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I've been looking to get into some good WWII nonfiction, as I haven't read much in a while. I enjoy books like Rick Atkinson's A Day of Battle and David Bennett's A Magnificent Disaster, if that helps anyone. While I'll read just about anything, I'm currently most interested in the Mediterranean Theater, Barbarossa, and '42-'43 East Front. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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If your looking for a riveting read Guy Sajer's The Forgotten Soldier in which the author, a young Alsatian, joins the Grossdeutschland Division in Russia, is unsurpassed, imo. Arguably the greatest book to emerge from the war that hasn't been turned into a film. Caution: due to a spate of historical inaccuracies, the accuracy and authenticity of Sajer's autobiographical work has been questioned, with proponents on both sides.

http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Soldier-CASSELL-MILITARY-PAPERBACKS-ebook/dp/B005M3U2CG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385928780&sr=1-1&keywords=forgotten+soldier

Sajer is still alive and working as a cartononist in Paris.

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lurrp,

See if you can find The Battery Commander, His Batsman and a Cook, edited by Reiter. A must read small unit combat compilation covering from 1941-45 and put together by one of our own. Used to be in the BFC Bookstore, but they're all gone.

Penalty Strike by Pyl'cyn. A platoon leader in a penal battalion (commanded defrocked officers as high as a Lt. Colonel) describes his intimate view of the latter stages of the GPW, to include Operation Bagration. Lack enough superlatives for this one. Time frame isn't quite right, I know, but I don't believe there's any other first person English language account to be had.

Brazen Chariots, Crisp. Commanded Stuarts in North Africa.

Rommel's War in Africa, Heckmann. A first rate book (translated from German) showing the German side of the war in North Africa. A few of the vignettes wound up in the Reiter book.

Blood on the Shores, HSU (2x) Leonov. Commando ops with the Soviet Northern Fleet. Another great book.

Need to return to Clark's well-regarded The Battle Of The Tanks: Kursk: 1943. The front end is an extensive discussion of how the Germans wound up making the Kursk attack, and the book's full of individual battle accounts from both sides.

Anything by HSU Dmitry Loza! Even served in Lend-Lease Matildas.

The Blond Knight of Germany, Toliver. Biography of the top fighter ace. 352 officially confirmed.

Many of the official histories of the Mediterranean Campaign are available online, and some libraries may have the actual Army Green series books.

Ultra and the Mediterranean Strategy, Bennett. What we knew and when we knew it!

The Man Who Never Was, Montagu. A true classic deception op and book. There are newer books on Operation Mincemeat, but I haven't read them. One well-reviewed one is Operation Mincemeat, Macintyre.

There's lots of other stuff, but I simply don't recall the titles of books I read long ago.

Regards,

John Kettler

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To Hell and Back by Audie Murphy. It's mainly based in Italy as far as I remember—action packed book. You probably have already read it but if not check it out. It's one of my favorite first person WWII accounts.

Mord.

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Not the droids you were looking for but I'm currently reading this: http://www.amazon.com/It-Never-Snows-September-German/dp/1885119313 by Robert Kershaw. I think anyone who is currently playing the Market Garden module would be interested though.

Also, again perhaps not the theatres you wanted but I've always liked the works of David G. Chandler. He taught at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and wrote a few books you might like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_G._Chandler His talks on The Great Commanders documentaries were brilliant. Sadly, no longer with us, RIP sir.

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'The Forgotten Soldier' - again.

Ultra tough stuff at times but very good account of what war in the east meant to the soldier. The historical inaccuracies have been - as far as I know - explained with the fact that the author wrote down everything from his own memory after the war. A magnificent feat, considering that he was in a state of massive trauma.

Just read and you know what I mean.

And this: Stalin Organ

Never knew it was translated into English. Just as stunning as 'The Forgotten Soldier' is.

http://www.amazon.com/Stalin-Organ-Gert-Ledig/dp/1862076529/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386016412&sr=1-2&keywords=stalin+organ

Best regards

Olf

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lurrp,

Am now some 30 pages in on the Kursk book, and I have to say it's brilliant. Taking as his point of departure a visit to that battlefield with a Russian infantry veteran of Kursk and his son, Clark cuts to Wittmann's Tigers in combat (scared, highly motivated to survive crews), then backs way off, picking up the story of the post WW I German situation, then Hitler's rise to power, the emasculation of German high command, the politicization of the military and the attainment of regional dominance, before segueing into the rise of first Communism, then Stalin's story.

Clark writes with mastery, ease and fluidity, and from what I've seen, if you read the book you'll get quite the context from which Kursk emerged. For to get there, you need to know the history of the Russo-German War, and the events preceding it. Prepare for real education on the matter! The maps are quite useful, though I have to say that the Barbarossa map on the facing page when he starts off with his Kursk walk is a bit odd.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Clay Pigeons of St Lo by LTC Glover S. Johns battalion commander of 1/115th Inf in Normandy. Good for the CMBN level. Just a great read...

Yeah, pretty good.

For the Eastern Front, Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad by William Craig was, I thought, a pretty good read. I am not so heavy into the GPW that I can vouch for its accuracy, but it surely gives the flavor of the battle in all its detail. [bTW, SFAIK the only thing the movie took from the book was its title.]

Michael

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