AUTHOR and military historian Charles Whiting died at his home earlier today.

The 80-year-old was the country's most prolific military writer, penning more than 300 books during his life.

Born in the Bootham area of York in 1926, Mr Whiting enrolled as a volunteer in the Army in 1943 and saw action with the 52nd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment in Belgium, Holland and Germany.

After the war, he returned to Yorkshire to study at Leeds University before continuing his education in London, Cologne and Saarbruchen. His first novel, Frat Wagon, was published during this time.

He became a university lecturer in 1958 and taught in England, the US and Germany, where he was a correspondent for Time magazine.

After 15 years, he gave up full-time teaching to concentrate on writing and, since then has written factual books under his own name and military thrillers and other works under pseudonyms including Duncan Harding, Leo Kessler and John Kerrigan.

Mr Whiting, who lived in York with his wife, Gill, was awarded the Sir George Dowty prize for Literature (Cheltenham Festival) and was a member of the British Society of Authors and the US Guild of American Writers.