the heroic US troops, bonded by the brotherhood and sacrifice of war, who overcame enormous casualties to pull off the toughest invasion of WWII's Pacific Theater -- and the Japanese forces who fought with tragic desperation to stop them.

With Allied forces sweeping across Europe and into Germany in the spring of 1945, one enormous challenge threatened to derail America's audacious drive to win the world back from the Nazis: Japan, the empire that had extended its reach southward across the Pacific and was renowned for the fanaticism and brutality…


Book cover of World War II Almanac 1931-1945

Julian Spencer-Churchill (Schofield) Author Of Strategic Nuclear Sharing

From my list on strategic studies on a deeper understanding of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of political science with a focus on strategic studies and the causes of war, and before that, I was an operations officer at an army engineering regiment during the Cold War, and before that I was an adolescent wargamer obsessively applying math to sociological problems, and before that an enthusiast of military history. I have had the generosity of providence to conduct research in and on Pakistan’s military for over ten years, as well in Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Egypt. These are the books I think every scholar of strategic studies should start with, as they provide an inspirational and the most direct path to strategic insight.   

Julian's book list on strategic studies on a deeper understanding of war

Julian Spencer-Churchill (Schofield) Why did Julian love this book?

The Second World War was the largest inter-state conflict to date, and largely informs contemporary patterns of geopolitics, international institutions, and military technology, like nuclear weapons. Knowledge of the Second World War, which is nevertheless complex, is therefore vital. The World War II Almanac’s format as a day-by-day chronological account of the conflict provides unique political, strategic, diplomatic, economic, and military insights, which would otherwise be inaccessible without having read at least ten times as many sources. Because the book covers events from 1931 to 1945, it describes the early Japanese policies in China as well as the crucial evolution of fascism within Europe. It also comes with a detailed appendix of charts and tables on a variety of topics, which makes it pedagogically invaluable as an introduction to the Second World War.    

By Robert Goralski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked World War II Almanac 1931-1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beginning with the rise of Hitler and of Japanese militarism, this comprehensive chronology details the battles, diplomacy, people, and incidents of the period, supplemented with numerous maps, photographs, and illustrations


Book cover of The Invention That Changed the World: How a Small Group of Radar Pioneers Won the Second World War and Launched a Technological Revolution

Jacob Berkowitz Author Of The Stardust Revolution: The New Story of Our Origin in the Stars

From my list on how science won World War Two.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author, playwright and science writer near Ottawa, Canada. One thing that fascinated me in writing The Stardust Revolution was how 20th-century astronomy advances were grounded in the re-use of military technologies developed in WWII. Both radio- and infrared astronomy emerged from the use of former Nazi and Allied military hardware. This is because WWII was the physicists war—their inventions determined its outcome. These five books describe the key science and technology—atomic weapons, radar, and rockets—that won World War Two and have shaped the world since. The books are a great mix of biography, narrative non-fiction, and investigative journalism.

Jacob's book list on how science won World War Two

Jacob Berkowitz Why did Jacob love this book?

To paraphrase Buderi, radar won the war, the atomic bomb ended it. This isn’t hyperbole. Rushed into service, radar saved Britain from invasion in the summer of 1941 and was a decisive tool in every major theatre of war, from directing night bombers to attacking U-boats.

By Robert Buderi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Invention That Changed the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Simon & Schuster, The Invention That Changed the World explores how a small group of radar pioneers won the second World War and launched a technical revolution.

The technology that was created to win World War II—radar—has revolutionized the modern world. This is the fascinating story of the inventors and their inventions.


Book cover of Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II

M. Girard Dorsey Author Of Holding Their Breath: How the Allies Confronted the Threat of Chemical Warfare in World War II

From my list on World War II that make you wonder.

Why am I passionate about this?

Imagine World War II—with frequent chemical warfare attacks on cities and battlefields. Before and during World War II, laypeople and leaders held the widespread conviction that poison gas would be used in the next big war more destructively than in World War I. Churchill considered using gas if Germany invaded Britain. Roosevelt promised retaliation if the Axis used gas. Canada tested gas in Alberta’s fields. Fear and preparation for gas attacks permeated multiple countries, from laypeople to the top, from civilians to the military, but few talk about it. This is a hidden story of World War II, but one worth knowing. Just the threat of gas influenced the conflict.

M.'s book list on World War II that make you wonder

M. Girard Dorsey Why did M. love this book?

Bess is a tough taskmaster. He looks at twelve historical decisions and events in World War II and asks if the actors did the right thing. Did they behave morally, or could they have done better? He offers his own views, provides background, and raises questions to give readers a chance to develop theirs. 

Some events are well known—such as dropping the atomic bombs—but Bess asks the reader to look at kamikazes, war crimes trials, appeasement, and alliances with Stalin in novel ways. After reading Bess’s chapters, it can feel like you are learning about a new war. The answers to his queries are complex, but I feel like I have come to a thoughtful and informed conclusion at the end of each chapter.

By Michael Bess,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Choices Under Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

World War II was the quintessential “good war.” It was not, however, a conflict free of moral ambiguity, painful dilemmas, and unavoidable compromises. Was the bombing of civilian populations in Germany and Japan justified? Were the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials legally scrupulous? What is the legacy bequeathed to the world by Hiroshima? With wisdom and clarity, Michael Bess brings a fresh eye to these difficult questions and others, arguing eloquently against the binaries of honor and dishonor, pride and shame, and points instead toward a nuanced reckoning with one of the most pivotal conflicts in human history.


Book cover of The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II

Malcolm H. Murfett Author Of Naval Warfare 1919-1945: An Operational History of the Volatile War at Sea

From my list on Asian theatre in the Second World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived and taught in Asia for over 30 years and love the place to bits. Leaving Oxford for Singapore may have seemed like a daring adventure in 1980, but it complemented my doctoral research and introduced me to a wonderful set of students who have enriched my life ever since. Asia has a fascination for me that I can’t resist. I have written and edited 15 books on naval and defence themes, much of which have been set in the Asian continent. An associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for the past 25 years, I am also the editor for the series Cold War in Asia. 

Malcolm's book list on Asian theatre in the Second World War

Malcolm H. Murfett Why did Malcolm love this book?

This book doesn’t have a catchy title and sounds rather pedestrian, but we are told never to judge a book by its cover and in this case it’s true about the title as well! Mark Parillo’s magisterial thesis taught me a great deal about why the Japanese lost the Pacific War. He explains why they stubbornly refused to convoy their merchant fleet even when, by failing to do so, they were aiding the enemy’s cause. Japan needed to import most of its war material, but once the US submarine campaign began to decimate the ships that were bringing in those vital supplies in 1944-45 the game was essentially up. Therefore, a case can be made that the war was effectively lost before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

By Mark P. Parillo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Making extensive use of Japanese and U.S. sources, including wartime intelligence reports from the National Defense Archives in Tokyo and recently declassified U.S. documents, this book examines the reasons for Japan's failure to protect its merchant fleet.


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