This is a podcast about the greatest military battles and campaigns that changed the course of history for non-military listeners.
Episode 16 - The Battle of Stalingrad
A disastrous offensive launched by the Red Army in May, 1942 around Kharkov ended in a rout that paved the way for a renewed German offensive deep into southern Russia and the Ukraine beginning on June 23, 1942. The goal was to break Soviet resistance by capturing the oilfields of the Caucasus and the River Volga at Stalingrad. The Red Army was once again put on the defensive and soon their backs were against the Volga River, desperately trying to hang on in the face of an implacable and ruthless enemy bent on the annhilation of the Slavic people. This battle, fought in subhuman conditions between August 1942 and January 1943 cost nearly 2 million casualties and unspeakable suffering for those who fought and died there. This is the story of the battle many consider the turning point of World War II in Europe.
Leipzig 1813 -The Battle of the Nations
The fate of Europe hung in the balance at Leipzig in October, 1813. His invasion of Russia had ended in failure in December 1812, and Napoleon Bonaparte was now beset by defections of allied nations who had marched with him and pursued by a Russian army entering Germany intent on revenge. Determined to maintain his dominance of continental Europe, Napoleon quickly assembled a new army - a quarter million strong - to defend his Empire and his crown. Encouraged by the destruction of much of the French army in the Russian campaign, first Sweden, then Prussia and finally Austria declared war and marshalled their armies to confront Napoleon in the small kingdom of Saxony. The mystique of the man the Duke of Wellington once said was worth 40,000 men on a battlefield was still alive as he routed Coalition armies at Lutzen, Bautzen and again at Dresden. Numerical superiority seemed irrelevant when Napoleon was on the field, but his genius would be put to the test at Leipzig. In four days that shook the world, the unthinkable would finally happen.
Episode 14 - Midway
The United States was caught unprepared for a surprise Japanese air attack on December 7, 1941 and suffered its worst naval defeat in history. With successive invasions and defeats in Guam and the Philippines, including the surrender of its remaining army at Corregidor, the United States was losing the war in the Pacificto Japan in June, 1942. Yet there remained a flicker of hope, because the American aircraft carriers had not been caught at Pearl Harbor and could still roam the seas, threatening the Japanese home islands and further conquests abroad. Japanese supreme commander Yamamoto was determined to ambush the four American carriers and end the threat once and for all. Newly appointed Pacific Fleet commander Chester Nimitz took over a demoralized fleet at Pearl Harbor knowing he could not allow the loss of his carriers or his island base in Hawaii. When he learned of an impending attack on Midway Island, he risked everything in a desperate gamble to outfox the Japanese fleet and ambush their carriers. This is the story of a miraculous and pivotal victory at sea that ranks with the greatest in history.
Episode 13 - The Battle of the Marne - 1914
On August 27, 1914, a bare three weeks into the First World War, the hopes and dreams of the French to liberate their lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine by beating the German Army were in ashes. Hard and costly defeats had been inflicted on their army by a seemingly relentless grey tide of German soldiers backed by heavy artillery, the likes of which the world had never seen. Worse still, an incoming tide of a million German soldiers cutting through Belgium seemed unstoppable and that Paris would fall in a matter of a week or so. This is the story of how the French army rose from its knees and managed to inflict a stunning and decisive defeat on the German invaders that saved their country from disaster. This is the story of the Miracle of the Marne.
Episode 12 - The Battle of Solferino - 1859
This pivotal battle of the four Italian Wars of Independence in the mid-19th century was, in its day, the greatest European battle fought since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. The appalling carnage that resulted from three armies desperate struggle in suffocating summer heat in northern Italy shocked the civilized world. Swiss businessman Henri Dunant, who visited the battlefield the day after, was so moved by the pitiful treatment of the wounded and dying, that he established the International Red Cross, which survives to this day. It also led to the first Geneva Convention that protected ambulances and medical personnel from enemy attack during and after a battle. The outcome of the battle would be instrumental in the establishment of a free, united Italy in place of what had been a scattering of independent or foreign-dominated, small states on the peninsula. The story of this monumental battle is told in this episode which the author visited himself in the summer of 2016.
Episode 3 - The Battle of Koniggratz - 1866
The Battle of Koniggratz, fought on July 3, 1866, was the largest military battle on the continent of Europe between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the Battle of the Somme during the First World War in 1914. Another improbable battle in this series, it seemed at the outset of the war that Prussia would be slowly crushed by the vast resources of Austria and the other German states, nearly all of whom allied with Austria. When Austria's imperial army defeated Prussia's only ally, the kingdom of Italy, at Custoza on June 24, Prussia's doom seemed to be only a matter of time. This is the story of the brilliance of Prussia's supreme commander, Helmuth von Moltke, and how in a matter of six weeks, he humbled the Austrians on the fields of Moravia in a lightening campaign. Austria's defeat and consequent expulsion from Germany irrevocably altered the European balance of power and within five years, the German Empire was born under Prussian domination with its capital in Berlin.
I love his voice and presentation.
Make some more!
This has to be some of the BEST series! Keep up the good content!
Just found this podcast and listened to one on the battle of France. Enjoyed the details that were presented. Very interesting. Looking forward to binge listening to the other episodes.