World War Two - Firsthand Accounts (nonfiction)

Non Fiction first hand accounts of World War II
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91 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


MEK 891 books
18 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3260 books
860 friends
Phillip 4741 books
134 friends
Ashley 4640 books
528 friends
Holly 105 books
145 friends
Jana 1096 books
86 friends
Ruth 922 books
14 friends
Vinicius 178 books
53 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel The Diary of a Young Girl and The Hiding Place are definitely tops.


message 2: by Ned (new)

Ned "Ordinary Men" and Beevor's "Stalingrad" are definitely not first hand accounts. Shirer's "Rise and Fall" kind of counts because he was present as a reporter during Hitler's rise to power, but it's a stretch.


message 3: by Jayvee (new)

Jayvee doesn't matter to me, this is a good list for me with regards to finding good WW2 reads.


message 4: by Ashani (new)

Ashani Thank you soo soo much for the list. I'm a huge WWII fan and I guess I've got plenty of books to read about... :)!!!


message 5: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa Deleted The Boy in the Striped Pajamas it is not first hand account and more importantly it is fiction.


message 6: by Medha (new)

Medha Kanwar I need your help guys. I am trying find a book and I don't remember either the title or the author's name. It is a really old book about a soldier who dragged himself with injured leg . And its a world war survivor story.
I would really appreciate your help.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Have you tried the group "what's the name of this book?"


message 8: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly I'm pretty sure Pride & Prejudice (~121) isn't WW2... great list, though!


message 9: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jun 18, 2015 08:57AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I'll just nab that, Kimberly - thanks for mentioning it.

ETA: Also removing Jackboot Britain, as that is a novel and this list is for non-fiction.


message 10: by Heidi (new)

Heidi If you look at the description, QB VII is fiction NOT non-fiction.

However good it might be.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Where on the list is it? (Makes it a lot easier to remove.)


message 12: by Heidi (new)

Heidi It is number 125. Second page.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads OK. Will remove.


message 15: by Joel (last edited Dec 26, 2017 05:10PM) (new)

Joel There's something fishy about the top books on this list.

The top book as well as four others in the top twenty-five are about the atomic bombings, and another is about a American Japanese internment camp. The number two and three books are a revisionist take on the Allies role in entering the war with Germany, and both take the view that Hitler only wanted Danzig. Four books in the top thirty focus on the plight of the Germans in the post-war period under Allied occupation, and other is about India's occupation by Britain. I am not challenging the historicity of these topics, but the focus does seem to be overwhelmingly to the side of revisionism or demonization of the Allies and sympathy for the Axis countries.

If you were to take a poll of the top WWII books among historians, WWII buffs, or even ordinary readers, these are not the books that would pop up on top of their lists. The books that come to mind are general military overviews of the war, like that of Martin Gilbert, Max Hastings, Anthony Beevor, Gerhard Weinberg, or John Keegan, or tales about specific battles or campaigns - D-Day, Stalingrad, The Pacific Theater, especially from the point of view of the marines, Pearl Harbor, the battle for France and Germany, etc. Otherwise they are personal stories of civilians suffering, either in the holocaust, in the bombing blitzes, or starvation on the Russian front, or prisoners under Japanese cruelty in POW camps, and in China and the Philippines.

Sure - these books do feature highly on this list. Diary of a Young Girl, Band of Brothers, The Longest Day, With the Old Breed, Unbroken, these titles are probably the best known, most widely read, and favorite WWII books on any list. But I find it a little suspicious that these books are lower on the list than relatively obscure (judging from the number of ratings compared to the more popular ones) revisionist or Anti-Allied/Axis sympathetic books, and it makes me wonder who's driving the votes on this list. Something makes me think that it's not completely wholesome.


message 16: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Dec 26, 2017 05:12PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads All any Listopia is, is a popularity poll, among those people who choose to vote on it.

Also, there's such a thing as authors, or their fans, "bombing" a list. (Not saying that's happened here; but it does happen, and more often than you might think.) One sign of that can be, if the number of votes is a large percentage (and in some cases more than 100%) of those who have rated the book.


message 17: by Joel (new)

Joel Yes, I'd suspect some "bombing" going on here. Perhaps some of the voters were directed here from certain online forums? I also tend to be suspicious of the ratings on some books of a political nature that I know as a fact to be excellent books, but are vilified by politically motivated groups. If you actually read through some of the reviews, most of the one-star reviews are people saying "I hated this book because I disagree with the author's politics". Also, you tend to find this with books that are well known or have gotten lots of attention in the political arena, but then if you look at that same author's other books, they are rated higher, but are not as good. I can give you specific examples, but then I'd be forced to bring up specific political issues, so I'd rather not. Anyways, it's a shame that this has to turn into a political game, but apparently, that's what's happening here.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads A vast majority of the bombing used to be authors voting their own books onto lists (in many cases when it had nothing to do with the list topic), so GR made that impossible. Now we have rings of authors who vote each other's books on. (Fans are another matter. Are we not all fans of the books we rate highly? The ones here that are "suspicious" are those voted onto a lot of lists in a short time, by people who don't vote for anything else. In those cases, the agenda is clear. I haven't seen much of that, at least, on this list; it's pretty obvious when you get to know the signs. I speak as a Listopia addict.)


message 19: by Joel (new)

Joel Here's another list with many more votes, so trends become more obvious:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2...

Now scroll through that list starting from the beginning and stop at the books that have fewer than 1,000 ratings:

Churchill's Secret War
Als die Soldaten kamen
1939 - The War That Had Many Fathers
Hiroshima Diary
Blood in Zion
Churchill, Hitler and "The Unnecessary War"

Notice anything?

All are anti-Allies, and all appear high on this list too. (And the only book NOT on this list is Blood in Zion - and I'm sure I don't have to explain the political motivations behind that book.)

I haven't done an analysis of the actual voters on those books - I will later when I have more time - but I expect that to reveal a pattern too.


message 20: by Joel (last edited Dec 26, 2017 06:38PM) (new)

Joel Emma, Alain, Jan, Guy, Adam, Alfred, Richard, John, Martin.... hmmm... I'm definitely detecting a pattern here.

All these people voted for the "offensive" books, but not the other mainstay classics like Diary of a Young Girl, Band of Brothers, The Longest Day...


message 21: by Joel (new)

Joel The other list seems to exhibit the same patters. And there are some characters that appear on both list just in the offensive books: OlafG, Bert, and Richard...


message 22: by Joel (last edited Dec 26, 2017 06:54PM) (new)

Joel Hmmm... and all these people have voted for roughly the same list of books:

Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian, Rommel by David Irving (holocaust denier), Rommel by Desmond Young, Knight's Cross: A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel by David Fraser, Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck by Hans von Luck...

And they ALL have their profiles private - which is not true for most of the voters on the other books. And they all have about 7-14 friends and about 200-300 books, and ZERO reviews.

And the same pattern repeats for the suspicious voters on that other list - OlafG, Mag, Veronica...

Yup, I think I can safely conclude that there are people here with an agenda who are rigging these polls.


message 23: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Since when do you have the right to decide whether a particular book is "offensive" or not?

Just because you dis-like Patrick Buchanan.

As long as a book is not totally pro-Hitler, it has the right to be on here.

You claim to believe in free speech, you do NOT believe in free speech.


message 24: by Joel (new)

Joel Heidi wrote: "Since when do you have the right to decide whether a particular book is "offensive" or not?

Just because you dis-like Patrick Buchanan.

As long as a book is not totally pro-Hitler, it has the r..."


I'm not talking about whether a like or dislike the book, or whether it has the right to be here... This is not a free speech issue.

I'm just illustrating that the poll is rigged by people with a very specific agenda (anti-West, pro-Axis, Anti-Semitic...)

This has a name - it's called astro-turfing. I'm not making a judgement about Pat Buchanan's thesis. I'm just showing (with the patterns I exposed in my comments above) that this list has been bombed by people who are trying to putsch (oops, did I mis-spell that?) a very specific agenda and make it look "grass-roots".


message 25: by Elyse (new)

Elyse I deleted "Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman. It is about World War One.


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