10 Best Second World War History Books


Today we will shed some light upon, some of the most popular second world war history books in english.

No soul had seen a devastation like this, nobody wished to see it again, but not long after the first world war was over, came bursting in World War II. Spanning a period of six years from 1939 to 1945, it ended with one of the most grotesque acts on the planet. World war has been profoundly displayed through literature, art, music and films. There has always been two perspectives when war is on the panel, glorification and somber morbidness.

Let’s take a look at great works on world war 2 from both these perspectives. These books can also help teach second world war history for children and causes of world war 2.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Though the Allies won WWII, but they didn’t win it all. Apart from D-Day, the Allies faced a tragic and bitter defeat in the Battle of Arnhem. As the Allies stressed on ending the War in Europe, they strategized a detailed attack, to capture the important bridge above the Rhine of Arnhem, behind the German force. Cornelius describes the agony and risk of one of the most ill-fated operations of all times. The book revives the horror, and tragedy of the operation that went berserk and cost the Allies greatly.  

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest

The Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, US army were the first ones to look up to when a tough task had to be done. From parachuting to Normandy to taking Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, the Band of Brothers were up and competent for any task. Ambrose tells their story, with reference to the interviews he took of the survivors of the Band. Throughout the book he has described the pain and tragedy through which the Band went through, and has written in the soldier’s own words about their experiences. Filled with stories from the soldier’s journals, this book gives an insight into the tragedy behind heroism.

An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943

To truly understand the rise of US as a major power during and after the WWII, you have to understand how its involvement started. How exactly did America started acting as a major power in the war? It all started with the invasion of North Africa in 1942, with the battle against the French in Morocco. The book tells the story of the British and American forces fighting their way through the conflicted Africa, and then facing the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. An Army at Dawn on this aspect of the World War 2, where America rose to a major power.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

Hitler claimed that the Third Reich would dominate the world for more than a thousand years. Though the war ended it in 12 years, but those 12 years were cataclysmic for the entire world. William Shirer who himself was a correspondent to the war, explains descriptively the entire rise and fall of the Third Reich. The beginning and end of the German Nazi empire, is documented through William’s own experience and the journals that came out of Germany after the war. From Mussoulini to the United States getting involved in one of the most dreadful wars of the world, this book covers it all.

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D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches

After the first world war was over, no one wanted to be a part of another. The entire scenario of the world changed, when it started coming back like a double dipped hill. On the beaches of Normandy, France; one of the greatest amphibious invasions took place. When 24,000 American, British and Canadian troops were parachuted on the beaches. Then at the five beaches arrived the seaborne troops. The day caused heavy casualties on the Allies side, but resulted in a strong foothold in the ongoing war against the Nazis. The book is about this day, codenamed D-Day, that resulted in many lives lost irrespective of the sides they fought from.  

Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945

Written by one of the most renowned war historians, Inferno is a compilation, a single volume history of the WWII. The book consists of many personal stories of soldiers, their wives, suicide bombers, and many others who suffered from the war, and didn’t gain from the victories. From Hitler’s army freezing in the Soviet Union and Stalin’s use of population to bring down Nazis, to Roosevelt’s nuclear bombs, Hastings puts it all on a timeline. The book also unveils some of the darker, unglorified facts of the war; the famine of Bengal, Finland’s unfathomable resistance against the Red Army and other crucial and dark events. Inferno is a book about the history of one of the most macabre war.

Why the Allies Won

The Allied victory was not just a result of Germany dooming itself by fighting a two front war, and US capitalizing through their material strength. During 1945 Germany controlled most of the European resources and Soviet Union’s industry took a crack. US were still unarmed, but the allied forces accomplished the victory through war at sea, at air, multiple invasions of the European regions and important and effective leadership. The book also explores the more crucial factors leading to the Allied victories, the leadership, moral boundaries and industry power of the nations at war.

The Second World War

This profound narrative of the war, starts from the Nazi invasion of Poland to the day Hitler shot himself and the aftermath of the war. Brilliantly researched by one of the acclaimed WWII history writer Antont Beevor, this book describes how the war affected every country, every major power that was involved. A single hefty volume consisting the complete World War that ended in a brutal tragedy, with countries victorious and humanity losing.


One of the most dangerous man in Hitler’s cabinet was, Reinhard Heydrich also known as the “butcher of Prague”. HHhH: "Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich", or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich" is a depiction of the man feared and abhorred by most. All this until two men, killed him under the bright sun and ended his reign of terror. The book is about Jozef Gabcik and Jab Kubis, who escaped from the Nazi controlled Czechoslovakia and returned back to England. Both got recruited into the war and were parachuted to the distressful war zone. These two young men killed Heydrich and then died themselves in the basement of a church. This book is about the pitiable heroes and there ultimate odyssey.

Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank starts her diary after her thirteenth birthday, on June 12 1942. At first her diary describes, a usual diary of a teenager, about friends, family and relatives. Soon, the Franks flee Germany to prevent themselves from persecution, from the Nazi Germany. Germany invades Netherlands, where the Franks hide in a secret annex in van Daan family's house where they are provided with supplies. Now, Anne writes about the things happening in the outside world, the war and the effect that it has upon them.

Here are recommended books for reading about wwii history in your regional language:

Second World War History in Hindi

Second World War History in Tamil

Second World War History in Telugu

Second world war history in telugu

Second World War History in Malayalam


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