All Episodes

  Direct Link   Download 16 Minutes 12 May 2019

The conquest of Mexico was a landmark in the history of the world, changing its course forever. A mere 600 adventurers, speculators and journeymen from a European nation that had only existed in its current form for a few decades, landed in an unknown land and proceeded to conquer a massive, ruthless and predatory empire in the space of just a few of years. Dur: 17mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 27 Minutes 28 Apr 2019

The conquest of Mexico was a landmark in the history of the world, changing its course forever. A mere 600 adventurers, speculators and journeymen from a European nation that had only existed in its current form for a few decades, landed in an unknown land and proceeded to conquer a massive, ruthless and predatory empire in the space of just a few of years. Dur: 28mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 14 Apr 2019

The battle of Leuctra, fought between the forces of Sparta and the Boeotian League led by Thebes, in early July 371 BC, altered forever the map of ancient Greek history. In a single afternoon, what the ancient Greeks of the early 4th century BC had come to understand as their world order was swept way. The Theban tactics at Leuctra included the revolutionary ideas of deployment in depth and of a refused flank, where part of a formation was drawn up in echelon. These tactics and their implementation indelibly changed the history of western warfare and are still studied and put into practice to this day. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 31 Mar 2019

The battle of Leuctra, fought between the forces of Sparta and the Boeotian League led by Thebes, in early July 371 BC, altered forever the map of ancient Greek history. In a single afternoon, what the ancient Greeks of the early 4th century BC had come to understand as their world order was swept way. The Theban tactics at Leuctra included the revolutionary ideas of deployment in depth and of a refused flank, where part of a formation was drawn up in echelon. These tactics and their implementation indelibly changed the history of western warfare and are still studied and put into practice to this day. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 17 Mar 2019

No Man's Land. Three of the most evocative words of The Great War. Never forgotten by combatants. A place of death, danger, wire, bullets, shells, poison gas, mud, rats, bodies, and fear. A place which was never safe. When going "over the top" the place where you were most likely to die, but being wounded there could be worse. A quiet place occasionally, an inferno of fire and noise at other times. Occasionally a place of peace and friendship such as Christmas 1914. But Usually not. Dur: 27mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 03 Mar 2019

In May 1754 a young George Washington's first combat experience occurred at the Battle of Jumonville Glen located in southwest Pennsylvania in the Ohio Valley, where he defeated a small group of French on a diplomatic mission to inform the British that they needed to leave the area; it was French territory and quickly became a flashpoint in the fight for the supremacy of North America. Dur: 15mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 30 Dec 2018

On Sunday 22nd of August, 1642, Charles I of England unfurled his standard at Nottingham, it would signal the start of the English Civil war; a struggle which pitted regal power against Parliament. The war had ebbed and flowed for two years with varied success when in April of 1644 a Parliamentarian force laid siege to York, which was considered key to the Royalist defence of the north of England. When an army was dispatched under the young Prince Rupert to raise the siege the scene would be set for one of the bloodiest battles fought on British soil, when the two sides met at Marston Moor. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 29 Minutes 16 Dec 2018

Following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941, Japanese forces simultaneously invaded British Malaya, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Japanese troops took just 70 days to crush the British Empire forces in Malaya and Singapore, which was surrendered on 15 February 1942. Dur: 30mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 04 Dec 2018

On May 7, the Royal Flying Corps suffered one of their greatest losses when the great Albert Ball was shot down near Annoeullin, France. Ball had just scored his 44th victory and was pursuing another plane when he disappeared into a cloud. When he reappeared, his plane was falling from the sky and his propeller was motionless. Ball fell from the sky and his plane crashed some distance away. Lothar von Richthofen, the Red Baron’s younger brother, was officially credited with the kill. Dur: 24 mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 19 Nov 2018

Just ten years after the Wright brothers successfully flew the world's first powered airplane, the First World War erupted across Europe and with it came the first air war. Airplanes of wood, metal, and canvas took to the skies to act as observers and engage in combat with enemy planes. The best pilots became known as "aces" and were celebrated by both sides. Dur: 27mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 16 Minutes 04 Nov 2018

It is a cliche that wars seldom go according to plan, but perhaps none has gone astray as dramatically as the First World War. The vast German sweep through the Low Countries succeeded only in branding the Kaiser's Reich a nation of butchers and bringing the United Kingdom into the war. Field commanders were unable to achieve the clock-work precision required by the Schlieffen Plan and the German advance was stopped at the Marne in early September 1914. Dur: 17mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 21 Oct 2018

If one were to travel through the modern day US state Louisiana, you would quickly be transported to what seems like another world. French language signs adorn the streets as the sounds of Zydeco or Louisiana French folk music fills the air. Most would cite the menagerie of foods combining french peasant recipes with African and native additions cooked into the various creatures inhabiting the bayou or swamps as the most intriguing sight of all. The genesis of this unique culture started far to the north in what is now the modern Canadian Maritime province of Nova Scotia. Dur: 22mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 28 Minutes 05 Oct 2018

Although a good amount of time was allowed to prepare for the operation, the campaign itself was poorly planned. Inexplicably, the 13,000 men Napoleon led across the Sinai desert towards Syria in January 1799 were not properly equipped for the desert conditions. Dur: 29mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 16 Sep 2018

The French invasion of Egypt in the summer of 1798 was the first great seaborne invasion of the modern era. With 335 ships and almost 40,000 men, it was the largest seaborne force ever launched in the Western world – at least since Xerxes' vast fleet attacked Athens at the Battle of Salamis in 480BC. It remained the largest ever seaborne invasion throughout the nineteenth century, only to be superseded in size by the Gallipoli landings in 1915. Dur: 22mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 02 Sep 2018

On the morning of 16 December 1914, at around 8am, the German battlecruisers SMS Von der Tann and Derfflinger opened fire on the British coastal resort of Scarborough. For the town's inhabitants the shelling seemed indiscriminate, the prominent Grand Hotel was hit a number of times, as was the medieval castle overlooking the bay and residential parts of the town. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 19 Aug 2018

In 1753, the Governor of the colony of Virginia sent George Washington, who was a twenty one year old major in the Virginia militia, to the French Fort LeBoeuf near Lake Erie in the Ohio Valley, to demand the French leave the area. This ultimatum was rejected and Washington returned to deliver the message. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 21 May 2018

A battle at Dorking, that never happened, and German spies that never existed were a cause of great anguish to the British in the early part of the twentieth century. The result would be the creation a secret service, the rounding up of foreign nationals and an explosion in the popularity of the spy genre; which would manifest itself with classics such as John Buchan's 'The Thirty-Nine Steps' Dur: 17mins File .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 15 Minutes 06 May 2018

We all know that Britain was last successfully invaded in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated the Saxon King Harold at Hastings, but, that does not mean the shores of Albion have not since been attacked. In 1797 the French landed a small force near Fishguard, in Wales, and were ignominiously forced to surrender. In 1914 a German naval squadron sailed long the north-east coast and bombarded the towns of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool, though no landing was attempted it caused widespread consination. A more successful attack was made in 1667 by the Dutch, they sailed up the river Medway, which flows into the Thames estuary, attacking British ships whilst they were in dock. It proved to be a crushing defeat for the Royal Navy. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 15 Minutes 22 Apr 2018

The Duke of Wellington, late in life, was asked what was his most difficult battle during all his years of soldiering, after a short pause he replied with just one word, Assaye; his great victory against the Marathas in 1803. A hard fought battle, he would lose a third of his men, the Indian Marathas troops were well equipped and drilled in modern tactics by mercenary European officers. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 28 Minutes 08 Apr 2018

Long time listeners might know after ten years of producing the podcast, last year Angus took the decision to return to university to study a Masters Degree in History. More by chance than design his niche turned out to be the First World War. During his studies he came across a new book titled ‘Led By Lions’ written by Neil Thornton, which looks at British Members of Parliament, who, serviced in the military during World War One. So he asked Neil if he fancied a chat!. . .

  Direct Link   Download 16 Minutes 25 Mar 2018

As some of you might be aware Angus hosts the Ancient Warfare podcast, a monthly round table discussion about war in the ancient world. Last year we launched a patreon page for the podcast. Historians aren’t the best paid lot, and everyone is essentially doing the podcast for free. We thought it might be a good way to help cover costs, and if you enjoy it, to tip us a $ each time we produce something. The upshot is regular, Murray Dahm has decided to read some of his old Articles he’s written for Ancient Warfare Magazine, exclusively for patrons of the podcast. As we had a hole in our schedule, we thought we’d let you guys have a listen to the first one Murray recorded… 'You could be the next Alexander’. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 11 Mar 2018

British soldiers in Boston were furious. They were pent up in the city by a bunch of farmers and merchants while their commander seemingly did nothing. April turned to May. The militia forces grew stronger as more companies joined the siege. By now, four colonies were represented at Boston: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Dur: 27mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 14 Minutes 25 Feb 2018

On June 17, 1775, over one thousand New England militia stood on a hill overlooking Charlestown, Massachusetts and Boston Harbor. Arrayed in front of them in their scarlet and white uniforms, brushed clean for the occasion, were regiments of the British Army. Their goal was to take this hill from the erstwhile colonists-turned-rebels and fortify it, which would prevent the rebels from controlling the harbor. Honor would not allow General Thomas Gage, commander of British Forces in North America and governor of the Colony of Massachusetts, to stand by while farmers and merchants made pitiful displays of defiance. Gage expected these amateur soldiers to flee at the sight of his professional army. Instead, to the shock of British command, the American colonists stood and fought. Dur: 15mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 11 Feb 2018

Julius Caesar waged campaigns of strategic boldness and tactical prudence. He fused himself into both head of state and military commander and in the chaos of the late republic, where it became nearly impossible to distinguish war as politics by other means, Caesar waged both war and politics. In his success was sown the seeds of his demise and that of the republic he served. Dur: 22mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 13 Minutes 28 Jan 2018

Mikhail Petrovic Devyataev was the 13th child of a Moldovian blacksmith who provided one of the most extraordinary stories of World War 2. The Soviet pilot, captured by the Germans in July 1944, made an incredible escape from Usedom, an island on the Baltic coast, where Hitler's V rockets were being made to return home, eventually becoming a Hero of the Soviet Union. Dur: 13mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 14 Minutes 15 Jan 2018

In the year 1754, twenty two year old George Washington was on a mission from the Governor of Virginia to enforce the colony's land claim on the area of western Pennsylvania. The French forces had just built Fort Duquesne (modern day Pittsburgh) as a means to solidify their claim to the land. At this time both England and France had started to develop the area. Dur: 15mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 26 Nov 2017

One of the key issues with the Japanese conscript army was that it had primarily been established to counter an invasion from the continent. As such it had been modelled along the same lines as the enemy forces that the Japanese had assumed they would have to confront. While this army may have initially been quite professional, its potential as a fighting force had dwindled over time. This was in part due to the fact that it saw little or no action, thus very few men amongst its ranks had any actual battlefield experience. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 29 Minutes 12 Nov 2017

The term samurai is a word that is almost universally recognized around the world. This is somewhat unusual for a historically based word, particularly for one that traces its origins back to a culture as unique as 10th century Japan. The image conjured by the term samurai for most people is that of a fierce, sword wielding warrior, and while somewhat cliché, is not entirely incorrect. And yet for a historical word and group that is so widely known, very few people really know anything else about these famed warrior figures of Japan's feudal past. Dur: 30mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 30 Oct 2017

The battle of the Medak Pocket in the autumn of 1993 was, up to that point, the biggest military engagement participated in by Canadian soldiers since the Korean War. Though it was an almost day-long battle against Croatian forces bent on ethnic cleansing it was covered up by the Canadian government and still remains one of the least known episodes in Canadian military history. Dur: 17mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 15 Oct 2017

The Limburg War of Succession began in 1283, and ended with the Battle of Worringen on June 5, 1288, fought fifteen kilometers north of Cologne. On this day, Duke Jean Ier of Brabant fought Count Henry VI of Luxembourg for the rights to the Duchy of Limburg. The specifics of the battle come to us from a single source—Jan van Heelu's epic verse, Rymkronyk. A member of the Teutonic Order, he witnessed the battle while serving in the duke of Brabant's court. His written account demonstrates not only his knowledge of knightly conduct, but also battlefield tactics, as well as the underlying political and social tensions of the time. Dur: 21mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 14 Minutes 01 Oct 2017

The Limburg War of Succession began in 1283, and ended with the Battle of Worringen on June 5, 1288, fought fifteen kilometers north of Cologne. On this day, Duke Jean I of Brabant fought Count Henry VI of Luxembourg for the rights to the Duchy of Limburg. Dur: 15mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 13 Minutes 17 Sep 2017

Operation Frankton, which took place from 7th to 12th December 1942, had the intention of sending a handful of Royal Marines paddling 70 miles up the River Gironde during the hours of darkness with the goal of laying limpet mines on enemy shipping to disrupt German operations out of the port of Bordeaux. Dur: 14mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 03 Sep 2017

It's easy to take for granted how artillery was used in the First World War. Artillery acquired a target, usually out of direct line of sight and fired. But if the target is out of sight how did they know it was there? How did they know if the shell had landed in the correct location? So much of the technology we are now familiar with telephones, airplanes and even consistent manufacturing quality at the turn of the twentieth century was still in its infancy. Indeed when it came to artillery even its use came into question, was it to destroy or neutralise the enemy? In this episode we'll explore British artillery in World War 1. Dur: 21 mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 13 Minutes 20 Aug 2017

This week we re-run a classic episode from Season 2 (due to a scheduling error and not having a script quite ready!). We didn't want to put out anything rushed, so we hope you enjoy this re-run of one of episodes from the archives. Dur: 13mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 16 Minutes 06 Aug 2017

Fort Duquesne, a French outpost fort in present day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was strategically placed where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers merge into the Ohio River. The Ohio then flows into the Mississippi River producing an important waterway linking Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Dur: 17mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 30 Minutes 04 Jun 2017

On December 14, 1944 an unusual order rang across the Imphal plain: "Lieutenant Generals, by the left flank; march." So ended the investiture ceremony in which William Slim and his three corps commanders - Geoffrey Scoones, Philip Christison and Montague Stopford - had been knighted by the Viceroy of India Archibald Wavell. The laurels were well earned. In the 1943-44 campaign season Slim's 14th Army had crushed the Japanese invasion of India, inflicting massive casualties and seizing several bridgeheads on the Chindwin River. Their reward was mixed. The commanders were knighted, and ordered to drive the Japanese from Burma. Dur: 30mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 25 Minutes 21 May 2017

When we consider the bayonet (off the rifle), its history is the history of all direct combat warfare. In modern times, if you are in personal combat where your last device is your bayonet, it means a lot of things have gone wrong for you to be in that situation. Do you have what it takes to survive? The next two minutes will tell. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 39 Minutes 07 May 2017

Many of you will be aware we have other military history podcasts, Angus's WW2 Podcats and the Ancient Warfare Podcast. Well we have a new one for you: Medieval Warfare hosted the Peter Konieczny. For those who have not already had a listen here is the first episode where Peter discusses why we should study Medieval Warfare. Dur: 40mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 28 Minutes 23 Apr 2017

In the early hours of the 9th of August, 1976, 84 Selous Scouts disguised as local soldiers crept across the Mozambique border into a terrorist training camp on the Nyadzonya River. In the few hours that followed, four Selous Scouts were lightly wounded, however, over 1,000 ZANLA recruits lay dead and twice as many were estimated as wounded. This raid was to go down in history as a textbook example of Special Forces employment in asymmetric warfare, showing how small teams of highly motivated and highly trained troops could inflict vastly disproportionate results. The Rhodesian military named the assignment Operation Eland, taking its name from the large African game antelope. It would however be remembered in history by another name; the Nyadzonya Raid. Dur: 29mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 09 Apr 2017

The Battle of Antietam Creek as it was known to the Union, or the Battle of Sharpsburg as it was known to the Confederate States, was fought on the 17th of September 1862 and became the most costly one-day battle of the American Civil War. The battle claimed nearly 23,000 casualties including 6 generals, and in a protracted 4 year civil war would go on to cost over 600,000 lives. While the official death toll for the battle stands at nearly 4,000, in actual fact, the true death toll is closer to 9,000 as many men who were marked down as wounded on the field of battle would later die in hospitals, some even months after the battle. Dur: 25mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 26 Mar 2017

Germany invaded Poland on September 1st 1939, and England, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany on September 3rd. The Netherlands, which had remained neutral in World War One, continued its policy of neutrality, along with Denmark and Norway. Belgium also decided to remain neutral - unlike the others it had been invaded by Germany in World War One. Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 13 Mar 2017

There seems to be a whole plethora of reasons about how and why 'chat' has been associated in modern times with having a casual conversation with others. The term "Having a chat" is most commonly associated militarily with the first world war trenches and soldiers using lulls in the fighting to get together and de-louse each other while having casual conversations. Chat is often ascribed to the Hindi word for a parasite, 'chatt' (with 2 Ts), but is more possibly from an earlier medieval English word for idle gossip, "chateren". There are certainly references to it in 13th century english literature. But certainly Soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars referred to lice as 'chats'. Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 26 Feb 2017

The fighting on the 7th of September 1812 would be the bloodiest day of the Napoleonic war. The French victory would open the road to Moscow, but the failure to finally smash the Russian's in the field would ultimately prove fatal for Napoleon's Grand Armee. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 33 Minutes 12 Feb 2017

We’ve something different for you in this episode. I’m sure many of you are aware Angus does a number of podcasts other this one with Nick, one being Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy. Whilst putting the latest episode together he had a chat with military historian Murray Dahm about Friction. They chatted for 40 min on the topic but only needed 4min for the WSS podcast. We thought you guys might like to hear the conversation it in full. So what you have here is the unabridged version of Murray and Angus talking Clausewitz and Friction… If you don't like this format for the podcast, don't worry normal service will resume in the next episode.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 29 Jan 2017

The Second World War came to Burma in December, 1941. In quick succession, the American Pacific fleet was devastated at Pearl Harbor, the American Far Eastern air forces destroyed in the Philippines. Hong Kong was threatened and Siam (Thailand) concluded a peace treaty with Tokyo. Burma was exposed. By May, 1942, it would be occupied from China in the north to Rangoon in the south. With amazing speed and minimal forces, Tokyo had cut the Burma Road supplying the Nationalist Chinese, set forces on the threshold of a restive India and added the Burmese oil fields to Japan's Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 27 Nov 2016

Essentially there are 3 main ways in which finances can be raised with which to use for war: Taxation, raising debt, or simply printing and creating new money. The Romans (among others of course) took a taxation route. It was from around 100 BCE that Roman Legions divided into 10 cohorts of around 400-500 men each. That's 4,000 to 5,000 men in a Legion. Let's assume it was the upper 5,000 figure as there were also some legions with 5,500 men, so we'll average at 5000. In 167 BCE there were 8 of these legions, but by 50 BCE this had almost doubled to 15 - a total of around 75,000 men... Dur: 21mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 13 Nov 2016

In 1187 Saladin at the head of a huge army crossed the river Jordan. Laying siege to the fortress at Tiberias, inside was the wife of Raymond of Tripoli. Until recently Raymond had been at odds with the new Crusader King Guy of Lusignan. The Crusader army numbered an impressive 20,000, though this was not as large as Saladin's. What it lacked in quantity it made up for however, in quality with heavily armoured knights, horsemen, foot soldiers and crossbow men. When word reached Guy that the siege was underway he decided to relieve the fortress with all haste, taking the shortest route possible straight across the hot arid plains with minimal baggage... The Crusaders had taken Saladin's bate. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 30 Oct 2016

The 12th Armoured Division set off from New York for the European theatre of war on September 20th 1944. They would spend November and December surging across northern France encountering the enemy in Alsace and at the Maginot Line, liberating parts of France as they went. They were one of only two US Armoured Divisions to have african american combat companies integrated into the division. They adopted the nickname "Hellcats" symbolising their toughness and readiness for combat. They would meet their toughest opposition against German Forces at Herrlisheim - part of Hitler’s Operation North wind. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 16 Oct 2016

On the 3rd of December 1940 the German Auxiliary Cruiser Kormoran slipped out of Gotenhafen. She was the largest of the new wave of Merchant Raiders, which had proved so successful in the first world war. Captained by Theodor Detmers, at just 38 he was the youngest of the Auxiliary cruiser captains. In his own opinion too young. Officially he didn't even hold high enough rank to captain such a ship. But over the next year they successfully sank 11 enemy merchantman and sparred with the Destroyer HMAS Sydney, a David and Goliath encounter... An encounter in which they triumphed. Dur: 24 mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 15 Minutes 02 Oct 2016

Around the 12th Century, German regionalism was very strong with the northern lowlands having their own distinct languages of Saxon and Frisian. Efforts by Imperial central government to unify provincial and legal frameworks, while attempting to impose Middle High German as the official language, failed. The importance of towns within this regionalism, they were the focus and strength of the local communities with the power to effect terms of trade, rights, position. It was therefore a fertile period for the emergence of urban leagues, and in 1241 the first formal alliance between Lubeck and Hamburg was strengthened when they agreed to jointly protect trade routes on sea and land. This was the first formation of what would become the Hanseatic League. This league would expand, fight, defend, trade and negotiate across the next 400 years until Europe no longer needed it. But its legacy can still be seen and found today. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 18 Sep 2016

Northern Sudan had always been under the control of the Ottoman administered Egypt, though from the early part of the 19th century the now almost autonomous Egypt extended her rule South. Muhammad Ali, the self declared Khedive of Egypt, garrisoned troops throughout the region at outposts such as Khartoum. Soon the busy garrison town was a thriving settlement, the focal point for trade (including slave trade). Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 04 Sep 2016

Eugene - Who's full french title was Francois-Eugene, prince de Savoie-Carignan was born in Paris in 1663. His Italian mother, Olympia Mancini, was niece to Cardinal Mazarin the Chief Minister of the French King (or in his case Kings as he served both Bourbon monarchs Louis XIII and Louis XIV). His father was the Italian-French nobleman Eugene Maurice, Count of Soissons. Dur: 21mins File: .mp3�. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 21 Aug 2016

As night fell on July 4, 1863, the fate of the Confederate States of America had been sealed. General Robert E. Lee's second attempt to invade the Union had been turned back at Gettysburg with heavy and irreplaceable losses. In the west the city of Vicksburg surrendered to Ulysses Grant, severing the Eastern and Western portions of the Confederacy and denying the Confederates use of the Mississippi River. The Confederacy would fight the remainder of the war on the defensive, with steadily dwindling resources. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 15 Minutes 07 Aug 2016

Throughout history there have been many versions of armoured cavalrymen. In the west we might typically think back to the medieval Knight. Dig down a little deeper and we find that its precursor was the Frankish panzerotti from the 8th 9th and 10th century, however long before this with its Origins in Iran was the cataphract. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 35 Minutes 24 Jul 2016

Three brothers born in the 1830s in the Wisconsin Territory left a remarkable legacy of bravery, loyalty and determination through their service to the Union during the American Civil War. William, Alonzo and Howard Cushing each fought in separate theaters of that war and their combined service represents a remarkable mosaic of the Union soldier's experience. In the words of biographer Jamie Malinowski, "The Cushing brothers had an astonishing ability to show up at the Civil War's most important moments." Dur: 36mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 10 Jul 2016

Three brothers born in the 1830s in the Wisconsin Territory left a remarkable legacy of bravery, loyalty and determination through their service to the Union during the American Civil War. William, Alonzo and Howard Cushing each fought in separate theaters of that war and their combined service represents a remarkable mosaic of the Union soldier's experience. In the words of biographer Jamie Malinowski, "The Cushing brothers had an astonishing ability to show up at the Civil War's most important moments." Due: 27mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 08 May 2016

To many of us the the idea of a torpedo is that of a sweaty submarine, the commander peering through his periscope and announcing "fire", and the torpedo whizzes through the water leaving a discernible foamy trail. The single hit is devastating. Whilst this has many elements of truth the Torpedo has a much longer history than the World War Two films we grew up with... Dur: 21mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 25 Apr 2016

The Aleutian Islands Campaign is often referred to as the Forgotten Battle due to history concentrating more on battles like that of Midway and Guadalcanal, yet this important campaign to take back U.S. soil, witnessed the first American amphibious assault in the North Pacific as well as one of the first Japanese banzai attacks of the war, and was fiercely fought by both sides. After the Japanese first took their Aleutian Island targets it would take over a year and a force some 20 times as strong before the US retook the land back from the Japanese. Dur: 20 mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 11 Apr 2016

At the Outbreak of English Civil War it was convention that the aristocracy would lead the troops, this was irrespective of ability or experience. As the war went on it became clear to the parliamentarians that a conflict of interest both for power, and the unwillingness to drive home a Royalist defeat, meant that another solution should be sought. The result was the New Model Army, at Naseby it would show its mettle. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 27 Mar 2016

Despite being well-led, trained, and equipped at the outbreak of the Second Boer War in October 1899, the British army was unprepared for the guerilla-style tactics their enemy employed, suffering more than 3000 casualties and several defeats in the first two months of the conflict. On December 12th, as the leadership in London was attempting to formulate a plan to counter the Boer threat, 28-year old reservist Lieutenant Simon Joseph Fraser the 14th Lord Lovat & 22nd chief of the clan Fraser, approached the War Office with a proposal to raise two companies of Scottish Highlanders, one mounted and one infantry, for use as elite units with the express mission of neutralizing the Boer on their own terms. Dur: 25mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 45 Minutes 13 Mar 2016

By the first decade of the last century, the two great opposing alliance systems in Europe had formed, or been starched into the fine conformity of Milton, "a staunch and solid piece of framework, as any January could freeze together" (if we overlook the pliable Italians). All had their war plans, but none as famous as Schlieffen's. And by 1914, all plans were for the offensive – any previous defensive ones were discarded in favour of the much more manly and becoming offensive action, or so the thinking went. Dur: 46mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 28 Feb 2016

"If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles", so said the great Chinese general and strategist Sun Tzu. Though all military tacticians since the dawn of time have tried to predict and understand their enemy, few organisations have succeeded and truly become their enemy. To truly become one's enemy, takes more than putting on a uniform. Empathy with their foundation, a knowledge of their society, traditions and customs are the basics when trying to get inside your enemy's head. In modern military times, when discussing becoming one's enemy, the name of the Selous Scouts easily stands out above all others. Dur: 20 mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 28 Minutes 14 Feb 2016

In the last episode we heard of Dracula's rise to power in Wallachia and how in 1459 he refused to pay tribute to the Ottoman's. His failure to do so forced Sultan Mehmed II to raise a huge army to march on Wallachia. Dracula had prepared Wallachia for such a fight. Not only did he order the construction or repair of border castles, and hire mercenaries for the army, but he also prepared his people for war. He moved his official residence south to the strong citadel of Bucharest to be closer to the border. Dur: 28mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 38 Minutes 31 Jan 2016

In December 1476, two monks from the monastery of Snagov, about forty kilometers north of Bucharest, stumbled upon a bloody, mangled, headless corpse. Recognizing the clothing, the monks secretly interred the body in the monastery's crypt. The head, meanwhile, made its way to Constantinople where it was put on display. The body belonged to the newly returned prince, Vlad, who was at the time known as 'the Impaler', but history knows him by a different name - Dracula. Dur: 39mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 17 Jan 2016

The threat to Britain's supply lines during the second world war is a story of U-Boat Wolf Packs, preying on the merchant shipping as they brought vital goods to Britain across the Atlantic. But in other seas and oceans there was another threat, much akin to latter-day day pirates, at sea for months at a time in converted cargo ships. With their guns hidden, masquerading as other merchantmen they would sail remote sea lanes sinking or capturing lone shipping. Only nine German merchant raiders put to sea, yet they sank 130 Allied or neutral ships… The origins of these raiders goes back to the First World War... Dur: 22mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 28 Minutes 03 Jan 2016

The Second Punic War was already in its twelfth year with neither side in a strong enough position to claim supremacy. The Roman general Scipio had been campaigning successfully in the contested province of Spain for over three years but now the Carthaginians had gathered a huge army and marched out to destroy him. Significantly outnumbered, yet eager to draw his enemies into a decisive battle, Scipio accepted the challenge and in the spring of 206 BC the two armies met near the small town of Ilipa in southern Spain. The outcome of the Battle of Ilipa would not only determine control of the wealthy and strategically vital Iberian peninsula, but ultimately decide which city would become master of the whole Mediterranean world; Rome or her arch rival – Carthage. Dur: 29mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 31 Minutes 15 Nov 2015

During the hiatus between seasons we thought you might be running a bit short of military history? So we thought we'd put out this episode from Angus's new WW2 Podcast (sorry if you already subscribe and have heard it). The WW2 podcast is a regular podcast looking at all aspects of the Second World War. You can subscribe on iTunes, for more information have a look at WW2Podcast.com. In this episode, from August, Angus talked to Andrew Panton. Andrew is the pilot of "Just Jane", a Lancaster based in Lincolnshire. You can find out more at lincsaviation.co.uk. . .

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 01 Nov 2015

During the 15th Century Swiss Pikemen dominated the battlefield. Fighting as mercenaries these well drilled, professional soldiers, would provide the backbone to many European armies. The Spanish introduction of the Arquebusiers into their armies would prove to be their achilles heel to pike units and ushered in the era of "Pike and Shot". Dur: 25mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 18 Oct 2015

By the outbreak of the first world war the railways had become key to any military deployment. Troops could be rapidly moved en masse with all their equipment. The early hotch-potch of railway lines had become politicised as governments saw their use for both offensive and defensive reasons. It's not unfair to say in certain situations the laying of a new lines was done more for military reasons than economic. The importance of the train and its crucial role in the build of troops for the first world war is emphasised in AJP Taylor's statement that the First World War was "war by timetable". Dur: 27mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 04 Oct 2015

As peace descended on Europe in 1945, The Colt Manufacturing company had no intention of reinvigorating production of a weapon, who's design it now considered to be obselete - after all it had first become the standard United States Army revolver over 70 years prior - However, the post World war two years saw the burgeoning of television, and with that came Western themed movies, which in turn created customer demand for the revolver, and so Colt resumed its manufacture in 1956 with the Second Generation of Peacemakers. Even then, this would not be the last generation of the famous firearm. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 35 Minutes 20 Sep 2015

When Alexander the Great requested ships from an unwilling Athens, the Senate asked the incorruptible Phocion for his opinion. He responded that "you should either have the sharpest sword, or keep upon good terms with those who have". In the Pact of London, signed on 5th September 1914, Britain, France and Russia agreed that none would make a separate peace with the Central Powers, deliberately making each indentured to the others: Even if one country achieved its aims, it had to remain in the fight until the other two succeeded in theirs. This must be considered at least a little odd given that their aims were very disparate, sometimes even opposed. The following April Italy signed this secret pact, having been promised far more extensive territorial gains by the Entente than by her former allies. Dur: 36mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 06 Sep 2015

Armour was not just protection for the wearer it was a status symbol, however impractical and uncomfortable, it was a sign of power and authority. From the 18th century its popularity waned, as that of gunpowder weapons rose. What was left in use was more symbolic than practical protection. The last vestige was the helmet, often retained by the Heavy Cavalry in the 19th Century. That was until the outbreak of the first world war where it once more found use protecting Tommy Atkins, the American Doughboys, the French Poilu or the German infantryman. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 23 Aug 2015

By 1936, the SS under Himmler was in charge of all police forces in Germany and with that came the duty to protect Hitler at all times. Yet apart from his personal escort Hitler preferred not to have local police or military involved. He believed that remaining inconspicuous, apart from appearances at official ceremonies, was an integral part of his safety. For that reason Hitler's transport, be it automobile, aeroplane or train, were kept free of extensive insignia and other identifying factors. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 38 Minutes 09 Aug 2015

Starting officially in 1977, the U.S. Air Force implemented one of its most secretive, ambitious, and successful intelligence programs in its history, an amazing story that is still relatively unknown to this day. Through the ten-year life of its program, USAF personnel were able to acquire close to thirty Soviet MiG fighter, fighter-bomber, and interceptor aircraft for use in both evaluation and training of American and NATO fighter pilots. Although closely associated with many other U.S. intelligence-gathering programs, Constant Peg stands alone for both the depth and breadth of understanding it was able to achieve, that is, Soviet aircraft technology and tactics during the Cold War. Dur: 39mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 53 Minutes 26 Jul 2015

The 'July Crisis' refers to that month in 1914 when the various capitals in Europe played a continental game of brinkmanship, following the assassination on 28th June of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo. Franz Ferdinand was a nephew of the Emperor Franz Josef, and heir to the Habsburg throne. He was originally fourth in line, but those ahead of him all died or were killed between 1867 and 1896. Culpability for this assassination rests with the Serbian armed and trained Ujedinjenje ili smrt! [Union or death!], more familiar to us as The Black Hand. Dur: 54mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 37 Minutes 12 Jul 2015

By July 1918 the Australian Imperial Force or "AIF" was hardened by four bloody years of war – from the beaches and ravines of Gallipoli, to Fromelles, the Somme, Bullecourt, Messines, Passchendaele and Villers–Bretonneux - of the more than 295,000 Australians who served on the Western Front in the AIF - 46,000 would lose their lives and a further 132,000 would be wounded. Dur: 38mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 28 Jun 2015

The Abwehr, the German intelligence service during the second world war was not known for its resounding successes. But in Nazi occupied Netherlands its Operation North Pole, or "the England Game" was a resounding success. Captured resistance agents tried to warn their British handlers, but to no avail. Agents were repeatedly inserted, captured and executed. Dur: 22mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 34 Minutes 13 Jun 2015

In August 1914 the airplane was seen as an interesting toy by the High commands of all the powers. The British Royal Flying Corps took five squadrons to France, consisting of some 60 planes of different varieties. The pilots being generally rich sportsmen, who had learned to fly in their own aircraft before the war. The planes were fragile, slow and very expensive ­an airplane cost over £1,000, at a time when the average weekly wage was £2 for a labourer – so close to 10 years’ pay! Dur: 35mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 19 Apr 2015

From the time of Homer a small strait of water from the aegean to the black sea has proved both a strategic crossing point and a symbolic one, being the divide between Europe and Asia. It has provided a line from which invasions have started, and a channel when blocked that prevents access to the wider world from the Black sea. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 35 Minutes 05 Apr 2015

"The battlefield is the place: where one toasts the divine liquor in war, Where are stained red the divine eagles, Where the tigers howl, Where all kinds of precious stones rain from ornaments, Where wave headdresses rich with fine plumes, Where princes are smashed to bits." The poet of these verses, the Aztec emperor Nezahualcoyotl, captures the spirit and pageantry of Aztec warfare. The empire known to us as the Aztecs was an alliance of city-states in the Valley of Mexico. From 1428 to 1521, the Aztecs ruled and terrorized Mesoamerica. The Mexica, once a scorned, nomadic people, ultimately became the dominant power in this alliance. “Aztec” – a name these people did not use – derives from Atzlan, the semi-legendary homeland of the Mexica. Dur: 36mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 35 Minutes 22 Mar 2015

After World War Two, former New Zealand prisoner of war Gunner Jim Henderson wrote "We used to say after the war the Red Cross should take over the world and run it. They'd shown what they could do in a world mad with war." Most people know about the Red Cross: during the War of Italian Unification between imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian alliance, Swiss businessman Henri Dunant visited the northern Italian battlefield of Solferino in 1859. Deeply affected by the 40,000 mostly unattended casualties on the battlefield, Dunant wrote A Memory of Solferino, founded the relief society that became the Red Cross and was the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. Dur: 36mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 08 Mar 2015

Gas was one of the most feared weapons of world war one. Proportionally though, there were few casualties from gas throughout the war. The British kept accurate figures from 1916, of those casualties only 3% were fatal and 70% would be back on the front line in weeks. Gas was the "bogeyman", it was not a bullet to be dodged or something you could hide from. Initially protection was rudimentary from a cotton pad covered in urine to a chemically infused bag to place over your head with plastic eye slits. Dur: 25mins File:.mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 43 Minutes 22 Feb 2015

On October 17, 1781, four years to the day when British General John Burgoyne surrendered his army to American forces at Saratoga, New York, Lord Charles Cornwallis requested terms of surrender from General George Washington. Two days later, the British marched between lines of French and American soldiers to the tune of "The World Turn'd Upside Down." Upon hearing the news, British Prime Minister Lord North, "reeled, threw out his arms, exclaiming wildly, as he paced up and down…'Oh, God! It's all over!'" Dur: 44mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 36 Minutes 08 Feb 2015

In elegant bronze capitals, the name 'M. AGRIPPA' graces one of the most famous and iconic buildings to survive from antiquity, the domed Pantheon in Rome. He was one of Ancient Rome's most remarkable sons, and the best friend and general of Caesar Augustus. Yet the extraordinary story of his rise from obscurity to be the second most important man in the Roman World is known to remarkably few. Dur: 37mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 25 Jan 2015

On the 23rd July 1998, the Public Records Office published a number of files, that had previously been held in secret, in respect of activities planned and undertaken by the Special Operations Executive, or SOE, in Western Europe during the Second World War. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 27 Minutes 11 Jan 2015

The musket might have revolutionised the battlefield, allowing relatively unskilled levees to become truly dominant. But up until the machine guns of the first world war stopped the cavalry in their tracks, the mounted horseman had a vital role to play in any conflict. Dur: 28mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 28 Dec 2014

Marlborough, following his victory at Blenheim in August of 1704, attempted to exploit the situation even further by campaigning in the Moselle Valley. Due to the lack of political will of his Dutch Allies together with a shortage of supplies and the autumn rains fast approaching, Marlborough ordered his forces into winter quarters. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 14 Dec 2014

The bombing of and the battle for Caen was just part of the overall bombing of and battle for normandy. The bombing of Normandy devastated and flattened many Normandy towns and cities and resulted in thousands of ‘friendly civilian cadualties’. U.S. General Omar Bradley remarked after the war that "We went into France almost totally untrained in air-ground cooperation." Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 07 Nov 2014

In March of 1943 the 79th Armoured Division was due to be disbanded. A manpower shortage called for the bulk of the force to be redeployed, to make up shortfalls in other units. But the disastrous raid on Dieppe the previous year had proved that any invasion of mainland Europe would need to be supported by Armour, and this would need to be modified for an amphibious assault. So it was that Alan Brooke (Chief of the Imperial General Staff), had his "happy brainwave" and asked Major General Percy Hobart if he would oversee the conversion of the unit to a Specialised armoured unit, concentrating on developing vehicles that could overcome the German Defences. The strange vehicles that were developed and operated became known as "Hobart’s Funnies". Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 24 Oct 2014

D-Day the invasion of Europe was to take place at low tide, this minimised the risk of landing craft hitting mines and other submerged obstacles. But this created problems for the troops being landed. It was going to be a long dash over a sandy beach which may have been mined, supporting vehicles could quickly become bogged down in the soft sand then once over the beach the man-made defences had to be breached. To achieve this the 79th Armoured Division was formed, commanded by the maverick, Major General Percy Hobart, he oversaw the development of a number of unusually modified tanks to overcome problems the invaders would face, these would become known as “Hobart’s Funnies”. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 11 Oct 2014

Column, Line or Square is a very simplistic way to view Napoleonic era tactics. Troops were either deployed in Column to march, Line to fight or in the case of the infantry Square to defend against Cavalry. Sounds simple. But these were tactics drawn up and codified to allow for a new era, where large numbers of troops were deployed. Sometimes they were conscripts, sometimes poorly trained and in the case of the infantry using muskets with limited range and poor accuracy. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 27 Sep 2014

The Battle of Arras was in fact a series of Battles in April/May 1917, including Vimy Ridge, which has gone down in history as being an allied victory, but which in reality saw little gain in terms of allied advance and huge casualty figures on both sides after its 39 day duration. In fact such was the attrition rate that for the allies it surpassed The Somme in terms of daily casualty toll. Include the German casualties and an average of some seven and a half thousand casualties a day occurred throughout. Dur: 21mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 32 Minutes 12 Sep 2014

The clang of gongs hung in the heavy air of an August day, 1860. Waving their yellow flags, the rebels in their red turbans and colourful garb marched closer and closer to Shanghai – until artillery erupted from the city walls and sent them scurrying for cover. Yet the rebels would not fire back. At last they withdrew, scratching their heads that the British and French troops were killing them, not greeting them as Christian brothers. For these rebels had been baptized and had no quarrel with the foreigners of Shanghai. And their enemy was the same Chinese government that Anglo-French forces on that same day battled in the north. Dur: 33mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 14 Minutes 31 Aug 2014

In looking back through history, it is kings, queens, politicians and generals who steal the limelight. Those people who actually "do" the bidding are often much less well known. How many people are familiar with Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, Marshal of France? The foremost military engineer of his day, he was renowned not only for building fortifications but for developing the art of siege craft. Dur: 15mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 17 Aug 2014

It had been largely accepted that "Charles the Sufferer", the feeble and sickly King of Spain, would die without an heir. The nearest claimants to the Spanish Crown were the king's cousins; the Bourbon King of France, Louis XIV, and the Austrian Habsburg Leopold I, the Holy Roman Emperor. Married to Charles's Sisters, both had a strong claim. With the succession storm brewing Europe's monarchs entered into agreements in order to place themselves in favorable positions at the moment of Charles's death. Some aligning themselves with the house of Bourbon, others with that of Habsburg. Dur: 23 mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 01 Aug 2014

There is no single factor to blame for the outbreak of the First World War. At best we can say that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, was the catalyst setting in motion a string of events that resulted in war. For decades tensions had been mounting between the European powers. It was these tensions that lead to a complex web of alliances, which would eventually drag the great powers into war. Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 42 Minutes 20 Jul 2014

On October 17, 1777, British General John Burgoyne surrendered his army to American forces under the command of General Horatio Gates, marking the end of an ambitious campaign to isolate the rebellious New England colonies from the rest with a three pincer movement all leading to Albany, New York. There were two battles at Saratoga. The first, the Battle of Freeman's Farm, took place on September 19 and the second, the Battle of Bemis Heights, took place on October 7. One patriot, Henry Sewall, wrote "Perhaps an unprecedented Instance that near 6,000 British & foreign Troops, under the command of an accomplish’d General, should surrender themselves Prisoners of War in the field to an Army of raw Continental Troops & Militia!" Dur: 43mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 06 Jul 2014

The Versailles treaty, imposed after the First World War denied Germany a Military Intelligence gathering organisation. But in 1921 the German Government reactivated the intelligence service. As a sop to Versailles the new counter intelligence service would be called the Abwehr, or "Defence". Dur: 18mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 13 Minutes 26 Apr 2014

The Dessert War or Western Desert Campaign was one of the two major stages of the North Africa Campaign of WW2. The Western Desert was crucial to the allied forces being able to continue their fight against the Germans following allied defeats and losses in Greece and Crete. It was imperative that the Western Desert remained in the control of allied forces. The first Major Allied Operation of the Western Desert Campaign was codenamed Operation Compass. Dur: 14mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 51 Minutes 13 Apr 2014

To commemorate our 6 millionth download this week, we've gone back in the archives and edited a two-parter from season 10 together on Lettow-Vorbeck. Enjoy!... The lasting image of the First World War is that of trench warfare. However, far away from the trenches of the Western Front an extraordinary struggle was fought in a remote corner of Africa. When Germany went to war in August 1914 it possessed but few colonial possessions mainly situated in Africa. Dur: 52mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 02 Apr 2014

The Battle of Adowa stands out during the scramble for Africa of the 19th century. It was was that rare event of a native African army defeating a well equipped, modern European force. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 16 Mar 2014

Few ancient states could match the scope and power of the Seleucid Empire. Founded in the late 4th century BC by Seleucus Nikator, a former officer of Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Empire at its peak included the modern states of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. The expanse of Seleucid rule bridged worlds, encompassing Buddhists and Jews, Greeks and Persians, walled cities and nomadic tribes. The Seleucid king might deal with an embassy from an Indian dynasty one day and a delegation of Roman senators the next. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 41 Minutes 05 Mar 2014

Following the Civil War, Mackenzie reverted to the rank of Captain and rejoined the Corps of Engineers in New Hampshire, improving fortifications along the Atlantic coast. However, after spending the last two years in a combat command, engineering no longer held his interest. He wished to return to the field and advance his career. In early 1867, Mackenzie headed to Washington to petition General Grant to send him west. Dur: 42mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 16 Feb 2014

For a year Britain and her Commonwealth stood alone against Germany, in June 1941 Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, invading Russia. Churchill was desperate for allies, and Stalin had been openly hostile to Capitalist Britain but now as the Wehrmacht romped across Russia that summer Stalin's attitude changed. Dur: 21mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 02 Feb 2014

May 8, 1945 marked the end of the War in Europe while August 15 marked the same in the Pacific theatre. With the defeated nations being occupied and made into new allies, an entirely different conflict for the world was now beginning. The Cold War had begun. Dur: 22mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 18 Jan 2014

"Ye Sons of Great Britain! come join with me And sing in praise of the gallant British Armie, That behaved right manfully in the Soudan, At the great battle of Omdurman". So go the opening lines of The Battle of Omdurman by William McGonagall. It was indeed a great battle where the British and Egyptian forces were heavily outnumbered by the Dervishes of the Mahdist leader Abdullah al-Taashi. It involved a gallant British cavalry charge in which Winston Churchill took part, and it was a battle with which the discipline of a modern army won over a vastly larger force with older weapons. As the French historian and writer Hilaire Belloc put it: "Whatever happens, we have got... The Maxim gun, and they have not". Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 05 Jan 2014

On January 20, 1889, the following death notice appeared in the New York Times: "MACKENZIE—At New Brighton, Staten Island, on the 19th of January, Brig. Gen. Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, United States Army, in the 48th year of his age." Such a death notice, lacking much detail into his life and career, could be expected if the officer was a minor figure of the late 19th century army, having played little or no role in the Civil War or the more recent Indian Wars. However, this notice is not fitting for an officer who graduated at the top of his class at West Point in 1862 and in three short years, rose to the rank of brevet major general. Dur: 29mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 28 Minutes 22 Dec 2013

In 1909, famed mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published The Crime of the Congo, an exhaustive book cataloguing the evils of Congo Free State. On the first page, Doyle included unsettling photographs of African women with severed hands, cut off in the course of forced labor or punitive acts. Doyle's ruthless critique of King Leopold II was published in the context of mounting international criticism against Belgian colonialism, which resulted in the annexation of the territory in 1908. Dur: 29mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 19 Minutes 31 Oct 2013

The legend of the triumphal German Panzer Divisions sweeping all before them during the Blitzkrieg across Europe in 1939-40 gives the impression of a modern mechanized force, but what we rarely hear about is that behind this spearhead was the bulk of the infantry who relied upon its use of horses. So dependant upon the lowly horse were they that at its height the Wehrmacht used over 1.1 million of them! Dur: 20mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 40 Minutes 12 Oct 2013

Germanicus Caesar is a famous name in the annals of Roman military history yet his life story is known to remarkably few. It is a Boy's Own tale of adventure, courage and derring-do, but it is also the chronicle of the man who was intended to be the third emperor of Rome, but never was. Dur: 41mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 45 Minutes 28 Sep 2013

We have all seen it - on coins, stamps, postcards, t-shirts, billboards, and classroom walls. In 1851 Emanuel Gottlieb Luetze painted "Washington Crossing the Delaware", an iconic image of the General's attack on Trenton during a bitter December night in 1776. Lost in all of the painting's fame, however, is the irony that the German-born artist was glamorizing the defeat of German auxiliary forces as the turning point in the American Revolution. Dur: 46mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 09 Sep 2013

Kublai Khan, the Grandson of Genghis Khan, became emperor of Mongolia in 1260. Northern China was already under his control and Korea gave him access to the sea, with Japan just 100 miles away. Five times, between 1266 and 1274, Kublai Khan sent emissaries to the Emperor of Japan, addressing him as "the ruler of a small country", demanding he pay tribute and become a vassal state. Five times the emissaries returned empty-handed. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 26 Minutes 25 Aug 2013

Turning points are sometimes controversial but it is generally accepted that the Battle of Gettysburg was the major turning point of the American Civil War. It marked the high point of Confederate arms in that it was their last venture into the north and the furthest they reached. After Gettysburg the South was essentially permanently on the defensive and never regained the capability of significant offensive action against the North. Dur: 27mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 12 Aug 2013

With only 8 moving parts, the AK-47 assault rifle is simple to maintain and its simplicity of use and durability are legendary. It can fire 600 rounds a minute and every single bullet is potentially still lethal at distances of more than a kilometre or two-thirds of a mile. 70+ Million have been produced (over 100 million if you count its variants). Its initial design was submitted as a competition entry after the Soviet Army asked for designs for a reliable weapon capable of withstanding all that the then Russian front could throw at a weapon. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 27 Minutes 28 Jul 2013

The origins of the Zulu War of 1879 can be traced to the first decade of the 19th century. It was then, that a rather minor clan of the Bantu people begun to grow into a formidable military force united under a single warrior chief. Zulu were always united in their ways by kinship. Dur: 28mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 12 Jul 2013

Contrary to the 2010 film version of Robin Hood there was no medieval landing craft version of the "Saving Private Ryan" ilk. Before the Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (the LCVP), boats needed to be beached and their occupants jump over the side into water. Vital time was lost. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 15 Minutes 22 Jun 2013

From early in 1754 the Seven Year war started to bubble into full scale global conflict. In North America French and British colonists clashed over trade and disputed territory. In May 1756 the first naval action took place at Minorca in the Mediterranean where the British were forced to withdraw, opening up hostilities in Europe. In India the French and British East India Companies vied for influence over the region in a series for proxy conflicts as each would support local rulers against one another. At Plassey Robert Clive won a victory that would help secure the close relationship between Britain and India for the next 200 years. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 09 Jun 2013

The history of Cyber-warfare can be traced back to the advent of the telegraph communications in the first half of the 19th century. During the First World War the importance of codes and wired communications came of age with such famed episodes as the intercepting by the British Intelligence of the Zimmerman Telegram dispatched by the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmermann, to the German ambassador in Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt. Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 16 Minutes 29 Apr 2013

In the early morning of 18th July 1972 nine British SAS soldiers stationed at a fort outside the coastal town of Mirbat in Southern Oman saw approaching in the distance what they believed to be the local troops returning from night watch. That was until they opened fire - they were in fact up to 300 Adoo Communist rebels...For six hours the SAS and a handful of local soldiers held out. Dur: 17mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 31 Minutes 15 Apr 2013

In David Thomas's The importance of Commando Operations in Modern Warfare 1939-82 he states: "Commando operations in the sense of self-contained acts of war mounted by forces operating within enemy territory are as old as warfare itself. However, before the second world war, the types of missions that later would become known as 'commando operations', were regarded in western military thought as belonging to the separate phenomenon of irregular warfare, that is, to partisan and guerrilla activity. Therefore, the several [British Commando] forces which came into existence between 1940 and 1942 owed their formation not to British army strategy and doctrine, nor to any far-reaching conception of commando warfare, but to the fertile imagination of Prime Minister Churchill and a number of gifted officers." Dur: 32mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 36 Minutes 30 Mar 2013

By 1840 Harry Smith was a veteran soldier of the British Empire, he had joined the Army in 1805 and had seen active service in South America, the Peninsular Campaign where under the Duke of Wellington, he witnessed the burning of the Capitol in Washington, was a Brigade Major at Waterloo and in South Africa had commanded a division in the Xhosa wars before being appointed Governor of the Province of Queen Adelaide. Dur: 37mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 16 Mar 2013

By mid 1940 of the European powers and Britain and her Empire stood alone against Germany. The situation looked dire. Though the miracle of Dunkirk had managed to save thousands of British troops much of their equipment had been lost, Britain needed to replace this and her own industry was not up to providing in numbers the goods required. Though the United States was officially neutral it would supply goods on a "cash and carry" basis, and millions of pounds was flowing out of Britain to the US, in the form of gold, to pay for vital war materiel. But this could not go on, Britain had only so many assets it could liquidate. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 02 Mar 2013

When Neville Chamberlain delivered his speech on September 3rd 1939 to declare that Britain was at War with Germany, western focus was fixed on that and the hearts and minds of Britain's population braced themselves for another World War as did the hearts and minds of much of Europe. Many events would shape the outcome of World War II, but one set of battles even before it began - some three months earlier, The Battle of Khalkhin Gol between Russia and the Japanese on the Mongolian Border - might have played their own big part in the eventual outcome of the second world war. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 25 Minutes 16 Feb 2013

Of the Battle of Valmy, military historian J.F.C Fuller, wrote, "The Cannonade of Valmy was more than a military event; it drew a line between the form war had taken since 1648 and the form it was to assume after 1792." The events leading up to the Battle of Valmy are a good representation of such changes in political and military situations in both Revolutionary France, and the rest of Europe at that time. Dur: 26mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 20 Minutes 03 Feb 2013

Mata Hari is one of the "best known" spies of World War One. While she may not have been a "saint" by any stretch of the imagination - it is said that she "drew every man's lustful admiration and every woman's envy" - there's plenty of speculation as to whether she was really guilty of the espionage for which she was accused and for which she paid the ultimate price...execution by firing squad on 15th October 1917. Dur: 22mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 19 Jan 2013

The military performance of an army is not just dependant on numbers:- the men need to be fed, equipped, quartered, transported (the list goes on). If you can deprive your opponent of these elements you can degrade his fighting ability. The policy of Scorched Earth denies your opponent of anything useful in the area they are passing through (either in attack or retreat), this can include burning of crops, ripping up rail lines or destroying buildings anything of any use is destroyed. Dur: 22 mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 31 Minutes 06 Jan 2013

In 53 B.C. a Roman army confronted a force one quarter its strength yet suffered Rome's bloodiest defeat in more than a hundred years. The Battle of Carrhae pitted 40,000 Roman soldiers against an army of a mere 10,000 of the Parthian Empire on the sands of Mesopotamia. The humiliating loss rippled through Rome and crumbled the fragile foundation of the Republic; from this rubble rose the Roman Empire. And the disaster of Carrhae, and the folly leading to it, would write a bloody epitaph of the Roman commander, Marcus Licinius Crassus. Dur: 32mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 18 Minutes 23 Dec 2012

The origins of the Great Northern War can be traced back to the Swedish involvement in the Thirty Years War and later in the the First Northern War of 1655-60 between Sweden and Poland. Outcomes of these conflicts made the Baltic Sweden's "internal sea". This antagonised Sweden's neighbours. Russian interests were greatly affected as the access to the Baltic Sea and its trade routes were now under threat from the Swedish Navy. Dur: 19mins File: .mp3. . .

  Direct Link   Download 13 Minutes 16 Nov 2012

Tony Iveson learnt to fly before the outbreak of the Second World War. Flying the famous Spitfire throughout the Battle of Britain he survived a ditching in the sea after he ran out of fuel chasing a Junkers JU88. After a spell as an instructor at the training school in Rhodesia he converted to bombers, flying that other great plane of the war the Avro Lancaster. Joining 617 Squadron "the Dam Busters, as a flight Lieutenant, he took part in some 27 missions, including the sinking of the German pocket battleship the Tirpitz, and in the process winning the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war Tony became the Chairman of the Bomber Command Association and at the age of 89, the oldest man to fly a Lancaster Bomber. This presentation was recorded at Northallerton Wartime Weekend where Tony Iveson gave two talks covering the Bomber Offensive and the Tirpitz Raid. To find details about the two talks please visit our website www.thehistorynetwork.org. . .

  Direct Link   Download 11 Minutes 03 Jul 2011

In 1940 18 year old trainee navigator, Frank Stone, was shot down on his second bombing mission.He eventually ended up in Sagan StalagLuft III - the camp made renowned in the classic war movie "The Great Escape". One of the infamous three tunnels, Tom, Dick and Harry, was dug from the hut in which Frank was billeted.For the past thirty years Frank has been sharing his experiences of the camp, explaining how they planned and achieved everything and telling of his own part in the greatest escape story of the Second World War. This is the forth of four excerpts from a full 87 minute DVD which is available direct from Frank. For more information on the full DVD please see our website. All proceeds to the Bomber Command Memorial Fund.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 13 Minutes 17 Jun 2011

In 1940 18 year old trainee navigator, Frank Stone, was shot down on his second bombing mission.He eventually ended up in Sagan StalagLuft III - the camp made renowned in the classic war movie "The Great Escape". One of the infamous three tunnels, Tom, Dick and Harry, was dug from the hut in which Frank was billeted.For the past thirty years Frank has been sharing his experiences of the camp, explaining how they planned and achieved everything and telling of his own part in the greatest escape story of the Second World War. This is the third of four excerpts from a full 87 minute DVD which is available direct from Frank. For more information on the full DVD please see our website. All proceeds to the Bomber Command Memorial Fund.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 10 Minutes 03 Jun 2011

In 1940 18 year old trainee navigator, Frank Stone, was shot down on his second bombing mission.He eventually ended up in Sagan StalagLuft III - the camp made renowned in the classic war movie "The Great Escape". One of the infamous three tunnels, Tom, Dick and Harry, was dug from the hut in which Frank was billeted.For the past thirty years Frank has been sharing his experiences of the camp, explaining how they planned and achieved everything and telling of his own part in the greatest escape story of the Second World War. This is the second of four excerpts from a full 87 minute DVD which is available direct from Frank. For more information on the full DVD please see our website. All proceeds to the Bomber Command Memorial Fund.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 8 Minutes 20 May 2011

In 1940 18 year old trainee navigator, Frank Stone, was shot down on his second bombing mission.He eventually ended up in Sagan StalagLuft III - the camp made renowned in the classic war movie "The Great Escape". One of the infamous three tunnels, Tom, Dick and Harry, was dug from the hut in which Frank was billeted.For the past thirty years Frank has been sharing his experiences of the camp, explaining how they planned and achieved everything and telling of his own part in the greatest escape story of the Second World War. This is the first of four excerpts from a full 87 minute DVD which is available direct from Frank. For more information on the full DVD please see our website. All proceeds to the Bomber Command Memorial Fund.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 216 Minutes 18 Dec 2009

As the allies broke out from the D Day beachhead the Americans moved South into Brittany, while the British and Canadians were held by the Germans at Caen. As the US First Army moved up from the South toward Caen, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge was ordered by Hitler not to withdraw. In early August of 1944 the noose began to tighten, creating a pocket round the town of Falaise encircling the German Seventh and Fifth Panzer Armies. This report is brought to you by Richard C.Hottelet for CBS, broadcast from London in August of 1944. Filmed at Pickering, North Yorkshire, with the Northern WWII Association. Dur:3min 37sec File: .m4v. . .

  Direct Link   Download 87 Minutes 03 Jul 2009

We recently watched the Northern WWII Association in action at Scarborough Castle. We were wondering what to do with the footage so we made up this promo for Season 7 which is due to start 26 July 2009. Dur: 1min File: .m4v. . .

  Direct Link   Download 145 Minutes 07 Jun 2009

On the eve of the D Day invasion, in 1944, Dwight D. Eisenhower the Supreme Commander of the allied forces made this address to his troops. I hope you enjoy this short film we out together, hopefully one of many. Dur: 2min File: m4v (its a video!!!). . .

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