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Best Nonfiction War 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 Nonfiction War books.

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission (2002)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListOn January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.
Author(s): Hampton Sides

What It Is Like To Go To War (2012)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListOne of the most important and highly-praised books of 2011, Karl Marlantes’s What It Is Like to Go to War is set to become just as much of a classic as his epic novel Matterhorn.In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at the Author(s): Karl Marlantes

The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII’s Most Decorated Platoon (2005)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListOn the morning of December 16, 1944, eighteen men of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon attached to the 99th Infantry Division found themselves directly in the path of the main thrust of Hitler’s massive Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they were told to hold their position “at all costs.” Throughout the day, the platoon repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing hundreds of German soldiers.
Author(s): Alex Kershaw

No Better Friend: Young Readers Edition: A Man, a Dog, and Their Incredible True Story of Friendship and Survival in World War II (2018)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListNo Better Friend tells the incredible true story of Frank Williams, a radarman in Britain’s Royal Air Force, and Judy, a purebred pointer, who met as prisoners of war during World War II. Judy, who became the war’s only official canine POW, was a fiercely loyal dog who sensed danger–warning her fellow prisoners of imminent attacks and protecting them from brutal beatings.
Author(s): Robert Weintraub

A Rumor of War: The Classic Vietnam Memoir (40th Anniversary Edition) (2017)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListIn March of 1965, Lieutenant Philip J. Caputo landed at Danang with the first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam. Sixteen months later, having served on the line in one of modern history’s ugliest wars, he returned home―physically whole but emotionally wasted, his youthful idealism forever gone.A Rumor of War is far more than one soldier’s story.
Author(s): Philip Caputo, Kevin Powers

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

 Best Nonfiction War 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.
Author(s): Gregory A. Freeman

The Cold War: A Global History with Documents (2nd Edition) (2010)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListThis unique text provides a balanced, integrated, and comprehensive survey of the main events and developments in the Cold War as viewed from a global perspective. Coverage traces the Cold War from its roots in East-West tensions before and during World War II through its origins in the immediate postwar era, up to and including the collapse of the Soviet Union during 1989-1991.
Author(s): Edward H. Judge, John W. Langdon

21 Months, 24 Days: A blue-collar kid’s journey to the Vietnam War and back (2015)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate List21 Months, 24 Days is an engaging memoir of a blue-collar kid turned soldier. Threatened by the draft in the late sixties, he enlisted in the Army to avoid becoming a grunt, yet ended up one anyway. He endured a grueling war in Vietnam and then returned to a country too angry to care. While his journey took unexpected turns, his choices got him there, so he did his best to react positively and keep moving forward. Udden delivers his story in a comfortable, friendly style.
Author(s): Richard Udden

Sog: The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam (1998)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListCode-named the Studies and Observations Group, SOG was the most secret elite U.S. military unit to serve in the Vietnam War—so secret its very existence was denied by the government.
Author(s): John L. Plaster

The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future (2019)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListThe shift toward automation is about to create a tsunami of unemployment. Not in the distant future–now. One recent estimate predicts 45 million American workers will lose their jobs within the next twelve years–jobs that won’t be replaced. In a future marked by restlessness and chronic unemployment, what will happen to American society? In The War on Normal People, Andrew Yang paints a dire portrait of the American economy.
Author(s): Andrew Yang

Dead Center: A Marine Sniper’s Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War (1999)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListWHEN YOU’RE IN THE DEATH BUSINESS, EACH DAWN COULD BE YOUR LAST.Raw, straightforward, and powerful, Ed Kugler’s account of his two years as a Marine scout-sniper in Vietnam vividly captures his experiences there–the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Author(s): Ed Kugler

Major Problems in the History of World War II: Documents and Essays (Major Problems in American History Series) (2002)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListThis text presents a carefully selected group of readings that allow students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions. The volume covers World War II from the homefront and the battlefield, examining both the military and social impact of the war.
Author(s): Mark A. Stoler, Melanie S. Gustafson

Strange but True Civil War Stories (1999)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate ListRelates true stories from the Civil War, including “Two Skulls Underneath the Tattered Flag,” “General Wade Hampton and the Naked Yankee,” and “Were They Live Soldiers or Ghosts?
Author(s): Nancy Clayton, Susan Spellman

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War (2019)

 Best Nonfiction War Books: The Ultimate List“The best true spy story I have ever read.”—JOHN LE CARRÉ If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation’s communism as both criminal and philistine.
Author(s): Ben Macintyre

Best Nonfiction War 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 Library Genesis and download some nonfiction war 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.

The Writer’s Practice: Building Confidence in Your Nonfiction Writing

Author(s): John Warner
ID: 2388847, Publisher: Penguin Books, Year: 5 Feb 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub

The Lady Is a Spy: Virginia Hall, World War II Hero of the French Resistance

Author(s): Don Mitchell
ID: 2347658, Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction, Year: 2019, Size: 101 Mb, Format: epub

Shapes of Native Nonfiction

Author(s): Elissa Washuta;Theresa Warburton;
ID: 2615334, Publisher: University of Washington Press, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Format: epub

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are truly chart-busters according to Washington Post, others are written 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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