Top 3 All-Time Favorite Military/Strategy/History/Other Books

And now to get back, a little, on track...

There are two leadership books that I found in a drawer in my school's JROTC storage area. I read them...they're actually pretty good if a bit "different" in their approach.

"Lincoln on Leadership" by Donald T. Phillips
"Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun" by Wess Roberts, Ph.D.

They're actually very relevant...

Okay...let's dig...have you read:

Masterman Ready
The Privateersman
The Dog Fiend
Percival Keane
The Phantom Ship
The Pacha of Many Tales
Peter Simple

Yep...I know it's reaching...
Phantom Ship for sure, others seem familiar. Will have to look. Decades of nonstop reading here, and sometimes they stick with instant recognition, sometimes not.
I remember reading Pat Conroy's Lords of Discipline as a soon to be Rook at Norwich. It left a lasting impression and more so now that I have a son at The Citadel. The story of Pat Conroy and his relationship with The Citadel is also a very interesting saga. He was in essence banished from the school after the book and was eventually welcomed back - giving the commencement speech in 2001. It is a great read for anyone interested:

Therefore, appreciating the wealth of experience / knowledge / wisdom associated with this site, I would like to extend the question: What are your all-time favorite book recommendations for 18 year olds (and their parents) as they set out to pursue a career in Military Service?
Not necessarily a "wealth of experience/ knowledge / wisdom" as I am an applicant for the class of 2025, but my favorite military history book is "Blind Man's Bluff"- it is about the missions assigned to/completed by the 'silent service' (subs) during the cold war. It may not interest your DS as it sounds like he is interested in a military pilot career but I found it to be fascinating.

Another great read is "All Quiet on the Western Front". I wrote a paper on it for one of my electives and read it in one sitting :)
Forgot this particular favorite: “Undaunted Courage,” about the Lewis & Clark expedition. They were truly courageous and intrepid, and demonstrated amazing leadership.
One of my favorite books. Growing up in Middle Tennessee, Lewis and Clark were the "Superheroes" of my childhood. Love the book!
Currently reading "25 Hours a Day" by Nick Bare (former Army Ranger).
Geez, how could I forget: “Killer Angels,” about the battle of Gettysburg, the officers who were there, the leadership they demonstrated, and the decisions they made. Most touching and revealing was the depiction of their relationships with each other — including on opposing sides.

I believe this storytelling style is called “historical novel,” i.e. meticulously researched but told in fictional style. The movie “Gettysburg” is based on this book. While it’s good, it’s a rather poor substitute for reading the book itself. Should be required reading for every officer.
Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by Hornfischer is an excellent story of courage against all odds.
Fighter Pilot by Robin Olds is an interesting autobiography.
Not a Good Day to Die by Naylor is also a great (more modern) read.

Extreme Ownership is a good one for life advice.
On Killing and On Combat are interesting, although some of Grossman's sources (SLA Marshall's study, in particular, are questionable.)

History of the Peloponnesian War

By Thucydides. First-hand account of one the most important conflict in human history. Will teach you a lot about politics, power, strategy.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September​

By Steve Coll ( he won a Pulitzer prize for it). Detailed account of 1980-2001 Afghanistan, gives you whole picture of entire conflict and shows how complex the entire thing is. Must-read if you want to understand current situation in Afghanistan.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

By T.E Lawrence, British officer who helped Arab forces fight Ottomans during WW1
A Writer At War by Vasily Grossman
Grossman was a Soviet journalist with the Red Army from 1941 to 1945. In the fall of 1941 he was nearly captured by Gudarian's panzers, spent most of 1942 in Stalingrad, was at Kursk, and then moved west as the Germans retreated, concentration camps were discovered and eventually Berlin fell. This book was drawn from his reporter's notebooks by Antony Beever and Luba Vinogradova. They set up the context and then draw from the notes as well as his pictures and articles eventually published in the paper. Lots of terrible, awesome, beautiful and funny stories.
1. I Could Never Be So Lucky Again, by James Doolittle
2. A Sorrow In Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh, by Allan Eckert
3. HAP, by Thomas Coffey
4. The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen
1. Band of Brothers by Stephen P. Ambrose - The basis for the HBO limited series and one of my current favorites
2. The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forrester - The basis for Greyhound and a good naval book that goes into detail about ships and navigation in World War II
3. Les Miserables - Just a really great story overall, about different aspects of Paris and French life, mainly that of Jean Valjean, the protagonist
If you want a in depth novel about the founding of the US Navy and the development of the original six frigates, I highly suggest "Six Frigates" by Ian Toll. It is a great novel if you want to learn more about the Barbary Wars and our disagreements with the United Kingdom and France soon after our independence.
Read anything about Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated journey to Antarctica. He was a civilian and it was a civilian expedition, but his leadership was simply incredible!
Col Thomas X. Hammes is a retired Marine officer with a PhD from Oxford. He's a USNA grad and a former CO of mine. He has books and tons of other things to read (see his web page). One of his books is on the Marines' reading list for major. I got an autographed copy for my son. Fortunately T. X. as he told me to now call him, lives just a few miles up the road.

I vaguely remember him as a Firstie when I was a Plebe and as I recall, he was pretty tough on Plebes.
Since he was not in my company, he had to be somewhat tough for me to know of him.
Last three reads:

The Expendable
Halsey’s Typhoon


Marine (Chesty Puller bio)


Once an Eagle
Everything by Stephen Ambrose
The Last Lion
Combat Crew (best B-17 book of many)
+1 on Thucydides, Blind Man's Bluff & Six Frigates

Others for consideration that I have enjoyed over the years:

The Savage Wars of Peace - Max Boot
On War - von Clausewitz
Lords of the Sea - John Hale
The Conquest of Gaul - Julius Caesar
A Peace to End All Peace - David Fromkin