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Antony Beevor
Beevor in Oslo in May 2009
Born Antony James Beevor
14 December 1946(1946-12-14) (age 76)
Nationality British
Alma mater Winchester College
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Occupation Author, historian
Spouse(s) Artemis Cooper
Children one son, one daughter
Relatives John Julius Norwich, father-in-law
Awards Samuel Johnson Prize

Antony James Beevor, FRSL (born 14 December 1946) is a British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous military historian John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for five years before resigning his commission. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and the 20th century in general.


He is a visiting professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London.[1]

He is descended from a long line of women writers, being a son of "Kinta" Beevor (born Carinthia Jane Waterfield, 22 December 1911 – 29 August 1995), herself the daughter of Lina Waterfield, and a descendant of Lucie Duff-Gordon (author of a travelogue on Egypt). Kinta Beevor wrote A Tuscan Childhood. Antony Beevor is married to the Hon. Artemis Cooper, granddaughter of Duff Cooper and of Lady Diana Cooper.[citation needed]

Between leaving the Army and starting to write, he was an account executive with the advertising and marketing firm of Masius Wynne Williams, working on campaigns for the food products firm Rank Hovis McDougall.

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.[2][3][4] Beevor's works have been used as sources and credited as such in many recent documentary films about World War II.

Controversy regarding Soviet rapes

Berlin: The Downfall 1945 encountered criticism in Russia.[5] The criticism centres on the book's discussion of atrocities, which, according to the historical consensus prevailing in Germany and the West, were committed by the Red Army against German civilians, in particular, the extremely widespread rape of German women and female Russian forced labourers, both before and after the end of the war. The Russian ambassador to the UK denounced the book as "lies" and "slander against the people who saved the world from Nazism".[6]

O.A. Rzheshevsky, a professor and the president of the Russian Association of World War II Historians, has charged that Beevor is merely resurrecting the discredited and racist views of Neo-Nazi historians, who depicted Soviet troops as subhuman "Asiatic hordes".[7] He claimed that Beevor's use of phrases such as "Berliners remember" and "the experiences of the raped German women" were better suited "for pulp fiction, than scientific research". Rzheshevsky also defended Soviet reprisals against Germans, stating that the Germans could have expected an "avalanche of revenge".[8]

Beevor has responded to Russian claims. He states that he used excerpts from the report of General Tsigankov, the chief of the political department of the 1st Ukrainian Front, to cite the incident. He responded to Rzheshevsky by saying, "Professor O.A. Rzheshevsky even accused me of repeating Nazi propaganda, when in fact the bulk of the evidence on the subject came from Soviet sources, especially the NKVD reports in GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), and a wide range of reliable personal accounts".[9]

Beevor stated that he hopes that Russian historians will "take a more objective approach to material in their own archives which are at odds to the heroic myth of the Red Army as 'liberators' in 1945".[10]

Other UK historians such as Richard Overy, from the University of Exeter, have criticized Russian outrage at the book and defended Beevor. Overy accused the Russians of refusing to acknowledge Soviet war crimes, "Partly this is because they felt that much of it was justified vengeance against an enemy who committed much worse, and partly it was because they were writing the victors' history".[8]

Beevor has stated that German women were part of a society that supported Hitler and are thus unable to identify themselves as victims in the same way as Jews, Poles and Russians.[11]


Beevor is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.[12][13] He was also awarded an Honorary D.Litt. from the University of Bath in 2010,[12][14] and an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent, awarded in 2004.[13][15]

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

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

Antony Beevor has edited books, including:

He has also contributed to several other books, including:

  • The British Army, Manpower and Society into the Twenty-First Century, ed by Hew Strachan
  • What Ifs? of American History: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, by Robert Cowley (Editor), Antony Beevor and Caleb Carr. (2003)


  • Crete: The Battle and the Resistance
    • Runciman Prize
  • Stalingrad
    • Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction
    • Wolfson History Prize
    • Hawthornden Prize for Literature
  • Berlin:The Downfall 1945
    • Longman-History Today Trustees' Award
  • The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 (Spanish Edition)
    • La Vanguardia Prize for Non-Fiction


  1. "Biography". Retrieved October 2013. 
  2. "Entombed in their own bunkers". London: Telegraph. 25 April 1998. Archived from the original on 27 March 2007. 
  3. Judd, Alan (28 April 2002). "Every sort of assault: review of Berlin: the Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor". London: Telegraph. Archived from the original on 30 March 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  4. Bernstein, Richard (26 September 1998). "An Avalanche of Death That Redirected a War". The New York Times. New York, NY, USA. p. E-8. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  5. Johnson, Daniel (25 January 2002). "Russians angry at war rape claims". Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  6. Grigory, Karasin (25 January 2002). "Lies and insinuations". London, UK: Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  7. Review of Berlin: 1945 (In Russian).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Summers, Chris (29 April 2002). "Red Army rapists exposed". Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  9. Cragg quotes Beevor (Cragg, Claudia (interviewer) (11 November 2010). "Chatting Up A Storm - Remembrance (Veterans') Day II - Professor Antony Beevor, 'D Day - The Battle for Normandy'". ).
  10. Von Maier, Robert; Glantz, David M. (1 November 2008). "Questions and Answers: Antony Beevor". pp. 50. ISSN 1559-8012. Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. 
  11. Wieliński, Bartosz (28 October 2008). "Tak właśnie było – mówi brytyjski historyk Antony Beevor". Gazeta Wyborcza.,76842,5855215,Tak_wlasnie_bylo___mowi_brytyjski_historyk_Antony.html. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Honorary Graduates. University of Bath, 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Antony Beevor, on official webpage. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  14. Honorary Graduates 1989 to present. University of Bath, 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  15. Antony Beevor. Penguin Books Ltd., 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012.

External links

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