Entries by James Holland

Germany in August 1939 – Not as Developed as Myth Would Have It

In Plauen, in south-east Germany, the men of Artillerie Regiment 24 heard the news of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact on the evening of 21st August.  ‘We were all startled,’ noted Leutnant Siegfried Knappe, ‘if not shocked.  The government had always preached against the Soviet Union, and suddenly – overnight – the countries were friends.’  He […]

From Prisoners To Captors

I’m currently shooting a documentary film for BBC 2 about the Siege of Malta in the Second World War, so have been returning to the subject about which I wrote my first work of history. I’ve also been doing a bit more research, which has been fascinating, and have just rediscovered an extraordinary story.

Dam Busters – Preface to my new book

The Dams Raid is truly an incredible story.  Really.  An amazing weapon, and 133 men and nineteen Lancasters heading out at tree-top height, at night, over enemy territory and dropping their bouncing bombs to smash the German dams.  It’s a fabulous tale of daring, ingenuity and raw courage. The idea for writing the book was […]

Jack Tanner Book 5

I’ve had a few queries recently about whether there is a new Jack Tanner in the pipeline – I suppose because for the past four years, a new one has always come out around this time. The answer is, yes, there is, and it’s underway, but will be coming out in hardback a bit later […]

P-40 Kittyhawk Found in Egyptian Desert

Peter Dye, the DG of the RAF Museum, put me onto this amazing story. Last month a Polish team discovered a crashed P-40 Kittyhawk in the Western Desert in Egypt, near Wadi al-Jadid.  Egypt is a big place, but why it was never spotted before is not clear – perhaps it was covered by sand; […]

Citroen Back & Purring

I’ve just got my Citroen back after a small time out of action.  The problems with the new engine have been resolved and more excitingly, it’s been switched form the old French 6 volt system to a much more user-friendly 12 volts.  I can’t believe what a difference this has made.  The engine is running […]

John Semken of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry

I’ve just posted up one of the most profoundly moving interviews I’ve ever done with a Second World War veteran.  John Semken was one of only two men who went to Palestine with the the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in 1940 and was still fighting with them in the spring of 1945. The other was Stanley […]


I’m glad to say that we’ve now gone live with our new updated website for the Chalke Valley History Festival.  It’s a pretty stellar line up with lots going on, so if you get a chance do have a look!

Spitfire Academy

I’ve just posted up on You Tube the promo made by Sean Davison for the Boultbee Flight Academy, a brilliant enterprise and the only place in the world where you can be trained, as a civilian pilot, to fly a Spitfire.  Hope you enjoy it!  It’s called ‘Spitfire Academy.’