Best wwii biographies according to redditors

We found 617 Reddit comments discussing the best wwii biographies. We ranked the 219 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about WWII Biographies:

u/tspek · 254 pointsr/history

Not questioning what you're saying, especially on a sort of "macro" level but, based on interviews with Germans that were on the beaches there were actually a lot of these tanks that did make it. The Germans were astounded by these machines.

This is a 2 volume series of interviews. It's one of the most incredible reads I've experienced.

u/Godphase3 · 235 pointsr/pics

There's a book written by the man who this facebook post is to, Marcus Luttrel, who is the sole survivor of Operation Red Wings in which Michael P. Murphy is killed. It's called Lone Survivor and though I don't necessarily agree with all the politics, it's a harrowing account of persistence and survival.

EDIT: Since I'm recommending books, anyone who has read or may be interested in Lone Survivor should read the book Unbroken about Olympic runner and WW2 bombardier Louie Zamperini's struggle for survival after being shot down over the Pacific Ocean.

u/[deleted] · 103 pointsr/pics

here's the book Buying it now!

u/jdweekley · 97 pointsr/ColorizedHistory

If you read his biography, you’ll find that he fell in love in college (aka UK high school) with another boy, Christopher Morcom, who died of bovine tuberculosis (from drinking raw milk) when he was on school holiday. Turing kept the memory of his first love alive, dedicated many of his triumphs to him, and the idea of recreating Christopher in a computer program surely led him to devise the idea of the Turing Test.

u/cedargrove · 88 pointsr/AskReddit

Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5

The book he wrote about his experiences as a Marine rifleman.

I hadn't seen it posted yet so I wanted to get it on a high comment.

u/DreamcastFanboy · 38 pointsr/AskReddit

Since he was too polite to link it, here's the book.

u/GloriousWires · 29 pointsr/ShitWehraboosSay

SWS is on the low-end of the BadAcademia spectrum; there've been recent attempts to reduce the shitposts and circlejerking- including a meta meta sub to highlight egregious offenses -but there's a definite slant involved, and there aren't usually that many sources.

We tend to take things a bit far in the opposite direction, sometimes. A lot of that stuff wasn't total shit, but watch the downvotes roll in if you say it in the wrong spot.

And, of course, anyone citing ^Cooper, ^B. ^Y. ^(1998). ^Death ^Traps: ^the ^Survival ^of ^an ^American ^Armored ^Division ^in ^World ^War ^II. ^Navato, ^CA: ^Presidio ^Press, ^1998. is a top-of-the-line memester.

If, however, you would prefer -even- lower standards and a thriving shitpost economy, try r/DerScheisser for all your meme needs.

u/_616_ · 26 pointsr/books

Oryx and Crake. I didn't expect to like it much but I loved it.

Edit: Just finished Unbroken which is an awesome tale of survival in WW2.

u/AmesCG · 24 pointsr/AskHistorians

You beat me to the punch on this one, but it's not fair to say that Eddie Chapman "worked simultaneously" for both powers. Eddie, "Agent Zigzag," was a Briton by birth, was "turned" by the Germans (double agent), but upon being airdropped into England by the Abwehr (German for "Defense" -- the German spy agency before its late-war liquidation), turned himself in immediately to MI6 (triple agent), where he joined the Double Cross ("XX") team under Tar Robertson.

After joining XX, his handlers began to suspect that he was in fact a triple or quadruple agent (depending on how you count it), but he was faithful to England to the last.

Interestingly, there's also an indication that Chapman's German handler knew he was dealing falsely with the Abwehr, but kept running him anyways. The Abwehr was a known hotbed of anti-Nazi sentiment, which is why Himmler absorbed the department late in the war. (Source for the above: Agent ZigZag and Macintyre's other book, as well as Shirer's Rise and Fall).

Additionally, one of the XX Team handlers, whose name I forget, both ran double agents for England, and reported on the XX program to the Soviets. So he was a double-agent running double-agents.

u/neodiogenes · 17 pointsr/pics

Old enough, apparently, to have been a combat Marine in the Pacific in WW2. And to write a book about it:

Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5

And also, apparently, not give a damn anymore about anonymity.

[Edit] Previewed a few pages on Amazon. It's a good read!

u/YamaFling · 14 pointsr/pics

Awesome book about the AVG and the guy who lead them. He eventually went on to lead one of the most successful fighter squadrons in the Pacific.

u/BeondTheGrave · 10 pointsr/AskHistorians

There were also multiple incidents of poison gas canisters leaking and triggering local detection gear. These canisters were close enough to the front that the chemical teams often thought they were under German attack, until they found the leak.

I believe that one such incident is detailed in the book Death Traps

u/dblcross121 · 10 pointsr/MorbidReality

Read the book Unbroken, it's about Louie Zamperini, a US airman who's planed crashed in the Pacific. He spent six weeks surviving in a raft (which is quite a survival story itself) before being picked up by a Japanese patrol boat and sent to a POW camp for three years. It's an unbelievable story.

u/Iforgotmypassword23 · 9 pointsr/Warthunder

Read Flyboys. Lots of testimonies, pictures, and evidence from both sides. The US had its fair share of atrocities during the war, but nobody is saying that both sides committing wrongs makes it right. I mean, at the ground zero of one of the nuclear bomb blasts was a PoW camp for captured soldiers.

TL;DR: It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we shall grow too fond of it. - R. E. Lee

u/defrost · 9 pointsr/programming

If anyone still reads books, the Andrew Hodges bio is one of the best all round studies on both Turing's life and his work.

u/Drabbestplayer · 9 pointsr/ShitWehraboosSay

top-selling Amazon book that tells the story of D Day from the German soldiers’ view is likely a fraud — filled with made-up quotes from veterans who never existed, according to The Times of London.

Experts are shooting holes in the work of Holger Eckhertz, who claimed the accounts in his hit book “D Day Through German Eyes” were collected by his journalist grandfather, it says.

But historians can’t locate any references to soldiers quoted in the book, which ranked no. 4 in Amazon’s top 10 World War II titles — or even the author himself, whose name is not listed in any phone directory in Germany or Britain.

Nor could The Times locate information about the book’s purported publisher, DTZ History Publications, or translation service.

u/VoenkomVolk · 9 pointsr/Warthunder

Historically, the 105 on its many mountings (the Sherman included) was one of the few reliable methods the US had to take out German tanks at longer ranges.

In WT, well. My squadron and myself had a four-man squad - two M6A1s (later a Jumbo, one've them) and two Sherman 105s, putting them at a 5.0 BR.

They can kill Tigers that aren't angling properly, and Panthers pretty easily. This is due to hitting their mantlet with HE (the HEAT's not so great), as both tanks don't have very good upper hull plating, and doing so sends shrapnel right into that (on the panther) 15mm plate beneath - with the ammo racks right beneath such on two sides.

Also worth noting that US crews were fairly well known for their ability to reload guns, to the point that neither the Ordnance Corps or Wermacht could believe it. According to Death Traps - the memoir of Belton Cooper (an ordnance corps lieutenant with the 3AD's Maintenance Battalion) - their artillery detachment ran the barrels of their guns out so fast from firing so much faster than anticipated that the Corps sent their state-side expert on barrel wear to the front to determine if their shot-logs were being fudged. Case in point: They weren't.

There's also an instance noted in Forging the Thunderbolt of german prisoners asking to see the Americans' new 'automatic artillery gun.' So much so was it that American artillery in Tunisia accounted for half of the German infantry losses.

By Gela during Sicily the majority of German tank casualties could be attributed to truck-drawn artillery - a fact that was not wholly lost on the Army. The 105mm fit for the Sherman was aided by this in wider adoption, and it was greatly liked by its crews as memory serves.


Needless to say, it should seriously have its BR reconsidered, given these constraints. It does roughly even against Panthers and Tigers, as both can pen it fairly easily (pending the oft-'lel learn to play' demarcated 'known where to shoot' - though assuming highest skill on both ends, the odds are pretty fairly split). 5.0 seems to be an even match. 3.7 is painful undertiering, given how measurably it can take on the big cats in the right hands.

u/mistral7 · 9 pointsr/booksuggestions

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


And for a 'fiction' work that is all too true...

A Fine Balance

u/griefzilla · 9 pointsr/history

Doesn't really line up 100% but could be Soldat by Siegfried Knappe.

u/MrBuddles · 8 pointsr/WarCollege

A few months ago I read a short pair of books "D Day through German Eyes" - there's a book 1 and a book 2. Note that these books are pretty short - each of them only has five interviews with soldiers at different beaches.

These are sets of interviews that the author's father (who was also former Wehrmacht) conducted with German soldiers in the 1950s, so it's somewhat close to the end of the war. One thing I found interesting was that many of the German soldiers expressed the belief that they were protecting France and the rest of Europe from some combination of Jewish / Capitalist Bankers / Bolshevik domination. The interviewer notes that only one of the interviewees looks back in retrospect and believes that what Germany did was morally wrong. There is an awkward moment when one interviewee pretty much admits to killing Soviet POWs, but abruptly changes the subject before he explicitly says it.

A couple more notes is that this is ultimately a collection of first hand accounts, it's much more about the psychology of the soldiers and their individual experiences, thoughts and biases - rather than a discussion of military tactics or strategy.

u/Stimmolation · 8 pointsr/history

Here's a really fascinating look at D-Day from the German standpoint, which tells about the way Germany still used mules and WWI tactics and the US soldiers typically didn't have the burden of carrying everything. Unlimited jeeps and tanks and fuel... Really good read.

u/vertigo1083 · 7 pointsr/WTF

I think you mean Unbroken

u/Bdevils2407 · 7 pointsr/everymanshouldknow

Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand

u/charlesmarker · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

Whereas Flyboys is also a book about WWII pilots in the pacific theater and the horrible things that happened when they got shot down.

u/MrChildren · 7 pointsr/videos

However it is true for the Pacific campaign. Mainland Japan was largely destroyed by fire bombings. Here is a page that shows the comparison to territory burned in American city equivalents. For example, Tokyo was 51% destroyed by fire bombing alone and that is equivalent to New York City.

Obviously the nuclear capabilities that the allies possessed finally broke the will of the Japanese to keep fighting. But fire bombing was devastating and likely could have achieved the same results over a bit more time.

A great book that tells of the fire bombing campaign and US aviators in general during World War II is Flyboys - By James Bradley.

u/well_uh_yeah · 7 pointsr/books

Sort of off the top of my head:

Not Supernatural:

u/ArthropodOfDoom · 6 pointsr/todayilearned

Yo, for the lot of you out there who do something other than stare at this boring comment all day, go read about Agent Zigzag. Fascinating character. Here's the Amazon link and the Wikipedia article. Discuss.

u/Praetor80 · 6 pointsr/HistoryPorn

Well, for one, Americans typically associate all German soldiers as Nazis. Very few were, in fact Heer members (the German Army) were not allowed to belong to ANY political party, and after 1943 even the Waffen SS conscripted (the old pope was an SS member). There were French SS regiments, Dutch, Norwegian, Serbian, Belgian, Russian, Danish, Irish, Indian, and even British. Don't confuse the Waffen SS for the SS as whole, especially Allgemeine-SS, and SS-Totenkopfverbände (which were the real evil bastards). Many of the Waffen SS were just German soldiers who volunteered to fight Bolshevism (General Patton believed the west should ally with German to fight the Soviets). That's not to say there weren't war crimes, there were (on both sides, and especially the Russians), but it's too easy to categorize the whole as this or that, without understanding nuance.

I would really recommend this book:

u/rynosoft · 6 pointsr/history

I grew up in a small midwest town in the 70s where homophobia was "normal". My first exposure to homosexuality was a pedophile teenager that tried to diddle me when I was a pre-teen. Even without that experience, I'm sure I would have been homophobic given the environment.

I felt a great deal of empathy for Turing because of similarities in our lives. I was a CS major and a nerd with no social skills. I've also been afflicted with clinical depression most of my life. The fact that he was a genuine war hero and was treated as he was really made me realize the injustice of homophobia.

Here's the book.

u/TrudeauYYC · 6 pointsr/ww2

Enjoy, great read. After this I would suggest Soldat.

u/PubCornScipio · 6 pointsr/CombatFootage

I quite literally just read a book, D-Day Through German Eyes, which has an account from an MG42 gunner at Omaha Beach who says the following:

“I had a terror of flame-throwers, as my brother had told me about them from the Russian front. Therefore, when I saw through the smoke a man approaching from the sea up the beach, moving from one obstacle to another, approaching the cliffs, I was alarmed to see that he seemed to be carrying a flame-thrower gun and back pack. I shot him with the MG42 at once, and the bullets evidently ignited the fuel tank on his back. There was a very large explosion, and he disappeared completely in a fireball which went up into the air in a mushroom cloud. Both sides stopped firing for a moment, perhaps because we all saw what happened to this soldier. But then the shooting began again, more intensely than ever.”

So, it’s not a myth. Maybe it doesn’t always happen, but it did happen, at least once, and I’d wager a fair bit more given that gas mixing with air and tracer rounds sound to be an explosive mix.

On a side note, its a pretty short read and its only a few dollars. Its well worth the time and money for anyone interested in the subject. It is probably one of the most violent accounts I’ve ever read about combat. These guys experienced the full weight of allied material superiority and paid the consequences for it.

u/disputing_stomach · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

Unbroken by Laurel Hillenbrand is fantastic. The book is really a biography of Louis Zamperini and is not solely about being a POW, but a large portion of the book is his experience as a POW during WWII in Japan.

u/IrishWaterPolo · 5 pointsr/AskHistorians

The simple answer to your question is yes, but very rarely. The most famous example of a pilot taunting an enemy combatant is Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, during the air war in the South Pacific, or more specifically, over Bougainville and Rabaul in 1943. As the naval and land forces fought it out on the many islands surrounding “The Slot” and “Iron Bottom Sound”, epic air battles took place over the islands surrounding the Solomon Sea. With the U.S. and Japanese air forces in such close proximity (the U.S. Marines and Army had air bases on Guadalcanal, Espiritu Santo, Vella LaVella and whatever carrier task force that happened to be in the area, while the Japanese forces centered around Rabaul) it was inevitable that a battle for air superiority would result.

According to biographer and VMF-214 historian Bruce Gamble, on the afternoon of October 18, 1943, Boyington led a flight of F4U Corsairs to Kara and Kahili airfields and began circling the enemy bases at around 18,000 feet. Knowing that an English speaking Japanese soldier was monitoring the American frequencies, he began insulting and taunting the Japanese fighter pilots to come up and fight. Eventually, the Black Sheep pilots saw the Japanese Zeros taking off, first one at a time, then eventually in pairs. Boyington describes the ensuing dogfight in his autobiography "Baa Baa Black Sheep" in great detail, stating that the Zeros gained altitude in a lazy, turning circle instead of vectoring off in another direction, climbing, and then returning to the fight at a suitable altitude. As a result, the American pilots had the fortune of watching their opponents throughout the whole process, never losing sight of them. While the Zeros were still at a low altitude and in a moderate climb, the Corsairs (still holding the “high ground” at around 18,000 feet) dove in and picked off the Zeros one by one. At the end of the day, 14 Zeros were claimed to have been shot down (8 by the Black Sheep, 6 by their sister squadron VMF 221 “The Fighting Falcons”, who happened to join in on the brawl) which clashed with official Japanese losses stating that only 8 planes were shot down during the engagement.

Another aspect of this question that must be mentioned is that taunting was not only done between pilots, but also between nations. Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose are famous examples of radio propaganda programs designed by the Axis to demoralize and antagonize the Allied forces. This type of propaganda/radio warfare was especially useful in the Pacific, where radio communication was often the only way in which Allied forces could communicate with each other. American B-29 crews would often get their weather reports from China or Australia, which would have to be relayed via radio from a nearby source, as the B-29 comm’s equipment wasn’t sensitive enough to pick up the original report. Even for naval ships with huge antennae, the weather reports (transmitted via Morse code or coded language) were usually very faint and required intense concentration to be decoded. The Japanese, who were able to tune into the same radio reports, would often broadcast loud music, distracting noises, or false Morse Code beeps to throw off the American radio operators.

One last comment about Boyington and the Black Sheep: the dogfight that I alluded to early was one of the Black Sheep’s most famous engagements. During the 1970’s television show Black Sheep Squadron starring Robert Conrad (which Boyington signed on as a “Technical Advisor”) the radio taunting and subsequent engagement were drawn out for over half a season, where Boyington and the Black Sheep go head to head with one of the highest ranking Japanese aces in the South Pacific, in which numerous taunts and threats are exchanged.

For more information on the Black Sheep, I’d recommend reading Gamble’s [Definitive History of the Black Sheep] ( or [Black Sheep One] ( You can also read [Wukovits's updated version] (

For first person accounts of former Black Sheep, Boyington’s autobiography [Baa Baa Black Sheep] ( and Frank Walton's autobiography [Once They Were Eagles] ( are both excellent reads. Boyington's book, however, does tend to leave the reader wondering how exaggerated some of the combat scenes were. For more information on Black Sheep pilot Chris Magee (one of the most daring and colorful Black Sheep) you should read Reed's [Lost Black Sheep] (

Finally, for an exhaustively researched history of air combat in the South Pacific, I highly recommend Bergerud's Fire in the Sky. It's size is intimidating, but he keeps it interesting throughout all 700 pages (no easy task when explaining the nuances between Japanese and U.S. carrier tactics, the effect of the vast expanse of the Pacific theater on the U.S. command structure in the Army air corps, etc.)

Finally, [Flying Aces] ( provides a great pictorial representation of the Black Sheep engagement I mentioned earlier.

u/MorleyDotes · 5 pointsr/IAmA

I know I'm late to the party but I wanted to say Thank You to your Grandfather for his service and for doing this AMA. The question I would have asked is if he has read "You're Stepping On My Cloak And Dagger" from Roger Hall and if so how close is it to his experience?

u/GorgeWashington · 5 pointsr/starcitizen
u/Khanbalyk · 5 pointsr/Warthunder

Hans-Ulrich Rudel writes of doing this pretty regularly in his Stuka in his book, the appropriately-named Stuka Pilot.

Basically, they'd pick up friends who got shot down. I'm not sure where they put them. Hang on tight?

If I did this in-game, I'm pretty sure I would manage to overshoot the landing and they would point-blank destroy me as I rolled past.

u/Tweeeked · 5 pointsr/running

Link to the man: an Olympic track athlete, POW, and all-around inspiration.

Link to the book.

u/paburon · 5 pointsr/japan

> "It is outrageous and reprehensible to deny what happened to Louis Zamperini.

There is plenty of documentation of cruelty towards allied prisoners if war. But, I have seen comments online that question certain details from his book, which do seem slightly exaggerated.

For example, from a non-Japanese reviewer on

> Now, far be it for me to disparage war veterans, especially POWs who’ve endured the kinds of crushing abuse that Louie and his fellow service men have, but how is it that we are able to get such detailed minutia over 50 years after it all went down? I’ll bet you can’t describe the full details of the days of your wedding, your first child being born, your first car crash, your first date, getting your driver’s license, etc. These were all life-changing, and in some cases traumatic, days in your life and it’s a safe bet that most, if not all, of these events took place more recently for you than 50 years ago. Most of us remember scant bits and pieces of events and many of these memories have “drifted” from reality in our fallible brains. Even polling spectators who were there at the time and cobbling together all of the recollections won’t make for a fully fleshed-out memory. This thought kept rattling around my brain as I made my way through the book. How on earth could these things be recalled so clearly and precisely after all that time? I’ve read other POW accounts that say that all days start to blur together and the extreme horrors the soldiers endured are blocked out of memory. Some soldiers, as Hillenbrand herself says in the book, forget the war entirely. The sneaking suspicion (and you can’t help but feel like a total shit for thinking it) is that a lot of the filler put in the book to string the anecdotes together is fabricated to puff up the story to appeal to a broader audience.

> These suspected filler bits are nothing compared to some of the fantastical events scattered throughout the book. Zemperini is cheapened and the readers are dared not to roll their eyes as he is elevated from a man to a superhuman demi-god. He can withstand plane crashes, hourly beatings for over a year, prolonged starvation, backbreaking physical labor, diseases, and anything else that can be dished out. Consider his scenes of fist-fighting sharks in open water, meeting Hitler after his Olympic race, running a 4:12 mile -- in the fucking sand(!!), surviving violent dysentery for weeks on end with only scant handfuls of polluted water to drink (not to mention the “death sentence” disease beriberi that was left untreated), blacking out as he’s tangled in wires in his sinking bomber only to wake up untangled and able to swim freely to the surface, self-repairing a broken nose and leg while at prison camp, and living through 40+ days at sea with practically no water or food then having the patience to wait offshore overnight once he reaches an island -- of course, just in time for a typhoon to hit them in their raft, no less. These personal achievements are apart from his sufferings in a group setting like enduring over 220 punches in the face during one camp thrashing and moving 20 – 30 tons (yes, TONS -- 40,000 to 60,000 U.S. pounds) of material at a rail yard in a day. Why the author stopped there and didn’t throw in a cage match with a couple of T-Rexes I’m not sure.

And Another:

> I found Unbroken to largely be a hyperbolic and sensationalized rendering of a true story. Yes, I believe there is truth lurking among the pages but ultimately it was a poorly written fish tale. I mean no disrespect to Louis Zamperini (he passed away just as I finished the book) or the other men detailed, I think ultimately the issues lie with the author.

And another:

> so 3 guys are drifting in a raft, then are being strafed by a japanese bomber, the main character goes over the side and fights off dozens of sharks by baring his teeth and using his hands. this happens 4 times. after the bomber departs the sharks start jumping out of the water to attack the men in the raft. really Hillenbrand? plus you would think the main character was a cross between einstein and macgyver with all the ingenius tricks he comes up with. im not sure if this was a non-fiction book or science fiction

And another:

> It reads like a book you might find only sold in a church bookstore. I'm sure Zamperini was a dedicated individual but some of the stuff is just over the top. They shot down three Zero fighters while wounded in their heavily damaged plane? Do we have any independent confirmation? He killed sharks with his bare hands? A whole third of this book is a litany of beatings, starvation rations, and mistreatment. Oh, and of course his mother knew he was alive the whole time because of that special sixth sense that all mothers have. Then, tortured by his experience, he becomes a raging alcoholic, only to be saved after hearing Billy Graham speak. He immediately pours out his alcohol and dedicates his life to saving troubled kids. Just one maudlin cliche after another

From Amazon:

> There is no way an individual -- especially a frail, sick, malnourished, fever-ridden individual -- can absorb 220 successive hard blows to the head and not end up with severe brain damage, if not death.

I tend to avoid pop history books, so I admittedly haven't read it. Still, it appears one doesn't need to be a raving Japanese nationalist to feel like the book goes a bit overboard. Especially when it is based mainly on largely unverifiable personal recollections recorded half a century after the fact. It looks like the book's tendency to exaggerate is going to distract Japanese viewers from accepting the reality of large scale abuse of prisoners.

u/AtomicGlock · 5 pointsr/CCW

That's an excellent point about the OODA loop. Here's a relevant quote from Robert Coram's invaluable Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War:

> Thinking about operating at a quicker tempo—not just moving faster—than the adversary was a new concept in waging war. Generating a rapidly changing environment—that is, engaging in activity that is so quick it is disorienting and appears uncertain or ambiguous to the enemy—inhibits the adversary’s ability to adapt and causes confusion and disorder that, in turn, causes an adversary to overreact or underreact. Boyd closed the briefing by saying the message is that whoever can handle the quickest rate of change is the one who survives.

Being pelted by hockey pucks would certainly throw a shooter off, and that could easily be all it takes to create an opportunity to take him down.

Now they just need someone on staff to occasionally walk into classrooms in a padded assailant suit and take one for the team.

You know, I really like that idea. It would easily become a part of the campus culture. "Hey, guess what? We pucked the Michelin Man in Cultural Anthropology today!"

u/felinfine8 · 4 pointsr/booksuggestions

Agent Zigzag is the true story of a WW2 double agent that is so damn good you can't believe it all really happened. Do yourself a favour and read it.

u/meathooks · 4 pointsr/aviation

Here's some interesting trivia. The prototypes of F-16 and F-18 flew in a fly off where the winning design would be awarded the contract for the Air Force's Light Weight Fighter initiative. The Air Force wanted another two engine platform like the F-15 but [John Boyd](, the greatest fighter pilot of all time, preferred a single engine design. The prototype YF-16 was unanimously picked over the YF-18 by test pilot group. A group of all fighter pilots. Unfortunately the generals and contractors bastardized the design by adding weight costing features without increasing the surface area of the F-16's wing. The Navy, for unknown political reasons, picked up the F-18 design.

For any military strategy/aviation enthusiast, I highly recommend reading Boyd.

u/guanaco55 · 4 pointsr/Portland

Thank you for sharing that! I agree! Once I had the chance to chat with the late Donald Malarkey, one of the "Band of Brothers," and he said to me: "I volunteered to serve my country, I was a paratrooper, I'm proud of what I did, but I am NOT a hero!" His book Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from World War II's "Band of Brothers" is a powerful read. He grew up in Astoria and attended the University of Oregon after the war.

u/Kaioatey · 4 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Shadow Divers, hunting for Nazi treasures, nonfiction, but reads like a good novel.

u/posam · 4 pointsr/WarshipPorn

If anybody want to read a really good book about discovering U boats, the book Shadow Divers is a seriously amazing read. A couple guys found a wreck nobody knew about at the time and started diving it for months on end in something like 200 feet of water.

EDIT: they dove on it for 6 years and it was about 230 feet.

u/SPRING_MOUNTAIN · 3 pointsr/WWIIplanes

Cool vid. I've had his "Stuka Pilot" book in my wishlist for a while now, may finally pick it up and read it now!

u/electric_oven · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

I have mostly nonfiction recommendations, but hope the following are of some use to you! I used these in my classroom in the past year with much success.

I can edit and add more fiction later when I get home, and look over my bookshelf as well.

World War II

"In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larsen - highly recommend, especially if you are familiar with Larsen's previous book, The Devil in White City

"The Monuments Men" by Robert M. Edsel - highly recommended, especially if you are interested in the juxtaposition of art, war, and espionage.

"Unbroken" - by Laura Hillenbrand, highly recommended. Hillenbrand's command of the language and prose coupled with the true story of Louis makes this a compelling read. Even my most reluctant readers couldn't put this done.

Vietnam War

"The Things They Carried" and "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up, and Ship Me Home" by Tim O'Brien are quintessential war canon. Must reads.

Iraq/Afghanistan/Modern Military Operations:
"The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers was called "the modern AQOTWF" by Tom Wolfe. Pretty poignant book. Absolute MUST READ.

u/rcyza · 3 pointsr/scuba

I hate to pick nits, but whilst Chatterton was one of the main protagonists of Shadow Divers, he was not the author. It was Robert Kurson. In the audiobook version there is an author's note from Kurson where he mentions how he verified and cross referenced everything Chatterton and Kohler told him. You should also try and get hold of "Setting the Hook" by Peter Hunt. It's about diving the Andrea Doria from the Seeker's main competition, Steve Bielenda's Wahoo. It's very interesting to see their rivalry from the other side.

Enjoy the rebreather!

u/VaultBoy42 · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Agent Zigzag is a non-fiction account of an actual WWII spy who was a double-agent. His spy career is the basis for a lot of fictional spies. The book is really well written and I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

This book doesn't really delve into politics very much, but it is set during World War II. As long as you have a passing knowledge of the most destructive event in human history, you shouldn't have any trouble understanding Zigzag's story.

u/hanizen · 3 pointsr/CombatFootage

you can get it here for cheap/free, I thought the book deserved a chance to be bought instead of pirated

u/dirtygonzo · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Don't think you can go wrong with Unbroken. A best seller, it's a "military story" more or less, but more importantly about personal growth, resilience and gives the reader a different prospective of life afterwards.

u/1369311007 · 3 pointsr/aviation

In the book about him, the author describes Boyd's fight to cancel it. It says that originally, the B-1 couldn't make it over a some mountain ranges in the world. How useful would that be? It also explains that someone in the Air Force fought for it to have a ladder attached to the plane for ground crews to use.

In my opinion, a ladder is absolutely unnecessary weight on this plane. I don't see how one can't find something to climb on if necessary.

I highly suggest reading it if you're an aviation fan. Boyd did amazing things in his career and the Air Force screwed him.

u/Jpf123 · 3 pointsr/ww2

For a higher calling. It's not just about the encounter but about the life of both the German and U.S flight crew leading up to and in the war.

"Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II. This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack. Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever."


Unbroken as all too often, the book is a thousand times better than the movie. Same for this book it doesn't just talk about the incident and what happened after but there's some really interesting contextualization that helps you empathize with the characters.

"On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will."


If you at all like aviation you'll love either of these books.

u/Production_super999 · 3 pointsr/AirForce

Read this and this

I'm not an officer, but I have a good idea of what you guys go through, and as a SNCO I get to see and try to positively mentor a lot of new 2Lts. You're going to see lots of literature regarding how to lead and how to "Air Force", but the best things you can internalize to be a good leader are 1) Take care of your people. Airmen aren't your buddies, and you don't need to coddle, but have understanding and common sense and know that things that happen in their lives are sometimes more important than things that happen at work 2) Use common sense. When you have to make a judgement on a situation, you should use the AFIs and go by them to the maximum extent possible. However, remember that AFIs are not people, and can't make judgements so you ultimately have to determine the right thing to do, which is often not black and white.

Good luck in COT!

u/NewspaperNelson · 3 pointsr/guns
u/nvgeologist · 3 pointsr/askscience

This doesn't and won't answer your question, but is related. Great read/listen/whatever.

Boyd was father of modern air combat, and in many ways, ground combat. He came up with the OODA Loop

u/uninspired · 3 pointsr/pics

D Day Through German Eyes is a pretty interesting read if you're interested in this perspective. I enjoyed it (as much as you can enjoy hearing stories about the atrocities of war).

u/bmbreath · 3 pointsr/wwiipics

Black Edelweiss: A Memoir of Combat and Conscience by a Soldier of the Waffen-SS

That was a good one as well. Its a view from the other side, interesting read.

u/metamorphosis · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

>The reason I think the Sherman gets a bad wrap is a combination of propaganda, people looking at casualty figures outside of their context, and people fixating on flashy stats like thickness of the frontal armor and size of the gun.

Propaganda from whom??

Didn't testimonies from Sherman crew members also contribute to this "bad rep". In Particular, Death Traps ( , written by Armored Veteran, who was in charge of maintenance and salvaging the tanks. I mean , he explicitly doesn't say the Sherman was a bad tank but he sort of reinforces this notion of Sherman being a sub par tank.

u/Layin-Scunion · 3 pointsr/wwiipics

I've read "With the Old Breed" and I agree it is a fantastic book. I'm mostly read on pilot memoirs though but I've read a few infantry accounts. No problem about telling you some good reads:

  • Red Star Against the Swastika was probably the most interesting memoir I've ever read. Having the perspective of an IL-2 pilot that survived the war is a unique one and the only book I know of that's out there. His experiences were heart wrenching. It has criticism of being not well written. That is not the case. It was translated from Russian so that is why it reads as it does.

  • Gabby Gabreski's book was a very well written book. Very detailed accounts of his sorties and points that you don't see very often in a pilot memoir. This is mostly because he kept a detailed diary throughout his life. Going from A P-47 pilot over Europe to flying an F-86 over Korea (and scoring an Ace against 5 MiGs) was as well, a unique pilot perspective. Great man and great leader.

  • Forgotten Soldier was a very sobering book. Not much to say really. You just have to read it to really understand. It does have some criticisms of glossing over war crimes committed by his unit and fabricating stories but it was still a great read regardless.

  • Samurai! by Saburo Sakai was an awesome account and one of my favorites. Very interesting that he taught himself and other pilots to make unconventional side-slipping attacks on TBFs and SBDs. His aircraft would slide sideways during his attacks to throw off the rear gunners. He swore by it because out of all the attacks he made, he was rarely hit.

  • Baa Baa Black Sheep follows Pappy Boyington and his unit through the Pacific. The guy was hilariously courageous or stupid depending on your opinion. He would lead combat sorties half drunk from the night before. Telling officers over him he didn't like that they were assholes. He had no issues being insubordinate but he was so good at what he did, the officers over him couldn't do much about it. His unit was producing destroyed Japanese aircraft at a rate that surrounding units weren't even coming close to.

    Just a few of my favorites. I'm personally akin to reading about "guys who were there". But that's just my preference.
u/MagicWishMonkey · 3 pointsr/wwiipics

I really enjoyed that book, but I was kind of bummed to find out there's a lot of controversy surrounding the author (a lot of people think he's full of shit and never did any of the things he claimed to do).

Another great read in a similar vein is D-Day Through German Eyes -

Pretty graphic eyewitness accounts regarding D-Day, very interesting/enlightening.

u/Threkin · 2 pointsr/history

I'm in the middle of reading 'Flyboys', a great book but terrible story. Cannibalism.

u/Useless_Regret · 2 pointsr/IAmA

This. Also, there is a good book called [Soldat] ( by Siegfried Knappe, a Wehrmacht officer that fought on two fronts and visited Hitler's bunker toward the end of the war.

u/metssuck · 2 pointsr/AskMen

Unbroken is the most recent book that I've read, it's fantastic!

u/theycallmebbq · 2 pointsr/pics

You should check out the book they wrote. It's really great, it just oozes south philly.

u/mowgli96 · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

This whole situation was documented in the book Fly Boys! I read this book before the movie came out and was extremely disappointed to find out that the movie was about WWI pilots and not this amazing true story!

u/causticwonder · 2 pointsr/books

Unbroken. It's phenomenal. Basically a plane crashes and the survivors are forced to try to survive on a raft for an indeterminate amount of time. Great story of resiliency.

Flags of our Fathers. The book before the miniseries. Also phenomenal.

If you like really really detailed historical accounts, you can't do much better than The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich although I would probably recommend the audio version. It's available through audible. I got about half way through it before I had to stop, but man, it was detailed. DETAILED. If you ever wanted to know the minutiae of Hitler's daily life in part, this is it.

A memoir from a female perspective, perhaps? Well, A Woman in Berlin is your book. It's harrowing. There are things talked about here that most history books gloss over.

u/shesautomatic · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is the best one I've read so far. Nonfiction account of an American bombardier in WW2, built with superb writing and an almost unbelievable story.

u/gunnerclark · 2 pointsr/kickasstorrents

Cool. Thanks for the book links. I just finished a great book entitled Death Traps, the story from the viewpoint of a maintenance guy for armored forces in the European Theater. A odd person to write a book that is fascinating, but he did.

Thanks again.

u/Khanbrau · 2 pointsr/washingtondc

People interested in what DC was like during WWII may enjoy Roger Hall's You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger, his memoir of work with the OSS. Much of his training was conducted in DC and Baltimore, including stints learning to cross the ostensibly hostile terrain of Rock Creek and the Congressional Golf Club. He deployed in the European theater toward the end of the war without seeing much action, but the book is engaging and quite funny, although his employers in what became the CIA didn't approve.

u/miketr2009 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I have only read one full biography of him, "Turing: The Enigma", but I did some research before selecting it. It is a touching and astounding portrait of the man and his accomplishments. I also found it to be a stark indictment of his treatment as a homosexual at the hands of the British justice system. I think he ate the poisoned apple as a direct result of being placed on chemical castration. And, along with the devastating personal loss for his friends and relatives, the entire world lost many potential years of further innovation and ideas by one of the greatest minds of our century as a result. Unhindered, I had to think, what further vistas could he have uncovered if he had lived a full lifespan? What fundamental questions could he have asked?

u/shitfit_ · 2 pointsr/Warthunder

I've read "Holt Hartmann vom Himmel" which translates to "Shoot Hartmann down", its an biography of Erich Hartmann and was very very nice to read. I dont know if this is the correct book, but the authors are the same. I can highly reccomend this book.,

u/Silidistani · 2 pointsr/ColorizedHistory

Read D-Day Through German Eyes and it's Part 2 sequel, it's amazing to read about what destruction that pre-dawn bombing raid and the day-long Jabo (low-level strafing, WP and rocket) attacks did, and the terribly demoralizing effect it had on the ground troops trying to make sense of where the allies were coming through. I could not put either down once I started them.

u/PickleMunkey · 2 pointsr/BandofBrothers

You should totally check out the book that Guarnere and Heffron did, if you haven't already.

u/pawnman99 · 2 pointsr/AirForce

Yeah, sorry. It's Robert Coram...autocorrect got me on that one.

Boyd:The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War for $9.99 on Kindle, $12 paperback.

u/Guy_In_Florida · 2 pointsr/USMC

The Japanese had "doctors" trained to be butchers. They would lash you to a tree and harvest the meat of your lower body and not hit the arteries. You would last a day or so. The next day they would come back and finish you. American and Ausie troops came up on men then half harvested and had to shoot them. They were sworn to secrecy. It was pretty much brought out by the author of Flags of Our Fathers. It's an amazing terribly awful thing to read. The first three chapters are the best short history primer you will find leading up to the war.

u/Seamus_OReilly · 2 pointsr/WWIIplanes
u/Me_for_President · 2 pointsr/CombatFootage

The whole book is amazing (note that I had the title wrong earlier). The detail the soldiers provide is far more graphic and horrible than any movie I've ever seen. D-Day is basically a free-for-all where everyone gets to get killed for free. They've also got an audio book of it which is pretty decent.

u/NorthQuab · 2 pointsr/EnoughTrumpSpam this is the memoir I mentioned and it's really good, otherwise no, just assorted reading/documentaries etc.

u/samhend · 2 pointsr/videos

It's certainly possible. I would suggest you look up the story of Louis Zamperini, he and another man survived almost 47 days at sea during World War II with few rations and no water. Wikipedia link and a book written about him.

u/toadog · 2 pointsr/pics

I don't have time to read all the comments, but if anyone is interested in reading what was like to be on a plane fighting in the Pacific in WWII read

"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand


You can read the first chapter free on Amazon. I guarantee you will be hooked. There is a reason the men who fought that war are revered.

u/HPB · 2 pointsr/HistoryPorn

This book has an account of a German defender who fought in a Tobruk bunker for a short time on D Day.

u/3rdweal · 2 pointsr/DestroyedTanks

Firing from head on, the anti-tank guns could have penetrated the Shermans from over 1000 yards. Of course the gunners could have been distracted/inexperienced/scared, the scenario is plausible, but having them seemingly manned by storm troopers sounds a little unrealistic to me.

If this is the book you're referring to, there's a lot of debate as to whether the author's statements beyond his personal experience are worth considering.

u/TanyIshsar · 2 pointsr/CredibleDefense

While this is somewhat outside of your scope, I would recommend reading Boyd. I recommend this because it follows the life of a deeply influential military man during the cold war. It will provide you with general knowledge as well as a peak into the social, economic & political fabric of the USA DoD during his tenure.

His work, primarily the OODA loop & Maneuver Warfare, are also discussed and will provide you with the jumping off points to further explore your interests in more appropriate detail.

u/hypnobear · 2 pointsr/USMC

Battleground Pacific it would seem.

u/bitbucket87 · 2 pointsr/AskMen

Agent Zig-Zag

An awesome read. It's spy stuff but in a different setting with historical context.

u/kalei50 · 2 pointsr/bookclub

I'm about 2/3 through this one:

D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944

If you're interested in WW2, I definitely recommend it. Understandably it does have some pretty graphic content, so just a heads up.

u/angrydroid · 2 pointsr/WorldWar2

Hey, if you want a good read about Shermans in WW2 from the perspective of a guy who had to fix them I highly suggest checking out Death Traps.

u/photoresistor · 2 pointsr/worldnews

> random youtube videos

Haven't seen one YouTube video on the subject. Did read Flyboys though.

>bigotted/ignorant dreck

And yet your comment sounds so balanced.

u/EddieIzzardsWardrobe · 2 pointsr/history

They sure did. I'm reading a book right now called "D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944" Amazon link that features lengthy interviews with German soldiers who manned the gun emplacements at Normandy. It's fascinating to read the German perspective of D-Day. The troops were awed by the amassed allied firepower, with ships stretching out to the horizon and a parade of aircraft flying overhead.

u/zabloosk · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

The movie just covers the war stuff, but especially if you don't care for war stories, the book is a full portrait of the man, warts and all. It made me cry.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

u/le_mous · 1 pointr/Military

Not having to do with the time period of WWII or books that would have been read then, but two excellent references that I was turned onto were;

The Maneuver Warfare Handbook

And with a more modern twist, Col. John Boyd's OODA loop. I hear that Boyd is making a comeback. Here's a link to a book about him.

u/DudeManFoo · 1 pointr/The_Donald

Pretty familiar with most ... just shitpostin'...

BTW... you sound like a plane guy... one of the best books you will ever read (if you are into planes)...

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

I have 4-5 copies... have read it 3 times... brother has read it three times... favorite copy is held together with duct tape cuz it went around Afghanistan about 3 times...

u/tking316 · 1 pointr/ww2

I'm currently reading Operation Paperclip. Its really interesting so far. It focuses more on after the war but still very interesting.

Unbroken is very good too if you treat it as a story and not a history book.

u/myrealnamewastakn · 1 pointr/todayilearned

American POW held by japanese survival - 67%
German POW held by American survival - 98.85%

Yeah, you know, pretty close conditions.

I read Unbroken the awesomest real WWII story ever. If they made it a movie it would be completely unbelievable. Complete with jumping in and out of a life raft avoiding great white sharks and eating their livers (apparently the only edible portion) after punching them to death and THEN surviving Japanese death camps.

u/YoungZeebra · 1 pointr/videos

If you are interested, a few members of Easy company also wrote books:

David Webster

Dick Winters

Lynn Compton

William Guarnere and Edward Heffron

Don Malarkey Author, Bob Welch

u/ZombieCharltonHeston · 1 pointr/Military
u/gconsier · 1 pointr/pics

If you haven't I highly recommend you read about Erich Hartmann - bio here - other more expensive book here.. honestly I can't remember which book on him I read as it was around 20 years ago, I think it was the bio. Absolutely amazing man and pilot.

Over 300 dogfight wins.

u/notonredditatwork · 1 pointr/books

I forgot, I have also started Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Read by Stephen Fry), and it is well done as well.
I remembered a couple more that I liked:

Unbroken - good (true) story about WWII pilot who was captured by the Japanese

Water for Elephants - Good book (fiction) about a circus in the depression era

Anathem - I really like Neal Stephenson, and this was a good book, but it was very long, and I'm sure I would have had a much harder time if I had to read it, instead of just listen to it

Eye of the World (Wheel of Time Book 1) - Good book, but very long and if it weren't for the different voices by the narrator, I would have gotten lost pretty easily.

Hope this helps, and hope you find some good ones!

u/RexMundi000 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

It is also about setting up a revolving door between the Pentagon and the private sector. Also the process it is highly intertwined and resilient to change because of how the promotion process works for officers in the military. For every dogshit military program that ends of being a waste of money, there is some office in the program keeping his mouth shut to get promoted. IE, F-111, F14, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, ect.

For example is design and production of the Bradley, they figured out that the gun is too small to penetrate the armor of any modern tank. Also the armor is so thin, that a RPG-7 will penetrate.... The army went ahead and bought them anyways. Below is a good starting place on the topic.

u/Gaelige · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you've read the book Unbroken you should understand why i cringe whenever i hear the name Watanabe. If you haven't... Do

u/tommywantwingies · 1 pointr/history

Soldat ... if you have any interest in WWII this is by far the BEST account I have ever read from the German perspective.

Also, I believe someone else mentioned them, but anything by Cornelius Ryan - I've read The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far and The Last Battle and all three were absolutely fantastic ... the historical detail that are in those books are UNRIVALED

u/blindtranche · 1 pointr/guns

Hey, that "OODA wibbly" has more to it that you may guess. [John Boyd]( was a genius and an incredible fighter pilot who was a founder of the Top Gun fighter school with a record never equaled. He was called 40 second Boyd because he would let any pilot start on his 6 and he would be on theirs in 40 seconds. He, through math and his E-M theory (Energy Maneuverability), proved that USA jets were inferior to Soviet fighters. Major Boyd and the "fighter mafia" upset the Air Force command at the Pentagon, and was the primary force behind the F16 and F/A 18. He was a warrior who originated doctrine as profound as Sun Tzu. He was insolent to his superior officers and loyal to his men. He was called the Mad Major, but everyone knew he was brilliant. Gen. Schwarzkopf got his attack plan for the first Gulf War from Boyd. If you can find time to read a good book, may I suggest Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. He was was one of the most incredible little known men of the last century. There are ideas and concepts in the book powerful enough to change your life.

u/Arpeggi760 · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
u/LayinScunion · 1 pointr/Warthunder

Star of Africa

Sakai's exploits

Boyington's exploits

Just a few books that say otherwise. But I guess I'll take your word over there's.

u/YossarianH · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

This book could be a very interesting read for you:

The reason of high crew turnovers was not because the old crews got new vehicles, it was because the old crew was dead. As tanks were valuable, knocked out tanks were often patched up. If the hull was a loss, they would re-use the turret and vice versa.
Cooper describes that if they were 'lucky' the would find the projectile that knocked out the tank inside the tank so they could use it to patch the hole (as the projectile and the hole often had the same diameter.

u/chonggo · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

One major influence has been the work of John Boyd. He was orginally a Korean war fighter pilot, but went on to single-handly develop the idea of using math to predict the performance of fighter aircraft, his Energy–maneuverability theory, where he was able to predict ahead of time in which areas of combat the Mig-19(IIRC) would have an advantage over US aircraft, and in which areas it would be at a disadvantage. He was later proven correct when a Syrian pilot defected with one. Supposedly, all modern combat aircraft are designed according to the theories he developed. (I say "supposedly" because if someone found something even better, they're keeping it very quiet.)

He also pioneered an advanced theory of the idea of "getting in the other guy's decision loop," which he called OODA loop: Orientation, observation, decision, action.

One of the interesting things about Boyd is that he wasn't considered particularly bright. Supposedly his IQ tested out somewhere around 90. Yet he was able to imagine what might be possible, and even taught himself the calculus he needed to do his calculations of aircraft performance.

I've used a lot of wiki links here because I'm feeling lazy, but Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War is a great source for this and more information about him. Definitely worth reading.

u/Ganglebot · 1 pointr/books

Operation Mincemeat - Ben Macintyre

or Agent Zigzag - Ben Macintyre

If you like Charlie Wilson's War you'll like either of these two. They are about the British counter-intelligence efforts during world war two. It is funny how bizarre, yet successful some of their efforts were.

I highly recommend them.

u/pyrelic · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit, is the story of a World War II American P.O.W. It's very well written and gave me a whole new perspective of how World War II was from the Japanese perspective. I'd also go with Into the Wild, which Captain suggested. I love that book.

u/bh28630 · 1 pointr/

For anyone interested in a similar and quite extraordinarily well written, thoroughly documented story of WWII, may I suggest Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. The book will confirm everything The0 states and add even more insight both to the war and it's aftermath effect on the POWs like "Edmund and Hap".

u/catofnortherndarknes · 1 pointr/bestof

Just FYI, I enjoyed this one a lot more than I did reading Band of Brothers, even though watching the miniseries absorbed pretty much every waking hour of a week of my life.

u/FlorbFnarb · 1 pointr/army

Yeah, it seems pretty damn good. Obviously it's a sector of the military I have zero contact with, but it all rings true and doesn't really have any serious errors in it.

The sad thing is that it does ring so true.

If you haven't already, read Boyd by Robert Coram:

Excellent book. I already knew the basics of the Bradley program's problems from that book. Didn't know the program stretched so far back and represented that degree of feature creep, though.

u/TWK128 · 1 pointr/funny

Air Force Colonel John Boyd was instrumental in the USMC adopting the tenets of Maneuver Warfare.

The Marines executed the shit out of it, but the application of it in our armed forces was the brainchild of Boyd and his acolytes.


u/watkykjynaaier · 1 pointr/TaiLopez

The book you're looking for is called "Unbroken", by Laura Hillenbrand. You can buy it here.

u/networkedpilot · 1 pointr/aviation

The F-16 was built to compete with the F-15 believe it or not. Boyd's group actually came up with the A-10 as well, or at least some of the guys. This is a fascinating book on it:

There's a lot of other stuff though. The F-16s can't go as high or as fast as the F-15s. The F-16's radar is the size of a couple large pizzas, the F-15's is the size of a small dinner table. We went to Red Flag a long time ago when I worked F-16s, and our pilot came back pissed because they couldn't keep up with the F-15s.

A-10 is slow though, and has no air to air radar. They carry Aim 9s and that's about it. I'd be more scared of being shot down from ground to air in an A-10 than a Blackhawk.

u/Sniper_Brosef · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I will give you the russians. I often don't think of them as allied but they were. They were fucking pieces of shit... They hated the Japanese for the Russo-Japanese War. Doesn't excuse what they did just shows their mindset. One of the things I loved about the book Flyboys is that it was really impartial. James Bradley gave a wonderfully unbiased look into both sides of the war... I'd suggest you read it if you haven't already...

Anyway, this:

> If killing japanese, mutilating them, decapitating them and sending the skulls to loved ones back home isn't savage

Was way worse on the Japanese side...

and this:

> BECAUSE WE DIDN'T TAKE POWS. If you want to be retarded, the death rate for Japanese POWs were nearly 100%.

Is hyperbole at best and a flat out lie otherwise.

You seem passionate about this though. Read this book... Seriously, it's really great!

u/bbatwork · 1 pointr/history

My personal recommendations:
My 30 year war by Onada Hiro:
This book was written by a Japanese lieutenant who refused to believe the war was over, and continued living in the jungles of the Philippines until the 70s.

Battleground Pacific by Sterling Mace. A first person account from a USMC rifleman who fought in the Pacific war. He is also a redditor.

And the Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer, a French man who fought for the Germans on the Eastern Front.

Happy reading!

u/ssyk3s · 1 pointr/CGPGrey

grey non-fiction book rec:

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

=== info about the book and John Boyd follows ===

John Boyd quote:
"Do You Want to Be Someone or Do Something?"

Innovator of the OODA loop:


The OODA loop is the cycle observe–orient–decide–act, developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd. Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the operational level during military campaigns. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes. The approach explains how agility can overcome raw power in dealing with human opponents. It is especially applicable to cyber security and cyberwarfare


""" blurb about the book:

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They know only half the story. Boyd, more than any other person, saved fighter aviation from the predations of the Strategic Air Command. His manual of fighter tactics changed the way every air force in the world flies and fights. He discovered a physical theory that forever altered the way fighter planes were designed.
Later in life, he developed a theory of military strategy that has been adopted throughout the world and even applied to business models for maximizing efficiency. And in one of the most startling and unknown stories of modern military history, the Air Force fighter pilot taught the U.S. Marine Corps how to fight war on the ground. His ideas led to America's swift and decisive victory in the Gulf War and foretold the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On a personal level, Boyd rarely met a general he couldn't offend. He was loud, abrasive, and profane. A man of daring, ferocious passion and intractable stubbornness, he was that most American of heroes -- a rebel who cared not for his reputation or fortune but for his country. He was a true patriot, a man who made a career of challenging the shortsighted and self-serving Pentagon bureaucracy. America owes Boyd and his disciples -- the six men known as the "Acolytes" -- a great debt. Robert Coram finally brings to light the remarkable story of a man who polarized all who knew him, but who left a legacy that will influence the military -- and all of America -- for decades to come.


u/RockyMcNuts · 1 pointr/books

Seven Roads to Hell: A Screaming Eagle at Bastogne, Donald R. Burgett

A guy who was in another company from the Band of Brothers guys wrote his memoirs shortly after the war. Has a bunch of volumes, from training and D-Day to the Eagles Nest.

To be honest, I preferred it to Band of Brothers, because it was first-person and was less about how awesome the war and the US Army were.

Don Malarkey who was one of the guys in Band of Brothers had an interesting memoir... also talked about the post-war and how the guys who came back had a lot of the same difficulties as Vietnam and Iraq vets, which people didn't really want to think about in those days.

I went through a Band of Brothers phase.

u/Johnny10toes · 1 pointr/TheRedPill

It's interesting that you point this out at this time. I'm currently going through some lessons at and some apps brushing up on Algebra because I want to learn Calculus and Calculus because I want to learn Physics. Now... I wasn't good in math. I'm still not but Algebra I was decent at and have forgotten tons of stuff. But the reason for learning is maps, models, realities, ideas, etc.

> When you're a hammer everything is a nail.

We are in a bit of a Hammer/Nail situation here on /r/TheRedPill and this place was where my first version of reality dropped. You see TRP is our hammer and sluts/feminism/beta is our nails. We see the confirmation of our theories everywhere, but we're looking for them. If you're a feminist that's your hammer and the patriarchy is your nail, the evidence is everywhere. If you think you're beautiful then you'll find evidence of that.

My second drop in reality was from reading The Gervais Principle.

Then we have a conglomerate of things that started making me change how I view things in quick succession. Prometheus Rising, Be Slightly Evil, Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art Of War and I'm sure there were a few more in there. Texts from John Boyd prove useful and tie into the other books and brings us back to models of our reality.

OODA Loop and at Art of Manliness -- At it's basic you may already be doing this. But at it's most complex you're probably not. It's not just about building a snowmobile either but that's a good way to explain it. And while we're on the subject of snowmobile this is the reason I want to learn Calculus and Physics and Transactional Analysis and Psychology and ... you get the point. I may find pieces of my snowmobile in one that I can use in another. Ideas that I can rip apart from Physics and use in Psychology or whatever.

This can be useful in that maybe a hammer is not the best tool for the job. Maybe you need a ruler. Which brings me to my point.


> Intelligence has been defined in many different ways such as in terms of one's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem solving. It can also be more generally described as the ability to perceive and/or retain knowledge or information and apply it to itself or other instances of knowledge or information creating referable understanding models of any size, density, or complexity, due to any conscious or subconscious imposed will or instruction to do so.

It's not so much that you know more about what is being debated it's that you can use information about things you do know to refute the debater. For this you're going to use all of your intelligence. Emotional, Academic, Social and whatever else. Sometimes having Social Intelligence means just shutting up and not debating.

u/Nichijo · 1 pointr/todayilearned

One of the more interesting factlets I heard about it was that the Japanese Navy was much more 'decent' and respectful of international conventions and the Law of the Sea, than the Japanese Army.

The Japanese army has been called the most brutal in the history of war. I doubt this could be true or verified, but say, in recent history.

Here's one I've read... gives a good history of Japan's perspective and reasons for going to war, and tells of some coverup of some of Japan's horrific atrocities -- because they were deemed too upsetting to the families of the victims.

u/mywholelifeisthundr · 1 pointr/books

Unbroken, By Laura Hillenbrand. One of the best and most amazing true stories I've ever read. Read it before the movie comes out!

u/Myself2 · 1 pointr/CombatFootage

you realise by the end of the war AT guns were everywhere? how good is a tank if it's hit by a AT gun from 1940 and it gets knocked out? From the 50.000 shermans built, only ~10.000 survived

u/IlliniOneSeven · 1 pointr/army


Death traps: Survival of an American Armored Division in WWII by Belton Cooper

A must read for any Ordnance guy who wants some pride in their branch. Its an autobiographical account written by Belton Cooper, a Maintenance Officer during the advance towards Berlin across western europe. Great read of WW2 on the ground tactics, cool stories of a WW2 Loggie Officer (which may seem hard to believe, but seriously some cool shit), and some takes on tank warfare from a maintenance perspective. Cooper gets really critical of eisenhower though on not implementing the pershing tank sooner.

u/araq1579 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The hivemind reccomends: Unbroken. awww yiss. I was reading a snippet while at the bookstore last night. it's a good read.

u/ariellecyan · 1 pointr/books
u/aginorfled · 1 pointr/books

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Not only the best I read this year, but easily the best I've read in the past five years.

u/tartfacepowers · 1 pointr/AskReddit I listened to this during my night shifts and was so drawn into it I'd listen to it on the way home from work. I also felt shitty about how easy I have it in life afterwards.

u/OatSquares · 1 pointr/movies

this story has nothing on the movie they could make of Unbroken:

u/jgiampaolo70 · 1 pointr/books

Shadow Diver and See No Evil

Shadow Diver - Description

See No Evil - Description

u/daughter_of_death · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Unbroken. One of my favorite non-fiction stories about a WWII POW, and his will to live through everything. It really is simply fantastic.

Hope you enjoy it! :)

u/Ukiah · 1 pointr/Warthunder

I have a paperback copy I bought when I was a teanager.

EDIT Found a paperback version on Amazon for around $17 and the Kindle version is only $6:

I'd also recommend Adolph Galland's "The First and the Last" and a book called "Horrido"

If you're into japanese aces, "Samurai!" by Saburo Sakai is also very, very good:

And then of course, read "Baa Baa Black Sheep" by Gregory Boyington

u/the_snooze · 1 pointr/

And for another amusing war book, You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger by Roger Hall is quite hilarious as well. It's a non-fiction account of his time as an OSS officer.

u/ragdoll32 · 1 pointr/Military
u/C-Rock · 1 pointr/books

For biography - Unbroken. For only having two books under her belt Laura Hillenbrand is a great biographer. I also highly recommend Seabiscuit. She does a great job of recreating the time and place. Unbroken is an incredible story about an incredible man's life. Amazing he made it through with his humanity intact.

u/Brettweiser · 1 pointr/books

Unbroken is great. It non-fiction that reads like fiction. So good!

u/captnxploder · 1 pointr/Warthunder

In the book Death Traps, it's mentioned that it was typical for the Germans to not stop firing on a tank until it was on fire. This was Vs the Americans anyways.

So it could be a tank from an actual battle.

u/punkfunkymonkey · 1 pointr/CombatFootage

Have you read Battleground Pacific? It's written by Redditor Sterling Mace, covering his recolections of the same battles but as a rifleman rather than as a mortar man. It's a bit more earthy.

u/Maskirovka · 1 pointr/hoi4

"Death Traps" by Belton Cooper

Autobiography of a junior officer of one of 3rd armored division's maintenance battalion from Normandy to V-E. Critical of Patton (as you'd expect from anyone who saw the aftermath of nearly every Sherman knocked out in the division.

Talks about modifying Shermans for various tasks, including how they modified German beach obstacles and welded them to the tanks to bulldoze hedgerows. Fantastic detail about tank recovery ops and details about damage to both allied and axis armor.

u/comedygene · 1 pointr/news

Unbroken. Great book.

u/matt314159 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Flags of our Fathers

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

Both books moved me to tears while reading, and clung to my mind for weeks after.

u/BogdanD · 0 pointsr/history

I liked Soldat: Reflections of a German Soldier, 1936-1949 by Siegfried Knappe, and Red Road from Stalingrad by Mansur Abdulin.

Edit: Sorry, I gave you the Canadian Amazon links. I'm sure you can find them on the regular Amazon.

u/captain_manatee · -3 pointsr/history

Edit: apparently there are inaccuracies in the book that I was unaware of hence my downvotes. Still think it's a valuable perspective to gain, even if you have to take some of the details with a grain of salt.

I highly recommend the book death traps which was written by an american armored officer in a pretty unique position during WWII. He was a trained engineer whose role was basically tracking all of the damaged and destroyed tanks for his unit and helping coordinate their repair/replacement.

He has a lot of in depth knowledge about the tanks, doctrine, and field effectiveness of WWII tanks on the western front, particularly the Sherman, and a ton of really interesting stories and anecdotes.

u/chain-of-events · -4 pointsr/news

Pierre Sprey disagrees with you on the F35. I know this is argument by authority, but just eyeball the bird. Even considering the lifting body, it doesn't have enough wing to be a fighter. Nor can if fly low and slow, loitering in close ground support absorbing ground fire, like the A10 which is one of the cheaper planes it is supposed to supplant.

I know the F35 is supposed to have a beyond visual range 10 to 1 kill ratio, but I would put my money on 10 F16s anytime. Moreover, 10 F16 means 10 pilots. The F35 is so expensive, we can't have enough and it is too expensive to fly to keep a lot of pilots well trained. The Japanese and Germans ran out of great pilots in WWII before they ran out of planes.

BTW Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War this is a great book on many levels.

I don't find it laughable that ISIS zealots are using US taxpayer purchased equipment. If the amount of money seems comical it is only in relation to the enormous sums spent in total. My personal car is a lot less expensive than a humvee and it still seems expensive to me. And those bastards are driving around in humvees and carrying M4s and M16s that the US taxpayer purchased. It is not funny; it is emblematic.

As for other countries military spending being at their "comfort level" I disagree. The USA is their "boogieman" used to justify their defensive spending just as we use them to justify ours. It is a pernicious cycle.

You mentioned Willies Jeeps in Vietnam. That was another unnecessary war that did not benefit the US. The Gulf of Tonkin incident and the "domino theory" were both bullshit. In those times we worried if there would be enough money for "guns and butter". Well there wasn't and isn't. Nixon had to take us off the gold and silver standard in 1971 because we were printing more money than we could back up. 3 silver dimes still buys a gallon of gasoline, but look at what has happened to the paper dollar since then.

u/metalxslug · -6 pointsr/CombatFootage

The Sherman was a mishmash of ideas from people who didn't know what the fuck they were doing. American armored warfare theory at the time of it's production centered around on the idea that our tanks should always bypass enemy tanks so that they could move into enemy lines and destroy other targets. A sound strategy on paper that resulted in American crew and vehicle losses that will boggle your mind. The army was losing Sherman's so fast in combat that both crew size and training were diminished to simply get more units on the field. At some point some Sherman tank crews were reduced to three men who were soldiers that had basic training and were given an opportunity to shoot the main cannon three times before being considered ready for action. These Sherman units suffered around 500 percent causalities, no that isn't a typo.

Anyone who is interested in the experiences of Sherman crews owes it to themselves to read Death Traps.