The best Luftwaffe books 📚

Browse the best books on the Luftwaffe as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

By Adam Makos, Larry Alexander

Why this book?

Pound-for-pound, this is perhaps the best military aviation book on the market today.  During the darkest days of World War II, A Higher Call tells the story of a seemingly-improbable act of gallantry in the skies over Europe.  A wounded and hardly-airworthy B-17 limps through the sky near the conclusion of its first mission. It is soon tailed by a Bf-109, the Luftwaffe’s deadliest fighter. The Messerschmitt pilot could end the B-17 crewmen’s lives with the pull of a trigger.  But what happens next will shock the reader.  

From the list:

The best books on military aviation

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Few: Summer 1940, The Battle of Britain

The Few: Summer 1940, The Battle of Britain

By Philip Kaplan, Richard Collier

Why this book?

Because pictures are worth a thousand words, I had to include this “coffee-table” book about the Battle of Britain among the “best five” books. This book is 200 pages of evocative images — of aircraft, of pilots, WAAF, controllers, and commanders, of landscapes, airfields, and equipment. The words of Bungay and especially Bishop are transformed into something more tangible and understandable by this lovely collection of contemporary photographs.

From the list:

The best books to really understand the Battle of Britain

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of A Gathering of Men

A Gathering of Men

By Rona Simmons

Why this book?

I may be going out on a limb here, but I suspect that Rona Simmons was never a member of the 100th Bomb Group in WW2 combat, which makes this book all the more remarkable. It is her choice of details that make the story so convincing, powerfully evoking the times and the places.  As is often the case with truly great stories, truth trumps fiction. This isn’t historical fiction. It transcends genres, which may be a headscratcher for booksellers, but is a delight for readers like me.

The airmen, face the spinning barrels of a gun in a game…

From the list:

The best books about true courage in facing danger when you are afraid; cowards who became heroes

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Guernica

Guernica

By Dave Boling

Why this book?

You don’t have to know much about the Spanish civil war to have heard of Guernica. If you’ve ever seen Picasso’s work depicting the bombing, this book creates the story of the people of the town going about their everyday lives just before the painting’s horror. As a reader, you know what is coming but are helpless to do anything but care for characters who are oblivious to the destruction coming their way. 

As an author, I found inspiration in this novel for my own portrayal of the civil war in Spain. The trick is to let ordinary people tell…

From the list:

The best books that happen to be set in history

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain

The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain

By Stephen Bungay

Why this book?

Bungay packs more useful information about the Battle of Britain into this outstanding work than dozens of other books on the same topic put together. He provides the Order of Battle for both the RAF and Luftwaffe, records the squadron rotations, the attacks by date and target, the losses of aircraft and crews, and much more. No other book is as precise about what happened to both the RAF and the Luftwaffe not just stage by stage, but day by day. Yet this book also provides lucid analysis of events and assessments of key personalities. While writing about the Battle,…

From the list:

The best books to really understand the Battle of Britain

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Eagle Day: The Battle of Britain

Eagle Day: The Battle of Britain

By Richard Collier

Why this book?

It might be a venerable classic, but it’s still in print for a very good reason. Collier focusses on the six weeks of 1940’s English summer when Great Britain was in extreme peril of defeat and subjugation. He relates the history of this pivotal moment using a rich tapestry of personal accounts and eye-witness testimonies of the real people who were involved in this epic struggle. We hear the voices of pilots fighting for their lives in the air, their crews grafting on the ground to keep the aircraft serviceable and the civilians who daily watched the frenetic dogfights that…

From the list:

The best books about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it)

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 12 books about the Luftwaffe

New book lists about the Luftwaffe

All book lists about the Luftwaffe

Bookshelves related to the Luftwaffe

Browse books by…