Alejandro de Quesada is a Florida-based military history writer, an experienced researcher and collector of militaria, photos and documents and runs an archive as a secondary business.

He has written 12 books and over 50 articles, including Elite 137 The Mexican Revolution 1910-20 and Elite 161 The Us Home Front 1941-45. In 2009 Alejandro is set to publish another two books with Osprey. In January his book Elite 166 The Bay of Pigs is out now and available to pre-order.

Later in the year he will turn his hand to the Warrior series with a book on Roosevelt's Rough Riders.

When Alejandro and I went through these questions he also kindly provided me with this photo - of him in the Falklands between two Argentinian mess kitchens.


What are you doing at the moment?

Currently working on Spanish Colonial Fortifications in North America and the United States Coast Guard during World War Two.

When did you get hooked on history and why?

I would say it began when my father, a physician, used to take me to work with him at the Veterans Administration when I was very young. There the veterans took care of me while my father made his rounds. I had the opportunity of meeting veterans from the Spanish-American War, World War One, World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam. They used to tell me stories and at times gave me their war souvenirs - I believe that is what got me hooked - the linking of a story with material culture.

If you were any warrior from history who would you be?

Most probably a quartermaster or ordnance official from the Spanish colonial forces in the American Southwest during the 18th century, combating disgruntled troops and wondering where and when the next supplies are coming in. That\'s where initiative comes in and make out the best with what you have on hand.

What is your favourite war film?

The paper is too short for my answer - but the top would be All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Glory, Zulu, Das Boot, The Longest Day, We Were Soldiers, Where Eagles Dare, It Happened Here, Mambí, Iluminados por el Fuego, Talvisota (The Winter War), and, Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of  War.

Why do you think Military History is important?

Besides growing up with Military History all round me, I feel it is important in knowing our past because history does repeat itself over and over again. The majority just doesn\'t realize that certain events in our current era could have been prevented if we learned from similar events of the not too distant past in some cases.

What is your favourite quote from history/historical quote?

“Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.”  General H. Norman Schwartzkopf

If you could fly any plane or drive any tank from history, which would it be?

Definitely the German Sturmpanzerwagen A7V from the First World War.

Best military cock-up in history?

That is an English word that I don\'t encounter often, but if you meant foul-up then it would definitely have been the Bay of Pigs.

Who is your military hero?

Generals Calixto Garcia and Maximo Gomez during the Cuban Wars for Independence (1868-1898) and General Lettow von Vorbeck of the Schutztruppe in German East Africa during the First World War.

If you could pit two armies from history against each other, which two would you pick, and why?

Would like to have seen the Swiss involved during the Second World War against an invading force such as Germany (it\'s a what if - ok?). I bet because of the terrain the Swiss would wage a guerrilla war whereby bogging down the invading force and costing them huge amounts of men and materiel.

Elephants or horses? Discuss the pros and cons…

Besides the terrain and climates, I believe horses  are more suitable for a wide range of uses - besides, who to stand behind and cleanup after an elephant?

Favourite Michael Caine quote?

"First of all, I choose the great roles, and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don't come, I choose the ones that pay the rent."

What is your favourite war comic?

Sergeant Rock and Easy Company, Sergeant Fury and His Howling Commandos, and the Unknown Soldier.

Spartan or Roman?

Roman, better be on the winning side.

What is your favourite Osprey book? 

Tough one, I like the titles written by my good friends, René Chartrand and Phillip Jowett.