Good Books To Read

Hi All,

Im currently reading my way through Citizen Soldiers By Stephen Ambrose and have recently read Forgotten voices of WW1.
Basically I'm writing this to find a new book to read after I've finished my current read.

I like to read about what the soldiers were feeling and how they saw the action. I've also read alot of the recent books Like Barefoot Soldier and Sniper One and the auto biographies of De Billier and wacko Jack-son.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
For First World War biogs, The Last Tommy by Harry Patch or Tommy by RIchard Holmes are fairly good reads. In fact I'd recommend most of the Holmes books as pretty good reads

If you want something to bridge all conflicts from the 100 Year War onwards then The Autobiography of the British Soldier by John Lewis Stempel might get you interested.

Try and avoid the Ambrose books, with the possible exception of Pegasus Bridge, as given recent(ish) revalations about his "style" and accuracy of his writings there is a bit of a bad taste in the mouth about his works.

Second World War is a bit more tricky, Sydney Jarys 18 Platoon or George Macdonald Frasers Quartered Safe out Here give personal experiences from both ends of the command perspective and if you add in Alanbrookes War Diaries you have a good spread. Honourable mentions go to Eric Lomax The Railway Man and The Colonel of Tamarakan, Phillip Toosey and the Bridge Over the River Kwai by Julie Summers helps to debunk the inaccuracies of David Leans film.
Leadership in War by Sir John Smyth V.C. an excellent read on the Brit commanders of WW II, by an officer who was either taught by, gave instructions to (Staff Collage) or served with and who knew almost all on a personal basis.
I had tried to obtain this book for some time and No 9 located it and informed me. Thank You.
The Two books by John Masters on his service in the Indian Army
Tiger and a Bugle
The Road passed Mandalay.
and of course
George Macdonald Frasers 'Quartered Safe out Here'
jonwilly - "I had tried to find this book for some time and No 9 located it and informed me. Thank You."

Yes, quite true. :oops: I found it among a mound of his empties near Hot Tub three by the small pool. 8O

Recovery fees always reasonable.

If you like soldiers personal accounts:

Old Soldiers Never Die By Frank Richards. He wasa private in the RWF for 22 or so years. Got the DCM and MM in WW1. It is his account of WW1 and is excellent. Published in the 1930's, it completley lacks political correctness. 5 Star book in my eyes

Somme Mud - E F P lynch. An Australian soldiers personal account of WW1 from his diaries. Only published last year. Another book I couldnt put down!


Thank you all for your replies.

I greatly appreciate your time and effort in replying
At Close Quarters, Holding The Zero, Fighting Man, In Honour Bound. All by Gerald Seymour. Excellent books.
g1ngar, if you're interested in WW1, I'd definitely recommend Harry Patch's biography, "The Last Fighting Tommy" as recommended by Commander_Vimes too. In addition to Richard Holmes as mentioned by Vimes, Richard van Emden is a well-respected WW1 author.

Additionally, Henry Allington has released his biography recently too, entitled "Kitchener's Last Volunteer". I've not read it yet, but it's meant to be very good!

As for WW2, I think the best one that I've read for a long time is probably "Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man" by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, although it may not met the criteria of "I like to read about what the soldiers were feeling" fully. It's very interesting, and uses a lot of eye-witness accounts, and I would definitely recommend it to everyone.
Anything from "Stackpole Military History" the are all translations from German, and give a differant view of the war. Michael Wittman, and the 12th SS are both realy good and the Panzer Aces series are outstanding.
Just reading Guderian's 'Panser leader'-a bit pedestrian in places but an eye opener on WW2 German army internal politics.
Quartered Safe Out Here is George Macdonald Fraser is quite good as well. Good account of fighting the Japanese in WW2.
As said above The Last Fighting Tommy is a very good read,not only does it cover WW1 but gives a good insight into Victorian Britain.

I also highly recommend Having Been A Soldier by Lt.Col.Colin Mitchell.
Redcoat by Richard Holmes. The average Tommy hasn't changed much.
Try this one

XXII Dragoons 1760-1945 The Story of a Regiment by Raymond Birt.

It's a very good account about one of the six cavalry regiments resurrected for World War 2. It is a very good history and, for me, very insteresting since the regiment became one of the three equipped with Crabs (Sherman Flails) which meant it served by troop and squadron in the vanguard most of the time rather than as a complete regiment. An almost forgotten D Day regiment - first armour on shore Sword Beach and at the front on Juno Beach.

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