If you're looking for a great World War 2 read, look no further. These five books are some of the best in the genre, telling stories of tragedy, heroism, and everything in between.

Whether you're looking for an overview of the war or want to focus on specific aspects, these books have something for everyone. They're all well-written and provide a unique perspective on this important time in history.

You won't be able to put these books down. Each one is filled with fascinating stories that will keep you hooked until the very end.

Pick one of these books and learn more about World War 2!

How We Choose These 5 Best Books for You

It can be hard to know which books are worth reading, especially when it comes to a topic as complex as World War 2.

There are so many different books on World War 2, it can be hard to know where to start. How do you know which one is the best?

We've got you covered. We've read through thousands of reviews and compiled a list of the Best World War 2 Books for you.

Best for Memory

This definitive edition offers readers the chance to fully immerse themselves inside Anne’s world – a world which she thought may one day be remembered.

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1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

What Is This Book About

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is a timeless story of courage and hope, as witnessed through one incredible teenage girl’s eyes. Written when Anne was just 13 years old, this powerful account of life during the Nazi occupation brings to life the terror and fear experienced by her family and those around them forced into hiding in Amsterdam. But it also reveals the soaring highs of adolescent joy and friendship, providing an intimate insight into the everyday struggles, emotions, and humor of a young person caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

This definitive edition offers readers the chance to fully immerse themselves inside Anne’s world – a world which she thought may one day be remembered: “Perhaps it will come true that people are so drawn to my diary that they are eager to publish it at once,” she wrote while in hiding. The profound lessons embedded within these pages continue to provide valuable insight into what life means today, offering readers an uplifting testament to comfort, optimism, and strength even in the darkest times.

Why You Will Love It

You will love reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank because it is much more than a heartbreaking story about how Hitler seized the fate of Anne and her family. You get an in-depth look into Anne’s everyday life, her loves, and heartaches, her hopes for the future, and her humorous observations of the people around her. You feel as if you are partaking in the journey with Anne as she struggles to come to terms with their altered lives during WWII. You go on emotional roller coasters from anger to happiness, from calm to grieved - all within the pages of this book.

Best for Information

This National Book Award-winning bestseller explores everything from Adolf Hitler’s rise to power to the Holocaust and beyond. 

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2. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

What Is This Book About

If you’re looking for an all-in-one guide to understanding one of the most profound and horrific events in human history, this is it! The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer is an absolute must-read that covers the incredible story of Hitler’s empire and the events leading up to World War II.

Intensely researched, this National Book Award-winning bestseller explores everything from Adolf Hitler’s rise to power to the Holocaust and beyond. This special fiftieth-anniversary edition also features a brand-new introduction by Ron Rosenbaum. As friendly as it is informative, this book will be your tour guide into a dark but significant period of our world's past!

Why You Will Love It

This book serves as the definitive account of a dark moment in mankind's history. You'll be taken back in time to Nazi Germany, where you will be captivated by the mentally deficient and power-hungry leaders that highlighted such a tumultuous era. You'll learn about an entire nation made complicit in corruption and dysfunctional, criminal behavior, and discover first-hand how this ultimately spiraled into a horrific slide to physical and economic disaster. For those wishing to have a more exhaustively complete understanding of Nazism's impact on the world, there is no better book than this bestselling classic.

Best for Vivid Illustrations

Through thought-provoking discussions on morality and the consequences faced during such turbulent times, this book illustrates heavy themes without overwhelming newcomers to the world war genre. 

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3. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman

What Is This Book About

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman is truly a unique piece of literary genius—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written. It is inspiring, yet incredibly daunting journey through the Holocaust, powerfully depicted through vivid illustrations of mice representing Jews and menacing cats embodying Nazis. It takes you on an adventurous yet educational ride, throughout the harrowing experiences of survival from one of its own—the author’s father; proving once more that true strength comes from unity against adversity.

For those seeking knowledge about this enlightening era in history, Maus I will provide an engaging and friendly read. Through thought-provoking discussions on morality and the consequences faced during such turbulent times, it illustrates heavy themes without overwhelming newcomers to the world war genre. This riveting story digs deep into an individual’s narrative eye view of devastation and forces readers to contemplate how and why humans maintain their humanity in times when it seems most detrimental to do so.

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman is a must-have for any bookshelf collection! Whether you are a long-time student or a newfound admirer of WW2 literature and art, this remarkable combination will captivate you.

Why You Will Love It

You will love Maus because it's so much more than just a gripping historical account. Spiegelman's tale of survival is not only based on fact but told with such intimate detail that you can feel the emotions spilling off the page. You will be taken on an extraordinary journey as Spiegelman unfolds his tortured relationship with his father, and paints a jaw-dropping portrait of the devastating impact of one of history's greatest tragedies. You won't be able to put down this captivating story that takes readers in new directions while gracefully maneuvering them through pain and trauma.

Best for Suffering

This excellent story is based on accurate statistics and provides a clear understanding of the immense suffering and death both German and Soviet troops endured during the ww2.

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4. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942–1943 by Antony Beevor

What Is This Book About

This authoritative account dives deep into the unbelievable events that transpired during the 5-month siege for Stalingrad, which resulted in casualties numbering in the millions.

Beevor sheds light on both German and Russian forces during this fateful period, providing an in-depth view of what it must have felt like to fight and die under such extreme conditions. Not only will readers learn more about the Battle of Stalingrad's life at that time, but they will also understand how its outcomes shaped modern warfare as we know it today.

So don't miss out - get your hands on Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942–1943 by Antony Beevor now! This insightful piece is sure to encapsulate you as it details what happened during one of the major turning points in history.

Why You Will Love It

You will love this book because of prominent military historian Anthony Beevor’s masterful execution and vivid descriptions. This excellent story is based on accurate statistics and provides a clear understanding of the immense suffering and death both German and Soviet troops endured. You will be moved by the amazing ability to survive that showed by the courageous and battle-hardened Soviet troops, as well as the genius with which marshaled their powerful counterattack. Infused with facts presented entertainingly, Stalingrad remains accessible to all readers, from history buffs to casual readers alike.

Best for Courage and Heroism

This incredible work of history gives readers an in-depth look at the D-Day landings from multiple sides - not only the Allied forces but also the Germans that fought against them. 

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5. The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

What Is This Book About

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan is modern history at its absolute finest. If you've been searching for an unbeatable account of D-Day and its incredible impact on the world, then you're in luck. This masterpiece is filled to the brim with riveting tales of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy that will leave you captivated from start to finish.

The Longest Day presents a vivid picture of life during this momentous event as recounted by one of our most celebrated military historians. You’ll be taken on a jaw-dropping roller coaster ride through each fateful hour before, during, and after the massive invasion of Normandy – an effort that would ultimately free Europe from Nazism’s iron grip.

This unforgettable book is truly an extraordinary tribute – so don't just read about history, experience it! It's packed with meticulous detail that brings both the action and emotion of this monumental occasion to life in front of your eyes. On top of that, Cornelius Ryan masterfully creates suspenseful drama out of every twist and turn. So if you're hoping for a friendly yet informative retelling of WWII's most legendary battle, The Longest Day is worth looking into!

Why You Will Love It

You will love this book because it takes you back to a time when nations had to fight for their freedom. Published in 1959, this incredible work of history gives readers an in-depth look at the D-Day landings from multiple sides - not only the Allied forces but also the Germans that fought against them. You'll get an intimate look into the process of mobilizing for battle, as well as the everyday lives of citizens that watched the events unfold first-hand. You won't want to miss out on this necessary and compelling read!

Best World War 2 Books FAQs

People are often curious about World War 2 books, but don't know where to start.

There are so many different World War 2 books out there, it can be hard to know which ones are worth reading.

We've compiled a list of the best World War 2 books based on customer reviews and ratings.

What is the best way to learn about WW2?

The best way to learn about World War II is by studying primary source materials, such as books and documents written during the war itself. This allows the reader to get a closer look at history and gain insight into different aspects of the conflict that are often overlooked or misinterpreted in popular accounts.

Books provide an excellent resource for getting an introduction to World War II. Popular works such as Alan Bullock's Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, Antony Beevor’s Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Stephen Ambrose’s Citizen Soldiers and Stephen E. Ambrose’ Freedom Riders all provide comprehensive accounts of different aspects of WWII.

Using secondary sources can also be beneficial when attempting to understand WW2 since they are typically written from a more neutral perspective than primary sources which help ensure accuracy when it comes to interpreting complex events like WWII. Examples include John Keegan’s The Second World War, Gerhard Weinberg's Germany and the Second World War volumes 1-3, Richard Overy's Why Europe Was Divided Since 1945, and Saki Dockrill's Britain Since 1945 (which were specifically designed for students learning about WW2).

What age should kids learn about WW2?

The appropriate age to introduce the topic of World War II to children is a very subjective decision and typically varies depending on the individual child. Generally speaking, ages 8-12 is an ideal time frame for most kids due to their increased ability to comprehend more complex topics.

When introducing WW2, adults need to be aware of their local educational standards to determine what information should be explained and at what level. Additionally, keep in mind that World War II was an incredibly complex event with many facets that included key battles, pivotal moments, influential leaders as well as moral implications such as atrocities and civilian suffering.

To ensure maximum understanding by your child it’s best if they are first exposed to some basic facts about World War 2 such as: when the war started (1939) where it took place (Primarily Europe & Asia), how long it lasted (6 years) and why did it even start (The treaty of Versailles).

These fact-based introductions often serve as a gateway for further exploration into more detailed topics which can include military leaders from both sides such as Winston Churchill or Adolf Hitler along with fascinating stories from the past like those of Anne Frank or The Tuskegee Airmen.

If you want introduce World War II novels to young adults, Girl in the Blue Coat is a great start about love and courage.

What was the scariest Battle in WW2?

The Battle of Stalingrad is without a doubt the scariest battle in World War II. It was an enormous and bloody confrontation between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, with terrible physical, psychological, political, and longer-term impacts on the history of these two countries.

Stalingrad took place from August 1942 to February 1943, with both sides suffering massive losses - 50% of German troops were killed or missing after the siege ended. The total number of lives lost during this battle has been estimated to be as high as 2 million people.

What made this battle so scary was its brutal environment: Hellish winter weather conditions alongside desperate street combat.

What age was too old for ww2?

The maximum age for enlistment in the United States military during World War II was 45 years old, though some branches allowed veterans to serve a few years beyond that. The most common age limit for service was 37, although the Navy and Marines accepted those up to age 50 while the Air Force had a cutoff of 44. In general, applicants 43 or older were rarely accepted unless they held special skills such as medical training or special technical qualifications.

Many men and women over the age of 45 served in auxiliary roles such as air raid wardens, military police or fire guards within their communities. Others joined groups like the American Red Cross and Civil Air Patrol which provided vital support services at home while others did join combat roles with foreign armies fighting alongside Allied forces.

What country has the most deaths in World War 2?

When it comes to the deadliest war in human history, one country stands out above all the rest: the Soviet Union. According to estimates, between 8 and 11 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in WWII due to direct combat on the ground or casualties resulting from Nazi atrocities. Out of those deaths, it is estimated that around 20-25 million were citizens of the Soviet Union alone – more than any other nation.

One of the key factors driving these staggering death tolls was geography: The Soviet Union was a vast landmass with huge population centers like Moscow and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) making it incredibly vulnerable to Nazi invasion. What's more, as Stalin refused numerous proposed peace treaties early in World War 2 he actively encouraged resistance against Germany at all costs – leading many Russians to die for their nation during battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk.

What was the youngest age to fight in ww2?

The youngest documented age of someone who participated in World War II was 12 years old.

The most famous case is that of Russian boy Evgeniy Mikhailovich Ovchinnikov, who lied about his age and joined the Soviet Red Army at the height of the war when he was only 12 years old. After being wounded on multiple occasions, killing several German soldiers and officers along the way, he eventually became a decorated lieutenant for his actions in battle by 19.

However, there were hundreds of other children as young as 9 or 10 fighting World War II from different countries due to extreme circumstances like poverty or recruitment by military forces to provide extra manpower–usually against their will. Numerous stories have been reported throughout history involving such acts – including cases where children were thrown across minefields so that other infantrymen would not get injured; poor Jewish orphans forced into a fight with Nazi Germany after being abandoned by their parents, and African-American boys under 14 sneaking out of orphanages to join Marines so they could provide for themselves.

World War II remains truly one of the darkest times in human history when it comes to how adults took advantage of desperate, vulnerable children while fighting a global conflict–one which we should never forget or repeat.

Who was the toughest soldier in ww2?

Considered one of the toughest soldiers in World War II, Audie Murphy was an American hero who served with distinction and bravery on the battlefield.

Murphy was born in Texas and grew up poor. At the age of 17, he joined the military to fight for his country, eventually becoming only one of nineteen men out of three hundred-twenty-seven thousand to be awarded America’s highest honor for valor -- The Congressional Medal Of Honor. He saw some of the fiercest fighting during his time as a soldier, distinguishing himself in multiple battles including Italy’s Po Valley, Anzio beachhead assault, and Colmar Pocket offensives. During these engagements, he killed over two hundred enemy troops single-handedly while being severely wounded twice - once in action and once due to friendly fire caused by miscommunication during foggy conditions when they were stationed deep behind enemy lines.

Who was the most brutal army in ww2?

The most brutal army during World War II was the German Wehrmacht. They were responsible for some of the worst atrocities in history, including massacres and mass executions of innocent civilians, as well as war crimes against prisoners of war. During their occupation of Western Europe, the Nazis forced many civilians into slave labor and carried out horrific experiments on Jews and other victims in concentration camps. In Russia, they executed entire villages, raped women in public, murdered children, and perpetrated a scorched-earth policy that left behind destruction on an unprecedented scale.

Which country was hit the hardest by ww2?

Undoubtedly, it is widely agreed that World War II had a devastating impact on countries around the world. However, among all of the countries involved in this conflict, one nation stands out as experiencing the most severe effects of this global war—the Soviet Union.

Before World War II, the Soviet Union was a powerful empire with hundreds of millions of citizens and significant land holdings across Europe and Asia. This would come to an abrupt end when Nazi Germany began its invasion of Ukraine in 1941. By 1943 German forces had advanced deep into Russian territories, reaching as far as Stalingrad (modern-day Volgograd). The resulting Battle of Stalingrad witnessed over 2 million casualties between both sides — with Soviet casualties vastly outweighing those suffered by German forces.

Through sheer determination and sacrifice, however, the Soviets were able to push back against the Nazi onslaught and ultimately emerge victorious at Stalingrad; turning what was seen as almost certain defeat into an eventual strategic victory that cost both sides dearly. In total it is estimated that approximately 25 million soldiers died during WWII and nearly 8 million citizens lost their lives within Russia due to direct military involvement or civilian death through famine/disease caused by war effort disruption/destruction throughout their country — making it clear which nation suffered worst during this bloody conflict.


WW2 is one of the most interesting yet heartbreaking world events in history which is why it makes for such a compelling book topic. There is plenty of world war two books out there that examine many different aspects of the war, from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the world's reactions to it. For those looking for a more personal approach, biographies and memoirs of people who lived through world wars (world war I and II) are also available. For those who prefer an academic approach, there are also plenty of scholarly works about world war two like Pulitzer Prize-winning books examining topics like how world war two changed popular culture or how governments responded to other countries' involvement. Whether you're looking for a light read or a deep dive into world war two history, there is a world war two book out there that can provide an engaging and meaningful experience.

In conclusion, we believe that the books on our list are worth your time and money. We've poured over thousands of reviews to find the best world war ii books. These titles cover important facts about this European war. Regardless of whether you're looking for historical fiction, want to dive into a character's motivations, or just looking for an edge-of-your-seat read, one (or more)of these selections are sure to satisfy.

Still undecided? No problem! Click on the buttons above to check out our top picks for World War 2 books now. You're sure to find the perfect book for you. Start your reading journey today!

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