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
BornAntony James Beevor
(1946-12-14) 14 December 1946
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

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]

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.[6][7][8]

His The Spanish Civil War (1982) was later re-written as The Battle for Spain (2006), keeping the structure and some content from the earlier work, but using the updated narrative style of his Stalingrad book and also adding characters and new archival research from German and Russian sources.[9]

Beevor's book The Second World War (2012) is notable for its focus on the conditions and grief faced by women and civilians and for its coverage of the war in East Asia, which has been called "masterful".[10][11] Beevor's expertise has been the subject of some commentary; his publications have been praised as revitalizing interest in World War II topics[12] and have allowed readers to reevaluate events such as D-Day from a new perspective.[13] He has also appeared as an expert in television documentaries related to World War II.[14][15]

Overall, his works have been translated into over 30 languages with over 6 million copies sold.[16]

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 claiming he had promoted false stereotypes introduced by Nazi Germany during World War II.[17][18][19] Beevor responded by calling the banning "a government trying to impose its own version of history", comparing it to other "attempts to dictate a truth", such as denial of the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide.

In January 2018, Beevor's book about the Battle of Stalingrad was banned in Ukraine. Beevor told RFE/RL: "I must say, this sounds absolutely astonishing. There's certainly nothing inherently anti-Ukrainian in the book at all."[20]

Personal life

Beevor is descended from a long line of writers, being a son of Kinta Beevor (born Janet Carinthia Waterfield,[21] 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.[22]


Beevor was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2017 New Year Honours for "services in support of Armed Forces Professional Development".[23]

He is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,[24] 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.[25] He was also awarded an Honorary D.Litt. from the University of Bath in 2010,[24][26] and an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent, awarded in 2004.[5][27]

His book Crete: The Battle and the Resistance won the Runciman Prize, administered by the Anglo-Hellenic League for stimulating interest in Greek history and culture.[28]

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.[22][29][30] The award carried a purse of $US 100,000.[31]

In July 2016, he was awarded the Medlicott Medal for services to history by the UK based Historical Association.[32]

Beevor also sits on the Council of the Society of Authors.[33]


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. "Biography". Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  6. "Entombed in their own bunkers". Telegraph. London. 25 April 1998. Archived from the original on 27 March 2007.
  7. Judd, Alan (28 April 2002). "Every sort of assault: review of Berlin: the Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor". Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 30 March 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  8. 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.
  9. Brendon, Piers (June 24, 2006). "Review: The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  10. "The Second World War". Kirkus Review. Kirkus. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  11. Toye, Richard (7 September 2012). "Many Wars in One". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  12. Temple, Peter (21 July 2012). "Beevor unleashes a blitzkrieg". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  13. "In praise of ... Antony Beevor". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  14. Summers, Chris. "Red Army rapists exposed". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  15. "When TV Goes to War". BBC Four. BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  16. Farndale, Nigel (19 October 2014). "Antony Beevor: 'I deserved to fail history. I was bolshie...'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  17. Ignacio Villarreal. "Russia orders libraries to ditch 'Nazi' books by British historians".
  18. Walker, Shaun. 2015. Russian Region Bans British Historians' Books from Schools. The Guardian (5 August).
  19. Spiro, Zachary. 2015. Russia Bans Books on Nazi Defeat by British Historians. The Times (6 August).
  20. "Historian Beevor 'Astonished' At Ukraine Ban On Best-Selling 'Stalingrad'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 17 January 2018.
  21. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  22. "Antony Beevor: 2014 Pritzker Literature Award Winner | Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago". Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  23. "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N2.
  24. Honorary Graduates. University of Bath, 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  25. "New fellows of King's College London". 1 August 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  26. Honorary Graduates 1989 to present. University of Bath, 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  27. Antony Beevor Archived 20 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Penguin Books Ltd., 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  28. Antony Beevor (24 April 2014). "Antony Beevor - Penguin Books USA". Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  29. "Pritzker Military Museum & Library Announces 2014 Literature Award Winner - BWWBooksWorld". Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  30. "British military historian wins $100,000 prize". Boston Herald. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  31. Carpenter, Caroline (26 June 2014). "Beevor wins $100,000 Pritzker Military Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  32. James, Trevor (2016). The Historian. The Historical Association. p. 2. ISSN 0265-1076.
  33. "Council".
  34. 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.
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