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  • Fav Historian?

    Just wondering who is your favourite historian of WW2? Also who do you think is the most influential WW2 historian?

    Ross

  • #2
    Richard Evans' books on the Third Reich, Samuel Eliot Morison's histories of the war in the Atlantic, Winston Churchill's Second World War is also important to read.

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    • #3
      Shelby Foote wrote many of the greatest books on the Civil War.

      Stephen Ambrose is his World War II counterpart.

      Those are mine.
      "Yellowstain!"

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      • #4
        Fav WWII historian is a toss up between John Ellis (The Sharp End, Brute Force, & Cassino) and Cornelius Ryan (The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far, and The Last Battle)

        Most influential--I have to think about it for a while--it's an issue of perspective.
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • #5
          Most influential WWII historian from the perspective of opening up the eastern front from the Red Army side to western readers--John Erickson originally, superceded by David Glantz.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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          • #6
            Most influential in terms of creating interest amongst the most people would have to to be Stephen Ambrose.

            In terms of favorites...hmmm...Rick Armstrong comes to mind. And that Carlo D'este fellow is up there too.
            Publisher
            Armchair General Magazine
            Weider History Group

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            • #7
              I've been reading through the "History of United States Naval Operations in World War Two" series (15 volumes ) by Samuel Eliot Morison. Good stuff. I'd put him in my favorite list.
              As lord and master of your grill, you will welcome any opportunity to display your grilling prowess.
              Mario Batali, 2006

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              • #8
                Eagle against the Sun

                Ronald Spector, author of 'Eagle against the Sun' for the War in the Pacific; because he is unique in his conciseness with which he pictures the conflict and writes in a way you cannot put him down. This is clearly a work of love and of high academic level written as a page turner. IMO an unbeatable combination!
                I discovered that even John Keegan, whom I hold in high esteem, used Spector a little bit more than he should have where he felt he was on thin ice, i.e. when describing the Pacific War while writing his 'Second World War'. In Keegan's own words 'no higher praise than imitation'.
                BoRG

                You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                • #9
                  Dr Atwater

                  Since he is the only guy I have ever met and exchanged emails with I have to say Dr Atwater. Not only is he a historian he also has a chance to play with so many cool guns, tanks and other weapons.
                  Ambrose seemed great and did so much for the Veterans he deserves a vote as well.

                  CD
                  "History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                  • #10
                    I like John Ellis and Len Deighton. David Glantz is great for reference but he can be a rather dry read. Ambrose is good to read but he lacks accuracy at times.
                    If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                    • #11
                      Most influencial I think is Ambrose. I have heard conflicting stories about his acuracy and ability to creatively fill in gaps. However, he has produced some exceptionally readable history. This has brought the history of WWII to people who may not have been exposed to it otherwise. Let's face it, a lot of history is dry unless you have a passion for it. Ambrose is informative, readable, entertaining, and accessable to non-historians.

                      I would like to call either Ted Barris or Mark Zuehlke are my favourite historians. But I can't. Ted Barris makes some good reads. But he really doesn't teach you much about the history. You get a good 'soldier's view' but not much else. Mark Zuehlke is readable and educational. He brings forward a lot of topics that aren't covered in other books, such as Ortona and the Liri Valley. However, I have heard from a few people that his assesment of the equipment available is flawed. Both are still well worth reading though.

                      Which leaves me with J.L. Granatstein and Desmond Morton, for their book Canada and the Two World Wars. My reason is because they go beyond simply covering battles. They talk quite well about the political, economic, and cultural effects on and influences of the war.

                      I'm surprised no one has mentioned Keegan or Beevor yet.
                      AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
                      The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Duncan
                        I'm surprised no one has mentioned Keegan or Beevor yet.
                        Ooops, Keegan's history of WW1 is top notch
                        If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Duncan

                          I'm surprised no one has mentioned Keegan or Beevor yet.
                          Keegan is a great read, but I did not consider him a WWII historian. He's more universal and gained his notoriety with The Face of Battle in the narrow historical genre of "men in battle"--he has his place with Siborne, du Picq, and Spiller.
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                          • #14
                            I'd have to list Gordon Rottman as well. Lots of Osprey books published. His latest that I have was on LSTs. Great book with lots of stuff I never knew. His geography book on the Pacific theatre is a great resource as well. I want to pick that up along with his USMC WWII oob book but at 120 each I've not taken the plunge yet.
                            As lord and master of your grill, you will welcome any opportunity to display your grilling prowess.
                            Mario Batali, 2006

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                            • #15
                              I would like to recind my previous vote. Here I am looking over top of my computer at my 'to read' shelf. And there is the man's name right in front of me. The man who said, "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." None other than Winston Churchill. He was Prime Minister of a pivotal nation during WWII. He was one of three most important Allied leaders at the time. Patton's reading list, released by his widow, includes, 'Anything by Winston Churchill.' And his series on WWII won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953.

                              Yup, he's the one.
                              AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
                              The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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