I have been writing non-fiction Second World War Kriegsmarine history books since 2000; my first book published by Pen & Sword in 2002.
It’s a subject that has always interested me – not just military history but the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS in particular. This probably stems from both my Grandfathers; one of whom fought in the Australian Army during World War One at Gallipoli, the Somme and Paschendale to name but three, the other in the Royal Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy during World War Two in the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Growing up in New Zealand there were many veterans of that conflict that lived nearby and the war still seemed very raw to most New Zealanders even 30 years after its end. However, rather than be part of the ‘black hat/white hat’ approach to Germans and other former enemies, both of my Grandfathers taught me that war is a very complex and personal experience and that most events were ‘shades of grey’. It is rarely a simple ‘good guy versus bad guy’ thing – regardless of whether the cause that soldiers serve is a just one or not. That lesson stays with me today.
The desire to write about the U-boat service first began when I was living near Brest in Brittany, France. I am a scuba diving instructor and spent a great deal of time diving on wrecks left behind by the Kriegsmarine, all in the shadow of the huge U-boat bunkers created in Brest’s military harbour. Encouraged by authors Jon Gawne and Robert Strauss I submitted the proposal for the ‘First U-Boat Flotilla’…and it went from there.
It has since been my privilege to write about many aspects of the Wehrmacht and also finish my first book on Allied forces about the remarkable men of Operation Colossus and the birth of the British Airborne.
Some of my books have been translated into French, German, Finnish, Spanish, Dutch, Czech, Lithuanian, Japanese and Polish.