Weller, George. First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War (Crown, 2006).
George Weller was a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who covered World War II across Europe, Africa, and Asia. At the war’s end in September 1945, under General MacArthur’s media blackout, correspondents were forbidden to enter both Nagasaki and Hiroshima. But instead of obediently staying with the press corps in northern Japan, Weller broke away. The intrepid newspaperman reached Nagasaki just weeks after the atomic bomb hit the city. Boldly presenting himself as a U.S. colonel to the Japanese military, Weller set out to explore the devastation.
As Nagasaki’s first outside observer, long before any American medical aid arrived, Weller witnessed the bomb’s effects and wrote “the anatomy of radiated man.” He interviewed doctors trying to cure those dying mysteriously from “Disease X.” He typed far into every night, sending his forbidden dispatches back to MacArthur’s censors, assuming their importance would make them unstoppable. He was wrong: the U.S. government censored every word, and the dispatches vanished from history. Weller also became the first to enter the nearby Allied POW camps. From hundreds of prisoners he gathered accounts of watching the atomic explosions bring an end to years of torture and merciless labor in Japanese mines.
Werner, Herbert A. Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-Boat Battles of World War II (Da Capro Press, 2002).
The former German U-boat commander Herbert Werner navigates readers through the waters of World War II, recounting four years of the most significant and savage battles. By war's end, 28,000 out of 39,000 German sailors had disappeared beneath the waves.
Wilbanks, Bob. Last Man Out: Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II (MacFarlane and Company, 2004).
Beginning on December 8, 1941, at the U.S. Navy Yard barracks at Cavite, the story of this young Iowa marine continues through the fighting on Corregidor, the capture and imprisonment by the Japanese Imperial Army in May 1942, Mac’s entry into the Palawan prison camp in the Philippines on August 12, 1942, the terrible conditions he and his comrades endured in the camps, and the terrible day when 139 young soldiers were slaughtered. The work details the escapes of the few survivors as they dug into refuse piles, hid in coral caves, and slogged through swamp and jungle to get to supportive Filipinos. It also contains an account and verdicts of the war crimes trials of the Japanese guards, follow-ups on the various places and people referred to in the text, with descriptions of their present situations, and a roster of the names and hometowns of the victims of the Palawan massacre.
Williams, Andrew. The Battle of the Atlantic: The Allies' Submarine Fight Against Hitler's Gray Wolves of the Sea (Basic Books, 2004).
From 1939 until 1942, Hitler's U-boats--the submarine fleet dubbed the "gray wolves"--threatened to accomplish what his air force had been unable to achieve: to starve Britain into submission. The ensuing struggle for control of the storm-tossed Atlantic trade routes became a full-scale war-within-a-war, and one which led to astounding losses: Allied powers would lose more than fifty thousand men, and fifteen million tons of shipping, over the course of the conflict. Through exclusive interviews with survivors on both sides-including those given for the first time by former U-boat crew members-historian and documentary producer Andrew Williams provides a riveting account of these crucial years of battle. Vividly recreating the claustrophobic and dangerous life on board, The Battle of the Atlantic succeeds in encompassing the whole experience of warfare as few other histories have, and forms an important contribution to our understanding of one of the greatest fights of the twentieth century.
Williamson, Gordon. Wolf Pack: The Story of the U-Boat in World War II (Osprey Publishing, 2006).
Germany's World War II U-boat fleet was a truly elite fighting force. The U-Boot Waffe represented the cream of Germany's naval personnel, and in terms of technology, training, tactics and combat successes, the German fleet was far superior to that of any other combatant nation. This book tells the complete story of the 'Grey Wolves' who harried the Allies' supply lines and came close to winning total victory for Hitler in Europe. The wartime development of the U-boat is traced from the Type I through to the Type XXI, and the experiences of typical U-boat crewmen, from recruitment to combat, are brought to life. Operational tactics are examined, and the massive bunkers that housed the U-boat fleet are described and illustrated.
Winebrenner, Hobert and Michael McCoy. Bootprints (Camp Comamajo Press, 2005).
After over sixty years of holding it deep within, an aging World War II veteran shares his harrowing tale of life and death on Northern Europe's front lines. From Utah Beach, through the hedgerows of Normandy, the liberation of France, the Battle of the Bulge, the assault on Germany and the chase into Czechoslovakia, follow in Sergeant Hobert Winebrenner's Bootprints. Wounded twice and captured once, with five Bronze Battle Stars and one Silver Star, he saw much in his "Walk Through World War II."
Wistrich, Robert. Who's Who in Nazi Germany (Routledge, Third edition, 2001).
"The author's skillful interweaving of characters and events succeeds in presenting to us a comprehensive record of Hitler's Reich. By cool, dispassionate reporting he exposes a liturgy of evil." (History Today)
Wood, Edward W., Jr. Worshipping the Myths of World War II: Reflections on America's Dedication to War (Potomac Books, 2006).
Examines how American world leadership is badly served by widespread misunderstanding of the nature of war in general and of World War II in particular.
Wragg, David. Malta: The Last Great Siege 1940-1943 (Pen and Sword, 2003).
The strategic importance of Malta sitting astride both the Axis and Allied supply routes in the Mediterranean was obvious to both sides during WW2. As a result the Island became the focal point in a prolonged and dreadful struggle that cost the lives of thousands of servicemen and civilians. After setting the scene for the action, this book tells the story of the Island's stand against the might of the Axis powers that led to the unprecedented award of the George Cross to the whole island by King George VI. It not only covers the struggle by the British and Maltese forces on the ground but the vicious fighting in the skies above. This was indeed a siege involving every man and woman on the Island.
Wright, Kai. Soldiers of Freedom: An Illustrated History of African Americans in the Armed Forces (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2002).
Spanning from the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, this long-overdue, comprehensive history covers the full scope of African Americans' involvement in the armed forces during war and peacetime. Accompanying the informative text are 300 photographs and illustrations, most of them rare, some never before published.
Wurst, Spencer and Gayle Wurst. Descending From The Clouds: A Memoir of Combat in the 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division (Casemate, 2005).
Wurst, a rifleman, spent the most of World War II in the European Theater of Operations as a squad leader or platoon sergeant in Company F, 505. He made three of the four regimental combat jumps, dropping into Italy, Normandy, and Holland. Highlights include his baptism of fire in Italy during the Battle of Arnone; the jump on D-Day and the liberation of Ste. Me're Eglise (for which he was awarded a Purple Heart); a grueling month of combat in the hedgerows of Normandy (a second Purple Heart); the ferocious battle with the SS for the highway bridge at Nijmegen, Holland (Silver Star); and survival in the Ardennes, where he found himself as point man on his twentieth birthday, in a long, bitter march toward the shoulder of the Bulge.
Wurst's narrative, set against a carefully researched historical background, offers a unique view of the heat of battle as experienced by a noncommissioned officer in the 82nd Airborne Division. Initial chapters chronicle his training before mobilization, when he lied about his age (15) to the National Guard in Erie, Pennsylvania, and his later experience in a heavy weapons company of the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. In 1941, Wurst was on a truck returning from First Army maneuvers in the Carolinas to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation when he heard the news of the attack at Pearl Harbor. He recounts life at Camps Livingston and Beauregard in Louisiana, and at the newly formed Parachute School at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was stationed in the infamous "Frying Pan" area.