literature 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. 
list ordered by

1
279 95
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added The Book Thief Markus Zusak

36 Rare Photos From World War II The Lamest Authors of All Time

2
187 55
The Winds of War is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added The Winds of War Herman Wouk - Herman Wouk

3
158 43
All the Light We Cannot See is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2

4
152 43
War and Remembrance is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added War and Remembrance Herman Wouk

5
127 33
The Nightingale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
carlybobarly added The Nightingale Kristin Hannah

6
130 40
Night is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Night Elie Wiesel

7
104 29
The Bridge over the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added The Bridge over the River Kwai Pierre Boulle

8
133 46
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2

9
147 58
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

10
115 40
The Eagle Has Landed is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
The Eagle Has Landed Jack Higgins

11
163 69
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Catch-22 Joseph Heller

12
108 40
The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added The Thin Red Line James Jones

13
36 4
The Caine Mutiny is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Charles Hornaday added The Caine Mutiny Herman Wouk

14
73 30
Empire of the Sun is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Empire of the Sun J. G. Ballard

15
73 33
Battle Cry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Battle Cry Leon Uris - Leon Uris

The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time Last Words Written By Famous People In Their Suicide Notes

16
83 42
Sarah's Key is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Sarah's Key Tatiana De Rosnay

17
71 37
The Naked and the Dead is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added The Naked and the Dead Norman Mailer

18
77 44
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Atonement Ian McEwan

19
81 48
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden

20
50 23
Eye of the Needle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
slaft added Eye of the Needle Ken Follett

21
67 40
Winter of the World is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Clark Benson added Winter of the World Ken Follett

22
23 4
The Unknown Soldier is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added The Unknown Soldier Väinö Linna

23
64 39
The Guernsey Literary and Pota... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

24
56 33
Mila 18 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added Mila 18 Leon Uris

25
56 34
King Rat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
oldrocker added King Rat James Clavell

26
36 18
Grave of the Fireflies is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Grave of the Fireflies Akiyuki Nosaka

27
21 6
The Forbidden Forest is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added The Forbidden Forest Mircea Eliade

28
19 6
Castle to Castle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Castle to Castle Louis-Ferdinand Céline

29
15 4
Under the North Star is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Under the North Star Väinö Linna

The Greatest World War 2 Tanks Awesome Superpowers We'd Give Anything to Have

30
17 6
Fragebogen: the Questionnaire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Fragebogen: the Questionnaire Ernst von Salomon

31
15 5
Rigadoon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Rigadoon Louis-Ferdinand Céline

32
18 8
Nord is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Nord Louis-Ferdinand Céline

33
13 4
Blue Island is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Blue Island Jean Raspail

34
14 6
Under the North Star 2: The Up... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Under the North Star 2: The Uprising Väinö Linna

35
12 4
Fable for Another Time is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Fable for Another Time

36
11 4
L'europe Buissonnière is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added L'europe Buissonnière

37
11 4
Normance is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Normance Louis-Ferdinand Céline

38
37 32
Hornet Flight is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Hornet Flight Ken Follett

39
37 32
Winter: a Novel of a Berlin Fa... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2

40
12 6
Under the North Star 3: Reconc... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added Under the North Star 3: Reconciliation Väinö Linna

41
27 22
Suite Française is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Suite Française Irène Némirovsky

42
4 0
Elephant in the Garden is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Natalie Yu added Elephant in the Garden

43
8 5
The best butter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Mollevangsvagen added The best butter Jean Dutourd

Pretty Good World War II Movies The Best '70s Horror Movies

44
34 35
Jackdaws is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Jackdaws Ken Follett

45
25 26
Stones from the River is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Stones from the River Ursula Hegi

46
32 35
SS-GB is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
SS-GB Len Deighton

47
1 0
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
westcoastwayne added With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa Eugene Sledge

48
9 10
A Good Clean Fight is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
ScottCameron added A Good Clean Fight Derek Robinson

49
18 21
Life and Fate is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
sebbzor added Life and Fate Vasily Grossman

50
16 19
Skeletons at the Feast is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Novels About World War 2
Skeletons at the Feast Chris Bohjalian