The Railway Man – Eric Lomax

August 1945. The month began with the world witnessing for the first time the frighteningly destructive power of the atomic bomb, as the USA dropped Little Boy and Fat Man on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The month ended with the unconditional surrender of Japan due to the devastation caused by the bombs. […]

Alone in Berlin – Hans Fallada

20th July 1944. Claus von Stauffenberg and others attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler by placing a suitcase bomb in his meeting room in Wolfsschanze. Hitler survives the attempt, and in the aftermath more than 7,000 German army personnel and civilians are arrested, of which almost 5,000 are executed. Not all of the arrested or executed […]

D-Day through German Eyes – Holger Eckhertz

I love reading books where the author writes as different characters, giving insights into their thoughts and feelings about the same situation. Always having been fascinated with viewing the same incident from different angles, when I stumbled upon D-Day through German Eyes it was exhilarating to read about one of the most pivotal events of […]

Second World War Sandwich – Digonta Bordoloi

April 1944. Japanese forces attack the British colony of India. Traversing on foot through Burma, the Japanese troops reach and lay siege to the garrison town of Kohima. The purpose is to create inroads into the Indian mainland as well as disrupt the supply of arms and materiel from India to Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese troops. […]

Defiance – Nechama Tec

Defiance is a biography of the Bielski Otriad, a Jewish partisan unit in Belorussia that was unique for its acceptance of not just fighters but everyone – women, men, children, old, young – who had escaped the clutches of the Nazis and were looking for a safe haven. Headed by the Bielski brothers, it had […]

The Great Pacific War – Hector Charles Bywater

7th December 1941, Japan attacks the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; the heretofore neutral USA enters the war on the side of the Allies, declaring war on Japan on 8th December 1941. On 11th December 1941, Germany and Italy declare war on the USA, drawing it into a two-sided conflict that will last […]

The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

Hailed as one of the most intense and thought-provoking reads in modern time, The Reader is a brilliant commentary on the generation that came after WW2. Growing up in the 1950s in the aftermath of the war, Bernhard Schlink articulates the emotions he and others like him went through, at a time when Germany was […]

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Regardless of whether they are fans of historic fiction or not, you would be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t have heard of The Book Thief. Markus Zusak’s fifth book, it is his most acclaimed one, translated into more than 60 languages and a movie adaption. Its popularity and appeal come from two aspects […]

Jackdaws – Ken Follett

Special Forces and top-secret missions have always enthralled readers and writers alike, and the years of WW2 provide a rich hunting ground for both. The actions of the SOE and their “cousins across the pond” the OSS make for some pretty unbelievable tales, both real and fabricated, the secrecy surrounding the origins and the assignments […]