Nonfiction Military Books

When reading nonfiction military books you learn about leadership, courage, endurance, friendship, and more.

In honor of Veterans Day, we are sharing a few of our favorite nonfiction military books.

Nonfiction Military Books

Reading military nonfiction is one way to remember Veterans and their stories. Learning about what they went through and experienced, their joys and their sorrows, brings one closer to them.

Not forgetting the wars or those lost is an important part of Veterans Day, which is why reading a variety of books on different wars is important.

There are a lot of books about World War II. It is a favorite for us as you can see in how many books on this list are about WWII.

However, every war is important to learn about, which is why we are sharing ones from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and even more Modern Warfare.

Most of the books on this list are not easy reads. They are books about war and tragic events that happened during war, but learning about the past is important. There are so many lessons to be learned from history.

So we encourage you to read a variety of nonfiction military books. Learn about the many different faces and conflicts that have arisen in our world.

Military Books


Flyboys by James Bradley

Flyboys is the true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them was George H.W. Bush. It is a story of courage and hope in the midst of war.

A Higher Call

A Higher Call by Adam Makos

A Higher Call is a unique story of a WWII fighter pilot. It is often called the most incredible encounter between enemies during WWII.

Brothers Forever book review

Brothers Forever by Tom Sileo and Colonel Tom Manion

Brothers Forever is a heartbreaking yet touching modern day war story about a US Marine and a US Navy SEAL.

Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose

Band of Brothers is one of the best known books about D-Day and was the basis for the documentary Band of Brothers.

Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley

Flags of Our Fathers is the true story behind one of my most well known photographs of WWII. More has come out on the actually men who raised the flag as several have been found to not be who they thought, but it is still a good read as it talks about the significance and men who still fought on Iwo Jima.

Lone Survivor book

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

Marcus Luttrell was the only SEAL who survived Operation Redwing. Lone Survivor is his account of the mission and how he made it home.

The Operator

The Operator by Robert O’Neill

The Operator is the story of Robert O’Neill’s journey from his childhood in Montana to his life on four hundred missions as a Navy SEAL. A modern war story that is hard to put down.

The First Wave Book

The First Wave by Alex Kershaw

The First Wave is an unforgettable book that follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day’s most perilous missions.

Never Call Me a Hero

Never Call Me a Hero by N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss

Never Call Me a Hero is the amazing story of Dusty and The Battle Of Midway. It is a captivating memoir that shows Dusty’s personality and what he saw during World War II.

Helmet for My Pillow

Helmet For My Pillow by Robert Leckie

If you like military stories that are a little different you will probably enjoy Helmet For My Pillow. It is a first hand account of a US Marine during WWII. The author shares his personal story and his perspective of fighting WWII.

Helmets and Lipstick

Helmets and Lipstick by Ruth G. Haskell

Helmets and Lipstick is the memoir of an army nurse during WWII. This book is interesting because it is written by a woman. So many WWII memoirs are written by men. Hearing about WWII in Northern Africa from a female nurse’s perspective was fascinating.

The Matthews Men

The Mathews Men by William Geroux

The Mathews Men is the story of seven brothers who were US Merchant Marines during WWII. It is a well written story of courage, war, endurance, and family. It is one of Grace’s favorite WWII books.

All the Gallant Men

All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton

All the Gallant Men is an eye witness account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is written by the only survivor of the USS Arizona. A great book for WWII history lovers.

Beyond the Call

Beyond The Call by Lee Trimble

This was one of Grace’s top reads in 2019 because it is so well written. It is a true story but reads like fiction. It is a fascinating read that is hard to put down. Beyond the Call is the story of Captain Trimble who risked his life to save hundreds of POW’s on the Eastern Front during WWII.


Devotion by Adam Makos

If you like little know stories about the military and war Devotion is a great read. Adam Makos is one of our family’s favorite nonfiction authors. This is a story about the Koren War but also so much more. It is about the marines, sacrifice, friendship during war time, racial tensions at the time, and more.

The Brenner Assignment

The Brenner Assignment by Patrick K. O’Donnell

This is a great WWII book for anyone that enjoys spy stories. The Brenner Assignment is about one of the most important spy missions of WWII. This book has been described as like a scene from the Clint Eastwood movie Where Eagles Dare.


Spearhead by Adam Makos

In the book Spearhead Adam Makos shares the story of a WWII tank gunner’s journey against the Third Riech. Adam Makos makes this story come to life with amazing writing and descriptions.


Indestructible by John R. Bruning

Indestructible is a true story of bravery and courage in the Pacific during WWII. Pappy was on an air force mission when his family was taken by the Japanese. Pappy was not only fighting the war he was fighting to find his family.

Sergeant Stubby

Sergeant Stubby by Ann Bausum

Have you heard of Sergeant Stubby? He is one of the most famous war dogs of all time. In Sergeant Stubby, you will learn how a stray dog became an inspirational war hero during WWI. This is a great book for animal lovers.

The Unknowns Book Review

The Unknowns by Patrick K. O’Donnell

Most of us know about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but do you know the story behind it? In The Unknowns, the author shares the history of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is a fascinating read for someone who loves military books and history.

Coffin Corner Boys book review

Coffin Corner Boys by Carole Engle Avriett

Coffin Corner Boys is a story of determination, survival, and friendship. It follows ten men and their escape from Nazi occupied France. All ten men crashed in enemy territory and made it out alive. A great read!

Operation Columba The Secret Pigeon Service Book Review

Operation Columba by Gordon Corera

Who knew that pigeons could be so interesting? Operation Columba tells of the history of pigeons from racing to delivering messages during WWII. It incorporates the history and stories of the British secret service, the Underground resistance, and pigeon owners. It is a bizarre but true story of how animals help win the war. It is a little dry in spots, but overall a very interesting read.

Every Man A Hero

Every Man A Hero by Ray Lambert

Every Man a Hero is the story of a WWII medic. They are not a lot of books about medics during WWII. This is a great book for those that enjoy lesser known WWII facts and for those that enjoy medical type reads.


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I almost didn’t include Unbroken on this list because I feel like everyone knows about this book, but I had to include it on this list because it is such a great book. It is a powerful story of survival, strength, and forgiveness. The story of Louis Zamperini is a true story, that reads like a novel.

Top Gun Book Cover

Topgun by Dan Padersen

Topgun is more about the founder of the Topgun program than it is about the program itself. This book is good read for those that love flying and the airforce. It follows the life what the life of a Navy pilot was life before, during, and after The Vietnam War and the early years of the Topgun program.

13 Hours book

13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff

13 Hours is a good book for those that like modern history reads. The author did an excellent job narrating the chaos surrounding the attack on the U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound and a CIA station in Benghazi.

No Place to Hide book

No Place To Hide by W. Lee Warren

No Place to Hide is the story of an American doctor in the Air Force who served in Iraq.  It is his story of what he went through both physically and emotionally while being a surgeon in a war zone. My daughter said this was her favorite book that she read in 2020. It shares a part of modern war that very few people know about or can understand. A great read for someone that loves medical type stories.

What book or books would you add to the list?

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