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John Costello (historian)

John Edward Costello (1943-1995) was a British military historian, who wrote about World War I, World War II and the Cold War.

He was born in Greenock near Glasgow and graduated from Cambridge University in law and Soviet economic history. At Cambridge he was secretary of the Union and chairman of the Conservative Association.[1]

He then worked as a director and scriptwriter for the BBC and LWT before writing on military history.

He died aged 52 on a flight from London to Miami, having gone to Britain for research. He was living in Miami and Manhattan.

Published works

  • The Battle for Concord (also titled The Concord Conspiracy) (1971) with Terry Hughes
  • D-Day (1974) with Warren Tutte & Terry Hughes
  • Jutland 1916 (1976) with Terry Hughes
  • The Battle of the Atlantic (1977) with Terry Hughes
  • The Pacific War (1981)
  • Virtue under Fire: How World War II changed social and sexual attitudes (US) or Love, Sex and War: Changing values 1939-45 (UK) (1985)
  • And I was There: Breaking the Secrets of Pearl Harbour and Midway (1985) with Rear Admiral Edwin Layton (his story) & Captain Roger Pineau
  • Mask of Treachery (1988) about Anthony Blunt
  • Ten Days to Destiny (US) or Ten Days that Saved the West (UK) (1991), about Rudolf Hess
  • Deadly Illusions (1993) with Oleg Tsorev about Aleksandr Mikhailovich Orlov ISBN 0-517-58850-1
  • Days of Infamy: MacArthur, Roosevelt, Churchill – the Shocking Truth Revealed (1994) about the defeats at Pearl Harbour and the Philippines ISBN 0-671-76985-5


  1. ^ his 1991 & 1994 books; publishers' blurbs