Colin Smith (journalist)

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Colin Smith is a British foreign affairs journalist and author.

Life and career[edit]

Smith was born in Birmingham, England in 1944. For 26 years he worked for The Observer newspaper, of which he was appointed an Assistant Editor, mainly reporting on wars and trouble spots from all over the world starting, in 1971, with the Bengali uprising in what was then East Pakistan. He visited Cambodia and Vietnam during the closing stages of American withdrawal and remained in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) after Vietnamese communist forces entered the city. Later he mainly covered the Middle East, based first in Nicosia, then Cairo and Jerusalem and spending a considerable amount of time (1975–84) in Lebanon.

He reported on the first Gulf War, entering Kuwait City with the US Marines, the siege of Sarajevo, and the massacres in Rwanda. He has twice been named International Reporter of the Year in the British press awards and once runner-up. His books include fiction and non-fiction among them The Last Crusade, a novel set against the backcloth of General Allenby's 1917 campaign against the Ottoman Turks in Palestine which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem. Endeavour Press publish it as an Ebook under the title "Spies of Jerusalem" and Amazons UK and Australia have rated it among their best selling titles.

In 2005, Viking Penguin published his Singapore Burning. It is an account of the fall of Singapore to Japan's General Tomoyuki Yamashita in February 1942 that it concentrates on the rearguard actions Australians, UK British and British Indian Army troops fought down the Malayan peninsula in the two months that preceded the surrender. The book takes a more sympathetic view of the British commander Arthur Percival than is usually the case.

His England's Last War Against France, which was published in London by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2009, is a history of all the Anglo-American campaigns against the Vichy France between 1940–42 containing considerable personal testimony from participants on both sides. It was well received, several reviewers noting it was the first time anybody had attempted to write a continuous narrative history of the conflict from beginning to end.


  • Carlos – Portrait of a Terrorist. 1976, revised Penguin edition 2012 .
  • Cut Out (novel). 1979. Endeavour Ebook retitled Collateral Damage, 2014
  • The Last Crusade (novel). 1990. Endeavour Ebook retitled Spies of Jerusalem, 2013
  • Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia and Zion (with John Bierman). 1999.
  • Alamein – War Without Hate (with John Bierman). 2002.
  • Singapore Burning – Heroism and Surrender in World War Two. Viking Penguin, London,(ISBN 0-14-101036-3), 2005.
  • England's Last War Against France – Fighting Vichy 1940–42, Weidenfeld, 2009
  • Let Us Do Evil (novel) Endeavour Press, 2014
  • Warsaw Boy - Andrew Borowiec, Edited, Penguin, 2015

External links[edit]