Are you interested in finding some of the best war books? Our list includes reads about World War I, World War II, and Korea. You will also find titles on Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Other highlights include top reads on the Civil War in the US, Spanish-American, and the Philippine-American conflict.
We've included a wide variety of options, so you can broaden your list of books about this topic.
Written by: Steve Snyder
Published: August 15th, 2014
Howard Snyder was a WWII fighter pilot shot down in 1944. He spent the next two years as a prisoner of war before he could return home to his family and friends.
Written by his son Steve, Shot Down offers a look inside his dad's life and trials during that time. It is an inspiring story of love for one's country and love for family.
You’ll learn about how Howard Snyder fell in love with flying when he first saw planes fly over him at age 14, which led him to become a fighter pilot after high school graduation.
During the Great Depression, it wasn't easy to find work, so Howard joined up where they had openings-the US Air Force.
It’s one of the best war books that gives you an insider’s view on what it’s like in the heart of war.
Written by: Barbara W. Tuchman
In this book, Barbara W. Tuchman tells how World War I was started and why it lasted four years. She talks about the leaders on both sides who were at fault for the war. The author also explains how they did not want a war but were willing to do anything to protect their country.
The Guns of August is an excellent read because it shows many perspectives to a single historical event told from different viewpoints.
This Pulitzer Prize winning book is another one of the best books war books.
Written by: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Published: October 25th, 2005
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin is about Abraham Lincoln and the men who helped him lead America through its most challenging time. The author focuses on Lincoln's ability to get along with people, even those that disagreed with him politically.
One of the main themes throughout the book is how Lincoln was able to bring his rivals into his cabinet to keep them close and prevent them from conspiring against him.
It's on this list of the best war books since it also has excellent information about the Civil War and what happened leading up to and during that time.
Written by: Edwin B. Coddington
The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command by Edwin B. Coddington is a fascinating, well-written book that provides readers with a detailed account of the events leading up to and during the Battle of Gettysburg.
The first few chapters provide background information about how Union forces followed Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army ever since it crossed into Pennsylvania on June 28th, 1863.
The author then takes you through each day of the campaign, providing detailed descriptions of what happened at every point along the way and details about why commanders on both sides made certain decisions.
This book will be appealing to anyone who loves both history and books about war.
Written by: John Keegan
Published: June 5th, 1999
John Keegan, a famous historian, and World War One expert wrote many books about the First World War. In his book The First World War, he discusses how this war was unlike any other before it due to new technology and tactics used to achieve victory.
He also explains why this war started and how long-lasting its effects are on Europe even today. This is an excellent read for those wanting to learn more about the Great War, and it's also great for those with a general interest in history and warfare.
Written by: Laura Hillenbrand
Published: November 16th, 2010
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is a New York Times Bestseller. It tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete, and US Air Force bombardier when he was caught in a storm over the Pacific Ocean and crash-landed into enemy waters.
He survived on a raft for 47 days until he was captured by Japanese soldiers and held as a prisoner of war, where he endured brutal torture at their hands for two years before being rescued.
Written by: Sun Tzu
The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise dating from the 5th century BC. The work is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu ("Master Sun," also spelled Sunzi). It includes 13 chapters, focusing on a specific aspect of warfare such as deception, terrain, and intelligence gathering.
Since its publication, it has been used in Asia and by all branches of the United States Armed Forces to guide its procedures for military strategy and tactics. Even though this book was written thousands of years ago, there are still many lessons that can be learned from it today.
Even though it was written hundreds of years ago, it's still considered one of the best war books of all time.
Written by: Stephen E. Ambrose
Published: June 6th, 1992
There are some books that you read and others that you live. Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers is one of those rare books that has the power to transport the reader into a different place, time, and even mindset.
It brings history alive in a way no history class can by allowing us to experience World War II through the eyes of men who lived it.
The book follows Easy Company from their training days to the day they liberated Berchtesgaden in May 1945.
It’s based on interviews with those that survived. It is filled with action, humor, heartache, tragedy, love stories- every emotion imaginable- making it impossible for readers not to be touched by these soldiers' experiences.
It’s one of the best war books that you will not want to put down!
Written by: Rick Atkinson
Published: October 2nd, 2002
Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn is a Pulitzer Prize winning book in history in 2003. The book shines a light on the little-known North African Campaign between 1942 and 1943, pivotal to Allied victory during WWII.
You'll read about General Erwin Rommel's use of tactics that were ahead of his time for both offense and defense. This book also discusses how the American troops' lack of desert experience led them to be outmatched by German forces until they learned to adapt.
Atkinson also has a knack for painting vivid pictures with words, making this history come alive from start to finish.
It’s the first book in the Liberation Trilogy and one of the best war books around.
Written by: Saul Friedländer
Published: April 10th, 2007
Saul Friedlander's The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews is a historical account of the Holocaust, an event in history that numerous historians have documented. The author aimed to provide readers with one perspective of many events that occurred during this time, an approach that is often missing when reading through other accounts.
With quotes from survivors, victims, and guards alike, this book provides insight into what exactly went on in these camps—a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the Holocaust.
Written by: Peter Hart
The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War by Peter Hart is a comprehensive, detailed history of the first world war. It was written to be accessible for casual readers and people interested in military history. Still, it also provides enough depth for historians or students looking to go beyond what they learned in high school.
The author focuses on the big picture and individual stories from all sides involved in this global conflict. This book covers everything from political motivations behind countries' involvement to how soldiers lived day-to-day during wartime.
As well as covering major battles that are often discussed today, it also takes time to explore lesser-known events that shaped the outcome of this war.
Written by: John Ketwig
This is a highly detailed account of the Vietnam War from a veteran on the front lines. He wrote it in 1985 as a way to heal from what he experienced while in Vietnam.
Ketwig has a fantastic ability to make you feel like you are a part of the action. He takes you through what it was like to live there and battle daily to save your life.
It’s by far one of the best war books about Vietnam we’ve read in a long time.
Written by: Harold G. Moore, Joseph L. Galloway
Published: October 20th, 1991
We Were Soldiers Once... and Young is a book about the Vietnam War written by Harold G. Moore, one of the few surviving officers in the US Army's 1st Air Cavalry Division who fought from 1965 to 1966.
The author shares his personal experiences during one of the most savage battles in 1965.
This memoir is praised for its frankness and honesty. It helps the reader understand what it was like to be an American soldier in Vietnam. It includes anecdotes not only from himself but also other people he encountered throughout his military career.
Written by: Neil Sheehan
Published: September 1st, 1999
John Paul Vann was a General in the United States Air Force and a celebrated military leader. He fought in WWII and Korea before being sent to Vietnam as a military advisor.
Early on, he saw the lack of skills and competency in the S. Vietnam leadership and knew the war would not be won. He knew his superiors would not listen to his side of the story, so he secretly leaked his findings to the press.
A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and American in Vietnam is the story of what happened while he was up until his death.
Written by: Mark Bowden
Published: June 6th, 2017
Huế 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam explores the events of 1968. This was when the North Vietnamese troops and Viet Cong fighters launched what they hoped be their last major offensive to win the war.
Part of this campaign was the battle at Hue, which was the country's leading cultural capital. The attack started in the early hours of January 31st, and by morning, they had captured the city of Hue.
This story covers what happened during this attack by the North Vietnamese and why it was a turning point in the war.
Written by: Martin R. Howard
Published: December 19th, 2015
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the West Indies was a critical region to the British. The area was rich with prosperity, and their greatest enemy, France, wanted to make it theirs.
This book will tell you more about this region and its importance in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The story focused on the experience of the soldiers that fought there, including living conditions, military training, and other, not war-related, issues such as the impact of disease.
It’s one of the best war books about this lesser-known part of history.
Written by: Richard M. Ketchum
The Saratoga Campaign, which began in September 1777, was America's Revolutionary War turning point.
General John Burgoyne led his British Army down from Canada to take over parts of the US for the British. Ketchum writes that "Burgoyne's invasion was to be a masterpiece-a stroke which would win the war for Britain."
After several battles with American troops, Burgoyne surrendered his army on October 17th. It was the first significant defeat of a British army in North America.
It's one of the best war books about this vital campaign in America's Revolutionary War.
Written by: David McCullough
David McCullough's 1776 is a book that tells the story of the American Revolution from the perspective of those who lived it. It starts with George Washington and his troops as they retreat across New Jersey and ends with British General Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.
In between are some of the most famous battles in history. You’ll also hear about some of the other top military leaders on both sides and diplomats that played an important role.
All of this happened in just one historic year. The author makes sure we don’t forget that thousands upon thousands of Americans were fighting for liberty alongside Washington.
Written by: John Ferling
Published: April 22nd, 2007
The simplest explanation for the victory of America's War of Independence is that it was a miracle. This book examines the factors leading up to, and including, the decisive Battle at Yorktown to support this thesis.
The author explores how France provided military assistance through funding and intelligence gathering, which helped level the playing field between England and her colonies in North America.
He explains how George Washington used his leadership skills to command armies made up mostly of citizen-soldiers - farmers, shopkeepers, apprentices - into turning back British forces time after time until they finally surrendered at Yorktown in 1781.
Written by: Ben Macintyre
Published: September 18th, 2018
Who would have thought that the greatest espionage story of the cold war is about a spy who turned against his own country? This true story will get your heart pumping, make you laugh, and might even make you cry.
The Spy and the Traitor tells us how MI6 recruited Russian Intelligence Officer Oleg Gordievsky in 1974 after he had moved to England with his wife and two children.
He worked for them until 1982 when KGB agents discovered him in Moscow.
After being caught spying on Russia, he escaped to England, where he lived in a safe house for years. Today, he still lives in England, where he remains under British protection.
Written by: David E. Hoffman
Published: July 7th, 2015
The Billion Dollar Spy is a story of a high-level engineer, Adolf Tolkachev, in Russia that hands over confidential Russian Intelligence information to the CIA starting in 1978.
Over the years, his information helped shape US defense systems to prepare for a potential ground or air war with Russia.
They could keep off KGB's radar for years until someone decided to betray them, which put everyone on the project at risk.
Written by: John Lewis Gaddis
Published: December 29th, 2005
The Cold War is often discussed in terms of the clash between capitalism and communism, democracy versus dictatorship. But how did it happen?
John Lewis Gaddis’s The Cold War: A New History provides a comprehensive account of this era to answer these questions. Gaddis helps understand how what led up to these events and why they lasted for so long.
It’s one of the best war books about this period of history.
Written by: David E. Hoffman
Published: September 22nd, 2009
The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy is an eye-opening book about a side of the Cold War that you probably haven't heard much about.
It explores how both sides were always on edge and ready to launch missiles at each other.
David E. Hoffman goes into detail about how close we came to nuclear war during this time and makes it clear that there was never any shortage of people who wanted to push the button.
This book is a fascinating read for anyone interested in military history or just looking for a good non-fiction book!
Written by: Antonio J. Méndez,
Published: May 21st, 2019
The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War by Antonio Mendez is a book that will do more than entertain you. It will teach you about the ingenuity of American spies and how they were able to outsmart the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This engaging read details real-life scenarios where these tactics saved lives and allowed our country to win crucial battles against Russia.
The author was one of those heroes who helped bring down communism in Russia through his ability to think outside the box and use his creativity, along with some spy gadgets (and even disguises) he created himself, to get things done despite all odds stacked against him.
Written by: Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
Published: September 4th, 2012
No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden is an exciting book written by Mark Owen, which tells about his experience in the military. He was also on the famous Seal Team Six that conducted the historic mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
This book looks at the lives of these elite warriors, what they do every day, and some of their most dangerous missions.
Written by: Steve Coll
Published: December 28th, 2004
Ghost Wars is the story of how the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) became bogged down in Afghanistan, fighting a war on two fronts with no end in sight. Steve Coll has written a fascinating history of this conflict, beginning with its roots in the Soviet invasion and continuing to the present day.
The book is full of interesting anecdotes about what was happening behind closed doors between US, Pakistani, and Afghani governments. It also offers explanations for decisions made by all parties involved. Those decisions were not clear when they were made but make sense looking back from today's perspective.
This 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner is another one of the must-read books on war.
Written by: Lawrence Wright
Published: August 8th, 2006
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright is an eye-opening book that uses interviews, letters, and CIA documents to weave together the story of Osama bin Laden's rise.
The author starts with a history of Islam in Saudi Arabia before discussing how Bin Laden came up with his terrorist network. It explores the tensions between Muslim extremists and their foes in Saudi Arabia.
The book concludes with a detailed account of what happened on 9/11.
Written by: Jane Mayer
Published: July 15th, 2008
Jane Mayer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and staff writer for The New Yorker, has written extensively about counter-terrorism policy and the Bush administration's response to 9/11.
In this book on the topic, she argues that President George W. Bush’s policies after 9/11 created unintended consequences such as missed opportunities for al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. The guidelines also allowed for this administration's overreach of executive power and a legacy of torture at Guantanamo Bay.
Mayer speaks with former Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and other key players from both sides of the war on terror who offer insights into their thinking before and after this historic event in US history.
Written by: Dexter Filkins
Published: September 16th, 2008
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins is a book that tells the story of America's involvement in Afghanistan. It begins with an overview of how 9/11, which was planned and executed by Osama Bin Laden, led to the invasion of Afghanistan.
The author then describes his own experiences interviewing members of both sides - Taliban commanders and military officers - who have played roles in shaping the conflict over the last thirty years.
The book provides an insightful view of how the United States fought this war for over two decades with no clear path to win.
Written by: David Finkel
Published: September 15th, 2009
David Finkel's The Good Soldiers is a non-fiction narrative about the Iraq War, and it is an eye-opener to those who think they know what war is like. As a reporter in Baghdad, Finkel witnessed firsthand how these brave soldiers served their country - both on and off duty.
He brings us into their lives as we watch them struggle through incredible moments: from dodging sniper fire outside of combat zones to coming home for short periods before heading back out again. He also shows how they try to maintain relationships with family members at home while tending to those at war.
He'll also take you into their day-to-day to show how they often live in fear for themselves or those around them.
Written by: Scott Horton
Published: January 15th, 2021
Enough Already takes us into the heart of the War on Terrorism. It walks you through how the US Government funded the makings of al-Qaeda and then tried to fight against them when they focused their anger on the West.
You’ll learn how the war machine in the US government continues to line the pockets of government officials on both sides of the aisle.
It’s a fascinating look at the Afghanistan War that lasted more than 20 years.
Written by: Sandra Uwiringiyimana
Published: May 16th, 2017
This book is the story of a child, Sandra Uwiringiyimana, caught up in the ongoing fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a young girl, she came face to face with a solder that pointed a gun at her head, and fortunately, she escaped.
Uwiringiyimana will take you inside her life in a refugee camp with her family, what they endured to stay alive, and how they were able to come to America to start a new life.
Written by: Gérard Prunier
Published: December 1st, 2008
In Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe, Gerard Prunier discusses the Congo wars and the Rwanda genocide that occurred in Africa from 1994-2003. You'll also learn about other neighboring countries around Africa that were involved in fighting, which essentially created an "African World War."
These events are not as widely known as those of other wars throughout history.
However, these conflicts have had a widespread effect on millions of people worldwide over several years and will continue to do so for many more.
This book discusses how these issues came about and what might be done to improve them going forward.
Written by: John McHugo
Published: June 30th, 2014
Since the beginning of Syria's history, there has been a constant struggle for power and control. This book will show you how this country has seen the creation of new borders and governments over its last hundred years.
You'll learn about World War I, which led to French rule in Syria until 1941 and the establishment of independent Syrian republics in 1946. The book also talks about the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that created Israel as an independent state and more recent events such as Bashar al Assad taking power from his father Hafez al Assad in 2000.
Join author John McHugo on this journey through one hundred years of Syrian history!
Written by: David Kilcullen
Published: May 2st 2015
In "Blood Year: The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism," author David Kilcullen sets out to determine the factors that led to the unraveling of Western counter-terrorism. In his book, he discusses the issues and choices made by individuals involved in these events and their effects on policy decisions.
He also talks about how recent events have shaped our understanding of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism strategies. This is a serious read for those interested in political science or international relations.
It is also highly recommended for anyone who wants an inside look at what went wrong with western counter-terrorism efforts and why we must address these failures if we ever hope to succeed again.
Written by: Joby Warrick
Published: September 29th, 2015
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is not just a terrorist group. It's an army with sophisticated intelligence operations, vast resources, and the ability to control large swaths of land. It seeks nothing less than to create its state across its borders in Iraq and Syria - one that will be governed by strict Sharia law.
The problem is that while many people are familiar with this organization after their brutal execution videos, which are plastered all over the internet, there are still some things you may not know about them.
Warrick will take you through the history of this organization, from how they formed, why they are so dangerous, and why they are so difficult to defeat.
Written by: Helen Thorpe
Published: August 5th, 2014
Helen Thorpe's Soldier Girls follows three female soldiers through their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book is a collection of stories about the struggles these women faced while deployed, including being shot at, witnessing death, falling in love with fellow soldiers, building relationships with Afghani women and children, getting pregnant while deployed, and various other issues.
This book highlights how difficult it can be for any soldier who has never been deployed before to live up to the expectations of military life.
The book also gives an inside look at the challenges that arise when coming home after deployment.
It’s another one of the best war books that we think you will enjoy reading.
Written by: Loretta Napoleoni
Published: November 1st, 2005
One of the most important and perhaps least understood figures in Iraq is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Al Zarqawi has been described as a terrorist mastermind, an Islamic scholar who studied at Baghdad University before being destroyed by US forces.
He is also said to be a mass murderer and leader of one of the world's most lethal insurgent groups. What we know about him can be contradictory. First, he was on Saddam Hussein's payroll until 1998, and then his group assassinated U.S.-backed Iraqi politicians.
We also know he targeted Shi'ite Muslims and Christian churches for attack - suggesting that his extremism goes beyond nationalism or sectarianism (which may make him more difficult to fight).
In this book, Loretta Napoleoni explores Iraq’s political situation and how Zarqawi became one of the most influential leaders in the Middle East.
Written by: Thomas E. Ricks
Published: July 1st, 2006
Fiasco by Thomas E. Ricks is a non-fiction book that details the American military adventure in Iraq and how it went wrong. Ricks explains how problems arose from poor planning and a lack of strategy on what to do after overthrowing Saddam Hussein.
He believes that America did not consider all the variables at play in Iraq, such as sectarian violence or Iranian influence, which led to their failure in stabilizing the country after they occupied it for several years.
Fiasco is an eye-opening read for anyone who wants to understand why America failed so miserably in Iraq despite having unprecedented control over the information before invading.
Written by: Evan Wright
Published: June 17th, 2004
Evan Wright is a journalist who was embedded with the Marines in Iraq during 2003. He was able to get closer than any other reporter and got an up-close view of what it's like to be deployed on the front lines.
The book covers everything from training through deployment, combat operations, and finally coming home again. Evan does not shy away from showing some of the more challenging aspects of war, such as civilian casualties or how demoralizing it can be for troops when they are ordered to do things that may go against their conscience.
The book also shows us what it feels like to be young faced death every day while trying to maintain your sense of humor to not feel too overwhelmed by all that surrounds you.
Written by: Misha Glenny
In 1992, Yugoslavia was an economically prosperous country with a stable government. In just four years, it dissolved into warring factions and chaos.
Misha Glenny's The Fall of Yugoslavia follows this timeline in detail to explain what happened and why it is so essential for countries across the world today.
The book discusses some of the major players during this time, including Tito and Milosevic.
This book is considered one of the best books on post-Soviet history ever written. Read this book if you want to know more about how a country can entirely fall apart when there are no obvious warning signs!
Written by: Zlata Filipović
Published: December 7th, 1993
Zlata Filipović was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and documented her daily life in her diary. As war breaks out, she continues to report what she sees and experiences daily.
She discusses starvation, the death of family and friends, and times when she has to do everything to stay alive.
This book will give you insight into what people were going through during this time and how they managed to survive despite all odds being against them.
Written by: Hampton Sides
Published: October 2nd, 2018
In his book On Desperate Ground: The Marines at the Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle, Hampton Sides brings to life fantastic tales of heroism and personal tragedy from a pivotal battle during the Korean War.
It tells the story of a battle at Chosin Reservoir that started in October 1950. This was when Mao sent 300,000 Chinese soldiers in to set a trap for the US.
Sides takes you inside the action of this battle, which was one of the most difficult and deadliest at the time. He interviews a few of the remaining survivors and uses archival documents to take you back to this significant conflict within the Korean War.
Written by: Sheila Miyoshi Jager
Published: June 20th, 2013
The Korean War is one of the longest-running wars in history. It started decades ago, and North and South Korea are still at odds.
This book takes you inside the history of this war, why it started, and the issues it continues to create today.
Jager brings to life many of the characters that played a role in the war, including Mao, Truman, and Stalin.
It's one of the best war books with its in-depth analysis of this war and its lasting impact on the region and the world.
Written by: Bruce Cumings
Published: January 1st, 2010
Bruce Cumings is a historian and former professor at the University of Chicago. He’s written many books about the history of Korea.
In this book, he analyzes the causes and effects of the Korean War to give readers insight into how we can make sense out of what might seem like senselessness. He also discusses why America was so eager to fight when they didn't understand what they were fighting for; and sheds light on some truths about US involvement in South Korea that people don't know about today.
It's one of the best war books about this conflict in Korea.
Written by: Troy Bickham
Published: May 9th, 2012
Even though the War of 1812 is often overlooked, it had a profound significance for the British Empire and the United States.
The world was changing, and the war offered an opportunity for the US to take advantage of the current shift in powers.
In this book, Bickham takes us back to the years leading up to the war, why it was so crucial for both countries, and some of the lasting impacts worldwide.
Written by: Alan Taylor
Published: October 12th, 2010
The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies by Alan Taylor is an exciting read about the war between England and America. You'll read about the causes of the war, who fought, and how the English were able to gain so much ground over us in the beginning.
This war is often misunderstood, and Taylor shows us what happened and why this war was so important.
Written by: Martin Dugard
Published: May 14th, 2008
The Mexican War is another conflict that more recent campaigns have overshadowed, but it was one of the most important US history. It was the first war the US fought on foreign soil and, in the end, nearly doubled the size of the US at the time.
It also takes you behind the scenes of a group that fought together in this war but two decades later, during the Civil War, fought on opposite sides. You'll learn about how Grant and Lee knew each other and why their friendship was necessary for this historic battle.
Written by: Albert A. Nofi
Published: May 21st, 1997
The Spanish American War started to end Spanish colonial rule in the Americas, specifically with Cuba’s fight for independence from Spain.
It ended with Cuba’s independence and the US taking over Puerto Rico and Guam.
In this book, Nofi takes us through the reasons behind the war, how the Spanish were unprepared to fight, and how the US came out victorious. Most people think this was a combination of small battles, but Nofi details why it was a comprehensive, strategic campaign.
Written by: Brian McAllister Linn
Pages: January 1st, 2000
The Philippine War is another conflict that is often forgotten in US history. The war started after the Philippines rejected the details in the Treaty of Paris, which gave control over them to the US.
This is one of the best war books as it takes you into the fighting to find out what happened. Linn shows you how battles on each island differed and why much of what we've learned about this war is not true.