Best War Novels

Discussions on WW2 and pre-WW2 related movies, games, military art and other fiction.
User avatar
Pips
Member
Posts: 1230
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 08:44
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Best War Novels

Post by Pips » 06 Jun 2022 01:20

Have always enjoyed reading a good war novel. Not over the top action authors like Hassel, Kessler, Robinson, Townsend, MacDonnell et al, but rather low key depicting a more nuanced conflict. If the writer does it well novels, I find, act as a nice enhancement to historical books. Sort of adds the human touch.

Some of my favourites are:
The Sudden Sky, by B. Michelaard
The Fighters, by Colin Willock
Run Silent, Run Deep, by Edward L. Beach
Thunder At Dawn, by Alan Evans
The Freebooters, by Elleston Trevor
Tramp In Armour, by Colin Forbes
Winged Victory, by V.M Yeates
HMS Ulysses, by Alistair MacLean
Sharks And Little Fish, by Wolfgang Ott
In The Company Of Eagles, by Ernest k. Gann
The Blue Max, by Jack D. Hunter
The Hunters, by James Salter
Return To The Ardennes, by Harold Calin

Sadly have never found a good novel on the British Army in WWII. Especially one covering the Italian campaign.

VanillaNuns
Member
Posts: 423
Joined: 30 Aug 2020 18:56
Location: UK

Re: Best War Novels

Post by VanillaNuns » 06 Jun 2022 18:06

"The Leader and the Damned" by Colin Forbes

"The Eagle Has Landed" by Jack Higgins

"The Berkut" by Joseph Heywood

"Where Eagles Dare" by Alastair McLean

"The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" by Herman Wouk

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 3415
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Sheldrake » 06 Jun 2022 23:59

"The Cruel Sea", "Three Corvettes", "HMS Marlborough Will Enter Harbour" Nicholas Monserrat
"Bomber" Len Deighton
"The Unknown Soldier" Väinö Linna
"From the city from the plough" Alexander Baron
"Gunner Asch" Novels Helmut Kirst

jbroshot
Member
Posts: 124
Joined: 18 May 2009 01:33

Re: Best War Novels

Post by jbroshot » 07 Jun 2022 05:37

Used to own all of the Gunner Asch novels, but, alas, they've disappeared over the years; Hans Helmut Kirst's The Night of the Generals is pretty good, too.

My list

Commander Prince, USN, by James Bassett

H.M.S. Trigger, by Antony Melville-Ross

The Soldier, by Richard Powell

Sweeney Squadron, by Donald J. Plantz

12 O'Clock High!, by Bernie Lay, Jr. and Sy Bartlett

The Rage of Angels, by Alan Fisher

and

The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara

User avatar
Pips
Member
Posts: 1230
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 08:44
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Pips » 07 Jun 2022 07:55

A few good novels mentioned above. :)

Can anyone recommend good novels on that deal with the British Army in WWII?

User avatar
Hans1906
Member
Posts: 4250
Joined: 06 Jan 2020 23:13
Location: Deutschland

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Hans1906 » 07 Jun 2022 11:43

"Gunner Asch" Novels Helmut Kirst
Here in Germany, the works of Hans Hellmut Kirst are classified as "trivial literature", and I definitely sign that.
Kirst wrote about 60 novels and became a bestselling German author. He wrote crime novels and at the same time dealt with the coming to terms with National Socialism, but his critics assigned him to trivial literature. In the 1950s he vigorously opposed German rearmament, which led to violent attacks from the new Federal Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauss.[1] In 1960 and 1962 he had two more world successes with the novels Factory of Officers and The Night of the Generals, which were also filmed.
Source and link: Hans Hellmut Kirst https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Hellmut_Kirst

You can certainly argue about it today, but it wasn't anti-war literature, it was more of a tightrope walk in the search for literary success.
And successful were his works and the many film adaptations, undisputedly, very successful, and still today...

No offense meant, just a personal opinion, as is almost always the case... :wink:


Hans
„Im Leben gibt’s die Bösen und die Guten. Und die dazwischen, das sind die Bagaluten.“

User avatar
Hans1906
Member
Posts: 4250
Joined: 06 Jan 2020 23:13
Location: Deutschland

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Hans1906 » 07 Jun 2022 11:54

Paul Coelestin Ettighoffer https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Coel ... ttighoffer

Edlef Köppen https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edlef_Köppen

Erich Maria Remarque https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Maria_Remarque

Ernst Jünger https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Jünger

These are just four of the authors that are really worth mentioning, that I would spontaneously name in this topic, the complete list would be very long...


Hans
„Im Leben gibt’s die Bösen und die Guten. Und die dazwischen, das sind die Bagaluten.“

LineDoggie
Member
Posts: 867
Joined: 03 Oct 2008 20:06

Re: Best War Novels

Post by LineDoggie » 08 Jun 2022 17:11

The Cruel Sea Nicholas Monserrat

The 13th Valley John M. Dellvecchio

The Ten Thousand Harold Coyle

Fox on the Rhine Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson

The Bridges at Toko-Ri James Michener
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

User avatar
AnchorSteam
Member
Posts: 377
Joined: 31 Oct 2020 05:43
Location: WAY out there

Re: Best War Novels

Post by AnchorSteam » 11 Jun 2022 00:10

I agree with a lot of the above and only have one to add to the list (I guess I read too much non-fiction) off the top of my head;

The Cross of Iron, by Willi Heinrich

Probably forgotten by many because of the mess Sam Peckinpah made of the film despite a near-perfect cast.

User avatar
von thoma
Member
Posts: 6192
Joined: 10 Jul 2010 03:40
Location: Spain

Re: Best War Novels

Post by von thoma » 11 Jun 2022 23:24

' Kaputt ' by Curcio Malaparte.
( When the author was asked the reason for his pseudonym, he said I chose Malaparte because Bonaparte was already taken )
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
" The right to believe is the right of those who don't know "

cstunts
Member
Posts: 573
Joined: 17 Aug 2006 04:45
Location: USA

Re: Best War Novels

Post by cstunts » 12 Jun 2022 03:22

1) Stalingrad by T. Plievier
2) The Caine Mutiny by H. Wouk
3) Paths of Glory by H. Cobb
4) Shiloh by Shelby Foote
5) Delilah by M. Goodrich
6) Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Felix C
Member
Posts: 1163
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Felix C » 12 Jun 2022 18:24

Pips wrote:
07 Jun 2022 07:55
A few good novels mentioned above. :)

Can anyone recommend good novels on that deal with the British Army in WWII?
The Human Kind
From the City, from the Plough
There's No Home
all by Alexander Baron.

Warriors for the Working Day by Peter Elstob.

User avatar
Pips
Member
Posts: 1230
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 08:44
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Pips » 13 Jun 2022 01:39

Thanks for the recommendations Felix.

User avatar
Hans1906
Member
Posts: 4250
Joined: 06 Jan 2020 23:13
Location: Deutschland

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Hans1906 » 13 Jun 2022 18:26

Wolfgang Borchert is to be mentinoned:
Wolfgang Borchert (May 20, 1921 in Hamburg – November 20, 1947 in Basel) was a German writer. His small oeuvre of short stories, poems and a play made Borchert one of the best-known authors of rubble literature after the Second World War. In the post-war period, large sections of the German audience could identify with his homecoming drama Outside in front of the door. Short stories such as The Bread, This Tuesday or Nights the rats sleep, as exemplary examples of their genre, became frequent school reading. The presentation of the pacifist admonition Then there is only one! accompanied many peace rallies.
Wolfgang Borchert: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Borchert

It is unfortunate that he died much too soon, but the gods call some to come early...

Wolfgang Borchert: "Das Brot" und andere Erzählungen | Hörbuch Compilation zum Einschlafen



Hans
„Im Leben gibt’s die Bösen und die Guten. Und die dazwischen, das sind die Bagaluten.“

Felix C
Member
Posts: 1163
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: Best War Novels

Post by Felix C » 28 Oct 2022 23:10

I very much liked James Webb's Fields of Fire. USMC Vietnam.
Jean Noli's Admiral's Wolfpack. WW2 uboats I thought it was nonfiction
Wolfgang Ott, Sharks and Little Fish. as above.

Return to “Movies, games & other fiction”