James Holland with the last surviving pilot from the Dambusters Raid Fred Sutherland in 2010.
James Holland with Dan Snow at the Chalke Valley History Festival in 2013.
Chafyn Grove School where James Holland studied.
King's Bruton where James Holland studied.
Durham University where James Holland received a degree.
James Holland on Malta in 2013.
James Holland with the Chalke Valley history festival co-chair James Heneage.
James Holland with the colleague on Channel 4’s film to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Great Britain.
James Holland at General Montgomery’s tactical headquarters.
James Holland with German military aviator Gunther Rall.
James Holland and former Luftwaffe fighter pilot Hans Ekkehard Bob. Photo by BBC photograph Maya Vision.
James Holland in the John Oxley Library Reading Room studying the Charles Roland Williams Papers.
James Holland visits Normandy Omaha Beach.
(The extraordinary drama of Malta's WWII victory against i...)
The extraordinary drama of Malta's WWII victory against impossible odds told through the eyes of the people who were there. Fortress Malta follows the story through the eyes of those who were there: young men such as twenty-year-old fighter pilot Raoul Daddo-Langlois, anti-aircraft gunner Ken Griffiths, American Art Roscoe and submariner Tubby Crawford - who served on the most successful Allied submarine of the Second World War; cabaret dancer-turned RAF plotter Christina Ratcliffe, and her lover, the brilliant and irrepressible reconnaissance pilot, Adrian Warburton. Their stories and others provide extraordinary first-hand accounts of heroism, resilience, love, and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of World War II.
(Joss Lambert has always been a loner, constrained by a se...)
Joss Lambert has always been a loner, constrained by a secret from his past, until he finds friendship and solace firstly with Guy Liddell, a friend from school, and then with Guy's family, who welcome him into their farmhouse home. Joss increasingly comes to depend upon the Liddells and treats Alvesdon Farm as the one place where he feels not only appreciated but also truly happy. The idyll cannot last. With war looming, Joss is forced to confront his past.
(This is the second book in the Mediterranean war trilogy....)
This is the second book in the Mediterranean war trilogy. This book looks afresh at the conflict in Northern Africa, focusing for the first time on the involvement of the US and the way this early collaboration to defeat shaped the whole Anglo-American axis for the rest of the war in Europe. As this book shows, the development of a tactical air force - principles that are still used to this day - were founded over the skies of North Africa. From the heat and dust of the Western Desert to the mud and mountains of Northern Tunisia, this book charts the extraordinary first days of an Alliance that has worked together ever since.
(A Pair of Silver Wings follows the experiences of a young...)
A Pair of Silver Wings follows the experiences of a young Spitfire Pilot over the skies of England in 1941, through the dark days of the Siege of Malta to the bitter partisan struggle in Italy. It is a heartbreaking story of friendship, love, and loss in WW2, this is one man's journey from idealistic young Spitfire pilot to a traumatized veteran of Malta and Italy. 50 years on he embarks on a painful quest for truth, hope, and redemption.
(This is the story of an extraordinary generation of young...)
This is the story of an extraordinary generation of young men, mostly British, who came of age in the Second World War. These young men and women found themselves facing life-threatening danger and the kind of responsibility few would be prepared to shoulder today. Many of these young men never returned home and those who did face insurmountable challenges assimilating back into civilian life.
(Italy's Sorrow by James Holland is the first account of t...)
Italy's Sorrow by James Holland is the first account of the conflict there to tell the story from all sides and to include the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike. Offering extensive original research, it weaves together the drama and tragedy of that terrible year, including new perspectives and material on some of the most debated episodes to have emerged from World War II.
(April 1940. The Nazi Blitzkrieg delivers a hammer blow to...)
April 1940. The Nazi Blitzkrieg delivers a hammer blow to defenseless Norway. The few remaining British troops retreat in the fact of a remorseless German advance. For Sergeant Jack Tanner and his stranded patrol, it is a desperate rearguard action. With the odds stacked against them and the temperature dropping fast, they are not only fighting for their lives but also to protect a mysterious Norwegian professor in whose hands lies the outcome of the war. To survive, Tanner must outfox and outfight the pursuing Nazis who are desperate for the secrets the Norwegian holds. They will stop at nothing to secure them.
(May 1940. Sergeant Jack Tanner has been posted to a train...)
May 1940. Sergeant Jack Tanner has been posted to a training company on the south-east coast of England where the mysterious deaths of two Polish refugees lead him to believe there has been foul play. As the Germans launch their Blitzkrieg in Europe, the entire company are sent to join the battle to stop Hitler's drive across the Low Countries. Pitted against the die-hard Nazis of the SS 'Death's Head' Division and the great panzer commander, General Rommel himself, it is left to Tanner to get his men back to Allied lines. But if they are to have any hope of surviving the mayhem of Dunkirk, Tanner must first deal with an enemy far more deadly than the Germans.
(The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an ext...)
The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an extraordinary summer when the fate of the world hung by a thread. Historian James Holland has now written the definitive account of those months based on extensive new research from around the world including thousands of new interviews with people on both sides of the battle. If Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could survive, but thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the defiance of a new Prime Minister, Britain refused to give in. The Battle of Britain tells this epic World War II story in a fresh and compelling voice.
(May 1941. In the face of a German invasion, Sergeant Jack...)
May 1941. In the face of a German invasion, Sergeant Jack Tanner is embroiled in a deadly game of survival that will test his resolve more than ever before. Not only has he fallen out with his commander but he has mortally offended Alopex, a powerful local chieftain. As if that wasn't enough, Tanner and the rest of his battalion are caught in a vicious close-quarter fighting against crack German paratroopers. Before long, they find themselves in a bitter retreat to the mountainous interior where only one man can help them - Alopex. Although whether he will come to their rescue or not remains to be seen.
(August 1942. North Africa. The desert war hangs in the ba...)
August 1942. North Africa. The desert war hangs in the balance. When the commander of the Eighth Army, General Gott, is killed, it's clear that foul play is at work. An impenetrable Axis spy circuit is compromising any hope the Allies have of stemming the Nazi tide. Jack Tanner, recovering from wounds in a Cairo hospital, is astonished to receive a battlefield commission that will propel him into a very different world when he returns to action.
(This gripping true-to-life story looks at the battle of D...)
This gripping true-to-life story looks at the battle of Dunkirk, one of the most dramatic events of World War II. Friday, May 24, 1940: Private Johnny Hawke, aged 16, awakens to artillery fire. Hours later, Stukas scream down from the sky. Messerschmitt fighters roar towards his regiment. Trucks burst into flames. Now men and mules lay dead and dying, severed limbs twisted grotesquely as blood soaks the cobbled streets. Young Private Hawke just wants to do his duty and serve his country. But as he and his fellow soldiers prepare to stop the German advance, there's only one question on everyone's lips. How will they survive? This gripping true-to-life story looks at the battle of Dunkirk, one of the most dramatic events of World War II.
(The night of May 16, 1943: Nineteen specially adapted Lan...)
The night of May 16, 1943: Nineteen specially adapted Lancaster bombers take off from an RAF airfield in Lincolnshire, England. Their mission is to destroy three hydroelectric dams that power the Third Reich’s war machine. First, the men had to fly extremely low, at night, and in tight formation over miles of enemy-occupied territory. Then they had to drop with pinpoint precision a complicated spinning cylindrical bomb that had never before been used operationally. More than that, the entire operation had to be put together in less than ten weeks in order to hit the dams when water levels were still high enough for the bombs to be effective. The visionary aviation engineer Barnes Wallis hadn’t even drawn up plans for his concept when the bouncing bomb was green-lighted. What followed was an incredible race against time that, despite numerous setbacks, became one of the most successful and significant bombing raids of all time.
(See World War II up close, and get thrown deep into the h...)
See World War II up close, and get thrown deep into the heart—and horror—of Britain's darkest, and finest, hour Pilot officer Archie Jackson, 19, is in control of the RAF's newest fighter aircraft, a Supermarine Spitfire. Now he has the Luftwaffe in his sights and only one thing matters: defending Britain. Suddenly planes are falling from the sky, exploding and spiraling into the English Channel. France has fallen and the swastika flies over Occupied Europe. Only these young pilots barely out of boyhood stand between Britain and a Nazi invasion.
(Sicily, 1943 - to fight the Nazi rearguard, old foes like...)
Sicily, 1943 - to fight the Nazi rearguard, old foes like the Mafia must become new friends for Jack Tanner and his crew. July 1943: with North Africa secured, the Allies launch an invasion of Sicily, and the 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Rangers are in the vanguard of the assault on the Italian beaches. But promotion to Company Commander has brought fresh trouble for Jack Tanner. In the bitter fighting that follows, Tanner witnesses a new reality.
(James Holland, one of the leading young historians of Wor...)
James Holland, one of the leading young historians of World War II, has spent over a decade conducting new research, interviewing survivors, and exploring archives that have never before been so accessible to unearth forgotten memoirs, letters, and official records. In The Rise of Germany 1938–1941, Holland draws on this research to reconsider the strategy, tactics, and economic, political, and social aspects of the war. The Rise of Germany is a masterful book that redefines our understanding of the opening years of World War II.
(In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers...)
In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War. Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.
(Following the acclaimed first volume of his trilogy, The ...)
Following the acclaimed first volume of his trilogy, The Rise of Germany, and offering frank assessments of successes and failures on both sides, James Holland has crafted a masterful and gripping narrative of the events that ultimately determined the outcome of World War II. By June 1941, Germany’s war machine looked to be unstoppable. The Nazi blitzkrieg had taken Poland, France, and Holland with shocking speed. The Luftwaffe had bombed London, while German U-boats wrought havoc on Allied shipping on the Atlantic. And yet, as James Holland shows at the start of The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943 the second volume in his magisterial narrative of World War II in the West cracks were already appearing in Germany’s apparent invincibility.
(The Battle of Britain is an accessible, insightful and au...)
The Battle of Britain is an accessible, insightful and authoritative account of the most famous aerial battle in history. Historian, author and broadcaster James Holland draws on the latest research and interviews with participants to bring color, detail and a fresh perspective to the story. Inside, you'll discover how tactics, organisation and new technologies were brought to bear, about the different challenges faced by both the RAF and the Luftwaffe, and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of the airmen engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the war.
(During the third week of February 1944, the combined Alli...)
During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later. Big Week is both an original contribution to WWII literature and a brilliant piece of narrative history, recapturing a largely forgotten campaign that was one of the most critically important periods of the entire war.
(In this book, you'll find out how Hitler quickly turned G...)
In this book, you'll find out how Hitler quickly turned Germany into a war machine: the recruitment of key allies, control over German media, the significance of Poland and military attitudes towards the power of Germany's armies. Inside, you'll discover why the Germans allied with the Soviet Union, why it was so easy for Germany to invade Poland, the propaganda war in Germany, France, and Britain, why the German approach to war was called Bewegungskrieg, the power of radio, and much more.
(This is an accessible, insightful and authoritative accou...)
This is an accessible, insightful and authoritative account of the naval campaign that kept supply lines open and enabled Britain to continue to fight. Inside, you'll discover exactly what happened in the Battle of the Atlantic. Ships, submarines, and aircraft fought a bitter war that saw the deaths of over 100,000 servicemen and civilians.
(Why was North Africa such a key component in Britain's su...)
Why was North Africa such a key component in Britain's success over Mussolini and his Italian Army? How did they blunt Italy's actions? What challenges did they face? And what new technologies were brought to bear? When fascist dictator Mussolini declared war against Britain he was taking a huge risk. He hoped to create a new Roman Empire across the Mediterranean and into Africa. And with Hitler and the Nazi's by his side he had a great chance of doing so - but what was it that stopped him? Discover the answers and more inside James Holland's The Desert War, the thrilling and accessible account that explains what happened, who the key figures were and the tactics, triumphs, and failures on both sides.
(The Eastern Front 1941-1944 is an authoritative and acces...)
The Eastern Front 1941-1944 is an authoritative and accessible introduction to the brutal confrontation between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union along a 1,200-mile front. In this book, you'll discover how tactics, organization and new technologies were brought to bear, about the different challenges faced by both the Axis and the Allies, and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of those engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the war.
James Holland studied at Chafyn Grove School, Salisbury, and King's School, Bruton. Then he studied at Durham University and received there a degree in history in 1992.
After university, James Holland worked for several London publishing houses. James has presented and written programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, History and Discovery. Documentaries for BBC include Battle of Britain and Dam Busters, as well as the Battle for Malta, Cold War, Hot Jets, and Normandy 44.
He has also written works of historical fiction, five of which feature the heroic Jack Tanner, a soldier of the Second World War. He wrote a three-volume new history of the Second World War in the West and a book about the Defence of the Admin Box in Burma.
He regularly appears on television and radio and contributes reviews and articles in national newspapers and magazines. He interviewed veterans of the Second World War and these interviews are available at the Imperial War Museum.
(In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers...)2016
(Why was North Africa such a key component in Britain's su...)2018
(Following the acclaimed first volume of his trilogy, The ...)2017
(James Holland, one of the leading young historians of Wor...)2015
(Joss Lambert has always been a loner, constrained by a se...)2004
(In this book, you'll find out how Hitler quickly turned G...)2018
(See World War II up close, and get thrown deep into the h...)2012
(A Pair of Silver Wings follows the experiences of a young...)2006
(Italy's Sorrow by James Holland is the first account of t...)2008
(The Eastern Front 1941-1944 is an authoritative and acces...)2018
(During the third week of February 1944, the combined Alli...)2018
(This is an accessible, insightful and authoritative accou...)2018
(The night of May 16, 1943: Nineteen specially adapted Lan...)2012
(The extraordinary drama of Malta's WWII victory against i...)2003
(The Battle of Britain is an accessible, insightful and au...)2017
(Sicily, 1943 - to fight the Nazi rearguard, old foes like...)2013
(This is the story of an extraordinary generation of young...)2007
(The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an ext...)2010
(This gripping true-to-life story looks at the battle of D...)2011
(This is the second book in the Mediterranean war trilogy....)2005
(August 1942. North Africa. The desert war hangs in the ba...)2011
(April 1940. The Nazi Blitzkrieg delivers a hammer blow to...)2008
(May 1940. Sergeant Jack Tanner has been posted to a train...)2009
(May 1941. In the face of a German invasion, Sergeant Jack...)2010
In August 2014, Holland was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
James Holland is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Research Fellow at Swansea University. He is also a member of the British Commission for Military History and the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
James Holland is an avid cricketer and plays for both Chalke Valley CC and the Authors CC.
James Holland is married to Rachel Holland. They have two children and live in Wiltshire.