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Eclectic Homeschool Online Book Lists - Military History

This section of our website is devoted to book lists that you can take to your library. The lists are sorted by Category, Subcategory and then Topic.

Booklists Main Page > Social Studies

Military History List

  • Alpha Bravo Charlie: The Military Alphabet
    by Chris L. Demarest
    ISBN: 0689869282
    Using words to represent each letter of the alphabet is called the International Communications Alphabet (ICA). This alphabet is utilized by the United States military and throughout all civil aviation to clarify and strengthen communications.

    Complete with the signal flags that the United States Navy has created to give each letter a color-coded shape, Chris Demarest's dynamic alphabet book honors the men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve in our armed forces -- and will thoroughly engage young readers.
  • American Soldier
    by Tommy Franks, Malcolm McConnell
    ISBN: 0060731583
    Amazon.com
    As Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, Tommy Franks led the American and Coalition forces to victory in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Unsurprisingly, the portions of American Soldier covering these wars are the most interesting because they combine military maneuvers, political wrangling, and lots of action and commentary. This does not mean, however, that the rest of his autobiography is dull. General Franks's writing is clear and engaging and his insider's perspective is informative and interesting, particularly when he explains how the military moved into the 21st century by emphasizing speed, agility, and better cooperation among the various branches--a significant shift from the first Persian Gulf war just a decade earlier.

    In addition to his years as a war general, his memoir also covers his childhood, his early years in the Army, his tours of Vietnam, and how he contemplated retirement before being called up as commander of Central Command, "the most diverse, strategically vital—and unstable—region of the planet." Ever the diplomat, General Franks offers insights, but little criticism of individuals. Other than expressing admiration for his own staff and for President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in particular, he is tight-lipped about any conflict within the administration that may have occurred regarding policy issues. (The one exception is counterterrorism specialist Richard Clarke. "I never received a single operational recommendation, or a single page of actionable intelligence, from Richard Clarke," he writes). He also writes that he was surprised by the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that no WMDs were used against American troops. Still, the invasion of Iraq was justified in his eyes: "While we may not have found actual WMD stockpiles, what the Coalition discovered was the equivalent of a disassembled pistol, lying on a table beside neatly arranged trays of bullets." American Soldier is a compelling look at the war on terrorism from one who served on the frontlines as both a warrior and a diplomat. --Shawn Carkonen
  • Battle in the Wilderness: Grant Meets Lee
    by Grady McWhiney
    ISBN: 1886661006
    Spring, 1864 . . . the Civil War's two greatest generals face each other in the field of battle. Ulysses S. Grant spurs his Army of the Potomac across the Rapidan River as part of a grand offensive plan designed to crush the Confederacy in a single blow. Awaiting Grant and his Federals is the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of Robert E. Lee who, for two years, has repelled every Union attempt to penetrate south of the Rapidan. Again, Lee foils Federal intentions, swiftly striking Grant's army as it struggles through the tangled darkness of Virginia's most impenetrable forest, known as the Wilderness. With dogged determination uncommon to Federal armies fighting in the East, Grant turns to face off with Lee. For two days the great armies wrestle amid the nightmare landscape that would give this bloody battle its name. An absorbing and detailed account of one of the greatest battles between Grant and Lee, vividly depicted by a distinguished historian.
  • Brave Hearts Under Red Skies: Stories of Faith Under Fire
    by Jeffrey O'Leary
    ISBN: 0781438128
    Where does faith go when the blue skies disappear?

    This is not merely a book about the red fires of battle. This is a book about believers whose trust in God has produced great courage--enough to endure war's crucible. Col. Jeff O'leary (ret.), author of Taking the High Ground, has gathered a powerful array of personal war stories from America's beginnings through September 11th. These stories reveal a powerful and affirming theme of authentic faith under fire, spanning more than two centuries.

    Whether you are part of the military family or just love America, you'll be challenged and changed by the stories of those who came before you--of those who faced faith-shaking storms similar to the ones we face today. Through these stories, you'll see that God is waiting to give you strength--He is waiting to give you a brave heart under your own red skies.
  • Camels for Uncle Sam
    by Diane Yancey
    ISBN: 0937460915
    Everyone knows camels live in the desert wastes of Arabia. But few know they also once roamed the American Southwest as well thanks to the U.S. military, which more than 100 years ago decided that camels could be ideal Cavalry mounts over the dry terrain.
  • Castles and Forts
    by Malcolm Day
    ISBN: 0872262782
    Have you ever thought about what might be happening beneath your feet?

    Do you stop to think that there may be a whole amazing world of activity going on down there?

    This book gives you the opportunity to find out just how many different ways people have used the earth, from prehistory to the present day. Discover how and why they have explored it, mined it, lived in it, fought from it and traveled through it. Look beneath the cover to find out how medieval soldiers ‘undermined' their enemies and to explore what lies beneath New York City's 500,000 manhole covers.
  • Dawn over Baghdad: How the U.S. Military Is Using Bullets and Ballots to Remake Iraq
    by Karl Zinsmeister
    ISBN: 1594030502
    This is a completely fresh, close-up look at the guerilla struggle in Iraq. It is built on weeks spent re-embedded with U.S. soldiers in the most dangerous parts of the Sunni Triangle in early 2004, direct polling of Iraqis, and unmatched reporting on combat raids, interrogations, daily diplomacy, and reconstruction heroics.

    It follows the author's "Boots on the Ground: A Month with the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq," which was the first book from an embedded reporter describing the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Gripping, perceptive, funny, and bluntly honest, "Boots" became the most popular chronicle of the hot war in Iraq. Now Karl Zinsmeister has again beaten the pack with this groundbreaking sequel on the counterinsurgency phase of the war. This is a powerful, cliché-smashing, up-to-the-minute report on America's most urgent national struggle, as seen through the eyes of ordinary Iraqis and the U.S. servicemen doing today's dirty work.

    "Dawn Over Baghdad" takes you into Iraq's urban neighborhoods, rural villages, and guerilla snake pits, and shows exactly how young American soldiers are quietly but inexorably choking off a terrorist insurrection and planting the seeds (sometimes at great personal cost) of a dramatically different Middle East. Zinsmeister brings home a fascinating, intimate, and insightful story missed by the major media: With the quiet cooperation of millions of everyday Iraqis, the U.S. is approaching something historic -- success in a tough guerilla war.

    Includes a 32-page section of color photos taken by the author.
  • Eyewitness: Arms & Armor
    by Michele Byam, Dave King (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0789458365
    Amazon.com
    In a world where even toy guns are reviled by pacifistic parents there exists the extraordinary Eyewitness Book Arms & Armor. Studying weaponry is an unusual, fascinating angle on human history, as people have always used weapons to hunt, defend themselves, or attack. This intriguing photo essay examines the design, construction, and use of hand weapons and armor--from the Stone Age axe to the revolvers and rifles of the Wild West.

    In the tradition of the Eyewitness series, Arms & Armor begins with a short introduction to prehistoric weapons, accompanied by a photograph-rich spread with fascinating, history-packed, fun-fact-loaded captions. The Los Angeles Times Book Review says the Eyewitness Books are "like a mini-museum between the covers of a book," and they are right! From crude Paleolithic hand axes, we progress to missile weapons; the first warriors (and the effect of the discovery of copper and bronze on tools and weapons); the weapons of the armies of ancient times; weapons from the Dark Ages; European swords; crossbows versus longbows; axes, daggers, and knives; plate and mail armor; Indian warriors; Japanese samurais; early firearms; flintlock firearms; dueling swords; dueling pistols ("Although illegal, for centuries dueling was a popular way for 'gentlemen' and army officers to settle their quarrels," the section begins); bizarre, extraordinary, seemingly impractical hand weapons; grenadiers and cavalry; pistols; "Guns that won the West"; North American Indian weapons; and, believe it or not, more. This book is sure to find an audience with youngsters obsessed with knights and times medieval, art-history buffs, amateur historians, or anyone with a penchant for pistols. (Ages 9 to 12) --Karin Snelson
  • Flags of Our Fathers
    by James Bradley, Ron Powers
    ISBN: 0553384155
    Amazon.com
    The Battle of Iwo Jima, fought in the winter of 1945 on a rocky island south of Japan, brought a ferocious slice of hell to earth: in a month's time, more than 22,000 Japanese soldiers would die defending a patch of ground a third the size of Manhattan, while nearly 26,000 Americans fell taking it from them. The battle was a turning point in the war in the Pacific, and it produced one of World War II's enduring images: a photograph of six soldiers raising an American flag on the flank of Mount Suribachi, the island's commanding high point.

    One of those young Americans was John Bradley, a Navy corpsman who a few days before had braved enemy mortar and machine-gun fire to administer first aid to a wounded Marine and then drag him to safety. For this act of heroism Bradley would receive the Navy Cross, an award second only to the Medal of Honor. Bradley, who died in 1994, never mentioned his feat to his family. Only after his death did Bradley's son James begin to piece together the facts of his father's heroism, which was but one of countless acts of sacrifice made by the young men who fought at Iwo Jima. Flags of Our Fathers recounts the sometimes tragic life stories of the six men who raised the flag that February day--one an Arizona Indian who would die following an alcohol-soaked brawl, another a Kentucky hillbilly, still another a Pennsylvania steel-mill worker--and who became reluctant heroes in the bargain. A strongly felt and well-written entry in a spate of recent books on World War II, Flags gives a you-are-there depiction of that conflict's horrible arenas--and a moving homage to the men whom fate brought there. --Gregory McNamee
  • George Washington, Spymaster
    by Thomas B. Allen
    ISBN: 1426300417
    A riveting tale of intrigue, spies, counterspies and secret agents, George Washington, Spymasteris a unique and entertaining account of one of the most important chapters in our nation's history. The compelling narrative reveals the surprising role played by the first commander-in-chief, General George Washington in the War of Independence.

    Follow the action as 1775 dawns, and Washington finds himself in serious trouble. At war with Britain, the world's most powerful empire, his ragtag army possesses only a few muskets, some cannons, and no money. The Americans' only hope is to wage an invisible war—a war of spies, intelligence networks, and deception.

    Enter the shadowy world of double agents, covert operations, codes and ciphers—a world so secret that America's spymaster himself doesn't know the identities of some of his agents. Meet members of the elusive Culper Ring, uncover a "mole" in the Sons of Liberty, and see how invisible ink and even a clothesline are used to send secret messages. You can even use Washington's own secret codebook, published here for the first time. Experience at close quarters the successes and failures of the Americans as they strive to outwit the British. Meet the chief of covert operations, one Benjamin Franklin, and several other surprising players in America's secret war.
  • Iron and Heavy Guns: Duel Between the Monitor and Merrimac
    by Gene A. Smith, Grady McWhiney
    ISBN: 1886661154
    March 1862. The Union ironclad warship, Monitor, with its two eleven-inch Dahlgren smoothbores in a unique revolving turret assembly, leaves New York City under tow to serve blockade duty off the coast of North Carolina. Meanwhile, the Confederate ironclad Virginia (formerly the wooden frigate Merrimac) is raising havoc with Union blockaders in Hampton Roads. The inevitable showdown takes place on March 9. For more than four hours the two ironclads battle furiously at close range. The Merrimac finally withdraws and returns to Norfolk to protect the river approaches to Richmond, leaving the Monitor in control of the Roads and in position to protect the Union blockaders. In May, the Merrimac is destroyed by its own crew to prevent capture; in December, the Monitor sinks in a storm off Cape Hatteras while under tow from Hampton Roads to North Carolina waters. An exciting account of two ships that would change naval warfare forever.
  • Knights in Armor: The Living History Series
    by John D. Clare (Editor)
    ISBN: 0152013083
  • Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty
    by Peter Collier, Nick Del Calzo (Photographer)
    ISBN: 1579652409
    Since the Civil War more than 39 million men and women have answered the call to serve. Of those, 3,440 served with such uncommon valor and and extraordinary courage that they were presented with the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award. Each of their heroic actionsis as unique as the person who performed it, and here more than one hundred of America's living Medal of Honor recipients are honored and their bravery recounted by best-selling author Peter Collier and presented in duotone portraits by award-winning photographer Nick Del Calzo.
  • Medieval Knights
    by Trevor Cairns
    ISBN: 0521389534
    The discrepancy between the myth and reality of our image of the medieval knight is revealed by tracing the role's European evolution, from barbarian warrior to horseman-archer, through courtly knight as soldier and "gentleman."
  • Monitor, The: The Iron Warship That Changed the World
    by Gare Thompson (Author), Larry Day (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0448432455
    The U.S.S. Monitor was an entirely new type of warship when it launched in 1862. Dubbed "the forefather of the modern Navy," this ironclad ship changed how wars are fought at sea. But on New Year's Eve, 1862, it sank off the coast of North Carolina in a terrible storm. No one thought the Monitor could be raised, but after 140 years, parts of the ironclad have finally been brought to the surface. This book chronicles the Monitor's revolutionary design, exciting battle, and intriguing excavation.
  • Roman Army , The
    by John Wilkes
    ISBN: 0521072433
    Explains the organization and structure of the Roman imperial army of 100 A.D. and the daily life of a professional soldier in the Roman Empire.
  • Sergeant York and the Great War
    by Richard Wheeler (Editor), Skeyhill
    ISBN: 1889128465
    Nothing short of a miracle describes the providential protection involving Sergeant York as he faced thirty machine gun nests of the enemy while attempting to protect the lives of his own men. Follow the soul-searching journey of a backwoods young Tennessee man, who miraculously survived the battlefield to become the most decorated hero of World War I. This rare Mantle Ministries publication combines the personal wartime journal of Sergeant Alvin York, in his own colloquial-style, along with his biographer's notes and photographs from home base and the battlefield.
  • Swords: An Artist's Devotion
    by Ben Boos (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0763631485
    Be smitten by the sword! An extraordinary young artist brings the history of this noble weapon — and its skillful masters — into stunningly sharp relief.

    Brave men and women have taken up the sword since ages of old, and a fascination with this formidable weapon grips dedicated followers to this day. Here is a celebration of swords and swordsmen that spans time and place — from ancient warriors such as Beowulf to medieval knights; from stealthy ninja and samurai to legendary maidens of war. Illustrated with breathtaking intricacy, SWORDS reflects the passion of a true devotee, offering lavish background details on design and use as well as exquisite spreads showcasing specimens in all their shining glory.
  • Taking the High Ground: Military Stories of Faith
    by Jeffrey O'Leary
    ISBN: 0781435412
    From the battlegrounds of the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm, Christians in uniform tell how God touched their lives in special ways. Colonel O'Leary has gathered together some of the most powerful stories of courage, on and off the battle field-accounts that reveal true grace under fire. But such grace is not merely a matter of personal strength. . . . It's a matter of Divine intervention, and it's a matter of faith!
  • Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar
    by Terrence J. Winschel
    ISBN: 1893114007
    From the beginning of the Civil War the Confederate bastion at Vicksburg thwarted Federal hopes for gaining control of the all-important Mississippi River and cutting the far-flung Confederacy in half. By 1863, despite Federal successes at New Orleans and Memphis, Vicksburg stood defiant, keeping open the flow of badly needed supplies from the Trans-Mississippi West to the major Confederate armies in the East. But that year, an unlikely new Federal hero—scruffy, cigar-smoking Ulyssess S. Grant—prepared to launch an all out and highly risky campaign to topple the "Confederate Gibraltar." After several often imaginative but unsuccessful attempts to force the Rebels from their Mississippi stronghold, Grant closed in on one of the great prizes of the war. Around Vicksburg, General John C. Pemberton's hard-pressed Confederates held on desperately, expecting relief that never came. This, then, is the story of one of the war's longest and most decisive campaigns, told by one of its foremost authorities.
  • Wall, The
    by Ronald Himler (Illustrator), Eve Bunting (Author)
    ISBN: 0395629772
    A young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • Washington's Crossing
    by David Hackett Fischer
    ISBN: 0195170342
    Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia. George Washington lost ninety percent of his army and was driven across the Delaware River. Panic and despair spread through the states. Yet, as David Hackett Fischer recounts in this riveting history, Washington--and many other Americans--refused to let the Revolution die. Even as the British and Germans spread their troops across New Jersey, the people of the colony began to rise against them. George Washington saw his opportunity and seized it. On Christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. The Americans held off a counterattack by Lord Cornwallis's best troops, then were almost trapped by the British force. Under cover of night, Washington's men stole behind the enemy and struck them again, defeating a brigade at Princeton. The British were badly shaken. In twelve weeks of winter fighting, their army suffered severe damage, their hold on New Jersey was broken, and their strategy was ruined. Fischer's richly textured narrative reveals the crucial role of contingency in these events. We see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficult choices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides. While British and German forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. At the same time, they developed an American ethic of warfare that John Adams called "the policy of humanity," and showed that moral victories could have powerful material effects. The startling success of Washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning, in a pivotal moment for American history.
  • World Wars, The
    by Paul Dowswell (Author), Ruth Brocklehurst (Author), Henry Brook (Author)
    ISBN: 0794519717
    A comprehensive guide to the two major conflicts of the twentieth century: The First and Second World Wars. Covers all aspects of the wars, including causes and effects, major battles, and the realities of life on the front line and home front.
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