100 books like The Day of Battle

By Rick Atkinson,

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

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Book cover of All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945

Glyn Harper Author Of The Battle for North Africa: El Alamein and the Turning Point for World War II

From my list on Great WW2 books published after 2000.

Who am I?

Glyn Harper has been researching and writing military history for over forty years. He is the author of numerous best-selling books on military history and is also an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. A former army officer, Glyn is New Zealand’s only Professor of War Studies.

Glyn's book list on Great WW2 books published after 2000

Glyn Harper Why did Glyn love this book?

Max Hastings is the author of more than thirty books, many of them about the Second World War. All Hell Let Loose describes the Second World War in considerable detail but focuses on the human experience of what it was like to be a participant in this critical period of history. For its breadth, its power of expression, and penetrating analysis, this book is unsurpassed. There are many excellent single-volume studies of the Second World War, but I rate this as one of the very best.

By Max Hastings,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A magisterial history of the greatest and most terrible event in history, from one of the finest historians of the Second World War. A book which shows the impact of war upon hundreds of millions of people around the world- soldiers, sailors and airmen; housewives, farm workers and children.

Reflecting Max Hastings's thirty-five years of research on World War II, All Hell Let Loose describes the course of events, but focuses chiefly upon human experience, which varied immensely from campaign to campaign, continent to continent.

The author emphasises the Russian front, where more than 90% of all German soldiers who…


Book cover of The Fall of Berlin 1945

Andrew C. Piazza Author Of One Last Gasp

From my list on WW2 books I used as research for my horror novel.

Who am I?

Andrew is a long-time WWII history buff and writer who looks for any excuse to do a deep dive into his favorite history topics. For his WWII horror novel One Last Gasp, he spent over a year researching the Battle of the Bulge, from first-hand accounts of front-line soldiers to official U.S. Army documents.

Andrew's book list on WW2 books I used as research for my horror novel

Andrew C. Piazza Why did Andrew love this book?

A bit dry and occasionally over-focused on rattling off official numbers and unit designations, The Fall Of Berlin is also a low-key horror novel. Surrounded on all sides by a massive Russian army hell-bent on revenge, the people of Berlin are caught between those invaders and their own leadership forcing them into a suicidal last stand. The scale of brutality is numbing; this is a battle fought without mercy by two adversaries locked in a death struggle.

By Antony Beevor,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Fall of Berlin 1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A tale drenched in drama and blood, heroism and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal."-Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc-tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known.

Antony Beevor, renowned…


Book cover of Pendulum of War: The Three Battles of El Alamein

Glyn Harper Author Of The Battle for North Africa: El Alamein and the Turning Point for World War II

From my list on Great WW2 books published after 2000.

Who am I?

Glyn Harper has been researching and writing military history for over forty years. He is the author of numerous best-selling books on military history and is also an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. A former army officer, Glyn is New Zealand’s only Professor of War Studies.

Glyn's book list on Great WW2 books published after 2000

Glyn Harper Why did Glyn love this book?

This was the book that established Niall Barr’s reputation as one of the United Kingdom’s leading historians of the Second World War. Meticulously researched, thoroughly readable, and compelling, Niall Barr’s Pendulum of War has become the recognised standard work on the desert war in 1942. Anyone interested in the battles of El Alamein must read this book.

By Niall Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In late June 1942, the dispirited and defeated British Eighth Army was pouring back towards the tiny railway halt of El Alamein in the western desert of Egypt. Tobruk had fallen and Eighth Army had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Rommel's Panzerarmee Afrika. Yet just five months later, the famous bombardment opened the Eighth Army's own offensive which destroyed the Axis threat to Egypt. Explanations for the remarkable change of fortune have generally been sought in the abrasive personality of the new army commander Lieutenant-General Bernard Law Montgomery. But the long running controversies surrounding the commanders of…


Book cover of The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944

Steven H. Jaffe Author Of New York at War: Four Centuries of Combat, Fear, and Intrigue in Gotham

From my list on cities at war.

Who am I?

I am a historian, curator, and writer born and raised in New York City, a place whose history intrigued me from an early age. With a mother who moved from small-town New Jersey to Greenwich Village in the 1950s, and a father who had childhood memories of World War I in the Bronx, I think my interest was sort of preordained. I remain fascinated by cities as engines of change, as flashpoints for conflict, and as places that are simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. 

Steven's book list on cities at war

Steven H. Jaffe Why did Steven love this book?

Written with crystal clarity and a flair for the telling anecdote, this book unfolds the multi-dimensional chess game that culminated in the liberation of Paris after four long years of Nazi occupation. Neiberg shows how diverse actorsleftist resistance fighters bent on liberating the city from within, Allied officials fearing just such a “red” takeover, a willful Charles de Gaulle determined to dominate the victory, anxious collaborationists, and German officersfueled a volatile crisis that changed from moment to moment in the city’s streets.

By Michael Neiberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As the Allies struggled inland from Normandy in August of 1944, the fate of Paris hung in the balance. Other jewels of Europe,sites like Warsaw, Antwerp, and Monte Cassino,were, or would soon be, reduced to rubble during attempts to liberate them. But Paris endured, thanks to a fractious cast of characters, from Resistance cells to Free French operatives to an unlikely assortment of diplomats, Allied generals, and governmental officials. Their efforts, and those of the German forces fighting to maintain control of the city, would shape the course of the battle for Europe and colour popular memory of the conflict…


Book cover of Eternal

Marilyn Baron Author Of The Case of the Forgotten Fragonard

From my list on World War Two and Nazi stolen art.

Who am I?

I studied art history in Florence, Italy, while there for six months during college. I’ve always loved Italy and am fascinated with art and World War II, because my father was a top-turret gunner on a B-17, flying missions over Europe, including on D-Day. WWII historical fiction is my favorite topic to read and write. I write in a variety of genres, from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal. My latest project is a cozy mystery series about an American college graduate who goes to work for a flailing Italian art detective agency in Florence and works with her sexy Carabinieri boyfriend (later husband), to solve Nazi stolen art crimes. 

Marilyn's book list on World War Two and Nazi stolen art

Marilyn Baron Why did Marilyn love this book?

This is my first Lisa Scottoline book.

She’s known for her crime fiction, but this is her first foray into historical fiction and I fell in love with the book. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with art theft but it’s one of the best WW II books I’ve ever read.

I fell in love with her characters and didn’t want the book to end. She has a new book coming out (March 2023) called Loyalty about the rise of the Mafia in Sicily, which is also fascinating and unforgettable.

By Lisa Scottoline,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
#1 bestselling author Lisa Scottoline offers a sweeping and shattering epic of historical fiction fueled by shocking true events, the tale of a love triangle that unfolds in the heart of Rome...in the creeping shadow of fascism.

What war destroys, only love can heal.

Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and…


Book cover of Brave Men

Clément Horvath Author Of Till Victory: The Second World War By Those Who Were There

From my list on World War II letters.

Who am I?

I'm a Frenchman with a great interest in the history of the Second World War, specializing in the correspondence of Allied soldiers. Almost 20 years of collecting WWII letters led to the publication of my first book Till Victory which was an award-winning bestseller in France, before it was released in English worldwide in 2021. I also host a podcast (Till Victory: a podcast about WWII and Peace), where I interview British and American veterans, and have made documentaries such as Red Beret & Dark Chocolate or The Missing Highlander. It's all about trying to understand what the young men who fought and died to liberate my country went through when they were my age.

Clément's book list on World War II letters

Clément Horvath Why did Clément love this book?

Alright, this is not technically a book about WWII letters, but it’s very close, and my favorite historical accounts’ book ever. Just like with wartime correspondence, Ernie Pyle wrote from the battlefield about the daily routine of the regular GI while experiencing it himself. Just like in a personal military letter, you get to know a tired civilian in uniform rather than a multi-medal bearing superhero with a thirst for action. With his exceptional writing, Pyle painted touching and realistic portraits, not of the Generals we've already read all about, but of the simple soldier who simply did his job and won the war with his sweat and blood.

By Ernie Pyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle's on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier's experience. There were really two wars, John Steinbeck wrote…


Book cover of Early One Morning

Anna Valencia Author Of The Chestnut House

From my list on transporting you to the magic of Italy.

Who am I?

I may be English by birth, but my soul has always felt Italian! I have lived and worked in Italy for many years, first in Rome, then Milan, and finally Tuscany when we fell in love with an abandoned farmhouse. I wrote The Chestnut House while we were living in the mountains of the Garfagnana in northern Tuscany, inspired by the wartime stories our neighbours shared with us. For me Italy is the perfect country—great weather, food, wine, language, and culture! I love both reading about it, and writing about it. I hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have!

Anna's book list on transporting you to the magic of Italy

Anna Valencia Why did Anna love this book?

I lived in Rome for one summer, and am in love with the Eternal City. This book transported me not only to Rome but back to the wartime era, and I was gripped. I loved the poetic descriptions of the city and the surrounding countryside, and the characters were strong and believable. At the core of the novel is an agonising choice a young Jewish mother has to make, and the pain of that moment has stayed with me ever since. This novel is not only a joy to read but taught me more about what Italians went through during the Second World War. 

By Virginia Baily,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two women's decision to save a child during WWII will have powerful reverberations over the years.

Chiara Ravello is about to flee occupied Rome when she locks eyes with a woman being herded on to a truck with her family. Claiming the woman's son, Daniele, as her own nephew, Chiara demands his return; only as the trucks depart does she realize what she has done. She is twenty-seven, with a sister who needs her constant care, a hazardous journey ahead, and now a child in her charge.

Several decades later, Chiara lives alone in Rome, a self-contained woman working as…


Book cover of Fleeting Rome: In Search of La Dolce Vita

Scott Samuelson Author Of Rome as a Guide to the Good Life: A Philosophical Grand Tour

From my list on finding the meaning of life in Rome.

Who am I?

After learning Latin in college and studying Italian philosophy in graduate school, I stumbled into Rome for the first time over a decade ago as faculty on a study-abroad trip. In two weeks, I learned more about history and life than I had in two decades of study. I’ve been lucky enough to go back every summer since, with the sad exception of the pandemic years. I adore Rome. It didn’t help that a few years ago, in the Basilica of San Clemente, I fell head over heels for a Renaissance art historian and tried her patience with poetry until she married me.

Scott's book list on finding the meaning of life in Rome

Scott Samuelson Why did Scott love this book?

One of my favorite Italian figures of the twentieth century is the writer, painter, and anti-fascist Carlo Levi.

This collection of his essays, evoking the complexities of Rome and its people, sums up what it means to come to terms with the Eternal City:

“Here, everything has already existed: and existence has not vanished into memory, rather it has remained present... The virtues are not the moral and ideological values (which the passage of too long a time has gradually flattened out), but simpler and more visible values: health, physical strength, knowing how to eat and drink, knowing how to speak with a certain humor and brevity, knowing how to command respect, sincerity, friendship.”

May all roads lead to this understanding of the world. 

By Carlo Levi, Antony Shugaar (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Only a renaissance man could have described this glorious city in its heyday. And only Carlo Levi, writer, painter, politician and one of the last centurya s most celebrated talents, could depict Rome at the height of its optimism and vitality after World War II. In Fleeting Rome, the era of post war a La Dolce Vitaa is brought magnificently to life in the daily bustle of Romea s street traders, housewives and students at work and play, the colourful festivities of Ferragosto and San Giovanni, the little theatre of Pulcinella al Pincio; all vibrant sights and sounds of this…


Book cover of The Street Kids

Charles Lambert Author Of Birthright

From my list on set in 20th century Rome.

Who am I?

I was born in the UK, in Lichfield, but moved to Italy in 1976 and to Rome in 1982. Over the past forty years, Rome has become my city, my home, and my inspiration, as it has for hundreds of thousands of other people during its millennia as caput mundi. It isn’t always the easiest place to live, but it’s varied and colourful and endlessly stimulating. It’s provided a backdrop to several of my novels and not only that. Rome is a character in its own right, boisterous, elegant, breathtakingly beautiful, unutterably sordid. Roma è casa mia!

Charles' book list on set in 20th century Rome

Charles Lambert Why did Charles love this book?

Pasolini’s films, Mamma Roma and Accattone, were among the reasons I decided to move to Rome in the first place.

Their blend of poetry and wretchedness chimed with my own vision of life at that time and I seized the chance to improve my knowledge of the city, of Italian and of Roman dialect, by reading his first novel Ragazzi di Vita, as soon as I arrived in the city.

Ragazzi di vita are hustlers, doomed from birth by circumstances outside their control, and I was drawn to the novel’s dark non-conformist romanticism, its refusal to compromise and the sheer texture of the language, which I only partly understood. It’s like Kerouac, but for real.

By Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ann Goldstein (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The “provocative” novel about hard-living teenagers in poverty-stricken postwar Rome, by the renowned Italian filmmaker (The New York Times).

Set during the post–World War II years in the Rome of the borgate―outlying neighborhoods beset by poverty and deprivation―The Street Kids tells the story of a group of adolescents belonging to the urban underclass. Living hand-to-mouth, Riccetto and his friends eke out an existence doing odd jobs, committing petty crimes, and prostituting themselves. Rooted in the neorealist movement of the 1950s, The Street Kids is a tender, heart-rending tribute to an entire social class in danger of being forgotten.
Heavily censored…


Book cover of Courage, My Love

Alyssa Palombo Author Of The Borgia Confessions

From my list on historical fiction set in Italy.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by history my whole life, and have been reading historical fiction for as long as I can remember. I have a particular passion for the history of Italy, in all its complicated, bloody, and dazzling glory, from the politics to the music to the art to, of course, the food and wine. There is so much within Italian history that captivates, and as a woman of Italian descent it holds a special interest for me. I try to capture the drama, beauty, and complexity of Italy in my own historical novels, and the books on this list all do that in the most compelling way.

Alyssa's book list on historical fiction set in Italy

Alyssa Palombo Why did Alyssa love this book?

I just recently read this wonderful debut novel, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since! Courage, My Love tells the story of two women living in Nazi-occupied Rome who become involved in the Italian resistance and its effort to rid their country of fascism. This is a beautiful, heart-wrenching, timely novel of ordinary people living in extraordinary times, and the courage they have in standing up to evil.

By Kristin Beck,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Courage, My Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the Nazi occupation of Rome begins, two courageous young women are plunged deep into the Italian Resistance to fight for their freedom in this captivating debut novel.

Rome, 1943

Lucia Colombo has had her doubts about fascism for years, but as a single mother in an increasingly unstable country, politics are for other people--she needs to focus on keeping herself and her son alive. Then the Italian government falls and the German occupation begins, and suddenly, Lucia finds that complacency is no longer an option. 

Francesca Gallo has always been aware of injustice and suffering. A polio survivor who…


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