In 1940 Eric Nudd, like millions of others, found himself unexpectedly in uniform – a raw conscript in a heavy anti-aircraft regiment.

He grew over the next five years into a seasoned professional with the Normandy and Northwest European campaigns under his belt. A previously unsuspected talent for maths took him from heaving shells to fire-control and then radar, giving him a ringside view of the manic wartime technology race.

As a Fleet Street journalist, prolific letter-writer and occasional poet Eric published improvised news sheets from a succession of gun sites and dugouts. His story is told by a ‘civilian-in-uniform’ who was an acute observer and literate recorder of what he saw. His wry, sometimes scathing observations on the humour and idiocy of army life, and the military, political and cultural events of the time are set against the global cataclysm going on around him.

The author colours in the background for those of us lucky enough to have missed it, providing a new perspective – from underneath — on the anti-aircraft forces who, for a while after the fall of France, were the only part of the army shooting back.

Derek was interviewed on Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain (no longer available on catch-up but the clip can be seen on YouTube).

Front cover of the book Armageddon Fed up With This


“What a labour of love this is! I’m in awe at the amount of effort, dedication and skill that’s gone into producing this beautifully written, solidly crafted and perfectly produced war memoir. But it’s not just a war memoir, it’s also a social commentary and is particularly good at talking rationally about the post-war years, both from a national and international point of view. Eric Nudd was a journalist before and after the war and it shows. If the title puts you off, don’t be. Of course, humour abounds throughout – usually with Eric’s letters home of the “downtrodden but resigned British Tommy variety” – but this is a serious biography. I learned a great deal from it and I recommend it highly.”

Stephen Sheppard

“Derek Nudd has taken his father’s letters home and has skilfully woven them into a rich tapestry that displays what the war was like for an ordinary chap (basically a bloke who was a civilian really, but who had to don the guise of a soldier because Hitler insisted on doing what despots always do, undertaking despotic acts) who had an extraordinary ability with the pen (he was an outstandingly good artist) and the typewriter.

Indeed he wrote and produced some superb newspapers (hand-designed, naturally!) in all sorts of dangerous wartime locations. The book shows Eric Nudd as a man of immense charm and wit, of outstanding abilities and a canny, yet kindly, observer of human nature.”

That’s Books and Entertainment

“Intimate account of one family’s Second World War experience based on the letters from Eric to his wife. Loved the detail: salary reduction due to rank; promotion stymied due to snobbishness; wry acknowledgement of some of the sheer stupidity of senior ranks. yet a hunger for knowledge, pride in the company’s achievements and still a sense of displacement – there through a sense of duty, conviction to be at home with the family and advancing in a media career. Would highly recommend this book.”

Amazon Review