The Wehrmacht


Bob Carruthers - 2010
    Like old soldiers everywhere, they are fading away. But these soldiers have an incredible and sometimes shocking story to tell. It certainly does not make for comfortable reading. Secrets which have been bottled up for a lifetime are revealed, stories are told at last and memories which have been hidden away for 60 years finally resurface. These are facets of history's most dreadful war being revealed for the very first time. "The Wehrmacht" is a remarkable personal record of the Third Reich's rise and fall from the inside: of how those responsible for the maelstrom sent their armies to conquer only to see them crushed as the world united against them; of men who were seduced by the siren call of Hitler, only to pay a terribly heavy price. It allows the human stories to unfold within the bigger picture behind the major campaigns of the Second World War - from the early Blitzkrieg successes through the submarine warfare of the Battle of the Atlantic, and the brutal hardships of the Russian Front, to the last days of the Reich and the fall of Berlin. "The Wehrmacht" is a brilliantly researched and thought-provoking book that reveals unique human dimensions of the world's greatest military conflict.

Beware Raiders!: German Surface Raiders in the Second World War


Bernard Edwards - 2001
    One was the eight-inch gun cruiser Admiral Hipper--named for World War I's German fleet Admiral Franz von Hipper--fast, powerful, and Navy-manned. The other was a converted merchant man, Hansa Line's Kandelfels armed with a few old scavenged guns manned largely by reservists, and sailing under the nom de guerre Pinguin.The difference between the pride of the Third Reich's Kriegsmarine's fleet and the converted cruiser was even more evident in their commanders. Edwards emphasizes the striking contrast between the conduct of Ernst Kruder, captain of the Pinguin, who attempted to cause as little loss of life as possible, and the callous Iron Cross-decorated Wilhelm Meisel of the Admiral Hipper, who had scant regard for the lives of the men whose ships he had sunk.Contrary to all expectations, as Edwards reveals in his thrilling accounts of the missions performed by each ship, the amateur man-of-war reaped a rich harvest and went out in a blaze of glory. The purpose-built battlecruiser, on the other hand, was hard-pressed even to make her mark on the war and ended her days in ignominy.

It Never Snows in September: The German View of Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944


Robert Kershaw - 1990
    Based on extensive research and containing new material it uniquely chronicles that struggle through the eyes of the German soldier and analyses the reasons for the eventual outcome.

Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942


Robert M. Citino - 2007
    In this major reevaluation of that crucial year, Robert Citino shows that the German army's emerging woes were rooted as much in its addiction to the war of movement-attempts to smash the enemy in short and lively campaigns-as they were in Hitler's deeply flawed management of the war. From the overwhelming operational victories at Kerch and Kharkov in May to the catastrophic defeats at El Alamein and Stalingrad, Death of the Wehrmacht offers an eye-opening new view of that decisive year. Building upon his widely respected critique in The German Way of War, Citino shows how the campaigns of 1942 fit within the centuries-old patterns of Prussian/German warmaking and ultimately doomed Hitler's expansionist ambitions. He examines every major campaign and battle in the Russian and North African theaters throughout the year to assess how a military geared to quick and decisive victories coped when the tide turned against it. Citino also reconstructs the German generals' view of the war and illuminates the multiple contingencies that might have produced more favorable results. In addition, he cites the fatal extreme aggressiveness of German commanders like Erwin Rommel and assesses how the German system of command and its commitment to the independence of subordinate commanders suffered under the thumb of Hitler and chief of staff General Franz Halder. More than the turning point of a war, 1942 marked the death of a very old and traditional pattern of warmaking, with the classic German way of war unable to meet the challenges of the twentieth century. Blending masterly research with a gripping narrative, Citino's remarkable work provides a fresh and revealing look at how one of history's most powerful armies began to founder in its quest for world domination.

Over There: War Scenes on the Western Front (Collected Works of Arnold Bennett)


Arnold Bennett - 1915
    You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Through Hell for Hitler


Henry Metelmann - 2003
    This book portrays the gradual awakening in the mind of a young Hitler Youth æeducatedÆ soldier of a Panzer Division, bogged down in the bitterest fighting on the Eastern Front, to the truth of the criminal character of what he is involved in.Having in mind that about 9 out of 10 German soldiers who died in WWII were killed in Russia, the book throws light on the largely unreported heroic sacrifices of Soviet soldiers and civilians often against seemingly hopeless odds, without which Europe might well have fallen to fascism. It deals less with grand strategies, tactics and military technicalities than with the human involvement of ordinary people, from both sides, who were caught up in that enormity of a tragedy, that epic struggle in Russia.It throws light on the chasm which existed between officers and men in the sharply class-divided Wehrmacht with most of the top rank officers having been drawn from the old imperial aristocracy.

The Battle of the Huertgen Forest


Charles B. MacDonald - 1984
     This series of ferocious encounters on the Belgian-German border would not end until three months later, making it the longest single battle the U.S. Army has ever fought. Over this contested fifty square mile area 120,000 American soldiers advanced against 80,000 battle-hardened German troops. Rugged terrain and atrocious weather slowed down the U.S. advance which was forced to combat heavily dug-in German positions, overcoming minefields, barbed wire, and booby-traps, hidden by the snow, as they attempted to move forward. Through the course of this bloody engagement the Allied forces suffered 24,000 battle causalities, plus a further 9,000 victims of weather. This carnage was closely equaled by massive Nazi casualties. It is little wonder that this battle has gone down in history as one of the bitterest and most fruitless battles of World War II. Charles MacDonald’s vivid account of the battle is a remarkable book that uncovers how the conflict developed and progressed over its three month duration. “An extraordinarily lucid account of battle.” — The Baltimore Sun In 1944 Charles MacDonald was a twenty-one year old captain, who commanded a rifle company in the 23rd Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his service through the course of the Second World War. After the war he became Deputy Chief Historian for the United States Army and wrote a number of books on the history of World War Two. The Battle of the Huertgen Forest was first published in 1963 and MacDonald passed away in 1990.

Steel Inferno: 1st SS Panzer Corps in Normandy


Michael Reynolds - 1997
    After hard fighting, American, British, and Canadian troops won a toehold in Nazi-held Europe. But Germany's elite Panzer divisions hadn't been present at the beaches. Due to poor intelligence and a divided command, the tanks with black crosses only came to the invasion area after the first landings. But when the German Panther and Tiger tanks finally arrived, they were seeking a battle of annihilation, presenting the Allied attack inland with a ring of fire and steel.For nearly two months, the Allies hammered the enemy, even as the Germans attempted to throw them back into the sea. Some of the most intense armored battles ever fought in war were fought in Normandy, bringing glory and infamy to hardened and colorful soldiers such as Kurt "Panzer" Meyer, Jochen Peiper, and Max Wunsche, and enhancing their reputations for ferocious, desperate combat. In the end, their actions would decide the outcome of the war.Told in an engaging style and packed full of fascinating details of the 1st SS Panzer Corps, Steel Inferno offers a unique perspective on one of the greatest military engagements in history.

The War is Dead, Long Live the War


Ed Vulliamy - 2012
    A hurricane of violence was unleashed by Serbian President Slobodan Miloševic and his allies, the Bosnian Serbs, in pursuit of a 'Greater Serbia'. An infamous campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' demanded the annihilation of all Bosniaks, Croats and other peoples through either death or enforced deportation, with any trace of their existence destroyed. Such brutality was presided over and tolerated by the so-called 'International Community' including, perhaps most vividly in the popular memory, concentration and death camps in our lifetime.It was Vulliamy's accursed honour to reveal these camps to the world in August 1992, when he penetrated both Omarska and Trnopolje. The War is Dead, Long Live the War charts this discovery, but it is much more than a memoir: Vulliamy passionately bears witness to the Bosnian war's aftermath, revealing the human consequences as well as the trials and traumas of exile or homecoming. It is only now, through the eyes and memories of the survivors and the bereaved - and, in different ways, the perpetrators - that we can really understand the bloody catastrophe in Bosnia. The world moves on over twenty years, but in Bosnia, there has been no thaw in the hatred; no reckoning. The war may be over, but the war lives on.

The Bitter Woods: The Battle of the Bulge


John S.D. Eisenhower - 1969
    Army ever fought. More than a million GIs were involved and nearly 80,000 became casualties. The Allied generals had to rally beaten, dispirited troops in the face of an attack they had never dreamed possible.A study in command, from generals to squad leaders, The Bitter Woods follows von Runstedt, Dietrich, and of course Hitler, as closely as the Americans. As son of the supreme commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, a West Point graduate, a retired Army brigadier general, and a military historian, John Eisenhower is uniquely qualified to tell how the Allied generals (nearly all of whom he knew personally) met Hitler's challenge; how the two armies fought fiercely in the Ardennes from December 1944 to January 1945; and how the Allied victory broke the back of Nazi aggression.

The Rhodesian War: A Military History


Paul Moorcraft - 1982
    (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) by the Smith government to the Lancaster House agreement that transferred power. There are vivid accounts of the operations against the "guerillas" by the security forces and the intensity of the fighting will surprise readers. Atrocities were undoubtedly committed by both sides but equally the protagonists were playing for very high stakes.This is more than just a book on military operations. It provides expert analysis of the historical situation and examines events up to the present day, including Mugabe's operations against rival tribes and white farmers. For a thorough work on its subject this book cannot be bettered. Essential reading for those wishing to learn more about a counter-insurgency campaign. The ingenuity of the Rhodesian military fighting against overwhelming odds and restricted by sanctions is impressive but the outcome culminating in the Lancaster House Agreement was inevitable.

Coronel and Falkland


Barrie Pitt - 1960
     Britain’s Naval supremacy is being challenged for the first time since Trafalgar. At large in South American waters within reach of the convoy routes across the Atlantic and the Pacific was Vice-Admiral Graf von Spee with the East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron of the Imperial German Navy, including the armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Graf von Spee’s belief that a cruiser squadron was of more strategic value than independent raiders seemed amply justified at Coronel on 1st November, when the powerful German unit inflicted a heavy defeat on four courageous but weaker British ships under Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock. Reaction in Britain was immediate and violent. The Royal Navy had been seen as invincible. Now, in the first major engagement in which battle had been offered since the days of Nelson, it had suffered a morale-shattering blow. Public bewilderment turned swiftly to anger: the Royal Navy thirsted for revenge. The Admiralty, in the persons of the First Lord, Mr. Winston Churchill, and the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, ordered the destruction of the East Asiatic Squadron; everything must be done to recapture command of the Southern Seas. A powerful force including the two battle-cruisers Invincible and Inflexible, was sent to the Falkland Islands, prepared for a long search and a battle of annihilation. The Battle of the Falkland Islands was fought on 8th December. The desperate gallantry of the Imperial German Navy challenged the vengeful pride of the Royal Navy in a struggle for control over the ocean trade-routes of the Southern Seas. Two of the major participants, Cradock and von Spee, died with their ships. Basing his text upon German and British records, Pitt has reconstructed the events of the two ‘missing periods’: the fatal hours during which Cradock decided to fling his puny force against von Spee’s squadron; and the days when von Spee was forced to risk his ships and men upon the information contained in an ill-considered telegram and an unfounded rumour. In Coronel and Falkland Barrie Pitt presents a vivid picture of these epic battles of the First World War. His description of the actions are precise and graphic, his judgement of the motives and decisions of those in command, scrupulous and detailed. Praise for Zeebrugge “Mr. Barrie Pitt has done a splendid job in pulling together all the details of this operation and presenting it in a lively way, with plenty of maps and diagrams.” — News Chronicle “A breathless and unforgettable narrative.” — Sphere “Mr. Pitt’s description of the desperate action on Zeebrugge Mole itself must be one of the most graphic accounts ever written in the annals of sea warfare. This in truth was a magnificent feat by the Royal Navy.” — Yorkshire Evening Post “A lively and detailed narrative, admirably illustrated, of a particularly gallant effort, which will serve to keep alive the fame of that band of heroes.” — Naval Review Praise for Special Boat Squadron ‘Barrie Pitt’s account of the exploits of these brave men in the Mediterranean is as much a thriller as a history book’ - The Daily Mail, Hull (less)

The Battle Of The Atlantic: The Allies' Submarine Fight Against Hitler's Gray Wolves Of The Sea


Andrew Williams - 2002
    Andrew Williams focuses on the first four years of this bitter conflict, during which time German submarines sank an astounding twelve million tons of Allied shipping. The story reaches its climax in May 1943, when the introduction of new weapons and tactics turned the tide of the battle and enabled the Allies to contain and finally defeat the dreaded German "wolf packs." Interweaving scores of first-person accounts from survivors of both sides, The Battle of the Atlantic follows the exploits of the charismatic U-boat commanders who led their crews to the hunt-and often to their deaths. It goes aboard the merchantmen and escort ships that were both victim and nemesis to the "gray wolves" of the sea. And it enters the war rooms of the German, British, and American navies, where code-breakers and strategists angled for any advantage in a race that spelled doom to its loser. This dramatic chronicle sheds new light on one of the most dangerous conflicts of the Second World War.

The Kaiser's Battle


Martin Middlebrook - 1978
    Planned to break the deadlock, the series of battles were known as Kaiserschlacht.

Spies Beneath Berlin


David A.T. Stafford - 2002
    In Spies Beneath Berlin, David Stafford-whom the New York Times Book Review calls "a superb researcher who has a feel for when 'secret' meant 'significant' and when it did not,"-tells the fascinating, in-depth account of one of the most audacious and intriguing covert operations of the Cold War: Operation Stopwatch/Gold. Called by CIA chief Allen Dulles, "one of the most valuable and daring projects ever undertaken," Operation Stopwatch/Gold was carried out from a secret tunnel half a mile long under the Russian sector of Cold War Berlin as, for more than a year, the CIA tuned into German Red Army intelligence. This was an almost impossible trick: apart from the technical wizardry needed, any noise or vibration could have given the game away. When snow fell, panic measures were taken to prevent it thawing in a tell-tale line leading to the target building. Added complexity comes from the fact that Stopwatch/Gold was a joint CIA/MI6 project, and after Burgess and Maclean it was clear that truth, even between allies, was dangerous. And indeed, there was a mole in the British secret services, thus the KGB knew about the tunnel even before it was built-yet the Germans couldn't let on that they knew about the tunnel, which would have jeopardized the position of their prized mole. Whether or not Operation Stopwatch/Gold was a success has been a point of contention over the years, as new information about KGB mole George Blake and the Cold War has been uncovered. Now, for the first time, using eyewitness interviews and the full range of source material-from KGB files to CIA documents-Stafford reveals the thrillingly complex story of this operation.