Ian Passingham joined the army as a private soldier and was later commissioned in the Royal Hampshire Regiment. Since 1995 he has been a writer and defence analyst. He is the author of Pillars of Fire: The Battle of Messines Ridge, June 1917 (2000) and All the Kaiser’s Men: The German Army during the First World War (2004). His latest book is the result of a long-held interest in German history and in the German armed forces from 1871 to the present day. He is a member of the British Commission for Military History, RUSI, the German Historical Institute and the Western Front Association. He is also an experienced tour guide and authority on the battlefields of the Western Front.