Saul David

Saul David


Saul David was born in Monmouth in 1966 and educated at Ampleforth College and Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities (History MA and PhD).

He began writing his first history book when he was twenty-five and has now completed fifteen (one edited). They include: The Homicidal Earl: The Life of Lord Cardigan (1997), a critically-acclaimed biography of the man who led the Charge of the Light Brigade; The Indian Mutiny:1857 (2002), shortlisted for the Westminster Medal for Military Literature; Zulu: The Heroism and Tragedy of the Zulu War of 1879 (2004), a Waterstone’s Military History Book of the Year; Victoria’s Wars: The Rise of Empire (2006); All the King’s Men: The British Redcoat in the Era of Sword and Musket (2012); 100 Days to Victory: How the Great War was Fought and Won, 1914-1918 (2013); Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe (2015), made into the feature film EntebbeThe Force: The Legendary Special Ops Unit and World War II’s Mission Impossible (2019) and Crucible of Hell: Okinawa – The Last Great Battle of the Second World War (2020), shortlisted for the 2021 British Army Military Book of the Year. He was Editorial Consultant for Dorling Kindersley’s War: From Ancient Egypt to Iraq (2009) and in 2013 edited Mud & Bodies, an infantry subaltern’s Great War diary and letters. His most recent book is SBS: Silent Warriors, the first authorised history of the Special Boat Service (2021).

Saul has also written three historical novels set in the late Victorian period. The Times described the first, Zulu Hart (2009), as a ‘rattling good yarn’ with ‘a compelling, sexy hero who could give Cornwell’s Sharpe a run for his money’. It was a top 5 bestseller in The Independent newspaper and sold more than 100,000 copies. Hart of Empire appeared in 2011. The third in the series, The Prince and the Whitechapel Murders, was published in 2018.

An experienced broadcaster, Saul appears often on British radio and television. His TV presenting credits include the Escape From… series for Five (2004), Sky One’s genealogy series So You Think You’re Royal? (2007) and three programmes for the BBC’s flagship history series Timewatch: The Queen’s Lover (2001), The Greatest Knight (2008) and the Queen Elizabeth’s Lost Guns (February 2009). He was an on-screen expert on BBC2’s virtual battle series Time Commanders (2004) and is a regular contributor to history programmes on all channels. Two of his books – Mutiny at Salerno and Zulu – have been made into documentaries. More recently he presented Filton’s Fabulous Flying Machines for BBC1 (June 2010) and How The Rest Got Home, a 70th anniversary programme about the British soldiers who escaped from France after Dunkirk, for Radio 4 (June 2010).  His 3 x 1 hour series on the history of military logistics – Bullets, Boots and Bandages: How Wars are Really Won – was aired on BBC4 in February 2012. In 2014 he presented a documentary on World War One horses for BBC4 and appeared in a Channel 5 film on The First Great Escape and two episodes of BBC2’s The Birth of Empire. In 2015 he featured in programmes on the Spanish Armada, the Duke of Wellington, the Battle of Waterloo, the history of Spain and the secret rescue of Ethiopia’s Jews. In 2016 he presented World War Two: A Timewatch Guide and Russia: A Timewatch Guide, and appeared in a six-part series on Adolf Hitler. In 2020 he presented Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed for Channel 4. In 2021 he appears in the Netflix series Road to Victory in Colour.

Saul gives frequent talks about military history and has spoken at all the major literary festivals. He has also lectured at the Security Service (MI5), the National Army Musuem and the Imperial War Museum. He has led history tours to India and the Crimea, and has appeared as a guest speaker on The World ship.

Saul is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Professor of Military History at the University of Buckingham and Programme Director for Buckingham’s London-based MPhil in Military History.

He lives in Somerset with his wife and three daughters.

Saul David @sauldavid66

🚨 Questions request!
We’re recording this week’s podcast on Thursday morning. If you have any questions for @sauldavid66 or Patrick, email send a direct message or hit reply below 👇

UA has been masterful thus far in attacking & defeating RU forces that have occupied their sovereign land.

As I said last week, phase IV of this fight will be tough...I've outlined the reasons why.

I remain convinced Ukraine will succeed, w/ NATO & US support. 18/18

Still not sold? Take a look at this review by @sauldavid66 from last week’s @thetimes #HistoryWritersDay22

🎂 Happy birthday to COPP!

COPP is 80 years old today ... possibly! (📸 IWM D 15273 ≠ COPP!) 🧵

Many congrats Sebag! So deserved after your stupendous effort

Could I be any happier? Many congrats to @simonmontefiore @childs_jessie @LeandadeLisle @Joanne_Paul_ @anthonysattin @orlandofiges All fabulous books

Great to hear! We’re in good company

Here is a picture of the European Parliament's @Europarl_EN vote saying that Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism. Whats maybe most interesting, is that the opposition to the vote comes mostly from far left and far right (the red bulbs). Far Left and Right are converging.

Very excited to give y’all the heads up on this, launching very soon - and also to welcome our new co-host, the brilliant John McManus. Honestly, he knows EVERYTHING about SWW/WW2! Do follow him, folks! @WeHaveWaysPod @militaryhistori @robert_lyman @almurray @holland_tom

Part of why I am confident Ukraine wins this war. The Kremlin will acknowledge soon what @TimothyDSnyder said…it’s bad to lose in Ukraine but worse to lose in Russia. Russian forces will have to shift focus and resources back to Russia. Prigozhin and Kadyrov see opportunity.

It’s been a good year for reading. Some of my favourites here:
@prior_robin @childs_jessie @AnnaLandmark @sauldavid66 @AndrewJRTaylor @PhoneyMajor @almurray @Temulkar @radiomukhers

AoH authors and contributors have made some great picks for @AspectsHistory BotY including @BenKaneAuthor @andrewlownie @dgjones @sauldavid66 @Freedland and @LeandadeLisle
This is a very handy Xmas list 😎

Congrats, totally deserved. But 7! So jealous

Insufferable boasting, but seven of my very favourite historians have picked The Siege of Loyalty House & it means an awful lot. Huge thanks @sauldavid66 @LeandadeLisle @_paullay @robert_lyman @GilesMilton1 @Roger_Moorhouse @ScrutinEye

@olliewcq interviews @sauldavid66

About WW2 and the US Marines.

Read Devil Dogs


#ww2 #militaryhistory #usmarines

Thank you, @RishiSunak. With friends like you by our side, we are confident in our victory. Both of our nations know what it means to stand up for freedom 🇺🇦🇬🇧

“Exhaustively researched, The Wandering Army explains the extraordinary transformation in Britain’s fighting capacity from the nadir of the War of Austrian Succession to the zenith of the Peninsular War and Waterloo.” @sauldavid66 in @thetimes

Good to see friend-of-the-show @sauldavid66 here at the annual conference @WWIImuseum. Some devastating stats about the intensity of the violence in the Pacific. And horrific levels of violence too. @WeHaveWaysPod