Giles Milton - Author

About the Author

Giles Milton is a writer and journalist. He has contributed articles for most of the British national newspapers as well as many foreign publications and specialises in the history of travel and exploration. In the course of his researches, he has travelled extensively in Europe and the Middle East.
 
Photograph © Niall McDiarmid

Featured books by Giles Milton

Russian Roulette A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot

Russian Roulette A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/05/2014

'It reads like fiction, but it is, astonishingly, history.' - The Times In 1917, an eccentric band of British spies is smuggled into newly-Soviet Russia. Their goal? To defeat Lenin's plan to destroy British India and bring down the democracies of the West. These extraordinary spies, led by Mansfield Cumming, proved brilliantly successful. They found a wholly new way to deal with enemies, one that relied on espionage and dirty tricks rather than warfare. They were the unsung founders of today's modern, highly professional secret services. They were also the inspiration for fictional heroes to follow, from James Bond to Jason Bourne.

Wolfram The Boy Who Went to War

Wolfram The Boy Who Went to War

Author: Giles Milton Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/02/2011

The Allied bombers screamed in from the sea, spilling hundreds of shells onto the troops below. As the air filled with exploding shrapnel, one young German soldier flung himself into a ditch and prayed that his ordeal would soon be over. Wolfram Aichele was nine years old when Hitler came to power: his formative years were spent in the shadow of the Third Reich. He and his parents - free-thinking artists - were to have first hand experience of living under one of the most brutal regimes in history. Wolfram: The Boy Who Went to War overturns all the cliches about life under Hitler. It is a powerful story of warfare and human survival and a reminder that civilians on all sides suffered the consequences of Hitler's war. It is also an eloquent testimony to the fact that even in times of exceptional darkness there remains a brilliant spark of humanity that can never be totally extinguished.

Other books by Giles Milton

D-Day The Soldiers' Story

D-Day The Soldiers' Story

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/09/2018

D-Day was the greatest invasion in history. An epic battle that involved 156,000 men, 7,000 ships and 20,000 armoured vehicles, the desperate struggle that unfolded on 6 June was, above all, a story of individual heroics - men who were driven to keep fighting, until the German defences were smashed and the precarious beachheads secured. In D-DAY Giles Milton paints a dazzling canvas of the opening day of battle, exploring the momentous events through the prism of those who took part. Sweeping from the principal architects at Supreme Command to the graphic testimonies of the men who struggled ashore on the morning of 6 June, his narrative lays bare the absolute terror of those on both sides trapped in the frontline massacres of Operation Overlord. In an overview that is both meticulous and vast, 'the longest day' is revealed as never before - less a masterpiece of strategic planning than a day on which thousands of scared young men found themselves staring death in the face - told through the eyes of those who took part, as we approach the 75th anniversary of the battle in 2019.

D-Day The Soldiers' Story

D-Day The Soldiers' Story

Author: Giles Milton Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/09/2018

Almost seventy-five years have passed since D-Day, the day of the greatest seaborne invasion in history. The outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance on that chill June morning. If Allied forces succeeded in gaining a foothold in northern France, the road to victory would be open. But if the Allies could be driven back into the sea, the invasion would be stalled for years, perhaps forever. An epic battle that involved 156,000 men, 7,000 ships and 20,000 armoured vehicles, the desperate struggle that unfolded on 6 June 1944 was, above all, a story of individual heroics - of men who were driven to keep fighting until the German defences were smashed and the precarious beachheads secured. Their authentic human story - Allied, German, French - has never fully been told. Giles Milton's bold new history narrates the day's events through the tales of survivors from all sides: the teenage Allied conscript, the crack German defender, the French resistance fighter. From the military architects at Supreme Headquarters to the young schoolboy in the Wehrmacht's bunkers, D-Day: The Soldiers' Story lays bare the absolute terror of those trapped in the frontline of Operation Overlord. It also gives voice to those hitherto unheard - the French butcher's daughter, the Panzer Commander's wife, the chauffeur to the General Staff. This vast canvas of human bravado reveals 'the longest day' as never before - less as a masterpiece of strategic planning than a day on which thousands of scared young men found themselves staring death in the face. It is drawn in its entirety from the raw, unvarnished experiences of those who were there.

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare The Mavericks who Plotted Hitler's Defeat

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare The Mavericks who Plotted Hitler's Defeat

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2017

'A magnificent story, brilliantly told. Read it!' Anthony Horowitz Six gentlemen, one goal - the destruction of Hitler's war machine In the spring of 1939, a top secret organisation was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler's war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage. The guerrilla campaign that followed was to prove every bit as extraordinary as the six gentlemen who directed it. Winston Churchill selected them because they were wildly creative and thoroughly ungentlemanly. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler's favourite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another member of the team, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world's leading expert in silent killing. He was hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men - along with three others - formed a secret inner circle that planned the most audacious sabotage attacks of the Second World War. Winston Churchill called it his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. The six 'ministers', aided by a group of formidable ladies, were so effective that they single-handedly changed the course of the war. Told with Giles Milton's trademark verve and eye for detail, Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is thoroughly researched and based on hitherto unknown archival material. It is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do and is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War. Previously published in hardback as The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

Fascinating Footnotes From History

Fascinating Footnotes From History

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/09/2016

'Giles Milton is a man who can take an event from history and make it come alive . . . an inspiration for those of us who believe that history can be exciting and entertaining' Matthew Redhead, The Times Did you know that Hitler took cocaine? That Stalin robbed a bank? That Charlie Chaplin's corpse was filched and held to ransom? Giles Milton is a master of historical narrative: in his characteristically engaging prose, Fascinating Footnotes From History details one hundred of the quirkiest historical nuggets; eye-stretching stories that read like fiction but are one hundred per cent fact. There is Hiroo Onoda, the lone Japanese soldier still fighting the Second World War in 1974; Agatha Christie, who mysteriously disappeared for eleven days in 1926; and Werner Franz, a cabin boy on the Hindenburg who lived to tell the tale when it was engulfed in flames in 1937. Fascinating Footnotes From History also answers who ate the last dodo, who really killed Rasputin and why Sergeant Stubby had four legs. Peopled with a gallery of spies, rogues, cannibals, adventurers and slaves, and spanning twenty centuries and six continents, Giles Milton's impeccably researched footnotes shed light on some of the most infamous stories and most flamboyant and colourful characters (and animals) from history.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Churchill's Mavericks: Plotting Hitler's Defeat

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Churchill's Mavericks: Plotting Hitler's Defeat

Author: Giles Milton Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2016

Six gentlemen, one goal - the destruction of Hitler's war machine In the spring of 1939, a top secret organisation was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler's war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage. The guerrilla campaign that followed was to prove every bit as extraordinary as the six gentlemen who directed it. Winston Churchill selected them because they were wildly creative and thoroughly ungentlemanly. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler's favourite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another member of the team, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world's leading expert in silent killing. He was hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men - along with three others - formed a secret inner circle that planned the most audacious sabotage attacks of the Second World War. Winston Churchill called it his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. The six 'ministers', aided by a group of formidable ladies, were so effective that they single-handedly changed the course of the war. Told with Giles Milton's trademark verve and eye for detail, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is thoroughly researched and based on hitherto unknown archival material. It is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do and is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Churchill's Mavericks: Plotting Hitler's Defeat

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Churchill's Mavericks: Plotting Hitler's Defeat

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/06/2016

Six gentlemen, one goal - the destruction of Hitler's war machine In the spring of 1939, a top secret organisation was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler's war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage. The guerrilla campaign that followed was to prove every bit as extraordinary as the six gentlemen who directed it. Winston Churchill selected them because they were wildly creative and thoroughly ungentlemanly. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler's favourite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another member of the team, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world's leading expert in silent killing. He was hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men - along with three others - formed a secret inner circle that planned the most audacious sabotage attacks of the Second World War. Winston Churchill called it his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. The six 'ministers', aided by a group of formidable ladies, were so effective that they single-handedly changed the course of the war. Told with Giles Milton's trademark verve and eye for detail, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is thoroughly researched and based on hitherto unknown archival material. It is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do and is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.

The Perfect Corpse

The Perfect Corpse

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2014

Perfect Corpse

Perfect Corpse

Author: Giles Milton Format: eBook Release Date: 02/09/2014

Good Luck Baby Owls

Good Luck Baby Owls

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

Russian Roulette A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot

Russian Roulette A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/05/2014

'It reads like fiction, but it is, astonishingly, history.' - The Times In 1917, an eccentric band of British spies is smuggled into newly-Soviet Russia. Their goal? To defeat Lenin's plan to destroy British India and bring down the democracies of the West. These extraordinary spies, led by Mansfield Cumming, proved brilliantly successful. They found a wholly new way to deal with enemies, one that relied on espionage and dirty tricks rather than warfare. They were the unsung founders of today's modern, highly professional secret services. They were also the inspiration for fictional heroes to follow, from James Bond to Jason Bourne.

Edward Trencom's Nose A Novel of History, Dark Intrigue and Cheese

Edward Trencom's Nose A Novel of History, Dark Intrigue and Cheese

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/05/2013

Edward Trencom has bumbled through life, relying on his trusty nose to turn the family cheese shop into the most celebrated fromagerie in England. But his world is turned upside down when he stumbles across a crate of family papers. To his horror, Edward discovers that nine previous generations of his family have come to sticky ends because of their noses. When he investigates further, Edward finds himself caught up in a Byzantine riddle to which there is no obvious answer . . . Giles Milton's deliciously comic debut novel is a mouth-watering blend of Louis de Bernieres, Tom Sharpe and P. G. Wodehouse with every page permeated by the pungent odour of cheese. 'The pong of ripe Limburger lingers impressively' - Observer 'Comic novels are difficult to write: any old halfwit can produce 400 pages of stinking high seriousness, but it takes a real wit to manage 400 pages of mild, fragrant good humour' Guardian

Wolfram The Boy Who Went to War

Wolfram The Boy Who Went to War

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/09/2011

The Aichele family were decent, cultured, peace-loving Germans trying their hardest not to get swept up in the madness of Hitler's Third Reich. But by the time war came, for civilians on all sides, there was nowhere left to hide. The conflict took Wolfram, the family's gentle, 18-year-old son, to the Russian Front and the Normandy beaches. It also engulfed the town of his childhood, obliterating its inhabitants in a devastating firestorm. Wolfram is a powerful story of human survival. It is testimony to the fact that even in the darkest times there remains a spark of humanity that can never be totally extinguished.

Big Chief Elizabeth

Big Chief Elizabeth

Author: Giles Milton Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2011

In April 1586, Queen Elizabeth I acquired a new and exotic title. A tribe of Native Americans had made her their weroanza-a word that meant "e;big chief"e;. The news was received with great joy, both by the Queen and her favorite, Sir Walter Ralegh. His first American expedition had brought back a captive, Manteo, who caused a sensation in Elizabethan London. In 1587, Manteo was returned to his homeland as Lord and Governor, with more than one hundred English men, women, and children, to establish the settlement of Roanoke, Virginia. But in 1590, a supply ship arrived at the colony to discover that the settlers had vanished.For almost twenty years the fate of Ralegh's colonists was to remain a mystery. When a new wave of settlers sailed to America to found Jamestown, their efforts to locate the lost colony of Roanoke were frustrated by the mighty chieftain, Powhatan, father of Pocahontas, who vowed to drive the English out of America. Only when it was too late did the settlers discover the incredible news that Ralegh's colonists had survived in the forests for almost two decades before being slaughtered in cold blood by henchmen. While Manteo, Sir Walter Ralegh's "e;savage,"e; had played a pivotal role in establishing the first English settlement in America, he had also unwittingly contributed to one of the earliest chapters in the decimation of the Native American population. The mystery of what happened to the Roanoke colonists, who seemed to vanish without a trace, lies at the heart of this well-researched work of narrative history.

Call Me Gorgeous

Call Me Gorgeous

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2010

Call Me Gorgeous! is a fun, stylish book about a very, very strange creature. It has a porcupine's spines and a crocodile's teeth, a chameleon's tail and a cockerel's feet. What on earth could it be? Uncover this mysterious and fabulous beast through Alexandra Milton's stunning collage. With spectacular illustrations and humorous text, Call Me Gorgeous! is a feast for the eyes and a puzzle for the mind. 'A debut picture book that not only deserves to be examined closely, but also stood well back from and gazed at in awe.' - Bookseller 'This book is a delightful puzzle for a small reader and ends in a good joke. On the way, there is much to marvel at in the intricate beauty of the animal world so intensely conveyed in Alexandra Milton's stunning collage.' - Books for Keeps

Paradise Lost The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance

Paradise Lost The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/05/2009

On Saturday 9th September, 1922, the victorious Turkish cavalry rode into Smyrna, the richest and most cosmopolitan city in the Ottoman Empire. What happened over the next two weeks must rank as one of the most compelling human dramas of the twentieth century. Almost two million people were caught up in a disaster of truly epic proportions. PARADISE LOST is told with the narrative verve that has made Giles Milton a bestselling historian. It unfolds through the memories of the survivors, many of them interviewed for the first time, and the eyewitness accounts of those who found themselves caught up in one of the greatest catastrophes of the modern age.

White Gold

White Gold

Author: Giles Milton Format: eBook Release Date: 13/06/2006

The true story of white European slaves in eighteenth century Algiers, Tunis, and MoroccoIn the summer of 1716, a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and fifty-one of his comrades were captured at sea by the Barbary corsairs. Their captors--Ali Hakem and his network of Islamic slave traders--had declared war on the whole of Christendom. France, Spain, England and Italy had suffered a series of devastating attacks. Thousands of Europeans had been snatched from their homes and taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Sale in Morocco. Pellow and his shipmates were bought by the tyrannical sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail, who was constructing an imperial palace of such scale and grandeur that it would surpass every other building in the world, a palace built entirely by Christian slave labor.Resourceful, resilient, and quick-thinking, Pellow was selected by Moulay Ismail for special treatment, and was one of the fortunate few who survived to tell his tale.An extraordinary and shocking story, drawn from unpublished letters and manuscripts written by slaves and by the padres and ambassadors sent to free them, White Gold reveals a disturbing and long forgotten chapter of history.

Samurai William The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan

Samurai William The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2003

In 1611 an astonishing letter arrived at the East India Trading Company in London after a tortuous seven-year journey. Englishman William Adams was one of only twenty-four survivors of a fleet of ships bound for Asia, and he had washed up in the forbidden land of Japan. The traders were even more amazed to learn that, rather than be horrified by this strange country, Adams had fallen in love with the barbaric splendour of Japan - and decided to settle. He had forged a close friendship with the ruthless Shogun, taken a Japanese wife and sired a new, mixed-race family. Adams' letter fired up the London merchants to plan a new expedition to the Far East, with designs to trade with the Japanese and use Adams' contacts there to forge new commercial links. SAMURAI WILLIAM brilliantly illuminates a world whose horizons were rapidly expanding eastwards.

Samurai William

Samurai William

Author: Giles Milton Format: eBook Release Date: 18/01/2003

An eye-opening account of the first encounter between England and Japan, by the acclaimed author of Nathaniel's NutmegIn 1611, the merchants of London's East India Company received a mysterious letter from Japan, written several years previously by a marooned English mariner named William Adams. Foreigners had been denied access to Japan for centuries, yet Adams had been living in this unknown land for years. He had risen to the highest levels in the ruling shogun's court, taken a Japanese name, and was now offering his services as adviser and interpreter.Seven adventurers were sent to Japan with orders to find and befriend Adams, in the belief that he held the key to exploiting the opulent riches of this forbidden land. Their arrival was to prove a momentous event in the history of Japan and the shogun suddenly found himself facing a stark choice: to expel the foreigners and continue with his policy of isolation, or to open his country to the world. For more than a decade the English, helped by Adams, were to attempt trade with the shogun, but confounded by a culture so different from their own, and hounded by scheming Jesuit monks and fearsome Dutch assassins, they found themselves in a desperate battle for their lives. Samurai William is the fascinating story of a clash of two cultures, and of the enormous impact one Westerner had on the opening of the East.

The Riddle and the Knight In Search of Sir John Mandeville

The Riddle and the Knight In Search of Sir John Mandeville

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/10/2001

In 1322 Sir John Mandeville left England on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Thirty-four years later, he returned, claiming to have visited not only Jerusalem, but India, China, Java, Sumatra and Borneo as well. His book about that voyage, THE TRAVELS, was heralded as the most important book of the Middle Ages as Mandeville claimed his voyage proved it was possible to circumnavigate the globe. In the nineteenth century sceptics questioned his voyage, and even doubted he had left England. THE RIDDLE AND THE KNIGHT sets out to discover whether Mandeville really could have made his voyage or whether, as is claimed, THE TRAVELS was a work of imaginative fiction. Bestselling historian Giles Milton unearths clues about the journey and reveals that THE TRAVELS is built upon a series of riddles which have, until now, remained unsolved.

Big Chief Elizabeth How England's Adventurers Gambled and Won the New World

Big Chief Elizabeth How England's Adventurers Gambled and Won the New World

Author: Giles Milton Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/02/2001

In April 1586, Queen Elizabeth I acquired a new and exotic title. A tribe of North American Indians had made her their weroanza - 'big chief'. The news was received with great joy, both by the Queen and her favourite, Sir Walter Ralegh. His first American expedition had brought back a captive, Manteo, whose tattooed face had enthralled Elizabethan London. Now Manteo was returned to his homeland as Lord and Governor. Ralegh's gamble would result in the first English settlement in the New World, but it would also lead to a riddle whose solution lay hidden in the forests of Virginia. A tale of heroism and mystery, BIG CHIEF ELIZABETH is illuminated by first-hand accounts to reveal a remarkable and long-forgotten story.