Antony Beevor

Sir Antony James Beevor, FRSL (born 14 December 1946) is an English military historian. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and the 20th century in general.

Sir Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor in Gothenburg in 2015
Antony Beevor in Gothenburg in 2015
BornAntony James Beevor
14 December 1946 (age 72)
Kensington, London, England
OccupationAuthor, historian
EducationAbberley Hall School
Winchester College
Alma materRoyal Military Academy Sandhurst
SubjectModern history
Notable awardsSamuel Johnson Prize
SpouseArtemis Cooper
RelativesJohn Julius Norwich, father-in-law
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1966-1970
Service number483855
Unit11th Hussars

Early life and career

Born in Kensington,[1] Beevor was educated at two independent schools; Abberley Hall School in Worcestershire, followed by Winchester College in Hampshire. He then went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he studied under the military historian John Keegan, before receiving a commission in the 11th Hussars on 28 July 1967.[2] Beevor served in England and Germany and was promoted to lieutenant on 28 January 1969 before resigning his commission on 5 August 1970.[3][4]

Beevor has been a visiting professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London and at the University of Kent.[5]

He revised his 1982 The Spanish Civil War in 2006 as The Battle for Spain, which keeps the structure and some language from its predecessor, but uses the updated narrative and detailed style of his Stalingrad book. The reworked release adds characters and archival research from Germany and Russia.[6]

Personal life

He is descended from a long line of writers, being a son of "Kinta" Beevor (born Janet Carinthia Waterfield,[7] 22 December 1911 – 29 August 1995), who was the daughter of Lina Waterfield, an author and foreign correspondent for The Observer and a descendant of Lucie Duff-Gordon (author of a travelogue on Egypt). Kinta Beevor wrote A Tuscan Childhood. Antony Beevor is married to biographer Artemis Cooper; they have two children, Nella and Adam.[8]

Reception of written works

His best-known works, the best-selling Stalingrad and Berlin - The Downfall 1945, recount the World War II battles between the Soviet Union and Germany. They have been praised for their vivid, compelling style, their treatment of the ordinary lives of combatants and civilians and the use of newly disclosed documents from Soviet archives.[9][10][11]

His 2012 book The Second World War is noted for its focus on the conditions and grief faced by civilians and women and for its "masterful" coverage of the war in East Asia.[12][13] Beevor's expertise has been the subject of some commentary; his publications have been praised as revitalizing interest in World War II topics[14] and have allowed readers to reevaluate events such as D-Day from a new perspective.[15] He has also appeared as an expert in documentaries related to World War II.[16][17]

Overall, his works have been translated into over 30 languages with over 6 million copies sold.[18]

In August 2015, Russia's Yekaterinburg region considered the banning of Beevor's books, accusing him of Nazi sympathies citing his lack of Russian sources when writing about Russia, and promoting false stereotypes introduced by Nazi Germany during World War II.[19][20][21] Beevor responded by calling the banning "a government trying to impose its own version of history" like other "attempts to dictate a truth" such as the denial of the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide.


Beevor was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2017 New Year Honours for "services in support of Armed Forces Professional Development".[22]

Beevor is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,[23] a member of Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana and a commander of the Order of the Crown.[5]

Beevor was elected an honorary Fellow of King's College London in July 2016.[24] He was also awarded an Honorary D.Litt. from the University of Bath in 2010,[23][25] and an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent, awarded in 2004.[5][26]

His book Crete: The Battle and the Resistance for which he won the Runciman Prize, administered by the Anglo-Hellenic League for stimulating interest in Greek history and culture.[27]

Beevor has been recognized with the 2014 Pritzker Military Museum & Library's Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Tim O'Brien, the 2013 recipient, made the announcement on behalf of the selection committee.[8][28][29] The award carried a purse of $US 100,000.[30]

In July 2016, he was awarded the Medlicott Medal for services to history by the UK based Historical Association.[31]

Beevor also sits on the Council of the Society of Authors.[32]


Published works

He has written thirteen books, novels and non-fiction.

Book Year Type Published Other
Violent Brink 1975 Novel First published by John Murray, London
The Faustian Pact 1983 Novel Jonathan Cape, London
For Reasons of State 1980 Novel Jonathan Cape, London
The Spanish Civil War 1982 Non-fiction First published Orbis, London ISBN 9780141001487
The Enchantment of Christina von Retzen 1989 Novel Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London
Inside the British Army 1990 Non-fiction Chatto and Windus, London
Crete: The Battle and the Resistance 1991 Non-fiction John Murray, London ISBN 9780140167870
Paris After the Liberation, 1944–1949 1994 Non-fiction Co-authored with his wife, Artemis Cooper. Revised edition 2004
Stalingrad 1998 Non-fiction Viking Press, London, later by Penguin, London Translated into 26 other languages. ISBN 9780670870950
Berlin: The Downfall 1945 2002 Non-fiction Penguin, London Published as The Fall of Berlin 1945 in the US ISBN 9780670030415
The Mystery of Olga Chekhova 2004 Non-fiction (See Olga Chekhova) ISBN 9780670033409
The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–39 2006 Non-fiction ISBN 9780143037651 Spanish edition published in 2005. ISBN 9780143037651
D-Day: The Battle for Normandy 2009 Non-fiction Penguin Books, London ISBN 9780670021192
The Second World War 2012 Non-fiction W&N ISBN 9780316023740
Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble 2015 Non-fiction Viking ISBN 9780670918645
Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944 2018 Non-fiction Viking ISBN 9780241326763

Antony Beevor has edited books, including:

  • A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941–1945 by Vasily Grossman. ISBN 9780375424076

He has also contributed to several other books, including:


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  2. ^ "No. 44435". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 October 1967. p. 11533.
  3. ^ "No. 44774". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 January 1969. p. 995.
  4. ^ "No. 45168". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 August 1970. p. 8855.
  5. ^ a b c "Biography". Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  6. ^ Brendon, Piers (June 24, 2006). "Review: The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  7. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Antony Beevor: 2014 Pritzker Literature Award Winner | Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago". Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  9. ^ "Entombed in their own bunkers". London: Telegraph. 25 April 1998. Archived from the original on 27 March 2007.
  10. ^ Judd, Alan (28 April 2002). "Every sort of assault: review of Berlin: the Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor". London: Telegraph. Archived from the original on 30 March 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  11. ^ Bernstein, Richard (26 September 1998). "An Avalanche of Death That Redirected a War". The New York Times. New York City, United States. p. E-8. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  12. ^ "The Second World War". Kirkus Review. Kirkus. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  13. ^ Toye, Richard (7 September 2012). "Many Wars in One". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  14. ^ Temple, Peter (21 July 2012). "Beevor unleashes a blitzkrieg". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  15. ^ "In praise of ... Antony Beevor". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  16. ^ Summers, Chris. "Red Army rapists exposed". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  17. ^ "When TV Goes to War". BBC Four. BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  18. ^ Farndale, Nigel (19 October 2014). "Antony Beevor: 'I deserved to fail history. I was bolshie...'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  19. ^ Ignacio Villarreal. "Russia orders libraries to ditch 'Nazi' books by British historians".
  20. ^ Walker, Shaun. 2015. Russian Region Bans British Historians' Books from Schools. The Guardian (5 August).
  21. ^ Spiro, Zachary. 2015. Russia Bans Books on Nazi Defeat by British Historians. The Times (6 August).
  22. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N2.
  23. ^ a b Honorary Graduates. University of Bath, 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  24. ^ "New fellows of King's College London". 1 August 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  25. ^ Honorary Graduates 1989 to present. University of Bath, 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  26. ^ Antony Beevor. Penguin Books Ltd., 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  27. ^ Antony Beevor (2014-04-24). "Antony Beevor - Penguin Books USA". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  28. ^ "Pritzker Military Museum & Library Announces 2014 Literature Award Winner - BWWBooksWorld". Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  29. ^ "British military historian wins $100,000 prize". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  30. ^ Carpenter, Caroline (2014-06-26). "Beevor wins $100,000 Pritzker Military Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  31. ^ James, Trevor (2016). The Historian. The Historical Association. p. 2. ISSN 0265-1076.
  32. ^ "Council".
  33. ^ Clark, Nick (4 November 2014). "Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction: Helen Macdonald wins with 'H is for Hawk'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2014.

External links

11th SS Panzer Army

The 11th SS Panzer Army (SS-Panzer-Armeeoberkommando 11) was not much more than a paper army formed in February 1945 by Heinrich Himmler while he was commander of Army Group Vistula.

The military historian Antony Beevor wrote that when the 11th SS Panzer Army was created the available units at best could constitute a corps, "'But panzer army' observed Hans-Georg Eismann 'has a better ring to it'". It also allowed Himmler to promote SS officers to senior staff and field commands within the formation. Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner was named its commander. The Army was officially listed as the 11th Army but it was also known as SS Panzer-Armeeoberkommando 11 and is often referred to in English as the 11th SS Panzer Army.

After taking part in Operation Solstice (a counter-attack) east of the Oder River during February 1945, the 11th was assigned to OB West and reorganized in March 1945. Many of the units formerly subordinated to the 11th SS Panzer Army were transferred to the 3rd Panzer Army and other units were assigned to the 11th Army for operations against the Western Allies. After defending the Weser River and the Harz Mountains, the 11th surrendered to the Western Allies on 21 April.

André Marty

André Marty (6 November 1886 – 23 November 1956) was a leading figure in the French Communist Party (PCF) for nearly thirty years. He was also a member of the National Assembly, with some interruptions, from 1924 to 1955; Secretary of Comintern from 1935 to 1944; and Political Commissar of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1938.

Bombing of Normandy

The Bombing of Normandy during the Normandy invasion was meant to destroy the German communication lines in the Norman cities and towns. However, very few Germans occupied these municipalities. German troops were mostly located outside these areas. On 9 July 1944, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery demanded a massive air assault against Caen in hopes of clearing the way for an attack the following morning. Four hundred and fifty heavy aircraft participated, dropping 2,500 tons of bombs. The pilots however negated most of the effect by releasing their loads well back from the forward line to avoid hitting their own troops. As a result, the city incurred heavy damage but German defenses went largely unscathed.Allied heavy bomber missions caused serious problems for both Allied ground forces and French civilians, during the early stages of the campaign.

Sometimes friendly troops were victims of misplaced bomb strikes. In the early stages of the Normandy campaign, this often resulted from insufficient communication between air and land forces, which had to get used to working together. US General Omar Bradley remarked after the war that We went into France almost totally untrained in air-ground cooperation."

The first two strikes on Caen resulted in numerous casualties to French civilians. According to Antony Beevor in his book D-Day,

The bombings also destroyed 96% of Tilly-la-Campagne (Calvados), 95% of Vire (Calvados), 88% of Villers-Bocage (Calvados), 82% of Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), 77% of Saint-Lô (Manche), 76% of Falaise (Calvados), 75% of Lisieux (Calvados), 75% of Caen (Calvados).It is estimated that the bombings in Normandy before and after D-Day caused over 50,000 civilian deaths. The French historian Henri Amouroux in La Grande histoire des Français sous l’Occupation, says that 20,000 civilians were killed in Calvados department, 10,000 in Seine-Maritime, 14,800 in the Manche, 4,200 in the Orne, around 3,000 in the Eure. The most deadly allied bombings under the German occupation were these: Lisieux (6–7 June 1944, 700 dead), Vire (6–7 June 1944, 400 dead), Caen (6 June-19 July 1944, about 3,000 dead), Le Havre (5–11 September 1944, more than 5,000 dead)For many families who lived through the war, it was the arrival and passage of British and American forces that was by far the most tormenting experience. According to Christophe Prime, "It was profoundly traumatic for the people of Normandy. Think of the hundreds of tons of bombs destroying entire cities and wiping out families. But the suffering of civilians was for many years masked by the over-riding image, that of the French welcoming the liberators with open arms."

Durruti Column

The Durruti Column (Spanish: Columna Durruti), with about 6,000 people, was the largest anarchist column (or military unit) formed during the Spanish Civil War. During the first months of the war, it became the most recognized and popular military organisation fighting against Franco, and it is a symbol of the Spanish anarchist movement and its struggle to create an egalitarian society with elements of individualism and collectivism. The column included people from all over the world. Philosopher Simone Weil fought alongside Buenaventura Durruti in the Durruti Column, and her memories and experiences from the war can be found in her book, Écrits historiques et politiques. The Durruti Column was militarised in 1937, becoming part of the 26th Division on 28 April.

Les grands cimetières sous la lune

Les Grands Cimetières sous la Lune (1938; English: literally, The Great Cemeteries Under the Moon, English title when published; A Diary of My Times) is a book by novelist Georges Bernanos which fiercely condemns the atrocities carried out in Majorca by the Nationalists in Spain. Majorca had been secured for the Nationalist rebels by Manuel Goded Llopis at the outset of the Spanish Civil War. Bernanos states that 3,000 were killed by Nationalists and his book contains horrifying details of summary executions.

"When the Spanish war broke out, Bernanos had been living for more than a year in Palma, Majorca, in very difficult circumstances, and suffering from the after-effects of a motor-cycle accident. It was in Majorca that Bernanos watched civil war, or rather - since the island fell almost at once into the hands of the Fascists - watched terrorism eating its slow way into this little middle-class and peasant community." Bernanos in English translation from the French: "The population of Majorca has always been noted for its absolute indifference to politics. In the days of the Carlistes and the Cristinos, George Sand tells us how they welcomed with equal unconcern the refugees of either side. According to the head of the Phalange, you could not have found a hundred Communists in the whole island. 'There was killing in Spain,' you say. 'A hundred and thirty-five political assassinations between March and July 1936.' But in Majorca there were no crimes to avenge, so it could only have been a preventative action, the systematic extermination of suspects. The majority of legal sentences - I shall refer later to the executions without trial, of which there were many more - were merely for desafeccion al movimento salvador: Disloyalty to the Salvation movement, expressed in words or gestures alone." According to the historian Antony Beevor, the publication of the book in 1938, "which described the nationalist terror on Majorca, greatly strengthened the liberal Catholic reaction against the Church's official support for Franco." Writing in 1938, Richard Rees named it, along with George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and Elliot Paul's Life and Death of a Spanish Town, amongst, "the only books about Spain that can be said to be written by people with free (i.e. fundamentally honest, if often mistaken) minds."

London History Festival

The London History Festival was established by Richard Foreman in 2009. It is run in association with Kensington Central Library and is held in November of each year. It is a Literary festival that aims to bring the work of the finest historians to the widest possible audience. The festival consists of a series of talks and discussions followed by book signings.In 2009, the festival hosted talks on the following themes: Women in history (with Alison Weir, Sarah Gristwood and Clare Mulley), and Greatest battles and war reporting as well as an event on the academic history of the English Civil War by John Adamson, interviewed by the editor of History Today Paul Lay. History Today has supported the Festival since it started and became a sponsor from the second year.In 2010, the festival hosted talks by Antony Beevor discussing his blockbuster books about World War II and Roger Moorhouse who spoke about how the opening up of East German and Russian archives after the fall of the Soviet Union has changed our view of the period. That year there were also panel events on the Tudors and the Victorian era Victorian era. Tom Holland and Paul Lay also hosted an event on Rome and Carthage.

In 2011, the festival hosted talks by Max Hastings, Saul David, Helen Castor, Imogen Robertson, Alex von Tunzelmann, Simon Sebag Montefiore and more.In 2012, the festival hosted talks by Paul Lay, Kate Williams, Keith Lowe, Leonie Frieda, Tom Holland, Antony Beevor, Paddy Ashdown, Sam Willis, Patrick Bishop and more.In 2013, the festival hosted talks by Max Hastings, Charles Moore, Dan Snow, Marc Morris, Antonia Fraser, Saul David, and Artemis Cooper, and more.

NCR Book Award

The NCR Book Award for Non-Fiction, established in 1987 and sponsored by NCR Corporation, was for a time the UK's major award for non-fiction. Closing in 1997 after a period of decline and scandal, it is best remembered as the forerunner of the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize.


Oranienburg is a town in Brandenburg, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Oberhavel.

Rape during the occupation of Germany

As Allied troops entered and occupied German territory during the later stages of World War II, mass rapes of women took place both in connection with combat operations and during the subsequent occupation. Most Western scholars agree that the majority of the rapes were committed by Soviet servicemen, while some Russian historians maintain that these crimes were not widespread. The wartime rapes had been surrounded by decades of silence. According to Antony Beevor, whose books were banned in 2015 from some Russian schools and colleges, NKVD (Soviet secret police) files have revealed that the leadership knew what was happening, but did little to stop it. Some Russian historians disagree, claiming that the Soviet leadership took some action.

Runciman Award

The Runciman Award is an annual literary award offered by the Anglo-Hellenic League for a work published in English dealing wholly or in part with Greece or Hellenism. The award is named in honour of the late Sir Steven Runciman.

Previous winners have included Mark Mazower, Antony Beevor, Richard Clogg and Bruce Clark.

Seán Barrett (actor)

Seán Barrett (born 4 May 1940) is an English actor and voice actor.

Stalingrad (book)

Stalingrad is a narrative history written by Antony Beevor of the battle fought in and around the city of Stalingrad during World War II, as well as the events leading up to it. It was first published by Viking Press in 1998.

The book won the first Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson History Prize and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1999.

Tania Chernova

Tania Chernova was a Russian-American who claimed in interviews to have been a trained sniper for the Soviet forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. However, the historian Antony Beevor has questioned the veracity of her claims and described her as a "fantasist", due to the lack of female Soviet snipers at the battle. A character, played by Rachel Weisz, based on Chernova, appeared in the film Enemy at the Gates.

The 317th Platoon

The 317th Platoon (French: La 317ème section) is a 1965 French war film set during the First Indochina War (1946–54) written and directed by Pierre Schoendoerffer. The film was based on Schoendoerffer's 1963 novel of the same name.

The Second World War (book)

The Second World War is a narrative history of World War II by British historian Antony Beevor. The book starts with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and covers the entire Second World War ending with the final surrender of Axis forces.

The Second World War (disambiguation)

The Second World War was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

The Second World War may also refer to:

The Second World War (book series) by Sir Winston Churchill

The Second World War (book) by the historian Antony Beevor


Trijueque is a municipality located in the province of Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. According to the 2004 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 909 inhabitants.

This town was the scenario of violent battles during the Battle of Guadalajara in the Spanish Civil War.


Tänapäev is an Estonian publishing house established in 1999 and headquartered in Tallinn. The main subjects it publishes are translated and original fiction, history, politics, biographies and children literature. In the year 2000, Tänapäev published 45 books. It published 60 books in 2001, 70 books in 2002, 86 books in 2004 and in 2012 it published about 135 books. About 2/3 of titles are translations, 1/3 Estonian originals.

The most prominent series is called "The Red Book", which features authors like Oscar Wilde, Kurt Vonnegut, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Italo Calvino, Günter Grass, Ian McEwan, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, John Irving, Mikhail Bulgakov and many others, there are currently over 80 books in the series.

Tänapäev also publishes several popular crime authors such as Boris Akunin, Robert van Gulik, Dashiell Hammett and Lindsey Davis. The non-fiction list includes many titles on history and politics, both from recent and ancient times. Authors include Norman Davies, Antony Beevor, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Graves, Bill Bryson and many others.

In recent years Tänapäev has been the biggest publisher of Estonian poetry. “My First Book” is a popular series of original Estonian children's literature and there is also a separate series for young adult readers. Prominent series also include albums of old postcards and photos of landmarks in Estonia, “Golden Biographies” focuses on lives of culturally or historically significant persons.

Tänapäev is the main organizer of literature competitions in Estonia. It is organizing competitions for children and young adult books and also a novel competitions, which has been held twice so far.

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