There probably should be a bit on how to use this list for newcomers. Nobody ever has enough time to read everything they want or should read.
First read one of the one volume histories. This will give an overview of what happened and why. After that it would probably be possible to fight the AI and win, but it would be a tough slog.
What to read next depends a bit on what the reader is most interested in. My suggestion would be one or more books on the beginnings. Probably the best short version is the first few chapters of Morison’s volume one. Most American’s have no idea about how we got into WWII. They tend to believe it all started without any warning on Dec 7.
Somewhere along the line perhaps it would be good to read a few of the historical novels. Again, very few people today have any idea of what America and Americans were like when all this started. It’s a very, very different place from America today.
Another good idea would be a few of the better movies or videos. I haven’t seen the Brothers Pacific series yet, but it might be a good, fast way of getting into the minds of Americans back then and the true bloody horror of the war.
A word on the books. All the authors have a point of view. If you possibly can, read more than one book on any given subject. Each author brings something different. For example, the official histories, not surprisingly, stress the official, high level view of the war. In them, you get the feeling of Gentlemen working together to fight and win a war. You will read about the problems of moving millions of men and zillions of tons of equipment to where they were needed, when they were needed. In the face of everything the enemy could do to kill the men and destroy the equipment. You read about this headquarters was set up for that operation and that general was selected to run things.
Then, when you read, say the biographies, you will get stories of great men with flaws struggling to get things done the way they are absolutely sure it should be done. In the case of the Allies, they usually gritted their teeth , cooperated and got the job done. In the case of the Axis, um, err, cooperation often didn’t happen.
If at all possible, read histories about the other side. Japan and the Japanese in the 1940’s were more alien than most any Science Fiction or Fantasy character most people have ever encountered. As just one example, assassination of high level government officials was rather common.
Again, I’m starting to run down. I’m sure others can add to this and improve it.
< Message edited by LowCommand -- 8/9/2011 6:58:12 PM >
"Mines reported in the fairway,
"Warn all traffic and detain,
"'Sent up Unity, Cralibel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain."