Greet the New Year With These 5 Contemporary Military Reads

Greet the New Year With These 5 Contemporary Military Reads
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By Col. William D. Bushnell, USMC (Ret)


The latest additions to MOAA’s Military Professional Reading List include Arctic security measures, a heavy dose of World War II history, and more than two centuries’ worth of combat artwork. You can order the books through the links in the titles below; MOAA is an Amazon Associate and earns money from qualifying purchases, with the revenue supporting The MOAA Foundation.


Newport Manual on Arctic Security

books-arctic.jpgBy Walter Berbrick, Gaelle Rivard Piche, and Michael Zimmerman. Naval Institute Press, 2022. ISBN 978-1-68247-829-5.


As experts on Arctic policy and politics, the authors (and 20 other contributors) offer 30 international principles for Arctic security in "one of the world's most rapidly changing, globally competitive, and shockingly overlooked regions."


This is eye-opening blueprint for naval and defense leaders covers subjects like sea power, economic potential, freedom of navigation, borders and sovereignty, "Polar Code" enforcement, indigenous considerations, scientific cooperation, hard and soft military security, and application of international law. Participants in this study include the U.S., Canada, and five northern European nations, working with the Naval War College's Arctic Scholars Initiative.


Blood and Fears: How America’s Bomber Boys of the 8th Air Force Saved World War II

books-blood-and-fears.jpgBy Kevin Wilson. Pegasus Books, 2017. ISBN 978-1-68177-319-3.


This is an excellent single volume history of the U.S. 8th Air Force in Europe during the crucial war years of 1944-1945, highlighting the contributions and sacrifices of the bomber crews flying the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator, and the fighter pilots flying the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang.


Massive daylight bombing raids attracted ferocious German fighter attacks and smothering anti-aircraft fire, shooting down hundreds of aircraft, killing and wounding thousands of airmen. Wilson tells this story with graphic candor, vivid descriptions of aerial combat, fear, fatigue, and heroism.


American Tanks and AFVs of World War II

books-tanks-and-afvs.jpgBy Michael Green. Osprey, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4728-2978-8.


Tankers and World War II buffs should add this book to their libraries. Military historian (and tanker) Green presents an outstanding history of American tanks and armored fighting vehicles, combining a clear, detailed narrative with hundreds of photographs.


He covers early medium tanks, the excellent M-4 Sherman series, light tanks, heavy tanks, tank destroyers, armored cars and half-tracks, as well as self-propelled artillery, and tracked landing vehicles like the amphibious LVT.  Details include information on engines, armaments, armor, fire controls, ammunition, and some innovative tank variants.


Art of War: Eyewitness U.S. Combat Art From the Revolution to the Twentieth Century

books-art-of-war.jpgBy Col. H. Avery Chenoweth, USMCR (Ret). Friedman/Fairfax, 2002. ISBN 978-4027-1855-5.


Chenoweth is a combat artist and former OIC of the Marine Corps First Combat Art Team. He presents more than 300 lavishly illustrated full-color and black-and-white drawings and paintings created by military and civilian artists covering wars and conflicts from the American Revolution to Bosnia, Somalia, the Gulf War, and Afghanistan. He also provides biographical sketches and historical context, as well as an interesting appendix listing all the artists (military and civilian) by war and branch.


Artwork includes Army Sgt. Howard Brodie's stark pencil images of GIs in Europe and Cpl. Charles Waterhouse's self-portrait as a wounded Marine at Iwo Jima. Stunning for their clarity and message, the artwork is simply magnificent.


Historical Dictionary of World War II: The War Against Germany and Italy 

books-dictionary.jpgBy Anne Sharp Wells. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. ISBN 978-0-8108-5457-4.


This is an excellent companion to Wells's Historical Dictionary of World War II: The War Against Japan, published in 1999. This volume covers Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Middle East, along with people, places, events, battles, strategies, politics, allies, enemies, naval, air, and ground operations, as well as intelligence, partisan, and resistance activities.


It also contains expansive notes and a very useful annotated bibliography. The two books together make an outstanding reference resource. Highly recommended.


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