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Best Military History Books: The Ultimate List

While there are many courses and tutorials online, learning from a book is still one of the best ways to greatly improve your skills. Below I have selected top Military History books.

1. For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607 to 2012, 3rd Edition (2012)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListNow fully updated and totally revised, this highly regarded classic remains the most comprehensive study available of America’s military history.Called “the preeminent survey of American military history” by Russell F. Weigley, America’s foremost military historian, For the Common Defense is an essential contribution to the field of military history. This carefully researched third edition provides the most complete and current history of United States defense policy and military institutions and the conduct of America’s wars. Without diminishing the value of its earlier editions, authors…
Author(s): Allan R. Millett , Peter Maslowski, et al.

2. Military History: The Definitive Visual Guide to the Objects of Warfare (2015)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListMilitary History, now in paperback, is the ultimate guide to weapons, vehicles, hardware, and equipment of war throughout history. Military History is the definitive guide to the evolution of battlefield technology. In addition to comprehensively cataloging every significant weapon of each historical age, Military History pays particular attention to breakthroughs and advancements that transformed the capabilities of soldiers and the nature of warfare itself. Stunning “virtual tours” offer up-close investigation of key weapons as the book moves…
Author(s): DK

3. The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II (2008)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListDuring a bombing campaign over Romanian oil fields, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian farmers and peasants risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers while they waited for rescue, and in 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip large enough for C-47 cargo planes—without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the cargo planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back—without getting shot down themselves….
Author(s): Gregory A. Freeman

4. The Cambridge History of Warfare (2005)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListA compelling subject, war is common to almost all known societies and almost all periods of history. The Cambridge History of Warfare is a comprehensive account of war in the West. The combined effort of seven leading experts, this book treats the history of all aspects of the subject: the development of warfare on land, seas, and air; weapons and technology; strategy and defense; discipline and intelligence; mercenaries and standing armies; cavalry and infantry; chivalry and blitzkreig; guerrilla assault and nuclear warfare. It places in context particular key elements…
Author(s): Geoffrey Parker

5. In Harm’s Way: A History of the American Military Experience (2019)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListIn Harm’s Way: A History of the American Military Experience offers a fast-paced, highly readable synthesis of modern scholarship on every era of the nation’s experience in war. Authors Gene Allen Smith, David Coffey, and Kyle Longley offer a comprehensive, accurate, and nuanced account of the subject. Covering air, land, and sea power, the book provides a narrative synthesis and analysis of America’s wars and military policies from colonial times to the twenty-first century. Each chapter discusses a different time period, exploring the…
Author(s): Gene Allen Smith, David Coffey, et al.

6. D DAY Through German Eyes – The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944 (2016)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListThis new paperback edition contains Book One and Book Two of this series, revealing the hidden side of D Day which has fascinated readers around the world. Almost all accounts of D Day are told from the Allied perspective. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes – and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day?…
Author(s): Holger Eckhertz, Sprech Media

7. Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (2008)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate List“A fluent, intelligent history…give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea.”―New York Times Book Review Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders―particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams―debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships. From the decision to…
Author(s): Ian W. Toll

8. American Military History: A Documentary Reader (2019)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListThe second edition of American Military History offers an exceptional collection of primary documents relating to history of the military of the United States from 1607 through the present. The writings offer insight into the armed forces in relation to the social, cultural, economic, political, and territorial development of the United States. Several documents comment on strategic initiatives, combat operations, force structure, public policy, and home fronts. The writings also present firsthand testimony of extraordinary men and women in uniform and most of…
Author(s): Brad D. Lookingbill

9. U.S. Military History For Dummies (2007)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListWant to know more about American military history? U.S. Military History For Dummies presents concise and revealing accounts of all of the nation’s armed conflicts from the French and Indian War to Iraq. It explains how the U.S. military is organized and how its branches operate, both independently and together. This straightforward guide examines the causes for each of America’s wars and reveals how these conflicts have shaped the nation’s borders, society, politics, culture, and future. You’ll meet heroes, cowards, patriots, and traitors; relive great battles; and get a taste of what combat is really…
Author(s): John C. McManus

10. Major Problems in American Military History: Documents and Essays (Major Problems in American History Series) (1998)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListThis volume traces the evolution of the American military, its institutions, strategic doctrines, and technology. The selections provide a social and institutional focus of the “new” military history, and follow the metamorphosis of the militia, the professionalization of the officers’ corps, and the course of civilian control of the military….
Author(s): John Whiteclay Chambers II, G. Kurt Piehler

11. Mission Beyond Darkness (2019)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListYet this is exactly what sixty-four men did in the twilight hours of June 19th, 1944.Not one of the pilots or their crew hesitated as they got into their planes. “They did what their commanders and their country told them to do. They carried out a ‘mission beyond darkness.’” Robert M. Citino, Navy TimesMission Beyond Darkness by Lt. Commander J. Bryan III records in fascinating detail one of the most remarkable missions that place during the war in the Pacific.Rather relying on second-hand accounts Bryan explains this his work is completely authentic as it “is derived wholly from narratives by the…
Author(s): J Bryan

12. American Military History: A Documentary Reader (2010)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate ListAmerican Military History: A Documentary Reader presents a comprehensive collection of primary documents relating to America’s armed forces from the colonial period to the present. #177,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #302 in Military History (Books) #406 in Vietnam War History (Books) #1764 in World War II History (Books) Would you like to ?If you are a seller for this product, would you like to ?…
Author(s): Brad D. Lookingbill

13. The Secret World: A History of Intelligence (2019)

 Best Military History Books: The Ultimate List“The first global history of intelligence, remarkable for its scope and delightful for its unpredictable comparisons.”—Richard J. Aldrich, TLS #15,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #37 in Military Strategy History (Books) #89 in Political Intelligence #582 in World History (Books) Would you like to ?If you are a seller for this product, would you like to ?…
Author(s): Christopher Andrew

Best Military History Books: The Ultimate List

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some military history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

History of the Second World War

Author(s): B.H. Liddell Hart
ID: 2405052, Publisher: 2011, Year: Pan Books, Size: 3 Mb, Format: epub

The military in Chilean history: essays on civil-military relations, 1810-1973

Author(s): Frederick M. Nunn.
ID: 2509218, Publisher: University of New Mexico Press, Year: c1976., Size: 22 Mb, Format: pdf

U.S. Military History For Dummies

Author(s): John C. McManus
ID: 2394479, Publisher: For Dummies, Year: 22 Oct 2007, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are absolutely hot items according to Los Angeles Times, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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