Military History Podcast



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


  • Raptors and Spirits

    05/08/2006 Duración: 11min

    The future US Air Force's backbone consists of one fighter aircraft and one bomber: the F22 Raptor and the B2 Spirit. F22 Raptor: Set to replace the F117 Nighthawk and the F15 Eagle, this $350 million stealth fighter aircraft is the ultimate air superiority weapon. In addition to carrying a significant amount of air-to-air missiles (ex. AIM-120 and AIM-9), the F22 can travel at Mach 2.42 into enemy airspace without being detected. Also, its radar will allow it to see all enemies way before the enemies suspect anything. The radar also has the ability to jam an enemy aircraft's systems, while the computer can easily link up with an allied F22s computer. When it comes to precision ground strikes, the F22 relies on its JDAMs and SDBs.B2 Spirit: At $2 billion each, the B2 is worth more than twice its weight in solid gold. Though it is slow, it can go anywhere in the world with only one in-flight refueling. Its greatest feature, however, is its boomerang flying wing design which allows it to have a radar signature

  • Soldiers of Fortune

    29/07/2006 Duración: 14min

    Soldiers of Fortune, or Mercenaries, have been used in war since the advent of war itself. The Persians, the Romans, the Greeks all used mercenaries in their armies. The trend continued into the middle ages when German Landsknechts and Swiss Pikemen were in high demand. Other famous mercenary groups include Cossacks, Ronin, and Pirates. Now, the standard definition of Mercenaries is given to us by Article 47 of Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Convention, which states that mercenaries are neither combatants nor prisoners of war. Currently, the most popular form of mercenary is the PMC (Private Military Contractor), which supplies soldiers to governments to help them guard high profile targets, defend installations, train local police, and so on. Bounty Hunters are also still used by bail bondsmen to ensure that their clients go to court when they are supposed to.Soldier of Fortune Magazine is designed to be read by the mercenary.For more information, read:Military History Magazine (June 2003): Cossack Pirates in

  • SF Assault on Haiti

    22/07/2006 Duración: 12min

    In 1994, President Clinton prepared to launch an invasion of Haiti (then led by the brutal General Cedras). The goal was to remove General Cedras and put President Aristide back into power. The following military preparations were made (each of these is discussed in depth in the episode):2 Aircraft Carriers containing air support, special operations, and the 10th Mountain Division were afloat just outside of Haiti.US Marines were on landing craft ready to land on the island.82nd Airborne Paratroopers were at North Carolina Air Base ready to drop into Haiti.Navy Seals were prepared to invade and/or were already on the island of Haiti. Clinton's diplomatic team (consisting of President Jimmy Carter, General Colin Powell, and Senator Sam Nunn) were sent to Haiti earlier in the day and managed to get Cedras to step down 30 minutes before the planned invasion. Operation Uphold Democracy was then initiated to keep the peace in Haiti.For more information, read:US Special Forces by Samuel SouthworthUS Carrier Locati

  • The Art of War

    17/07/2006 Duración: 15min

    The script used in this episode was written by Lt. Col. Craig Plain from the Wisconsin Air National Guard. The Art of War by Sun Tzu was written around 500 BC in Ancient China.  This collection of quotes on the 5 elements of war (Path, Heaven, Earth, Leader, and Law) has had a profound impact on military history.  Many of the world's most famous generals have used the book.  Likewise, many of the world's military training schools require the book as reading.  For more information, read: Art of War by Sun Tzu, 1983 Delacorte Publishing Military History Podcast is sponsored

  • American Treason

    17/06/2006 Duración: 09min

    The following are five great traitors in American History:Benedict Arnold: Conspired to hand West Point over to the British (an action which would have greatly weakened the Continental's war effort during the American Revolution)Aaron Burr: Killed the President and later conspired to rule over a Western American Empire (which would have plunged the country into an East-West Civil War)John Anthony Walker: Led the Walker Spy Ring which sold ALL of the US war plans during the Vietnam War to the SovietsAldrich Ames: Revealed to the Soviets the names of ALL the American spies currently operating in the Soviet Union. Many of them would be killed as a result.Robert Hanssen: Revealed to the Soviets the location where American leaders would hide in the event of nuclear war. Also sold the US missile launch plans in the event of a nuclear war. For more information, read:US News and World Report (Jan 27, 2003): Spy Stories

  • Fear and Loathing in 1947

    12/06/2006 Duración: 12min

    1947 was a year filled with escalating tensions in the Cold War. This resulted in:Great Speeches: Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Zhdanov's Two CampsGreat Inventions: Presidential Succession Act, National Security Act (which created the CIA, DoD, Joint Chiefs, National Security Council), AK-47Great Beginnings: Indo-Pakistani War It is also my dad's year of birth.For more information, read:The Cold War by Mike SewellThe Timetables of HistoryArmchair General (May 2006): AK-47 History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Impenetrable

    02/06/2006 Duración: 13min

    Though they are not the only great walls of history, the following four certainly rank high:Great Wall (Started around 200BC): This wall, which is 25 feet high and 25 feet thick, was built to keep Mongol Invaders out of China. It was equipped with many watchtowers and smoke signaling systems. However, this Wonder of the Medieval World is deteriorating due to weather and American corporate influence. Recently, the wall was cleared by a skateboarder (The first time a non-motorized vehicle cleared the Wall).Hadrians Wall (Started around 100AD): This wall, which was only 6 yards high, spanned across the entire width of Britain. It was used by the Romans to defend against Scottish tribes. The wall was supplanted by Roman garrisons and forts.Maginot Line (Built from 1930-1935): This line of forts was created along the Franco-German border, in order to stop an expected German offensive to the West. However, in WWII, the Germans simply went around the line via the Low Countries. Therefore, the term Maginot is associa

  • The Scourge of God

    27/05/2006 Duración: 13min

    Attila the Hun was born in 406. After being a child hostage of the Romans for much of his youth, Attila would ascend to the throne with this brother Bleda. Attila soon killed Bleda and took absolute power over the Huns.Under Attila, the Huns would constantly raid the outskirts of Byzantine Empire. At one point, Attila engaged with Aetius of the Romans at the Battle of Chalons. Attila lost the battle, but still was able to make it to the gates of Rome but would be turned back after the Pope urged him not to push forward. For more information, read:The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes by Max HastingsHistory Resource Center World: Attila the Hun History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Unique Ground Transportation

    20/05/2006 Duración: 10min

    Ski Warfare: In the Winter War between the Finns and the Soviets, the Finnish ski troops used guerilla tactics to stop a much larger enemy.  Their high mobility gave them an advantage in the cold conditions (of which the Soviets were not used to).The 10th Mountain Division, a special operations unit in the US, is trained in harsh terrain operations, including ski warfare.  They are a rapid-response unit and have conducted many operations in the 1990s. Bicycle Warfare: Bicycles are cheap, light, fast, and can carry a surprisingly large amount of baggageWhen Japan invaded Singapore in WWII, they used bicycles on gravel and pavement to give the impression of a much larger tank force.  This prompted a British garrison that was 3x the size of the Japanese invading force to surrender. For more information, read: Military History Magazine (Feb 2000): Bicycles in War Special Forces by Samuel Southworth Military Blunders by Geoffrey Regan Japanese Army by Geoffrey Forty Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armc

  • Nuclear Physics, History, and Strategy

    13/05/2006 Duración: 13min

    Nuclear weapons, first created as a result of the Manhattan Project, come in many forms. The ones dropped on Japan, for example, were plutonium and uranium atomic bombs which used nuclear fission (breaking a larger nucleus into two smaller fragments). Hydrogen bombs, on the other hand, use nuclear fusion (fragments combined into a larger nucleus).Over time, nuclear delivery also improved. Early on, only gravity bombs were used (ex. US bombers circulated around the USSR ready to drop gravity bombs). However, by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, rockets and ballistic missiles were developed to carry warheads. Submarine-launchable and backpack nukes also exist.Because the power of nuclear technology is so great, a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction has been adopted. In other words, both sides don't launch nuclear weapons out of fear that the other side will launch their own.Currently, there are seven countries known to possess nuclear weapons, and two who are thought to possess them.For more information,

  • The Screaming Eagles

    07/05/2006 Duración: 16min

    The 101st airborne division, founded in 1942, is nicknamed the "screaming eagles".  Their motto is "Rendevous with Destiny", and they are officially known as air assault infantry.  Their training is one of the toughest in the Army. Some of their battles in WWII include: Pathfinding during D-Day, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge.  The division also participated in the Vietnam War (ex. Hamburger Hill), during Desert Storm, and during Operation Cobra II (otherwise known as Operation Iraqi Freedom). They have been featured in various forms of entertainment including: Brothers in Arms (video game), Band of Brothers (mini-series), Saving Private Ryan (movie).  For more information, read: US Special Forces by Samuel Southworth Reader's Digest Illustrated Story of World War II Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • George C. Marshall

    30/04/2006 Duración: 14min

    George Catlett Marshall's distinguished career includes the titles of Army Chief of Staff, 5-Start General of the Army, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and aide to General Pershing. He excelled both in the field (earning various medals and helping to train others during WWI), as a tactical commander (masterminding the US victory in WWII by emphasizing mass movement and morale), and as a statesman (engineering the Marshall plan which would rebuild Europe, as well as increase the US's power in the heating-up Cold War). These accomplishments showed through when he became Time Magazine Man of the Year twice, in 1944 and 1948. also, Marshall won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. For more information, read: The Cold War by Mike Sewell World Book (1992): Marshall, George Catlett European Recovery Plan Speech at Harvard University History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Crimea - The First Modern War

    22/04/2006 Duración: 10min

    In the 1800s, the Ottoman Empire was instructed by both France and Russia to protect Catholic and Orthodox Christians that were within its empire. These two instructions conflicted and the Ottomans chose to side with France. Seeing an opportunity to limit Russian expansion, Britain, Austria and Prussia also support the "Allies" (France, Ottomans). This angered Russia and it invaded the Danubian Principalities in 1853, as well as destroyed the Ottoman Black Sea fleet at the Battle of Sinop.The Allies then sent an ultimatum (which was accepted by the Russians) but didn't stop the attack. They landed on the Crimean Peninsula and began the Siege of Sevastopol (the Russian naval base). Twice, the Russians tried to break out, including once at the Battle of Bacalava. This battle witnessed the famous Charge of the Light Brigade (which ended in a slaughter of British cavalrymen). Eventually, the Russians surrendered and the Crimean War ended.Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General MagazineFor more i

  • Urban Warfare at Stalingrad

    15/04/2006 Duración: 14min

    Urban warfare is a different style of warfare because an enemy could be hiding anywhere, each house must be cleared out individually, and no powerful weapons may be used out of fear for collateral damage. However, it is disadvantageous to use because of the danger it puts your own civilians in. Despite this, however, many weaker enemies resort to urban warfare in order to combat a powerful enemy. For this reason, the US has developed MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) training.The Battle of Stalingrad (1942-43) in WWII is a prime example of urban warfare. It was initiated due to Operation Barbarossa, the German push eastward towards Moscow. Stalingrad was a key target due to its symbolic name and its industrial capacity. Initially, the Russians under Zhukov were almost completely pushed out of the city by Paulus's Sixth Army. However, powerful Russian tank, skilled Russian snipers, and masses of Russian soldiers (whose life expectancy was less than 24 hours) fought back and even surrounded the German

  • Liquid Fire

    08/04/2006 Duración: 10min

    The following are three famous forms of liquid fire throughout military history in chronological order: Greek Fire (used at sea), Flame Throwers (used on land), Napalm (used from the air).Greek Fire: Invented by Callinicus in 673AD, it was one of the reasons why the Byzantine Empire survived. Impossible to extinguish, incredibly adhesive, and ignited by water, it was extremely useful in naval battles and in defending the city of Constantinople. For these reasons, the Byzantine Empire always tried to keep Greek Fire their own secret. In 1453, the secret was lost forever and we still don't know how to replicate it. Flame Throwers: Invented by Richard Fiedler in 1901, the most common form is the backpack flamethrower. The backpack flamethrower has two canisters: one for compressed flammable gas, and the other for flammable liquid. They were used especially in WWII to eradicate Japanese from tunnel systems, but they are effective against all kinds of fortification. However, they are extremely dangerous to the us

  • The Ninja - Spy and Assassin

    01/04/2006 Duración: 09min

    Ninja's, often thought of as the world's first special forces, were prominent throughout Japanese warfare in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Centered mainly in the Iga and Koga province, ninjas trained under the supervision of the shonin (village leader).In order to enter a home, a ninja used foldable saws (to break down doors), handclaws (to climb walls), flotation shoes (to walk across a moat), and disguises (usually as a yamabushi monk or a zen monk). Contrary to popular opinion, ninjas did not always dress in black.Once inside the home, the ninja used many techniques to move and listen secretly. They used irogome (colored rice) to leave messages for future ninjas or some other ally. To listen in on a conversation, ninjas used a small tube that could be used to listen through walls. Then, to retreat, the ninja used smoke "grenades" and flash "grenades". As for the assassin aspect of ninjas, their main weapon was a short sword with shuriken (throwing stars) hidden in the hilt. Other weapons include maki

  • King Shaka Zulu

    25/03/2006 Duración: 13min

    Shaka was born to a Zulu chief and a lower-class woman named Nandi. Throughout his life, Shaka would care for Nandi and was greatly affected by her death in 1827 (when he killed thousands of Nandi's subjects so that he would have people to mourn with him). Early on, Shaka became the "apprentice" of Chief Dingiswyao, a great military leader. After proving himself as a soldier, he was eventually allowed to become military chief of the Zulus. As military chief, he created three new tactics: * Shaka used short iklwa stabbing spears instead of long assegai throwing spears. This showed how Shaka used close combat effectively throughout his campaigns. * Shaka created a buffalo formation which consisted of the chest, the two horns (flanking forces), and the loins (reserve forces). * Shaka forced all the people he conquered to join his force or die. This policy of assimilation made his army grow rapidly. Shaka's two great wars were both fought against the Ndwandwa tribe, led by Chief Zwide. During the f

  • Alexander the Great - Part Two

    11/03/2006 Duración: 10min

    Alexander then met Darius at Issus, where he again defeated a much larger Persian Army. In the course of this battle, Alexander captured Darius' family, including Queen Stateira (who would later die in capitivity), and his daughter (the most beautiful woman in the world). For the next few years, Alexander captured Egypt and several port cities including Tyre. Eventually, Alexander headed eastward and defeated Darius for the last time at Gaugamela. Darius, however, managed to get away, but was later killed by his brother Bessus. Soon after this battle, Alexander met King Porus of India at the Hydaspes River. Alexander defeated King Porus, but this battle discouraged his men from fighting any longer. After a long trek, which resulted in 3/4 of his men dying, Alexander returned to Babylon where he was either killed or assassinated. After his death, his kingdom was split into three regions under the Antigonids, the Seleucids, and the Ptolemies. For more information, read Alexander by Plutarch, Extreme War by

  • Alexander the Great - Part One

    04/03/2006 Duración: 10min

    Alexander, who was destined to be great since before he was born, ascended to the Macedonian Throne at the age of 20 after his father, Philip, was murdered. After regaining control of Greece, Alexander crossed the Hellespont into Asia Minor to liberate Greeks and to defeat the Persians. Alexander first met Darius of Persia at the Battle of Granicus River, where he defeated the much larger Persian Army with his phalanxes. Alexander almost died in this battle. After he routed the Persians, Alexander slaughtered 18,000 Greek mercenaries, in order to punish them for helping the enemy. Throughout the rest of his campaign, Alexander would show himself to be brutal towards his enemies. For more information, read Alexander by Plutarch, Extreme War by Terrence Poulos, and Military History Quarterly (Spring 1998): Alexander the Killer Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Military Medicine

    18/02/2006 Duración: 09min

    Medicine has been used in the military since 1274BC in the Battle of Kadesh (Egyptians vs. Hittites), and 400BC by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. However, field hospitals and medical care on the frontlines is a fairly recent invention (around 1492 by the Spanish and the Moors). Since then, there have been major innovations in every major war: * Napoleonic Wars: Larrey, Napoleon's chief surgeon, creates the "flying ambulance", the idea of amputation, and the policy of treating wounded according to severity of injuries, not rank. * 1864 Geneva convention: Red cross adopted as military medicine emblem * World War I: The RAMC (royal army medical corps) invents a three zone-system for collection, evacuation and distribution. They also categorize the wounded into less-serious, serious, and hopeless. * World War II: Medics become integrated into fighting units. Medics also have access to morphine and plasma. * Korean War: MASH units are created to serve as mobile field hospitals. * Vie

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