The 10 Best War Novels

Are you tired of war movies and would rather read a more detailed novel? Here are ten war novels you shouldn’t miss.

1. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Based on the experiences of the World War I veteran and writer Erich Maria Remarque, the book details the hardships experienced by the German soldier Paul Baumer when his class was sent to the Western Front.

2. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk
Correspondent Robert Fisk put together the articles he wrote during his coverage of the Middle East from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Algerian Civil War that ended in 2002.

3. Weep Not, Child by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
The first East African novel to be published in English, it details the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya that lasted for 8 years. The book focuses on the story of Njoroge who is pursuing education despite the conflict.

4. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
One of the world’s greatest leaders, Genghis Khan’s impressive rise to power is detailed in the book as well as his influence on Western civilization. The author argues that Genghis Khan’s image is far from that of a barbaric ruler that most European writers tend to depict him.

5. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
This novel is told from the various points of view of different characters, particularly that of Capt. John Yossarian in Pianosa. He and the other soldiers are trying to avoid death while fulfilling their missions, a duty they can’t escape unless they are declared mentally incapable.

6. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Writer Norman Mailer was inspired by his experiences as part of the 112th Cavalry Regiment in World War II when he wrote the novel. It focuses on the platoon assigned in the island of Anopopei who must drive out the Japanese forces.

7. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
A submarine commander and his officers are planning to defect to the US because he was dissatisfied with the Soviet Union’s failures. CIA analyst Jack Ryan has to assist the Soviet commander during the process.

8. The Debacle by Emile Zola
The novel is set at the time France declared war on Prussia and when the Prussian army crossed the Rhine and invaded France. The Debacle is part of Emile Zola’s Les Rougon-Macquart 20-part series.

9. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
W.P. Inman deserted from the Confederate Army during the American Civil war so he can return to his beloved Ada Monroe despite being wounded.

10. The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian of Nicomedia
This text is a chronological account of Alexander the Great’s rise to power, his conquest of the Persian Empire, and his death in 323 BC. Scholars refer to this work as the most reliable source of Alexander’s achievements.