World War II - the War

The Monuments Men

Book Cover
Author(s): 
Robert M. Edsel

"The Monuments Men" is an engaging and little known story about servicemen who specialized in trying to preserve the art and culture of Europe during World War II. Not only were they involved in trying to get the Allies to do as little damage as possible in fighting the war, but it became almost another front of the war with Hitler, who not only stole and hoarded unbelievable quantities of art (in order to create his own "Fuhrermuseum"), but also gave orders to destroy these hoards of art as the Allies made headway into Germany.

Behind Enemy Lines

Author(s): 
H. R. DeMallie

This is a fascinating personal account of a U.S. Air Force pilot who was shot down over Holland and spent the rest of World War II in a POW camp in Germany. He wrote it specifically to honor the Dutch who took care of him at great peril to their own lives.

It was a particularly interesting read after being acquainted with Hilda Van Stockum's The Winged Watchman as locations and situations are very similar.

Midway

This classic movie with an all-star cast and real war footage presents the dramatic story of one of the most significant battles of World War II - the naval battle of Midway in June 1942. The story also deals, more briefly, with the backlash against Americans of Japanese descent. A good movie and important story, but language and battle-scenes make it most appropriate for teens and adults.

Up Periscope

Author(s): 
Robb White

Robb White brings us an exciting historical fiction tale of life aboard a military submarine in the Pacific in World War II. Someone's been transmitting top-secret plans from the American base in Hawaii to Tokyo. The Americans have learned that transmissions are being sent from Hawaii to an island in the mid-Pacific and from there to Japan. They believe they've located the island where the transmissions are being passed along, but have been unable to break the special code being used there.

Saving Private Ryan

Cast: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, et al.

The Small War of Sergeant Donkey

Book cover: 'The Small War of Sergeant Donkey'
Author(s): 
Maureen Daly

Chico Felippo is a young boy living in a small village in Southern Italy. It is 1944 and most of the war has moved north, but the American Army has a special "Remount Depot" nearby where donkeys are trained to assist the soldiers in the difficult mountain fighting. Chico loves these animals and becomes friends with many of the Americans as well as one particularly beloved animal, "Sergeant Donkey". The entire town suffers from a shortage of food because all of the donkeys which worked the fields had been seized by the Germans earlier in the war.

The Sinking of the Bismarck

Author(s): 
William L. Shirer

Back in print! It was May 1941 and the British were struggling to hold back the Germans (this is of course before the United States had entered World War II). Since the summer of 1940 the Germans had access to the harbors and airfields of western Europe from Norway to southern France. Their submarines, warships and bombers were wreaking havoc on Britain's supply convoys crossing the Atlantic which was seriously threatening Britain's survival.

The Shadow of His Wings

Book cover: 'The Shadow of His Wings'
Author(s): 
Fr. Gereon Goldmann

This is a fascinating tale on many levels - spiritual, historical, adventure, humor. Fr. Goldmann was a young seminarian in Germany when he was drafted into Hitler's dreaded SS. Despite amazing obstacles and in spite of his loud mouth and rather hot temper with regard to his disagreements with the Nazi's, Goldmann works his way through World War II as a medic for the German army and is finally ordained as a chaplain to his comrades in the French prison camps in North Africa.

The House of Sixty Fathers

Book cover: 'The House of Sixty Fathers'
Author(s): 
Meindert de Jong

This is the dramatic story (and probably true or based-on-a-true story) of a young boy in Japanese-occupied China who is separated from his parents and baby sister. He travels with his pet pig through dangerous territory and aids a wounded American airman. Still seeking his parents, he is adopted by the airmen (sixty "fathers") at an American military base who fly him about the area to find his parents in gratitude for his assistance to their fellow soldier.

World War II for Kids

Book cover: 'World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities'
Author(s): 
Richard Panchyk

This is a well-written and engaging account of the major events of World War II - military, political, humanitarian, etc. - treated at a level appropriate for children - particularly ages 10-14.

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