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Subject: What books did you read growing up that shaped your interest in WWII? rss

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M Hellyer
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Which books did you read growing up that shaped your interest in World War II, and possibly WWII gaming? These were some that did it for me.

Snow Treasure (non-fiction) by Marie McSwigan - I think I read this Scholastic Services book in 5th grade about a daring mission versus the Nazis in Norway.

The Longest Day (non-fiction) by Cornelius Ryan - I read this in high school around the time the movie came out, and thought this was a great read.

The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean. Exciting novel of a dangerous commando raid.

A 4th book was on the Battle of Britain and I don't recall the title unless it was called Hurricane. Gave a great overview of the air war for Britain and the heroics and planes involved.
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Bill Lawson
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Hitler Moves East Paul Carell
Panzer Leader Heinz Guderian
War as I knew It George Patton
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Robert Wesley
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The entire 'DuPuy'(sp?) 'series' of small books that would cover portions for those within theirs upon a certain topic. Plenty of them 'paperbacks' kinds also; "Samurai (Ace?)"; "Stalingrad"; etc., Ballantine Books 'series'; "The World at War" magazines & T V show; "History of the 2nd W.W." magazines(?) with plenty another as well...
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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I spent an awful lot of time with this series:
Time/Life WWII 39 Volume Set:


The World At Arms: The Reader's Digest Illustrated History Of World War II:



I checked them out of my local library repeatedly. Even got lucky, the librarian was nice, I would always have more military history books to check out than was allowed by the library policy but because so few people checked them out and I was always on time with my returns she let me take what ever I had selected. There are many more I cant remember but I tended to keep my library's military history section functioning. laugh
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Jim Ransom
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Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II. Anyone else remember this series of paperbacks? Sold for a buck each if I recall. There was a series on campaigns, one on battles, one on war leaders, one on weapons...must have been a hundred or so of these nicely illustrated and informative books.
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Company Commander by Charles B. MacDonald
Grey Wolf, Grey Sea by E. B Gasaway
The Mighty 8th by Roger Freeman

Many of the Bantam series of books.
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Ernest Schubert
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My dad bought me my first one I think it was Panzer Division.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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A couple:

History of the Second World War - Liddell Hart

Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - Shirer
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Andrew C
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As a kid I was mostly interested in the hardware of war, particulary aircraft. I think my first World War II books (which I still have almost 40 years later) were volumes 1 and 2 of Rand McNally's World War II Airplanes. I'd spend hours reading all the planes' vital statistics, and I used to know trivia like the horsepower and top speed of the Mustang A versus the Mustand D off the top of my head. (1,200 HP and 390 MPH vs. 1,675 and 437 MPH, by the way, I just looked it up)
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Yours Truly,
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Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Although, "shaped my awareness" might be more appropriate than "shaped my interest".
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Wendell
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First thing I remember ingesting about WW2 were those World at War episodes they'd show on TV on a Saturday afternoon, after the Reds' game...
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Pete Belli
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James Mintus
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Incredible Victory by Walter Lord
Blue skies and blood by Edwin Hoyt
Battle for Guadalcanal by Samual Griffith III
The Big Show by Pierre Clostermann
Iron Coffins by Herbert Werner
Brazen Chariots by Robert Crisp
As Eagles Screamed by Donald Burgett
Samurai by Saburo Sakai
Cockleshell Heroes by C.E. Lucas-Phillips
Battle of the Huertgen Forest by Charles MacDonald

That's just a few that I remember. Basically, I read almost every book
in the BANTAM WAR BOOK series and the War series by JOVE/PLAYBOY press.

I loved the BANTAM series; wonderfull books. The JOVE/PLAYBOY books had
great artwork on the covers.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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pete belli wrote:


Not from my childhood but I have this edition and the Stephen Ambrose edition, love them both!
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Lawrence Hung
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The 156 books in the Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II are one fascinating series. To begin with:

11 Barbarossa, Invasion of Russia 1941: John Keegan

as I compared move by move my game of The Russian Campaign to the book. Following, I read quite a number of other books in the series like:

1 Afrika Korps: Kenneth J Macksey
6 France, Summer 1940: John Williams
8 The Nuremberg Rallies: Alan Wykes

5 Warsaw Rising: Gunther Deschner

The impact of the good military books is still felt today.
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Dan Long
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When I was a preteen (early 60's) a friend of my parents gave me a copy of GUADALCANAL DIARY and THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO- both editions published during the war- they had 'Buy Bonds' printed on them- I still have them and treasure them.
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Ted Spencer
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My interest in WWII was shaped by veterans. When I was young, they were everywhere.

First was my family. My father and uncle were WWII vets. Another uncle was killed at Metz. Their three military photos were prominently displayed in our home.

But those who most shaped my interest and point of view on WWII were the barbershop guys. My grandfather was too young for WWI and too old for WWII. He was kind of a father figure to the two barbers and the hangers-on who flipped through Playboy, talked and joked about the war, and treated me as a young man. "Don't tell your mother..."

Finally, a Sunday School teacher we had was a POW in Europe. His story had nothing to do with religion, but what STORIES they were!

So I can't say that books had anything to do with shaping my interest in WWII. It was the men who served.



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Cpl. Fields
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John Iverson
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Cleitus the Black wrote:






Loved those. Still have those. Liked the hardware too. One of the first purchases I made myself was Green's Warplanes of the Third Reich.

For non-fiction action, liked most of the things Bantam was putting out in the 70's in white cover paperbacks (Brazen Chariots, Company Commander, Iron Coffins, Stuka Pilot,......)

Two fiction books I really liked were The Shadow Army by Rydberg about Crete and Tramp in Armor by Forbes about a matilda tank bypassed during Case Yellow.

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Jeffrey D Myers
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For me, it probably was watching episodes of Combat! On TV when just a wee lad....
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Michael McCalpin
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Two stand out:

Life's Picture History of World War II: recovered from my grandfather's house and a treasured keepsake.


The Mosquito Fleet, by Bern Keating: I read this over and over, amazed at the nerve of these guys in their plywood boats against the IJN.
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Steve Vance
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My earliest spark in book form (the TV series, Combat!, was the real first spark for WWII interest) was the children's book in the Random House Landmark World series, The Sinking of the Bismarck, by William L. Shirer. After that, as a teen or young adult:

Where Eagles Dare, Alistair MacLean
A Bridge Too Far, Cornelius Ryan
Patton: Ordeal and Triumph, Ladislas Farago
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Robert Wesley
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Cleitus the Black wrote:
Did you have their 3rd Book in that 'series' with "World Aircraft Commercial 1935-1960"? That also contained the "Italian JET"-(Campini Camproni CC.2) of which should have been in their previous one under their National heading.
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Kev.
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Growing up i.e. as a child, teenager I had similar books to you.
Plus
Biggles!
oh and :
whilst not a book I had adventures which spurred reading to find out what the 'guy' really did.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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lesulm1 wrote:
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
I spent an awful lot of time with this series:
Time/Life WWII 39 Volume Set:


My dad had this set and I spent many a hour reading it. My favorite was "The Secret War".


laugh

My favorite was 'The Russian Soviet Juggernaut', even at that age I quite enjoyed the Russian Front and her toys...I never wouldve made it in the 50's and 60's Im sure I wouldve been the 'dirty commie bastard'.

Not sure if it was in the Russian Juggernaut or another one in the series on the Eastern Front but I vividly remember a side piece in the book on 'The Black Tulip eg Erich Hartmann' and seeing a side profile of his 'tulipped' 109 was just mesmerizing to me. I always loved color profiles, and still do to this day but I just loved that paint scheme.
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