Our last post centered around fiction–i.e., escape literature–that a select group of U.S. veterans reported to us as books they read to pass time. This post focuses on a list of nonfiction books that these same veterans engulfed as they awaited deployment and prepared for foreign battle. One could only hope that these full-length works helped them better cope with the grim realities they were about to face.

Helmet for my Pillow - Leckie

Helmet for My Pillow, Robert Leckie

The Tunnels of Cu Chi - Mangold and Penycate

Tunnels of Cu Chi, Tom Mangold and John Penycate

Black Hawk Down - Bowden

Black Hawk Down, Mark Bowden

Band of Brothers - Ambrose

Band of Brothers, Stephen E. Ambrose

To Hell and Back - Murphy

To Hell and Back, Audie Murphy

People Other Than Grunts - Page

People Other than Grunts, Myles C. Page

God in the Foxhole - Sasser

God in the Foxhole, Charles W. Sasser

Lone Survivor - Luttrell and Robinson

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, Marcus Luttrell, with Patrick Robinson

The Gun - Chivers

The Gun, C.J. Chivers

The Art of War - Tzu

The Art of War, Sun Tzu

Generation Kill - Wright

Generation Kill, Evan Wright

On Killing - Grossman

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Dave Grossman

Under a War Torn Sky - Elliot

Under a War-Torn Sky, L.M. Elliott

Photo by Kenny Loule