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Best military history books

Updated on August 24, 2017

Best military history books to read.

What are some of the best military history books? In my opinion it depends as much on the author as it does on the reader. On this page i will present five of the best military history books in my opinion. They each suit a different purpose and are each selected to be different. If you prefer a narative or a descriptive way of recieving information, or a sensationalist one? Are you more of a visual person? You will find a book for you in this selection.

Lets take a look, remember to comment on your favorite military history book.

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John Keegan: A history of warfare - Best of the best military books

You would probably say i am overreacting when i speak about this book, but i have read it several times already. As i student of defense science i often had some time to spare, so i looked up this book and read it. The book itself is written by one of the most prominent military historians, John Keegan. It is divided into four segments, each describing an aspect of war. If i tell you that ston is about fortifications, can you guess what fire, flesh and iron are about?

The book covers warfare in a descriptive, comparative way and through examples makes it easy to understand the points being made. Because of the way if offers information i would suggest pairing this book with another, classic history book that is more chronological and factual. With that combination of books the meaning of military history, weaponry, tactics, strategy will not elude you.

A History of Warfare
A History of Warfare

The best military history book in my opinion.

Written by John Keegan, a brilliant military historian.

An enjoyable read. You will want to read it more than once!


Geoffrey Parker: The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare - A great book on military history.

This is a book that focuses mostly on western warfare. From political philosophy to war making this is an extensive look at the warfare in Europe (and other continents, but focusing on European strategy and warfare). Its strongpoints are the overview of the military development of the armies of europe, whic by sheer discipline, adaptability, ruthlessness and experience dominated the world on the battlefield.

Besides the classic look through of the greatest turning points, battles and facts, the book also provides beautiful illustrations, which are not the focus of the book, but provide a great way to increase the readability of the book. A very sound book that should travel from father to son, generation to generation.

This book goes well in hand with Keegans A history of warfare to provide a holistic view of military history and future.

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare: The Triumph of the West (Cambridge Illustrated Histories)
The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare: The Triumph of the West (Cambridge Illustrated Histories)

A classic illustrated history book on warfare. Beautiful, factual and thorough.


Michael L. Handel: Masters of war - Best of the military history books on strategy

I very much think this book is a great read for anyone who not only wants to know the fact of military history, but also the mentality, philosophy and strategy of the histories prominent thinkers and writers.

This book focuses on some of the most well known and praised military strategists: Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Jomini, Machiavelli, Mao Tse-tung. Their works are the basis for their comparison and the analysis of their work offers much to conclude. Although the writers of classic military and political thought lived apart in time and space, they all gained some common understandings that still live in military strategy today.

My favorite and for me the most memorable part of the book is the comparison between the eastern (represented by Sun Tsu) and western (represented by Clausewitz) view on strategy.

For the advanced reader the original works of the classical strategists compared in the book should be on the reading menu.

Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought
Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought

Strategic thought of the greatest military thinkers explained in a readable way.

Strategy students reference book.

512 pages of military strategic studies. Scared or excited?


Fletcher Pratt: The Battles that Changed History - A book ob battles throughout history

The preparations, battle and consequences of 16 most decisive battles in history are explained through this books case studies. From an analysis of the battles, leaders, equipment and tactics, this book makes a great reference for those that desire to understand military tactics and strategy.

There are quite a few maps that make the book easier to understand and are essential for the study of battle.

The sensationalist title is just the beginning, for the style of the author provides an attractive means of learning history while being entertained.

The Battles that Changed History (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor)
The Battles that Changed History (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor)

A case study of 16 great battles in the history of warfare. It will surely keep you interested.


Dorling Kindersley: Military History Book - An illustrated military history book.

This 450 page history book is great for military history buffs, enthusiasts, as well as students of defense sciences. It covers the entire specter of military history and includes the modern age as well, which some history books leave out (history did not end after WW2 thank you very much!).

This book is quite popular and some refer to it as a coffe table book due to the way weapons, armor and weapon systems are presented.

It is not a history book as much as it is a study of weapons and tactics. The illustrations are superb. If this book does not motivate you to learn about weapons of the past and present, what will?

Military History Book (Dk General History)
Military History Book (Dk General History)

450 pages of military history superbly illustrated. Great for learning about weapons and weapon systems.


A question for the readers - Give me your honest opinion!

Did you find my reviews informative enough?

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