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Good books on describing battles

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  • Good books on describing battles

    OK, as I've said before, I'm looking to write an alternate hisotry novel about WWII. Problem is I don't know a THING about writing. So I need examples. Especially about battles, how they would be conducted. Right now I'm preping for Law School, but I have two books that might help me: Fox on the Rhine and Panzer Commander. Any others that look good as far as presenting battles (infantry in BUA, tanks, or even helicopter battles with WWII helicopters [yes I'm reimagining WWII in a bunch of different ways])?

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. Would it be OK to post sections of my proposed story for criticism? And if so, what subforum?
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

  • #2
    If youre thinking of helicopter battles, I would read up on the HeadHunters and Hunterkiller Squadron for some insight on how the OH13 (though the OH-13 was from Korea and later) was used in combat.

    As for other other books, just read military history and personal biographies.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Wolery View Post
      OK, as I've said before, I'm looking to write an alternate hisotry novel about WWII. Problem is I don't know a THING about writing. So I need examples. Especially about battles, how they would be conducted. Right now I'm preping for Law School, but I have two books that might help me: Fox on the Rhine and Panzer Commander. Any others that look good as far as presenting battles (infantry in BUA, tanks, or even helicopter battles with WWII helicopters [yes I'm reimagining WWII in a bunch of different ways])?

      Thanks in advance.

      P.S. Would it be OK to post sections of my proposed story for criticism? And if so, what subforum?
      I wonder if you want to write a novel or a "historic" looking book. Writing novels is an art on it's own, I can't help you with that. It is something you have or have not and then you need a lot of sweat, tears and determination.
      But if you want the latter you should have a look at the Osprey Campaign series. They follow in general a set of blue prints. Introduction. Background. Setting. Army of one side, army of the other side. Commanders of one side, commanders of the other side. Plans. Map. Chronological development of campaign. Conclusion.

      Maybe an interesting alternate history book is the book about the normandy invasion going wrong and Rommel winning? If you think it is of use I can find the title for you.
      Dearest of all my Friends(Vlad in max payne 2)

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      • #4
        If it's fiction you're interested in, take some local classes or find a writer's group. Feedback from like minded people can be invaluable. You can find good combat description styles from books by David Weber, David Drake, Eric Flint, S.M. Sterling, John Ringo and many others.

        If you want a good story organizing software, try Dramatica Pro.
        All questions are valid, all answers are tentative.

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        • #5
          What Kentek said! Those authors write about battles very well. However are you writing about first-person perspective? "John Smith fired his weapon and then dove for cover." Or is it more along the lines of what armies do? "The left wing caved in while the center held. The right pushed their foes back with punishing volleys of continous fire." There's many ways to write about battles. If you want to see both styles and even more, check out John Keegan's "The Face Of Battle". He gives many different ways to write about battle and none of them are wrong. Just depends on what you want to do.



          Just helping out a fellow Ohioan!
          Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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          • #6
            As much as I hate to recommend him, VD Hanson does a very good job describing battles from all different eras in Carnage and Culture. The arguments he makes afterwards sometimes are either self explanatory or are contrived - he has an agenda behind everything he writes - but the battle descriptions are superb.

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