Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, the past President of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, is one of Britain’s leading military historians, and a well-reviewed author, broadcaster and commentator on a wide range of intelligence and military historical subjects.
His books include the best-selling, Military Intelligence Blunders, (found by the CIA at Osama bin Laden’s bedside), Blindfold and Alone (‘the definitive book on the WW1 executions’, The Guardian) and A Brief History of the Cold War. His The Puppet Masters, a history of intelligence, was shortlisted for the Westminster Gold Medal. An American Coup d’Etat – Who Really Killed JFK? was published in 2013 to critical acclaim in the US. He has also written the Imperial War Museum’s History of the First World War. His books have been translated into 6 languages, including Japanese and Turkish. On Intelligence (US title: The Secret State 2017) has been well reviewed in the USA, including national radio. He also writes articles and broadcasts worldwide on defence subjects and is a regular radio commentator for the BBC World Service.
He has been a frequent broadcaster for BBC television and radio, giving live commentary for the annual Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph for BBC television, with David Dimbleby, as well as covering events such as the ‘Falklands 25th Anniversary’ celebration (with Huw Edwards.) He has been the presenter of television programmes for several film companies, including the award-nominated BBC’s What If? television series and Fulcrum TV’s 1945.
He is an Archives Bi-Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge and was for many years an Associate Fellow and member of the Royal United Services Institute Editorial Board.
Since retiring from the Army he has travelled and lectured extensively, including leading over 150 battlefield tours and giving public presentations on a wide range of military subjects. He has trained the Palestinian Police in Gaza on intelligence for counter-terrorism and improvised explosive devices for the EU, plus numerous other training contracts for the UN in the Balkans, the Swiss General Staff and the UNDP. He supervised Cranfield University’s Intelligence module for the Global Security MSc for ten years and has been a visiting university lecturer for a number of universities as well as international corporations such as Shell, Reuters, IBM, UBS and the City of London.
After initial service as an infantry officer with the Sherwood Foresters, during his 25 years in the Intelligence Corps and as a Special Forces Operations officer, he saw active service in the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Arabia, and Northern Ireland as well as the devious and dangerous political jungles of Whitehall and NATO.
John Hughes-Wilson lives North Cyprus.