100 books like The Silverplate Bombers

By Richard H. Campbell,

Here are 100 books that The Silverplate Bombers fans have personally recommended if you like The Silverplate Bombers. 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 The Tibbets Story

Robert O. Harder Author Of The Three Musketeers of the Army Air Forces: From Hitler's Fortress Europa to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

From my list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Who am I?

In May 1968, I arrived at my first duty station as a new B-52 navigator-bombardier. Later, at the bar, I was hailed by a booming voice from behind the beer taps. "Hi ya, lieutenant!" Moments later, he asked what I thought of the USAF so far. I said I was career-minded. ‘‘Hell, only the pilots get promoted; navigators get diddley-squat. Get out as soon as you can.” After he departed, the bartender came over. “Know who that was, lieutenant? He’s Tom Ferebee, the man who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima." The colonel had both underscored my dismal career prospects and instilled a lifelong passion for the subjects discussed in this book.

Robert's book list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

While researching my book, I was fortunate to become acquainted with the Tibbets family, including his second wife Andrea Quattrehomme and his grandson Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets IV (USAF Ret.). Their co-operation, coupled with the details in this autobiography, was instrumental in revealing what the man was really like.

In 1937, Tibbets graduated from the Kelly Field, Texas pilot school, the “West Point of the Air." Among the first to deploy to Europe in 1942, he flew the lead plane in the initial heavy bomber raid against Fortress Europa. Additionally, he often flew as personal pilot to flag officers, including Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. After 43 combat missions he was rotated home to help development of the troubled B-29 program, which directly led to his selection as commander of the world’s first atomic bomber force.

By Paul W. Tibbets,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

1 HARDCOVER BOOK WITH DUST COVER


Book cover of My True Course: Dutch Van Kirk Northumberland to Hiroshima

Robert O. Harder Author Of The Three Musketeers of the Army Air Forces: From Hitler's Fortress Europa to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

From my list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Who am I?

In May 1968, I arrived at my first duty station as a new B-52 navigator-bombardier. Later, at the bar, I was hailed by a booming voice from behind the beer taps. "Hi ya, lieutenant!" Moments later, he asked what I thought of the USAF so far. I said I was career-minded. ‘‘Hell, only the pilots get promoted; navigators get diddley-squat. Get out as soon as you can.” After he departed, the bartender came over. “Know who that was, lieutenant? He’s Tom Ferebee, the man who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima." The colonel had both underscored my dismal career prospects and instilled a lifelong passion for the subjects discussed in this book.

Robert's book list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

When Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, the Enola Gay’s crack navigator, decided to self-publish his memoirs, he was over 90. He told me he wanted it as a legacy to his family. Many of his friends, however, said he waited until everyone else was dead so he could have the last word! Knowing Dutch’s impish sense of humor, I suspect it was a little of both.

No matter. Sue Dietz has done a wonderful job of chronicling Van Kirk’s long and eventful life. Further, it allowed me a clearer window into the life of bombardier Tom Ferebee—Dutch’s lifelong best friend. Just as important, Sue was extremely generous in allowing me to liberally quote from her work; my book is the better for it. 

By Suzanne Simon Dietz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On an early August morning in 1945, a Boeing Silverplate B-29 Superfortress took-off from the Tinian airfield amidst an unpublicized Hollywood-like atmosphere for the first atomic strike mission in the history of civilization. The young captain made his first notation, Time Takeoff 0245, as he again performed his duties to keep the pilot on course across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. So began Special Mission No. 13 with hopes to bring an end to the devastation and killing of millions that occurred during World War II. The aerial navigator’s name was Theodore Jerome Van Kirk, a self-described Huck…


Book cover of The 509th Remembered

Robert O. Harder Author Of The Three Musketeers of the Army Air Forces: From Hitler's Fortress Europa to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

From my list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Who am I?

In May 1968, I arrived at my first duty station as a new B-52 navigator-bombardier. Later, at the bar, I was hailed by a booming voice from behind the beer taps. "Hi ya, lieutenant!" Moments later, he asked what I thought of the USAF so far. I said I was career-minded. ‘‘Hell, only the pilots get promoted; navigators get diddley-squat. Get out as soon as you can.” After he departed, the bartender came over. “Know who that was, lieutenant? He’s Tom Ferebee, the man who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima." The colonel had both underscored my dismal career prospects and instilled a lifelong passion for the subjects discussed in this book.

Robert's book list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

A meticulously compiled coffee-table ‘yearbook’ of the 509th Composite Group, including over 850 photos of people, places, and planes, along with 346 pages of text. A sometimes hard-to-come-by collector’s volume that is always pricey, it is nevertheless worth every penny. One will discover information nuggets here that cannot be found anywhere else. A must-book for anyone interested in the 509th CG. As told by the veterans who dropped the atomic bombs on Japan.

By Robert Krauss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 509th Remembered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Complete History Of the 509th Composite Group the WWII Army Aircorps Unit that dropped the Atomic Bombs on Japan. From their formation In 1944 to their return home to the United States in December 1945. The Book contains over 125 personal stories from veterans of the unit as well as over 800 Illustrations and 8 page color section with pictures of the Nose Art of the B-29s.Photos of all crews, all missions and the history of each plane Is detailed In the book, as well as a complete roster of all men In the unit


Book cover of Now It Can Be Told: The Story Of The Manhattan Project

Robert O. Harder Author Of The Three Musketeers of the Army Air Forces: From Hitler's Fortress Europa to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

From my list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Who am I?

In May 1968, I arrived at my first duty station as a new B-52 navigator-bombardier. Later, at the bar, I was hailed by a booming voice from behind the beer taps. "Hi ya, lieutenant!" Moments later, he asked what I thought of the USAF so far. I said I was career-minded. ‘‘Hell, only the pilots get promoted; navigators get diddley-squat. Get out as soon as you can.” After he departed, the bartender came over. “Know who that was, lieutenant? He’s Tom Ferebee, the man who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima." The colonel had both underscored my dismal career prospects and instilled a lifelong passion for the subjects discussed in this book.

Robert's book list on the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

Due to my book’s world-important subject matter, I felt it was important to lay a solid background foundation. General Groves’ autobiography, the commander of World War Two’s Manhattan Project, provided it. Working closely with Dr. J. Robert “Oppie” Oppenheimer at Los Alamos, New Mexico and Col. Paul W. Tibbets at Wendover Field, Utah, together they created an operational atomic bomb combat unit.

Groves was instrumental in not only co-ordinating work between Oppenheimer’s people (theory) and Tibbets crews (combat practical), he supervised construction of the uranium and plutonium bombs at Oak Ridge, TN and Hanford, WA, respectively. The book details the incredible complexity of the most ambitious and expensive engineering feat in history. The Manhattan Project changed all our lives—forever.

By Leslie R. Groves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Now It Can Be Told as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer were the two men chiefly responsible for the building of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, code name "The Manhattan Project." As the ranking military officer in charge of marshalling men and material for what was to be the most ambitious, expensive engineering feat in history, it was General Groves who hired Oppenheimer (with knowledge of his left-wing past), planned facilities that would extract the necessary enriched uranium, and saw to it that nothing interfered with the accelerated research and swift assembly of the weapon.This is his story of the political, logistical,…


Book cover of U-505: The Lone Wolf of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

Joy Neal Kidney Author Of Leora's Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II

From my list on surprising and compelling WWII stories.

Who am I?

I am the author of two books (the second is Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression), a blogger, Iowa historian, and a regular contributor to Our American Stories. I’ve woven WII letters and newspaper clippings, along with memoirs and family stories, into the narrative. As Clabe and Leora Wilson’s oldest granddaughter, I also enjoy giving programs about the Wilson family, as well as TV and radio interviews.

Joy's book list on surprising and compelling WWII stories

Joy Neal Kidney Why did Joy love this book?

The day I was born, the German U-boat U-505 lurked off the west coast of Africa, awaiting American and Allied ships. The submarine was part of the Nazi’s fleet of “wolfpacks,” terrorizing the Atlantic, and even the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States. The book tells about the capture of the submarine after it had carried out a dozen patrols, sinking eight ships. It was secretly towed to Bermuda where the crew interned at a U.S. POW camp. Codebooks, an Enigma machine, and other materials found on board bolstered Allied codebreakers.

The U-505 was eventually donated to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, one of only four German WWII U-boats to survive as museum ships. The submarine was towed 3,000 miles from Portsmouth, NH, through the St. Lawrence River, and across four of the Great Lakes to Chicago. The logistics of getting the huge boat across traffic…

By James E. Wise, Jr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked U-505 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On 4 June 1944 the German submarine U-505 became the first man-of-war captured by the US Navy in battle on the high seas since the War of 1812. Attacked by the American hunter-killer force Task Group 22.3 off the coast of West Africa, the 750-ton U-boat was forced to the surface, boarded by American sailors and secretly towed to Bermuda. Renamed USS Nemo, it made a war bond subscription tour before docking to await scrapping. The book offers a vivid description of these events and continues the story by explaining how U-505 became a major attraction at the Museum of…


Book cover of Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II

Victoria Golden Author Of A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains: A Memoir

From my list on American heroes to inspire your teenager.

Who am I?

I’ve spent my life fascinated by stories about people. My mother, maybe seeing something in me early on, took me to get my own library card when I was three. The librarian protested but finally agreed. And so I became not only a reader but a writer of books, a book reviewer, and a book editor. Then one day this story about William Walters fell into my lap. For four years he told me about his extraordinary life spanning nine decades, and we turned it into a memoir. Now, more than ever, I treasure well-told stories about little-known folks who’ve accomplished great things, and I love the idea of sharing them with you.

Victoria's book list on American heroes to inspire your teenager

Victoria Golden Why did Victoria love this book?

If you and your family were ordered from your home by your government, deprived of your constitutional rights, and sent to a remote internment camp, would you volunteer to risk your life fighting for your country? Thousands of young Japanese American men did just that when they were isolated as possible spies and traitors after Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Eighteen thousand of these young men signed on as members of the Army’s 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed entirely of second-generation Japanese Americans, and distinguished themselves as some of the bravest Americans who ever lived. Sent into battles that at times looked purely suicidal, the 442nd became “the most decorated unit of its size and length of service in American history.” Brown’s riveting account follows four of these young men and a fifth who became a conscientious objector and eventually landed in prison, all the while fighting…

By Daniel James Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
One of NPR's "Books We Love" of 2021
Longlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

Winner of the Christopher Award

"Masterly. An epic story of four Japanese-American families and their sons who volunteered for military service and displayed uncommon heroism... Propulsive and gripping, in part because of Mr. Brown's ability to make us care deeply about the fates of these individual soldiers...a page-turner." - Wall Street Journal

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism and resistance, focusing on…


Book cover of Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

Harold J. Goldberg Author Of D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan

From my list on on World War II according to my students.

Who am I?

In 1974 I started my full-time teaching career at a small liberal arts college and realized how much I love teaching and discussing historical events with students. With Russian and Soviet history as my areas of specialization, expanding my course offerings to include World War II was a natural addition. My World War II class became extremely popular and led to demands that I take students to Europe to visit many of the places we discussed in class. Every summer for about ten years I led study-abroad trips to England, France, and Germany. Watching student reactions to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery made every trip worthwhile.

Harold's book list on on World War II according to my students

Harold J. Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

My students always identify with the story of E Company and its march across northern France and into Germany. As part of the 101st Airborne Division, the members of E Company parachuted into France as part of the D-Day invasion and then participated in a failed attempt to cross quickly into Germany in Operation Market Garden. At the end of 1944, Germany attempted to break through allied lines in the Battle of the Bulge, with E Company engaged in the crucial battle for Bastogne. Finally, inside Germany, E Company helped in the assault on Hitler’s alpine retreat called Eagle’s Nest. Throughout these battle stories, Ambrose focuses on one character in each chapter, allowing students to identify with individual struggles that create an emotional attachment between the reader and members of E Company.

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Band of Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They fought on Utah Beach, in Arnhem, Bastogne, the Bulge; they spearheaded the Rhine offensive and took possession of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden. Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. BAND OF BROTHERS is the account of the men of…


Book cover of Paratrooper!: The Saga of the U. S. Army and Marine Parachute and Glider Combat Troops during 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.

Who am I?

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?

This large (718 pages) book covers the entire history of U.S. military parachute and glider operations—from the early evolution of the concept through landings in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, Southern France, Holland, Battle of the Bulge, Leyte, Manila, and Corregidor. Anyone wanting to appreciate the myriad American parachute and glider operations will find a wealth of information in Devlin’s book.

By Gerald M. Devlin, William P. Yarborough,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Photographs and text document the bravery and daring exhibited by American parachute and glider combat forces and offer in-depth treatment of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and French parachute operations


Book cover of Against All Odds: A True Story of Ultimate Courage and Survival in World War II

Daniel P. Bolger Author Of The Panzer Killers: The Untold Story of a Fighting General and His Spearhead Tank Division's Charge into the Third Reich

From my list on American combat leaders in World War II.

Who am I?

I’m a combat veteran and longtime soldier trying to figure out my own wartime experiences by learning about what others did. Soldiers may join up for mom and apple pie and the grand old flag. But they fight for each other, and they follow leaders they trust. I tried to be one of those solid combat leaders. Since I had never been under fire before that day came, I endeavored to learn from—and write about—the lives of others who led soldiers in war. I’m still reading and still writing about battlefield leadership.

Daniel's book list on American combat leaders in World War II

Daniel P. Bolger Why did Daniel love this book?

This book made me think—and rethink—what I thought I knew about battlefield heroism. Nobody “wins” the Medal of Honor, nor is it “awarded.” It is earned under fire, often at the cost of one’s life and always in the face of ferocious hostile resistance. What sort of men do such deeds? Alex Kershaw knows. In Against All Odds, Kershaw tells the interwoven stories of Maurice Britt, Michael Daly, Audie Murphy, and Keith Ware, all combat key leaders in the 3rd Infantry Division during World War II.

By Alex Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*The instant New York Times bestseller*

The untold story of four of the most decorated soldiers of World War II—all Medal of Honor recipients—from the beaches of French Morocco to Hitler’s own mountaintop fortress, by the national bestselling author of The First Wave

“Pitch-perfect.”—The Wall Street Journal • “Riveting.”—World War II magazine • “Alex Kershaw is the master of putting the reader in the heat of the action.”—Martin Dugard

As the Allies raced to defeat Hitler, four men, all in the same unit, earned medal after medal for battlefield heroism. Maurice “Footsie” Britt, a former professional football player, became the…


Book cover of The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon

Leo Barron Author Of Patton at the Battle of the Bulge: How the General's Tanks Turned the Tide at Bastogne

From my list on the Battle of the Bulge and the soldiers who fought there.

Who am I?

I’ve written two books on the topic of the Battle of the Bulge and countless articles. These are my favorite books on the subject and three of the five books are cited in my own monographs. (Schrijvers wrote his book after I published mine and Kershaw’s work was only tangential to my subject matter).

Leo's book list on the Battle of the Bulge and the soldiers who fought there

Leo Barron Why did Leo love this book?

If stories of divisions and corps advancing and retreating over battlefields don’t pique your interest, then this book will. Kershaw’s tale of a single reconnaissance platoon under the command of a fresh-faced 1st Lieutenant Lyle Bouck as it fights for its life and delays an entire German kampfgruppe for several crucial hours is the stuff of legend. The platoon’s sacrifice contributed significantly to the eventual defeat of the 6th SS Panzer Army, whose mission was to seize Antwerp. Thanks to Bouck and his understrength platoon, that didn’t happen. I wonder why Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have not made this gripping human interest story into a blockbuster movie. Kershaw’s story, though, doesn’t end with the battle of Lanzerath. He follows the service members as they struggle to survive as prisoners-of-war in various German Stalags, scattered throughout the Reich. If you want to read a story about the personal experiences of…

By Alex Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the morning of December 16, 1944, eighteen men of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon attached to the 99th Infantry Division found themselves directly in the path of the main thrust of Hitler's massive Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they were told to hold their position "at all costs." Throughout the day, the platoon repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing hundreds of German soldiers. Only when they had run out of ammunition did they surrender to the enemy. But their long winter was just beginning. As POWs, the platoon experienced an ordeal far worse…


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