940.53-940.54: World War II in Europe (2023)

The following list contains books, published in the last 5 years, that discuss the European theater of World War II. Works in this list will feature battles, campaigns, and personal narratives set in eastern and western Europe as well as Scandinavia, Russia, and northern Africa between 1941 and 1945.

Updated June 9, 2023
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1942 : Winston Churchill and Britain's darkest hour
Downing, Taylor
A revelatory new work of popular history focused on the year 1942, as the fate of Britain--and Winston Churchill's leadership--hangs in the balance. Eighty years ago, Britain stood at the brink of defeat. In 1942, a string of military disasters engulfed Britain...


All the frequent troubles of our days : the true story of the American woman at the heart of the German resistance to Hitler
Donner, Rebecca
The INSTANT New York Times Bestseller Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography Winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award  Winner of the Chautauqua Prize Finalist for the Los...


The allies : Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and the unlikely alliance that won World War II
Groom, Winston
Best-selling author Winston Groom tells the complex story of how Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin--the three iconic and vastly different Allied leaders--aligned to win World War II and created a new world order. By the end of World War II, 59...


Big week : the biggest air battle of World War II
Holland, James
During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial...


Bloodlands : Europe between Hitler and Stalin
Snyder, Timothy
From the author of the international bestseller On Tyranny, the definitive history of Hitler's and Stalin's politics of mass killing, explaining why Ukraine has been at the center of Western history for the last century.   Americans...


Brothers in arms : one legendary tank regiment's bloody war from D-day to VE-day
Holland, James
Celebrated military historian James Holland chronicles the experiences in World War II of the legendary tank unit, the Sherwood Rangers In the annals of World War II, certain groups of soldiers stand out, and among the most notable were the Sherwood Rangers. Originally a...


The commanders : the leadership journeys of George Patton, Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel
Clark, Lloyd
From an acclaimed military historian, the interlocking lives of three of the most important and consequential generals in World War II Born in the two decades prior to World War I, George Patton, Bernard Montgomery, and...


The correspondents : six women writers on the front lines of World War II
Mackrell, Judith
The riveting, untold history of a group of heroic women reporters who revolutionized the narrative of World War II--from Martha Gellhorn, who out-scooped her husband, Ernest Hemingway, to Lee Miller, a Vogue cover model turned war correspondent. "Thrilling from the...


D-Day girls : the spies who armed the resistance, sabotaged the Nazis, and helped win World War II
Rose, Sarah
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * The dramatic, untold history of the heroic women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory in World War II "Gripping. Spies, romance, Gestapo thugs, blown-up trains, courage, and...


The diary keepers : World War II in the Netherlands, as written by the people who lived through it
Siegal, Nina
A riveting look at the story of World War II and the Holocaust through the diaries of Dutch citizens, firsthand accounts of ordinary people living through extraordinary times   Based on select writings from a collection of more than two thousand Dutch...


Eight days at Yalta : how Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin shaped the post-war world
Preston, Diana
While some of the last battles of WWII were being fought, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin--the so-called "Big Three"--met from February 4-11, 1945, in the Crimean resort town of Yalta. Over eight days of bargaining,...


Eight days in May : the final collapse of the Third Reich
Ullrich, Volker
In a bunker deep below Berlin's Old Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler and his new bride, Eva Braun, took their own lives just after 3:00 p.m. on April 30, 1945--Hitler by gunshot to the temple, Braun by ingesting cyanide. But the Führer's suicide did not instantly end either Nazism or the Second World...


The escape artist : the man who broke out of Auschwitz to warn the world
Freedland, Jonathan
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award · New York Times Bestseller "A brilliant and heart-wrenching book, with universal and timely lessons about the power of information--and misinformation. Is it possible to stop mass murder by telling the truth?" -- Yuval Noah Harari,...


Every man a hero : a memoir of D-Day, the first wave at Omaha Beach, and a world at war
Lambert, Ray
The New York Times Bestseller | Winner of the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award  Omaha Beach legend Ray Lambert's unforgettable firsthand account of D-Day  "Lambert landed on [Omaha Beach] as a 23-year-old Army medic. ... As...


Eyewitness to World War II : unforgettable stories from history's greatest conflict
Kagan, Neil
This elegant narrative edition of Neil Kagan's best-selling Eyewitness to World War II offers incredible first-person stories and amazing moments of heroism, providing new context and perspective on history's greatest conflict. The unforgettable story of World War II is...


The first wave : the D-Day warriors who led the way to victory in World War II
Kershaw, Alex
Beginning in the pre-dawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows ten men attempting to carry out D-Day's most critical missions. Their actions would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe. The ten make a charismatic, unforgettable cast. They include the first...


A game of birds and wolves : the ingenious young women whose secret board game helped win World War II
Parkin, Simon
As heard on the New Yorker Radio Hour: The triumphant and "engaging history" (The New Yorker) of the young women who devised a winning strategy that defeated Nazi U-boats and delivered a decisive victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. By...


The girls who stepped out of line : untold stories of the women who changed the course of World War II
Eder, Mari K.
For fans of Radium Girls and history and WWII buffs, The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line takes you inside the lives and experiences of 15 unknown women heroes from the Greatest Generation, the women who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen during WWII--in and out of uniform--for theirs...


A history of the Second World War in 100 maps
Black, Jeremy
  The First World War was marked by an exceptional expansion in the use and production of military cartography. But World War II took things even further, employing maps, charts, reconnaissance, and the systematic recording and processing of geographical and topographical...


Hitler's last hostages : looted art and the soul of the Third Reich
Lane, Mary M.
Adolf Hitler's obsession with art not only fueled his vision of a purified Nazi state--it was the core of his fascist ideology. Its aftermath lives on to this day. Nazism ascended by brute force and by cultural tyranny. Weimar Germany was a society in turmoil, and Hitler's...


A house in the mountains : the women who liberated Italy from fascism
Moorehead, Caroline
"Dramatic, heartbreaking and sweeping in scope." --Wall Street Journal The acclaimed author of A Train in Winter returns with the "moving finale" (The Economist) of her Resistance Quartet--the powerful and inspiring true story of the women of the partisan resistance who fought against...


In the garden of the righteous : the heroes who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust
Hurowitz, Richard
"In the Garden of the Righteous brilliantly describes how in the midst of the brutality of the Holocaust and the collaboration, acquiescence and passivity of millions, there were people who risked their lives to save others out of a sense of shared humanity. This book is more timely...


Information hunters : when librarians, soldiers, and spies banded together in World War II Europe
Peiss, Kathy Lee
While armies have seized enemy records and rare texts as booty throughout history, it was only during World War II that an unlikely band of librarians, archivists, and scholars traveled abroad to collect books and documents to aid the military cause. Galvanized by the events of war into acquiring...


The island of extraordinary captives : a painter, a poet, an heiress, and a spy in a World War II British internment camp
Parkin, Simon
The "riveting...truly shocking" (The New York Times Book Review) story of a Jewish orphan who fled Nazi Germany for London, only to be arrested and sent to a British internment camp for suspected foreign agents on the Isle of Man, alongside a renowned group of refugee musicians,...


Last call at the Hotel Imperial : the reporters who took on a world at war
Cohen, Deborah
WINNER OF THE MARK LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE * A prize-winning historian's "effervescent" (The New Yorker) account of a close-knit band of wildly famous American reporters who, in the run-up to World War II, took on dictators and rewrote the rules of modern journalism ...


The last hill : the epic story of a ranger battalion and the battle that defined WWII
Drury, Bob
Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's The Last Hill is the incredible untold story of one Ranger battalion's heroism and courage in World War II. They were known as "Rudder's Rangers," the most elite and experienced attack unit in the United States Army. In December 1944, Lt. Col....


The last million : Europe's displaced persons from World War to Cold War
Nasaw, David
From bestselling author David Nasaw, a sweeping new history of the one million refugees left behind in Germany after WWII In May of 1945, German forces surrendered to the Allied powers, effectively putting an end to World War II in Europe. But the aftershocks of this global...


Last witnesses : an oral history of the children of World War II
Aleksievich, Svetlana
"A masterpiece" (The Guardian) from the Nobel Prize-winning writer, an oral history of children's experiences in World War II across Russia NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST For more than three decades, Svetlana...


The liberation of Paris : how Eisenhower, de Gaulle, and von Choltitz saved the City of Light
Smith, Jean Edward
Prize-winning and bestselling historian Jean Edward Smith tells the "rousing" (Jay Winik, author of 1944) story of the liberation of Paris during World War II--a triumph achieved only through the remarkable efforts of Americans, French, and Germans, racing to save the city from destruction...


The lost paratroopers of Normandy : a story of resistance, courage, and solidarity in a French village
Rabe, Stephen G.
The fateful days and weeks surrounding 6 June 1944 have been extensively documented in histories of the Second World War, but less attention has been paid to the tremendous impact of these events on the populations nearby. The Lost Paratroopers of Normandy tells the inspiring yet heartbreaking story...


The Nazi conspiracy : the secret plot to kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill
Meltzer, Brad
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "An absolute home run! You will never look at WWII the same way again." --Brad Thor, #1 bestselling author "Meltzer and Mensch are masters." --Jon Meacham, author The Soul of America "A...


The nine : the true story of a band of women who survived the worst of Nazi Germany
Strauss, Gwen
"[A] narrative of unfathomable courage... Ms. Strauss does her readers--and her subjects--a worthy service by returning to this appalling history of the courage of women caught up in a time of rapacity and war." --Wall Street Journal "Utterly gripping." --...


No man's land : the trailblazing women who ran Britain's most extraordinary military hospital during World War I
Moore, Wendy
The "absorbing and powerful" (Wall Street Journal) story of two pioneering suffragette doctors who shattered social expectations and transformed modern medicine during World War I.   A month after war broke out in 1914, doctors Flora Murray and...


Normandy '44 : D-Day and the epic 77-day battle for France, a new history
Holland, James
D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the seventy-six days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed the Allied landing, have become the defining episode of World War II in the west--the object of books, films, television series, and documentaries. Yet as familiar as it is, as James Holland makes clear in his...


Operation Columba : the Secret Pigeon Service : the untold story of World War II resistance in Europe
Corera, Gordon
The fascinating, untold story of how British intelligence secretly used homing pigeons as part of a clandestine espionage operation to gather information, communicate, and coordinate with members of the Resistance to defeat the Nazis in occupied Europe during World War II. Between 1941 and...


Operation Pedestal : the fleet that battled to Malta, 1942
Hastings, Max
Renowned historian Max Hastings recreates one of the most thrilling events of World War II: Operation Pedestal, the British action to save its troops from starvation on Malta--an action-packed tale of courage, fortitude, loss, and triumph against all odds. In 1940,...


Patriots from the Barrio : the story of Company E, 141st Infantry : the only all Mexican American Army unit in World War II
Gutierrez, Dave
Named One of the 24 Best History Books of All Time by Book Riot The Inspiring True Story of a Segregated Unit Whose Exploits Underscore the Forgotten Latino Contribution to the Allied Victory in World War II As a child, Dave Gutierrez hung on...


Pegasus Bridge : June 6, 1944
Ambrose, Stephen E.
In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defense forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War II. This gripping account of it by...


Poland 1939 : the outbreak of World War II
Moorhouse, Roger
A "chilling" and "expertly" written history of the 1939 September Campaign and the onset of World War II (Times of London). For Americans, World War II began in December of 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor; but for Poland, the war...


The pope at war : the secret history of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler
Kertzer, David I.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "The most important book ever written about the Catholic Church and its conduct during World War II."--Daniel Silva "Kertzer brings all of his usual detective and narrative skills to [The Pope at War] . . . the most comprehensive account...


The princess spy : the true story of World War II spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones
Loftis, Larry
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER "As exciting as any spy novel" (Daily News, New York), The Princess Spy follows the hidden history of an ordinary American girl who became one of the OSS's most daring...


Prisoners of the castle : an epic story of survival and escape from Colditz, the Nazis' fortress prison
Macintyre, Ben
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The "entertaining [and] often-moving account" (The Wall Street Journal) of the remarkable POWs whose relentlessly creative attempts to escape a notorious Nazi prison embodied the spirit of resistance against fascism, from the author of The Spy and...


The ravine : a family, a photograph, a Holocaust massacre revealed
Lower, Wendy
Winner, 2022 National Jewish Book Award Shortlist, 2022 Wingate Literary Prize A single photograph--an exceptionally rare "action shot" documenting the horrific final moment of the murder of a family--drives a riveting process of discovery for a gifted Holocaust scholar ...


Resistance : the underground war against Hitler, 1939-1945
Kochanski, Halik
"To resist, therefore. But how, when and where? There were no laws, no guidelines, no precedents to show the way . . ." --Dutch resister Herman Friedhoff In every country that fell to the Third Reich during the Second World War, from France in the west to parts of the Soviet Union in the...


Sicily '43 : the first assault on fortress Europe
Holland, James
A major new history of one of World War II's most crucial campaigns--the first Allied attack on European soil--by the acclaimed author of Normandy '44 and a rising star in military history On July 10, 1943, the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted took place, larger even...


Spearhead : an American tank gunner, his enemy, and a collision of lives in World War II
Makos, Adam
THE NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, LOS ANGELES TIMES, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER  "A band of brothers in an American tank . . . Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing's turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of...


Stalin's war : a new history of World War II
McMeekin, Sean
A prize-winning historian reveals how Stalin--not Hitler--was the animating force of World War II in this major new history. World War II endures in the popular imagination as a heroic struggle between good and evil, with villainous Hitler driving its events. But...


Taking Paris : the epic battle for the city of lights
Dugard, Martin
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * From Martin Dugard, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O'Reilly, comes the spellbinding story of the Allied liberation of Paris from the grip of the Nazis during World War II "Taking Paris does...


Three days at the brink : FDR's daring gamble to win World War II
Baier, Bret
The Instant New York Times Bestseller "I could not put this extraordinary book down. Three Days at the Brink is a masterpiece: elegantly written, brilliantly conceived, and impeccably researched. This book not only sparkles but is destined to be a classic!" --Jay Winik,...


Three ordinary girls : the remarkable story of three Dutch teenagers who became spies, saboteurs, Nazi assassins--and WWII heroes
Brady, Tim
Recruited as teenagers, Hannie Schaft, and Dutch sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen fulfilled their harrowing missions as spies, saboteurs, and Nazi assassins with remarkable courage, but their stories have remained largely unknown. Smart, fiercely political, devoted solely to the cause, Hannie,...


Wings of war : the World War II fighter plane that saved the Allies and the believers who made it fly
White, David Fairbank
The incredible, untold story behind the rise of the P-51 Mustang, the World War II fighter plane that destroyed the Luftwaffe and made D-Day possible "Aviation buffs will cheer this high-flying saga."-Publishers Weekly . " A fascinating book about passion and...


The winter army : the World War II odyssey of the 10th Mountain Division, America's elite alpine warriors
Isserman, Maurice
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL SKIING HISTORY ASSOCIATION'S ULLR AWARD, the epic story of the US Army's 10th Mountain Division, whose elite soldiers broke the last line of German defenses in Italy's mountains in 1945, spearheading the Allied advance to the Alps and final victory. ...


X troop : the secret Jewish commandos of World War Two
Garrett, Leah
WALL STREET JOURNAL BOOK OF THE MONTH "This is the incredible World War II saga of the German-Jewish commandos who fought in Britain's most secretive special-forces unit--but whose story has gone untold until now." --Wall Street Journal "Brilliantly researched,...

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