COMBAT!
 

World War II Books Reviewed:
First-Hand Accounts and Autobriographies
Reading recommendations by Combat! fans for Combat! fans

(You can also browse reviews of all recommended books in alphabetical order by title.)

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Authors and publishers: books for review can be sent to:
Strange New Worlds, 5591 Shady Brook Trail, Sarasota FL 34243

First-Person Narratives of WWII:

Before Their Time

June 28, 1999 Bayonet recommends:
Before Their Time by Robert Kotlowitz
Harrowing story of how a teenaged US infantryman becomes the sole survivor of the massacre of his platoon in northeastern France. Read more...

Before Their Time

Marty Black recommends:
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge
"If you are only going to read one book on the Pacific campaign, my recommendation is With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. Author Eugene B. Sledge conveys the brutality of the Pacific fighting in a way that will indeed shock you. "
     And Vicki "Scout" Keonin says about this book: "Thanks, Marty, for recommending "With the Old Breed." I haven't read that many books about the war in the Pacific, but I'm sure this must be *the* one to read. It really made me realize all of the horrors of that part of the war. I can't imagine how anyone came out of Peleliu or Okinawa with their mind and emotions intact. It was one of those books that you can't stop thinking about after you've read it. "

Infantry WWII History Feb 11, 1999 Dave Pierce and Ann Raymont recommend:
Roll Me Over: An Infantryman's World War II
by Raymond Gantter
From Normandy to Czechoslovakia, an American infantryman's march through the death throes of the Third Reich. "My favorite of all the first-person WWII accounts" Read more...

The Brass Ring by Bill Mauldin recommended by Dodger of Feb 9, 2003. "Mauldin writes and reflects the character of the WWII GI, who is fiercely independent and not in love with military life. Yet he describes the bond and trust that these men formed to enable them to perform their duty and prevail against the enemy."
Read Dodger's entire review of Bill Mauldin's The Brass Ring

Oral history of doctors in WWII May 29, 2002 -
Healers in World War II: Oral Histories of Medical Corps Personnel - Fellow fan Pat Sewell writes: "Just thought you might be interested in my book Healers in WWII. I emailed Rick Jason before his death to let him know about the book. He was very gracious when I told him how much Combat! and Conlan Carter's protrayal of a medic had impressed me. Read more...
Combat Surgeon: Up Front With the 27th Marines
Recommended by "Scout" February 21-25, 2002: one of the best books (on WWII medics) that I've read. It's an interesting book. Read more...
Those Devils in Baggy Pants Recommended by "Scout" February 21-25, 2002: Tale of the 82nd Airborne Divisions' fight across North Africa, culminating in the Battle of the Bulge. The author was one of three men who survived the suicide stands of his platoon of paratroopers. First published in 1951, over one millon sold. Read more...
Screaming Eagles WWII history book Seven Roads to Hell : A Screaming Eagle at Bastogne by   Donald R. Burgett. First-hand of the Screaming Eagles and their epic defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.  Read more...
Breakout at Normandy - several recommended books about this little-covered part of WWII history.  Recommended by Dodger January 4, 2003
Combat Surgeon: Up Front With the 27th Marines
Recommended by "Scout" February 21-25, 2002: one of the best books (on WWII medics) that I've read. It's an interesting book. Read more...

Jan 21, 1999 Dorothy Spangler recommends:
The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two by Studs Terkel
Pulitzer Prize-winning book "The Good War" does an excellent job of giving you a very broad view of the war from a human-interest standpoint.  Terkel interviews more than 100 people, many of them non-Americans, who experienced the war in very different capacities -- there's the Marine infantryman, Eugene Sledge; Maxene Andrews of the Andrews Sisters; a conscientious objector; a scientist who worked on the bomb; an advisor to FDR; a Japanese man who was a teenager during the war; a Red Army war correspondent, etc.  ... Terkel basically lets these people tell their own stories, only occasionally inserting a question here and there.  If you are a writer plumbing for story ideas & prospective characters, this book is a great source; it contains a huge array of people, each part succinctly told.

Jan 27, 1999 Scout recommends:
If You Survive by George Wilson
"I'm reading the best book right now. It's If You Survive by George Wilson. He ... landed in Normandy in 1944 and fought through northern France and Belgium. Of all the men and officers who started out in Company F of the 4th Infantry Division with him, he was the only one who finished. He describes day by day his platoon's experiences in and out of combat. I was amazed at all the details and the individual tragic and traumatic incidents he relates. It's a great book!"

Death Traps WWII tanks history book Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II
The war from the perspective of a junior maintenance officer who had to keep the tanks on the front lines rolling. Excellent book, but not for the squeamish. Includes graphic descriptions of the aftermath of battle. Read more... 
Battle of St. Lo - history book Recommended July 6, 2002 by Jo:
The Clay Pigeons of St. Lo by Glover S. Johns
First-hand account of the infantry battle for St. Lo. This is the battle depicted in the Combat! episode "A Gift of Hope," starring Rip Torn. Read more...
Tanks for the Memories: An Oral History of the 712th Tank Battalion from World War 2 by Aaron C. Elson The 712th Tank Battalion spent 11 months in combat, from Normandy to Czechoslovakia. This is their story, as told in the words of its veterans. A son's loving tribute to his father and the men who served with him. (Recommended March 3, 2000)

March 5, 1999 Jo Davidsmeyer recommends:
Dearest Ones :A True World War II Love Story by Rosemary Norwalk
First-person account of a young American woman who volunteered for service overseas in WWII. This true-life love story avoids the cliches and shows what it was like for thousands of American men and women so far from home. Read more ...

Rosa's Miracle Mouse: The True Story of a WWII Undercover Teenager
August 22, 1999: Jo Davidsmeyer writes: fascinating first-person account of a teenage resistance fighter during World War II. Read more...
Recommended by "Sarge" Tue Mar 20, 2001 10:19pm "... probably the best book on fighting in WWII in Europe is Foot Soldier by Roscoe C. Blunt.  This is the story of an infantryman's combat with all of its horror, comedy, heroics, feeling. Blunt [says that he] was not a hero, but he was one. This is the second book by Blunt. He fought in the 84th Division.
     "Another good book is Unsung Valor by A Cleveland Harrison 94th Division, and Normandy to the Bulge by PFC Richard Courtney 26th Division. All of these books deal with the war against Germany. I recommend these for anyone looking for a close approximation to the combat experience shown on Combat!     — Out, Sarge"

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