David Howarth (28 July 1912 – 2 July 1991) was a British naval officer, boatbuilder, historian and author. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he was a radio war correspondent for the BBC at the start of World War II. Howarth joined the Navy after the fall of France. He became involved in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and ultimately in the Shetland Bus, an SOE operation manned by Norwegians running a clandestine route between Shetland and Norway. He was second in command at the Naval base in Shetland. For his successful efforts in the espionage of the German presence in Norway, he received King Haakon VII's Cross of Liberty. The King also made Howarth a Chevalier First Class in the Order of St Olav.
After the war, he wrote several books about the war in general and of specific events in the war.
Howarth died on 2 July 1991 at the age of 78. Following his request before death, his ashes were buried at sea in Lunna Voe, Shetland, near Lunna House, the first base of the Shetland Bus operation.
The Sledge Patrol: One of the Greatest Adventure Stories of World War II (1951).
The Shetland Bus: A WWII Epic of Escape, Survival, and Adventure (1951), together with "None but the brave" by Frithjof Sælen, later made into a movie called Shetlandsgjengen (aka. "Suicide Mission" in the USA). (Also published as Across to Norway)
Across to Norway (1952). (Also published as The Shetland Bus).
Thieves' Hole (1954).
We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance (1955), later made into a movie called Nine Lives (Norwegian: Ni Liv, 1957)
Dawn of D Day (1959) An account of the landing in Normandy, with many observations from participants.
The Shadow of the Dam (1961).
The Desert King: A Life Of Ibn Saud (1964).
Waterloo: A Near Run Thing (1968), analysis of the Battle of Waterloo, from the reports of those who fought it. (Published as "Waterloo: Day of Battle" in the USA (1968)).
Trafalgar: The Nelson Touch (1969), account of the Battle of Trafalgar, between the navies of France and Great Britain in 1805.
Sovereign of the Seas (1974), the story of British sea power.(pub. William Collins)
The Greek Adventure (1976), narrative describing the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s.
1066: The Year of the Conquest (1977), a historical narrative of the personalities and events of 1066 AD and how they changed Britain.
"The Dreadnoughts" (1979), A look at the development and use of battleship technology in World War 1.
Tahiti a Paradise Lost (1983), the decline of Tahiti, from its discovery by H.M.S.Dolphin in June 1767 (pub. Harvill Press)
Nelson: The Immortal Memory (1988), written with his son Stephen Howarth. It is a comprehensive biography of Britain's most famous Admiral.