Michael A. O'Neill - Author



I am a writer and translator, amongst other interests, and I lived and worked in Germany for twenty years as a TV producer/director and scriptwriter on WWI, WWII and other historical documentaries. I wrote, narrated, and composed the music for the six-part Hitler’s War TV series and I’ve also written many biographies on cultural icons such as Queen, Sir Alex Ferguson and Alexander McQueen or rock gods the Rolling Stones and 70s idol Joni Mitchell.
My interest in the WWI biographies was piqued when I was asked to translate books about WW2. I subsequently finished translating the first two books on WWI for my own interest, and I decided to turn them into e-Books. Now, the – expanded – collection is also available in paperback editions. I’ve gathered some into three six-part series: ‘Brothers and Comrades’,  ‘Dying for the Kaiser’ and ‘In the trenches of WWI’.

I hope you enjoy browsing the site. These voices from the past, historical documents from eye witnesses, are for me of enormous worth. If they are for you, too, then I have achieved a small amount in the service of historical awareness, and I’m glad about that. I was certainly absorbed in translating the books.
Historical awareness has always been a strong element in my life; with Irish parents it could hardly have been otherwise. When I lived in Ireland in later years, I was confronted with the past in both fireside tales and harsh reality.
Then I was surrounded by ‘living history’ when I lived and worked in Germany for twenty years as a TV producer/director and scriptwriter on WWI, WWII and other historical documentaries. Many of the programmes I assisted onto the screen have been shown worldwide on a variety of TV channels such as the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.
I was in Germany, too, when the Berlin Wall came down on that extraordinary night of November 9/10th 1989; an unforgettable moment of lightning, priceless for anyone with even a remote interest in the past. What a strange quirk of historical parallelism that ‘Crystal Night’ (Kristallnacht) in Germany, should have taken place on the 9/10th of November 1938, just over 50 years before. The future of history is unpredictable.

I shall continue to add books to the site as often as I can and welcome any information about books that I might translate and add to the collection. I’d be interested in reading and happy to feature here any private letters or diary extracts readers have that might be suitable, too.

Thanks for being here.


“We heard the dull roll of the artillery guns far away ahead of us, so we already suspected that our rest period wasn’t going to last very long. The rolling artillery fire gradually increased in intensity, but we didn’t yet know that a battle had begun which would prove calamitous for the Germans: the five-day Battle of the Marne!”

Excerpt from: A German Soldier Remembers.

Then, rising up from the hurrahs and three cheers from our company, which had accompanied us to the edge of the encampment, we suddenly heard the sounds of a German song: 

“Back at home, back at home,

We’ll all meet once again!”

As the sound gradually fades into the distance, we take leave of our comrades.

“See you Stadler! Take care, take care! And all the best!”

A final goodbye, a handshake, and then we are enclosed by the endless desert.

Excerpt from: Flames in the Desert.

2.40. Our captain has let us know that our battalion will certainly attack at 3 o’clock. I’ve said my goodbyes to Goszelke and Enno. We’re all writing letters that we’re going to leave behind in the trench.

Excerpt from: The War Diary of Johannes Krafft


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