Warfare

By History Hit

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Description

From Napoleonic battles to Cold War confrontations, the Normandy landings to 9/11, this podcast opens up fascinating new perspectives on how wars have shaped and changed our modern world. Each week, twice a week, war historian, writer, and broadcaster, James Rogers, teams up with fellow historians, veterans, and experts to reveal astonishing new histories of inspirational leadership, breakthrough technologies, and era defining battles. Together they highlight the stark realities and consequences of global warfare. Join us on the front line of military history.


Follow on Twitter @HistoryHitWW2.


Episode Date
Climate Wars
00:43:01

As the planet heats up, competition for resources rises and populations migrate. Even without the impact of natural disasters it’s enough to raise the tensions between nations. Gwynne Dyer is an historian, independent journalist and the author of 2011’s ‘Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats’. In this episode, James and Gwynne discuss the ways in which climate change could lead to wars in the future, and whether it is possible to prevent this. Gwynne’s new book can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shortest-History-War-Gwynne-Dyer/dp/191040084X

 

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Oct 15, 2021
Italy in World War Two
00:17:45

On 13 October 1943, one month after surrendering to the Allies, Italy declared war on its former partner, Nazi Germany. In this episde from the History Hit archives, Dan talks to Paul Reed about the role of Italy in World War Two, from the battles that they took part in to the alliances they made. Paul is a leading military historian, specializing in the two world wars.


This photograph shows Warfare presenter James Rogers' grandfather, Sgt Ted Rogers (Coldstream Guards), leading his men into Impruneta, Italy, in 1944. The image was colourised by TIG.

 

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Oct 13, 2021
Greenham Common: Peace Camp and Protest
00:28:53

In September 1981 a small group of 36 Welsh women marched 120 miles from Cardiff to RAF Greenham Common and chained themselves to the gates. They were protesting against the storage of not only British, but possibly American nuclear weapons being stored on the supposedly public land at Greenham Common. Over the next 19 years, 70,000 women were involved in history’s most famous feminist protest. In this episode, Rebecca Morden and Jill ‘Ray’ Raymond share their personal stories of protesting nuclear weapons in Britain.

 

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Oct 11, 2021
IEDs in Afghanistan
00:38:34

October 7th, 2001 marks the beginning of the bombing campaign against Taliban forces. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) caused havoc in Afghanistan, adding a new form of warfare to conflict. As we reach the 20th anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan, James is joined by Patrick Bury. Patrick is a former captain in the Royal Irish Regiment who served in Sangin, Afghanistan. Patrick takes us through his first-hand, personal experiences and encounters with IEDs as we reflect on the history of the battle.

 

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Oct 08, 2021
Nelson's Victory at Trafalgar
00:39:58

On 21 October 1805, the British Royal Navy, commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, emerged victorious over the combined French and Spanish fleets. In this episode from the archive, Andrew Baines, curator of HMS Victory, talks Dan through the events of 21 October 1805: the ship, the man, the battle.

 

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Oct 06, 2021
War Reporters in the Pacific
00:43:43

The Second World War was the first time that many on the home front in the United States were able to see and hear war in action. In this episode, Professor Steven Casey from LSE introduces the correspondents who covered America's war against Japan in the Pacific theatre. He takes us through their experiences and their impact on the home front, shining a light on the critical role that journalists on the frontline played.


Steven Casey is the author of 'The War Beat, Pacific: The American Media at War Against Japan', published by Oxford University Press Inc.

 

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Oct 04, 2021
Czech Resistance
00:42:25

Though excluded from decisions on their occupation in the Munich Agreement in 1938, the citizens of the new country of Czechoslovakia were by no means passive for the rest of the war. The story of Czechoslovakian espionage and resistance is one which spans Europe and the length of the war, including assassinations of Nazi leaders and brave battles to the death. George Bearfield is the grandson of Jaroslav Bublík, a key figure in intelligence and the leader of possibly the last parachute drop of the Second World War. He has been studying his grandfather’s experiences during the war for his book ‘Foursquare: The Last Parachutist’. In this episode he sheds light on this story and whether an operation which was thought to have been cancelled really went ahead.


© Everett Collection/Shutterstock

 

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Oct 01, 2021
The History of Drones
00:26:56

Although the use of drones has become well established and publicised in recent years, the history of unmanned aircraft stretches all the way back to the First World War. In this episode from the History Hit archive, James and Dan explore the development of drones and their use.

 

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Sep 29, 2021
Hitler’s North African Genocide
00:33:15

When we think of the Holocaust, we tend to think about Europe and Germany. However, during World War II, Hitler's antisemitic race laws also penetrated North Africa and the Middle East, spreading havoc to countries including Libya, Egypt, Algeria, and even Iraq. In this episode of Warfare, we examine this forgotten aspect of the Holocaust. James is joined by journalist and author Gershom Gorenberg to tell us more about its impact on the people of Africa.

 

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Sep 27, 2021
Duke of Wellington
00:52:07

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, was a soldier, statesman, and prominent political figure who served the United Kingdom twice as Prime Minister. He is known to many as a successful defensive general, but what about when he was on the offensive? In this episode, we explore the life, career, and death of Wellington. James is once again accompanied by Historian and presenter Zack White as they delve into the complex life of Wellington. Debunking myths, exploring his life, legacy, and controversies.


Zack specialises in crime and punishment in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars at the University of Southampton and is the creator of the TheNapoleonicWars.net.

 

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Sep 24, 2021
Britain's Most Decorated Spy
00:24:24

Odette Sansom, was the most highly decorated woman, and the most decorated spy of any gender during World War II. She was awarded both the George Cross and was appointed a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. Her wartime exploits and later imprisonment by the Nazis were celebrated in the years after the war, but she has fallen out of the spotlight recently. Larry Loftis' book reinstate her as one of the most celebrated members of the Special Operations Executive, the British sabotage and espionage organisation.


© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Sep 22, 2021
From Pilots to the Production Line: Women & Work in WWII
00:27:20

From munitions factories and the cabinet war rooms, to flying aircraft and even shaking hands with Joseph Stalin; during the Second World War women could be found throughout the workforce. Lucy Fisher has been interviewing surviving women of the Second World War workforce and in this episode, she shares some of her favourite anecdotes. Lucy is an author and the Deputy Political Editor for The Daily Telegraph, having formerly been a Defence editor for The Times. Her book ‘Women in the War’ is out now.


© IWM

 

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Sep 20, 2021
Band of Brothers & Beyond
00:23:51

Twenty years after the release of the landmark series Band of Brothers, screenwriter John Orloff is back to bring us Masters of the Air with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. James spoke to John to get some inside information about the ongoing production of this project, including the exact repllication of Second World War aircraft and buildings from American Air Force bases in Britain. John also discusses how writing Masters of the Air differed from writing Band of Brothers, and the involvement of veterans.

 

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Sep 17, 2021
The Battle of Britain: Truth and Myth
00:34:28

In June 1940 Nazi Germany overran France and forced the British army to evacuate at Dunkirk. Severely lacking in military equipment, Britain and its Empire now stood alone against Adolf Hitler's forces. To stand any chance of crossing the English Channel, Germany would have to crush the Royal Air Force and gain control of the skies during that summer. The Battle of Britain, the first major battle to be decided entirely by air power, had begun. Dan talks to military historian Andy Saunders about the Battle of Britain to find out which parts of the narrative we have got wrong and which we have right. Dan also spoke to veteran of the Battle of Britain, Wing Commander Thomas Neil.

 

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Sep 15, 2021
American Resistance Leader in Nazi Berlin
00:51:53

Her American nationality could have offered her protection from the Nazi Regime. Instead, she used it to benefit the resistance movement. Mildred Harnack and her German husband, Arvid, began their underground resistance group in Berlin in 1932. Both contributed bravely to what was later known to the Gestapo as the Red Orchestra, also taking part in espionage, until their capture and execution. In this episode, Rebecca Donner explores the extraordinary life of Mildred, who also happens to be her great aunt. Rebecca’s New York Times bestseller on this topic is called ‘All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days’.

 

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Sep 13, 2021
9/11: From the 105th Floor
00:51:57

For the majority of us, our experience of 9/11 was transmitted through a TV screen, radio, newspaper or even history book. But Joe Dittmar’s experience of these terror attacks was personal. On the morning of the 11 September 2001, he was in a meeting on the 105th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Joe shares his story of surviving 9/11 in this moving episode.


Joe’s WTC Survivor/ Always Remember Initiative if found here http://www.wtceskp.com/

 

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Sep 10, 2021
9/11: Evacuating Ground Zero
00:41:58

At 8:46 am on 11 September 2001 the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in Lower Manhattan. Over the next 9 hours, almost half a million people were evacuated from that island by boat, many other options being made impossible. Here to share the story of this maritime evacuation is Jessica DuLong. Jessica is a journalist and historian, as well as chief engineer emerita of the retired 1931 New York City fireboat, John J. Harvey. She tells us about the boats involved, the obstacles they faced, and about her own experience of ground zero.  Her book on this topic is called ‘Saved at the Seawall: Stories from the September 11 Boat Lift’.

 

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Sep 08, 2021
Before 9/11: A History of Hijacking
00:36:44

As the world prepares to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks two decades on, we discuss the history of plane hijackings. From politically motivated attacks to propaganda tools used by governments, Dr Yannick Veilleux-Lepage shares his knowledge of the broader context of the attacks of 2001. Dr. Yannick Veilleux-Lepage is assistant Professor of Terrorism and Political Violence at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University. His book, 'How Terror Evolves: The Emergence and Spread of Terrorist Techniques' is published by Rowman & Littlefield.

 

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Sep 06, 2021
Before 9/11: The Day Wall Street Exploded
00:26:47

At lunchtime on 16 September 1920, a horse drawn cart exploded on the busiest corner of the Financial District of New York. To find out more about the United States’ first age of terror, James spoke to Professor Beverly Gage. Beverly explains what we know about this attack on Wall Street. Who were its victims, suspects, and investigators and what impact did it have on American society? Beverly is a professor of 20th-century American history at Yale University and author of ‘The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror’.


© Everett Collection/Shutterstock

 

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Sep 03, 2021
The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz
00:43:42

In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholsterer in Vienna, was arrested by the Nazis. Along with his sixteen-year-old son Fritz, he was sent to Buchenwald in Germany, where a new concentration camp was being built. What followed is a remarkable story of horror, love and the impossible survival of a father and his son. In this episode from the archive, Dan Snow and historian Jeremy Dronfield explore Gustav's secret diary, Fritz' accounts and other eyewitness testimony, and build a picture of this extraordinary father and son team.

 

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Sep 01, 2021
Trident: Does the Nuclear Deterrent Work?
00:53:44

With the nuclear submarine TV series, Vigil, coming out last night, the UK’s leading expert on Trident, Dr Nick Ritchie from the University of York, joins James on Warfare.

Dr Nick gives us a step-by-step history on the multilayered missile system, which is said to act as a deterrence posture.

Earlier this year, Boris Johnson’s government agreed to increase the amount of nuclear weapons in the UK by around 40%, and it’s still unknown where the warheads would be stored if Scotland secure a second referendum and vote to leave the union.

Hear why the UK first got nuclear weapons, whether they actually work as a deterrence, and find out the many challenges which lie ahead.

Dr Nick’s book, A Nuclear Weapons-Free World?: Britain, Trident and the Challenges Ahead, is available now.

 

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Aug 30, 2021
Al Qaeda
00:47:30

Their attacks of 11 September 2001 sparked a War on Terror which echoes loudly to this day, but where did Al Qaeda come from, how did their ideologies form and what role do they play in the world today? For this episode James spoke to Dr Afzal Ashraf, an expert in Al Qaeda's ideology and violent religious extremism. Dr Ashraf spent over 30 years in the UK Armed Forces as a senior officer and is a Senior Government Advisor.


© Shutterstock/Everett Collection

 

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Aug 27, 2021
The Doolittle Raid
00:25:18

It's one of the great stories of American military history; The Doolittle Raid. In 1942 after the humiliation assault on Pearl Harbour and determined to show that America still had offensive capabilities the charismatic figure of James Doolittle came to President Rosevelt with the proposal to fly army bombers off aircraft carriers and attack Tokyo the capital of the Japanese Empire. Michel Paradis, the author of Last Mission to Tokyo, joined Dan to discuss the mission itself and also the fascinating story of the fight for justice for the Doolittle crews captured, tortured and killed by the Japanese.

 

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Aug 25, 2021
Defence Spending & Democracy in the United States
00:31:37

As the international community moved from World War to Cold War in the second half of the 20th century, the defence requirements of the United States also evolved. But what did this mean for arms manufacturers, and how did it affect their relationship with politics? In this episode, Mike Brenes from Yale University explores the changes which took place as the Cold War developed, and where the power in defence spending lies. Mike’s new book, For Might and Right: Cold War Defense Spending and the Remaking of American Democracy (Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond), is available here: https://www.umasspress.com/9781625345219/for-might-and-right/


Image Credit: CC/Pentagon Archives

 

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Aug 23, 2021
The Jacobite Risings
00:21:53

On 19 August 1745, the Jacobites engaged in the final of their five uprisings, stretching back to 1689. In this episode, Kelsey Ellington examines the Jacobite’s uprisings, their supporters and their opposition. Kelsey explains how Bonnie Prince Charlie Stuart and his supporters were hampered by difficult terrain, an exhausted army and division among the ranks; how the uprisings were and are depicted in art; and how the Jacobite conflicts may not be cut so clearly along the national lines that they are often thought to have been.


Image Credit: CC/Hungarian National Gallery/Tate

 

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Aug 20, 2021
Critiquing the War in Afghanistan with Mike Martin
00:33:54

In 2014, Dr Mike Martin famously critiqued the Ministry of Defence with a book based on a series of conversations Martin had with the Afghan locals, as one of the few within the military who could speak pashto. The MOD tried to prevent the publication of this book but in this episode, Dan talks to Mike about his problems with the way that the military is run, and how the conflict in Afghanistan may change in years to come.

 

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Aug 18, 2021
The Tank Hero of Arras
00:53:21

Major-General Eugene Vincent Michael Strickland, known to many as Strick - was a tankman and war hero of France, Italy, and North Africa during World War II. He played a vital role in the Battle of Arras in 1940 and aided in the breach of the Hitler Line in 1944. James is joined by archaeologist and historian Tim Strickland, son of Michael Strickland, to take us through the life, adventures, and achievements of his father.


Tim is the author of 'Strick: Tank Hero of Arras': https://www.casematepublishing.co.uk/strick

 

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Aug 16, 2021
Withdrawal from Afghanistan with Rory Stewart OBE
00:26:42

The current withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan raises a lot of questions about the conflict. Why are they withdrawing now? Was there a better time for this? How might the assistance of Western countries have been more successful? In this episode, Rory Stewart OBE, former Secretary of State for International Development in the UK and now a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, shares his thoughts on the war in Afghanistan. Rory completed a solo walk across Afghanistan in 2002, and his experiences of the people and the country have informed his political, academic and non-profit work, including his 2006 New York Times Bestseller,  ‘The Places in Between’.

 

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Aug 13, 2021
The Korean War
00:37:13

Sandwiched between the Second World War and the conflict in Vietnam, the Korean War has often been termed 'The Forgotten War' in the United States. In this episode, Dan Snow spoke to H. W. Brands, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of 30 books on American history. H.W. takes Dan through the remarkable course of events which saw an immense civilian death toll and the destruction of virtually all of Korea's major cities. Why are commemorations of this bloodbath somewhat overlooked, and how did it lay the groundwork for the politics we see today? 

 

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Aug 11, 2021
The Nuclear Button with Former Defence Secretary William Perry and Tom Collina
00:27:10

It’s a devastating weapon of mass destruction, and in the United States the power to use it belongs to one person: the President. Since the Truman administration, there has been no requirement for the President to gain approval from Congress or even the Secretary of Defence before unleashing the nuclear arsenal. To learn more about the authority of Presidents Truman to Trump and now Biden, James welcomes William J. Perry, Secretary of Defence in the Clinton administration and Undersecretary of Defence for Research and Engineering in the Carter administration, and Tom Z. Collina, the Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation in Washington, DC. They discuss their experiences in Nuclear strategy and the prospect, or reality, of a Second Nuclear Arms Race and Cold War.


Their book can be found here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/692279/the-button-by-william-j-perry/9781948836999.

 

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Aug 09, 2021
Gallipoli: What Led to Britain's WW1 Disaster?
00:53:16

What does the price of wheat and global food supplies have to do with one of the greatest disasters in the history of warfare? Why was the decision made to send thousands of Allied troops in an attempt to free up the most heavily defended waterway in the world, the Dardanelles Straits? Historian and award-winning author Nicholas A Lambert joins James to talk us through the lead-up to Britain’s worst defeat in World War One, the catastrophic Gallipoli campaign in 1915. Find out why Prime Minister Henry Asquith and his senior advisers ordered the attacks in the first place, and the failed operation’s legacy.


Nicholas’ book, The War Lords and The Gallipoli Disaster, is available now: www.oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780197545201.001.0001/oso-9780197545201 

 

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Aug 06, 2021
The Western Front
00:28:08

The Western Front of the First World War is a story of aristocratic generals sending ordinary men over the top to their deaths in futile frontal attacks against entrenched positions. Or is it? In this episode from Dan Snow's History Hit, Dan interviews the brilliant historian Nick Lloyd, author of The Western Front who tells a much more nuanced account of the Western Front. They talk about the myths and legends of these campaigns, the great leaps forward in technology between 1914-1918; and how the men in command, and those on the front line, desperately tried to grapple with the complexities of this unprecedently brutal war. 

 

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Aug 04, 2021
Tornadoes in the Gulf War
00:27:10

The First Gulf War was the combat debut for the RAF Tornado, and also for many of the aircrew who would fly one. John Nichol served as a navigator in the RAF for 15 years, even returning to service after being shot down in 1991. In this conversation with James, John shares his own experiences of the Tornado and the First Gulf War during which he was shot down, intertwined with the story of the aircraft and those of his fellow aircrew. John’s book, ‘Tornado: In the Eye of the Storm’ is published by Simon and Schuster.

 

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Aug 02, 2021
An American Year of Peril: 1942
00:32:31

The year is 1942; American citizens are still recovering from the surprise military strike on Pearl Harbor, which had intensely impacted morale across the country and brought them into the Second World War. Fear and division ran deep within the American people, and democracy was under pressure. Joined by Historian and award-winning author of ‘The Year of Peril: America in 1942’, Tracy Campbell, we dissect one of the most devastating years in America's history and discuss whether we could see similarities with today.

 

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Jul 30, 2021
War with Margaret MacMillan
00:23:17

Every century of recorded history has featured a war. In this episode, Margaret MacMillan joined Dan Snow to discuss the ways in which war has influenced human society. They discussed how, in turn, changes in political organisation, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight.

 

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Jul 28, 2021
When the World Outlawed War
00:34:34

In August 1928, signatories from France, the United States and Germany signed a treaty outlawing war. This so-called Kellogg-Briand Pact was soon signed by almost every state. Yet, in the century since, countless wars have been started ... and not all of them finished. To find out whether the pact has had any impact on international relations since its inception, James speaks to Professor Oona Hathaway from Yale University. Oona and her colleague Scott Shapiro are the authors of ‘The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World’.

 

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Jul 26, 2021
Nazi Scientists & the Space Race
00:30:00

‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’: in July 1969 the United States successfully landed on the moon. It was part of a race into space which continues to this week and Jeff Bezos’ short voyage. But how was the American space race aided by Nazi Scientists and their barbaric experiments? Eric Lichtblau has returned to Warfare to take us further into Operation Paperclip, through which Nazi scientist like Wernher von Braun and Dr. Hubertus Strughold emigrated to America to aid various projects including the space programme. Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist, Eric, explores these topics in his book The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men.

 

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Jul 23, 2021
Assassination and Coverups in The Cold War Congo
00:19:05

In 1961, UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld's plane was shot down as he flew over the Congo. Dag Hammarskjöld was called ‘the greatest statesman of our century’ by John F. Kennedy, but he was found dead with an Ace of Spades mysteriously placed on his body. In this episode, Dan was joined by award-winning investigative journalist, Ravi Somaiya, who takes him into the depths of this event and the remarkable consequences across the globe. 

 

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Jul 21, 2021
Laying Seige
00:36:59

Besieging a city is often thought to be an antiquated strategy, lost to technological advances and the complexity of modern conflict. In this episode, however, Major Amos C. Fox tells us about modern siege warfare in Ukraine, Iraq and Bosnia, and where the reluctance to label them sieges comes from. Amos is a Major in the U.S. Army and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, Ball State University, and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

 

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Jul 19, 2021
Capturing the Spanish Civil War
00:41:39

Starting off as a novice photographer with strong political motivations, Gerda Taro became well known during the Spanish Civil War, only to sadly become the first woman photojournalist to have died covering the frontline of a war, aged 26. In this episode, Jane Rogoyska joins James to talk us through Gerda’s background, her partnership with her fellow photojournalist, known as Robert Capa, and her experience of the Spanish Civil War. Jane is a writer and film-maker who has been discovering the truth about Gerda Taro.

 

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Jul 16, 2021
The Soviet Spy in the Cotswolds
00:26:22

A mother of three living in a small British village, and an accomplished Soviet operative who co-ordinated a network of spies within Britain's atomic weapons programme. In this episode, Ben Macintyre joins Dan Snow to discuss one of the greatest spies of the 20th century, the woman alternately known as Mrs Burton, Agent Sonya and, her real name, Ursula Kuczynski.

 

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Jul 14, 2021
Predicting the Future of War
00:32:53

With every new technological breakthrough the battlefield of the future changes, often beyond recognition. Named as one of the United States’ 100 leading innovators by the Smithsonian, one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues by Defense News, and as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, Peter Warren Singer takes on the task of envisioning the future of warfare. In this episode, he speaks to James about the use of fact-based fiction and video games to consider and share battlefield strategy. Peter has advised on games including Call of Duty, and no other author has more books on the professional US military reading lists. His new book with co-author August Cole is called ‘Burn-In: A Novel of the REAL Robotic Revolution’.


© Cpl Mike O'Neill RLC LBIPP/MOD

 

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Jul 12, 2021
The Spitfire Kids
00:28:17

81 years after the beginning of the Battle of Britain in July 1940, we are looking at the people behind one of the iconic machines which helped the Allies towards victory. It is known that the average age of a pilot flying a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain was 20 years old, but many of those involved in designing and building the machines were even younger. In this episode Alasdair Cross, a producer from the BBC World Service, speaks to James about these individuals and their stories, and how their creation changed the course of the Second World War. Alasdair’s Sunday Times bestseller is called ‘The Spitfire Kids: The generation who built, supported and flew Britain's most beloved fighter’.

 

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Jul 09, 2021
Bugs, Spies and the Nazi Generals in Britain
00:22:17

When captured Nazi generals found themselves in Britain in the Second World War, they were probably surprised to be brought to a beautiful country house where they were wined and dined by a senior British aristocrat. But it was all a charade. Unbeknown to the generals, every single conversation they had was bugged and an army of translators and transcribers worked away in the basement below. The 'senior British aristocrat' who they suspected had Nazi sympathies was a fictitious character named after a whisky distillery, and the entire show was a genius plot by British Intelligence to squeeze out snippets of valuable information. In this episode, Helen Fry joined Dan Snow to reveal the extent of this remarkable operation, and the military strategy which was altered as a result of careless comments.

 

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Jul 07, 2021
The Forgotten Field Marshal: Viscount Alanbrooke
00:57:28

In the shadows of Montgomery, Alexander and Eisenhower, Field Marshal Alan Brooke’s extraordinary contributions as a strategist and leader have been largely forgotten over time. His experiences stretching across the First and Second World War, he held an incredible list of accolades and was one of Churchill’s key advisors leading Britain to victory over the Nazis. In this episode, former paratrooper and Second World War expert Bill Duff takes us through the incredible life of Alan Brooke.


© IWM

 

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Jul 05, 2021
The Battle of Gettysburg
00:41:02

158 years ago, the Unionist and Confederate armies were on their second day of fighting at the town of Gettysburg. The battle was arguably the tipping point for the American Civil War and involved an artillery bombardment which may have been the loudest man-made event until the detonation of the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo. But what actually happened at Gettysburg? To take us through the events of the 1-3 July 1863, James spoke to Craig Symonds, a teacher at the US Naval Academy for 30 years and the author of countless books. Craig takes us through the lead up to the battle, the strategies in play and the bloody outcomes of this high watermark of the Civil War.

 

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Jul 02, 2021
The Irish at the Somme
00:18:34

105 years ago, it was the eve of the Battle of the Somme. This is regularly remembered as an Anglo-French offensive, and the contributions of Irish soldiers are often overlooked. In this episode, Dan Snow was joined by Heather Jones to discuss the experience of Irish soldiers at one of the bloodiest battles in history. Heather is Professor in Modern and Contemporary European History at UCL.


© IWM

 

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Jun 30, 2021
History's Most Famous Battles
00:37:11

War! Something so ruinous has the power to both bring communities together whilst conversely ripping them apart. Many have taken place, but why are some remembered more than others? From The Battle of Culloden to The Second World War, we examine the legacies and myths that fire our understanding of war. In this episode, James is joined by Beatrice Heuser, Professor of International Relations at the University of Glasgow, expert historian, and author. Together, they work their way through some of the most renowned conflicts in history. 

 

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Jun 28, 2021
Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich
00:32:39

After 6 years of war, countries around the world were in a state of ruin in 1945, not least the losing side. The people of Germany had been under the rule of the Nazi party since 1933, and now they sought a way forward under the watchful eyes of the Allies. In this episode, hear Harald Jähner exploring the transformational decade after the Second World War in Germany. Harald and James discuss the experience of forced labourers and prisoners of war returning home, a country facing the crimes of the Holocaust, and other histories of mothers, men and children starting out on the path towards the thriving power of present day Germany. Harald is a cultural journalist and former editor of The Berlin Times, his new book ‘Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955’ is out now with Penguin Random House.

 

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Jun 25, 2021
They Called it Passchendaele
01:04:04

Lyn Macdonald is revered as the great chronicler of the human experience of the Western Front. She recorded interviews with more veterans of the First World War than any other. In this talk at Chalke Valley Hitory Festival in 2017, Lyn returned to the subject of her first book, the Battle of Passchendaele. She brings us stories of the battle of July until November 1917, bringing rare insights and perspectives to this bloody, muddy and brutal battle.

 

www.cvhf.org.uk

 

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Jun 23, 2021
From Airman to Attorney General: RAF Navigator Johnny Smythe
00:38:01

Beginning with his birth in 1915 in Sierra Leone, the life of John Henry Smythe OBE MBE is almost unbelievable. From becoming a navigator in the RAF during the Second World War, to being held captive in a German POW camp, to being the Senior Officer making key decisions about the futures of the people aboard HMT Empire Windrush and becoming Attorney General for Sierra Leone; the twists and turns in this story are incredible. James was joined by John’s son, Eddy, and the BBC’s Tim Stokes to hear this account of life during and after the Second World War, in which we even get a glimpse of JFK. 

Listen out for Eddy’s song, written in memory of his father, at the end of the episode. You can find the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIarzhxtGsU&ab_channel=EddySmythe

Tim’s article can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-55286092


 

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Jun 21, 2021
The Battle of Waterloo
01:01:40

After 12 years of battles against the French Republic’s various neighbours, this was Napoleon’s final stand. Although many associate its name with a Eurovision winning hit from 1974, the Battle of Waterloo was in fact devastating to the Republic and its Allied opposition. 24 thousand French and 19 thousand Allied soldiers died on this battlefield. On the 206 anniversary of the battle, Zack White returns to Warfare to discuss whether the battle was inevitable or the Allied victory certain, and if the credit for winning should be as heavily placed with Wellington as it is. Zack expertly guides us through the political and military lead up to the battle, the events of 18 June 1815 and the actors involved.

Zack specialises in crime and punishment in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars at the University of Southampton, and is the creator of the online hub TheNapoleonicWars.net.

 

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Jun 18, 2021
Band of Brothers with Damian Lewis
00:49:07

Twenty years after it first aired, Band of Brothers continues to be remembered as a remarkably accurate portrayal of a US parachute infantry company in the European Theater during the Second World War. Damian Lewis is an English actor and producer who played U.S. Army Major Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. At the Chalke Valley History Festival in 2016, he discussed the making of this series, portraying a soldier in the Second World War and meeting the veterans. 

 

www.cvhf.org.uk

 

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Jun 16, 2021
Codes, Spies and a Shadow War: The Fight for the Middle East
00:45:16

Erwin Rommel, the ‘Desert Fox’, known as such because from 1940 until the end of 1942, he led his troops across the deserts of North Africa and towards the Middle East with an often uncanny sense of his enemies' plans and weaknesses. In this episode, we uncover the secret to this success. Gershom Gorenberg has been investigating the Nazi’s use of intelligence, and how codebreaking was eventually used against them. Listen to hear more about the forgotten, secret heroes of the Second World War from Gershom, an expert historian, journalist and author of 'War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East'.

 

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Jun 14, 2021
Death Marches: Evidence and Memory
00:25:05

As the Allies advanced through Europe in early 1945, the Nazis embarked on one final escalation of the Holocaust. Hundreds of thousands of prisoners, already weak and starving from their treatment in the camp system, were forcibly marched away from the possibility of liberation. For this episode, James welcomes the curators of the Wiener Holocaust Library’s new exhibition, ‘Death Marches: Evidence and Memory’. Dr Christine Schmidt and Professor Dan Stone talk us through why the Death Marches happened, what the experience would have been like and how we know anything about them. Christine and Dan draw upon the evidence which they have collected for the exhibition to share some of the personal stories of these last weeks of the Holocaust. Find out more about the exhibition here: https://wienerholocaustlibrary.org/exhibition/death-marches-evidence-and-memory/

 

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Jun 11, 2021
How to Be a Spy
01:00:38

Charlie Higson and Ben McIntyre talk about the facts and fictions of working in espionage. Having both encountered the recruitment process for the British Intelligence Services, they discuss the process of getting recruited or, as in both of their cases, not getting recruited. They go on to explore the history and traditions of this institution, which holds the position of a household name despite being an enigma to all those outside it.This episode was recorded at the Chalke Valley History Festival 2017.


For information about this year's event, visit https://cvhf.org.uk/

© Granger Historical Picture Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Jun 09, 2021
After D-Day: The Fight Out Of Normandy
00:38:45

Few days hold such a strong position in history as D-Day. However, as David O'Keefe tells us in this episode, 6 June 1944 was followed by 76 days of continued advances into Normandy. Hear about the position of the Allies after D-Day, and how they proceeded into France and towards victory. David is a leading military historian. He has released a new book, Seven Days in Hell, about the Canadian Black Watch’s heroic fight for survival at Verrières Ridge.

 

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Jun 07, 2021
D-Day from the Air
00:29:07

It’s 77 years since D-Day but it might never have happened at all without one very specific piece of new technology; the resonant cavity magnetron. Atomic bombs or the Colossus supercomputer may come to mind when thinking about innovations which changed the course of WW2, but without this technological breakthrough, history would have been very different. Historian Norm Fine talks to James about the development which enabled microwave radar, and why he thinks it was the single most influential new invention which eventually won the war.


You can read more in Norman Fine’s book, Blind Bombing: How Microwave Radar Brought the Allies to D-Day and Victory in World, which is out now.

 

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Jun 04, 2021
Disaster Before D-Day: Exercise Tiger
00:40:15

The D-Day landings of June 6 1944 were the largest amphibious landing in the history of warfare, and are famed as a major turning point towards Allied victory. But they weren’t without planning and practice. In late April 1944, the Allies launched one of their trial runs, Exercise Tiger, off Slapton Sands in Devon. The aim was a closely choreographed landing, the result was a disaster. Hear Dr Harry Bennett from the University of Plymouth discussing the players in this trial run, and how it became the Battle of Lyme Bay.


 

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Jun 02, 2021
1943: The Year the War Was Won?
00:34:51

There are many theories for when the Second World War was lost by the Axis powers. In this episode, Digital historian Alwyn Collinson shares the reasons why 1943 can be seen as this turning point. Digital Projects Manager at the University of Oxford, Alwyn runs the twitter account @RealTimeWWII and during this episode, he and James also explore whether video games can be an accurate or useful representation of the wars that they are based on. Alwyn can also be found on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RealTimeWWII


©Everett Collection/Shutterstock

 

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May 30, 2021
Planning for Catastrophe
00:32:38

How is it possible to avoid disasters when they are inherently unpredictable? Niall Ferguson, renowned historian, senior fellow at Stanford University, senior faculty fellow at Harvard and visiting professor at Tsinghua University, has been studying historical responses to catastrophes. In this episode of Warfare, he draws upon the World Wars, Spanish Influenza and the HIV/AIDS epidemic to discuss the politics of planning for the worst. Niall and James question whether the responsibility and capability to plan for events such as the Covid-19 pandemic or global warming lie with democratic leaders or are hampered by economics and technological progress.

 

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May 28, 2021
The Vietnam War
00:34:02

With battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, and then defeat and public criticism for the United States in 1975, the Vietnam War became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict. In this episode, Dan Snow speaks to Max Hastings about the Domino theory, whether it was possible for the US to win the war and the effect the war had on those who fought in it. Using the testimony of warlords and civilians, statesmen and soldiers, Max emphasizes the impact of the war on individuals on all sides.

 

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May 26, 2021
The Invention of Torpedoes
00:31:22

When the self-propelled torpedo was invented in the late 19th century, it threatened to revolutionize naval warfare. The weapon was instrumental in the wars of the 20th century, but also within the spheres of the global marketplace, government control and intellectual property. In this episode, Katherine Epstein, author of ‘Torpedo: Inventing the Military-Industrial Complex in the United States and Great Britain’, discusses the development of this lethal weapon in relation to military, legal and business history.

 

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May 24, 2021
Sabotage: The Women of the Special Operations Executive
00:24:41

With the role of coordinating resistance overseas, the task of a member of the Special Operations Executive could be extremely influential, but also perilous. Kate Vigurs has been investigating the lives of the 39 female members of the Special Operations Executive for her book Mission France: The True History of the Women of SOE. In this episode, she tells James how women came to be recruited for this work, how their abilities and missions varied, and what dangers they faced.


© IWM

 

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May 21, 2021
The V-2 Rocket
00:25:40

It was the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile, developed to avenge the bombings of German cities during the Second World War. For this episode, novelist, former journalist and BBC television reporter, Robert Harris, joined Dan on the podcast to talk about Nazi Germany and the story of the V2 rocket.

 

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May 19, 2021
Life in the Gulag
00:38:51

It was not until 1956 that the Soviet Union repatriated the last of their German prisoners of war. To find out more about the experience of these men, Susan Grunewald has been mapping the locations of the camps where they were kept. Listen as Susan and James explore why the Germans were detained for so long and how they were treated, from building Soviet cities to facing re-education programmes. Susan is the Digital History Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh World History Center, her maps of the prisoner of war camps can be found here: https://susangrunewald.com/


© Memorial Museum of German Anti-Fascists

 

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May 17, 2021
British Submarine Strategy: The Baltic in World War One
00:26:54

From 1914 until 1917, submariners from Britain and Russia fought against the German Imperial Navy for control of the sea lanes in the icy Baltic. Their endeavors have been buried beneath the stories of Second World War U-boats, but with a serendipitous mistake in Kew Archives, a water damaged, blood stained submarine log landed in front of Dr Ian Johnson. Thus began a mission to uncover the story of British submarine strategy in the First World War. Ian is Professor of Military History at the University of Notre Dame. In this episode he shares the story of the British submariners, the role of the Russian revolution in the Baltic and how this theatre of the First World War impacted upon the Second.

 

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May 14, 2021
Winston Churchill
00:19:16

On 10 May 1940, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain and his calamitous handling of the Norway campaign. On the same day, Adolf Hitler launched a monumental assault on Western Europe. It was the toughest first week in office a Prime Minister has ever faced. In this podcast, Dan visited the house of Churchill's biographer, Andrew Roberts, to look at some previously unseen historic material - a fascinating insight into the world of this remarkable man. 


© NPG

 

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May 12, 2021
Ian Fleming & The Birth of Bond
00:30:38

A suave secret agent and fictional character turned household name and multi-billion dollar franchise: we all know James Bond. But what about the man behind him? In this episode, hear about the people and places that inspired Ian Fleming as he wrote the stories of 007. Professor Klaus Dodds researches geopolitics and security, ice studies and the international governance of the Antarctic and the Arctic at Royal Holloway, but he is also an expert on Fleming and Bond. Listen as he discusses the influence of Fleming’s childhood, of his experiences during the Second World War and of his family's exploits.


©Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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May 10, 2021
Operation Basalt: Commando Raid in the Channel
00:17:57

In 1942 the British launched a 12 man raid and reconnaissance mission to the Channel Island of Sark. On the night of the 3 October, a cast of characters who gave their colleague Ian Fleming ideas for a secret agent character, James Bond, crept ashore. They escaped hours later with one German prisoner, a further two having been killed in a scuffle. That might have been the end of it. When Hitler heard the news, however, he went ballistic and very shortly after he issued his infamous Commando Order: henceforth they were to be shot on sight. Operation Basalt signalled another ratcheting up of the ferocity and criminality of the Nazi war effort. To find out more and retrace the steps of the raid, Dan visited the Channel Islands and met local experts.

 

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May 07, 2021
The Death of Napoleon
00:32:30

Six years of exile on a remote island blighted with unpleasant weather conditions, in lodgings far inferior to those enjoyed whilst leader of France, hardly seems fitting for the final years of Napoleon Bonaparte. Yet, in this second episode with Zack White, we hear about how this remarkable military commander came to fall so far from the top. Zack takes us through Napoleon’s loss of power, his representation in British propaganda, his two exiles and his eventual death, including the debates around the real cause of his demise. Zack specialises in crime and punishment in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars at the University of Southampton, and is the creator of the online hub TheNapoleonicWars.net.

 

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May 05, 2021
The Life of Napoleon
00:22:49

He is widely remembered as one of the most exceptional military commanders that the world has ever seen, a man whose influence was so pervasive that an entire era of European history is referred to in his name. Napoleon is just as divisive in death as he was in life, and for this first of two episodes with Zack White, we are discussing the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte and his impact on France. Zack specialises in crime and punishment in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars at the University of Southampton, and is the creator of the online hub TheNapoleonicWars.net.

 

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May 03, 2021
Operation Barbarossa
00:26:15

Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union on Sunday 22 June 1941 was one of the bloodiest military campaigns mankind has ever known. Now, BAFTA winning producer and author Stewart Binns is telling the story of this catastrophic campaign from the perspective of the Soviet people. Listen as he and James explore the different perspectives on how Nazi Germany’s turn on its former ally occurred, and uncover the often overlooked stories of the civilians and soldiers of Eastern Europe. Stewart’s book, ‘Barbarossa: And the Bloodiest War in History’ is out now.

 

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Apr 30, 2021
The Night of the Bayonets: The Texel Uprising
00:23:31

In the dying days of the Second World War, a group of Georgians rose up against their German overlords on the Dutch island of Texel. Thousands of Georgians served in the Soviet forces during World War II and when captured and given the choice to “starve or fight”, some took up the German offer to don Wehrmacht uniforms.

When the opportunity arose in April 1945, these Georgians rose up and slaughtered their German captors, seizing control of the island. In just a few hours, they massacred some 400 German officers using knives and bayonets to avoid raising the alarm. Dan is joined by author Eric Lee to hear how he uncovered this little known story, about the retaliation ordered by Hitler and about the end to the slaughter when Canadian forces landed on the island 12 days later.

 

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Apr 28, 2021
Untraceable: The Secret History of Soviet Nerve Agents
00:27:21

The use of nerve agents is synonymous with Russian espionage for those of us who remember the recent poisonings of Alexei Navalny, Sergei and Yulia Skripal and the residents of Salisbury caught up in the latters’ attempted murders. The origins of this weapon, however, remain shrouded in mystery. Sergei Lebedev is a Russian novelist, currently based in Berlin. He has come onto Warfare to discuss the little known conception of Novichok in the closed town of Shikhany, 600 miles south of Moscow. Sergei explores the cooperation between the Soviets and Weimar Republic Germany from the 1920s until 1932, and delves into the moral responsibilities of making scientific discoveries with the capacity for destruction.


Sergei's new book, Untraceable, follows a ruthless chemist in his search for a new nerve agent, and is available in the UK from Head of Zeus (https://headofzeus.com/books/9781800246591) and in the US by New Vessel Press (https://newvesselpress.com/books/untraceable/).

 

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Apr 26, 2021
The Last Coastwatcher
00:30:20

97 year old Jim Burrows OAM served as a Coastwatcher in the South Pacific during the Second World War. The Coastwatchers were an intelligence arm of the Allied Intelligence Bureau, and were set up to alert Australia of any military threat from the north. Jim was a radio operator, and spent 10 months in occupied Japanese territory. Over the last few years he has compiled the story of the Coastwatchers, and in this episode he shares this, along with his own experiences, with James. This is a very little known, secretive, part of Second World War history, and Jim outlines in particular the role played by indigenous groups in the Allied forces. His website can be found here: https://thelastcoastwatcher.wordpress.com/

 

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Apr 23, 2021
Operation Argument with James Holland
00:27:10

In this episode from the archives, Dan sits down with James Holland to talk about Operation Argument. Taking place in February 1944, this was the biggest air battle of World War Two, and part of the US Army Air Force and RAF strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany.

 

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Apr 21, 2021
The Plymouth Blitz
00:38:18

Thousands of houses, 26 schools, 8 cinemas and 41 churches destroyed; 640 separate air raid sirens and almost 1180 killed. Plymouth is not the first city to come to mind when you mention the Blitz, and probably not the second or third, either. But, eighty years after this southwestern port city faced 59 separate air attacks, Dr Harry Bennett from the University of Plymouth is on Warfare to tell us about them. Harry explains how the bombing attacks of March and April 1941 impacted on Plymouth, and how they fit into the Luftwaffe’s broader campaign on Britain.


Check out the University of Plymouth’s commemoration of the destruction of Plymouth here: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/plymouth-blitz-80th-anniversary


© Plymouth Herald

 

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Apr 19, 2021
The Battle of Okinawa
00:45:34

The last major confrontation of the Second World War, and the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific theatre, the Battle of Okinawa ended in Allied victory but with massive casualties on both sides. To take us through the battle and explore the use of kamikaze pilots by the Japanese and the Atomic bomb by the United States, James welcomed Saul David onto Warfare. Saul is a professor of Military History at the Univ of Buckingham and author of Crucible of Hell.

 

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Apr 16, 2021
The British People and the Outbreak of World War Two
00:23:21

Our traditional understanding of the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 hinges on studies of Chamberlain and his fellow statesmen, but what about the general population? Frederick Taylor's latest book, 1939: A People’s History (The War Nobody Wanted), details the reactions and fears of ordinary British and German people in the face of the slide to war, between the Munich Crisis of September 1938 and Hitler’s invasion of Poland a little under a year later. In this episode, he and Dan discuss whether the British people were ready for war.

 

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Apr 14, 2021
Prince Philip's Military Service
00:35:38

During almost a century of life, Prince Philip dedicated seven decades to the service of Great Britain as the partner of Queen Elizabeth II. But in this episode of Warfare we’re going further back, to his time in the Royal Navy. Alex Churchill gives us a glimpse into the Duke of Edinburgh’s service during the Second World War, and the insight that this gives us into his character.


© Matteo Omied / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Apr 11, 2021
Britain's Secret Army: The Resistance
00:28:43

What if the Battle of Britain had not been a success for the British? What was the plan had the Nazis successfully crossed the channel? Chris Pratt is the Curator of the Museum of the British Resistance Organisation, Parham Airfield. He joined James over a video call to talk about how the Auxiliary Units that made up the British resistance were formed, how they were trained and when, or whether, they came into use.


The website for Parham Airfield Museum can be found here: http://www.parhamairfieldmuseum.co.uk/british-resistance-organisation/

 

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Apr 09, 2021
Kipling, Kingsley and Conan Doyle in the Boer War
00:21:13

In early 1900, Rudyard Kipling, Mary Kingsley and Arthur Conan Doyle crossed paths in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War. Motivated in various ways by notions of duty, service, patriotism and jingoism, they were each shaped by the theatre of war. Sarah LeFanu joined Dan Snow to explore the cultural legacies, controversial reputations and influence on colonial policy of these three British writers.

 

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Apr 07, 2021
From Nazi Gold to the Zinoviev Letter: Myth, Intrigue, and Conspiracy
00:36:15

Truth, rumour, conspiracy? Gill Bennett OBE had the job of sorting fact from fiction as chief historian of the Foreign Office from 1995-2005, and senior editor of its official history of British foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas. During over thirty years as a historian at Whitehall, she provided historical advice to twelve foreign secretaries under six prime ministers, from Edward Heath to Tony Blair. In this conversation with James, Gill takes us through the biggest conspiracies of the World Wars. 


Her book can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Zinoviev-Letter-Conspiracy-that-Never/dp/0198767307

 

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Apr 05, 2021
British Seapower in the 1900s
00:41:15

During the changes and troubles of the 20th century, officials in Britain faced a huge question: how could they maintain imperial power? Dr Louis Halewood has been researching the troubles faced by British policy makers, and the efforts to maintain dominance with their dominions and allies as Pax Britannica came to a close. In this episode he speaks to James from the University of Plymouth about the development of British naval power, and explores the role of the United States in this emerging world.

 

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Apr 02, 2021
Battle of Britain 'What Ifs'
00:34:05

Dr. Jamie Wood and Professor Niall Mackay at the University of York are mathematicians who love history. They released a paper which sent the rest of the history world into a meltdown when they tried to use the statistics of airframe losses from the Battle of Britain to test just how close Germany might have come to victory in the battle. This is a fantastic crossover between history and maths, and Dan loved chatting to these guys. 

 

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Mar 31, 2021
Behind the Enigma: An Authorized History of GCHQ
00:54:53

In this episode of Warfare we hear about what was happening behind the closed doors of GCHQ during the 20th century,from somebody who has been given access to the files (a lot of them anyway!). Hear John Ferris, the authorised historian of GCHQ, and professor of History at the University of Calgary as he takes us through what he has learnt about the relationships between the governments and organisations of the world, and the secrets they have kept. Through his studies of signals intelligence (SIGINT) John takes us all the way back to the First World War to discuss whether it really ended in 1918, and right up to the Snowden scandal and changes that have emerged with cyber terrorism.

 

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Mar 29, 2021
The Birth of Our Nuclear World
00:51:25

The existence of nuclear weapons holds their owners in a position of mutually assured destruction with one another, but how did it come to be this way, and is there a way out? Dr Jean-François Bélanger is a Postdoctoral Fellow focussing on the role of status inconsistencies in nuclear proliferation, competence and rule-adherence. Here, he talks James through the history of nuclear power, and what advice he would give to those currently in control of it.

 

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Mar 26, 2021
A Nazi in the Family: Katrin Himmler and her Family Legacy
01:02:39

Katrin Himmler's great-uncle was Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, and one of the principle architects of the Holocaust. Katrin has confronted her family legacy with a book, Die Brüder Himmler, translated into English as ‘The Himmler Brothers. A German Family History’. She is a German author and political scientist, and has also edited, together with the historian Michael Wildt, private letters from Himmler that had been only recently discovered in Israel. The Private Heinrich Himmler: Letters of a Mass Murderer was published in the UK last year. In conversation with James Holland, she discusses Himmler, his brothers, and reveal the burden of this Nazi family legacy.

 

Recorded at Chalke Valley History Festival 2017.

 

www.cvhf.org.uk

 

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Mar 24, 2021
The Danish Resistance
00:30:15

Despite declaring itself neutral at the outset of the Second World War, Denmark’s experience of the war years is identifiable by its internal division. Rune Edberg is a Danish historian who specialises in the history of the many Danish resistance groups that fought to make life as difficult as possible for the occupying Nazis. In this conversation, he tells James how much of the resistance against the Nazis was directed at Danish collaborators.


Book a tour of Copenhagen with Rune at www.copentell.com and watch out for our new documentary about the Atlantic wall on access.historyhit.com

 

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Mar 22, 2021
Liberalism and the American Way of War
00:30:28

From Ancient Greece, through the Enlightenment, the Napoleonic Wars, The First World War, then the Second, and all the way through to modern drone warfare; in this episode Michael Williams takes a deep dive into the way that nations, in particular the United States, approach warfare. Michael, a professor of International Relations and Security, explains the American rationale, approach to and methods of war.

 

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Mar 19, 2021
Britain’s Best Known Field Marshall: Bernard Montgomery
00:57:14

From fighting on the front line as a Junior Officer in the first days of the First World War, to commanding Allied ground forces on D-Day, the life of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery presents an individual perspective on the major conflicts of the first half of the Twentieth Century. At Chalke Valley, comedian and history graduate Al Murray spoke about his history hero, 'Monty' - his life, career and legacy.


© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Mar 17, 2021
The Enigma of Dieppe
00:32:28

Almost 80 years after the raid on Dieppe on 19 August 1942, David O’Keefe has uncovered the secret mission to pinch Enigma related material which took place under the cover of the six-thousand strong landing force. In this second part of David’s conversation with James, he tells us about the outcomes of the raid and how his research has answered the long held questions of veterans of Dieppe.


© Library and Archives Canada

 

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Mar 15, 2021
Operation Jubilee: A Pinch Raid at Dieppe?
00:31:05

On 19 August 1942, a six thousand strong combined Allied landing force took part in a raid on Dieppe, Northern France. Sixty-seven percent of these became casualties. The raid has gone down in history as a catastrophe conceived by Lord Mountbatten. With the help of 100,000 pages of classified British military files, however, David O’Keefe has uncovered a pinch mission undertaken at Dieppe, concealed by the raid, to steal one of the new German 4-rotor Enigma code machines. In this first of two episodes, David tells James about the main raid, undertaken in the majority by his fellow Canadians, and explains the evidence which supports the theory that this was a pinch raid, not just by opportunity, but by design.


©INTERFOTO / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Mar 12, 2021
Coventry's Blitz
00:22:38

On the night of 14 November 1940, a Luftwaffe air raid devastated the city of Coventry. Over 500 people were killed, more than 4,300 homes were destroyed and around two-thirds of the city's buildings suffered damages. David McGrory is a local historian based in Coventry, he joined Dan to discuss the bombings, and their impact on Coventry.


© Bundesarchiv

 

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Mar 10, 2021
The Bletchley Girls
00:36:32

During the Second World War, Bletchley Park was the home of a top-secret code breaking centre. Only in the 1970s did people begin to discuss what had occurred there. In the intervening years, however, three quarters of the workforce would rarely have been asked to describe their experiences during the war: because they were women. Dr Tessa Dunlop has spoken with fifteen of these veterans, and in this episode she tells James about the women of Bletchley Park: their backgrounds, work, and memory of their important duty.


Book 'An Afternoon in Conversation with the Bletchley Girls' with Tessa at https://www.fane.co.uk/bletchley-girls


© National Archives

 

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Mar 08, 2021
Churchill and the Iron Curtain
00:37:48

‘From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.’ These words - spoken by Winston Churchill on 5 March 1946 to an audience including President Truman in Fulton, Missouri - can be seen as both a symptom and a catalyst of the collapse of relations between the western allies and the Soviet Union. But what drove Churchill to make this speech? What can it tell us about the relationships between Churchill, Stalin and Truman? How did it intertwine with the fates of countries such as Iran and Turkey? And what impact does its shadow have today? Dr Warren Dockter is the author of ‘Winston Churchill and the Islamic World’, and editor of ‘Winston Churchill at the Telegraph’. In this anniversary episode he speaks to James about this remarkable speech.


© PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Mar 05, 2021
The Nazis Next Door
00:26:59

As many as 10,000 members of the Nazi party and the SS are estimated to have moved to the United States after the Second World War, legally and illegally. In the intervening years, around 150 of them have been subject to investigations reaching the stage of deportation or criminal proceedings. This includes Friedrich Karl Berger, who was deported from Tennessee to Germany on 21 February 2021 to face trial for his part in ‘Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution’ as a Camp Guard at Neuengamme. In this episode, Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Lichtblau speaks to James about how America came to be seen as a safe haven for Nazis, and the efforts to bring them to justice.

 

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Mar 03, 2021
The Life of a Luftwaffe Ace: Hugo Broch
00:45:40

During the Second World War, Luftwaffe fighter pilot Hugo Broch claimed 81 victories in 324 missions on the Eastern Front. At Chalke Valley History Festival, the Iron Cross recipient spoke to Paul Beaver and Rob Schäfer about his experiences fighting for Germany.

 

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Mar 01, 2021
The Daughters of Yalta
00:41:55

In February 1945, the ‘Big Three’ met for arguably the most important and controversial of the conferences of the Second World War. At the Yalta Conference, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin discussed the post-war reorganisation of Europe. The British and American leaders had come a long way to cooperate with Stalin, but they had not come alone. Roosevelt’s daughter, Anna, Churchill’s daughter Sarah and Kathleen Harriman, the daughter of the US ambassador to the Soviet Union were all in attendance. For her new book, Catherine Grace Katz has approached the Yalta conference from the perspective of these women, each of whom had a different angle and role there. In this episode Catherine shares her understanding of each of these women and what this can, in turn, tell us about the relationships between the United States, Britain and the USSR.

 

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Feb 26, 2021
Why the RAF Won the Battle of Britain
00:40:58

In 15 September 1940, the Luftwaffe made a gigantic aerial assault on London in the belief that the Royal Air Force was down to its last few fighters. They had hoped to finish the RAF and force Britain to the negotiating table, but this was not to be the case. In this episode, Dan is at Bentley Priory, the HQ of RAF Fighter Command, with historian Stephen Bungay. Stephen describes how a combination of technology, leadership, bravery and organisation helped Britain to win the battle for its shores.

 

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Feb 24, 2021
Scapa Flow's Sunken German Battle Fleet
00:31:46

At the end of World War One, the Allies seized the German fleet and held it at Scapa Flow, in Orkney, until the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were announced. At least, that was the plan. The German navy covertly scuttled their own boats under the noses of their captors, rendering the fleet useless, until one firm set out on a massive salvage operation to recover usable material from the boats. Ian Murray Taylor's grandfather was at the top of the operation, and he talks to Dan about the story of Scapa Flow.

 

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Feb 22, 2021
Our Man in New York
00:24:49

Henry Hemming talks to Dan Snow about the life of William Stephenson, a British operative who worked hard to pressure Roosevelt into declaring war on Nazi Germany, and ensuring that American troops were directed against German forces in mainland Europe. The tactics adopted were akin to those used today by troll farms in St Petersburg, and involved duplicitous and aggressive use of misinformation.

 

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Feb 19, 2021
The War Widow: Women Of World War Two
00:37:27

After the Second World War, societies across the world struggled under a mass of social and political change. This disjointed period serves as the backdrop for Tara Moss’ new novel, in which her protagonist, female war reporter turned private inquiry agent pushes against the workforce prejudices of 1946 Australia. Through this lens, Tara explores post-war attitudes towards gender, race, disability and religion. Tara takes us straight into her family history with the story of her Oma and Opa’s survival in the Nazi occupied Netherlands. She then shares the stories of the incredible photographers, investigators and nurses who were the inspiration behind her main character. Tara Moss is the author of 13 bestselling books, a documentary maker, presenter, journalist and advocate for human rights and the rights of women, children and people with disabilities. She has been an ambassador for UNICEF Australia since 2007. War Widow can be found here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/636233/the-war-widow-by-tara-moss/


 

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Feb 17, 2021
Cluster Bombs
00:18:16

In 1943, Grimsby was hit by a new type of weapon: butterfly bombs, also know as cluster bombs. This episode from Dan Snow's History Hit features the World Wars' very own James Rogers, telling Dan all about the terrifying experience of being attacked by cluster bombs, and how they've been used around the world since.

 

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Feb 15, 2021
Alderney's Sunken German Arsenal
00:27:54

Alderney, like the rest of the Channel Islands, was occupied by German forces from 1940 to 1945. On Hitler's orders it was turned into a fortress, covered in concrete and steel fortifications. After liberation British forces dumped a vast amount of military hardware into a quarry which was then flooded. For 70 years it has remained there, hidden, forgotten..... Until Dan Snow joined a team of divers to uncover it. To watch our documentary about the Islands of Guernsey please head to History Hit TV.

 

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Feb 12, 2021
Vera Brittain: Patriotism and Pacifism
00:26:46

During the first year of the First World War, Vera Brittain went from studying English Literature at Oxford to nursing for the war effort. By the end of the war she had lost two male friends, her fiance and her brother, Edward. By this time, she had also evolved from the sister who encouraged her brother to sign up for duty to the ‘outstanding feminist pacifist of her generation.' In this episode, James speaks to Caroline Kennedy-Pipe from Loughborough University about Vera's life, her route into pacifism and her efforts against warfare before and during the Second World War.


© Somerville College Archive

 

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Feb 10, 2021
Skylarks at the Somme with Paul Reed
00:26:41

It was the first truly industrial battle, and yet veterans recall hearing skylarks singing just before the whistles blew at the Battle of the Somme. A century later, these birds remain, singing long after the carnage came to an end. Paul Reed is a military historian and author specialising in the First and Second World Wars. He has been conducting battlefield tours for over a quarter of a century. In this episode from the centenary he spoke to Dan Snow.

 

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Feb 08, 2021
Closure After The Great War
00:29:07

Dan talks to Richard van Emden about his book - Missing: the need for closure after the Great War, in this episode from the History Hit archive. The backbone of the book is based on the best single story of World War One that he has found in 35 years of research. It is the story of one woman’s relentless search for her missing son’s body. A story with incredible twists and turns. Against the odds she finds him in 1923. Richard also looks at the bigger picture: how long should the nation search for its dead and the mistakes made identifying the dead, when exhumation parties were under such intolerable pressure.


(Image © IWM 2793)

 

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Feb 05, 2021
Fallout: The Secret History of Nuclear Testing
00:31:54

How do you test a weapon of mass destruction? A weapon whose potential you can only estimate. Since 1945, countries with nuclear capabilities have been coming up with solutions to this problem, but they are not without pitfalls. Traces of the fallout from nuclear testing are found across the world, and testing has directly impacted a plethora of communities. From the original inhabitants of the chosen test sites, to the veterans who worked with the weapons, nuclear fallout has had a variety of different effects. Dr Becky Alexis-Martin is a lecturer in Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. She spoke with James about the communities affected by nuclear weapons testing, the topic of her most recent book: Disarming Doomsday: The Human Impact of Nuclear Weapons Since Hiroshima.

 

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Feb 03, 2021
Gary Lineker on his 'D-Day Dodger' Grandfather
00:22:22

Gary Lineker's grandfather was one of the 'D-Day Dodgers': men who fought in the Italian campaign, who were accused of missing the supposedly harder fighting in Normandy. Of course, this wasn't true. The Italian campaign was one of the hardest military campaigns of World War Two, and Dan talks to Gary about his grandfather who fought in in that theatre of war. They also, unsurprisingly, talk about football.

 

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Feb 01, 2021
The Budapest Ghetto
00:23:05

Born in Budapest in July 1944, Agnes Grunwald-Spier resided in the Ghetto with her mother from November 1944 to January 1945. For this week's Holocaust Memorial Day, we have brought her interview out of the archives. Having gained degrees in History & Politics and Holocaust Studies, Agnes spoke to James about her family's experiences during the Holocaust. This personal history includes her mother's time alone in the ghetto with a newborn, the loss of her grandfather and the lasting impact of the Holocaust on her father.

 

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Jan 29, 2021
Persecuted Under the Nazis: Black and Roma Peoples
00:35:50

For International Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, James spoke to Professor Eve Rosenhaft about the experiences of Black and Roma peoples during the Third Reich. Eve is a historian at the University of Liverpool. She has been looking into how the persecution of these groups occured under the Nazis; how much of it was a continuation of existing prejudices, and who prompted its escalation.


Image: Francis Reisz, Obóz cygański (The Gypsy Camp), Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Collections

 

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Jan 27, 2021
King George V in the First World War
00:25:46

King George V played a critical role in Britain's war effort during World War One, from the outbreak of war in 1914, until the King's Pilgrimage in May 1922, to visit cemeteries and memorials being constructed by the Imperial War Graves Commission. Alexandra Churchill has combed the Royal Archives to fully understand George's role in the war, including his frequent disputes with David Lloyd George. So bitter was this relationship, Lloyd George at one point attempted to place control of the British army under French commanders. Famously, King George V had to change his family surname from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor during the war, but Alexandra Churchill also tells Dan about the names that were suggested, including one that suggested George's family were bastards.

 

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Jan 25, 2021
Surviving Arnhem: Colonel John Waddy’s War
00:32:02

For this incredible episode, Dan spoke to the late Colonel John Waddy OBE. John was the last surviving veteran of the battle for Arnhem, Operation Market Garden, in which three quarters of his battalion were killed or, as in John's case, captured. During the Second World War John also served in North Africa and Italy. He was later stationed in Palestine and Malaya, before taking on advisory posts in Washington D.C. and Saigon. Listen as Dan and John discuss the latter's experiences of the Second World War.

 

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Jan 22, 2021
The SS Officer's Armchair: Uncovering a Nazi
00:38:14

This episode is all about Robert Griesinger. ‘Who?’ you ask. The name means nothing to most, yet his was a life which impacted upon so many, and was mirrored by many more. Robert Griesinger was a German lawyer, senior civil servant and SS officer. Like many of his rank, his life and contribution to the horrifying events of 1930s and ‘40s Europe had been lost to time and to the destruction of files … until, that is, a second hand armchair was taken to be reupholstered. The chair had been used as a hiding place for Griesinger’s personal documents, and these were the starting point for Dr Daniel Lee’s study into the life, work, beliefs and death of an ‘ordinary’ Nazi. Listen as Daniel - a Senior Lecturer in Modern French History at the Queen Mary University of London - leads us through his discoveries, which include not only Griesinger’s family, but also his own.

 

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Jan 20, 2021
Bombing Campaigns in the Second World War
00:55:23

In the spring of 1945, the aerial assault on Germany was reaching a crescendo as city after city was devastated by British and American bomber fleets. James Holland, leading World War Two historian and bestselling author, joins Dan Snow on the podcast to talk about why and how the bombing reached such catastrophic levels and whether it actually shortened the Second World War.


 

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Jan 18, 2021
Gulf War: Inside the Planning Room
01:10:38

On 17 January 1991, an operation to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait began. Codenamed Desert Storm, the air offensive continued for 43 days under US leadership. Lt Gen David Deptula was a principal air attack planner, making calls on strategic targets and operations. For this special episode on the 30th anniversary of this operation, he describes the months and then days leading up to the operation, the challenges and disagreements in the ‘Black Hole’ planning room, and his memory of the outcome. David shares his insights into this war and those that have followed it. He also explains why he believes that knowing the desired endgame is so key to planning, and why landpower is not always going to be the centerpiece of war.

 

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Jan 17, 2021
The Unknown Warrior
00:19:55

On 11 November 1920, the Unknown Warrior, a common soldier and an unidentified casualty of war, was buried in Westminster Abbey with all the pomp and ceremony of an empire at its zenith. King George V looked on as 100 Victoria Cross bearers formed a guard of honour and the unknown solider was laid to rest. To discuss the backstory of the Unknown Warrior, Dan was joined by author and historian Juliet Nicolson, who has been researching the lasting shadow of the Great War.

 

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Jan 15, 2021
From World Wars to Endless Wars
00:42:21

The World Wars were total. Entire populations were mobilised at home and away. Part of our fascination with them lies in the fact that our modern wars look entirely different. They are fought by volunteer armies with smart, modern technology. William Arkin is a bestselling author, military expert, and award-winning journalist. He is also a former intelligence analyst. William came onto the podcast to talk to James about how the battlefield has developed since the end of the Second World War. He traces the fall of the ‘front line’ and the development of new weapons which have brought an end to the need for feet on the ground. This is a great insight into the workings of war and the changes in public attitudes towards it.

 

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Jan 13, 2021
The Indian Army in World War One
00:35:53

Over one hundred years after the end of the First World War, Dr Priya Atwal and George Morton-Jackare working to shed new light on the vital role that the Indian Army held during the combat. In this episode from Dan Snow's History Hit, they share their insight into the neglected roles of these servicemen.

 

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Jan 11, 2021
The Lancaster Bomber
00:24:48

The ‘Shining Sword’ of Bomber Command. They flew nearly 300 thousand sorties and dropped over 1 million tonnes of explosives. But of the 7,377 Avro Lancasters built, more than half were lost. To find out more about this legendary aircraft, Dan Snow was joined by veteran of the first Gulf War, John Nichol. John has since become one of our most successful aviation historians, and has written a book exploring the Avro Lancaster.

 

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Jan 08, 2021
Toxic: A History of Nerve Agents
00:40:46

In 2018, the British city of Salisbury crashed into newspaper headlines worldwide when former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned with nerve agents there. This was the first time that many people had heard of these deadly, yet invisible and odourless weapons being used, but the history of nerve agents goes much further back, to the interwar period and an unprofitable discovery in pesticide production. In this engrossing discussion with James Rogers, Dan Kaszeta explores the development of nerve agents under the Nazi Regime, the figures and institutions pushing them, and the reasons behind the Third Reich’s restraint from using these chemicals, despite being the only country to possess them. He also reveals the post-war continuation of nerve agent research on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and the weapon’s gradual dissipation around the world. Dan Kaszeta is a securities specialist and world expert on chemical weapons.



 

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Jan 06, 2021
The Somme: A French Perspective
00:11:49

On the first day of the Somme, French forces were more successful than those of the British. In this episode, Stephanie Trouillard spoke to Dan about the way in which the Battle of the Somme - remembered in Britain as brutal and bloody - is looked upon in France. Stephanie is a journalist at France 24, specialising in sports and international history.

 

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Jan 04, 2021
The Burmese Who Fought With Britain
00:24:25

Many Burmese people resisted the Japanese occupation of their country in World War Two. Filmmaker Alex Bescoby has made a film celebrating those who the Empire left behind, despite the hardships they endured to serve Britain during the war. For this episode, he spoke to Dan about the people from Burma, whose fight is often overlooked.

 

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Jan 01, 2021
SAS: Nazi Hunters
00:44:04

Their name carries an aura of prestige and mystery - the British Army’s most renowned special forces unit - the best of the best. For this incredible episode, James spoke to author and filmmaker, Damien Lewis, about the story of the Special Air Service. They explore the birth of the unit, the selection of the brightest recruits, all day training in the North African desert with just one container of water. Next, we are taken through some of the unthinkable missions undertaken during the Second World War and Damien takes us in for a closer look at Operation Gain, when men were dropped behind enemy lines after D-Day. Damien and James discuss the consequences for SAS troops captured by the Nazis, and the SAS War Crimes Investigation Team - set up in May 1945 - which was responsible for bringing Nazis to justice and for the continuation of the SAS. Damien’s book, SAS Band of Brothers, is out now. This episode will have you on the edge of your seat.

 

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Dec 30, 2020
Love Life and Lesbianism during the First World War
00:30:33

Laura Doan discusses love and lesbianism during the First World War, from the way women were treated to popular reaction to lesbians in the media and elsewhere. Laura is professor of cultural history and sexuality studies at the University of Manchester. Her book, Disturbing Practices, refocusses the history of sexuality away from continuation and discontinuation, normality and abnormality. Laura takes us through a number of individual cases which demonstrate attitudes to female sexuality during the First World War.

 

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Dec 28, 2020
The Life of a Second World War Navigator
00:27:57

Arthur Spencer was a navigator during World War Two, completing two tours of operations with 97 Squadron at RAF Woodhall Spa and RAF Bourn. He was awarded the Légion d’Honneur for providing air support for the Resistance in Italy. Dan met him in his house to discuss the life during the war, the hardship of losing friends and whether he feels guilt about the bombings.


Photo Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Dec 25, 2020
The Devil's Porridge: The Shell Scandal of 1915
00:53:42

Harsh living and working conditions, poisonous chemicals and explosions. For 10,000 navvies, hundreds of chemists and engineers from across the empire, and 12,000 women, this was the reality of mixing the 'Devil's Porridge', cordite, in munitions factories on the Home Front. In 1915, an extreme shortage of munitions on the front line was reported back to Britain. In response Lloyd George was made the Minister of Munitions. His greatest project: HM Factory Gretna, the largest munitions factory in the world on the quiet Anglo-Scottish Border. Judith Hewitt curates the Devil's Porridge Museum, which is found on the 9 mile site of the former factory. In this episode of the World Wars, she told James the stories of the unknown men and women brought to work in this crisis: how they came to be here, how they lived and how they left or, for the unfortunate few, how they died.

 

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Dec 23, 2020
The Great Escape
00:14:06

On the night of 24 March 1944, 200 allied prisoners of war attempted to escape Stalag Luft III, a camp in Germany. 76 escaped, but 73 were recaptured and of those, 50 were killed. So was the Great Escape as great as its name suggests? Guy Walters isn't so sure. In this episode he spoke to Dan about the possibility that the mass breakout from Stalag Luft III actually helped the German war effort.

 

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Dec 21, 2020
Authoritarianism & Unfreedom
00:23:31

Professor Tim Snyder is an expert in authoritarian regimes and how they develop. As the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, he spoke to Dan about Russia, the USA, Europe and what the lessons of the past tell us about where power lies in the world today, and how we can change that.

 

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Dec 18, 2020
A Faustian Bargain? The Nazi-Soviet Partnership
00:41:53

On 23 August 1939, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signed a pact in Moscow. This pact was perplexing to many at the time, and remains the subject of much discussion, mainly for the fact that it consolidated a partnership between the communist Soviet Union and the Nazis. Who was first to propose the relationship? Why did both the Soviets and the Germans agree to it? And how did it turn out for each of them? In this episode, James sought the answers to some of these questions with Professor Ian Johnson. They discuss the treatment of diplomats in either country during the talks, the possibility that the British and French missed an opportunity to prevent this alliance, and whether the traditional narrative that the Nazis forced Stalin into it should be reconsidered. Ian is a historian of war, diplomacy, and technology at the University of Notre Dame. His new book, Faustian Bargain: The Soviet-German Partnership and the Origins of the Second World War will be released in 2021 (https://global.oup.com/academic/product/faustian-bargain-9780190675141?cc=dk&lang=en&).

 

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Dec 16, 2020
The Dambusters
00:38:19

On 16–17 May 1943, Royal Airforce Squadron 617 succeeded in Operation Chastise to use bouncing bombs to breach the Möhne and Edersee dams, flooding the Ruhr valley. This very special episode was recorded for the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid. Dan talks to Paul Beaver, then Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson MP, and Wing Commander John Butcher, from today's 617 squadron. 

 

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Dec 14, 2020
America, Japan and the Atomic Bomb
00:33:10

On 6 August 1945, an American B29 bomber dropped the world's first deployed atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Three days later, Nagasaki was at the receiving end of a second American A-bomb. History Hit’s Rob Weinberg met with Kevin Ruane, Professor of Modern History at Canterbury Christ Church University, to find out more. Why did America decide to hit Japan with two atomic bombs? Why were these two cities the targets? What were the implications for ending World War II and starting the Cold War? Did the Americans have any other options?

 

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Dec 11, 2020
Soviet Spy Masters
00:27:20

Espionage. The word brings to mind the Cold War - Stasi informants and surveillance bugging in East Berlin. Or today’s media promoted anxieties about Chinese infiltration. But for this episode, Calder Walton came onto the World Wars podcasts to talk about spying during the Second World War. Calder researches History that is relevant to the policy making of today’s governments and intelligence communities. He talks to James about the depth of the Soviet spies’ permeation of their allies, and its effect.

 

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Dec 09, 2020
Germans at the Somme
00:27:15

The Battle of the Somme is remembered in Britain as one of the bloodiest events of the First World War, and perhaps all time. There were over a million casualties once the battle was through. Robin Schäfer is a German military historian. He spoke to Dan about the German perspective of this momentous battle.

 

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Dec 07, 2020
Killing Hitler: German Plots Against the Führer
00:32:21

They may even have helped Adolf Hitler to reach power in 1933, but at the very top of the German hierachy some brave insurgents had begun, by 1936, to recognise the danger he posed. They began to plot against him, first by hindering his war effort, and then by attempting to kill him - up to 10 plots to assassinate Hitler were mounted during his leadership. Paddy Ashdown, who lead the Liberal Democrats for over a decade, was a member of the Special Boat Service and a Royal Marine, wrote a book about the assassination attempts on Hitler. He spoke to Dan about the people behind these plots and their outcomes.

 

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Dec 04, 2020
Unleashing Hell From Above: Cluster Bombs with John Ismay
00:40:58

Maximization of damage. That’s the purpose of the cluster bomb. These weapons, which can be traced back to the First World War, when the Kaiser would not give permission for their use, are still being dropped today. Not only that, but duds, unexploded during their deployment during the Second World War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War still litter the earth. The cluster bomb is a paradox. A force will drop them to gain the advantage in a war, but will then not be able to move forward into the spaces where they have been dropped, or engage in post-war reconstruction. John Ismay is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served as the gunnery officer aboard a destroyer in the Pacific before becoming a Navy special operations officer. He is qualified in deep-sea diving and salvage, parachuting and bomb disposal, and completed a number of overseas deployments, including one to northern Iraq during the 2007 surge. Now working at the New York Times Washington Bureau, he joined James to talk about his research into the development of the cluster bomb, its impact and his personal experiences of this lethal weapon.

 

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Dec 02, 2020
Appeasing Hitler
00:30:06

The white paper of the Munich Agreement is famed as one of history's key stategic blunders. In this episode, Tim Bouverie takes Dan through the old questions about appeasement. Was it right to appease Hitler in order to buy time to re-arm? Why did Chamberlain and Halifax not take action when the Rhineland was re-occupied, or during the Anschluss of 1938, or during the occupation of the Sudetenland?

 

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Nov 30, 2020
The Battle of Britain
00:22:32

In a moment of great danger to national survival, the Royal Air Force defended the United Kingdom against large scale attacks by the Luftwaffe. So how did the Battle of Britain play out? What was Germany’s objective? And how important was it to the direction of the Second World War? To answer the big questions about this seminal moment in British history, Charlie Mills talks to Dr. Mario Draper at the University of Kent.

 

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Nov 27, 2020
'Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys'? French Defeat in World War Two
00:30:10

It's the common recollection of French efforts to repel German invasion. But with 100,000 troops lost in the Battle of France, how true is the depiction of the French surrendering without a fight? How else might their contribution to, and experience of, the Second World War be remembered? Were the French a weak link, willing collaborators with the Nazis, brave resistance fighters or the Allied sacrifice to continuing the fight? Olivier Schmitt is a Professor of Political Science at the Center for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark. He joined James to talk through the many complex narratives of this section of the war, and how the predominant theories have developed over time.

 

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Nov 25, 2020
Crucible of Our Modern World
00:27:57

The crucible of our modern world is commonly thought to be the 1960s, but Charles Emmerson thinks that it could be argued to have been the tumultuous years at the end of the First World War and those that followed. This was when Communism and Fascism became mainstream movements. This was when the borders of the Middle East, and Eastern Europe were drawn up and fought over. In this discussion he and Dan talk about how a shattered world came to terms with the aftermath of the First World War. 

 

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Nov 23, 2020
Iceland's Titanic: The SS Godafoss
00:19:40

On 10 November 1944, the Icelandic steam merchant ship SS Godafoss was hit by a German U-boat torpedo. She sank in 7 minutes, killing everybody on board. For this episode, James was joined by legendary Icelandic director, producer and presenter, Jón Ársæll. Jón made a documentary about the ship, which was carrying cargo and civilians from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland. He spoke about the conditions for ships in the North Atlantic towards the end of the war, and the fateful afternoon which has become, after years of hunting for the wreckage, Iceland's Titanic.

 

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Nov 20, 2020
Douglas Haig: The Most Hated Man in Modern British History?
00:30:39

Sir Douglas Haig was a British commander during the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, the Battle of Passchendaele, the German Spring Offensive, and the final Hundred Days Offensive of the First World War. When reassessed in the 1960s his leadership was criticised for resulting in costly offensives, gaining him the nickname 'the Butcher of the Somme'. Gary Sheffield is a Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, and a specialist on Britain at war 1914-45. He spoke to Dan about whether Haig has been fairly assessed in the textbooks.

 

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Nov 18, 2020
Suicide at the Fall of Nazi Germany
00:20:24

There is almost no end to the dark secrets that emerge from the smashed ruins of 1945 Europe. Dr Florian Huber has spent years researching the fascinating story of the epidemic of suicide that spread through Germany as they faced certain defeat in 1945. Some people committed suicide after suffering atrocities at the hands of the Soviets, others because of the trauma of allied bombing and the destruction of the conflict around them. But many did so because they did not wish to live in a world without Nazism. Dr Huber has even interviewed people whose parents tried to kill them as young children. In this episode, Dan spoke to Dr Huber about this dark secret in modern German society and his book, which provoked an outpouring of stories when it was published.

 

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Nov 16, 2020
From Dynamite to Drones: How Terrorist Technologies Impacted the Start of the First World War
00:32:37

Professor Audrey Cronin is the world's leading expert in Terrorism and Technology. She has released a new book, Power to the People, and spoke with James about the development of materials used in terrorism. Audrey explains how the technological boom which occured before the First World War created new opportunities for terrorism, and how this can be compared with today's developments.

 

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Nov 11, 2020
Dunkirk's Little Ships: The Veterans
00:35:01

In this episode, Dan meets veterans who were rescued from Dunkirk by the famous Little Ships. These were the 700 private boats that sailed from Ramsgate, England, to Dunkirk, France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo. They helped to rescue more than 338,000 British and French soldiers who were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War.

 

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Nov 09, 2020
Air Power at Gallipoli
00:12:01

Dan chats to Mike Pavelec on the often-overlooked use of naval air power at Gallipoli during World War One. Mike is a Professor of Airpower Studies at Air Command and Staff College, Alabama. He has been researching the use of naval and ground based airpower at Gallipoli since his time as a student.

 

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Nov 06, 2020
Why We Remember
00:35:13

Ash Alexander-Cooper OBE is a former specialist military unit colonel in the British Armed Forces, world-championship athlete and award-winning international musician. Now a member of the Army Reserve, he works tirelessly with organisations geared towards supporting and remembering those who have risked so much in the service of their countries. For this year’s Remembrance Day, Ash joined James to talk about why he thinks that it is so important to honour members of the Armed Forces and, in this extraordinary year, the other services which we all rely on in times of need. Ash, described by Bear Grylls as ‘one of the most experienced soldiers of his generation’, allows us an insight into some of his own experiences working alongside members of not only British forces, but personnel from across the globe.


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Nov 04, 2020
U.S. Election 2020: A History of Pandemics, Politics and War
00:27:50

It's election time and for this episode James is joined by one of the most famous Historians in the world, Niall Ferguson. Niall delves into United States election history to explore how this 'year of catastrophe' might impact the results, and how these results might, in turn, increase the possibility of a Second Cold War. Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson: four Democrat Presidents elected on domestic policies, each of whom led the United States into international war. Might this election bring a similar result? A Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, Niall is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing and the author of fifteen books.

 

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Nov 02, 2020
Operation Dragoon - The Forgotten D-Day
00:30:17

On 15 August 1944, the Allies landed in Southern France. The operation was a success, nearly cutting off an entire German Army group, which perhaps explains why it doesn't hold the same position in our history as the invasions of Normandy and Italy. But Operation Dragoon was the main French effort in liberating their homeland and, interestingly, because France had been occupied by 1942 and there were one and a half million French Prisoners of War in German camps, their armed forces were largely compiled of French Colonial troops. Cameron Zinsou joined James to discuss this feat of planning, a forgotten campain for the liberation of Europe.

 

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Oct 30, 2020
The Bomb: With Fred Kaplan
00:34:28

Why is it that nobody has used the absolute weapon, the nuclear bomb, since 1945? Was it ever likely that the American arsenal would be used against the Soviet Union? Or was it created solely to prevent nuclear war? If the latter is true, how does a country create the false impression that it is willing to release a weapon of mass destruction? New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Fred Kaplan, has authored The Bomb: Presidents, Generals and the Secret History of Nuclear War. In this episode, he and James discuss the strategies and motives of those in control of the bombs in the face of multiple crises ... not all of which are generally known.

 

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Oct 28, 2020
The Battle of Belleau Wood
00:17:16

Pride of place in the lore of the U.S. Marine Corps goes to the Battle of Belleau Wood, fought in 1918 between the Germans and the Americans during the German Spring Offensive. In this episode, Dan speaks to Professor Michael Neiberg about the battle during which it was famously exclaimed 'Retreat? Hell we just got here!'

 

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Oct 26, 2020
Operation Barbarossa
00:26:05

In June 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa. The campaign on the Eastern Front which was now opened up involved more forces than any other theatre of war in history. In this episode, History Hit's Charlie Mills speaks to Dr. Mario Draper at the University of Kent about why Germany decided to invade the Soviet Union and how the invasion impacted on Germany’s eventual defeat.

 

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Oct 23, 2020
JFK's War
00:39:22

In this podcast, Deirdre Henderson gives us a unique insight into the mind of President John F. Kennedy. Deirdre was hired by JFK as his Research Assistant in his run for President, her assignments mainly related to defense and foreign policy. In 1959, Senator Kennedy gave Deirdre his post Second World War diary so that she could learn more about his thinking. Deirdre and James discuss JFK's experiences and perceptions of war and leadership, shedding light on Kennedy's travels, reading materials and interest in Winston Churchill.

 

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Oct 21, 2020
The Battle of the Somme - The Pals
00:37:05

The Battle of the Somme, fought between July and November 1916, is perhaps one of the most famous battles in British history. For this episode, Professor Peter Doyle, a geologist and military historian of twentieth-century conflict, spoke to Dan about the Pals battalions which fought in this deadly battle. These were battalions of the British Army comprised of men who had enlisted together in local recruiting drives. Peter details how the Pals came to the army and from where, how they were trained, how they fought and how their connections to one another made them different from other battalions.

 

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Oct 20, 2020
The Bombing of Dresden: A Veteran's Account
00:29:21

Ken Oatley served as a navigator with 106 Sqdn, RAF. He was one of the last men to hear Guy Gibson alive and he took part in numerous raids, including the bombing of Dresden. Ken spoke to Dan about what the raids were like, and what he feels about having taken part in the bombing which resulted in a firestorm. He also talks about his other wartime experiences.

 

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Oct 16, 2020
Putting the 'World' Back into World War Two
00:25:00

The traditional view of the Second World War focusses on mainland Europe between 1939 and 1945. Germany is the aggressor drawing its closest neighbours into war, and prompting a chain of reactions which ends in worldwide turmoil. Thomas Bottelier is an historian of twentieth-century international relations, particularly of Europe and the Atlantic world. He suggests that we should perhaps widen the lense with which we look at this war, in terms of both geography and timescale. Thomas spoke to James about the various ways in which we could do this, and the countless events and experiences that have been overshadowed by the conventional narrative of the Second World War.

 

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Oct 14, 2020
America's Entry into the World Wars
00:17:14

It was not until 1917 that the USA entered the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson having proclaimed neutrality in 1914. Similarly, it took the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941 to bring America into the Second World War. In this episode, Dr. Mitch Goodrum speaks to Rob Weinberg about the USA's reluctance to enter the World Wars, and how their eventual involvement changed the course of the wars.

 

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Oct 13, 2020
Imphal and Kohima
00:22:44

The Battles of Imphal and Kohima were the decisive clash of the Burma Campaign during World War Two, a crucial turning point in the attempted Japanese invasion of India during World War Two. By October 1942 Singapore, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Burma had all fallen to the apparently unbeatable Japanese. Yet it was then, when morale was at its lowest, that the new British commander Bill Slim sought to revive Allied fortunes in the region. Meanwhile, Japanese commander Renya Mutaguchi looked to capture Imphal, the gateway to India. In this episode, James Holland and Dan discuss this is the truly epic tale of Britain’s greatest battle.

 

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Oct 09, 2020
The Lancaster Bomber: A Veteran’s View
00:38:44

An Avro Lancaster Bomber was one of the most dangerous places to be during the Second World War. The planes had a 46% combat attrition rate, and yet all of those who flew them were volunteers. Among them was John Henry Meller, who left a reserve occupation to sign up aged 18. In this episode, John tells James what it was like to fly in a Lancaster Bomber and remembers his experiences in training. He is accompanied by his wife Barbara and daughter Caroline. John has released his book 'The Boy With Only One Shoe' in support of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

 

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Oct 07, 2020
World War Two Tank Commander with Captain David Render
00:39:13

Captain David Render was a nineteen-year-old second lieutenant fresh from Sandhurst when he was sent to France to join a veteran armoured unit that had already spent years fighting with the Desert Rats in North Africa. Joining the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry five days after the D-Day landings, the combat-hardened men he was sent to command did not expect him to last long.

 

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Oct 06, 2020
Nazi Megastructures
00:29:32

Walking around Second World War fortifications, Patrick Bury is able to draw on his time in the infantry to tell the stories of the battles that occured over them. During his time working on Nazi Megastructures, Paddy accessed the lived history of the important structures built to protect and strengthen the 'Thousand Year Reich'. In this episode he spoke to James about his five most memorable Nazi structures, and his experiences creating the show.

 

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Oct 02, 2020
Soviet Women Snipers on the Eastern Front
00:27:00

In many countries, including Britain, women were banned from taking part in active combat operations during the Second World War. In the Soviet Union, however, declarations of equality meant that as well as having the right to vote and to work in government, women were able to fly on the front lines and become snipers. Lyuba Vinogradova, Russian historian and author, joined Dan to discuss her book Avenging Angels: Soviet women snipers on the Eastern front (1941–45).

 

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Sep 30, 2020
Gassed: The Toxic Legacy of World War One
00:08:31

Although the use of chemicals as weapons can be traced much further back in history, their use became widespread after the First World War, when the French threw tear gas grenades and then the Germans used chlorine gas. The wartime use of chemical weapons is remembered through poetry and, as Dan demonstrates in this podcast, family history. It is also, regrettably, still in occurence today.

 

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Sep 29, 2020
The Invasion of Poland in World War Two with Roger Moorhouse
00:38:36

Roger Moorhouse comprehensively discusses the Polish campaign of 1939, separating the myths from reality and outlining the abject horrors that the Poles suffered under the twin occupation of the Nazis and the Soviets.

 

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Sep 27, 2020
The Battle of Arnhem with James Holland and Paul Reed
00:28:48

This episode features interviews with two leading historians of the Second World War, James Holland and Paul Reed. They tell the story of the Battle of Arnhem, giving poignant and occasionally lurid accounts of the battle. Both also comment on the plans for Operation Market Garden, and whether the battle should be considered a failure.

 

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Sep 25, 2020
The Wola Massacre
00:21:07

In August 1944, when the Warsaw Uprising occurred, Axis troops were ordered to raze the Wola suburb to the ground and kill all of its inhabitants, regardless of whether they were fighting. James was joined for this episode by Alina Nowobilska, who gives an in depth account of the massacre, drawing from testimony of some of those who were there. Alina is a Historian of Poland during the Second World War. Her grandfather was a member of the resistance and fought in the Warsaw uprising just across the city from Wola.

 

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Sep 23, 2020
Pearl Harbour
00:26:09

In this episode, History Hit's Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about Sunday 7 December 1941, the day Japanese aircraft attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The US Pacific Fleet was devastated and 2403 Americans were killed, but it was not the decisive strike Japan had hoped for. Instead, it awakened a sleeping giant that would turn into a nemesis. Professor Carl Bridge of Kings College London talks us through Japan's reasonings for attacking Pearl Harbor, and the American response.

 

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Sep 22, 2020
The Budapest Ghetto
00:22:39

Born in Budapest in July 1944, Agnes Grunwald-Spier resided in the Ghetto with her mother from November 1944 to January 1945. Having gained degrees in History & Politics and Holocaust Studies, in this episode Agnes speaks to James about her family's experiences of the Holocaust. This personal history includes her mother's time alone in the ghetto with a newborn, the loss of her grandfather and the lasting impact of the Holocaust on her father.

 

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Sep 19, 2020
What Really Happened on D-Day?
00:27:22

Giles Milton has been researching D-Day from a new perspective - that of the youngsters who were involved in the first wave of the offensive. For this podcast he and Dan discussed his findings, the untold stories of this landmark event.

 

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Sep 18, 2020
The Battle of Britain: A Veteran's View
01:53:18

In this episode, Dan speaks to the late Wing Commander Thomas Neil, who fought in the Battle of Britain. Thomas joined the RAF Volunteer Reserves at the age of 18 and, when the Second World War broke out, he was called up to full-time service. In 1940 he was posted as an officer to No. 249 Squadron with whom he flew Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain.

 

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Sep 15, 2020
The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
00:05:31

In this short episode, Dan visits Sarajevo on the trail of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, his wife and his assassin, Gavrilo Princip. It was their fatal encounter that led to the outbreak of the First World War.

 

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Sep 13, 2020
Frontline Nursing in the First World War: The Forgotten History of Valborg Hjorth
00:21:22

In amongst the ranks of the heroic female wartime nurses Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell is a lesserknown Danish woman, Valborg Hjorth. When Dr Jakob Seerup - author, researcher and curator of Modern History - discovered a photograph of an elderly woman adorned with medals in the archive at Bornholm Museum, Denmark, he started the process of unearthing this woman's amazing life. In this episode, Jakob and James discuss Valborg's experiences in field hospitals, and also the way in which a woman travelling independently was perceived during the First World War, despite her service to the ranks of injured soldiers.

 

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Sep 12, 2020
The Secret History of the Blitz
00:43:19

In this episode, Joshua Levine provides us with an in depth account of the German offensive against Britain's moral. The actor, barrister and historian offers a study of the whole of the UK in discussion with Dan Snow. Together they explore the sense of community which emerged from the Blitz, as people who previously had no contact with one another were forced to share lifechanging experiences and confined spaces.

 

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Sep 11, 2020
African Americans in WWII: Patriotism and Oppression
00:35:35

In this episode, Dr. Shama Ams places the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of George Floyd into the historical context of the treatment of African American soldiers during and after WW2. In conversation with James, he also explores links with the Civil Rights movement. Shama Ams completed his PhD in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), Centre of Development Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Marshall Scholar. His research focuses on the nature of socio-cultural, legal and institutional transformation in post-war countries.

 

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Sep 09, 2020
Spitfire
00:19:34

For this podcast Dan spoke to John Nichol, former Royal Air Force navigator and author of the bestseller 'Spitfire: A Very British Love Story'. They discussed the plane that was so critical to the RAF's efforts in the Battle of Britain and the Second World War, and why it occupies such a special place in Britain's hearts.

 

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Sep 08, 2020
Shellshocked Britain
00:24:56

Over a century after the end of the First World War, there is still so much that is unknown about so called 'shellshock'. In this episode, Suzie Grogan delves into past and present understandings of shellshock and opens up discussion of the hidden impact of warfare on soldiers and civilians. Suzie is interested in social and literary history, and the history of mental health. She is the author of 'Shell Shocked Britain: The First World War's Legacy for Britain's Mental Health'.

 

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Sep 06, 2020
Hitler's Titanic
00:21:40

In this episode, Roger Moorhouse brings to light arguably the worst maritime disaster in history, the sinking of the German armed military transport ship, Wilhelm Gustloff, in January 1945. Roger and Dan discuss the circumstances and terrible outcomes of the disaster after first looking at the often ignored background of the ship, which had acted as a cruiseliner in the Nazi programme of Kraft durch Freude (Strength Through Joy). Moorhouse is a specialist in modern German history, particularly the Third Reich.

 

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Sep 03, 2020
Arnhem with Antony Beevor
00:42:11

After winning back France and Belgium, the Allied forces met unexpected resistance in the Netherlands in September 1944. Following nine days of fighting, they withdrew. In this podcast, Dan spoke to Antony Beevor about what was possibly one of the greatest Allied failures of the Second World War, and the intelligence failures and vanities which caused it. Antony is one of the best selling military historians of all time, and author of ‘Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges 1944’.

 

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Sep 01, 2020
Pilots of the Caribbean
00:27:49

On the outbreak of World War Two, young men from across the Empire volunteered to risk their lives in the fight against Nazi Germany. For this podcast, Peter Devitt from the RAF museum spoke with Dan about the often-neglected histories of African-Caribbean RAF pilots and their contribution to the Allied war effort.

 

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Aug 30, 2020
Nationalism and the World Wars
00:43:42

When studying the causes of war we can often be distracted by actions, but in many cases, including the World Wars, a study of the history of ideas is just as enlightening. In this episode, James spoke to inter-disciplinary scholar Dr. Pablo de Orellana about ethnonationalism and its role in both of the World Wars, as well as in the rise of far-right ideas today.

 

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Aug 28, 2020
Arnhem: The Veteran's View
00:25:03

On the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem, Dan Snow was joined by veterans and dignitaries to follow in the footprints of those who took part in the bold attempt to outflank the Germans in 1944. As Dan prepares to jump out of an aircraft to relive the events of the 1944 landings, we hear from the UK and US ambassadors to the Netherlands, from the Mayor of Arnhem, and from veterans who lived through the battle.

 

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Aug 27, 2020
The Death of Hitler
00:19:47

He is arguably the 20th century's most notorious head of state and the results of his leadership are spread far and wide. But did Hitler shoot himself in the Führerbunker, or did he slip past the Soviets and escape to South America? In this podcast with Dan Snow, Luke Daly Groves takes on the conspiracy theorists using recently declassified MI5 files, previously unpublished sketches of Hitler's bunker and eyewitness accounts of intelligence officers.

 

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Aug 26, 2020
The Siege of Leningrad
00:34:42

In 1941, Nazi Germany turned on its former ally, the Soviet Union. One of the strategic objectives of this operation, Barbarossa, was to conquer Leningrad. To discuss the German turn on the Soviet Union and perhaps the most brutal siege of the Second World War, James Rogers is joined by Chris Bellamy, author of Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War. Chris is Professor Emeritus of Maritime Security at the University of Greenwich and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Maritime Crime and Security.

 

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Aug 23, 2020
Stalin's Danish Mystery
00:22:15

In the spring of 1945, the Allies liberated territory from Axis occupation. Whilst the British advanced into most of Denmark, Stalin’s Soviet forces occupied the small island of Bornholm. They remained there for 11 months, but then withdrew with little fanfare. Caroline Kennedy-Pipe is a professor of International Relations and International Security at Loughborough University. She spoke to James about her research into the Soviet occupation of Bornholm and its mysterious end.

 

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Aug 21, 2020
Women Scientists in World War One
00:17:17

In considerations of the First World War, the roles of female scientists in supporting the war effort have been shockingly under acknowledged. Dan was joined in this podcast by Patricia Fara, a historian of science at the University of Cambridge, to talk about the women who worked as scientific researchers during the First World War.

 

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Aug 14, 2020
African Experiences in World War One
00:20:59

The First World War is most commonly portrayed using records of young white Europeans, silencing the stories of the 4 million non-white non-Europeans who fought in and laboured for it. For this History Hit podcast, Dan spoke with John Akomfra about the untold experiences of African soldiers, carriers and labourers during the First World War. John is an artist and filmmaker whose work investigates, amongst other things, memory, post-colonialism and the experiences of migrant diasporas. When this podcast was recorded in 2018, John was running an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum to commemorate those Africans who fought, served and died during the war.

 

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Aug 11, 2020
The Road to 1914: The Myths of Nationalism
00:32:37

The First World War is one of the great turning points of the last couple of centuries. Debates surrounding its origins, however, remain endless. In this podcast Margaret MacMillan, Professor of International History at Oxford, discusses the circumstances which led to the declarations of war in 1914 with Dan Snow. They consider our enduring fascination with this moment in history, in which so many of the modern world's problems have their roots.

 

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Aug 11, 2020
The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima
00:40:02

On 6 August 1945 a B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped a uranium bomb, nicknamed the 'Little Boy' onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It was the first use of nuclear weapons in warfare - and also one of history's most controversial acts. While it almost certainly hastened the surrender of Japan to the USA and ended World War Two, it came at an incredible human cost - with 150,000 being killed in the blast and nuclear aftermath. In this podcast, first broadcast on Dan Snow's History Hit, survivor Hirata-San talks to Dan about his experiences, and his work on keeping global peace.

 

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Aug 05, 2020
The Rise of Adolf Hitler
00:50:21

In one of the strangest twists in political history, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party rose from a small provincial agitator into the largest political party in the German Reichstag - before completely dissolving the Weimar Republic and taking Germany and the rest of the world on an escalator to catastrope. Professor Frank McDonough spoke to Dan Snow about Hitler's remarkable rise.

 

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Aug 04, 2020
The Aftermath of World War One
00:28:10

In this History Hit live on Timeline Dan Snow was joined by Margaret MacMillan, professor at St Antony's College, Oxford University and author of 'Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War'. They discussed the effects World War One had on the world, and how Europe began to rebuild in the years that followed.

 

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Aug 03, 2020