Our pick of the best wartime stories
Recently adapted by the BBC, Parade’s End is a classic war story, based on author Ford Madox Ford’s experiences on the western front during World War I. Opening as Edwardian England fades, bureaucrat Christopher Tietjens is clinging to the past. He marries scheming socialite, Sylvia but soon falls for a feisty suffragette. The characters’ lives are turned upside down when Britain declares war on Germany.
Written during World War II, a group of Parisians are fleeing Nazi invasion and a rural community under occupation. This has dramatic effects on the lives of the ordinary inhabitants who are thrown together and, in the middle of the hypocrisy, create a feeling of hope.
The tale of a marriage pushed to the limits as Guy and Harriet Pringle flee Greece under threat by the approaching German army.
An ordinary man, Captain Yossarian, is determined to survive and escape the madness of war despite opposition from those in charge.
William Rivers is an army psychiatrist who is in charge of treating shell-shocked officers destroyed by warfare, inlcuding poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. He faces the difficult job of sending them back to the front line once they have recovered.
This story follows the path of young German boys in WW1, naively and optimistically signing up for war and experiencing the horror of working in the trenches.
An episodic novel concentrating on the life of Stephen Wraysford before, during and after World War I. Before the war, Stephen spends time in France working with textile manufacturer, Rene Azaire. Stephen develops a romance with his wife, Isabelle, and the rest of the novel focuses on how the war affects this relationship.
Robert Jordan is a young American soldier charged with blowing up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia during the Spanish Civil War. Behind enemy lines, Robert finds love with a Spanish woman named Maria, whose life has been shattered by the fascist coalition. Robert is determined to fulfill his mission, but deception and betrayal threaten to topple him.
Split into two volumes, The War Of The Worlds details the fictional conflict between humankind and an invading Martian force. The story is told through the first-person narrative of an unnamed protagonist who struggles for survival within London during the invasion. A classic read and one of the first of its kind.
Despite being a children’s novel, War Horse is a heart warming story that has captivated audiences of all ages for many years. When a young boy’s beloved horse, Joey, is detailed fo service in World War I, he does all he can to bring him home safely.
An anti-war narrative about a young soldier who served in World War I. John Bonham wakes up in a hospital bed having lost all of his limbs and his face in a blast from an exploding bomb shell. Trapped in this severe condition, Johnny begins to reminisce about his life before the War and the reality of battle for a generation of young men.