Tag Archives: classics

10 Classic War Novels

There are thousands of war novels and obviously I haven’t read them all but this is a selection of books that stand the test of time.

I have stuck for the most part to novels that are about the experience of war or in which war plays a major part. This lets out a lot of good books which use the war as a backdrop – Len Deighton’s SS-GB, Ken Follett’s The Eye of the Needle and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain for example.

There is nothing really obscure here so if you plan to use this list for gift-buying you will want to check whether your intended recipient already has a copy.

 Fields of Fire – James H Webb

The Vietnam war spawned a number of fine novels, but for my money this the best of the lot. The action is specific to the time and place but the depiction of small groups of men in combat is timeless.

The Killer Angels

The classic novel of the American Civil War. This is not really about interior drama and character development: instead it covers the Battle of Gettysburg and, while telling the story with verve and pace, provides a potential narrative for why and how things went so badly for the South. Real Civil War anoraks have quibbled about the pivotal role it gives to Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine, and apologists for Robert E. Lee don’t much like it, but for the rest of us this is historical fiction at its best.

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Christmas Books for your Military Partner

Just in time for Christmas, here’s a list of the best of military books for your spouse/partner, or really for anyone who wants to learn more about the world of the warrior. These are the classics, so you will need to check first to ensure that the object of your affections doesn’t already have a copy. All are currently available on Amazon.


Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda – Sean Naylor

Blackhawk Down – Mark Bowden


Tet!: The Turning Point in the Vietnam War – Don Oberdorfer

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam – Neil Sheehan

The Experience of War

The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme – John Keegan

The Forgotten Soldier – Guy Sager

War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning – Chris Hedges

Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II – George MacDonald Fraser

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