Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.
This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.
A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack. Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
James A. Michener - Tales of the South Pacific
Enter the exotic world of the South Pacific, meet the men and women caught up in the drama of a big war. The young Marine who falls madly in love with a beautiful Tonkinese girl. Nurse Nellie and her French planter, Emile De Becque. The soldiers, sailors, and nurses playing at war and waiting for love in a tropic paradise.
Jamie Ford - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.
Natasha Solomons - The House at Tyneford
Fans of Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden and Sarah Jio's The Violets of March will love this New York Times bestselling sweeping historical novel of love and loss. It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford's young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford—and Elise—forever
D. M. Thomas - The White Hotel
It is a dream of electrifying eroticism and inexplicable violence, recounted by a young woman to her analyst, Sigmund Freud. It is a horrifying yet restrained narrative of the Holocaust. It is a searing vision of the wounds of our century, and an attempt to heal them. Interweaving poetry and case of history, fantasy and historical truth-telling, The White Hotel is a modern classic of enduring emotional power that attempts nothing less than to reconcile the notion of individual destiny with that of historical fate.
Julia Stoneham - The Girl at the Farmhouse Gate
Spring 1944 and Europe is in the grip of war. For Alice Todd, it is the start of her second year as warden of the Land Army hostel in the Devonshire countryside and a time of change as she recovers from her broken marriage, learning to ballace her new working lifestyle with her continuing role as a mother to her only son. Her leadership has won her the affection and confidence of the land girls in her charge and, as the seeds of friendship are sewn, she finds herself increasingly caught up in the lives of the women who surround her. _The Girl at the Farmhouse Gate_ continues the story begun in th much-loved _Muddy Boots and Silk Stockings._
Roger Moorhouse - Berlin at War
Berlin was the nerve-centre of Hitler's Germany - the backdrop for the most lavish ceremonies, it was also the venue for Albert Speer's plans to forge a new 'world metropolis' and the scene of the final climactic bid to defeat Nazism. Yet while our understanding of the Holocaust is well developed, we know little about everyday life in Nazi Germany. In this vivid and important study Roger Moorhouse portrays the German experience of the Second World War, not through an examination of grand politics, but from the viewpoint of the capital's streets and homes. He gives a flavour of life in the capital, raises issues of consent and dissent, morality and authority and, above all, charts the violent humbling of a once-proud metropolis.
Art Spiegelman - Maus: A Survivor's Tale - My Father Bleeds History
A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.
Angus Konstam - British Light Cruisers 1939-45
Cruisers became Britain's essential vessel for protecting battleships, carriers, and convoys versus Japanese, Italian, and Nazi German commerce raiders, submarines, aircraft, and destroyers. The light cruiser was a natural development of the sailing frigate - a fast multi-purpose warship that could patrol the sea lanes, protect convoys and scout for enemy battle fleets. By the inter-war period the need for this type of ship was even more important, given the increasing need for protection from aircraft, and the need to screen the fleet from submarines or destroyers. During the 1930's a new group of British light cruisers were commissioned, designed to replace an earlier generation of warships designed during the Great War. These new ships were sleek, fast, and relied on the 6-inch gun - a tried and tested weapon that combined hitting power with a high rate of fire. A second generation of light cruisers followed during the late 1930's, armed with twelve 6-inch guns apiece. One of these - HMS Belfast - is still afloat today. Finally the threat posed by German aircraft led to the conversion of some older warships into anti-aircraft cruisers - a stopgap measure until a new class of these powerful and much-needed warships entered service. By this time wartime experience had shown that the British light cruiser was one of the most versatile types of ship in the Royal Navy, able to protect other warships, bombard enemy shores, guard life-saving convoys and intercept and destroy enemy warships. These were truly the workhorses of the wartime Royal Navy. While the battleships and carriers grabbed the headlines, these sleek, elegant warships quietly got on with the job of securing control of the seas.
Gordon Williamson - German Light Cruisers 1939-45
The German Navy of World War II was small in number, but contained some of the most technologically advanced capital ships in the world. This meant that although the Kriegsmarine never felt capable of encountering the might of the British Navy in a fleet action, her ships were individually more than a match for the outdated vessels of the Royal Navy. Nowhere was this more the case than in Germany's fleet of light cruisers. There were only six vessels in this fleet: the Emden, Leipzig, Koln, Konigsberg, Karlsruhe and Numberg. This book describes their design, development and varied operational history throughout the course of the Second World War.
Chris Bishop - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II
What was the armament and crew of the German Tiger tank and its Soviet equivalent, the T-34? What was the calibre and effective range of the Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle? World War II spawned a wide variety of weapons systems, many of them complex and extremely advanced for their time. _The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II_ is an easy-to-read illustrated compendium of the military hardware – from air, sea or land – which was used in engagements around the globe from 1939 to 1945. It includes more than 1500 pieces of equipment from handguns to aircraft carriers. Each weapons system is illustrated with a detailed profile artwork and a photograph showing the weapons system in service. Accompanying the illustrative material is detailed text that lists each weapon’s service history, the numbers built, and its variants, as well as full specifications. When did the Hawker Hurricane make its maiden flight? What role did Japanese light cruisers play? _The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II_ answers these questions and many more. A fund of World War II weapons information, this is a must for military historians and anyone with a keen interest in the history of World War II.
Lois Lowry - Number the Stars
Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.
Kate Furnivall - The White Pearl
A lush novel set during the Japanese invasion of Malaya-from the national bestselling author of The Russian Concubine. Malaya, 1941. Connie Thornton plays her role as a dutiful wife and mother without complaint. She is among the fortunate, after all-a member of the British rubber plantation owners, reaping the benefits of colonial life. But Connie feels as though she is oppressed, crippled by boredom, sweltering heat, and a loveless marriage... Then in December the Japanese invade. Connie and her family flee, sailing south on their yacht toward Singapore, where the British are certain to stand firm against the Japanese. En route, in the company of friends, they learn that Singapore is already under siege. Increasingly desperate and short of food, the yacht's inhabitants make their perilous way from island to island. When a fighter plane crashes into the sea, they rescue its Japanese pilot. For Connie, that's when everything changes. In the suffocating confines of the boat, with her life upended, Connie discovers a new kind of freedom and an exciting, dangerous, exhilarating love.
Ian Serraillier - Escape from Warsaw
In 1942 Warsaw, World War II is raging, and people live in fear from day to day. Ruth, Bronia, and Edek have to fend for themselves when both of their parents are taken by the Nazis. Can they survive? A gripping story based on true accounts.
Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl
Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl in her teens when she was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and her family, along with four others, spent 25 months during World War II in an annex of rooms above her father’s office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her diary, saved during the war by one of the family’s helpers, Miep Gies, was first published in 1947.
Paullina Simons - The Bronze Horseman
Set in Leningrad in 1941 against Hitler's invasion of Russia, this story tells of the impossible love between a Russian girl, Tatiana, and a young officer named Alexander. It is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart and it carries a secret that could mean death for anyone who hears it.
Jonathan Littell - The Kindly Ones
This Faustian story with a terrifying twist is the fictional memoir of Dr. Max Aue, a former SS intelligence officer, who has reinvented himself as a family man and owner of a lace factory in post-war France. Max is an intellectual steeped in philosophy, literature, and classical music. He is also a cold-blooded assassin and the consummate bureaucrat, who speaks out now not in self-justification but to set the record straight. He looks back at his life with cool-eyed precision: from a disrupted childhood and a turning point in his student days, to his role as observer and then participant in Nazi atrocities on the Eastern Front, from Poland to the Caucasus; he is present at the siege of Stalingrad, at the death camps, and finally caught up in the rout of the Nazis and the nightmarish fall of Berlin.Although Max is a totally imagined character, his world is peopled by real historical figures such as Eichmann, Himmler, Goring, Speer, Heydrich, Hoss, and Hitler himself. Massive in scope, terrifying in subject matter, and shocking in its protagonist, Littell's masterpiece is intense, hallucinatory, and terrifyingly compelling. Described by Le Figaro as 'a monument of contemporary literature', this transgressive work has been compared to classics of world literature, including War and Peace. A huge novel about the seductive enormity of evil, the ineffable horror of war, man's inhumanity and the malevolence of the Furies, this is a book that every thinking person should read and to which no one can be indifferent.
Olga Lengyel - Five Chimneys
Having lost her husband, her parents, and her two young sons to the Nazi exterminators, Olga Lengyel had little to live for during her seven-month internment in Auschwitz. Only Lengyel's work in the prisoners' underground resistance and the need to tell this story kept her fighting for survival. She survived by her wit and incredible strength. Despite her horrifying closeness to the subject, Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz does not retreat into self-pit or sensationalism. When Five Chimneys was first published (two years after World War II ended), Albert Einstein was so moved by her story that he wrote a personal letter to Lengyel, thanking her for her "very frank, very well written book". Today, with "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia, and neo-Nazis on the rise in western Europe, we cannot afford to forget the grisly lessons of the Holocaust. Five Chimneys is a stark reminder that the unspeakable can happen wherever and whenever ethnic hatreds, religious bigotries, and racial discriminations are permitted to exist.
Kurt Vonnegut - Éj anyánk / Mother Night
"Azok vagyunk, aminek kiadjuk magunkat, így hát vigyáznunk kell, minek adjuk ki magunkat." Howard W. Campbell, Jr. hírhedett amerikai náci, Hitler propaganda gépezetének fontos beosztású munkatársa. És az USA németországi titkos ügynöke. Rádióműsora a legrosszabb fajta háborús uszítás, népirtásra való buzdítás. És persze nélkülözhetetlen információforrás az amerikai hírszerzés és hadvezetés számára. Így azután Howard W. Campbell, Jr. meg sem próbál eligazodni és dönteni az emberi lét legnagyobb kérdéseiben. Vonnegut vérfagyasztó humora ezúttal a feketénél is sötétebb. "A jó énem, az igazi énem, a mennyben teremtett énem ott rejtezik a mélyben."
Irène Némirovsky - Suite Française (angol)
In 1941, Iréne Némirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. Némirovsky's death in Auschwitz in 1942 prevented her from seeing the day, sixty-five years later, that the existing two sections of her planned novel sequence, Suite Française, would be rediscovered and hailed as a masterpiece. Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite Française falls into two parts. The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as the flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation. Suite Française is a novel that teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime. However, amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.