Peter de la Billiere
Sir Peter was born in 1934. He lost his father in WW2 and joined the army as a private in 1952, becoming an officer in 1955. In 1956 he joined the SAS. He was made Commander of the British Forces during the first Gulf War and knighted in 1992.
Taylor Downing was educated at Cambridge University and is the author of The Cold War, Breakdown (about shell-shock in WWI) , and Churchill's War Lab. His books are 'vivid and fast-paced' (Financial Times).