Mark Urban - Author

About the Author

Mark Urban is the Diplomatic Editor of the BBC's 'Newsnight' and was formerly defence correspondent for the Independent. He has covered many wars and is remembered for live broadcasts under a Scud attack in Saudi Arabia in 1991 or while being fired upon in Kosovo.

Featured books by Mark Urban

Other books by Mark Urban

The Skripal Files The Life and Near Death of a Russian Spy

The Skripal Files The Life and Near Death of a Russian Spy

Author: Mark Urban Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2018

The Skripal Files is the explosive story of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and the new spy war between the West and Russia. The Skripal Files is based on hours of exclusive interviews Skripal gave before his near-death with number one bestseller Mark Urban, diplomatic and defence editor for BBC Newsnight. 4 March 2018, Salisbury, England. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were enjoying a rare and peaceful Sunday spent together, completely unaware that they had been poisoned with the deadly nerve agent Novichok. Hours later both were found slumped on a park bench close to death. Following their attempted murders on British soil, Russia was publicly accused by the West of carrying out the attack, marking a new low for international relations between the two since the end of the Cold War. The Skripal Files is the definitive account of how Skripal's story fits into the wider context of the new spy war between Russia and the West. The book explores the time Skripal spent as a spy in the Russian military intelligence, how he was turned to work as an agent by MI6, his imprisonment in Russia and his eventual release as part of a spy-swap that would bring him to Salisbury where, on that fateful day, he and his daughter found themselves fighting for their lives.

The Skripal Files The Life and Near Death of a Russian Spy

The Skripal Files The Life and Near Death of a Russian Spy

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/10/2018

The Skripal Files is the explosive story of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and the new spy war between the West and Russia. The Skripal Files is based on hours of exclusive interviews Skripal gave before his near-death with number one bestseller Mark Urban, diplomatic and defence editor for BBC Newsnight. 4 March 2018, Salisbury, England. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were enjoying a rare and peaceful Sunday spent together, completely unaware that they had been poisoned with the deadly nerve agent Novichok. Hours later both were found slumped on a park bench close to death. Following their attempted murders on British soil, Russia was publicly accused by the West of carrying out the attack, marking a new low for international relations between the two since the end of the Cold War. The Skripal Files is the definitive account of how Skripal's story fits into the wider context of the new spy war between Russia and the West. The book explores the time Skripal spent as a spy in the Russian military intelligence, how he was turned to work as an agent by MI6, his imprisonment in Russia and his eventual release as part of a spy-swap that would bring him to Salisbury where, on that fateful day, he and his daughter found themselves fighting for their lives.

The Edge Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End?

The Edge Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End?

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

The size of western armed forces, their stocks of weaponry and their readiness for combat are declining. Meanwhile, growing nationalism is hampering international cooperation and fuelling conflict everywhere. The west's will - as well as its capability - to shape the world is ebbing away. Beset by economic woes, western countries are continuing the post-Cold War process of disarmament at the very moment that many believe a new Cold War is starting. NATO members have compared Vladimir Putin's foreign policy to that of Adolf Hitler, newly empowered groups such as ISIS, not to mention some governments, are tearing up the rulebook of acceptable international behaviour, and the military prowess that the western world once regarded as its prerogative is being dwarfed by countries like India and China. Tightly argued by Newsnight's diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban, THE EDGE is a sharp polemic that breaks new ground in examining the workings and consequences of these geo-political tectonics, and shows just how rapidly the balance of power has been upended.

The Edge Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End?

The Edge Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End?

Author: Mark Urban Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/04/2015

The size of western armed forces, their stocks of weaponry and their readiness for combat are declining. Meanwhile, growing nationalism is hampering international cooperation and fuelling conflict everywhere. The west's will - as well as its capability - to shape the world is ebbing away. Beset by economic woes, western countries are continuing the post-Cold War process of disarmament at the very moment that many believe a new Cold War is starting. NATO members have compared Vladimir Putin's foreign policy to that of Adolf Hitler, newly empowered groups such as ISIS, not to mention some governments, are tearing up the rulebook of acceptable international behaviour, and the military prowess that the western world once regarded as its prerogative is being dwarfed by countries like India and China. Tightly argued by Newsnight's diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban, The Edge is a sharp polemic that breaks new ground in examining the workings and consequences of these geo-political tectonics, and shows just how rapidly the balance of power has been upended.

The Tank War The British Band of Brothers - One Tank Regiment's World War II

The Tank War The British Band of Brothers - One Tank Regiment's World War II

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/04/2014

From the evacuation of France in 1940 to the final dash to Hamburg in 1945, the 5th Royal Tank Regiment were on the front line throughout the Second World War. Theirs was a war that saw them serve in Africa as part of the Desert Rats, before returning to Europe for the Normandy landings. Wherever they went, the notoriety of the 'Filthy Fifth' grew - they revelled in their reputation for fighting by their own rules. The Tank War explains how Britain, having lost its advantage in tank warfare by 1939, regained ground through shifts in tactics and leadership methods, as well as the daring and bravery of the crews themselves. Overturning the received wisdom of much Second World War history, Mark Urban shows how the tank regiments' advances were the equal of the feats of the German Panzer divisions. Drawing on a wealth of new material, from interviews with surviving soldiers to rarely seen archive material, this is an unflinchingly honest, unsentimental and often brutal account of the 5th RTR's wartime experiences. Capturing the characters in the crews and exploring the strategy behind their success, The Tank War is not just the story of an battle hardened unit, but something more extraordinary: the triumph of ordinary men, against long odds, in the darkest of times.

Task Force Black The explosive true story of the SAS and the secret war in Iraq

Task Force Black The explosive true story of the SAS and the secret war in Iraq

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/2011

The book the MoD doesn't want you to read' Daily Mail Soon after British and American forces invaded Iraq they faced an insurgency that was almost impossible to understand, let alone reverse. Facing defeat, the Coalition waged a hidden war within a war. Major-General Stan McChrystal devised a campaign fusing special forces, aircraft, and the latest surveillance technology with the aim of taking down the enemy faster than it could regenerate. Guided by intelligence, a small British special forces team met the car bombers' fire with fire and accounted for thousands of insurgents.

Fusiliers

Fusiliers

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/05/2008

From 1775 to 1781, the Royal Welch Fusiliers fought furiously to uphold British rule in America. With a wealth of previously unused primary accounts, Urban tells the gripping story of one of the most pivotal campaigns in history.

Generals Ten British Commanders who Shaped the World

Generals Ten British Commanders who Shaped the World

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Mark Urban tells the story of ten exceptional generals who left their mark on Britain, the British Empire, and the world. Some - including the Duke of Wellington, Lord Kitchener and Bernard Montgomery - are names etched in the national mythology. Others are unsung heroes and shadowy presences whose achievements or failures may have had consequences quite different to those they had intended. All ten of these generals revealed either a brilliant ability or a fatal flaw. Success or failure depended largely on their ability to work within Britain's Parliamentary democracy - and against tyrants, despots and emperors who were often free to act alone. Mark Urban, the acclaimed author of Rifles and Fusiliers, is now one of our foremost experts on military history. 'One of the most intelligent books on the British Army I have ever read.' Allan Mallinson

Rifles Six Years with Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters

Rifles Six Years with Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2004

As part of the Light Division created to act as the advance guard of Wellington's army, the 95th Rifles are the first into battle and the last out. Fighting and thieving their way across Europe, they are clearly no ordinary troops. The 95th are in fact the first British soldiers to take aim at their targets, to take cover when being shot at, to move tactically by fire and manoeuvre. And by the end of the six-year campaign they have not only proved themselves the toughest fighters in the army, they have also - at huge personal cost - created the modern notion of the infantryman. In an exhilarating work of narrative military history, Mark Urban traces the story of the 95th Rifles, the toughest and deadliest sharpshooters of Wellington's Army. 'If you like Sharpe, then this book is a must, your Christmas present solved.' Bernard Cornwell, Daily Mail 'Urban writes history the way it should be written, alive and exciting.' Andy McNab

Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes The Story of George Scovell

Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes The Story of George Scovell

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2002

This work gives a compelling account of the officer who waged the intelligence battle against Napoleon's army, a forerunner to the great code-breakers of the 20th century. The French army, during the Peninsular War, used a code of unrivalled complexity - the Great Paris Cipher . Major George Scovell used a network of Spanish guerillas to capture coded French messages, and then set to work decrypting them.

UK Eyes Alpha Inside Story of British Intelligence

UK Eyes Alpha Inside Story of British Intelligence

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/08/1997

Big Boys' Rules The SAS and the Secret Struggle Against the IRA

Big Boys' Rules The SAS and the Secret Struggle Against the IRA

Author: Mark Urban Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/09/1996

The SAS describes its attitude to the use of lethal force as 'Big boys' games, big boys' rules'. Anyone caught with a gun or bomb can expect to be shot. In Big Boys' Rules: The SAS and the Secret Struggle Against the IRA Mark Urban meticulously explores the security forces' covert operations in Northern Ireland: from the mid-1970s, when they were stepped up, to the Loughall ambush in 1987, in which eight IRA Provisionals were killed. While charting the successes and failures of special operations during the troubles, Urban reveals the unenviable dilemmas faced by intelligence chiefs engaged in a daily struggle against one of the world's most sophisticated terrorist organisations. 'This is a book that needed to be written and which fulfils the essentials of any Ulster story; it expands understanding beyond fragmented jingoism and newspaper headlines.' John Stalker, Sunday Times

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