These are examples of a few books that share some common elements and themes with The Final Battle.
Flags of Our Fathers: James Bradley and Ron Powers (Bantam, 2006)
In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima—and into history. Through a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire that left the beaches strewn with comrades, they battled to the island’s highest peak. And after climbing through a landscape of hell itself, they raised a flag. The son of one of the flagraisers wrote this account of six very different young men who came together in a moment that will live forever. To his family, John Bradley never spoke of the photograph or the war. But after his death at age seventy, his family discovered closed boxes of letters and photos. In Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley draws on those documents to retrace the lives of his father and the men of Easy Company. Following these men’s paths to Iwo Jima, James Bradley has written a classic story of the heroic battle for the Pacific’s most crucial island—an island riddled with Japanese tunnels and 22,000 fanatic defenders who would fight to the last man. But perhaps the most interesting part of the story is what happened after the victory. The men in the photo—three were killed during the battle—were proclaimed heroes and flown home, to become reluctant symbols. For two of them, the adulation was shattering. Only James Bradley’s father truly survived, displaying no copy of the famous photograph in his home, telling his son only: “The real heroes of Iwo Jima were the guys who didn’t come back.”
Band of Brothers: Stephen Ambrose (Simon & Schuster, 2001)
Stephen Ambrose’s iconic story of the ordinary men who became the World War II’s extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army. They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments. They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannons; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of Bastogne, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. In training and combat they learned selflessness and discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them. This is the story of the men in Easy Company who fought hard, went hungry, froze, and died for each other and a company that took 150 percent casualties.
Shifty’s War: Marcus Brotherton (Berkley, 2012)
As a boy growing up in the remote mining town of Clinchco, Virginia, Darrell “Shifty” Powers’s goal was to become the best rifle shot he could be. His father trained him to listen to the woods, to “see” without his eyes. Little did Shifty know his finely-tuned skills would one day save his life—and the lives of his friends. As one of the original men who trained at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, Shifty was one out of only two soldiers in Easy Company to initially earn the coveted expert marksman designation. He parachuted into France on D-day and fought for a month in Normandy; eighty days in Holland; thirty-nine in the harshly cold winter of Bastogne; and for nearly thirty more near Haguenau, France, and the Ruhr pocket in Germany. Shifty’s War is a tale of heroism and adventure, of a soldier’s blood-filled days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how one man’s skills as a sharpshooter and engagingly unassuming personality propelled him to a life greater than he could have ever imagined.
Citizen Soldiers: Stephen Ambrose (Simon & Schuster, 1998)
In this account, historian Stephen Ambrose continues where he left off in his book, D-Day. Citizen Soldiers opens on June 7, 1944, on the Normandy beaches, and ends on May 7, 1945, with the allied victory. It is a biography of the US Army in the European Theater of Operations, and Ambrose again follows the individual characters of this noble, brutal, and tragic war. From the high command down to the ordinary soldier, Ambrose draws on hundreds of interviews to re-create the war experience with clarity and immediacy. From the hedgerows of Normandy to the overrunning of Germany, Ambrose tells the real story of World War II from the perspective of the men and women who fought it.
Visions From a Foxhole: William Foley (Presidio Press, 2004)
Eighteen-year-old William Foley was afraid the war would be over before he got there, but the rifleman was sent straight to the front lines, arriving January 25, 1945–just in time to join the 94th Infantry Division poised at Hitler’s legendary West Wall. By the time Foley finally managed to grab a few hours sleep three nights later, he’d already fought in a bloody attack that left sixty percent of his battalion dead or wounded. That was just the beginning of one of the toughest, bloodiest challenges the 94th would ever face: breaking through the Siegfried Line. In Visions from a Foxhole, Foley recaptures that desperate, nerve-shattering struggle in all its horror and heroism.