Books

This is a list of books we have used for research and/or read. For the books we have covered, we use the standard description of the book then we give the book a rating and review if we have covered it extensively.

The rating system and review from the Historical Society are of our own opinions. We do not endorse any particular author unless stated.

Iron Cross Rating System:
  • 5 Crosses – Excellent 
  • 4 Crosses – Good 
  • 3 Crosses – Average
  • 2 Crosses – Poor
  • 1 Cross – Terrible – Do Not Read 

Blitzkrieg 1940

by Ward Rutherford

Recounts the incredible six-week sweep by the Germans through Holland, Belgium, and France in the spring of 1940, illustrated with photographs and maps of the various battles.

Very nicely written book and well laid out with complete, detailed information on the campaign. 


by Ian Baxter

A collection of photos from the early war years covering the German Wehrmacht. The book is full of mistakes in the captions when it comes to reading. Please beware and don’t confuse the mistaken facts.


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Germany 1945: From War to Peace

by Richard Bessel

1945 was the most pivotal year in Germany’s modern history. As World War II drew to a devastating and violent close, the German people were confronted simultaneously with making sense of the horrors just passed and finding the strength and hope to move forward and rebuild. Richard Bessel offers a provocative portrait of Germany’s emergence from catastrophe, and he astutely portrays the defeated nation’s own sense of victimhood after the war, despite the crimes it had perpetrated. Authoritative and dramatic, Germany 1945 is groundbreaking history that brilliantly explores the destruction and remarkable rebirth of Germany at the end of World War II. Ultimately, it is a success story; a story of life after death.

An Excellent book on telling Germany’s story after the war. It is well written and covers the worst of times for the German populace and Fatherland. It does covers the atrocities and rapes committed by the Allied occupation armies. This makes the book a hard to digest read in those chapters, but it is a story seldom told since the victors have written the history of World War II. The book does lack pictures to give the reader sights of the war torn country after the war.


Images of War Series

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Blitzkrieg in the West

by Ian Baxter

This superbly illustrated book captures the dramatic action of May and June 1940. The speed and ferocity of the German onslaught took the Allies by surprise as Hitler’s land and air forces annihilated the inferior opposition. After 9 months stalemate the collapse was cataclysmic and Holland and Belgium quickly fell leaving the British and French forces outflanked and outfought. Panic set in and huge numbers of civilian refugees clogged the roads making the Allies’ withdrawal even more precarious.

The miracle of Dunkirk saved vast numbers of British and French forces but could not prevent the surrender of France, leaving Britain to fight on virtually alone. The splendid photographs in this Images of War series book tell the story of this extraordinary period of history. They include previously unseen images of Rommel’s Ghost Division.

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Blitzkrieg Poland

by Jon Sutherland, Diane Canwell

These photographs are taken from three unpublished albums featuring the German invasion of Poland in 1939. One set was taken by an SS officer, another by a regular officer and a third by a soldier attached to a medical unit. Included are German units on the move, tanks, artillery and aircraft.

There are several shots of recently knocked out Polish vehicles, captured Polish troops and civilians. The shots reflect the rapid pace of the German advance through Poland, some of the cities, towns and villages show signs of heavy fighting, whilst others appear to be untouched. One of the sets show a German unit mounted in fast open cars, heavily armed, speeding through the Polish countryside. Another features armored vehicles and engineers, while another shows the ambulance teams moving up to the front through devastation and chaos.

There are also numerous opportunities throughout the book to see uniforms in their various guises and how they were actually worn in practice. There are shots of earlier German armor, “antique“ Polish armor, and photographs of German troops at rest and preparing to move forward again.

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German Halftracks At War 1939-1945

by Paul Thomas

In the aftermath of The Great War, which saw the introduction of the tank, the more far sighted military leaders realized that the future of warfare hinged on a balance of mobility, firepower and protection.

Tanks would need to be accompanied into battle by supporting arms, specifically infantry, artillery and engineers. An all fully-tracked field army was thought to be too expensive, so the semi-tracked support vehicle (commonly called a halftrack) was born. The halftrack concept was embraced by the French, the US and most notably Germany.

The Germans commissioned numerous types of half-tracked tractors, which were classified by the weight of their towed load. These vehicles were designated Sonderkraffarzeug (special motorized vehicle), abbreviated as Sd.Kfz. Without these vehicles the Blitzkrieg would not have been possible.

These front-wheel steering vehicles with tracked drive transformed the fighting quality of the armored divisions. They carried the infantry alongside the advancing panzers and brought guns and pontoon-bridge sections. The halftrack also became the preferred reconnaissance vehicle.

The Rise of Hitler

by Trevor Salisbury

A Nazi propaganda book found in the ruins of a bomb-damaged German home in 1945 and recovered as a souvenir by a British soldier. It forms the basis for this photographic account of Hitlers’ early days as he gains acceptance and eventually took over the hearts and minds of the German people.

The Images of War series are excellent books with many unknown photos from history.  In some books, they only have photos from certain units so the title can be misleading since they do not cover the entire battle or period of time on that front. Either way this is an excellent series and very well priced. 


German World War II Reenacting: The Wehrmacht in Living History

by Scott Lee Thompson

This book takes the reader through a full-color look at reenactment of the German military of WWII. Dedicated reenactors have gone to amazing lengths to recreate the Wehrmacht in action. Original tanks and half tracks take to the field once more, alongside uniformed German soldiers. Everything from tanks to machine guns to can openers and cooking utensils is put to use to recreate not only authentic battles but also the more mundane aspects of wartime life, such as vehicle and weapons maintenance, sleeping, cooking, and trying to survive. The author has selected photos from WWII reenactments around the world, where reenectors have spent enormous amounts of time and money. Panzers thunder through the fields once more, planes of the Luftwaffe strike from the sky, and the German fighting men and women once more are thrown into an amazing array of scenarios.

Excellent book showing the re-enactors in many different scenes with everything from horses to panzers. 


Im Westen nichts Neues – All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers’ extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front.

The novel was first published in November and December 1928 in the German newspaper Vossische Zeitung and in book form in late January 1929. The book and its sequel, The Road Back, were among the books banned and burned in Nazi Germany. It sold 2.5 million copies in 22 languages in its first eighteen months in print.

In 1930, the book was adapted as an Oscar-winning film of the same name, directed by Lewis Milestone.


Hitler’s Army: The Men, Machines, and Organization: 1939-1945

by David Stone

Hitler’s Army describes and analyzes every significant aspect of Germany’s WWII ground forces including their creation, organization, weapons, equipment, training and tactics. This book also considers its conduct in battle and its strengths and weaknesses. Hitler’s Army is an essential reference, a balanced and indispensable aid for those wishing to understand how the vaunted, apparently unbeatable German army that went to war in 1939 just over five years later was consigned to total military defeat and the ignominy of unconditional surrender.

An excellent book covering the German Heer. Enough information to use it as as reference book on covering the army. Lots of details. 


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Hitler’s Last Days: The Death of the Nazi Regime and the World’s Most Notorious Dictator

by Bill O’Reilly

By early 1945, the destruction of the German Nazi State seems certain. The Allied forces, led by American generals George S. Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower, are gaining control of Europe, leaving German leaders scrambling. Facing defeat, Adolf Hitler flees to a secret bunker with his new wife, Eva Braun, and his beloved dog, Blondi. It is there that all three would meet their end, thus ending the Third Reich and one of the darkest chapters of history.

Hitler’s Last Days is a gripping account of the death of one of the most reviled villains of the 20th century―a man whose regime of murder and terror haunts the world even today. Adapted from Bill O’Reilly’s historical thriller Killing Patton, this book will have young readers―and grown-ups too―hooked on history.

A simple, easy to read book. It does a nice job covering the last days of the war, but lacks extensive coverage of Hitler’s last days in which the title states. 


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Hitler’s Last Witness

by Rochus Misch

A key member of Hitler’s SS bodyguard takes us from the outset of World War II to the desperate last days in the bunker.

After being seriously wounded in the 1939 Polish campaign, Rochus Misch was invited to join Hitler’s SS-bodyguard. There he served until the war’s end as Hitler’s bodyguard, courier, orderly and finally as Chief of Communications.On the Berghof terrace he watched Eva Braun organize parties; observed Heinrich Himmler and Albert Speer; and monitored telephone conversations from Berlin to the East Prussian FHQ on 20 July 1944 after the attempt on Hitler’s life. Towards the end Misch was drawn into the Führerbunker with the last of the ‘faithful.’ As defeat approached, he remained in charge of the bunker switchboard as his duty required, even after Hitler committed suicide.Misch knew Hitler as the private man and his position was one of unconditional loyalty. His memoirs offer an intimate view of life in close attendance to Hitler and of the endless hours deep inside the bunker; and provide new insights into military events such as Hitler’s initial feelings that the 6th Army should pull out of Stalingrad. Shortly before he died Misch wrote a new introduction for this first-ever English-language edition. The book also contains a foreword by the Jewish author Ralph Giordano and a new introduction by Roger Moorhouse.


Karl Doenitz and the Last Days of the Third Reich

by Barry Turner 

Among the military leaders of the Second World War, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz remains a deeply enigmatic figure. As chief of the German submarine fleet he earned Allied respect as a formidable enemy. But after he succeeded Hitler — to whom he was unquestioningly loyal — as head of the Third Reich, his name became associated with all that was most hated in the Nazi regime.

Yet Doenitz deserves credit for ending the war quickly while trying to save his compatriots in the East — his Dunkirk-style operation across the Baltic rescued up to 2 million troops and civilian refugees.

Historian Barry Turner argues that while Doenitz can never be dissociated from the evil done under the Third Reich, his contribution to the war must be acknowledged in its entirety in order to properly understand the conflict.

An even-handed portrait of Nazi Germany’s last leader and a compellingly readable account of the culmination of the war in Europe, Karl Doenitz and the Last Days of the Third Reich gives a fascinating new perspective on a complex man at the heart of this crucial period in history.

An easy read and enjoyable. It was nice to read on Operation Hannibal since little is covered on it. We were hoping for an extensive book on Karl Doenitz during the last days of the Reich in which the book fails. This book should be named ‘ The last days of the Third Reich and Karl Doenitz.’


Race to the Rhine: Liberating France and the Low Countries 1944-45 

by Leo Marriott & Simon Forty 

The speed of the German Blitzkrieg in 1940 and the relative ease with which they brushed aside Allied defenses meant four years of occupation. But in June 1944—this time with American forces—the Allies finally returned for a rematch. The destruction of German forces in Normandy’s Falaise pocket, on August 14,was as quick as the Blitzkrieg had been: by September British troops were in Ghent and Liege; Canadian forces liberated Ostend, and in northeast France Patton’s Third Army was moving rapidly to the German border, taking Rheims on August 29 and Verdun on the 30th. Paris was liberated on August 25th.

The liberation of the Low Countries would not prove as straightforward, however. Operation Market Garden—Montgomery’s brave thrust toward the Rhine at Arnhem—started on September 17 and hoped to end German resistance at a stroke. But it ended in failure on the 25th with over 6,000 paratroopers captured.

V-1 flying bombs had meantime been launched from northern France and the Low Countries from August 1944. During September the more frightening German V-2s began raining in. In late October, belated operations began to clear the Scheldt Estuary and open the port of Antwerp to the Allies, and took nearly a month. Belgium was almost free of the Nazi yoke and the Netherlands looked likely to be cleared before Christmas.

Then, on December 16, came Hitler’s last roll of the dice: a major German counter-offensive in the Ardennes aiming to split the Allied armies and retake Antwerp. It turned out to be their last try: the American defenders held, and finally with better weather, Patton’s army and Allied air superiority told. With the Germans having shot their last bolt, in the spring the Rhine was gained.

Race to the Rhine, a companion volume to The Normandy Battlefields, links modern aerial photography with contemporary illustrations to provide a modern interpretation of the battles, replete with maps, diagrams and photos. It is now 70 years since Western Europe was freed from its occupation, and this book provides a graphic view of how it was accomplished. For those interested in visiting the sites, it supplies a guide to the places that best represent the battles today.


The Illustrated History of the Third Reich

by John Bradley

From one of the most respected authorities on the subject, here is a definitive history of Hitler’s Germany. This classic describes the political events leading up to the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, the creation of Hitler’s police state, the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, and Germany’s central role in the Holocaust. Includes hundreds of photos.


The SS: Hitler’s Instrument of Terror: The Full Story from Street Fighters to the Waffen-SS

by Gordon Williamson

The SS: Hitler’s Instrument of Terroris an authoritative account of Hitler’s private army. Every aspect of the SS is examined in full: its units and their battles, the foreign legions, the various non-military departments, and the key figures who led formations in the field and oversaw internal affairs within Nazi Germany, such as Heinrich Himmler, ‘Sepp’ Dietrich and Kurt Meyer. In addition, the questions of atrocities committed against prisoners and civilians, and the SS’s role in the concentration camp system, are addressed in full.

The appendix includes biographies of some of the more notorious SS members, such as Adolf Eichmann, and Reinhard Heydrich. Ranging from its post-World War I origins to the fall of Berlin, the book will be of interest to both the student of military history and the general reader.
Illustrated with 270 colorr and black and white photographs, many from private collections and seldom seen, as well as 25 color artworks, The SS: Hitler’s Instrument of Terror is  the definitive account of Nazi Germany’s most notorious organization.
This is an excellent resource of on the SS. The book doesn’t spend tons of time covering the Holocaust as other sources, but tries to drop guilt on the Waffen-SS units for war crimes. It is laid out well with the chapters, but inside the chapters can become stuffy in which the subjects are not well laid out. There just should be sub-chapters. Otherwise a great piece of information covering the SS.  

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The Third Reich Day By Day

by Christopher Ailsby

The hardcover reference titles in the Day by Day series examine the evolution of conflicts and wars in a chronological timeline, from the first skirmish to the last battle—and everything in between. These books are a historical companion to each major war in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The fate of soldiers, battalions, armies, can change in the blink of an eye—with this comprehensive book readers can follow the conflicting sides in their strategy, weaponry, and policies.

The Third Reich Day by Day is a chronological, month-by-month examination of the life of the Nazi regime up to its destruction in May 1945. The individual stories of various events, such as the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and the 1934 Night of the Long Knives appear as seperate articles written as lively newspaper columns. The authoritative text is complemented by over 400 photographs that trace the history of the Third Reich from the early days of the Nazis in the 1920s to its destruction.

The authoritative text is completed by over 400 photographs that trace the history of the Third Reich from the early days of Nazis in the 1920’s to its destruction in May 1945.

An excellent book covering the Third Reich day by day. It is not able to cover every day of Nazi Germany due to lack of events on that particular day especially as the end of the war approaches. 


Tiger Tank Manual: Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger 1 Ausf.E (SdKfz 181)

by David Fletcher

The German Tiger I was the most feared battle tank of the Second World War. Its invincibility lay in its main gun and heavy defensive armour. Using the successful Haynes Manual format, the Tiger Tank Manual gives an insight into acquiring, owning and operating one of these awesome fighting vehicles. The Tank Museum’s Tiger `131′ forms the centrepiece of this manual, which includes full photographic coverage of the strip-down of `131′ and its engine. Vivid personal recollections describe what it was like to command a Tiger in war.

An excellent book on the Tiger 1 which includes much information on the Bovington Tiger 131 which was used to create the book. It is not just a technical manual since Haynes books are normally, but the book gives history of the Bovington Tiger with excellent pictures and drawings. 


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WWI MEMORIES OF GENERAL VON EBERHARDT

by George von Wurmb

His Biography and Experiences during World War 1 and the Battles that he led.

To Purchase this Book – Go to this link:

http://www.affordable-booksonline.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=22853&keyword=general+von+eberhardt&searchby=keyword&offset=0&fs=1


World War II

by Christopher Chant

An overview of one of the world’s darkest times, as told by the people who lived through it, and some of whom who did not. Photographs and maps demonstrate many of the actions that took place during this horrifying war.

A nice book with great photos. This is a book more geared for the novice history reader. 


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Warman’s World War II Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide

by John Adams-Graf

Collecting & Preserving WWII History Since the end of World War II, veterans, collectors, and history buffs have bought, sold, and traded the “spoils of war.” Souvenir collecting began as soon as troops set foot on foreign soil. Soldiers looked for wartime trinkets and keepsakes to remind them of their time in the service, validate their presence during the making of history, and generate income when they returned home. Today these items help us understand and define a time when almost the entire world was at war. Newly expanded and completely updated, Warman’s World War II Collectibles, 3rd edition, is a comprehensive full-color resource on World War II militaria. Illustrated with 1,800 all-new color images, the book is loaded with information and current values for uniforms, footwear, headgear, medals, firearms, bayonets, knives, personal items, accoutrements, and groupings–a new category–from the United States, Germany, England, Japan, the former Soviet Union, and other countries from 1939-1945. *1,800 all-new color images and thousands of values * History and collector tips * Pros and cons of each collecting area * Availability and price ratings, as well as reproduction alerts * First-person accounts of the war.

A decent collectibles book with excellent pictures, but does not cover every item of every country. 


by DK

World War II: The Definitive Visual History is a comprehensive, authoritative, yet accessible guide to the people, politics, events, and lasting effects of World War II.

Perhaps the most complex, frightening, and destructive event in global history, the Second World War saw the heights of human courage and the depth of human degradation. World War II presents a complete overview of the war, including the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, fascism, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and the D-Day landings. This book also looks at the enduring effects of World War II during succeeding decades.

Expanded with an all-new guide to battlefield and memorial sites and repackaged to honor the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, World War II: The Definitive Visual History covers key military figures, pivotal battles, political profiles, and strategies, as well as features on everyday life on the Home Front as ordinary citizens did their best to aid the war effort. Gallery spreads feature collections of uniforms, weapons, and other equipment. Maps, timelines, and side panels offer an inviting variety of entry point to the huge wealth of information.


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World War II: The Unseen Visual History

by The Caen Memorial

World War II: The Unseen Visual History draws on a unique and rich trove of historical images and artifacts of World War II, collected in Caen, France, one of the cities devastated by that pivotal conflict. In the form of a concise historical atlas—replete with full-color maps; rare color photographs; period artwork; timelines; and reproductions of fascinating letters, documents, and historical objects—this beautiful, cutting-edge history offers a completely new overview of the modern era’s most destructive war, with visual material previously unavailable to a U.S. audience.

Each brief section of World War II guides readers through a specific aspect of the war—such as the Nazi invasion of the USSR, the Holocaust, and the Japanese assault on Nanking—through timelines, short image captions, explanatory sidebars, annotated maps, and a carefully assembled selection of archival graphics. This compact narrative takes in the full scope of the wartime experience from the rise of Nazism, the invasion of France, the Battle of Britain, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor through the Normandy landings and the Allied defeat of Germany and Japan. A true global history, the book also covers broader themes and experiences, including life under occupation, aerial bombing and nuclear weapons, war crimes and postwar trials, and the role of the war in anticolonial movements in Africa and Asia.


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WWII PLANS THAT NEVER HAPPENED: 1939-45

by Michael Kerrigan

A Nazi scheme to capture the Pope, an IRA plan to invade Northern Ireland, a British plan to attack the Soviet Union after the defeat of Hitler or a Japanese seizure of the Panama Canal – it may sound unbelievable, but during World War II these operations and others as seemingly far-fetched were seriously considered by both the Allies and the Axis. World War II Plans That Never Happened tells the stories of some of the most secret and outrageous operations that were planned during the war, many of which could have taken place and might well have changed the course of history: from the German plan to seize bases in Spain and Portugal and invade Switzerland, to the Japanese plan to bomb the United States, to the American plan to use Marines to attack V-1 bases in Europe, and the British plan to invade Norway and Sweden in 1939/40.On a spread-by-spread basis World War II Plans That Never Happened explains the context of each planned operation and explores whether it might have been successful, and what the impact might have been on the war if it had gone ahead. Arranged by type of operation, the book includes easy-to-read factboxes, informing the reader of the date, intended purpose and forces involved. In addition there are rare photographs, illustrations and maps to demonstrate that these were
real operation actually seriously considered by the planning staffs. Authoritatively written and with more than 250 color and black-and-white photographs, maps and illustrations, World War II Plans That Never Happened will prove fascinating to any World War II enthusiast.

A nice read on the some very little know history if you a novice or average history reader. Some of these events have been covered by television documentaries even more extensively. 

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Largest Collection of Photos and Images of German History in the World with a focus on World War II.