I discovered Pipeline to Battle a few years ago, in its original 1943 pocketbook edition, along with yellowed paperback editions of the other books described below. It’s one of a neglected / forgotten series of books written shortly after the war by mostly lower rank active participants. These give a better overall understanding of World War II, mostly at the tactical level.
Pipeline to Battle – a Memoir of World War II
The author was a young officer responsible for keeping water and gas lines functional and laying new pipeline as the frontlines changed. As prosaic as it sounds, it was vital to the British survival and eventual victory
Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II
by Charles B. MacDonald. A forerunner of Band of Brothers, describing the Allied infantry advance thru Germany in 1944-5
Away All Boats! The Battle Cry of the South Pacific
by Kenneth Dodson 1954. First-hand accounts of the Pacific amphibious operations in World War II. Told from the point of view of the fictional attack transport ship Belinda. The author of the book actually served on the attack transport USS Pierce. The actions and invasions track those of the USS Pierce. Hundreds of transport ships were built. They carried landing craft and invasion troops. The book is more well-known than the others I’ve listed. It’s on the Naval Academy’s reading list for amphibious warfare.
Panzer Leader – Heinz Guderian
Gives an inside look at the leaders of the Nazi Party and the German Army from one of the most innovative and revolutionary military thinkers. Guderian was largely responsible for developing the combined arms Blitzkrieg strategy that gave Germany it’s early successes. Luckily for the Allies, Hitler did not follow Guderian’s later advice particularly in underestimating the Soviet Union. Guderian was dismissed after the failure to capture Moscow in 1941, but brought back to try to stave off the Russian counter offensive in 1943
Autobiography of SABURO SAKAI. He enjoyed a singular reputation among fighter pilots. Of all Japan’s aces, Saburo Sakai is the only pilot who never lost a wingman in combat
Royalty-free images of vintage military topics