Michael Thwaites published several volumes of poetry during his life as well as two biographical works relating to his service in two wars—the Second World War and the Cold War.


Unfinished Journey: Collected Poems 1932-20042005


A complete collection of Thwaites’s poems, ranging from those written while still at high school, to his award-winning poetry from his time at Oxford, to the bicentennial hymn For Australia.


Atlantic Odyssey2000


This authentic account, based on contemporary notes, describes an exciting but little-known aspect of naval combat during the second-world war—the small ships whose contribution was so large in the seas battles, largely against Hitler’s U-boats.


The Honey Man1987


Contains many of Thwaites’s best-loved poems including A Message to my Grandson, Metamorphosis and  A Talk to the Willow. Also contains a series in tribute to Australia’s capital city, Canberra.


Poems of War and Peace1968

This anthology contains many of the Thwaites’s earlier work including the Newdigate Prize-winning poem Milton BlindThe Jervis Bay detailing a dramatic action in the North Atlantic and many others.


Truth Will Out: ASIO and the Petrovs1980


In the early 1950s Australian-Soviet relations seemed cordial and friendly. To most Australians the idea of espionage occuring in their ‘lucky country’ was laughable. The events of April 1954 were to radically alter their thinking.

When Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov were granted asylum in Australia, no one was better qualified to conduct their debriefing than Michael Thwaites, who, as director of ASIO’s counter-espionage section, had been supervising the case since 1952.

In the eighteen months the three spent together the Petrovs took the author on an incredible journey through their lives — from he poverty of their village life in old Russia to their precariously privileged position in the most powerful organisation in the new Russia, the KGB.


Empire of Fear1956


Thwaites spent eighteen months debriefing the Petrovs after their dramatic defection to Australia. The public record of this work was their biography Empire of Fear, with Thwaites playing the role of ghost-writer.