Soldiers fighting together on the same side develop relationships unlike any other. These fiction and nonfiction selections feature brothers in arms during World War II.
1. Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“A powerful wartime saga in the bestselling tradition of Flags of Our Fathers, Brothers in Arms recounts the extraordinary story of the 761st Tank Battalion, the first all-black armored unit to see combat in World War II.”
2. Wings of a Flying Tiger by Iris Yang
“World War Two. Japanese occupied China. One cousin’s courage, another’s determination to help a wounded American pilot.
“In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japanese troops searching for him, the American pilot’s odds of survival are slim.
“Jasmine Bai, an art student who has been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.
“With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered.
“Love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery all play a part in this heroic tale that takes place during one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.”
3. Will of a Tiger by Iris Yang
“Sworn brothers—one American, one Chinese—captured, imprisoned, tortured. Survival is just the beginning of the battle…
“In 1942, Birch Bai, a Chinese pilot, and Danny Hardy, a downed American pilot, become sworn brothers and best friends. In the summer of 1945, both airmen’s planes go down in Yunnan Province of China during one of many daring missions. They are captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the Japanese for information about the atomic bomb. Just days before the end of WWII, Danny makes an irrevocable decision to save Birch’s life.
“For Birch, surviving the war is only the beginning of the battle. He must deal with the dreadful reality in China—the civil war, the separation of the country, the death of one friend in the Communist-controlled Mainland and another under the Nationalist government, and his wrongful imprisonment in Taiwan.
“From Chungking to Yunnan, and from Taiwan to San Francisco, the sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger takes readers along on an epic journey.”
4. At All Costs: How a Crippled Ship and Two American Merchant Mariners Turned the Tide of World War II by Sam Moses
“In this gripping, page-turning account, Sam Moses has told a story in the tradition of Sebastian Junger’s A Perfect Storm, Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers, and Hampton Sides’s Ghost Soldiers. It’s a story about the heroism of two men in battle at sea during World War II, and one woman fleeing Nazi Norway with her child. It’s about how courage can change the course of history.”
5. Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides
In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.