100 books like War of Attrition

By William Philpott,

Here are 100 books that War of Attrition fans have personally recommended if you like War of Attrition. 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 Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I

Adam Zamoyski Author Of Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe

From my list on to truly understand the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Adam Zamoyski is a British historian of Polish origin. He is the author of over a dozen award winning books. His family originates in Poland. His parents left the country when it was invaded by Germany and Russia in 1939, and were stranded in exile when the Soviets took it over at the end of World War II. Drawn to it as much by the historical processes at work there as by family ties, Zamoyski began to visit Poland in the late 1960s. His interest in the subject is combined with a feel for its connections to the history and culture of other nations, and a deep understanding of the pan-European context.

Adam's book list on to truly understand the First World War

Adam Zamoyski Why did Adam love this book?

This book provides a radically alternative perspective on what this event meant for ordinary people. Using a wide range of letters, diaries, and memoirs, Neiberg reveals that most people had no idea what the war was about and saw no good reason for it, while the soldiers were often confused as to whom they were fighting and which part of the world they were in. It is a short book but an enlightening read.

By Michael Neiberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The common explanation for the outbreak of World War I depicts Europe as a minefield of nationalism, needing only the slightest pressure to set off an explosion of passion that would rip the continent apart. But in a crucial reexamination of the outbreak of violence, Michael Neiberg shows that ordinary Europeans, unlike their political and military leaders, neither wanted nor expected war during the fateful summer of 1914. By training his eye on the ways that people outside the halls of power reacted to the rapid onset and escalation of the fighting, Neiberg dispels the notion that Europeans were rabid…

Book cover of Enduring the Great War: Combat, Morale and Collapse in the German and British Armies

Tim Cook Author Of The Secret History of Soldiers: How Canadians Survived the Great War

From my list on the Great War and why it haunts us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tim Cook is the Great War historian at the Canadian War Museum. Since 2002, he has curated the permanent First World War gallery of the CWM, which has been visited by an estimated 8 million people, and he has created many temporary, traveling, and digital exhibitions. He is also the author or editor of 13 books of Canadian military history. For his contributions to the study of Canadian history, he is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Order of Canada. He has selected five books that cover the scope of the war, from its origins to the legacy.

Tim's book list on the Great War and why it haunts us

Tim Cook Why did Tim love this book?

Amid the industrial war of fire and fury, a key question remains on how the soldiers survived. Watson’s book explores the experience for British and German soldiers, drawing upon their letters and diaries. Enduring the Great War offers new ways to understand the war of the trenches, how morale was sustained, and it provides an inner portrait into the men who took in the grinding warfare.

By Alexander Watson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book is an innovative comparative history of how German and British soldiers endured the horror of the First World War. Unlike existing literature, which emphasises the strength of societies or military institutions, this study argues that at the heart of armies' robustness lay natural human resilience. Drawing widely on contemporary letters and diaries of British and German soldiers, psychiatric reports and official documentation, and interpreting these sources with modern psychological research, this unique account provides fresh insights into the soldiers' fears, motivations and coping mechanisms. It explains why the British outlasted their opponents by examining and comparing the motives…

Book cover of Your Death Would Be Mine: Paul and Marie Pireaud in the Great War

Richard S. Fogarty Author Of Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918

From my list on France and the first World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian of modern Europe and France and have focused my research and writing on the First World War for almost 30 years now. The war remains the “original catastrophe” of the catastrophic 20th century and continues to shape our world in decisive ways here in the 21st century.  I don’t think there are many topics that are of clearer and more urgent interest, and what fascinates me most is how every day, individual people experienced these colossal events, events that seemed only very personal and intimate to most of them at the time.  It is with this in mind that I’ve chosen the books on my list.

Richard's book list on France and the first World War

Richard S. Fogarty Why did Richard love this book?

One of the very best books in English about France during this time, Hanna mines a treasure trove of letters between a married peasant couple from southwest France to tell an intimate history of the war, of its effects on families, women, villages, men, and the countryside. War stories take place on battlefields, of course, but also in homes and in hearts. Anyone wanting to understand the experience of the Great War at the front, on the home front, and everywhere in between, should start here.

By Martha Ann,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Your Death Would Be Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul and Marie Pireaud, a young peasant couple from southwest France, were newlyweds when World War I erupted. With Paul in the army from 1914 through 1919, they were forced to conduct their marriage mostly by correspondence. Drawing upon the hundreds of letters they wrote, Martha Hanna tells their moving story and reveals a powerful and personal perspective on war.

Civilians and combatants alike maintained bonds of emotional commitment and suffered the inevitable miseries of extended absence. While under direct fire at Verdun, Paul wrote with equal intensity and poetic clarity of the brutality of battle and the dietary needs…

Book cover of The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century

Benjamin Carter Hett Author Of The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic

From my list on the legacy of the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a law school graduate heading for my first job when, unable to think of anything better to do with my last afternoon in London, I wandered through the First World War galleries of the Imperial War Museum. I was hypnotized by a slide show of Great War propaganda posters, stunned by their clever viciousness in getting men to volunteer and wives and girlfriends to pressure them. Increasingly fascinated, I started reading about the war and its aftermath. After several years of this, I quit my job at a law firm and went back to school to become a professor. And here I am.

Benjamin's book list on the legacy of the First World War

Benjamin Carter Hett Why did Benjamin love this book?

David Reynolds is simply one of the smartest and most original historians operating today. Do we imagine that no one thought much about the poems of Wilfred Owen until the 1960s? Do we think about how important the fiftieth anniversary of the Somme was for the politics of Ireland? This book is packed full of perceptive and original insights about the Great War’s very long legacy.

By David Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the most violent conflicts in the history of civilization, World War I has been strangely forgotten in American culture. It has become a ghostly war fought in a haze of memory, often seen merely as a distant preamble to World War II. In The Long Shadow critically acclaimed historian David Reynolds seeks to broaden our vision by assessing the impact of the Great War across the twentieth century. He shows how events in that turbulent century-particularly World War II, the Cold War, and the collapse of Communism-shaped and reshaped attitudes to 1914-18.

By exploring big themes such as…

Book cover of The Defeat of Imperial Germany, 1917-1918

Eric Dorn Brose Author Of The Kaiser's Army: The Politics of Military Technology in Germany During the Machine Age, 1870-1918

From my list on the German army in World War One.

Why am I passionate about this?

I retired from Drexel University in 2015 after thirty-six years as a professor of German and European History of the 19th and 20th Centuries. My sub-specialty in the History of Technology carried over into publications that over the years focused increasingly on the Prussian/German Army (The Politics of Technological Change in Prussia [1993] and The Kaiser’s Army [2001]) and naval conflict (Clash of the Capital Ships [2021]).  

Eric's book list on the German army in World War One

Eric Dorn Brose Why did Eric love this book?

Paschall brings to this book his insightful experience of army organizations and war as an infantry officer and veteran of the Vietnam conflagration. Readers can follow in detail the allied offensives of 1917, Germany’s last gasp effort to win on the Western Front in 1918 after Russia’s collapse in the east, and the retreat and breakdown of the once impressive German army in the waning months of the war.  

By Rod Paschall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Defeat of Imperial Germany, 1917-1918 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

January 1917. On the Western Front the armies of Imperial Germany, Great Britain, and France were locked in grim stalemate. Repeated attempts by both sides to achieve breakthrough in the face of machine-gun fire, barbed wire, long-range artillery, and poison gas had brought only enormous casualties. The Defeat of Imperial Germany focuses on the innovative plans created by generals on both sides in their struggles to dislodge the entrenched enemy and to restore maneuver and victory on the Western Front. In a series of vivid analyses of successive offensives, Paschall examines the problems of command and what happened when the…

Book cover of The Swordbearers: Supreme Command in the First World War

Nick Lloyd Author Of The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918

From my list on the Western Front of WW1 and what it was like.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nick Lloyd is Professor of Modern Warfare at King's College London, based at the Defence Academy UK in Shrivenham, Wiltshire. He is the author of five books, including Passchendaele: A New History, which was a Sunday Times bestseller, and most recently, The Western Front: A History of the First World War. He lives with his family in Cheltenham.

Nick's book list on the Western Front of WW1 and what it was like

Nick Lloyd Why did Nick love this book?

Published almost sixty years ago, this compelling study of four senior commanders who served (mostly) on the Western Front remains as fresh as when it was first written. Barnett’s prose is exquisite, bringing us directly into the world of Helmuth von Moltke, John Jellicoe, Philippé Pétain, and Erich Ludendorff, telling us how they coped (or not) with the enormous stresses and strains they encountered as ‘supreme commanders’. It is a stunning portrait of men (and their command systems) at war. 

By Correlli Barnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Interprets the major events of World War I through an analysis of the actions and characters of four supreme commanders, Ludendorff, Petain, Jellicoe, and Moltke

Book cover of The Road Back

Richard Zimler Author Of The Incandescent Threads

From my list on survivors of a horrific trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 33 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. As anyone who reads my latest novel will discover, I have been greatly influenced the mythology and mystical traditions of various religions, especially Judaism (kabbalah). Happily, I discovered early on that I adore writing about people who have been systematically persecuted and silenced. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to explore taboo subjects and topics that others would prefer to forget or conceal. When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on survivors of a horrific trauma

Richard Zimler Why did Richard love this book?

World War I caused 20 million deaths and left 21 million wounded.

Soldiers who survived the gas attacks and trench warfare often returned to societies eager to forget the atrocities of the conflict and move on. Remarque’s insightfully written novel details the struggles of three German soldiers who return home only to discover that they may have no place in a nation that has learned almost nothing from what they regard as a senseless and immoral war.

In May of 1933, this novel and the rest of Remarque's writing were declared “unpatriotic” by the Nazi dictatorship and all his novels were banned.

By Erich Maria Remarque,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After surviving several horrifying years in the inferno of the Western Front, a young German soldier and his cohorts return home at the end of WW1. Their road back to life in civilian world is made arduous by their bitterness about what they find in post-war society. A captivating story, one of Remarque's best.

Book cover of ANZACS on the Western Front: The Australian War Memorial Battlefield Guide

Ross McMullin Author Of Life So Full of Promise: further biographies of Australia's lost generation

From my list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an experienced historian, biographer, and storyteller. I’ve written widely about Australian politics, social history, sport, and World War I. My biography of Australia’s most famous fighting general, Pompey Elliott, won multiple national awards, and I assembled his extraordinary letters and diaries in a separate book, Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. Another biography, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, about a remarkably versatile artist–writer who was Australia’s first official war artist, was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. My multi-biography Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, and I’ve written a sequel, Life So Full of Promise.

Ross' book list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front

Ross McMullin Why did Ross love this book?

My choice here could have been Douglas Newton’s superb Hell-Bent about Australia’s entry into the conflict, or various other fine books by renowned historians, but I can’t go past this one by an expert on Australia in WWI.

Peter Pedersen’s PhD on Monash as a commander became a fine book; his authoritative survey of the AIF during the war entitled The Anzacs: Gallipoli to the Western Front is another work of high quality; and he has also produced several studies of notable AIF battles. But my recommendation is a different publication — his extraordinary Western Front guidebook. Stay with me while I explain why.

Anzacs on the Western Front is lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs, and informed by his comprehensive detailed familiarity with what Australians did. It’s crucial for anyone visiting France and Belgium with the aim of pursuing particular engagements great or small, both to plan your…

By Peter Pedersen, Chris Roberts (contributor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked ANZACS on the Western Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A newly updated, lavishly illustrated account of the ANZACs involvement in the Western Front—complete with walking and driving tours of 28 battlefields. 

With rare photographs and documents from the Australian War Memorial archive and extensive travel information, this is the most comprehensive guide to the battlefields of the Western Front on the market. Every chapter covers not just the battles, but the often larger-than-life personalities who took part in them. Following a chronological order from 1916 through 1918, the book leads readers through every major engagement the Australian and New Zealanders fought in and includes tactical considerations and extracts from…

Book cover of The Illusion Of Victory: America In World War I

Stephen L. Harris Author Of Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York City's Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line

From my list on World War I and America's role in it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading my great uncle’s war letters home to Kansas City and seeing his artwork—he was a magazine illustrator in civilian life and then editor of the 27th Empire Division’s magazine, Gas Attack—I knew, as a writer, I had to put his story down on paper. What his National Guard regiment did, the 107th, simply blew me away. From writing about what the 107th endured in the Great War, I was carried away to tackle the all-black 369th Regiment, famously known as Harlem’s Hell Fighters. I then had to tell the story of New York City’s most famous regiment, the Fighting 69th. My trilogy of New York’s National Guard in the war is now done.

Stephen's book list on World War I and America's role in it

Stephen L. Harris Why did Stephen love this book?

The late historian, Thomas Fleming, was a friend. It was an article he wrote for American Heritage magazine in 1968, “Two Argonnes,” about his father, a lieutenant in the 78th Division, that inspired me to write my first World War I book centered on my great uncle as the main character.

Thomas authored 19 books, The Illusion of Victory, is his last book, and he paints a different picture of America’s role in the war, showing how President Wilson and our country were “duped” by Great Britain and France to enter the war, thinking the war was almost won. He not only writes about the Western Front but goes into detail about the home front. After reading his book, you’ll get a different perspective on World War I.

In 2020, to honor one of our most imminent historians, Military History Quarterly magazine inaugurated the annual Thomas Fleming Award for…

By Thomas Fleming,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this sweeping historical canvas, Thomas Fleming undertakes nothing less than a drastic revision of our experience in World War I. He reveals how the British and French duped Wilson into thinking the war was as good as won, and there would be no need to send an army overseas. He describes a harried president making speech after speech proclaiming America's ideals while supporting espionage and sedition acts that sent critics to federal prisons. And he gives a harrowing account of how the Allies did their utmost to turn the American Expeditionary Force into cannon fodder on the Western Front.Thoroughly…

Book cover of Mr Standfast (1919).

Wesley Britton Author Of Behind Alien Lines

From my list on containing the origins of Spy-fi.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Wesley Britton is the author of four non-fiction books—Spy Television, Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film, Onscreen and Undercover: The Ultimate Book of Movie Espionage, and The Encyclopedia of TV Spies. He's also the author of eight Beta-Earth Chronicles sci-fi stories. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents. He earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas. In 2016 he retired from teaching English at Harrisburg Area Community College, after 33 years as an instructor. He lives with his wife, Grace, their dog Joey and their cat Molly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Wesley also has a Radio show and podcast called Remember When.

Wesley's book list on containing the origins of Spy-fi

Wesley Britton Why did Wesley love this book?

The most influential spy novelist of them all, John Buchan, had the Germans planning to disable the British army with anthrax germs. While an admittedly small part of all the various plots in the complex novel, Buchan’s Richard Hannay touched all the bases in the five books in which he starred. For another example, in 1924 The Three Hostages, international demigods stirred up trouble with brainwashing and hypnotism. This device was a popular weapon employed by the likes of Fu Manchu.

By John Buchan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mr Standfast (1919). as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in the later years of World War I, Brigadier-General Hannay is recalled from active service on the Western Front to undertake a secret mission hunting for a dangerous German agent at large in Britain. Hannay is required to work undercover disguised as a pacifist, roaming the country incognito to investigate a German spy and his agents, and then heads to the Swiss Alps to save Europe from being overwhelmed by the German army

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