The title says Authors and historians but this applies to anyone carrying out research. How much faith is put on the written word eg war diaries,or even already published histories/books. I have been carrying out research for quite some years and when I have quoted the written word, I have often been pulled up in a hurry by those that were there as it were. A recent example was the citation for Dougie Beaton 5th Camerons. Looking at the Camerons regimental history it roughly goes along with the citation. Monty's Highlanders by Delaforce, page 206. describes him as C company "led another successful bayonet charge for which he was awarded the MC". Dougie Beaton was a Platoon officer of Anti-Tank platoon, six pounders. He told me himself why he got the MC. The bayonet charge is as Richard Massey said, "absolute crap". I can give the true story of the Bayonet charge if needs be. This is just one example of a whole load of details that I am trying to get the whole truth to. Not just for medals but for complete actions etc. Hopefully those that were there, will put all their experiences down on paper, to help to get to somewhere nearer the truth in a lot of cases. I know that different peoples wars are seen very differently even in the same actions, eg one company finds little resistance while the next one in line can be nearly wiped out. The officer (or person ) writing the war diaries are invariable tired after action, plus there is no way that they can know what was happening with every company/platoon/section etc. I was wondering what, (especially) the authors/Historians out there, do as regards war diaries, do they take them as gospel? with scepticism? especially if there are no eye witnesses as it were. Thoughts please.