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Updated by scott-a-meehan on Mar 26, 2020
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The 10 best military books you should read!

Here are some of the best military books I have read in the past. Please add your favorites to the list so I can discover other great military reads. And don't forget to vote for your favorites.

1

Civil War

Civil War

Vivid and realistic portrayal on the Battle of Gettysburg. Shaara made me feel like I was there, feeling the rain, watching the stars at night, smelling the gunpowder...Was this required reading for anyone else in their military career? It was for me during ROTC at Florida Southern. This was one book report I enjoyed writing.

2

World War 2

World War 2

Alistair MacLean became one of my favorites when I was in high school. His were the type of novels that "I cut my teeth on". For me, this one was MacLean at his best. A book with so much non-stop suspenseful action, it was made into a movie with Richard Burton and a young Clint Eastwood.

3

Vietnam War

Vietnam War

The timing for reading this book was paramount to my Army career. Shortly after reading this one, it inspired me to join the Army Special Forces. Yes, I was "off the street" and not an E-5 or above, but it was in 1980 when the post Vietnam era military was lacking personnel. We were known as the last of the "street babies." Before my first year in the Army was complete, I went from Basic Training to AIT, Airborne school, Pre-Qualification, Phase I (Camp Mackall), EMT school, and Phase II (300 F-1). It was my "Coming of Age" year.

4

Cold War

Cold War

Harold Coyle knows the lingo because he was in the Army. Excellent descriptive narrative of a classic "Cold War" story. Back in 1980 when I joined the Army, The Russians were the bad guys. Then in 1984, I saw them up front and close when I was assigned to Berlin. My experience made this story more intense.

5

Cold War

Cold War

Probably the best Cold War book I have read to date. Tom Clancy captured all the details--although I would not know for sure because I have never been in a submarine--in an "edge-of-your-seat" style. A great read that was made into a movie with Sean Connery.

6

Cold War - Gulf War - Operation Iraqi Freedom

Cold War - Gulf War - Operation Iraqi Freedom

Okay, I'll admit it up front. I am a bit biased about this one. STONE IN A SLING: A SOLDOER'S JOURNEY is my autobiography. It covers the period of time from 1980 when I began as an enlisted soldier to 2005 when I retired as a Major. Written in narrative vignettes, I cover all four of my deployments to the Middle East, why I received the Bronze Star, and my intriguing life in Berlin. Not to mention the fact that I met my wife in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador.

7

World War 2

World War 2

Another World War II classic by another favorite novelist, Jack Higgins. I read Higgins, MacLean, Follett, and others at a critical time in my life--high school until joining the Army--with each one of them inspiring my crucial and regrettable decision to join the Army.

8

Operation Enduring Freedom

Operation Enduring Freedom

When I first saw the images on the news of our troops in Afghanistan on horses after 9/11, I already knew who these guys were. I selected this book out of many on the War on Terror because so many of them focused on the Navy Seals...and I wanted to read about the Green Berets. This book inspired one of my earlier novels, LOVE IN THE HOUSE OF WAR, when one of the SF medics rescues an Afghan nurse who was about to be executed by the Taliban.

9

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Operation Iraqi Freedom

I had mixed emotions about this one, but I had to read something about the Iraqi war after going over there three times. Many of the stories are vividly traumatic and may not be the best one to read for an Iraqi veteran. Certainly, those of you who were there, will be able to identify with much of these experiences. Very intense.