Geez i actually fit into this thread seamlessly.
I own or have seen about half of the movies that Jack has listed.
I have to add a few more for you Bren:
Empire of the Sun
A Bridge Too Far
Battle of Britain
and one of my favorites,
Some excellent stuff!
Memphis Belle: How can you not like a true story about the guys flying B-17s and one, in particular, which actually made it through 25 missions. Remarkable.
Empire of the Sun: A really quirky movie that fascinated me. Was stunned to realize that the young boy who endured a Japanese concentration camp grew up to be Batman (Christian Bale).
A Bridge too Far. Tough one for me to watch because Operation Market Garden was such a debacle.
Battle of Britain: I have it on Blu-ray. Wonderful to watch those beautiful Spitfires soar. "Never have so many owed so much to so few." Never have truer words been spoken. Truly their "finest hour."
Midway: OOO! OOO! OOO! One of my absolute FAVORITES! Not only because it's a good flick, but because it is about the single, most remarkable, most pivotal battle of the Pacific War. And, that's saying a lot because damn near every battle of the Pacific war was remarkable.
Ya gotta remember that, from December 1941 to May 1942, the Japanese ran rampant over the far East. Nothing but victory after victory, gobbling up territory after territory and country after country.
But, in May, at the Battle of the Coral Sea, which was a tactical loss (they sank the big carrier Lexington and we sank their small carrier Shoho) but a strategic victory (we stopped them from invading and occupying Port Moresby in New Guinea which would have cut our supply lines to Australia and set up the invasion of that country), for the first time the Japanese were stopped.
Then just one month later, in the Battle of Midway, through the most remarkable combination of fantastic code breaking, incredible repair work, courageous self sacrifice, and a ton of blind dumb luck, we sank all 4 of their large carriers (The Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu), all of which participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor (the Zuikaku and Shokaku were not there, the Zuikaku awaiting a replacement air crew and the Shokaku having been damaged a month earlier in the Battle of the Coral Sea). From that time until the end of the war, Japan was on the defensive.
Incredible repair work: The USS Yorktown had limped back to Pearl Harbor after being seriously damaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Estimates were it would take a couple of months to repair her. Code breakers had ingeniously confirmed that the imminent Japanese attack was targeting the island of Midway and the Yorktown was needed for the battle. Repair crews worked 24/7 and 3 days after she arrived in Pearl Harbor she was on her way to Midway with repair crews still working on board.
Courageous self sacrifice: 16 of 16 torpedo bombers from the USS Hornet's Torpedo 8 were lost in an attack that scored no hits but actually enabled the dive bombers to successfully press their attack unopposed by the Japanese fighter protection. The fighters were down at low altitude after destroying the torpedo bombers and couldn't stop the dive bombers. Of the 32 crew members in Torpedo 8, only one, Ensign George Gay, survived. He had a front row seat for the entire battle, floating in the water, hiding under a seat cushion so the enemy wouldn't spot him.
There are a number of good books about the battle, but one that pops into mind is Walter Lord's Incredible Victory. Incredible indeed!