Martin Davidson is a writer and broadcaster. He worked for the BBC and Channel 4 as a multi-nominated BAFTA, RTS, and Cable ACE award-winning Commissioning Editor, Producer, Scriptwriter and Director, working across history, science and the arts. He left the BBC as Head of Specialist Factual Commissioning in 2016 to concentrate on writing and producing his own projects. He is the author of six books, the last of which was a forensic biographical anatomy of his German grandfather’s career as a Nazi SS Officer – called The Perfect Nazi. It was reviewed widely across both the UK and the US.
The TLS said: “As a family memoir, The Perfect Nazi is made all the more remarkable by Davidson’s skills as a historian and a storyteller… However used we are becoming to the extraordinary range of family histories in twenty-first-century Britain, there has been nothing like this. What Martin Davidson has achieved is truly remarkable. It is also moving, enlightening and wonderful to read.”
He is the son of a Berlin mother, and has been visiting the city regularly since the early 60’s. He was first told of the story of “Captain Wiggle-Wings” (the American pilot who parachuted sweets to German children as part of the Berlin Airlift) by his German grandmother, at the age of 6, and has loved the story ever since.
SPITFIRE ACE – Buy it here
The Battle of Britain, 1940, was one of the most famous air battles in the history of warfare and it is a story of ruthless organisation, brilliant control and command. But at its heart is one particular figure, a legend ever since – the RAF fighter pilot. And one particular plane – a piece of machinery that has almost mythic historical glamour – the Supermarine Spitfire.
Spitfire Ace reintroduces the few that flew in the Battle of Britain and includes interviews with many of the surviving veteran Spitfire pilots. Combined with a historical narrative of the events surrounding the Battle of Britain, you will learn for the first time what it was really like to fly a Spitfire and to experience combat flying at its most visceral.
Fully illustrated with 16 pages of photographs and contemporary archive material, Spitfire Ace provides a vivid portrait of the fighter boys and their finest hour, their planes (including Spitfires, Hurricanes and Messerchmitts) and Fighter Command – RAF versus the Luftwaffe.
Publication date: 22 October 2015
BOMBER CREW – Buy it here
Long after the Battle of Britain, the aircrews of RAF Bomber Command risked their lives night after night during the Second World War. Over 55,000 of the airmen never returned from these missions; a further 10,000 became prisoners of war. And yet Bomber Command has been mired in controversy and its veterans – all volunteers – have never been awarded a campaign medal. Their crucial contribution to the outcome of the war has all too often been overlooked.
BOMBER CREW exposes the bravery of these men using gripping first-person testimony from the surviving pilots and crew. For them this was a time of incredible hardship and adrenaline, courage and friendship, and their stories bear witness to the strength of the human spirit in times of incredible danger. Never before has their story been so vividly told. This is also a revealing look at the history of Bomber Command itself, from the early days through to eventual victory in 1945.
From the terrifying action of the bombing raids to the intimate personal accounts of heroism, tragedy and triumph, this is the ultimate account of these brave men and their contribution to the Allied victory.
Publication date: 10 October 2005
THE PERFECT NAZI – Buy it here
In 1926, at the age of twenty, a trainee dentist called Bruno Langbehn joined the Nazi party. Growing up in a Germany that was impoverished and humiliated by the defeat of the First World War, and surrounded by a fiercely military environment, Bruno was one of the first young men to sign up. And as the party rose to power, he was there every step of the way. Eventually his loyalty was rewarded with a high-ranking position in Hitler’s dreaded SS, the elite security service charged with sending Germany’s ‘racially impure’ to the death camps.
For fifty years after the end of the Second World War, his family kept this horrifying secret until his British grandson, Martin Davidson, uncovered the truth. Drawing on an astonishing cache of personal documents, Davidson retraces Bruno’s journey from disillusioned adolescent to SS Officer to mysterious grandfather. In this extraordinary account he tries to understand how Langbehn and millions of others like him were seduced by Hitler’s regime, and attempts to come to terms with this devastating revelation.
Publication date: 7 April 2011