100 books like The Strategic Air Offensive against Germany 1939-1945

By Sir Charles Webster, Noble Frankland,

Here are 100 books that The Strategic Air Offensive against Germany 1939-1945 fans have personally recommended if you like The Strategic Air Offensive against Germany 1939-1945. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Yesterday's Gone

Sean Feast Author Of Halton Boys: True Tales from Pilots and Ground Crew Proud to be Called 'Trenchard Brats'

From my list on British Bomber Command in World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sean Feast has been a journalist and PR professional for more than 35 years and is a Director of a global marketing consultancy, Gravity Global. He is the author and co-author of more than 20 books on Bomber Command (seven with Grub St) with a particular specialism in Pathfinder Force. He co-authored the books that went with the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial and the International Bomber Command Centre. He is a Trustee of the RAF Pathfinder Archive.

Sean's book list on British Bomber Command in World War 2

Sean Feast Why did Sean love this book?

The book tells the story of the fictional Squadron Leader David Kirby, from the slums of Southampton, to flying training in Oklahoma, to his final operation in command of a Lancaster. Crisp was one of the most prolific stage and TV writers of his generation (credits include Secret Army, Colditz, and Enemy at the Door), and his novel has all of the authenticity of a man who clearly went through many of the experiences he describes. If you know nothing about Bomber Command and want to bring some meaning to the experiences they went through and the places they trained, and distinguish between your ITWs and OTUs, this is a great way of doing it with a fabulous story besides.

By N.J. Crisp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yesterday's Gone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The faded pages of a bomber Command pilot's log book have a powerful ability to evoke the events of forty years ago: like and death in another world and another war. It is the log book of Squadron Leader David Kirby, DSO, DFC, pilot of a four-engine Lancaster in the RAF's perilous and deadly night-after-night pounding of Germany, that triggers this absorbing novel.


Book cover of Pathfinder

Sean Feast Author Of Halton Boys: True Tales from Pilots and Ground Crew Proud to be Called 'Trenchard Brats'

From my list on British Bomber Command in World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sean Feast has been a journalist and PR professional for more than 35 years and is a Director of a global marketing consultancy, Gravity Global. He is the author and co-author of more than 20 books on Bomber Command (seven with Grub St) with a particular specialism in Pathfinder Force. He co-authored the books that went with the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial and the International Bomber Command Centre. He is a Trustee of the RAF Pathfinder Archive.

Sean's book list on British Bomber Command in World War 2

Sean Feast Why did Sean love this book?

My personal favourite is the book by the man himself – Pathfinder by Air Vice Marshal Donald Bennett. No-one could be better placed to chart the history and success of PFF than the C-in-C 8 Group himself, and his brilliantly direct style and merciless assassination of some of his contemporaries makes me wince and smile every time I read it. His thinly veiled attacks on 5 Group, 617 Squadron and Sir Ralph Cochrane (whose name is misspelled throughout!) are well-worth reading, though he is rather economical with the truth on occasion to support his own arguments and prejudices. If you never knew about the conflict between Bennett and Cochrane, and how betrayed Bennett felt by Harris when the latter supported the 5 Group method of target marking later in the war, this will open your eyes. And see if you don’t laugh out loud as I did when Bennett says…

By Don Bennett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennett was one of the most outstanding figures of the 2nd World War and the creator and leader of the legendary Pathfinder Force of 8 Group. His record as a brilliant pilot and navigator made him the obvious choice as leader of the Pathfinders, the elite force designed to carry out pioneering target-marking and precision-bombing of Nazi-occupied Europe. From the date of its inception almost every RAF Main Force attack was led by the Pathfinders. Night after night they spearheaded Bomber Command's assault on major German targets using increasingly sophisticated devices including radar, to increase the efficiency…


Book cover of Eighth Passenger: A Flight of Recollection & Discovery

Sean Feast Author Of Halton Boys: True Tales from Pilots and Ground Crew Proud to be Called 'Trenchard Brats'

From my list on British Bomber Command in World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sean Feast has been a journalist and PR professional for more than 35 years and is a Director of a global marketing consultancy, Gravity Global. He is the author and co-author of more than 20 books on Bomber Command (seven with Grub St) with a particular specialism in Pathfinder Force. He co-authored the books that went with the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial and the International Bomber Command Centre. He is a Trustee of the RAF Pathfinder Archive.

Sean's book list on British Bomber Command in World War 2

Sean Feast Why did Sean love this book?

My favourite autobiography is The Eighth Passenger by Miles Tripp. First published in 1969, the book charts the author’s journey to re-discover his former crewmates 30-years after they had last met and flown operations. He seeks to discover how they felt both then and now, and whether his experiences were shared. What really comes across is how extraordinarily ‘ordinary’ they all were, and yet how they gelled into an expert crew. One of their numbers is black, a rarity at the time and adding a certain significance today, and another proves particularly elusive such that you wonder whether he will ever be found. The author very cleverly weaves in the past and the present, their experiences as a Lancaster crew, and what happened after demob and a return to civilian life. It’s a very intelligent book that will ultimately lead you to the identity of The Eighth Passenger.

By Miles Tripp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a first-hand account of World War II combat-flying, enhanced by the addition of a series of notes in which the author reappraises, in the light of information learned since the first edition was published, some of the events described and the views expressed. Seven young men, brought together by chance from, almost literally, the four corners of the earth, wake up day after day - or are woken up in the middle of the night - fully aware that the odds on their seeing the sun rise again are not good. The author has been a novelist for…


Book cover of Night Bombing

Sean Feast Author Of Halton Boys: True Tales from Pilots and Ground Crew Proud to be Called 'Trenchard Brats'

From my list on British Bomber Command in World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sean Feast has been a journalist and PR professional for more than 35 years and is a Director of a global marketing consultancy, Gravity Global. He is the author and co-author of more than 20 books on Bomber Command (seven with Grub St) with a particular specialism in Pathfinder Force. He co-authored the books that went with the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial and the International Bomber Command Centre. He is a Trustee of the RAF Pathfinder Archive.

Sean's book list on British Bomber Command in World War 2

Sean Feast Why did Sean love this book?

My favourite reference book is another wartime publication, the little-known Night Bombing by Hector Hawton (who also wrote The Men who Fly). First published in 1944, the tiny volume looks at the history and principles of air bombing, including the technical aspects, and goes on to explore methods of attack, targets, and the effectiveness of enemy defences including the ballistic characteristics of various flak guns. It feels and reads like a contemporary handbook for bomber captains, and the fact that my copy still bears the signature of the original owner, a Flight Lieutenant with the DFC, probably tells you everything you need to know about its authenticity and importance.

By Hector Hawton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Night Bombing


Book cover of Keeping Watch: A WAAF in Bomber Command

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?

The WAAF played a crucial role in the RAF generally and in Bomber Command particularly, yet far too little has been written about or by them. This is the rare exception.

As Ms. Beck says in her introduction, the book captures not the exceptional, unusual, or heroic, but rather the everyday life of WAAF serving at the operational stations of RAF Bomber Command.

What I liked best about this book was the complete absence of melodrama. It is a straightforward, honest account full of ‘trivia’ that makes it a treasure trove of detailed information — something invaluable to the novelist!

By Pip Beck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A sensitively written true story by an RAF Bomber Command wartime R/T operator who talked down the crews on their return from operations, met them off duty, and often mourned their loss within days.


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 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 World War II Letters: A Glimpse into the Heart of the Second World War Through the Eyes of Those Who Were Fighting It

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

From my list on World War II letters.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

Finally, a book with WWII letters that doesn’t focus exclusively on the British or Americans! Some of the soldiers are also from Australia, New Zealand, and even Germany! It helps to have a broader view of the conflict and it is very interesting to observe the differences in points of view. Moreover, this book provides the reader with beautiful photos of the letter writers, in addition to their names and stories before and after the war. Unfortunately, there is little or no historical context surrounding each letter, which is not disturbing when one is already familiar with the subject but is essential to understand all their subtleties.

By Bill Adler (editor), Tracy Quinn McLennan (contributor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Writers from 20 Allied and Axis countries are gathered in this unique collection of letters from service-men and women to their friends, families and sweethearts. WORLD WAR II LETTERS provides an unflinching perspective on the lives of those who served throughout the world - in Europe, the Pacific, Northern Africa and Asia. Wide-ranging in scope, WORLD WAR II LETTERS includes writings by officers and infantry, nurses and doctors, pilots, POWs, those injured in action, killed in combat, and those reported missing. Introductory biographies and photographs vividly capture military life before, during and after the war.


Book cover of White Rose

Ann E. Burg Author Of Flooded: Requiem for Johnstown

From my list on historical verse for middle schoolers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Technology advances, scenery changes, but the human heart remains the same. As a writer, I hope to honor lives unnoticed or forgotten and have found that writing in verse affords me the truest, most uncorrupted pathway into the human heart. Each of the verse novels I’ve written or recommended here is spun from the strongest threads of time, place, and character. My hope is that the spare words within each book will build bridges across time and culture, and that those of us willing to open our hearts and cross these bridges will help create a more tolerant and peaceful world. 

Ann's book list on historical verse for middle schoolers

Ann E. Burg Why did Ann love this book?

This is based on the true story of Sophie Scholl, who courageously rebelled against the restrictions and horrors of the Nazi regime. White Rose was a more recent read and it saddened me to think that we've learned so little from the lessons of the past. Though it is a story with a tragic ending, White Rose reminded me how important it is to speak out against injustice before injustice becomes the norm. 

By Kip Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Disillusioned by the propaganda of Nazi Germany, Sophie Scholl, her brother, and his fellow soldiers formed the White Rose, a group that wrote and distributed anonymous letters criticizing the Nazi regime and calling for action from their fellow German citizens. The following year, Sophie and her brother were arrested for treason and interrogated for information about their collaborators. This debut novel recounts the lives of Sophie and her friends and highlights their brave stand against fascism in Nazi Germany.


Book cover of The Ragged Edge of Night

Karla M. Jay Author Of When We Were Brave

From my list on WWII with stories we haven’t heard before.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to write stories of historical injustice, so this is mainly the genre I read. In recent years, many new novels merely rehashed the same theme, such as the horror show known as Auschwitz or the other camps. Although those are worthy of the people who died there, I’m always on the hunt for a fresh story that has never been told about those tragic years. 

Karla's book list on WWII with stories we haven’t heard before

Karla M. Jay Why did Karla love this book?

The book tells the story of a small village near Stuttgart during wartime when poverty, hunger, fear, and uncertainty plague every member of the community. Even in the face of unthinkable horrors, the characters perform amazing acts of love, faith, bravery, and sacrifice and ultimately find forgiveness and hope for the future. I really enjoyed the vivid look at the lives of the German Resistance members and what they were willing to do to sacrifice while hiding the marginalized and criminalized citizens the Nazis hunted. Beautifully written as well.

By Olivia Hawker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man's search for light during the darkest times of World War II.

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage-in name only-to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too-atonement for failing to protect…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in RAF Bomber Command, Germany, and the United Kingdom?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about RAF Bomber Command, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

RAF Bomber Command Explore 8 books about RAF Bomber Command
Germany Explore 478 books about Germany
The United Kingdom Explore 564 books about the United Kingdom