Military History Podcast



Bringing you the strangest anecdotes, innovative technology, and most significant events of Military History.


  • Iran-Iraq War

    23/06/2007 Duración: 14min

    The Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), also known as Saddam's Qadisiyyah, the Holy Defense, and the Iraqi-Imposed War, had a devastating effect on both participants.  The war features many attacks and counterattacks, though in the end, nothing changed.  Some causes of the war include: Khuzestan Border DisputeStruggle for Middle Eastern SupremacySunni vs. Shiite SchismShatt al-Arab Waterway DisputeIranian-sponsored assassination attempt against Tariq Aziz (Iraqi minister) Iraq's invasion of Iran went well at first.  With technological and tactical superiority, the Iraqis were able to retake the waterway and much of Khuzestan.  However, thanks to Iran's powerful air force and its motivated militias, the Iraqi offensive was stopped.  In 1982, Operation Undeniable Victory took back much of what was lost for the Iranians.  In fact, the Iranians even went on a counter-offensive and invaded Iraq.  However, they were stopped at Basra thanks, in part, to chemical weapons.  Then, the Iraqis counterattacked and pushed the Iran

  • Nader Shah-Napoleon of Persia

    18/06/2007 Duración: 11min

    Nader Shah was the founder of the Afsharid Dynasty of Persia, lasting from 1736 to 1747.  During this time, this "second Alexander" returned Persia to its Sassanid-era borders.  After pushing the anti-Safavid Afghan invaders out of Persia, Nader invaded Afghanistan and took the cities of Kabul, Kandahar, and Lahore.  In the western theater, Nader Shah gained many cities from Ottoman Mesopotamia, including Najaf, Karbala, and Basra.  However, he was stopped at the walls of Baghdad.  In the Eastern Theater, Nader Shah defeated the Mughals decisively at the Battle of Karnal.  From here, he continued on into Delhi, where he indirectly killed 30,000 civilians and took many crown jewels, including the Peacock Throne (valued at $1 billion dollars now) and two 180+ carat diamonds.  Nader Shah also conquered Oman and Bahrain.  He founded the modern Persian Navy.  He even tried to reconcile Shiite Islam and Sunni Islam but failed.  Upon his assassination in 1747, the Persian Empire descended, once again, into chaos. 

  • Machiavelli's Prince

    10/06/2007 Duración: 13min

    Niccolo Machiavelli was a political and military philosopher around 1500AD in Florence, Italy during the Italian Renaissance.  His name is associated with shrewd, cunning rule.  His most famous work, The Prince, features many tips for princes to conquer territory (whether it is decentralized, or centralized): Destroy the previous hereditary lineAttack the strong, leave the weakAct unilaterallyLive in the conquered territorySend in colonists rather than soldiersCommit all crimes simultaneously Machiavelli's perfect "Prince" has a military background and extensive knowledge in history, specifically military history.  The Prince should cultivate a loyal local militia, rather than having to rely on mercenaries or auxiliaries.  Large military campaigns should be conducted frequently in order to distract the populace. For more information, read: The Prince by Machiavelli The Art of War by Machiavelli Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair Genera

  • Shamil Basayev-Chechnya's Bin Laden (2)

    24/05/2007 Duración: 11min

    Shamil Basayev became involved in the nearby Dagestan War after he lost his bid for president. This prompted Vladimir Putin to launch the Second Chechen War, which successfully reclaimed Grozny for the Russians. Since then, Chechnya has been officially under Russian control, but there is still a strong insurgency.In 2003, Shamil's subordinate launched an attack on a theater in Moscow. 850 hostages were taken and demands were made (the Chechens wanted an immediate Russian withdrawal from Chechnya). After a few days of negotiation, Putin allowed the Russian Spetsnaz to enter. The Spetsnaz pumped a sleeping agent into the theater and knocked many of the terrorists and hostages asleep. The Spetsnaz then entered and killed all of the terrorists. Afterwards, many of the hostages got sick from the gas.In 2004, Shamil's men launched an attack on a school in Beslan. 1200 teachers, parents, and children were taken hostage and held in atrocious conditions for several days. Eventually, the Russians raided the school. Man

  • Shamil Basayev-Chechnya's Bin Laden (1)

    18/05/2007 Duración: 11min

    Shamil Basayev is a politician and self-proclaimed terrorist fighting for Chechnya's independence from Russia. Chechnya is a small Muslim republic in southern Russia. Basayev has ties to Al Qaeda, the Mujahideen, and many other terrorist networks.He was active in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, where his Abkhaz Battalion helped to fight off the Georgian Army. This Abkhaz Battalion was then brought back to defend Chechnya's capitol city of Grozny. Shamil held off Russia's invading force (which went in under Yeltsin) for awhile but he eventually had to flee.In June 1995, when things weren't looking good for the Chechen separatists, Shamil led an attack on a hospital in Budyonnovsk and took 1800 people hostage. The hostage-taking eventually resulted in a Russian withdrawal from Chechnya, and Shamil became a national hero. A few months later, Shamil would lead an assault of Grozny and he succeeded in taking the capital back from the Russians. Due mostly to Shamil, the Russians lost the First Chechen War.For more in

  • Area 51

    03/05/2007 Duración: 14min

    This episode was written by Brian Liddicoat, a real estate attorney in Northern California. The words �Groom Lake� and �Area 51� have achieved an almost myth-like quality thanks to interest in UFOs and shows like the X-Files. But the real history of this base is even more interesting than the fiction. The names �Area 51� and �Groom Lake� refer to a large flight test base in the Nevada Desert, about 100 miles north of Las Vegas. The facility was originally built by Lockheed in the 1950s to support early secret tests of the U-2 spyplane. It has hosted the first flights of some of America�s most ground-breaking aircraft, including the F-117 stealth fighter. Now operated by the US Air Force as a detachment of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, the Groom Lake facility continues to secretly test America�s most secret aviation technology. For more information, read:Dark Eagles by Curtis PeeblesLockheed Secret Projects: Inside the Skunk Works by Dennis JenkinsDreamlan

  • Invading Iraq (2003)

    27/04/2007 Duración: 21min

    This episode will only cover the period between March 2003 and May 1 2003. Reasons for Invading Iraq:Iraq's possession of WMDsSaddam's link to Al QaedaIraq's failure to respect no-fly zonesTyrannical part of the Axis of Evil The United States Congress supported military action against Iraq, but the UN did not approve of it. The US launched Operation Cobra II with the coalition of the willing (consisting of 49 countries) and many military contractors.  The main invasion was in the South, where there were three fronts: Western Front: US's 3rd Infantry Division goes through Najaf and Karbala towards BaghdadCentral Front: US's 1st Marine Expeditionary Force goes through Nasiriyah towards BaghdadEastern Front: UK's 1st Armored Division goes through Basra towards Baghdad A secondary invasion in the North was led by the 10th Special Forces Group and the Kurdish Peshmerga.  This force pushed through Mosul and Kirkuk towards Baghdad. The actual invasion of Baghdad took place early in April, when Colonel Perkins inve

  • French Foreign Legion

    20/04/2007 Duración: 10min

    The French Foreign Legion was founded in 1831 as France's non-citizen military. Over the years, it consisted of many refugees, colonial citizens, and people trying to start a new life. The training is hard and only one in seven applicants makes it. After they complete their tour of duty, a Legionnaire may receive a 10-year residential permit and French citizenship.The Legion's most famous military action was in the Battle of Camaron in the Maximilian Affair in Mexico in 1863. 62 Legionnaires were defending a convoy when they were attacked by 2,000 Mexican troops. The Legion fended off wave after wave until they eventually ran out of ammo. At this point, they charged with their bayonets. Their heroic actions saved the convoy. Since then, the French Foreign Legion has served with honor and distinction in many major world conflicts including the Franco-Prussian War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, and Desert Storm.For more information, read:

  • Defense of the Pacific Northwest

    14/04/2007 Duración: 16min

    The Pacific Northwest has many military facilities.  Washington State, specifically, has: Naval Base Kitsap: Holds nuclear submarines, a carrier battle group, and a navy region command centerNaval Station Everett: Holds a carrier battle groupMcChord Air Force Base: Holds a Western Air Defense Sector command centerFairchild Air Force Base: Holds nuclear transport aircraftFort Lewis: Holds the I Corps command center and stryker brigadesHanford Site: Held plutonium production facilities and is now the site of the largest cleanup project in the country For more information, visit: Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979)

    01/04/2007 Duración: 13min

    The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was fought between Shah Pahlevi (supported by America and hated for his pro-American beliefs) and Ayatollah Khomeini (and anti-American Islamist).  Khomeini succeeded in taking power from the Shah and created the Islamic Republic of Iran.  During the turbulent years that followed, 300 militants seized 63 hostages from the American embassy in Iran and held them for 444 days. Months of negotiations ensued and eventually, 11 of the hostages were released prematurely.  The others were almost rescued by President Carter in Operation Eagle Claw, but due to a sandstorm, the operation was a disastrous failure.  It was such a great failure that the US reformed its military and created a new unified combatant command, SOCOM, and a new special forces regiment, the 160th SOAR.  The Iranians remained steadfast in their imprisonment of the hostages until September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran and launched the Iran-Iraq War.  As a result, Iran wanted a quick resolution to the hostage issue

  • Hot Gates of Thermopylae

    23/03/2007 Duración: 17min

    The battle of Thermopylae was fought between 7000 Greeks under Leonidas (including 300 Spartans) and 500,000-2.5 million Persian troops under Xerxes. Xerxes had marched across the Hellespont towards Greece because he wanted Greece to become a satrapy of his and submit to his divine will by giving him earth and water. The two armies met at a 50-foot-wide pass in Northern Greece and here, a small phalanx of Greek hoplites held off wave after wave of Persian infantrymen, cavalrymen, and Immortals. The Spartans demonstrated their bravery again and again, and their lifelong devotion to military training proved to pay off.Eventually, Ephialtes (a Greek traitor) led the Persians around the pass to the rear of the Greek defenders. Surrounded, the Spartans and Thespians were killed by a volley of arrows. Leonidas, himself, looked forward to dying because the oracle at Delphi prophesized that his death would save Sparta.For more information:300 (Movie)

  • Hashshashin Assassins

    17/03/2007 Duración: 13min

    The Hashshashins (where we get our word "assassins") were active during the Abbasid Era of the Arab Period of Hegemony within the Islamic Period of Hegemony. The Hashshashins were Nizari Ismaili Shiite Muslims. They were led by Hassan-i-Sabah who, through the use of hashish, gave his recruits the impression that he was God and he wanted them to do his will. Until the coming of the Mongols under Hulagu Khan, the Hashshashins were very good at their job and they assassinated many high-profile people.Though they are one of the most famous assassin groups, they are by no means the only ones. Others include Al Qaeda, the Mafia, the Black Hand, the IRA. The CIA, for example, is reported to have made 638 attempts to remove Castro from power.For more information, read:Military History Magazine (October 2002): PerspectivesIslamicity.comAl Qaeda Training ManualQuran638 Ways to Kill CastroMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine and the International Research and Publishing Corporation

  • Knights Templar

    03/03/2007 Duración: 10min

    The Knights Templar was a Christian military order founded during the Crusades in order to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land.  These "Monks of War" were highly disciplined and they participated at many major battles during all nine Crusades, including the pivotal Battle of Hattin.  They also founded the first modern checking/credit system, which made the organization wealthy enough to buy the island of Cyprus.  The Templars were exempt from all laws (except those given by the Pope) and as a result, they were feared by the kings of Europe.  One king, Philip the Fair, decided to deal with the problem and on Friday the 13th, he simultaneously betrayed and backstabbed all of the Templars.  The Templars then disappeared from history, though many groups (such as the Freemasons), have claimed that they are extensions of this famous organization. For more information, read:

  • War Animals

    25/02/2007 Duración: 12min

    Animals have been used throughout war and it is impossible to name them all.  Excluding pack animals, there are several main ones (both ancient and modern).  All are discussed in the episode: SmallCockroachesBluegill FishBeesButterfliesPigeonsBats MediumDolphinsDogsCatsPigs LargeElephants For more information, read: Popular Science (March 2007): Bugging Out on Homeland Security Military History Podcast: Dogs of War Military History Podcast is sponsored by the International Research and Publishing Corporation and Armchair General Magazine

  • Ancient Rome and Modern America

    17/02/2007 Duración: 16min

    eriHistorians referenced in the episode: Gibbons, Vegetius, Bark, Toynbee, Ward-Perkins, Heather, McNeill, Bury Comparisons between the fall of Rome and America now: Military ConquestRome: Conquest by Germans under Odoacer Loss of IdentityRome: Germanization of Army and empireAmerica: Hispanic Immigration boom into army and country Loss of UnityRome: Eastern and Western Roman EmpiresAmerica: Country vs. City, Democrat vs. Republican Loss of Economic StrengthRome: Lack of gold, lack of exportable goods, income disparity America: Outsourcing, economic decline, income disparity Loss of Military StrengthRome: Overextension, Middle East problemAmerica: Overextension, Iraq Loss of PopulationRome: Plague, Lead PoisoningAmerica: Avian Flu, Obesity Loss of Environmental SecurityRome: Salinization of North AfricaAmerica: Lack of oil security, global warming Loss of Civic Virtue:Rome: Laziness This is purely an informational episode.  I am not trying to persuade anybody or make any generalizations or mak

  • Clausewitz's Principles of War

    04/02/2007 Duración: 17min

    Carl Von Clausewitz was a military philosopher during the time of Napoleon.  His most famous contribution is the book, On War, which outlines nine principles of war that are used in officer schools for many Western armies including the United States Army.  They are: Mass"Get there first with the most"Example: Mass-based armies of Russia (ex. infantry) and the US (ex. M4 Sherman Tanks) during WWII led to general victory ObjectiveChoose an objective and stick with itExample: Coalition troops maintained the objective in Operation Desert Sabre and didn't try to do too much by entering Iraq, which we now know would have caused major problems. OffensiveSeize the InitiativeExample: General McClellan's Army of the Potomac in the American Civil War failed to seize the initiative ManeuverMove to more advantageous positionsExample: Hannibal's Army at the Battle of Cannae maneuvered around the larger Roman Army and defeated it Unity of CommandPlace your entire force under the command of a single entityExam

  • Eisenhower's 1957

    27/01/2007 Duración: 12min

    1957 was defined by the Cold War and defined by the Eisenhower Presidency.  1957 was when Eisenhower was inaugurated for a second term in office, and during this term, the Eisenhower Doctrine (US defense against all Soviet aggression), NASA, the European Economic Community, and the United States were all created.  Around this time, Eisenhower was also responsible for the ending of the Little Rock Nine Crisis, the end of Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare, the closing of the Science Gap between the US and the USSR (who was already a space power via Sputnik), the nomination of Earl Warren (14th Chief Justice), and so on. 1957 was also the birth of my mom.  Happy Birthday, Mom. For more information, read: The Timetables of History The World Almanac 2007 The Cold War by Mike Sewell Military History Podcast is sponsored by International Research and Publishing Corporation and Armchair General Magazine

  • European Martial Arts

    20/01/2007 Duración: 16min

    Despite the fact there is a more than 2,400-year-old military tradition within Western civilization of close-combat proficiency, few subjects have received as unfortunate neglect by historians and academics than the martial arts of Western Europe. But a growing amount of modern research has centered on the historical methods of using various types of Medieval and Renaissance swords and weaponry in historically accurate and martially sound manners. This emerging study of historical European martial arts involves a fascinating combination of military history, fencing history, literature, art, language, and archaeology. The history of European arms and armor is itself one of established continuity marked by sudden developments of necessitated innovation.  As new tools were devised, so too were new methods for using them. These methods in turn influenced still newer designs.  By studying the hi

  • The Chinese PLA Threat

    13/01/2007 Duración: 21min

    China's People's Liberation Army is threatening to the United States Armed Forces because it is fighting a "People's War" (7 million Chinese troops vs. 2.5 million US troops) under "modern conditions" (China's GDP will exceed America's by 2011). China also has significant international backing from the UN, ASEAN, SCO, etc. Therefore, these two superpowers are destined to clash in some way. When (analysis of each area is included in episode):Unconventional Warfare: US is way aheadAir Forces: US is aheadNaval Forces: US is aheadGround Forces: US is ahead, but China is quickly catching up (this means that China will be able to fight regional conflicts but not global ones) Where (analysis of each area is included in episode):TaiwanKazakhstanNorth KoreaMiddle EastIndiaSoutheast Asia Accompanying powerpoint presentation is coming soon. For more information, read: Annual Report to Congress (2005): The Military Power of the People's Republic of China The Asian Conventional Military Balance

  • Axis Attacks on US Soil

    09/01/2007 Duración: 11min

    Axis attacks and proposed attacks on the North American portion of the United States during WWII are often forgotten.  This episode explains all of these little-known attacks: Japan:Occupied parts of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska for about one yearPlanned bombings of the Western United States via armed seaplanes Sent 9000 bomb-filled balloons over to the United States to start forest fires/knock down power lines Germany:Created prototype long-distance bombers to bombard New York from Great BritainCreated long-range intercontinental rockets to bombard the US East CoastDeployed saboteurs in New York City via German submarines in the AtlanticAlmost attacked the Panama Canal after taking control of a Colombian airline Italy:Planned to send midget submarines and naval special forces into the Hudson River For more information, read: Military History Magazine (June 2000): Aerial Attack on Oregon Military History Magazine (August 2002): Perspectives,13319,77031,00.

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