Digby Smith is a British military historian. The son of a British career soldier, he was born in Hampshire, England, but spent several years in India and Pakistan as a child and youth. As a “boy soldier,” he entered training in the British Army at the age of 16. He was later commissioned in the Royal Corps of Signals, and held several postings with the British Army of the Rhine.

After a career in the British Army Signal Corps, he retired and with a friend started a company selling body armour, followed by several years working in the telecommunications industry. After his second retirement, he lived for a while in Hanau, Germany, but has moved back to Britain.

Originally writing under the pen name, Otto von Pivka, since his retirement from the military he has written another dozen books, venturing into narrative history with his 1813: Leipzig : Napoleon and the Battle of the Nations in 2001 and Charge!: Great Cavalry Charges of the Napoleonic Wars in 2003. His Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book: Actions and Losses in Personnel, Colours, Standards and Artillery, 1792–1815 (1998) is considered a standard for French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War historians, re-enactors, and hobbyists.

Books in order of publication by series:

As Otto Von Pivka

  • The Black Brunswickers. London: Osprey, 1973.
  • The armies of Europe today. 1974.
  • The King’s German Legion. London: Osprey, 1974.
  • The Armies of Europe To-Day. Berkshire: Osprey, 1974.
  • Napoleon’s Polish Troops. 1974.
  • The King’s German Legion. Men-at-arms series. Reading: Osprey Publishing, 1974.
  • Napoleon’s German Allies. Reading: Osprey Publishing, 1975.
  • Spanish Armies of the Napoleonic Wars. London: Osprey, 1975.
  • Napoleon’s German Allies (1). Westfalia and Kleve-Berg. London: Osprey, 1975.
  • Spanish Armies of the Napoleonic Wars. London: Osprey Publishing, 1975.
  • Napoleon’s German Allies 2 Nassau & Oldenburg. Men-at-arms series, 43. London: Osprey Pub, 1976.
  • The French Army Including Foreign Regiments in French Service and the Confederation of the Rhine. Cambridge: Stephens, 1977.
  • Armies of 1812. Vol.1, The French Army Including Foreign Regiments in French Service and the Confederation of the Rhine. Cambridge: Stephens, 1977.
  • The Portuguese Army of the Napoleonic Wars. Men-at-arms series. London: Osprey, 1977.
  • Armies of 1812. Cambridge: Stephens, 1977.
  • Napoleon’s Italian and Neapolitan Troops. London: Osprey Publishing, 1979.
  • Armies of the Napoleonic Era. Newton Abbey: David & Charles, 1979.
  • Navies of the Napoleonic Era. David and Charles, 1980.

As Digby Smith

  • The British Army, 1965–80: Combat and Service Dress. Men-at-arms series. London: Osprey Publishing, 1977.
  • Army uniforms. 1980.
  • Army Uniforms Since 1945. Poole [Eng.]: Blandford Press, 1980.
  • The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill Books, Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998.
  • Borodino. Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire: Windrush, 1998.
  • Napoleon’s Regiments: Battle Histories of the Regiments of the French Army, 1792–1815. London: Greenhill Books, 2000.
  • 1813: Leipzig : Napoleon and the Battle of the Nations. London: Greenhill books, 2001.
  • Armies of 1812: The Grand Armeé and the Armies of Austria, Prussia, Russia and Turkey. Staplehurst: Spellmount, 2002.
  • Charge!: Great Cavalry Charges of the Napoleonic Wars. London: Greenhill, 2003.
  • Navies of the Napoleonic Era. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 2004.
  • Napoleon against Russia: A Concise History of 1812. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2004.
  • Armies of the Napoleonic Era. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 2004.
  • Napoleon against Russia: A New History of 1812. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2004.
  • The Prussian Army to 1815. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 2004.
  • Napoleon against Russia: A Concise History of 1812. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2004.
  • Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars. London: Lorenz, 2005.
  • The Decline and Fall of Napoleon’s Empire: How the Emperor Self-Destructed. London: Greenhill Books [u.a.], 2005.
  • An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars: An Expert, in-Depth Reference to the Officers and Soldiers of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Period, 1792–1815. Illustrated encyclopaedia. London: Lorenz, 2006.
  • An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Uniforms from 1775–1783, the American Revolutionary War: An Expert Guide to the Uniforms of the American Militias and Continental Army, the Armies and Navies of Great Britain and France, German and Spanish Units, and American Indian Allies. London: Lorenz Books, 2008.
  • Armies of the Seven Years’ War: Commanders, Equipment, Uniforms and Strategies of the ‘First World War.’ Stroud: The History Press, 2013.