71 episodes

Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. This is their podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

The Digression Podcast Chris Rash & Jody Hanks

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 20 Ratings

Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. This is their podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

    70. Rommel's Last Day

    70. Rommel's Last Day

    Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, the famed "Desert Fox,' was a German officer and reputed to be Hitler's favorite general. At the outbreak of World War II, Rommel was given command of the troops that guarded Hitler’s headquarters, which was a disappointment for a man used to fighting on the front lines with the infantry. But in early 1940, he was given a chance to put to use his gifts, when he was given command of the 7th Panzer Division. Although a novice as far as mechanized forces were concerned, he soon mastered the advantages and proved his leadership abilities again in the German offensive against the French channel coast in May.
    In early 1941, Rommel was placed in command of the Afrikakorps and sent to North Africa to aid Germany’s ailing ally, Italy, in maintaining its position in Libya. It is here, in the deserts of North Africa, that Rommel earned his vaunted reputation, as well as his nickname, for his fox-like tactics. Winning significant victories against the British, it wasn’t until a second battle to take el-Alamein in Egypt went against him that the “invincible” general was finally called home back to Europe.
    Hitler put Rommel back in northern France, to guard against an Allied invasion. Rommel’s suggestions for the precautions necessary to repel an enemy invasion were not taken seriously, and he began to lose confidence in Hitler and Germany’s ability to win the war. He assessed the support from his field commanders for removing Hitler from power and was also approached by colleagues to actually take the reins of government when Hitler was deposed.
    On D-Day, Rommel’s prediction of disaster for Germany’s position played itself out. Still, Hitler would not consider negotiations with the Allies. Rommel ended up in the hospital after his car was attacked by British bombers and he was forced off the road. Meanwhile, details of a failed assassination plot had come to Hitler’s attention, including Rommel’s contact with the conspirators. As Rommel was convalescing in his home at Herrlingen, two generals visited and offered him his choice: a public show trial or take his own life.
    Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/70
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    • 38 min
    69. Not Our Fault

    69. Not Our Fault

    IN THE NEWS: RIP Betty White (and it’s not our fault); Reflecting on our podcast; Biggest military stories of 2021 review, including the January 6th Capitol Riot; The botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan; The Accountable Marine; Russian buildup on the Ukraine border; Extremism and CRT in the military; New Tricare charges; Army vet scams the VA; and more.
    Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/69
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    • 55 min
    68. The Christmas Truce

    68. The Christmas Truce

    By December 1914 the reality of trench warfare quickly settled in. Heavy rain soaked both the trenches and the “No Man’s Land” that separated them. For those on the Western Front, daily life was miserable, but it was a misery that was shared by enemies who were, in some places, separated by only 50 yards. By Christmas Eve, a tenuous truce slowly started to take hold. The Germans placed Christmas trees and candles on their trenches and began singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. As morning broke on Christmas Day, both German and British soldiers slowly emerged from their trenches, meeting in “No Man’s” Land to socialize, exchange gifts, and maybe even play a little soccer.
    Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/68
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    • 39 min
    67. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    67. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    When it comes to the military lexicon, there is a certain language that has many civilians thinking they're listening to a foreign tongue. Well, they are. Not "foreign" as in another nation's language, but foreign as in another culture. Although many military words and expressions do indeed have foreign language roots (the history and etymology of the word "latrine," for instance, is French, from the Latin "latrina," a contraction of "lavatrina," from the word "lavare" meaning "to wash," and dates back to the 1600s), most evolved directly from the military experience. A good many are common throughout the different service branches (everyone knows "MRE," which is "Meal Ready to Eat," and is the basic sustenance of troops in the field ), but some are exclusive to a particular service or even a specific unit (the "Blue Falcon" of the USAF Security Forces, for example, which we discuss in the podcast). So, listen in as we shed some light on the words and expressions, jargon and gibberish, parlance and patois, slang, talk, tongue, and terminology of military service members.
    Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/67
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    • 54 min
    66. Operation Pastorius

    66. Operation Pastorius

    In the summer of 1942, Adolf Hitler sent two four-man teams to America to blow up railroad bridges, power plants, and tunnels, to paralyze industrial facilities vital to the American war effort, and to demoralize the American civilian population. It was considered one of the most daring sabotage plans in history. But it turned out to be a major headache for the Nazi leader.
    Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/66
    Help Neal at the Veteran's Assistance Commission locate family members of Medal of Honor recipient, MSgt Vito Bertoldo. You can find his phone number or DM him here: https://www.facebook.com/VeteransServiceOfficer
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    • 28 min
    65. Porky's Marine

    65. Porky's Marine

    IN THE NEWS: Winsome Sears is the American dream; Accountability Marine held accountable, but still comes out a winner; 1000s of Americans still in Afghanistan; Service members' sue DoD over vaccine mandate; Vaccine in use missing one thing: FDA approval; Let’s have some compassion; Brits kick USMC ass; China’s hypersonic missile and General Milley’s concern; Forever chemicals; Space Force traditions; “Real” Space Force update; Airman stuck with hefty car repair bill; Army plan to stop breaking soldiers; More Bonnie Dick lessons; and Porky’s marine.
    Show notes at https://thedigressionpodcast.com/65
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    Or just share our podcast with a friend! It's the best way to grow the show!!

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

caw328 ,

Latest episode

My father was a soldier in WW2. He would be horrified to hear we are facing those grave markers. It shows Political Correction running afoul. What’s next? Shall we remove the Star of David because “we are a Christian nation “ ? Those graves are someone’s final resting place. They should be respected for who they were, not who we think he should have been. Shall we hide anything that makes us uncomfortable? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Thank you for another thought provoking episode. Keep up the great work.

Trench_Warfare ,

OO-RAH!

Why subscribe to this podcast? While the subject-matter is interesting and pretty well researched, the real hook for me is this: Chris and Jody are genuinely having fun! These are two men who are proud of their military service, but they are also just good friends who love telling stories. The show is aptly named because they do digress a lot, but the digressions come naturally and they enrich the story. They are also considerate of their listeners taking time to explain the military talk a civilian might not understand, which is why this podcast appeals to more than just old “ground pounders” like me. I look forward to every new episode!

Dalmtions ,

Fort Hoodlum episode

Another thought-provoking episode. SFC Barteau brought some great perspective. The similarities between the Army and Air Force were evident, and lessons learned translate to the civilian world. Political correctness can undoubtedly impact the mission.

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