Major Peter James Cottrell (born 1964 in RAF West Raynham, Norfolk, UK) is an Anglo-Welsh soldier, sailor, writer, educator and revisionist military historian of the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War.
Cottrell is the author 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.
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, 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 in the Educational and Training Services Branch. 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. He is a member of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association. Cottrell currently teaches at St John's Marlborough.
- The Militarisation of Policing in Ireland: 1913–22 (Open University MA Thesis 2002)
- Myth, the Military and Anglo-Irish Policing 1913–1922 (British Army Review No 133, Winter 2003)
- The Anglo-Irish War, The Troubles, 1913–23 (Osprey Publishing 2006) ISBN 978-1-84603-023-9
- The Irish Civil War 1922–23 (Osprey Publishing 2008) ISBN 978-1-84603-270-7
- The War for Ireland 1913–23 – Editor and principal contributing author (Osprey Publishing 2009) ISBN 978-1-84603-996-6
- I Am Soldier – Contributing author (Osprey Publishing 2009) ISBN 1-84603-515-5
- Lies, damned lies and statistics: a British perspective of policing the Anglo-Irish War. Paper delivered to the Military History Society of Ireland/National Museum of Ireland Conference marking the ninetieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Anglo-Irish War, Dublin, October 2009
- England's Janissary (Robert Hale Ltd, February 2012) ISBN 0-7090-9330-6 – An historical novel set during the Anglo-Irish War
- Wyrdegrove (Peter James Cottrell, Amazon Kindle edition 2012) ASIN B008TQ0QK6 – An historical novel with a fantasy twist set in Afghanistan and the English Civil War
- The Lambs (Robert Hale Ltd, February 2014) ISBN 978-0-7198-1183-8 – The prequel to England's Janissary set during The Great War
- "Viewing Page 64 of Issue 54265". London-gazette.co.uk. 29 December 1995. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Gazette Website: PDF Navigator". London-gazette.co.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Military History Books – Author Profile: Peter Cottrell". Osprey Publishing. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- article on CIMIC operations in Iraq, 2003
- "Viewing Page 10612 of Issue 55627". London-gazette.co.uk. 5 October 1999. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Viewing Page 6065 of Issue 55142". London-gazette.co.uk. 1 June 1998. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- October 2009