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War Books

Books > War Books

Close Quarters, Larry Heinemann piles detail upon detail in this gut wrenching novel about driving a track in Vietnam. Intense, riveting, hard to put down and painful to read. Like war.

Air Combat at 20 Feet, Selected Missions from a strafer Pilot’s Diary, Garrett Middlebrook’s memoir of flying a B-25 strafer in the New Guinea Campaign, which kept the Japanese from invading Australia, is well written and moving. His adventures are amazing. He explains how and why they did things, which makes it twice as fascinating for me. I xeroxed his picture out of the book and hung it on my wall. It is my favorite WWII flying book.

Home Before Morning:

Lynda Van Devanter's fantastic book about war, PTSD and recovery re-published with a new introduction by the author. In my opinion this is one of the best and bravest books to come out about Vietnam or any war. It is beautifully written, harrowing and uplifting. I have two copies so I can loan it without losing it. Glad to see it back in print.

John Muirhead’s Those Who Fall was my favorite WWII flying memoir when it came out because it wasn’t just heroics. It was the hard grind of flying 7 hours, the fear, as well as the fun. I still love it.http://www.amazon.com/Those-Who-Fall-John-Muirhead/dp/0593014162/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342029508&sr=1-1&keywords=Those+Who+Fallhttp://www.amazon.com/Those-Who-Fall-John-Muirhead/dp/0593014162/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339618643&sr=1-1shapeimage_2_link_0

What It Is Like To Go To War, Karl Marlantes has written a kick-ass book about his experience of war. Pulls no punches, which I prefer.

Fred Salter went through North Africa, Sicily, and Italy as a Recon Scout, sneaking around in front of the front lines, doing recon for the Army. It is a hell of a read.

The Railway Man, Eric Lomax, a prisoner of the Japanese tells the story of the death camps for the railway workers on the Burma-Siam Railroad. In the end forty years later he meets one of the interpreters during his tortures who apologizes and they become friends.

The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop Diaries of an Australian doctor who was a prisoner of the Japanese on the railway “Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop earned his knighthood and medals from 1942-45 not by killing, but by saving lives and easing suffering. One of the most horrific experiences in the history of war, the Burma-Thailand Railway reportedly cost one life for every sleeper laid down over hundreds of miles. But Weary's monumental humanity moderated and ultimately triumphed over Japan's inhumanity toward the POWs and Asian civilians abused as slave labor. He performed wonders in sustaining morale, and repeatedly endured beatings and mistreatment protecting prisoners too weak to meet Japanese work demands.” From a review on Amazon.

The Jungle is NeutralSpencer Chapman spent the war humping the Malayan jungles behind the lines with loyal natives, escaping traps, captured twice and escaped twice, setting up ambushes, sabotaging Japanese efforts, gathering information and rescuing other British soldiers.  It’s a great read about a side of the war I knew little about.

These are a few of the books I have liked. More will be added when I get the chance.