top of page

                         
                     Suggested Reading WW2

      (Books are not listed in order of importance. The year usually denotes the edition rather than first publication)

                                                                                                                  
 

Episode 1 - Britain Alone?

  • David Edgerton, Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Penguin, 2012)

  • David Edgerton, England and The Aeroplane: Militarism, Modernity and Machines (Penguin, 2013)

  • David Edgerton, The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A Twentieth-Century History (Penguin, 2019)

  • Daniel Todman, Britain's War: Into Battle 1937-41 (Penguin, 2017)

  • Daniel Todman, Britain's War: A New World 1942-47 (Allen Lane, 2020)

  • Alan Allport, Britain At Bay: The Epic Story of the Second World War 1938-1941 (Profile, 2020)

  • Graham T. Clews, Churchill's Phoney War: A Study in Folly and Frustration  (Annapolis: US Naval Institute Press, 2019)

  • Jonathan Fennell, Fighting The People's War (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

  • Tim Bouverie, Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War (Vintage, 2020)

  • Mark Connelly, We Can Take It: Britain and the Memory of the Second World War (Pearson Education, 2004)

  • A. Wilson, R. Hammond, J. Fennell (eds), The People's War? (McGill-Queens University Press, 2022)

  • Angus Calder, The People's War: Britain 1939-45 (London, 1969)

  • Angus Calder, The Myth of the Blitz (London, 1991)

  • Stephen Bungay, The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain (London, 2000)

  • Richard Overy, The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality (Penguin, 2010)

  • Ashley Jackson, The British Empire and the Second World War (New York, 2006)

Episode 2 - A world at war: winning and losing

  • ,Richard Overy, Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War 1931-1945 (Allen Lane, 2021)

  • Richard Overy, Why The Allies Won (Pimlico, 2006)

  • Richard Overy, The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (Penguin, 2014)

  • Richard Overy, Russia's War: A History of the Soviet War Effort 1941-1945 (Penguin, 1998)

  • Ashley Jackson, The British Empire and the Second World War (New York, 2006)

  • Jeremy Black, Rethinking World War Two: The Conflict and its Legacy (Bloomsbury, 2015)

  • Robert Lyman, A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma and Britain 1941-45 (Osprey, 2021)

  • Rana Mitter, Forgotten Ally: China's World War Two 1937-1945 (First Mariner, 2014)

  • Evan Mawdsley, The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War Two (Yale University Press, 2020)

  • Simon Ball, The Bitter Sea: The Brutal World War II Fight for the Mediterranean  (Harper, 2010)

  • Rick Atkinson, 'The Liberation Trilogy': An Army At Dawn, (Vol 1, Abacus, 2002) The Day of Battle (Vol 2, 2007), and The Guns at Last Light (Vol 3, 2013),  

  • James Holland, The War in the West - A New History 1939-1945: Germany Ascendant 1939-41 (Vol 1, Corgi 2016), The Allies Fight Back 1941-1943 (Vol 2, 2017)  

  • John Buckley, Monty's Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe (Yale University Press, 2014)

  • Peter Caddick-Adams, 1945: Victory in the West (Penguin, 2023

Episode 3 - the pacific war

  • Ian W. Toll, 'The Pacific War Trilogy': Pacific Crucible (Vol 1, Norton, 2012); The Conquering Tide (Vol 2, 2015); Twilight of the Gods (Vol 3, 2020)

  • Richard B. Frank, Tower of Skulls; A History of the Asia-Pacific War, July 1937-May 1942 (Norton, 2020)

  • Robert Lyman, A War of Empires (Osprey, 2021)

  • Evan Mawdsley, The War for the Seas (YUP, 2020)

  • Richard Hough, The Longest Battle: The War At Sea 1939-1945 (Canelo, 2021)

  • Paul Kennedy, Victory At Sea: Naval Power and the Transformation of the Global Order in World War Two (Yale University Press, 2022)

  • Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing The Enemy: Stalin, Truman and the Surrender of Japan (Harvard University Press, 2005)

  • Brian P. Farrell, The Defence and Fall of Singapore 1940-1942 (Tempus, 2005)

  • James M. Scott, Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, The Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb (Norton, 2022)

  • Saul David, Crucible of Hell: Okinawa, the Last Great Battle of the Second World War (Collins, 2021)

episode 4 - food: A matter of life and death

  • Lizzie Collingham, The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food (Penguin, 2012)

  • Evan Mawdsley, The War for the Seas (YUP, 2020)

  • Adam Tooze, The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy (Penguin, 2007)

  • Marc Milner, Battle of the Atlantic (The History Press, 2011)

  • Richard Overy, Russia's War (Penguin, 1998)

  • Rana Mitter, Forgotten Ally (First Mariner, 2014)

episode 5 - the real holocaust

  • Christian Gerlach, The Extermination of the European Jews (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

  • David Cesarani, Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-49 (Pan, 2017)

  • Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Vintage, 2015)

  • Timothy Snyder, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Vintage, 2016)

  • Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (Yale University Press, 2003; first pub'd 1961)

  • Peter Longerich, Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution (Oxford University Press, 2021)

  • Christopher R. Browning, Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

  • Adam Tooze, The Wages of Destruction (Penguin, 2007)

  • Jan T. Gross, Neighbours: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland, 1941 (Arrow, 2003)

episode 6 - china's war

  • Hans van de Ven, China At War: Triumph and Tragedy in the Emergence of the New China 1937-1952 (Profile, 2017)

  • Mark Peattie, Edward Drea, Hans van de Ven (eds), The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 (Stanford University Press, 2011)

  • Rana Mitter, Forgotten Ally (First Mariner, 2014)

  • Richard B. Frank, Tower of Skulls (Norton, 2020)

  • Robert Lyman, A War of Empires (Osprey, 2021)

  • James Holland, Burma '44: The Battle that Turned Britain's War in the East (Corgi, 2016)

  • Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing The Enemy (Harvard, 2005)

episode 7 - the Underground war

  • Halik Kochanski, Resistance: The Underground War in Europe 1939-1945 (Allen Lane, 2022)

  • Halik Kochanski, The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War (Harvard University Press, 2012)

  • Alexandra Richie, Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler and the Warsaw Uprising (New York, 2013)

  • Matthew Cobb, The Resistance: The French Fight Against the Nazis (Simon & Schuster, 2010)

  • Caroline Morehead, A House in the Mountains: The Women who Liberated Italy from Fascism (Vintage, 2020)

  • Marcia Kurapovna, Shadows on the Mountain: The Allies, the Resistance, and the Rivalries that Doomed WW2 Yugoslavia (Trade Paper Press, 2009)

episode 8 - the soviet-german war

  • Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War 1939-53 (Yale University Press, 2008)

  • Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin's General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov (Icon, 2013)

  • Martin Folly, Geoffrey Roberts, Oleg Rzheshevsky (eds), Churchill and Stalin: Comrades-in-Arms during the Second World War (Pen and Sword, 2019)

  • Alfred J. Rieber, Stalin As Warlord (Yale University Press, 2022)

  • Evan Mawdsley, Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War 1941-1945 (Bloomsbury, 2016)

  • David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House, When Titans Clashed: How The Red Army Stopped Hitler (University Press of Kansas, 2015)

  • Richard Overy, Russia's War (Penguin, 2010)

  • Catherine Merridale, Ivan's War: The Red Army 1939-45 (Faber and Faber, 2006)

  • Nicholas Stargadt, The German War: A Nation Under Arms 1939-45 (Vintage, 2016) 

  • Omer Bartov, Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich (Oxford University Press, 1992)

  • Prit Buttar, Between Giants: The Battle for the Baltics in World War Two (Osprey, 2015)

episode 9 - America's 'good war'

  • John Bodnar, The 'Good War' in American Memory (John Hopkins University Press, 2010)

  • Michael C. C. Adams, The Best War Ever: America and World War II (John Hopkins University Press, 2015)

  • Elizabeth D. Samet, Looking for the Good War: American Amnesia and the Violent Pursuit of Happiness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021)

  • Paul Fussell, Wartime: Understanding and Behaviour in the Second World War (Oxford University Press, 1989)

  • Studs Terkel, 'The Good War': An Oral History of World War Two (The New Press, 1997)

  • Charles Glass, The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II (Collins, 2014)

  • Mary Louise Roberts, What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France (University of Chicago Press, 

  • Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation (Random House, 1998)

  • Stephen Ambrose, D-Day - 6 June, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches (Simon & Schuster UK, 2016)

  • Stephen Ambrose, Band of Brothers (Simon & Schuster UK, 2017)

episode 10 - aftermath

  • Keith Lowe, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War Two (Penguin, 2013)

  • Keith Lowe, The Fear and the Freedom: How the Second World War Changed Us (Viking 2017)

  • Keith Lowe, Prisoners of History: What Monuments to World War Two Tell Us about our History and Ourselves (Collins, 2021)

  • Harald Jahner, Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich 1945-55 (W.H. Allen, 2021)

  • Nicholas Stargadt, The German War (Vintage, 2016)

  • Julia Boyd and Angelika Patel, A Village in the Third Reich (Elliott & Thompson, 2022)

  • Walter Kempowski, Swansong 1945: A Collective Diary from Hitler's Last Birthday to VE Day (Granta, 2015)

  • Margaret MacMillan, War: How Conflict Shaped Us (Profile, 2021)

bottom of page