Novels The Best Novels About World War 2  

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

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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. 
list ordered by

1
404 146
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Markus Zusak

2
261 80
The Nightingale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
carlybobarly added Kristin Hannah

3
291 100
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
219 68
War and Remembrance is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Herman Wouk

5
261 93
All the Light We Cannot See is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2

6
200 67
Night is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Elie Wiesel

7
169 66
The Eagle Has Landed is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Jack Higgins

8
147 53
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
194 86
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Kurt Vonnegut

10
218 103
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Joseph Heller

11
182 84
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2

12
136 71
The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added James Jones

13
101 57
Empire of the Sun is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added J. G. Ballard

14
101 59
The Naked and the Dead is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Norman Mailer

15
101 62
Battle Cry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Leon Uris - Leon Uris

16
62 29
The Caine Mutiny is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Charles Hornaday added Herman Wouk

17
109 74
Sarah's Key is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Tatiana De Rosnay

18
22 2
The Cypher Bureau Eilidh McGin... is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
106 76
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Arthur Golden

20
100 72
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Ian McEwan

21
78 56
Eye of the Needle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
slaft added Ken Follett

22
87 68
Winter of the World is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Clark Benson added Ken Follett

23
87 68
The Guernsey Literary and Pota... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

24
76 58
Mila 18 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Leon Uris

25
70 58
King Rat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added James Clavell