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Good WW2 reads? (a WW2 v. of "This Hallowed Ground")


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Clearly lots of folks here are well read in WW2 history so I'm wondering if you could offer suggestions on some good reading. I'm hoping more to the point to find the particular type of read that was characterized by Catton's classic (American) Civil War history "This Hallowed Ground". In thinking about why I LOVED that book so much it's mostly bc Catton concentrated so heavily not on the bullets and blood (although he by no means ignores them) but more on the personalities that influenced that war. I've read several WW2 histories but have always been a bit disappointed when comparing them to Catton and would love to find something similar. Other books, of course, touch on the strong (or weak) personalities of the players but none that I've read even approaches Catton in that area.

He also uses anecdotal stories not merely for their entertainment value but to make a larger point to help the reader gain a better understanding of the nature of the war. Such as when during a lull in a battle when some enlisted man saunters up to Gen. Grant and informs him (with some exhasperation) that if he'd just move some men onto that yonder hillock he might be glad he did so. What's more, Grant does so and it changes the course of the battle. Catton uses the episode to illustrate what he saw as a uniquely American trait. You weren't likely to see such an incident in the Prussian army without someone getting executed.

Any help would be much appreciated!

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You might take a look at Rick Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy. From what you are describing, it might be just the thing you are looking for. You might also take a peek at Cornelius Ryan's books. Both of these authors, especially Atkinson, focus mainly on US forces and personalities, but also touch on other nationalities.

Michael

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You might take a look at Rick Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy. From what you are describing, it might be just the thing you are looking for. You might also take a peek at Cornelius Ryan's books. Both of these authors, especially Atkinson, focus mainly on US forces and personalities, but also touch on other nationalities.

Michael

I second the Atkinson recommendation. As a complete narrative treatment of the American war in Europe, it's hard to beat. He's good at all scales, from individual battles to the whole theater. He also has a good journalist's eye for the role of leader's personalities in shaping events, but he never lets the war become merely the story of the generals.

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