The most recommended books about commandos

Who picked these books? Meet our 16 experts.

16 authors created a book list connected to commandos, and here are their favorite commando books.
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What type of commando book?


Book cover of The Red

S.B. Divya Author Of Machinehood

From my list on realistic near-future science fiction.

Who am I?

Back in college, I switched from being an astrophysics major to computational neuroscience. The reasons are complicated, but suffice it to say that I found the human brain to be as big of a mystery as black holes. I’ve worked as an engineer for two decades on applications ranging from medical devices, to digital music recognition, to high speed chip design. Writing science fiction is the second act of my life, and I love drawing on my science background to inform my stories. I especially love taking cutting-edge technology and thinking about how it could impact future society, from the global to the individual.

S.B.'s book list on realistic near-future science fiction

S.B. Divya Why did S.B. love this book?

First Light is another interesting exploration of artificial intelligence and brain/body modification. The story focuses on a soldier and has a good amount of techno-thriller type action. It keeps the pace nice and quick, and I found the main character and his squad to be full of fun, sympathetic characters.

Nagata has written some excellent far-future worlds (e.g. The Bohr Maker), but in this novel, she sticks to the upcoming decades, and along the way, she raises some great questions about morality and humanity.

By Linda Nagata,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015

Reality TV and advanced technology make for high drama in this political thriller that combines the military action of Zero Dark Thirty with the classic science fiction of The Forever War.

Lieutenant James Shelley, who has an uncanny knack for premeditating danger, leads a squad of advanced US Army military tasked with enforcing the peace around a conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. The squad members are linked wirelessly 24/7 to themselves and a central intelligence that guides them via drone relay—and unbeknownst to Shelley and his team, they are being recorded for a reality…

Book cover of The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

Catherine Ryan Hyde Author Of Seven Perfect Things

From my list on animals by people who actually understand them.

Who am I?

In addition to being the author of lots of books, I am a wrangler of lots of pets. I live with a dog, two cats, a Belgian warmblood horse who I rode in dressage for many years, and his pasture pal who is a miniature horse. I’m known for writing books with animals in which the animal is a character, not a caricature. So many authors don’t seem to know animals deeply, and so just insert them in a scene like a placeholder. But every animal is an individual, and I try to reflect that in my work.

Catherine Ryan's book list on animals by people who actually understand them

Catherine Ryan Hyde Why did Catherine Ryan love this book?

This is quite possibly the best nonfiction book I’ve read. I loved it so much that I traveled to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to see the Lipizzaner horses in person, and listened to the audiobook for a second time while traveling. This one has it all: History, suspense, people who care about horses, horses. As a plus, if you’re into audiobooks, the narrator of The Perfect Horse, Paul Boehmer, is the perfect voice. I would listen to this guy read a laundry list all day long. Put him to the task of reading a truly important story like this one and you will be educated and entertained. I can’t say enough good things about this book.

By Elizabeth Letts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II


In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an…

Book cover of Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq

Tim Pritchard Author Of Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War

From my list on battles that go wrong.

Who am I?

In 2003 I was travelling through Baghdad with US forces to report on the Iraq war. Suddenly an ear-shattering explosion cracked through our Humvee and a rush of hot debris swept past my face. The heavily armoured door warped inwards, and the vehicle lifted off the ground. Soldiers were screaming in terror and anger, clutching at bloody faces, arms, and legs. We’d been attacked by unknown members of the Iraqi resistance. The sheer terror of that moment gave me a new understanding of war  the sight, smells, sounds, and touch of combat – and a desire to tell the stories of the young soldiers who get caught up in it.  

Tim's book list on battles that go wrong

Tim Pritchard Why did Tim love this book?

This is a detailed account of a secret military mission behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War and how a series of minor setbacks can quickly escalate into a full-blown disaster. I first read it years before I'd had any knowledge of a battlefield. I read it again after I'd been caught up in my own terrifying experience of combat and took away a new appreciation of the realities of war – how stress on the battlefield narrows the field of vision to minute details which distort what is really going on. It's a lesson about war, but also about life – even with all the planning and the training, it's almost impossible to control what happens in the heat of battle. 

By Andy McNab,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sergeant Andy McNab recounts the story of the top secret mission that would reveal the secrets of the SAS to the world for the first time.

Their location: Iraq
Their mission: to sever a vital enemy underground communication link, to find and destroy mobile Scud launchers
Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero

When eight members of the elite SAS regiment embark on a highly covert operation, they are each laden with 15 stones of equipment, needing to tab 20km across the desert to reach their objective. But within days, their location is compromised. They engage in a fierce battle. They…

Book cover of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From my list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Who am I?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Boaz Dvir Why did Boaz love this book?

While I direct Penn State’s Holocaust Education Initiative and produce and write documentaries, books, and articles that involve the Holocaust, I am not an expert on this topic. I am a student of it. Studying the Holocaust for 30 years, I gaze in awe at the frontiers that remain to be explored. X Troop offers one of the latest examples. Prior to reading it, I’d never heard of the German and Austrian Jews who became British commandos during World War II. One of the lessons I picked up: We should follow these men’s examples of turning weaknesses—in their case, coming from enemy territories and facing suspicion and persecution—into strengths. This is far from a perfect book. As I read it, I found myself time and again wishing it showed more and told less. In several key spots, I wanted to better understand what these commandoes did and how they did.…

By Leah Garrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


June 1942. The shadow of the Third Reich falls across Europe. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan - a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees. This top secret unit becomes known as X Troop. Others simply call them a suicide squad.

From British internment camps, to the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp, Leah Garrett follows this band of brothers who will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis.

'A thrilling,…

Book cover of The Innocents

Eli Cranor Author Of Don't Know Tough

From my list on football from a quarterback turned novelist.

Who am I?

I scored my first touchdown at nine and went on to play quarterback at both the collegiate and professional levels. By twenty-six, I was the head coach of a backwoods high school in Arkansas. My debut novel, Don’t Know Tough, is a football-centric thriller and was named one of the “Best Crime Novels” of 2022 by the New York Times. After that book's publication, I’ve had readers reach out and ask about my favorite football novels, so I was thrilled to get the chance to compile them all into one list. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have. 

Eli's book list on football from a quarterback turned novelist

Eli Cranor Why did Eli love this book?

Ace Atkins played defensive end for Auburn. His picture once graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. His dad coached for the 49ers. In other words, Ace knows football, and that fact is on full display in The Innocents. Although the plot doesn’t center around football, this novel features one of the best depictions of a Southern, sleazeball coach you’ll ever find in fiction. Oh, and it’s a part of Ace’s Quinn Colson series. So if you like it, there’s more where that came from!

By Ace Atkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Quinn Colson returns to Jericho, Mississippi, and gets pulled back into a world of greed and violence in this gritty, darkly comic tale from New York Times bestselling Southern crime master Ace Atkins.
After being voted out of office and returning to the war zone he’d left behind, Quinn Colson is back in Jericho, trying to fix things with his still-married high school girlfriend and retired Hollywood stuntman father. Quinn knows he doesn't owe his hometown a damn thing, but he can't resist the pull of becoming a lawman again and accepts a badge from his former colleague, foul-mouthed acting…

Book cover of LRRP Company Command: The Cav's LRP/Rangers in Vietnam, 1968-1969

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the LRRPs: Rangers in Vietnam

From my list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War.

Who am I?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. I was an instructor in the Florida Phase of the U.S. Army Ranger School for two years.

Michael's book list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War

Michael Lee Lanning Why did Michael love this book?

How an LRP company commander (1st Cavalry Division) produced one of the most outstanding reconnaissance units of the Vietnam War. Captain George Paccerelli was tough on his men but their Area of Operations composed of triple canopy jungle along the Cambodian border defended by four enemy divisions called for only the best. The book contains nearly unbelievable accounts of reconnaissance, ambushes, and running firefights.

By Kregg P. Jorgenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gripping account of ordinary men with extraordinary courage and heroism who had one last chance to make good—and one helluva war zone to do it in.
The new commander of the Company E, 52d Infantry LRRPs, Capt. George Paccerelli, was tough, but the men’s new AO was brutal. It was bad enough that the provinces of Binh Long, Phuoc Long, and Tay Ninh bordered enemy-friendly Cambodia, but their vast stretches of double- and triple-canopy jungle were also home to four crack enemy divisions, including the Viet Cong’s notorious 95C Regiment.

Only the long-range patrols could deliver the critical strategic…

Book cover of The Ranger

Mike Attebery Author Of Firepower

From my list on crime novels if you appreciate style and humor.

Who am I?

I have loved mysteries and crime thrillers since I worked at the legendary R.J. Julia Booksellers in high school. A lifelong love of books and movies led me to pursue a career in screenwriting and later in indie publishing. My most popular books, including Seattle On Ice, Chokecherry Canyon, and The Grimwood Trilogy all mix fast-paced action with film references and plenty of humor.

Mike's book list on crime novels if you appreciate style and humor

Mike Attebery Why did Mike love this book?

Ace Atkins is a master of the crime genre. It’s no wonder Robert B. Parker’s estate tapped him to carry on the Spenser series. He’s great at capturing places and the internal monologues of weary men. He’s also able to tell stories just seedy enough to keep readers curious, without making them cringe. The first book in Atkins’ Quinn Colson series is on par with Elmore Leonard’s Raylan Givens books. Quinn seems entirely real, the small town he returns to after a years-long absence feels lived in and believable. And the pacing is masterful. Whereas Perry drags readers along for the action, Atkins makes you feel as though you’re sitting in the backseat, riding down the winding roads of Tibbehah County in northeast Mississippi as Quinn uneasily approaches another backcountry crime scene.    

By Ace Atkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Northeast Mississippi is hill country, rugged and notorious for outlaws since the Civil War, where killings are as commonplace as they were in the Old West. To Quinn Colson, just back from a tour of Afghanistan, it's home. But home has changed.

Quinn returns to a place overrun by corruption. His uncle, the county sheriff, is dead - officially it was suicide, but others whisper murder. In the days that follow, it will be up to Colson, now an Army Ranger, to discover the truth - not only about his uncle, but also about his family, friends, hometown and himself.…

Book cover of Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

W. C. Bauers Author Of Unbreakable

From my list on war stories to wreck a boring weekend.

Who am I?

I sell books for a living, raise three boys on my own, serve in my local church, and write on the side. I love stories about people doing hard things. If it’s not hard, why bother? People who serve do hard things for a career, and that inspires me. I also love the stars. So. Many. Stars. As author Jack McDevitt once said, and I’ll paraphrase him here, the canvas is just too big to have been made just for us [humans]. There’s more out there. I know it. So, put hard things like military service and vast things like space together and you end up with a love for military fiction and war stories.

W. C.'s book list on war stories to wreck a boring weekend

W. C. Bauers Why did W. C. love this book?

Fearless is the true story of Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown. Brown had no business becoming a Seal. Drug addict and a rap sheet? The guy even stole from his parents, and his dad had him locked up for it. It’s a miracle the service took him at all. This guy’s story is stranger than fiction and true to life. Read it and get inspired. Brown’s story shows us how to human.  

By Eric Blehm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ECPA BESTSELLER, GOLD AWARD—Over 500,000 copies sold! Fearless takes you deep into SEAL Team SIX, straight to the heart of one of its most legendary operators.
When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready: In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, “I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my…

Book cover of Strategy for Defeat: Vietnam in Retrospect

James McLeroy Author Of Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc

From my list on the Vietnam War from a commando who served there.

Who am I?

In 1965, I voluntarily enlisted in the Army as a draft exempt, 26-year-old high school teacher. After completing the infantry officer, airborne, ranger, jumpmaster, special forces, and jungle warfare courses, in 1967 I was assigned to a Special Forces A-team in I Corps, Vietnam. In 1968, I volunteered for SOG, a top-secret recon-commando unit at a small, remote SF jungle camp that was later attacked by 3,000 to 4,000 North Vietnamese Army troops. With a master’s degree in history, I have since studied all aspects of the Vietnam War. Gregory Sanders, also a Vietnam veteran, and I researched, wrote, and in 2019 published a unique tactical, operational, and strategic narrative and analysis of that battle titled BAIT: the Battle of Kham Duc

James' book list on the Vietnam War from a commando who served there

James McLeroy Why did James love this book?

As a Vietnam combat veteran at the height of the Vietnam War, I was and still am infuriated by the gross misrepresentation of the war by the U.S. media. It conceals the extreme vulnerability of North Vietnam, where the war originated and was always controlled, to a truly strategic air campaign that could have ended the war in less than a year and made their conquest of South Vietnam impossible. This book by the former commander of all U.S. forces in SE Asia explains exactly how.

By U.S. Grant Sharp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A former Commander in Chief during the Vietnam war examines official documents, dispatches, and high-level decision-making processes to critcally analyze American military and civilian strategy

Book cover of Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills

Ronny Bruce Author Of The Grunts of Wrath: A Memoir Examining Modern War and Mental Health

From my list on infantry life during modern war.

Who am I?

I’m an OG ATLien (born in Atlanta, Georgia) and served in the US Marine Corps and the US Army. I hold a degree from Kennesaw State University and taught high school social studies from 2004 - 2006, before my military reenlistment which jumpstarted the events in my memoir.   

Ronny's book list on infantry life during modern war

Ronny Bruce Why did Ronny love this book?

Charles Henderson wrote a banger of a true story involving the exploits of USMC scout sniper Carlos Hathcock during Vietnam.

Hathcock isn’t your average grunt, though. He’s a highly skilled and award-winning shooter who is arguably the greatest American sniper of all time. Sometimes crawling through thick jungle, mud, and extreme filth, Hathcock stalked his human prey for hours and days - patiently waiting for the perfect kill shot.

If a top Vietnamese general needed to be taken out, Gunny Hathcock got the call. While tracking his objective, Hathcock navigated the harsh jungles and hills of Southeast Asia better than his enemies who lived underground there. This book takes you on a helluva ride.  

By Charles Henderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Marine Sniper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The explosive true story of Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a legendary Marine sniper in the Vietnam War.

There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.

He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines-on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.

This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos…