300 episodes

Current: Thirty Years War series
Patreon: Poland Is Not Yet Lost

Hello and welcome history friends patrons all to When Diplomacy Fails Podcast, or WDF as I like to call it! My name is Zack Twamley, history PhD student, author and all-round history nerd! For over seven years, I have been privileged to examine wars throughout history through a unique lens. I always try to ask what on the surface may seem like very reasonable questions - why, how and WHEN did diplomacy fail? This approach has enabled a loyal base of 'history friends' to grow up around WDF, and thanks to their much appreciated work getting the word out there, we have taken history podcasting to incredible new heights!

You should know that my jam at WDF is not the mundane, the tedious or the repetitive - I care little for the logistics of why one general moves his forces to point A, or what impact weapon X had on the war. Instead, I delve into human agency, the story populated by sometimes ingenious, sometimes fatally flawed human beings, who believed or had been led to believe that the time was right for war. Under these circumstances, diplomacy certainly fails, but thanks to our window into the era, you get to find out all about it! From the machinations of Louis XIV, to the complex set of events which led to the outbreak of the First World War, to the most obscure of conflicts besides, WDF has been through it all, and there's so much more to come! So why not stop by, give us a listen, and do your bit to help make history THRIVE!

When Diplomacy Fails Podcast Acast

    • Society & Culture

Current: Thirty Years War series
Patreon: Poland Is Not Yet Lost

Hello and welcome history friends patrons all to When Diplomacy Fails Podcast, or WDF as I like to call it! My name is Zack Twamley, history PhD student, author and all-round history nerd! For over seven years, I have been privileged to examine wars throughout history through a unique lens. I always try to ask what on the surface may seem like very reasonable questions - why, how and WHEN did diplomacy fail? This approach has enabled a loyal base of 'history friends' to grow up around WDF, and thanks to their much appreciated work getting the word out there, we have taken history podcasting to incredible new heights!

You should know that my jam at WDF is not the mundane, the tedious or the repetitive - I care little for the logistics of why one general moves his forces to point A, or what impact weapon X had on the war. Instead, I delve into human agency, the story populated by sometimes ingenious, sometimes fatally flawed human beings, who believed or had been led to believe that the time was right for war. Under these circumstances, diplomacy certainly fails, but thanks to our window into the era, you get to find out all about it! From the machinations of Louis XIV, to the complex set of events which led to the outbreak of the First World War, to the most obscure of conflicts besides, WDF has been through it all, and there's so much more to come! So why not stop by, give us a listen, and do your bit to help make history THRIVE!

    30YearsWar: #3 - "Dukes, Electors, Emperors and Kings"

    30YearsWar: #3 - "Dukes, Electors, Emperors and Kings"

    If you thought you properly understood how the Empire worked at long last – then think again! There was always some wrinkle or exception to the rule, but perhaps no rules were more important than those concerning the role of Electors. We touched on them in the last episode, but here we place them in their proper context, and unwrap what specifically made them so important to the functioning of the Empire. The Habsburgs, powerful though they were, depended upon the Electors for their legitimacy, and after the Reformation, the seven invaluable votes which could be offered were split along these lines. What was the solution? To a generation of Habsburg rulers, it was quite simple – maintain such a monopoly on power that the votes come in regardless. How to manage this feat? Marriage, of course!


    Into this examination we throw several wrenches, including the Julich-Cleve Crisis of 1609-14, which provided a dangerous training ground for the two ideological blocs of the Empire to square off. Another incident, the destruction of the city of Donauworth in 1608, and its capture by the Duke of Bavaria, also deserves mention. The Empire, stable though it somehow remained, was in danger of a major rupture if calmer heads did not prevail. Somewhere to the west, an individual was seeking an opportunity to capitalise, and bring his Kingdom to the front of the Emperor’s lists of problems. Henry IV, the King of France, had emerged triumphant from the French Wars of Religion, but this scion of the House of Bourbon had a way to go before he could sponsor the showdown with the Habsburgs that his son and grandson were to pursue. Tune into episode 3 to see exactly how Europe sustained such domineering personalities and powers!
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    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
    1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!
    2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!
    3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!
    4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!
    5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 31 min
    30YearsWar: #2 - 'The Small Print'

    30YearsWar: #2 - 'The Small Print'

    The Holy Roman Empire was a unique place, full of unique laws, unique settlements and very unique rulers. Unique is just a polite way of saying, that the HRE was a freakin’ mess, but it is a mess which we have to acquaint ourselves with if we’re to stand any chance of understanding the event which it housed – the Thirty Years War. It was in the lands of this sort of state/sort of empire that the events of this conflict were played out. It was fanned and exacerbated by men like Electors and Emperors, it was driven by arguments over religion and constitutions, and it was empowered by actors outside of the Empire, who had their eye on manipulating the situation to their advantage.


    Our focus in this episode goes to 1555, where a settlement between protestant and catholic agents was agreed. The Peace of Augsburg, the religious and profane peace, as it would come to be known, was a crucial milestone in the history of the Empire, but it is also vital to our understanding of the conflict which followed three generations later. How did the Empire work, what did the Electors did, how did the Emperor get elected, what did the whole thing look like in practice – all of these are questions which we will get to grips with in this episode, so I hope you’ll join me!
    *******
    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
    1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!
    2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!
    3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!
    4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!
    5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 41 min
    Poland Is Not Yet Lost - What's That? [Teaser]

    Poland Is Not Yet Lost - What's That? [Teaser]

    Today in our Patreon feed, the first episode of the Poland Is Not Yet Lost narrative is released, which is super exciting! But, even if you've been tempted in the past to sign up for $5 a month and get this extra content, you may be wondering, what exactly does this series look like, and how do I know if I'll like it? All good questions, which I hopefully answer with some preview clips of episodes we've released before in this exclusive series.


    If you find yourself wanting more, you know where to go! Head over to the Patreon page for this podcast by clicking this link here. By supporting the show you're not only accessing great history content you won't get anywhere else, you're also helping me live my dream in my History PhD! So thanksss so much! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 25 min
    30YearsWar: #1 - "Prosperity, Profit, Power"

    30YearsWar: #1 - "Prosperity, Profit, Power"

    We're back! After running through 17th Century Warfare with a fine-toothed comb, I am finally ready to deliver to you the most exciting series we've ever covered here at WDF Towers. It's eerily familiar, but also breathtakingly different - it sounds like the Thirty Years War!


    Our first proper episode of the Thirty Years War begins with a somewhat surprising scene – Hernan Cortez, far away in South America, coming face to face with the Aztecs. Why do we begin our story with such a controversial, pivotal character? Simple – Cortez was, truth be told, an agent of the Habsburgs, or more specifically, Charles V, the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor.


    Charles was the embodiment of Habsburg power and influence; he was arguably the most powerful man in Europe since the era of Roman Emperors, and he owed his position to the incredible marital policy of his forebears, who married their way out of obscurity in an isolated Swiss castle, to become THE predominant European family by the turn of the 16th century. The Thirty Years War is a story which cannot be told without the Habsburg dynasty, so I hope you’ll join me in this first true instalment of our series to see where this dynasty came from, and where it went next!
    ********
    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
    1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!
    2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!
    3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!
    4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!
    5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 30 min
    30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 15

    30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 15

    In the words of the historian John A. Lynn, "trying to understand seventeenth-century European history without weighing the influence of war and military institutions is like trying to dance without listening to the music." For the last 15 episodes, we've surrounded ourselves with a heck of a lot of music, so I hope you're ready to dance!


    This is it, our FINAL episode of 2019 [if you're not a patron!] and our last instalment of the 17th Century Warfare series! We've come a long way in our examination of warfare in this eventful century. Everything from Swedish Kings, to siege ingenuity, to barrages of artillery reforms, to the development and spread of the infantry firearm drill. Hopefully after listening in, you feel like you've learned something about warfare worked, and you appreciate me shining this light on a topic which is rarely given the attention it deserves outside of really nerdy history circles.


    Hopefully as well, you feel ready and prepared to begin again in the Thirty Years War, and start to climb the mountain which is the actual narrative of the war itself. I for one am REALLY excited to deliver it to you, as it's something which I've been creating and perfecting in the background for YEARS. It is the backbone of our upcoming book, and it's also [to my mind] the ONLY series which analyses this pivotal conflict in the detail it deserves. So, from January 6 2020, I hope to have you in my corner as we revisit those characters, the weighted issues and the high drama once again.


    This time, with the knowledge of how it ends, and how it keeps going for three decades, I hope you will find me a more accomplished guide! Either way, soon it'll be time to lay down your arms, and listen into our latest deep dive. Until it arrives though, have a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas/Hannukah/New Year etc., and I'll be seeing you all....soon!


    Wanna listen to Poland Is Not Yet Lost? Visit our Patreon to find out more, and scratch that Polish itch! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 39 min
    30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 14

    30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 14

    Our war is nearly over, but we still have some matters to discuss! Here we summarise what we’ve learned over the last few episodes, and pave the way for the narrative to come. There is much we still don’t know about warfare in the 17th century, simply because there is so darn much to know! However, over the last several episodes, we’ve given a very good grounding in what 17th century warfare was all about. We saw how important the theory of the military revolution was, because it shaped debate about how warfare changed during the 17th century. Indeed, the military revolution thesis led to historians producing counterarguments at a rapid rate, to the point that more material than ever before on the period was released in the last fifty or so years. This is of course great news for us, and means that we haven’t exhausted the well of sources just yet.


    Here we revisit some of the most important lessons we came across. The trace italienne was arguably the most important, since this technological development facilitated the creation of more impressive armies to adequately besiege and take them down. In addition, more advanced siege techniques led in turn to the creation of more effective defensive bastions, in a kind of arms race between defender and attacker which resulted in an explosion of experimentation and architectural marvels. The French, arguably, benefited from this the most, as Louis XIV harnessed the defensive potential of fortresses to hold the numerous enemies of France at bay at critical times.


    If the French gained the most from the use of the fortress, arguably the Dutch were the most impressive pioneers with musket drills in the beginning of the century, as Maurice of Nassau searched for new ways to combat the core of tercio professionals which Spain boasted. Speaking of Spain, the Spanish were by no means the useless, wasteful dolts that historians have sometimes portrayed them as. Well into the 17th century as we saw, Spain maintained its reputation for military supremacy, while across the continent, its cousins in Austria were experimenting with new ways to maintain an army all year round, and anticipating the benefits this could bring. In addition, to the east, the Turks were also throwing their considerable weight around, and were far from insignificant, as is often claimed.


    In short, we’ve learned a lot about warfare in the 17th century – be it through the eyes of different states, when we examined certain case studies, or analysed given terms like the trace italienne and fire by rank mass volley musket tactics. We saw the English trade the longbow for the musket, and discovered how the Ancient Roman legionnaires managed to contribute to the Dutch military theories of the day. It’s been a great ride, so I hope you’ll join me here as we attempt to wrap it up.


    Sign up for a fiver or less a month on Patreon to support the show, support Zack and support history - in return you'll get some fantastic audio content which you can't listen to anywhere else! Currently, we're preparing the way for Poland Is Not Yet Lost! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

James G Barnard ,

A great podcast for true history fans

Zack has a genuine love for history which comes through in the podcast. He is sincere and unassuming and passionate in his love for the subject. He really has a strong grasp of 17th-century diplomacy and politics, and since I’m a history teacher, his podcast has been a goldmine in my own research into the era.

Douglas Hulkhater ,

I used to think history was boring

Zach has such a pleasant voice and makes history really facinating. I listen on the way home from work to wind-down.

Helyiosintathyspokker ,

Get to the point!

I’ve just spent a good 40 minutes hearing about book releases and mixed-up scheduling, only to get about 30 seconds of actual history in. As someone trying to make a decision on a new history podcast, I’m unsubscribing and walking away from this one with nothing more than a book release advert.

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