Sir Max Hastings - Author

About the Author

Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-five books, many of them about war. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, which he quit after a year to become a journalist. Thereafter he reported for newspapers and BBC TV from sixty-four countries and eleven conflicts, notably the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam and the 1982 Battle for the Falklands. Between 1986 and 2002 he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and for his books, most recently the 2012 Chicago Pritzker Library’s $100,000 literary award for his contribution to military history, and the RUSI’s Westminster Medal for his international best-seller All Hell Let Loose. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically.

Featured books by Sir Max Hastings

Secret War Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945

Secret War Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/09/2015

Examining the espionage and intelligence stories of World War II, on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories. Here are not only Alan Turing and the codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts, who achieved their own triumphs against the Allies. Hastings plots the fabulous espionage networks created by the Soviet Union in Germany and Japan, Britain and America, and explores the puzzle of why Stalin so often spurned his agents, who reported from the heart of the Axis war machine. The role of SOE and American's OSS as sponsors of guerilla war are examined, and the book tells the almost unknown story of Ronald Seth, an SOE agent who was 'turned' by the Germans, walked the streets of Paris in a Luftwafe uniform, and baffled MI5, MI6 and the Abwehr as to his true loyalty. Also described is the brilliantly ruthless Russian deception operation which helped to secure the Red Army's victory at Stalingrad, a ruse that cost 70,000 lives. The Secret War links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant 'boffins' at home, battling the enemy's technology. Most of the strivings, adventures and sacrifices of spies, Resistance, Special Forces and even of the codebreakers were wasted, Hastings says, but a fraction was so priceless that no nation grudged lives and treasure spent in the pursuit of jewels of knowledge. The book tells stories of high policy and human drama, mingled in the fashion that has made international bestsellers of Max Hastings' previous histories, this time illuminating the fantastic machinations of secret war.

Other books by Sir Max Hastings

Vietnam An Epic Tragedy: 1945-1975

Vietnam An Epic Tragedy: 1945-1975

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/09/2018

From the best-selling author of All Hell Let Loose comes a masterly chronicle of one of the most devastating international conflicts of the 20th century and how its people were affected. `This is a comprehensive, spellbinding, surprisingly intimate, and altogether magnificent historical narrative.' Tim O'Brien Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh's warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people. Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas. No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings' readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.

Vietnam An Epic Tragedy: 1945-1975

Vietnam An Epic Tragedy: 1945-1975

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/09/2018

From the best-selling author of All Hell Let Loose comes a masterly chronicle of one of the most devastating international conflicts of the 20th century and how its people were affected. `This is a comprehensive, spellbinding, surprisingly intimate, and altogether magnificent historical narrative.' Tim O'Brien Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh's warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people. Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas. No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings' readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.

World War Two A graphic account of the greatest and most terrible event in human history

World War Two A graphic account of the greatest and most terrible event in human history

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/04/2018

Within Western culture, World War Two continues to exercise an extraordinary fascination for generations unborn when it took place. The obvious explanation is that it was the greatest and most terrible event in human history. Within the vast compass of the struggle, some individuals scaled summits of courage and nobility, while others plumbed depths of evil, in a fashion that compels the awe of posterity. Among citizens of modern democracies to whom serious hardship and collective peril are unknown, the tribulations which hundreds of millions endured between 1939 and 1945 are almost beyond comprehension. Hastings tells the story of the war in a clear and compelling narrative, ranging across a vast canvas from the agony of Poland in 1939 and the horrors of the Soviet front to the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan in August 1945. This is a book which shows vividly what war meant for individuals from allied soldiers, sailors and airmen, to SS killers, to civilians caught up in the war like British housewives who endured the Blitz and the citizens of Leningrad who suffered through a siege of almost unimaginable horror.

The Secret War Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945

The Secret War Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2016

`As gripping as any spy thriller, Hastings's achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject' Sunday Times `Authoritative, exciting and notably well written' Daily Telegraph `A serious work of rigourous and comprehensive history ... royally entertaining and readable' Mail on Sunday In The Secret War, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and extraordinary sagas of intelligence and Resistance to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history. The book links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant `boffins' battling the enemy's technology. Here are not only the unheralded codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts who achieved their own triumphs and the fabulous espionage networks created, and so often spurned, by the Soviet Union. With its stories of high policy and human drama, the book has been acclaimed as the best history of the secret war ever written.

Secret War Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945

Secret War Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/09/2015

Examining the espionage and intelligence stories of World War II, on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories. Here are not only Alan Turing and the codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts, who achieved their own triumphs against the Allies. Hastings plots the fabulous espionage networks created by the Soviet Union in Germany and Japan, Britain and America, and explores the puzzle of why Stalin so often spurned his agents, who reported from the heart of the Axis war machine. The role of SOE and American's OSS as sponsors of guerilla war are examined, and the book tells the almost unknown story of Ronald Seth, an SOE agent who was 'turned' by the Germans, walked the streets of Paris in a Luftwafe uniform, and baffled MI5, MI6 and the Abwehr as to his true loyalty. Also described is the brilliantly ruthless Russian deception operation which helped to secure the Red Army's victory at Stalingrad, a ruse that cost 70,000 lives. The Secret War links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant 'boffins' at home, battling the enemy's technology. Most of the strivings, adventures and sacrifices of spies, Resistance, Special Forces and even of the codebreakers were wasted, Hastings says, but a fraction was so priceless that no nation grudged lives and treasure spent in the pursuit of jewels of knowledge. The book tells stories of high policy and human drama, mingled in the fashion that has made international bestsellers of Max Hastings' previous histories, this time illuminating the fantastic machinations of secret war.

Overlord D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944

Overlord D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/02/2015

The famous D-Day landings of 6 June 1944 marked the beginning of Operation Overlord, the battle for the liberation of Europe. Max Hastings' acclaimed account overturns many traditional legends in this memorable study. Drawing together the eyewitness accounts of survivors from both sides, plus a wealth of previously untapped sources and documents, Overlord provides a brilliant, controversial perspective on the devastating battle for Normandy.

Armageddon The Battle for Germany 1944-45

Armageddon The Battle for Germany 1944-45

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/02/2015

`As a military historian Max Hastings has few equals.' Times Literary Supplement One of the greatest military feats during the Second World War was the transformation of the German force's activities in the weeks following the battles in Holland and the German border, where the Allies had finally inflicted the greatest catastrophes of modern war on them. Somehow the Germans found the strength to halt the Allied advance in its tracks and to prolong the war to 1945. Armageddon by Max Hastings is the epic story of those last eight months of the war in northern Europe.

Editor A Memoir

Editor A Memoir

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/09/2014

Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award.In February 2002 Max Hastings retired from his position as a 'Fleet Street' Editor. His is an enormously illustrious career which started in 1985, when he was offered the Editorship of a national institution - the Daily Telegraph - in a surprise move by its owners. This candid memoir tells the story of what happened to him, and to a great newspaper, over the next decade. It is all here: the rows with prime ministers, the coverage of great events, the daily routine. Max Hastings describes his complex relationship with his proprietor, Conrad Black. He offers an extraordinary perspective on the decline of John Major, the troubles of the Royal Family, the difficulties of dealing with lawyers and celebrities, statesmen and stars. Editor: A Memoir is above all the story of the excitement and exhilaration of almost 10 years at the helm of one of the greatest newspapers in the world.

Going to the Wars

Going to the Wars

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/02/2014

'His memoirs have ... honesty, pace and readability.' Jeremy PaxmanMax Hastings grew up with romantic dreams of a life amongst warriors. But after his failure as a parachute soldier in Cyprus in 1963, he became a journalist instead. Before he was 30 he had reported conflicts in Northern Ireland, Biafra, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East, Cyprus, Rhodesia, India and a string of other trouble spots. His final effort was as a war correspondent during the Falklands War. Going to the Wars is a story of his experiences reporting from these battlefields. It is also the story of a self-confessed coward: a writer with heroic ambitions who found himself recording the acts of heroes.

Outside Days Some Adventures With Rod and Gun

Outside Days Some Adventures With Rod and Gun

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2014

Max Hastings is best known as an acclaimed journalist and military historian. But what is perhaps less well known is his love of the countryside and its pursuits, above all fishing and shooting, which he indulges as often as he can escape his urban working environment. In this classic selection of gentle, contemplative musings, Max Hastings shares some of his favourite rural moments; tramping the snipe bogs of Waterford; dogging hedges in Hampshire and moors in Sutherland; casting a fly from Scotland to Iceland and Alaska; and shooting in India and the west of Ireland. Combining a journalist's knack for storytelling with the enthusiasm of the dedicated amateur, Outside Days is the perfect companion for anyone who revels in the freedom of the outdoors.

All Hell Let Loose The World at War 1939-1945

All Hell Let Loose The World at War 1939-1945

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/04/2012

A magisterial history of the greatest and most terrible event in history, from one of the finest historians of the Second World War. A book which shows the impact of war upon hundreds of millions of people around the world- soldiers, sailors and airmen; housewives, farm workers and children.. Reflecting Max Hastings's thirty-five years of research on World War II, All Hell Let Loose describes the course of events, but focuses chiefly upon human experience, which varied immensely from campaign to campaign, continent to continent. The author emphasises the Russian front, where more than 90% of all German soldiers who perished met their fate. He argues that, while Hitler's army often fought its battles brilliantly well, the Nazis conducted their war effort with `stunning incompetence'. He suggests that the Royal Navy and US Navy were their countries' outstanding fighting services, while the industrial contribution of the United States was much more important to allied victory than that of the US Army. The book ranges across a vast canvas, from the agony of Poland amid the September 1939 Nazi invasion, to the 1943 Bengal famine, in which at least a million people died under British rule- and British neglect. Among many vignettes, there are the RAF's legendary raid on the Ruhr dams, the horrors of Arctic convoys, desert tank combat, jungle clashes. Some of Hastings's insights and judgements will surprise students of the conflict, while there are vivid descriptions of the tragedies and triumphs of a host of ordinary people, in uniform and out of it. `The cliche is profoundly true', he says. `The world between 1939 and 1945 saw some human beings plumb the depths of baseness, while others scaled the heights of courage and nobility'. This is `everyman's story', an attempt to answer the question: `What was the Second World War like ?', and also an overview of the big picture. Max Hastings employs the technique which has made many of his previous books best-sellers, combining top-down analysis and bottom-up testimony to explore the meaning of this vast conflict both for its participants and for posterity.

Did You Really Shoot the Television? A Family Fable

Did You Really Shoot the Television? A Family Fable

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2011

The extraordinary story of the eccentric family of Britain's most outstanding military historian, Max Hastings. The author is the son of broadcaster and adventurer Macdonald Hastings and journalist and gardening writer Anne Scott-James. One of his grandfathers was a literary editor while the other wrote plays and essays, and penned an enchanting memoir of his own Victorian childhood. His great-uncle was an African hunter who wrote poetry and became one of Max's heroes. The author tells a richly picaresque story, featuring guest appearances by a host of celebrities from Thomas Hardy and Joseph Conrad to John Betjeman and Osbert Lancaster, who became Anne Scott-James's third husband. 'All families are dysfunctional', Anne asserted impenitently to Max, but the Hastingses managed to be more dysfunctional than most. His father roamed the world for newspapers and as a presenter for BBC TV's legendary Tonight programme, while his mother edited `Harper's Bazaar', became a famous columnist and wrote bestselling gardening books. Here, the author brings together this remarkable cast of forebears, 'a tribe of eccentrics', as he himself characterises them. By turns moving, dramatic and comic, the book portrays Max's own childhood fraught with rows and explosions, in which the sudden death of a television set was only one highlight. His story will make a lot of people laugh and perhaps a few cry. It helps to explain why Max Hastings, whose family has produced more than eighty books over three generations, felt bound to follow their path of high adventure and popular journalism.

Bomber Command

Bomber Command

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/09/2010

RAF Bomber Command's offensive against the cities of Germany was one of the epic campaigns of the Second World War. More than 56,000 British and Commonwealth aircrew and 600,000 Germans died in the course of the RAF's attempt to win the war by bombing. The struggle began in 1939 with a few score primitive Whitleys, Hampdens and Wellingtons, and ended six years later with 1,600 Lancasters, Halifaxes and Mosquitoes razing whole cities in a single night. Max Hastings traced the developments of area bombing using a wealth of documents, letters, diaries and interviews with key surviving witnesses. Bomber Command is his classic account of one of the most controversial struggles of the war.

The Korean War

The Korean War

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/09/2010

On 25 June 1950 the invasion of South Korea by the Communist North launched one of the bloodiest conflicts of the last century. The seemingly limitless power of the Chinese-backed North was thrown against the ferocious firepower of the UN-backed South in a war that can be seen today as the stark prelude to Vietnam. Max Hastings drew on first-hand accounts of those who fought on both sides to produce this vivid and incisive reassessment of the Korean War, bringing the military and human dimensions into sharp focus. Critically acclaimed on publication, The Korean War remains the best narrative history of this conflict.

Das Reich The March of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France, June 1944

Das Reich The March of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France, June 1944

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/08/2009

Within days of the D-Day landings, the Das Reich 2nd SS Panzer Division marched north through France to reinforce the front-line defenders of Hitler's Fortress Europe. Veterans of the bloodiest fighting of the Russian Front, 15,000 men with their tanks and artillery, they were hounded for every mile of their march by saboteurs of the Resistance and agents of the Allied Special Forces. Along their route they took reprisals so savage they will live for ever in the chronicles of the most appalling atrocities of war. Max Hastings' Das Reich is a powerful account of their progress and a true military classic.

Nemesis The Battle for Japan, 1944-45

Nemesis The Battle for Japan, 1944-45

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2008

A companion volume to his bestselling `Armageddon', Max Hastings' account of the battle for Japan is a masterful military history. Featuring the most remarkable cast of commanders the world has ever seen, the dramatic battle for Japan of 1944-45 was acted out across the vast stage of Asia: Imphal and Kohima, Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Soviet assault on Manchuria. In this gripping narrative, Max Hastings weaves together the complex strands of an epic war, exploring the military tactics behind some of the most triumphant and most horrific scenes of the twentieth century. The result is a masterpiece that balances the story of command decisions, rivalries and follies with the experiences of soldiers, sailors and airmen of all sides as only Max Hastings can.

Warriors Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield

Warriors Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2006

An exhilarating and uplifting account of the lives of sixteen `warriors' from the last three centuries, hand-picked for their bravery or extraordinary military experience by the eminent military historian, author and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sir Max Hastings. Over the course of forty years of writing about war, Max Hastings has grown fascinated by outstanding deeds of derring-do on the battlefield (land, sea or air) - and by their practitioners. He takes as his examples sixteen people from different nationalities in modern history - including Napoleon's `blessed fool' Baron Marcellin de Marbot (the model for Conan Doyle's Brigadier Gerard); Sir Harry Smith, whose Spanish wife Juana became his military companion on many a campaign in the early 19th-century; Lieutenant John Chard, an unassuming engineer who became the hero of Rorke's Drift in the Zulu wars; and Squadron Leader Guy Gibson, the `dam buster' whose heroism in the skies of World War II earned him the nation's admiration, but few friends. Every army, in order to prevail on the battlefield, needs a certain number of people capable of courage beyond the norm. In this book Max Hastings investigates what this norm might be - and how it has changed over the centuries. While celebrating feats of outstanding valour, he also throws a beady eye over the awarding of medals for gallantry - and why it is that so often the most successful warriors rarely make the grade as leaders of men.

The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes

The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/12/1986

If anecdotes are marginal notes on the pages of history, these will delight any reader who has ever been moved or entertained by the condition of the soldier. Few fields of human endeavor have inspired so many memorable anecdotes as warfare, from the Bible and Livy through Gibbon and Froissart, to the imperial wars of the nineteenth century and the world conflicts of the twentieth. This collection of is principally concerned with American and British conflicts, with, as the author says, occasional forays among the ranks of foreign armies -notably the Greeks, the Romans, and Napoleon's veterans. Hastings has sought stories that illustrate the military condition through the ages, both on the battlefield and in barracks: comic, eccentric, heroic, tragic. Here are Caesar at the Rubicon and the revolt of the Praetorian Guard; Alexander's horse and Prince Rupert's dog; the legendary Mother Ross enlisting in search of her lost husband in 1693; Evelyn Waugh as the least plausible of commandos; General Douglas MacArthur's good luck charm Charlie, a lump of lava rock carved into a Hawaiian warrior; and much more. Some of the stories will be familiar to students of military history while others are less well known, but all provide fascinating sidelights to history. An outstanding book...in a class by itself. It's a work of literature. One can't simply browse: The quality of the writing casts the spell of poetry. Although historical, the stories take on the universality of art. -Christian Science Monitor Hastings is...aware of a good story. [He] succeeds in illustrating the soldiers' experience in both unusual and specific aspects. -Library Journal BL [A] fascinating collection of military stories...the sort of book that can be picked up at intervals...[but] once tasted, is hard to put down. -Washington Post Book World Great war stories by Max Hastings, a leading military historian and war correspondent About the Author: Max Hastings is a well-known author specializing in military history. His most recent books include Bomber Command, Battle for the Falklands, and Overlord.

Overlord D-Day and the Battle for Normandy

Overlord D-Day and the Battle for Normandy

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/1985

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http://www.maxhastings.com/

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