ONLY 1 (one)

Book discussion and reviews related to the German military.

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ONLY 1 (one)

Post by sniper1shot » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:54 pm

OK, as I visit quite a few WWII forums during a week and all have their different book sections and with Chrismas coming up I thought "what the heck"....tell me your ONE (1) favorite WWII Memoir or Unit History......and the reason why.

Not a review, just a reason why.....I am going to assume that there will be some repeats BUT I also think there could be some books that come out of the woodwork......only 2 rules are that the book must be published in English and must be Non-Fiction.
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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by John P. Moore » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:00 am

Excellent idea Dan! My nomination is “With the Old Breed” by Eugene Sledge. I read this book last winter after watching “The Pacific” movie, Steven Spielberg’s and Tom Hanks WW II Pacific version of the earlier “Band of Brothers” that my sons had given me for Christmas. The movie was based on Sledge’s excellent book about his memoir as a USMC Marine fighting his way through the Pacific theater. The author conveys the very intense personal feeling that he experienced in battle. The appalling descriptions of Japanese atrocities make what people have heard about German behavior pale in comparison. It helps me to understand my father’s lifelong hatred of the Japanese following his war experience in the Pacific. The Navy Times rated this book as “the best World War II memoir of an enlisted man”. This book makes a nice diversion from reading about the Germans and gives the reader a special appreciation of the USMC, an elite that the Waffen-SS vets often compare themselves to.

John

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by KAKI3152 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:25 pm

The book I would like to nominate is "The Right Kind of War" by John McCormick. It is the story of the Third Squad of the elite Marine Raider batallion. It has one of the best stories I've ever read about the jungle Warfare between the US Marines and the Japanese army. In this story, which I first read in an issue of the US Naval Proceedings, a captured Japanese samurai sword is used to stop a Japanese patrol for an ambush.


THe author, John McCormick, became an English professor after the war and the writing is very polished with a great attention to detail.

Athough this is described as a novel, it is really a non fiction work.

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:50 pm

Well, I was going to suggest Kempowski's anthology Das Echolot, but as we're limited to English... Kurt Meyer, Grenadiers. Sure he was a rather brutal, uncompromising figure, but as for his memoirs, the breathless, historic present tense makes for a great read pretty much unlike any other memoir I've read. :[]
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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:35 am

I don't know if I can pick one book and really mean it. But I'll mention here In Good Faith volume 2 (the second half the history of the 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier Division), because it's packed full of detailed information about little-known battles and units.

With the Old Breed remains the best memoir I have ever read. Those who want something similar, and also pretty good, should look up used copies of Russel Davis' Marine at War. He was in the 1st Marines at Peleliu and Okinawa, the same battles Sledge participated in. The book was published by Scholastic in several paperback editions, so it isn't too hard to find used copies.

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by Jukka Juutinen » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:18 am

My choice for an English language memoir would be Tigers in the Mud by Otto Carius. Well written, honest and without excess poetry (Sledge is too poetic to me). And no PC.

There is one excellent memoir in English I'd heartly recommend but I have read it in Finnish so I don't know if it qualifies: Japanese Destroyer Captain by Hara Tameichi.

If I could choose two, my unit history recommendation would be Hubert Meyer's HJ-history.

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by alessandro bray » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:42 pm

Hi,

my preferred memoir is maybe H.Werner's Iron Coffins, about the author's experiences as a submarine crew member and later as commander, very exciting.
Among the best unit history in english, Fish's PzRegiment 8 is very well written and full of personal accounts
Alessandro

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by sniper1shot » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:38 pm

Excellent books all:
Yes, Japanese Destroyer Captain is in English and I have read it.
Same w/Tigers in the Mud...another good book that I have read.
Ditto on Iron Coffins too....

I have book 1 of in Good Faith but still have to get book #2

I have Not read With the Old Breed yet but apparently I must get it as the reviews seem to be good.

260+ ppl have read the post but only a few have answered....don't be shy and tell us your fav memoir/unit history (only 2 rules to follow)
Only he is lost who gives himself up as lost.

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by hucks216 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:27 am

My personal all time favourite is The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer which I first read before my teens and in later life always made sure it was with me when I deployed for 7-9 months overseas but due to the 'is it fiction or fact' debate I will lay that to one side for the purpose of this thread and instead nominate The Guns Of Victory by George G Blackburn. There are 2 versions of this book, one being the final part of a trilogy while the other also incorporates the 2nd part of the trilogy to give a full story of the authors wartime exploits after D-Day (the 2-in-1 version is an absolute bargain at just 46p!! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guns-War-George ... 777&sr=1-4)
Blackburn was a Canadian Artillery Officer and lands in Normandy just after D-Day. From coming under unexpected artillery fire in the fields of Normandy, calling down Mike, Uncle and Victor Missions on German troops to sitting in a windmill on the Dutch border as a FOO with Generals Guy Simonds & Brian Horrocks as brief visitors this story does not fail to keep you gripped. If you haven't read this story then don't let the 1000 pages put you off as you will find it hard to put down.

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by John P. Moore » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:16 am

I just finished reading Russel Davis' Marine at War that Marc Rikmenspoel had recommended. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to. It makes a nice break from reading about Nazis. I bought a former library copy as Used thru Amazon. It's unfortunate that libraries feel they have to get rid of such books.

John

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Re: ONLY 1 (one)

Post by Charles Trang » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:07 pm

I just finished "With the Old Breed" that John had recommended. I enjoyed it a lot. War in the Pacific was really different from the European theater ! The amphibious warfare of course, the jungle, the small infantry units involved, the absence of armor battles ... War in the Pacific was merciless given the tiny number of prisoners made. One can argue that the Japanese soldiers often preferred to kill themselves rather than surrender but in a battle you generally have a proportion of three wounded for one killed. Where were the wounded Japanese soldiers ? A few years ago, I watched a TV program in which American veterans assumed that they used to kill the wounded enemy soldiers instead of having to take care of them. Their hatred of the Japanese soldiers was another motivating factor to take this kind of decision. When I read the Fifth Amphibious Corps' orders for the Iwo Jima campaign, I noticed that the commanding officers insisted that prisoners had to be made and not killed ! This tells all. On the other side, the Japanese treated their prisoners with such cruelty that the American attitude is understandable though not defendable.

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