Novels The Best Novels About World War 2  

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List Rules Fiction that uses WWII as a setting or major theme

This is a list about the best novels about World War 2 - basically a genre onto itself considering how extensively it has been covered in literature and art. But what are the best historical books about World War 2? Many you have probably heard of because they have won awards or have been turned into movies. Also known as the Second World War, this global war lasted from 1939 – 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations that eventually formed two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. WW2 books can be novels that focus on the war itself as the central story, or they can feature the war tangentially, as a force that impacts the lives of its main characters.

World War 2 was the most widespread war in history and was marked by the deaths of millions of civilians due to the use of nuclear weapons and the Holocaust; it was the deadliest war in the history of the world. It ended May 8, 1945, and the world was left picking up the pieces from the battlefield. WWII was responsible for the formation of the United Nations, a program that fosters international co-operation to prevent future conflicts. Many biographies were birthed from this time period in history, including some of the world’s greatest novels like The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Thomas Keneally’s Schindler's Ark which later inspired the film Schindler’s List. Good WW2 lists continue to come out every year, with top novels like All the Light We Cannot See winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015.

While true stories emerged that would forever capture our hearts, this list features some noteworthy WW2 fictional stories that many times were based on true events that occurred. 
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list ordered by

1
412 157
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Markus Zusak

2
268 90
The Nightingale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
carlybobarly added Kristin Hannah

3
301 108
The Winds of War is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Herman Wouk
Herman Wouk

4
229 75
War and Remembrance is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Herman Wouk

5
271 102
All the Light We Cannot See is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2

6
205 76
Night is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Elie Wiesel

7
171 74
The Eagle Has Landed is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Jack Higgins

8
151 61
The Bridge over the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Pierre Boulle

9
225 112
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Joseph Heller

10
199 95
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Kurt Vonnegut

11
183 93
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2

12
140 78
The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added James Jones

13
105 65
The Naked and the Dead is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Norman Mailer

14
104 65
Empire of the Sun is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added J. G. Ballard

15
106 69
Battle Cry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Leon Uris
Leon Uris

16
69 36
The Caine Mutiny is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Charles Hornaday added Herman Wouk

17
113 82
Sarah's Key is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Tatiana De Rosnay

18
108 84
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Arthur Golden

19
101 80
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Ian McEwan

20
28 4
The Cypher Bureau Eilidh McGin... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
immo added

A novel inspired by the life of Marian Rejewski, the Polish mathematician who first solved Enigma in 1932. The novel follows Marian's life and the adventures of the Polish codebreaking team as they flee  Poland after it's invasion in 1939

21
81 63
Eye of the Needle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
slaft added Ken Follett

22
90 76
The Guernsey Literary and Pota... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

23
89 77
Winter of the World is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Clark Benson added Ken Follett

24
79 66
Mila 18 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Leon Uris

25
71 66
King Rat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added James Clavell