100 books like The Guns of Normandy

By George Blackburn,

Here are 100 books that The Guns of Normandy fans have personally recommended if you like The Guns of Normandy. 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 And No Birds Sang

Clark McCauley Author Of Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know

From my list on to understand the experience of men in combat.

Why am I passionate about this?

Research Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. Since the 9/11 attacks I have tried to understand how normal individuals, people like you and me, can move to terrorism in particular and political violence more generally. I retired from teaching in 2015 to have more time to write. I’ve written about genocide (Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder), about self-sacrifice (The Marvel of Martyrdom: The Power of Self Sacrifice in a Selfish World), and about terrorism (Friction: How Conflict Radicalizes Them and Us). 

Clark's book list on to understand the experience of men in combat

Clark McCauley Why did Clark love this book?

Mowat’s title is taken from John Keats’ poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci: “O what can ail thee, Knight in arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the Lake, And no birds sing!” 

Best known for his books People of the Deer and Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat here turns his naturalist’s eye to the experience of war. His brief memoir describes joining, training, and fighting as part of Canadian forces in WWII. He led a rifle platoon in the invasion of Sicily and up the spine of Italy against fierce German resistance. From humorous to horrible, from youthful fervor to enormous weariness, Mowat takes us with him. He was relieved of combat duty after crying over the unconscious body of a friend brought in with an enemy bullet in his head. I love this book for its vivid observations of men before, during, and after…

By Farley Mowat,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked And No Birds Sang as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Turned away from the Royal Canadian Air Force for his apparent youth and frailty, Farley Mowat joined the infantry in 1940. The young second lieutenant soon earned the trust of the soldiers under his command, and was known to bend army rules to secure a stout drink, or find warm -- if nonregulation -- clothing. But when Mowat and his regiment engaged with elite German forces in the mountains of Sicily, the optimism of their early days as soldiers was replaced by despair. With a naturalist's eyes and ears, Mowat takes in the full dark depths of war; his moving…


Book cover of A Thousand Shall Fall

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

As a pilot with Bomber Command, Murray Peden flew thirty combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. While many bomber veterans have written solid memoirs to their experiences, this book is also a fine examination of the Bomber Command Campaign. To my knowledge, no other memoir of Bomber Command garnered the praise of its British Commander, Royal Air Force Marshal, Sir Arthur (Bomber) Harris. “I consider it not only the best and most true to life ‘war’ book I’ve ever read about this war, but the best about all the wars of my lifetime,” Harris wrote. Not only does it relate the story of Bomber Command operations, but it authentically captures the flavour of life experienced by its aircrews both during missions and in the downtime between. Peden was a gifted writer with a mastery of language that combined with a keen ability as a witness to war…

By Murray Peden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the finest war memoirs ever written.

During World War II, Canada trained tens of thousands of airmen under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Those selected for Bomber Command operations went on to rain devastation upon the Third Reich in the great air battles over Europe, but their losses were high. German fighters and anti-aircraft guns took a terrifying toll. The chances of surviving a tour of duty as a bomber crew were almost nil.

Murray Peden's story of his training in Canada and England, and his crew's operations on Stirlings and Flying Fortresses with 214 Squadron, has…


Book cover of Not All of Us Were Brave

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

Stan Scislowski’s Not All of Us Were Brave is a deeply honest portrayal of war from the perspective of a private soldier. Serving with the Perth Regiment, Scislowski was in the thick of virtually every battle that I Canadian Corps fought from January 1944 to January 1945. His masterful recounting of combat and the grind of military life when not on the sharp end if unforgettable. There are moments of remarkable courage intermingled with numbing fear and despair wherein it is never certain how Scislowski or his comrades are going to respond to the latest danger and usually chaotic mission. Mere chance determines those who live and those who die. Scislowski survives, but not before descending into post-traumatic stress disorder that takes him from the field. As with battle, Scislowski is brutally honest about this experience as well. In my Canadian Battle Series books about the Italian Campaign, many passages…

By Stanley Scislowski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not All of Us Were Brave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wonderfully insightful guidance on the crucial issue of change in our lives, which explains both how to handle change and how to create it - from the bestselling author of The Purpose of Your Life and The Celestine Experiential Guide.

In her previous books, noted intuitive counsellor Dr Carol Adrienne helped readers use intuition and the power of synchronicity to identify their purpose in life. Now, in this time of social and economic turbulence, she helps them take the next step: staying true to one's purpose and moving forward rather than staying stuck.

In this timely and invaluable handbook, Adrienne…


Book cover of Battle Diary: From D-Day and Normandy to the Zuider Zee and VE

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

On June 6, 1944, Charles (Charlie) Martin was twenty-four and one of the youngest Company Sergeant Majors in the Queen’s Own Rifles. He was also one of the first Canadian soldiers to pile out of a landing craft onto Juno Beach in the face of heavy German machine-gun fire. From that day on the beach to when he was finally wounded for the first time on April 16, 1945, Martin was always at the forefront of the battle. While an excellent account of his combat experience, Martin also deeply examines the role of a Company Sergeant Major in leading and running an infantry company during the war. And he provides detailed descriptions of how such a company conducted itself during specific types of combat from patrols, to set-piece assaults, to setting up defensive positions. For anyone wanting to understand the experience of soldiers in World War II, Battle Diary is…

By Charles Cromwell Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fast-paced account by a soldier who was twice decorated. Charlie Martin, company sergeant-major in the Queen's Own, was with his beloved A Company in all of the significant Normandy actions.


Book cover of D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of 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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

Published in time for the 50th anniversary of D-Day (Operation Overlord) in 1994, Ambrose’s 656-page tome covers the broad scope of the massive, history-changing operation, with special attention paid to the parachute and glider operations. The author details the overall planning of the air-and-sea operation—and analyzes why the most carefully planned invasion in history nearly went terribly wrong. This is the ultimate history of the battle that changed the outcome of World War II.

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chronicles the events, politics, and personalities of this pivotal day in World War II, shedding light on the strategies of commanders on both sides and the ramifications of the battle.


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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…


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