Rob Citino’s Reading List

The Blitzkrieg Legend
The 1940 Campaign in the West
Karl-Heinz Frieser (2005)

“The author was an officer in the German Bundeswehr, and this was the first serious primary source analysis of the great German victory over France in 1940. The maps alone are worth the price of the book.”

Eisenhower’s Lieutenants
The Campaigns of France and Germany, 1944–45
Russell F. Weigley (1981)

“As if writing The American Way of War wasn’t enough to put him in the Hall of Fame, the dean of U.S. military historians decided to take on the greatest single campaign in our military history: the 1944 fighting in the European Theater. Research, analysis, narrative—it is all splendid.”

Brazen Chariots
An Account of Tank Warfare in the Western Desert, November–December 1941
Robert Crisp (1961)

“Want to know what it was like to drive a tiny M3 light tank in the Desert War, knowing full well that you have almost no chance of surviving a meeting with your German counterpart? If so, Crisp is your man—a British tanker with a sharp eye, a lot of grit, and an almost postmodern sardonic edge.”

Guadalcanal Diary
Richard Tregaskis (1943)
“OK, point of personal privilege: My dad, John D. Citino, fought on Guadalcanal, and when I was a kid he suggested to me that I might want to read this book. It changed my life, and I was only seven at the time. Tregaskis was what we now call an embedded reporter. He hit the beaches on ‘the Canal’ with the Marines, shared their joys and miseries, and wrote this unforgettable book.”

Beyond the War
“When I venture outside World War II, I try to venture far outside. My favorite non-World War II military history of all time is, hands down, David Chandler’s The Campaigns of Napoleon. Chandler not only understands the science of writing a campaign history, he understands the art. His description of Marshal Murat’s great cavalry charge at Eylau still stirs my blood. But if I really need to get away, it’s a simple call: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. It has it all—a struggle against an evil overlord, a fumbling coalition of the willing that barely gets its act together in time, and nail-biting tension throughout. There are even screaming dive-bombers (the dreaded Nazgûl). Come to think of it, maybe I’m not drifting all that far from World War II, after all (although Tolkien always denied writing any sort of allegory).”

Rob Citino is Professor of History at the University of North Texas. He is the author of nine books, including the award-winning Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm, The German Way of War, and the forthcoming The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943. His blog Front & Center appears on the World War II magazine website.

4 Responses

  1. Mike H.

    All great books, Bob, and worthy of a read. May I also suggest
    “Up Front”, by the late Bill Mauldin, complete with Willie & Joe cartoons…and any infantryman from any war will understand.

  2. Tom Holzel

    .Do you review WW-II fiction? If so, I’d be delighted to send you my new book, just favorably reviewed by Military Officers of America Association (MOAA).

    It starts as an historically accurate view of Berlin from 1941-1945 (I was a child there during the war) as an American mysteriously appears to offer the Abwehr top-secret Allied intelligence. Each tip turns out to be correct, and soon Ballard is helping the Nazi turn the tide of war. But there’s a catch…

    My hero, Robert Ballard shows the Nazi generals what a trap Stalingrad (the beginning of the end) was, and how it might realistically been avoided. But, of course, no good deed goes unrewarded, and Ballard’s feats are no exception. The Gestapo is furious that a foreigner can be running such an effective spy ring right under their very noses. And they mean to find out. But the Abwehr is protecting Ballard–so Oskar Faulheim, Berlin Gestapo Station Chief goes after his new girlfriend, the luscious Italian woman Sabina Pergolesi.

  3. Jon

    I just came upon this site. In 2005 my dad, a WW II vet (North Africa, Italy) wrote a book based on his experiences during the war. It is based on over 300 letters which he wrote home from the theater. I’m not the only one who thinks it is an excellent read. How can I get it listed on this page?


    • Tom Holzel

      As a NY Times-reviewed author, I can tell you that attracting the attention of the public for a self-published book is hellishly difficult. Your best bet is to have it “Printed on demand” by one of those companies–I use iUniverse–and then sending it to reviewers of publications read by your prinary audience. That would be retired military and military history buffs. Forget Barnes & Noble, etc.

      Once you are reviewed somewhere, leverage that review by sending it to other reviewers. As far as the mainstream press–forget it too, at first. (The fiction editor of the Washington Post said on a Charlie Rose that he receives ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY BOOKS A DAY hoping to be reviewed! )

      Yoiu can often get a small stream of sales by doing readings. Start by chatting up your local librarian, donating two copies to her, and asking if she’d like a reading by a local author.

      Good luck!


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