Reddit reviews: The best historical germany biographies

We found 350 Reddit comments discussing the best historical germany biographies. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 105 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Historical Germany Biographies:

u/NotFreeAdvice · 1 pointr/atheism

I am not totally sure what you are asking for actually exists in book form...which is odd, now that I think about it.

If it were me, I would think about magazines instead. And if you really want to push him, think about the following options:

  1. Science News, which is very similar to the front-matter of the leading scientific journal Science. This includes news from the past month, and some in-depth articles. It is much better written -- and written at a much higher level -- than Scientific American or Discover. For a very intelligent (and science-interested) high school student, this should pose little difficulty.
  2. The actual journal Science. This is weekly, which is nice. In addition to the news sections, this also includes editorials and actual science papers. While many of the actual papers will be beyond your son, he can still see what passes for presentation of data in the sciences, and that is cool.
  3. The actual journal Nature. This is also weekly, and is the british version of the journal Science. In my opinion, the news section is better written than Science, which is important as this is where your kid's reading will be mostly done. IN addition, Nature always has sections on careers and education, so that your son will be exposed to the more human elements of science. Finally, the end of nature always has a 1-page sci-fi story, and that is fun as well.
  4. If you must, you could try Scientific American or Discover, but if you really want to give your kid a cool gift, that is a challenge, go for one of the top three here. I would highly recommend Nature.

    If you insist on books...

    I see you already mentioned A Brief History of the Universe, which is an excellent book. However, I am not sure if you are going to get something that is more "in depth." Much of the "in depth" stuff is going to be pretty pop, without the rigorous foundation that are usually found in textbooks.

    If I had to recommend some books, here is what I would say:

  5. The selfish gene is one of the best "rigorous" pop-science books out there. Dawkins doesn't really go into the math, but other than that he doesn't shy away from the implications of the work.
  6. Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Dennett is a great book. While not strictly science, per se, it does outline good philosophical foundations for evolution. It is a dense read, but good.
  7. On the more mathematical side, you might try Godel, Escher, Bach, which is a book that explores the ramifications of recrusiveness and is an excellent (if dense) read.
  8. You could also consider books on the history of science -- which elucidate the importance of politics and people in the sciences. I would recommend any of the following: The Double Helix, A man on the moon, The making of the atomic bomb, Prometheans in the lab, The alchemy of air, or A most damnable invention. There are many others, but these came to mind first.


    edit: added the linksssss
u/aboutillegals · 2 pointsr/Intelligence

Markus Wolf, Man without a face About east german intelligence

Ion Pacepa, Red Horizons: The Extraordinary Memoirs of a Communist Spy Chief About rumanian intelligence in the communist era.

He also wrote the Kremlin's legacy, but that is more speculative and about the political changes, still a good book.

Pacepa has a trilogy: The Black Book of the Securitate from 1999, and recently (3 weeks ago) published: Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, but I haven't read these, if anyone has an opinion on them, please share them here or in pm please!

U/animalfarmpig already mentioned Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, but you just can't stress enough the importance of that book, it discusses the very basics of analysis so well, that this should be the first anyone reads and if I may: this book should be at the very top of the suggested reading list.

u/baaladramelech · 3 pointsr/ChilluminatiPod

I have to say, I don't use kindle so I have no idea if these are available there, but maybe I can give you a starting point.

If you want a fiction book, I really have enjoyed the Nazi Occult by Kennet Hite. It is kinda interesting to read to find some story hooks if you want to write some stories or wanna run a tabletop rpg campaign.

If you are looking for a complete non-fiction book on Nazi Occult though, things get really hard. There isn't really a book that I can easily recommend just because different aspects of this was researched by different people but you might find bits and pieces from:

Heinrich Himmler: A Life by Peter Longerich - Biography of Himmler is crucial if you are curious about late Nazi occult ideologies and what they did.

The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clark - I haven't read most of this one yet, sadly, but from what I have seen, it's really good.

Black Sun by Nicholas Goodrick-Clark - If i am remembering correctly, this book also takes a look at neo-nazism.

Nicholas Goodrick-Clark is a good source, really.

Except these for, if you want to read more on Nazi Occult, Wikipedia is really the best place to find academic papers and all that kind of stuff. For example:

Bibliography of Occultism in Nazism page of Wikipedia.

u/pdnick · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

You should read this book, based on Eddie Chapman, Agent ZigZag one of the more fascinating books I have ever read...

Little excerpt, "Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.

In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was parachuted into Britain with a revolver, a wireless, and a cyanide pill, with orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service who at one time volunteered to assassinate Hitler for his countrymen. Crisscrossing Europe under different names, all the while weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and, miraculously, keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way."

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/boltaction

depends on your friends / player crowd.

are you looking to play through campaigns; scenarios and historical games or are you not actually to interested in history and you and your buds wanna simply play a good wargame with a ww2 backdrop and enjoy min-maxing list building?

I too started with early war Germans and the route i took was narrow down the campaign / battle / formation i wanted to play and read everything i could from war archives; battle reports; history documentaries etc on the topic. I chose the 7th Panzerdivision and their remarkable charge through France as my backdrop (still is). I based much of this on various wikipedia articles; war archives (especially of the German military) and reads by the name of "A bias for action : the German 7th Panzer Division in France & Russia 1940-1941" and "Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans Von Luck"
I started by buying the Blitzkrieg infantry boxed set; German HQ set (cool dude with monocle), 2x MMG teams; a medium Mortar and the most iconic tank of the 7th in France: the terrible Panzer 38(t).

Great way to start the game off casually and very thematic. Not competitive at all. so really it matters most how you want to play the game - but for me it was right to start historically and then build up more competitive options as i enjoy event/tournament play a lot. now, depending on the ~'meta' of a set event i can bring super fluffy fun lists or more competitively edged litst to big tournaments.

u/Feuersturm-CA · 3 pointsr/history

Most of my knowledge regarding the matter is European, so I'm going to give a list of my favorites regarding the European / African front.

To get the German perspective of the war, I'd recommend:

  • Panzer Commander - Hans von Luck - One of my favorites

  • Panzer Leader - Heinz Guderian - He developed Blitzkrieg tactics

  • The Rommel Papers - Erwin Rommel - Written by my favorite German Field Marshal up until his forced suicide by Hitler. Good read of the Western and African theaters of war. Also a good book to read if you're interested in what German command was doing on the lead up to D-Day.

    I have a few battle-specific books I enjoy too:

  • Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege 1942-1943 - You really don't know the brutality of Stalingrad till you've read this book. You'll see it in a whole new light I think.

  • Berlin: Downfall 1945 - Battle of Berlin at the end of the war, another good book.

    Now if you want to play games, Hearts of Iron series is great (someone recommended the Darkest Hour release of the game. Allows you to play historical missions based on historical troop layouts, or play the entire war as a nation. Historical events are incorporated into the game. While you'll rarely get a 100% accurate game as it is abstracted, it is an excellent way to see what challenges faced the nations of the time. You could play as Russia from 1936 and prepare yourself for the eventual German invasion. Or maybe you decide to play as Germany, and not invade Russia. But will Russia invade you when they are stronger? Will warn you: It does not have a learning curve. As with almost all Paradox Interactive games, it is a learning cliff.
u/somrandomguy · 50 pointsr/history

I applaud the publishing of this book and it sounds very interesting, but the title of the article (and by extension this post, though that's not the fault of the OP) is a bit misleading. I would say that at this point the consensus of historians on the subject is at best that the German populace was willfully ignorant of the atrocities committed against the Jews. If you read firsthand accounts of Germans living during the Holocaust and look at the simple logistics of the situation, it would have been impossible for them NOT to have any idea of what was happening to the Jews and others.

There was a significant amount of anti-semitism amongst the Germans during that time period. Look at accounts such as Frauen (http://www.amazon.com/Frauen-German-Women-Recall-Third/dp/0813522005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318681094&sr=8-1). Maybe it was not their primary reason for supporting the Nazi party, but a lot of Germans (I would dare say even a majority) were onboard with the Nazis' anti-Semitic agenda. Europe, and especially Germany, has a long and ignominious history of anti-Jewish sentiment and action.

Furthermore, the oppression of the Jews was ubiquitous and blatant. There were concentration camps all over Germany, and they were not subtle affairs. Additionally consider the large numbers of Jews and POWs being used as forced labor in German industry, oftentimes alongside Germans. Not to mention that the recovery of the German economy was not due to some economic genius possessed by Hitler or his advisors but founded on extracting the wealth of the Jewish population. Though that's really tangential.

tl;dr The historical consensus is that if Germans didn't at least have an idea about the Holocaust when it was going on, it was only because they did not want to know.

u/darrylmacstone · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

German Boy: A Child in War is still the best book I have ever read. Read it in high school and again in recent years, and I was moved enough as a high schooler to begin a mail correspondence with the author, who still lives in the US. He was very kind and seemed to care a great deal about his letters from a young man he never knew. One of the most enlightening experiences I've been a part of and something I've never forget.

u/alan2001 · 2 pointsr/pics

Heh, the relationship between Hitler and "Loyal Heini" was a strange one indeed! Himmler used to suffer from debilitating stomach cramps whenever he was under stress, for example while visiting concentration camps. So he wasn't exactly fit for battle or an inspiring General!

Here's the funny thing about Himmler being made Commander In Chief of the Upper Rhine and being sent into battle (well, going there and hiding in his tent, reading reports all day) - it was actually Martin Bormann's idea! He was becoming extremely jealous of Himmler's increasing influence, so as a way of getting him out of Berlin he suggested the idea to Hitler, who went along with it. In fact, fuck it, I've just scanned the relevant passages here:

first page
second page

Despite his incompetence, I'm really surprised he didn't - somehow - manage to wangle a Knight's Cross out of it, along with all the swords and oakleaves and diamonds.

This is the book: History of the SS by G.S. Graber

"Hitler As Military Commander" is very interesting, but really, really, dry. Next up on my reading list is probably a re-reading of Hugh Trevor-Roper's "The Last Days of Hitler" which I'm sure you would enjoy.

Thanks for the book tips - I can't get enough!

btw - anyone reading this thread would probably love /r/HistoryPorn.

u/innocent_bystander · 10 pointsr/history

Very interesting original report of a POW interrogation that details the weeks after the Normandy invasion for a SS PzG division from the perspective of one of the division staff officers. Summary in the article and the entire actual report is provided as well.

EDIT: This intel report covers a similar time frame, location, and scope as one of the memoirs I have, Panzer Commander from Hanz Von Luck. It's a good read if you haven't gone through it, and want to get into additional first hand experience at a similar level on the same battlefield.

u/larsga · 3 pointsr/history

Not surprisingly, but the truth is he died in the bunker. Hugh Trevor-Roper worked for Allied intelligence on tracking down the people who were in the bunker and interviewing them. His Last Days of Hitler where he gives the evidence that was available in the late 1940s makes it very clear that Hitler died in the bunker. This was clear even without the additional evidence from the Russians.

It's a highly recommended little book that gives a very vivid picture of what those April 1945 days in Berlin were like, and also some idea of how Allied intelligence worked.

u/ThatsWhatILikeAboutU · 4 pointsr/OldSchoolCool

Yes ... I highly recommend the Book "A Higher Call" by Adam Makos (essentially a "Double Biography" telling these 2 mens' life stories and how they intertwine) I have given it as a gift to several friends who like history or aviation. Link to A Higher Call Book on Amazon

u/Eviltower101 · 1 pointr/history

This is one Ive been meaning to read for a super long time. Its called Tigers in the Mud. Its about a commander of a Tiger tank. https://www.amazon.com/Tigers-Mud-Commander-Stackpole-Military/dp/0811729117

Its been a while but A Bridge Too Far gave some perspective on the individual soldiers. Its probably one of my favorite history books because it reads more like a story. He goes also does the big picture of the battle and then narrows it down to soldiers and their thoughts. He even throws in some jokes from the time. My favorite was when these paratroopers were talking cover in a cellar during an artillery barrage. There was one guy that made the joke "they're throwing everything at us but the kitchen stove." Then at that moment a shell hit the house and the kitchen stove actually fell through the floor in front of them. The guy followed up with "I knew the bastards were close but I didnt think they could hear us." Cornelius Ryan did an amazing job. I gotta get around to reading his other 2 books eventually. Just too lazy

u/DeafDumbBlindKid · 1 pointr/engineering

The Alchemy of Air

It's the story of Nobel Prize winners Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, who together created the Haber-Bosch process to convert inorganic nitrogen into organic nitrogen, and then scaled up the process to magnificent industrial proportions. While this invention is responsible for the Green Revolution (organic nitrogen = fertilizer), it is also largely responsible for Hitler's ability to prosecute the Second World War from 1943 to 1945 (organic nitrogen = explosives, and food to feed a blockaded country).

This has almost nothing to do with your academic work. Read it any way. You won't be disappointed.

u/MajorMonkyjuice · 5 pointsr/Warthunder

I won't pretend to support the actions of axis soldiers, just the same as I wouldn't support the actions of soldiers in muddled conflicts like we have going on today, however I respect the courage and stalwart determination of soldiers no matter which country they fight for, or for what political/religious ideology they fight for.

It's with that sense of respect in mind, that I find bringing stories to light, from both sides of any conflict, is beneficial, and why I detest people who dismiss those stories and soldiers because "they were our enemy and they did horrible things".
War is horrible by definition, horrible things are bound to happen, and even worse things are bound to happen when religion is thrown in, as shown with Japan's involvement in WWII, but that doesn't make the stories or the soldiers any less impressive, or detract from the insane amount of courage it would have taken for ANY soldier to fight on those fronts, in those conditions, and with those tools.

In the same way I can absolutely respect and be amazed by the courage shown by the soldiers during the raid of St. Nazaire, I can also be equally amazed and impressed by the courage and fighting spirit (and oftentimes surprising humility) of the German soldiers during their conflicts, such as some of the stories of Hanz Von Luck (very interesting book, I suggest finding a copy), it's for those reasons that I think you should reconsider dismissing an entire army of its right to have its stories told simply because you don't like the thought of them having killed allies in past conflicts.

u/daxxruckus · 3 pointsr/audiobooks

If you like miltary history or WWII at all, A Higher Call was the best book I got on Audible. Absolutely amazing.


u/uid_0 · 2 pointsr/ww2

"Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer is a pretty good read. It's not specifically about the eastern front, but it gives you a very good perspective about what life was like for a Wehrmacht solder.

u/GlorifiedPlumber · 2 pointsr/EngineeringStudents

More chemical engineering related, but illustrates what I call "big picture" and "scale it up" engineering philosophies.

I'm a big fan of "The Alchemy of Air":


Then, they are 100% chem E / mech E related, but I like Norm Lieberman's books on troubleshooting process equipment.



There are CHEAPER earlier versions you can dig out on Amazon. Note, troubleshooting a pump hasn't changed a lot in 60 years... so... you know.

u/lobogato · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Yes, he changed it.

The German Workers party was not the Nazi party in the same way the Federalist are not the republican party. They are different in the same way a caterpillar is not a butterfly.

He did hijack the same German Worker party and turned it into something almost completely different, the Nazi party. The original members of the German worker's party were basically forced out because the views they held were incompatible with the views the Nazis took.

What you believe is irrelevant to what happened. If you want to know the difference I suggest you read Hitler and Stalin: Parallel lives You would learn a lot from it. I bought it for 2 dollars, with shipping.

u/-R-o-y- · 5 pointsr/freemasonry

The Illuminati were an organisation in Germany in the 18th century. It's not a great book, but see here. It tried to influence society for equality, freedom of speech, secularism, so I guess their goal was reached :-)

Anybody can start a group and call it "Illuminati" so there sure are groups today who do, but what does say?

u/accountt1234 · 3 pointsr/worldnews

Interesting. Hitler was reportedly also a British agent.

There is the mysterious evacuation of Dunkirk. The British wanted to evacuate their troops, but they thought it would take only 2 days before the Germans would make any further evacuations impossible and thus they'd destroy hundreds of thousands of Allied forces. But days went by, and the Germans did nothing.

The British king wanted an alliance with the fascists because he believed he could use them to destroy the communists.

A British "amateur" diplomat tried to make peace between Nazi Germany and Britain by handing Europe to Hitler and the rest of the planet to the British.

Rudolf Hess flew to Scotland because he wanted an alliance with the British.

The Rockefeller Foundation created the Nazi eugenics program. They even funded Josef Mengele.

Wall Street funded the rise of Hitler.

It seems that the West loved fascism. It was a perfect system for the rich corporations to rule the nation. In fact, the big corporations tried to overthrow Roosevelt and make the US a fascist nation. It was called the Business plot.

With all of this, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the British created Mussolini.

u/Layin-Scunion · 3 pointsr/wwiipics

I've read "With the Old Breed" and I agree it is a fantastic book. I'm mostly read on pilot memoirs though but I've read a few infantry accounts. No problem about telling you some good reads:

  • Red Star Against the Swastika was probably the most interesting memoir I've ever read. Having the perspective of an IL-2 pilot that survived the war is a unique one and the only book I know of that's out there. His experiences were heart wrenching. It has criticism of being not well written. That is not the case. It was translated from Russian so that is why it reads as it does.

  • Gabby Gabreski's book was a very well written book. Very detailed accounts of his sorties and points that you don't see very often in a pilot memoir. This is mostly because he kept a detailed diary throughout his life. Going from A P-47 pilot over Europe to flying an F-86 over Korea (and scoring an Ace against 5 MiGs) was as well, a unique pilot perspective. Great man and great leader.

  • Forgotten Soldier was a very sobering book. Not much to say really. You just have to read it to really understand. It does have some criticisms of glossing over war crimes committed by his unit and fabricating stories but it was still a great read regardless.

  • Samurai! by Saburo Sakai was an awesome account and one of my favorites. Very interesting that he taught himself and other pilots to make unconventional side-slipping attacks on TBFs and SBDs. His aircraft would slide sideways during his attacks to throw off the rear gunners. He swore by it because out of all the attacks he made, he was rarely hit.

  • Baa Baa Black Sheep follows Pappy Boyington and his unit through the Pacific. The guy was hilariously courageous or stupid depending on your opinion. He would lead combat sorties half drunk from the night before. Telling officers over him he didn't like that they were assholes. He had no issues being insubordinate but he was so good at what he did, the officers over him couldn't do much about it. His unit was producing destroyed Japanese aircraft at a rate that surrounding units weren't even coming close to.

    Just a few of my favorites. I'm personally akin to reading about "guys who were there". But that's just my preference.
u/ObdurateSloth · 3 pointsr/europe

Reminded me of this book, the "Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer. Absolutely terrific book which seems to be similar to the one you posted, except this one is about a German soldier on Eastern Front. I have read lot of books (especially soldier memoirs) and this is definitely in the top 3.


Edit: By the way I just remembered that a Finnish movie is based on the book you posted. I just watched it few months ago, great movie.

u/ownererz · 1 pointr/todayilearned

There was a book wrote about it,A higher Call.

The book was very well written and interesting: definitely worth a read!

u/wtf_ever · 3 pointsr/reddit.com

If you're into reading about badasses, you might enjoy Agent Zigzag.

True story of Eddie Chapman - a womanizing safecracker turned nazi spy turned English double agent. Fascinating.

u/dhpye · 1 pointr/history

9 Company is a dramatization of a Soviet unit's experience in Afghanistan. Horrible subtitles, but the movie is still worth it.

For books, I'd recommend A Bright Shining Lie, a biography of a particularly brilliant soldier's experience in Vietnam.

No battle scenes, but William Shirer's Berlin Diary gives a day-by-day account of the rise of the Nazis in Germany. It's an unparalleled perspective.

u/enemyoftheworld · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

Heinrich Himmler: A Life. Fairly well written, although it's about 100 pages too long, in my view.

I highly recommend the series by Richard J. Evans: The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power and The Third Reich at War. It's not a biography, but it does look closely at individual actors rather than the Nazis/Gestapo as homogenous entity.

Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich by Robert Gerwarth. Definitely read this one. Himmler and Heydrich couldn't have been more different. Very interesting to compare these two.

Not what you're asking for, but I will still recommend it just because it's so remarkable: The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe. If you don't know, Rabe was a Nazi businessman and diplomat, mostly representing Nazi business interests in Japanese-occupied China. What he is known for, however, is a humanitarian after sheltering hundreds (if not thousands) of Chinese women from rape and abuse. This is a selective translation of his diary, so it's not exactly an unbiased account, but for that reason actually, I think it is worth the read.

u/just-the-doctor1 · 3 pointsr/socialism

If you haven’t read it already “A Higher Call” is a great book about an encounter with a b-17 and a me-109. Told in both the perspectives of the U.S. pilot and German pilot. Very good read

u/Fimbul-vinter · 6 pointsr/history

I read a lot of historical fiction, hope thats allowed to recommend:

The book that made the greatest impression on me with regards to the frontlines in WW2 was https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forgotten_Soldier. It is a fantastic story seen by the footsoldier. I really, really, REALLY dont want to be on the receiving end of artillery fire after reading this book.

A very different book is this https://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Commander-Memoirs-Colonel-Library/dp/0440208025.

Here you experience the war from a senior officers point of view. It mostly works on a division/batallion level. Instead of describing the horrors in detail, it often just states "we took heavy losses". Still it takes you from Germany to France to Russia to Africa to France to Germany to Russia to Germany, so you get to experience the war in many different places, stages, viewpoints (attacker, defender, prisoner) and times.

Edit: If you are interested in Alexander the great and want action packed historical fiction, do this one: https://www.amazon.com/God-War-Story-Alexander-Great/dp/1409135942

u/TinyTinyDwarf · 1 pointr/Warthunder

Quote from the Pilot section about Franz Stigler.

>The things he experienced could easily fill a book

here it is (tho not just about him, it does give out alot of Franz's life in it)

Please, i beg you, read it, and if you have, Read it again. i've read mine 4 times in the past 2 months. please, just do. it's my favorite book, and as 16 who do nothing but play war thunder all day, reading a book, yet alone having a favorite one is something i rarely experience.

u/Chempolo · 0 pointsr/WWII

Yep. Hans Von Luck talks about this idea in good detail in Panzer Commander.

u/FireWaterAirDirt · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Both of these are submarine books and are among my favorite reads of WW2

Iron Coffins by Herbert Werner Herbert served on 5 different submarines before the end of the war.

Iron Boats, Steel Hearts by Hans Goebler about U505, which happens to be on display in Chicago.

Both are first hand accounts and will give you a feeling of being on the sub itself.

u/spuri0us · 2 pointsr/HistoryPorn

Hans Von Luck wrote Panzer Commander not Panzer Leader

see here

And his wiki article

Its a great book, from someone who leaded from the ground.

He was at El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, and the Ost Front.

EDIT: He was with the 3rd panzer army during operation barbarossa and at the personal request of Rommel, with the afrika korps in North Africa.

u/CareCupisEmpty · 1 pointr/makemychoice

Tigers in the Mud was really interesting to read, cool to see WWII from a different perspective.

The Art of War is a good read as well. I like how it combines military strategy and Taoism.

Those are my favorite ones so far, but I read a lot more fiction than anything...

u/victorfabius · 1 pointr/todayilearned

"A Higher Call" by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander

You can find the book on Amazon with the following link, or (As I highly recommend) check out a copy from your local library. It's available as an audiobook as well, if that's more your thing. A good read/listen.

Link is to the Amazon Kindle edition.


u/DarthContinent · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

"Treatise on the Gods" by H. L. Mencken is great, studies religion and its origins and very matter-of-factly spells out how it has been used to obtain and maintain power over people. You might find a cheaper used copy on Half.com.

If you're into WW2 stuff, there's "Tigers In The Mud", a story about the war from a German Tiger tank commander's perspective. Similarly there's "Hiroshima", tells about the bomb and its devastation from some different peoples' perspectives.

u/Tyrfaust · 2 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

I highly HIGHLY recommend the book "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives" by Alan Bullock if you're interested in Stalin's life. The book is essentially a double biography of both Hitler and Stalin from life until death, and goes into great length about the period during the opening days of Barbarossa and their relationship leading up to it.

u/SpecialCake · 17 pointsr/AskHistorians

Franz Stigler is perhaps best known for his antics involving escorting a damaged American B-17 to safety.

However, in his amazing account of the war detailed in the biographical book of his war experience ( [A Higher Call] ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0425252868?pc_redir=1405330637&robot_redir=1) ) we learn that he was a seemingly invincible German ace fighter pilot. He flew in missions from nearly the beginning of the war to the very end, wherein he finds himself among an elite unit of German aces flying the ME-262 jet fighter.

Stigler was credited with a few HUNDRED kills. Was he the most successful fighter pilot in all of recorded history? No.

That title belongs to another German ace by the name of Erich Hartmann with 352 credited kills.

Both men survived the war and many decades afterwards, dying eventually of old age. They seemed to be absolutely invincible in the skies over Germany.

u/Albino_Yeti · 6 pointsr/CombatFootage

Gotta plug a book I just finished, A Higher Call.

It's about a German fighter pilot and an American bomber crew, it's the best WW2 book I've ever read.

u/wintermutex · 8 pointsr/UkrainianConflict

I've been reading this memoir by a German WW2 soldier (ethnically French):

He actually claims that his unit received a lot of hospitality in Ukraine(including friendly women). There was no such luck in Russia. It might be that some Ukrainians didn't suffer too much from the German conquest.

u/Kirbyoto · 0 pointsr/GamerGhazi

You know, the funniest thing about this is that the initial impetus of this conversation was me saying that entertainment doesn't teach you anything. You then proceeded to get incredibly angry about this. And you're somehow deciding that the best way to respond to this is 4chan memes, reddit tags and capital letters, while completely failing to provide evidence that entertainment has taught you something. Like, is this really how you were intending to convince me that you're not a stupid idiot? Like when you were laughing at a well-respected author and veteran, you were like "yes, this will show that I am a good person and not an entitled baby".

So really, kind of curious at this point: why did you bother? All you did was make yourself look like a loud, angry 14 year old who can't deal with criticism. If you want you can post this conversation in /r/iamverysmart but I gotta warn you, dude, it's not exactly flattering for you.

u/dapcook · 1 pointr/appletv

Something to really look forward too, I'm half way through the book by Adam Makos called "A Higher Call" about a German fighter pilot and a B-17 Bomber crew. Most people who flew bombers in WW2 must have ad a death sentence or something. One of of the fascinating things I've learned is pilots in bombing squadrons all volunteered


This author is amazing at telling stories that are captivating

u/xk1138 · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

It's detailed in Chapter 9 of the book 'Knight's Cross, A life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel'. Pretty good read, details a lot of the tactics used in all of his major battles. I just read a line while looking for it saying how they used a ton of tracers for visual effect as well.

u/ic2ofblue · 10 pointsr/todayilearned

Two amazing books called The Alchemy of Air and The Demon Under The Microscope talk about how late 1800s/early 1900s Germany was able to come to power by reling on its universities working closely with large Germany industries through research and development. Germany didn't have to many abundant resources besides coal and with that they did incredible things. They were also late to game in terms of colonization and trading companies, which they had to overcome when they were somewhat isolated from the world during WWI and II.

If you are an eningeer or scientist I highly recommend these books. Thomas Hager is an incredible writer.

u/Dongo666 · 2 pointsr/tanks

I read half of Panzer Commander by Colonel Hans Van Luck.

You might like it more than I did.


u/ghost00013 · 1 pointr/news

I recommend "Berlin Diary" by William Shirer if you want decent sense of what it was like for an American trying to report on what was actually happening at that time.


u/Tastler · 1 pointr/hoggit

Fun Fact: Franz Stigler, a German WWII Pilot Ace, took a round with his Head and survived it. IIRC, the projectile went through the front window and HUD (its quite thick) of his BF109 and struck his head. There are pictures/ videos showing the indent mark on his head.

Source: A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

I can absolutely recommend this book!

u/DoctorDank · 10 pointsr/WarshipPorn

Yea one of the crewmen wrote a book about it, in English. Great read.


u/Indemnity4 · 1 pointr/chemistry

The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler is a popular science novel about the discovery and development of the Haber-Bosch process for ammonium nitrate.

u/julianfri · 2 pointsr/chemistry

The Alchemy of Air is a fascinating book on the history of the Haber Process, and as geeky as it is: the beginning of the synthetic chemicals business is well detailed in Mauve and so is Napoleon's Buttons and anything by Joe Schwartz.

u/MaxIsTheDog4u · 58 pointsr/history

That book

Man...what an amazing book...thanks for brining back the memories. I do not recall the parts about gernades. But his personal account of his experiences on the Eastern Front...wow...

u/LostMaterial0 · 2 pointsr/badhistory

So I've been reading https://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Commander-Memoirs-Colonel-Library/dp/0440208025 and found that this author (A colonel that knew Rommel personally quite well) claimed that the July 20, 1944 plot to kill hitler, and after that germany would seek to befriend the western allies to defeat Russia and agree to de-nazify to an extent.

Idk if "lesser known" but that was certainly interesting to me. at a glance I dont see any kind of mention of that motive on wikipedia

u/C12H23 · 3 pointsr/AskWomen

If you liked that I'd recommend The Alchemy of Air. It's about the history of fertilizer and nitrogen, or more specifically the Haber-Bosch Process and how it's discovery in the early 1900s allowed for the mass-production of fixed nitrogen/ammonia, and how that one discovery has completely reshaped the world, from wars to agriculture to population growth, etc, etc.


u/HelloGunnit · 3 pointsr/il2sturmovik

While not written by a pilot, A Higher Call is based mostly on interviews with Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler. The majority of the book seemed to focus on Stigler discussing his career in 109s and later in 262s. I enjoyed it very much.

u/gonyere · 1 pointr/todayilearned

There were many of these events, though they are largely forgotten. A Higher Call tells the amazing true story of a badly damaged american bomber which was escorted home by a german fighter pilot... the story was largely kept quiet during the war, before the pilots found each other years and years later. Its an amazing story :)


u/deceasedhusband · 3 pointsr/travel

There's a good book (probably many) that talks a lot about BASF in that time period.

The Alchemy of Air


u/Toxirine · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

Tigers in the mud is the first hand account of Otto Carius and his experiences, mostly revolving around his usage of the Tiger tank. It is no foot solder, how ever, but he was one of the big tank aces during the war and he did survive through it.

Black Edelweiss is the biography of a young german Waffen-SS soldier. It is written by a Johan Voss, which is a pseudonym so I can't comment on it's credibility. How ever I have not seen any reviews that dismiss it as fiction as of yet.

Hope that was helpful.

u/Veganpuncher · 1 pointr/AustralianPolitics

I was finally convinced by Alan Bullock's book. The parallels are just too similar to be coincidence.

u/R1CHARDCRANIUM · 5 pointsr/news

Yes, that is the one. Here is the book I was referring to.

u/stormstalker · 27 pointsr/history

It's a fantastic story. Stephan Talty's book on it is quite a read, although the writing isn't the greatest IMO.

u/Alwaysawake28 · 1 pointr/history

Hi u/Bm188 Two recommendations for you:

1: the forgotten soldier by Guy Sajer


A memoir from a german soldier and his war in Russia. A fascinating read that will cause a real itch regarding WW2 in the east, and a classic of WW2 literature.

2: Kokoda by Peter Fitzsimmons


A great overview of what was probably the toughest fighting in WW2, Australian (and some American) fighting against the Japanese in Papua New Guinea.

I’ve read both, and strongly recommend both. Neither are dry or heavy reading.

u/Friar-Buck · 2 pointsr/OzoneOfftopic

If he likes WWII nonfiction, I would recommend A Higher Call and The Hiding Place. I also liked this book on submarine Cold War espionage called Blind Man's Bluff.

u/Engineer3227 · 13 pointsr/CombatFootage

In one autobiography I read written by Panzer Commander Colonel Hans von Luck (the book: http://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Commander-Memoirs-Colonel-Libary/dp/0440208025) he says at one point he spotted a convoy of allied tanks moving in the distance and at the time he was standing near a deployment of Flak 88s. He ordered the Flak 88 crews to direct their fire on the tanks but the crews refused saying that they were only anti-aircraft crews and weren't going to engage tanks. He pulled his pistol, aimed it at them, and said they either engage the tanks or he would shoot them for disobeying an order. They ended up engaging the tanks from long range and took out several of them.

I don't remember exactly where this happened but I seem to remember it was somewhere near Normandy after the allied landings.

EDIT I didn't mean to imply that the flak 88 crews thought the guns would be ineffective. I read the books like 8-10 years ago and always remembered that part. I figured it was because they didn't want to become tank targets but as someone else pointed out it was because the crew's point was that they only took orders from Luftwaffe commanders.

u/greenleader84 · 3 pointsr/Steel_Division

A stunning look at World War II from the other side...

From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front--von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers.

Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman. Told with the vivid detail of an impassioned eyewitness, his rare and moving memoir has become a classic in the literature of World War II, a first-person chronicle of the glory--and the inevitable tragedy--of a superb soldier fighting Hitler's war.


u/dentistshatehim · 1 pointr/politics

I just finished The Forgotten Soldier on audible. It is a firsthand account of a kid joining the German Army and his life on the Eastern Front. It is an incredible book and anyone on both sides should read it. Please though, if you believe in the Nazi ideals read this.


u/Das_Doctor · 1 pointr/WorldofTanks

Just gonna take this opportunity to plug his book. It's a fascinating read and sheds light on what it was like to actually be in the tank during the war.


u/FastLikeTurtles · 0 pointsr/conspiracy

That's assuming the author was completely right.

Have you ever thought that Hitler was the one with the puppet strings attached to him as well?

Ive read that he's allegedly the grandson of Lionel N. Rothschild.

Read the review...

u/TheMadBlimper · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

This one is my favorite, personally; it should, however, be noted that it was written with cooperation from Rommel's son, and therefore, in hindsight, is likely biased.

u/gabeteli · 2 pointsr/Military

Read the memoir of German fighter pilot Franz Stigler, A Higher Call by Adam Makos.

u/LaoBa · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

the Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sayer has excellent descriptions of the experiences of a German soldier in training and combat.

u/mackalack101 · 1 pointr/MilitaryPorn

That depends entirely on how you define "better tank" - if you compare the tanks at the tactical level - platoon or company level engagements - sure, Tigers usually came out ahead. However, that changed as the T-34's were upgraded to the T-34/85 with an improved gun that could penetrate the Tiger's armor, from farther than the earlier 76mm gun. And Soviet crews gained experience and better training as the war went on.

Additionally, if you examine the strategic effectiveness of the two tanks, that's when things start to weigh heavily in the T-34's favor. You have to look at it as a numbers game, basically. I'd roughly estimate that a T-34/85 (like the one pictured above), had probably 85% of the combat effectiveness of the Tiger 1. But when that T-34/85 costs only, say, 30-40% of the resources it takes to make a Tiger 1, then that math does NOT work in favor for a country with very limited industrial capacity like Germany.

And that's not to mention all of the horrific reliability and mobility problems that the Tiger 1 faced. It was under-powered and its drivetrain was critically overstressed, leading it to regularly break down and require many precious spare parts and man hours. You can have the best tank in the world, but if it can't get to the battlefield and fight, its just a big waste of fuel, parts, and manpower.

If you're interested in a first-person perspective on the Tiger vs the T-34, I highly recommend Tigers in the Mud by German tank ace Otto Carius.

u/plymer968 · 6 pointsr/Warthunder

I just started the book, A Higher Call, this afternoon.

u/dngrs · 0 pointsr/Romania

mie beletristica nu prea imi place asa ca merg cu ceva autobiografic scris chiar de soldati de pe vremea aia ex 1 2 3 4

u/E2TheCustodian · 17 pointsr/whatsthatbook

That has to be the Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler story. Maybe this book?

u/ulsterjack · 1 pointr/OldSchoolCool

This photo is used as the cover to the book "German Boy" by Wolfgang Samuel. It's Samuel's autobiography of growing up in the final year of the Second World War and his eventual immigration to America. Without giving away too much, it's a fantastic story.


u/Nooshu · 1 pointr/videos

For those of you looking for a view of the Eastern Front from the German perspective I highly recommend The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer. It's quite a harrowing read at times, doesn't hold back on the blood and gore involved in war.

There are questions on how authentic some parts of the book are, even so it still well worth a read.

u/MRiley84 · 1 pointr/pics

The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer is an autobiography of a French-German soldier fighting on the eastern front. He thought they were the good guys, but it doesn't really mention the concentration camps since he wasn't anywhere near them.

u/wabbit_killa · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer is an incredible read. There is controversy about the validity of some of his claims. However, it is one of the most intense books on WW2 I have ever read.


u/Jayrod413 · 2 pointsr/BattlefieldV

His book is a good read considering the lack of first hand accounts from a German's perspective. For being one of Germany's most highly decorated and deadliest tank aces, the man lived a pretty quiet life after the war. He ran a pharmacy for almost the rest of his life until he died in 2015.


This is the only English translation I know of his book

u/murk1n · 1 pointr/geopolitics

Probably not related towards Geopolitics but I'm loving this book "The Forgotten Soldier". I purchased it from the Andorid Playstore. So amazing. Shows you a perspective from the other side.

Here is a short summary that I copied from Amazon. Which the link is below.

"This book recounts the horror of World War II on the eastern front, as seen through the eyes of a teenaged German soldier. At first an exciting adventure, young Guy Sajer’s war becomes, as the German invasion falters in the icy vastness of the Ukraine, a simple, desperate struggle for survival against cold, hunger, and above all the terrifying Soviet artillery."


Edit: Seeing so many good recommendations. Looks like I'm going to be reading a lot. Thank you guys for the good recommendations.

u/the_nun · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Not my area, but I read Forgotten Soldier in high school and it blew my mind. It's a personal account of war on the Eastern Front from a Wehrmacht perspective... extremely accessible and a good read.

u/kevmo77 · 1 pointr/cigars

I don't have my + so don't use this recommendation for the contest, I just wanted to recommend this book: A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II. It's the true story of Luftwaffe ace that spared the escorted a heavily damaged American bomber out of Germany and what happened to the mean after the war. Amazing book. It's also often the subject of TIL threads.

u/librarianhuddz · 1 pointr/WWIIplanes

I just found out that many of the bombers didn't have the Norden and just bombed when the Norden equipped leader did. If that plane was blown out of the sky....well then thing fell where they may. Also timing/movement/chaos caused errors even when the lead was undamaged. Read that in this book:


u/Martaway · 8 pointsr/Warthunder

You really dont know what you're talking about

Many German commanders did that to survey the battlefield and other targets. The russians didnt and would drive right by German tanks without seeing a thing


u/Blackadder53 · 2 pointsr/books

I read The Forgotten Solider. It's about a French kid in the German army on the Eastern Front. Interesting read but there is some doubt as to its' authenticity.

u/Strait409 · 1 pointr/sabaton

I might have to disagree. That song told a tale of a noble deed in the midst of unimaginable horror, and while one could argue it is not exactly sunshine and rainbows, is not quite, well, sad.

The whole story is quite incredible, really. I highly recommend this book.

u/jsu152 · 18 pointsr/ColorizedHistory

Hans von Luck was a busy man during WW2. He was in most of the major campaigns and battles of the war. On D-Day, he commanded a regiment in the 21st Panzer Division which was on the east side of the Orne river (the flank of the British side). When Pegasus bridge was taken (an incredible story by itself), it was his tanks that tried to retake it. His autobiography is a must read for WW2 buffs.

u/Crunchtopher · 9 pointsr/todayilearned

After a bit of research: A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II https://www.amazon.com/dp/0425255735/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_lJJwub0FAWJEN

u/Praetor80 · 1 pointr/HistoryPorn

Had they known about the holocaust those same generals would have ended the war very quickly.

I'd suggest you give this a read: http://www.amazon.ca/Panzer-Commander-Memoirs-Colonel-Hans/dp/0440208025

u/LordCurlyFry · 1 pointr/WorldofTanks

For a more tactical point of view you have Heinz Guderian's treatise on armored warfare; Achtung - Panzer! In it, he crafts the very tactics that were employed in the war.

Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck is also quite good and may be more what you're looking for. Hans von Luck was a commander in Rommel's Panzer divisions at many points in the war including El Alamein, during D-Day, and on the eastern front.

u/ajmarks · 2 pointsr/Judaism

Jewish stuff aside, I'm currently in the middle of The Alchemy of Air about the Haber-Bosch process for fixing nitrogen and In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, about the Essex disaster, which inspired Moby Dick.

u/bantha121 · 11 pointsr/todayilearned

Regarding the part about not shooting down the victorious plane, if you get the chance, you should definitely read A Higher Call. It's a great book about the Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler incident, where Brown was flying a severely damaged B-17, and Stigler was ordered to shoot him down, but he didn't, and they met 40 years later and died a few months apart.

u/rambo77 · 5 pointsr/WorldofTanks

To read about the effect of an artillery barrage and air support:




When naval guns, high caliber Russian artillery, IL-2s, Typhoons, even freaking heavy bombers throwing bombs/rockets/projectiles at you, you are dead. Tigers were not armored very well on the top by the way- no tank is. Especially the Western Allies had the tendency to pull back and ask for artillery/air support when they ran into some problems.

And if you want numbers, there are books about the Tigers with all 1400 listed. Look them up.

u/bitter_cynical_angry · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

If you haven't read The Alchemy of Air I highly recommend it. Also worth a mention: The Guano War, a war fought between Chile and Boliva & Peru over the massive strategic reserves of bird shit off the South American coast.

u/mikeaveli2682 · 52 pointsr/hiphopheads

Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

Edit = I've listed some of the best books I've read on the subject below. Just ask if you want to know anything about them:

[The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans] (http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Third-Reich-Richard-Evans/dp/0143034693/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904650&sr=8-3&keywords=third+reich+at+war)

[The Third Reich in Power by Richard J. Evans] (http://www.amazon.com/Third-Reich-Power-Richard-Evans/dp/0143037900/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904650&sr=8-2&keywords=third+reich+at+war)

[The Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans] (http://www.amazon.com/Third-Reich-at-War/dp/0143116711/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904650&sr=8-1&keywords=third+reich+at+war)

[Maus by Art Speigelman] (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Maus-25th-Anniversary/dp/0679406417/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904780&sr=8-2&keywords=maus)

[Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics by Frederich Spotts] (http://www.amazon.com/Hitler-Power-Aesthetics-Frederic-Spotts/dp/1585673455/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904821&sr=8-1&keywords=hitler+power+of+aesthetics)

[Art of the Third Reich by Peter Adam] (http://www.amazon.com/Art-Third-Reich-Peter-Adam/dp/0810919125/ref=pd_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=21WGRYFWN5L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR115%2C160_&refRID=1VRZ6QYR6PG5XXXMYTPN)

[Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe by Mark Mazower] (http://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Empire-Nazis-Ruled-Europe/dp/014311610X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904865&sr=8-1&keywords=hitler%27s+empire)

[State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda by Susan Bachrach and Steven Luckert] (http://www.amazon.com/State-Deception-Power-Nazi-Propaganda/dp/0896047148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904916&sr=8-1&keywords=state+of+deception+nazi)

[Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris by Ian Kershaw] (http://www.amazon.com/Hitler-1889-1936-Hubris-Ian-Kershaw/dp/0393320359/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457904967&sr=8-2&keywords=hitler+kershaw)

[Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis by Ian Kershaw] (http://www.amazon.com/Hitler-1936-1945-Nemesis-Ian-Kershaw/dp/0393322521/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=01WJ9WDS06KZ1AX79B3M)

[The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton] (http://www.amazon.com/Nazi-Doctors-Medical-Psychology-Genocide/dp/0465049052/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457905061&sr=1-1&keywords=the+nazi+doctors)

[The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg] (http://www.amazon.com/Raul-Hilberg-Destruction-European-third/dp/B008UYLG6K/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457905115&sr=1-4&keywords=destruction+of+the+european+jews)

[Heinrich Himmler by Peter Longerich] (http://www.amazon.com/Heinrich-Himmler-Peter-Longerich/dp/0199651744/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457905176&sr=1-1&keywords=heinrich+himmler)

[Hitler's Hangman - The Life of Heydrich by Robert Gerwartch] (http://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Hangman-The-Life-Heydrich/dp/0300187726/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51FT1ecdFQL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR104%2C160_&refRID=084WSKT05G4GB1FGE1SY)

[Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939 by Saul Friedlander] (http://www.amazon.com/Nazi-Germany-Jews-Persecution-1933-1939/dp/0060928786/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457905269&sr=1-3&keywords=nazi+germany+and+the+jews+saul)

[Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945: The Years of Extermination by Saul Friedlander] (http://www.amazon.com/Nazi-Germany-Jews-1939-1945-Extermination/dp/0060930489/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0DQYMK2GMYNVJK794F03)

[Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning] (http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-Reserve-Battalion-Solution/dp/0060995068)

[KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann] (http://www.amazon.com/KL-History-Nazi-Concentration-Camps/dp/0374118256/ref=pd_sim_14_6?ie=UTF8&dpID=41yRIhssGkL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR106%2C160_&refRID=0BSM1HJ13NDQ46VKENQK)

u/MrBuddles · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

I read The Forgotten Soldier a while back, so my memory is a bit rusty but it is the autobiography of a soldier who served in the Grossdeutschland Panzergrenadier division, which was considered an elite Wehrmacht division.

Some notes about the book

  1. The listed author "Guy Sajer" is actually a pseudonym, he was actually part French/German and lived in Alsace when he was drafted.

  2. There have also been some critiques about it's authenticity, but I believe the most recent consensus is that the changes were either for privacy or unintentional errors, and that the majority of the events and perspective is accurate.

  3. I don't believe the author ever wrote of himself as being an ardent Nazi but, if I recall correctly, early in the war he seemed to have a bit of teenage enthusiasm about joining the army. The book does get pretty depressing, and it demonstrates a lot of the logistic issues that are often overlooked in war.
u/ghostsarememories · 11 pointsr/chemistry

First thing I'd recommend is a blog; More specifically, Derek Lowe's Things I won't work with. Read from the oldest to the newest. It's whimsical, funny, scary and fantastic.

Hager - The Alchemy of Air: About the Haber-Bosch process.

Coffey - Cathedrals of Science - Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry


  1. The Ionists: Arrhenius and Nernst
  2. Physical Chemistry in America: Lewis and Langmuir
  3. The Third Law and Nitrogen: Haber and Nernst
  4. Chemists at War: Haber, Nernst, Langmuir, and Lewis
  5. The Lewis-Langmuir Theory: Lewis, Langmuir, and Harkins
  6. Science and the Nazis: Nernst and Haber
  7. Nobel Prizes: Lewis and Langmuir
  8. Nuclear Chemistry: Lewis, Urey, and Seaborg
  9. The Secret of Life: Pauling, Wrinch, and Langmuir
  10. Pathological Science: Langmuir
  11. Lewis’s Last Days 293

    Scerri - The Periodic Table - Its Story and Its Significance

    Kean - The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements 2010

    Le Couteur, Burreson - Napoleon's Button (Haven't read it but it gets recommended a bit)

    Jaffe - Crucibles - The Story Of Chemistry (haven't read this either but it seems to fit the biography bill)


  12. Bernard Trevisan (1406-1490)
  13. Theoplirastus Paracelsus (1493-1541)
  14. Joseph Priestley (1733-1804)
  15. Henry Cavendish (1731-1810)
  16. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794)
  17. John Dalton (1766-1844)
  18. John Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848)
  19. Friedrich Woehler (1800-1882)
  20. Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeleeff (1834-1907)
  21. Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927)
  22. Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867-1934)
  23. Joseph John Thomson (1856-1940)
  24. Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley (1887-1915)
  25. Irving Langmuir (1881- )
  26. Ernest Orlando Lawrence (1901- )
  27. Men Who Harnessed Nuclear Energy

    Edit: There is also Ignition! John D. Clarke (link to bad quality pdf) which contains the following paragraph...

    > Chlorine trifluoride, ClF3 , or "CTF" as the engineers insist on calling it...is also quite probably the most vigorous fluorinating agent in existence - much more vigorous than fluorine itself...All this sounds fairly academic and innocuous, but when it is translated into the problem of handling the stuff, the results are horrendous. It is, of course, extremely toxic, but that's the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water - with which it reacts explosively. It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals - steel, copper, aluminum, etc. - because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride which protects the bulk of the metal, just as the invisible coat of oxide on aluminum keeps it from burning up in the atmosphere. If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes

u/AmbitionOfPhilipJFry · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

I understand about the tanks. Our tanks, mainly the Sherman, was a death-trap. Their shells couldn't pierce German armour and the only time their armour held up against German tank shells was when they hit on an angle. This book talks about how after a tank advance, about half the tanks would be completely disabled and another quarter damaged. They'd literally power-wash the dead crew out, patch-weld plate over the holes, and force a new crew into tank. The author was a mechanic in the 3rd Armoured Division.

Ball-turrets, worse? Man.

Although, I think the worst first-hand account of World War 2 I've read was from a French-Nazi who was on the Eastern front during Operation Barbarossa. For example: they'd have to build fires under car engines to get it started because motor oil would freeze up, completely locked. Endless zergling-like hordes of Russians who would overrun Nazi positions after their company machineguns overheated and rifles ran out of ammunition. How he survived, he has no idea and, from the stories in the book, neither do I.

u/bbatwork · 1 pointr/history

My personal recommendations:
My 30 year war by Onada Hiro:
This book was written by a Japanese lieutenant who refused to believe the war was over, and continued living in the jungles of the Philippines until the 70s.


Battleground Pacific by Sterling Mace. A first person account from a USMC rifleman who fought in the Pacific war. He is also a redditor.


And the Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer, a French man who fought for the Germans on the Eastern Front.


Happy reading!

u/Khelek7 · 17 pointsr/askscience

Because the hyper-availability of conventional fertilizer is a problem.

Conventional fertilizer placed on bare/tilled ground has a high runoff rate, this ends up in the rivers and lakes. The hyper-available nitrogen (and phosphorus and potassium i.e. NPK) is then available to other plants, namely bluegreen algae. This creates a oxygen deficient that destroys fish and other aquatic life. Its what has killed the Chesapeake bay here on the east coast, and damaged other river systems as well.

"Natural" fertilizers that are also spray applied have the same problems.

Natural fertilizers that are more organic mass in nature (looking at you cow shit) have a lower runoff potential, causing less damage to the adjacent water bodies.

It is of course not just this simple. There remains some issues where once the naturally occurring nitrogen is used up, that fields require conventional fertilizer to grow anything. The use of heavy duty fertilizer, without regard to crop rotation also increases the incident of mass mono-culture farming and other practices that degrade soil conditions.

Now if you talking about your back yard garden... there may not be much of a difference, though some heirloom varieties may not do well in the conventional fertilizer after a few cycles because they are adapted for a more complex soil profile, one that pure NPK spray will not provide.

Some recommended reading: The Alchemy of Air by Thomas Hagar

u/BritainOpPlsNerf · 9 pointsr/ShitWehraboosSay

Tigers in the Mud written by Otto Carius, a Tiger commander during WWII -- still sells like hotcakes today. Written by a man who described Himmler as his friend. Let it sink in.

Lost Victories Manstein's memoirs, a hot pile of dump that consists of excuse-making and blame-deflecting. Still a hot read, though most know its flaws now.

Franz fucking Halder helped the US Army form its history of WWII.

There's a load more, but I'm not here to shill (today at least AYYY).

The claim that history is written by the victors is especially bullshit in the immediate post-war era; first off the US Army did not want to be 'defeated by victory' and spent an ample amount of time studying the enemy methods and documents - this put a lot of German ideas in the air during the discussions and formation of historiography. More importantly, the 'Iron Curtain' fell across Europe shortly after the end of WWII which meant that for 50-odd years we had minimal to nonexistant exposure to Soviet sources about their own war effort. It meant that, for lack of sources, we had to rely on German primary and secondary studies of their Eastern Front. They had a complete monopoly on how we could view the Russian front of WWII. These effects are only slowly unraveling now, and we're starting to see some real improvements to the historiography on that subject. However, much of Russia's war documents remain classified, unlike the Germans (total defeat means total disclosure) so its going to be a long, uphill battle to get all the facts out.

Never before, to my knowledge, had a defeated enemy been allowed to be so vocal on the events of the war as he saw it.