Peter Cottrell

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Major Peter James Cottrell (born 1964 in RAF West Raynham, Norfolk, UK) is an Anglo-Welsh soldier,[1] sailor,[2] writer, educator and revisionist military historian of the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War.[3]


Cottrell is the author[4] of the best-selling military history 'The Anglo-Irish War: The Troubles 1913–23' which challenges traditional nationalist interpretations of the Easter Rising; the role of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the popularity of the IRA campaign whilst supporting the view that the conflict was as much an Irish civil war as a struggle for independence from the UK.[5]

He grew up in the village of Kenfig Hill, Mid-Glamorgan in South Wales where he attended Kenfig Hill infants, junior and comprehensive schools. Between 1981 and 2008 he served in the ranks of the British Territorial Army and as an officer in the Royal Navy and British Army. During his service career he qualified as a parachutist; undertook loan service in Saudi Arabia; was Deputy Team Leader of the UNMO team based in Mostar and saw operational service in the Middle East,[6] Bosnia, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

He gained a BA(Hons) in Humanities from Wolverhampton Polytechnic, a PGCE from University College Swansea and an MA(Distinction) in History from the Open University. After qualifying as a teacher he was commissioned into the Royal Navy Instructor Branch and underwent initial office training at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth reaching the rank of Lieutenant RN. In 1995 he transferred into the British Army and ended his Regular Army career as a Major[7] in the Educational and Training Services Branch.[8] In 2008 he retired from active duty and was transferred to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers in order to pursue a career as a writer, teaching English, History and Classics as well as lecturing on the Anglo-Irish Troubles in Ireland and the UK.[9] He is a member of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association. Cottrell currently teaches at St John's Marlborough.



  1. ^ "Viewing Page 64 of Issue 54265". 29 December 1995. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Gazette Website: PDF Navigator". Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Military History Books – Author Profile: Peter Cottrell". Osprey Publishing. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ article on CIMIC operations in Iraq, 2003
  7. ^ "Viewing Page 10612 of Issue 55627". 5 October 1999. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Viewing Page 6065 of Issue 55142". 1 June 1998. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  9. ^ October 2009

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