Warfare

Warfare

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. Vote for Warfare in the Listeners Choice Category at the British Podcast Awards 2023!

Episodes

March 13, 2024 35 mins

We're bringing you an episode of a podcast we think you'll love: Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford. At the height of World War Two, British intelligence began receiving reports that the enemy was developing a rocket weapon. The idea seemed fantastical — resources in Nazi Germany were scarce and a rocket-building program defied economic logic.


But one intelligence chief took the reports of a rocket weapon seriously and he ma...

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The Second World War officially ended on September 2nd 1945 - and it's estimated that around 3% of the Earth's population perished during the conflict. But what ultimately bought WW2 to an end - and how vital a role did the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki play in obtaining a Japanese surrender?


In this episode, James welcomes journalist and New York Times Bestseller Evan Thomas to the Podcast, to look at how the end of one of...

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August 31, 2023 54 mins

This episode contains graphic descriptions of violence and sexual assault.


Over the course of 100 days in 1994, it's estimated that between 500,000 and one million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed by Hutu extremists in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Sparked by longstanding ethnic tensions and political unrest in the country, and with actions exacerbated by the Assassination of Rwanda's Hutu president - violence swept a...

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August 27, 2023 28 mins

December 2nd is a special date for those fascinated by Napoleon Bonaparte. Not only is this the date he crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804, but also the date of his greatest victory a year later, the Battle of Austerlitz. James Rogers is joined by world-leading historian Andrew Roberts to dissect the conditions, tactics and aftermath of Napoleon's greatest battle.


Discover the past on History Hit with ad-free original pod...

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August 24, 2023 43 mins

What was it actually like to operate a tank during the Second World War?


In this episode, we explore the iron belly of tank warfare through the eyes of Private Arthur Ibbotson, who enlisted in the war as a young lad in 1942, first joining the Grenadier Guards in London and who ended up involved in one of the largest allied operations of the war: Operation Market Garden.


Arthur would have turned 100 years old in September this...

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August 20, 2023 26 mins

This year marks 80 years since one of the more ferocious clashes of the Second World War: the Battle of Kursk. With a combined 8,000 tanks between the German Wehrmacht and the Soviet Red Army, it became the largest tank battle in history.


This week, James is joined by historian James Holland. Together, they unpack the wider context of this confrontation, what drove the Germans to take on such a battle, and ultimately, what led t...

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August 17, 2023 47 mins

As we get closer to the 80th anniversary of Operation Overlord and the D-Day Landings, we're beginning to witness the passing of 'living memory' from the Second World War. With more eyewitnesses, participants, and war veterans passing away every day, how can we ensure that their memories, stories, and experiences are safely preserved? The University of Oxford have launched a new project to help combat this problem: Their Finest Hou...

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August 13, 2023 47 mins

Serving continuously as either Prime Minister or President since 1999, Vladimir Putin's leadership of Russia has always dominated the geopolitical stage and made headlines. Enforcing extreme policies, engaging with dangerous allies, and hiring deadly mercenaries - it seems he isn't planning on relinquishing control of Russia, or ending the war in Ukraine, in the near future. But how has his previous experience on the world stage in...

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August 10, 2023 34 mins

In August 2021, after 20 years of military presence, the United States withdrew the last of their troops from Afghanistan. With chaos quickly ensuring and the world seeing images of desperate parents handing infants to evacuating forces, and civilians trying to force their way onto evacuation flights - the world's eyes were on Afghanistan as the Taliban took control. But two years later, what's Afghanistan like for the people who l...

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August 6, 2023 46 mins

A Yugoslav revolutionary leader, who served in every major conflict of his lifetime - Josip Broz Tito ruled Yugoslavia for 35 years. Successfully leading the establishment and maintenance of a socialist federation in Yugoslavia and balancing between the global superpowers of the Cold War, his contribution to history cannot be undermined. But his rule wasn't without controversy or violence; while he managed to balance ethnic and nat...

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August 3, 2023 56 mins

Known as the Desert Fox, Erwin Rommel was one of Germany's greatest military leaders. Having soared through the ranks after numerous victories during the First World War, he became an integral part of the Axis command, and he was one of the few who held Hitler's ear. But how did his experiences in WW1 shape the military commander he became, and what happened to him after WW2?


In this episode James welcomes Dr Martin Samuels to t...

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July 30, 2023 52 mins

A Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician, Robert Mugabe served as the country's Prime Minister and later as its President for 37 years. His legacy remains a contentious topic, marked by controversy, violence, and suspected military coups during his later years in power, despite his role in leading Zimbabwe to independence from British colonial rule. So who was Robert Mugabe, and how did he hold onto power for so long?


In this e...

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July 27, 2023 34 mins

When you think of the Blitz and the devastation enacted by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, British cities like London or Coventry typically come to mind first. With deadly bombings happening across the United Kingdom throughout the entire world war, other locations and casualties are often forgotten or left off official Blitz classification lists. However, during March 1941, Glasgow and the surrounding Clydeside areas fa...

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July 23, 2023 43 mins

Leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1949 until his death in 1976, Chairman Mao reshaped the nation's course of history, founding the People's Republic of China and implementing sweeping socio-political reforms that dramatically changed the country. However, his rule was marred with controversies and disastrous policies, leading to widespread suffering, trauma, and ultimately the deaths of millions.


In the first episode of...

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July 20, 2023 29 mins

Often referred to as the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer's work in the field of theoretical physics changed the world as we knew it. Working in Los Alamos, New Mexico during the Second World War, the Manhattan Project and the scientific advancements achieved there helped bring an end to WW2 - but at what cost? With Oppenheimer's life and work now being immortalized in Christopher Nolan's latest epic 'Oppenheimer,' ...

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July 16, 2023 29 mins

They say war can be one of the biggest drivers of innovation. Inventions like radar, computers and penicillin, all developed during the Second World War, continue to revolutionise our lives today. Others, not so much.


In this episode, James Patton Rogers is joined by 'The Dirty Tricks Department: Stanley Lovell, the OSS and the Masterminds of World War II Secret Warfare' author, John Lisle. Together they discuss the strangest in...

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July 13, 2023 32 mins

As over a year passes since the Bucha Massacre, new information and intelligence on Russian war crimes continues to emerge from the conflict. With evidence suggesting a systematic and intentional attempt to terrorise the Ukrainian population, and disturbing accounts of the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children - lives and families are continuing to be torn apart in the Russian-Ukraine war. With Ukrainian prosecution already ga...

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July 9, 2023 43 mins

2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. Often heralded as one of the greatest post-war institutions, providing free health care at the point of use, however to what extent is the NHS truly a product of the Second World War? Turns out the answer, like most things in history, is a lot more complicated. It's a story that involves both the world wars as well as the ongoing struggle between communist and capi...

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July 6, 2023 41 mins

Drone warfare has undoubtedly become a crucial component of contemporary military operations - with drone strikes in the Russia-Ukraine war often dominating headlines. And while suicide drones are predominantly used within warfare, providing an opportunity to overwhelm enemy air defences - it's important to recognise that drones serve many purposes beyond destruction. With their utility extending to reconnaissance and intelligence ...

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July 2, 2023 28 mins

Alan Turing: pioneering mathematician, computer scientist, codebreaker. He played a crucial role in decrypting Nazi messages during the Second World War, turning the tide of the conflict, and is considered the father of modern computer science. Yet he died in 1954 aged 42, chemically castrated, and a criminal for his sexuality.


In this episode, host James Patton Rogers is joined by Dr Sue Black OBE to explore the groundbreaking ...

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