From: Smyrna, Ga, 30080
Good reply! The slogan "In Arduis, Fidelis," was one that was sent to me by a fellow gamer as encouragement in a time when I was undergoing some unwarranted pressure from a small group of recalcitrant gamers.
It means "In Adversity, Faithfulness." It meant a lot to me then and it still does. It appears not everyone loves the old Colonel :( , but I've learned to live with that.
I adopted it for the Raider byword.
Now as to books. You've made it pretty clear what you are looking for.
Depending on where you are, (large city, small town), take Frankie's advice. Check used book stores.
A couple of years ago, on a whirlwind vacation while visiting my brother we stopped at a Mall in Virginia for a meal.
I spied a used book store and since I love books (I have about 1500 books on military history - 20th Century - a growing collection of the last 10 years), I sneaked over while waiting for our meal to be served.
What a boon! I found all kinds of books, some for which I had searched and could not find (out of print). I ended up with about $700 (16 books!) worth of books for $80! I wish you such luck.
Especially watch for used book sales at malls, etc. I got antoher $500 worth of books (14 volumes) some totally out of print for as low as $1. My total cost was $35!
Liubraries also sell off old books for nearly nothing. Keep checking.
I'm assuming you are beginning your library so I'll try to give you a list that would eat up that $100 pretty quick.
You need a good general history of WW2. You should be able to find all of these at Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble. And there are others. I'll list a few at the end, plus whatever bookstores you have where you live.
There are two that are excellent for general history and inexpensive (paperback).
Delivered from Evil, Robert Leckie (997 pages) runs about $20
There's a War to be Won (The US Army in WW2), Geoffery Perrett (about $10 -smaller but very complete!).
Next,a good Atlas. These vary in price but you need some maps to find places mentioned in these books. Some books have good maps. Most don't.
The best one for your need would be The Historical Atlas of WW2, Pimlott (about $20) or The Times Atlas of WW2 (I got this one on sale at B&N for $10).
The next thing is a list of a few books with details on battles.
Here are my suggestions. Look for authors. Anything by Bryan Perrett, Robert Leckie, George Forty, Stephen Ambrose or John Keenan are good. They are ALWAYS good. Watch for those names.
Some books to consider:
Iron Fist, Perrett
Against All Odds, Perrett
Impossible Victories, Perrett
Last Stand, Perrett
Seize and Hold, Perrett
Against the Panzers, Karamales
Death Traps, Cooper (3rd Armored Division)
Six Armies in Normandy, Keenan
Steel Inferno, Reynolds (German Point of View)
Of course the standards of Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge too Far, The Longest Day, and The Last Battle.
The Clay Pigeons of St. Lo, Johns
A Dark, Bloody Ground, Miller
The Texas Army, Wagner
A Time for Trumpets (the Bulge) McDonald
Most of these are available in paperback, which is ideal for a limited budget. You could probably get 8-12 good ones total for the $100 you are ready to spend.
Now some classics you'll want to always look for:
Any books by Paul Carell
The US ARMY IN WW2 (about 30 volumes) These are a must for any collector - the classics on US participation from North Africa to the end of WW2.
I just head the Scholars Bookshelf has some of these on sale for 8.99 each. Unbelievable!
Grab 'em. They retail at the US Govt Printing Office for $35-50 each. These are what is known as "The Green Books."
Anything by Fletcher Pratt, SLA Marshall, Eric Hammel, George Forty,
And on and on. But now THIS is turning into a book. Good luck and let us know what you finally get! :D
(If it can be found, they can find it!)
(This is where they have those books at such a great price, US ARMY in WW2)
(Good, but expensive)
(Great orders of battle and TOEs)
This is enough for now.
In Arduis Fidelis
Wild Bill Wilder
Independent Game Consultant