John Costello (historian)

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John Edward Costello (1943- 26 August 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 before writing on military history.

He died unexpectedly at the age of 52 while on a flight from London to Miami, having gone to Britain for research. He was living in Miami and Manhattan.[2]

Published works[edit]

  • The Battle for Concorde (UK) (1971) with Terry Hughes ISBN 0900193026, or The Concorde Conspiracy (US) (1976) ISBN 0684143747
  • D-Day (1974) with Warren Tute & Terry Hughes ISBN 028398144X
  • Jutland 1916 (1976) with Terry Hughes ISBN 0860073629
  • The Battle of the Atlantic (1977) with Terry Hughes ISBN 000216048X
  • The Pacific War (1981) ISBN 9780002160469
  • Virtue under Fire: How World War II Changed Our Social and Sexual Attitudes (US) (1985) ISBN 0316739685, or Love, Sex and War: Changing Values 1939–45 (UK) (1985) ISBN 9780002174442
  • "And I was There": Pearl Harbor and Midway – Breaking the Secrets (1985) with Rear Admiral Edwin Layton (his story) & Captain Roger Pineau ISBN 0688069681
  • Mask of Treachery (1988) about Anthony Blunt ISBN 9780002175364
  • Ten Days to Destiny (US) or Ten Days that Saved the West (UK) (1991), about Rudolf Hess ISBN 0688103634
  • Deadly Illusions (1993) with Oleg Tsarev, 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 Harbor and the Philippines ISBN 0-671-76985-5


  1. ^ his 1991 & 1994 books; publishers' blurbs
  2. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (1995-08-30). "John Costello, 52, Who Wrote of War, Espionage and Mores". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-11-30.