Military History Podcast



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


  • Armor and Siege Weapons

    11/02/2006 Duración: 13min

    Armor has been used throughout history as a way to siege or breach a stronghold. For example: * The Greeks used helepolises, which were massive siege towers with nine stories of catapults, ballistas, and ranged infantry. * 2000 years later, another major advancement was made in World War I with the invention of the "tank". This tank (the most famous of which was the Sturmpanzerwagen A7v) had a variety of problems and was introduced too late in the war to be effective. * In World War II, tanks were again used in a much more effective way. The Germans used tanks in their blitzkrieg lightning warfare by concentrating them in a small area, and breaching through the enemy lines. Later in the war, the US copied this strategy with their own light Sherman tanks. * During the Cold War, the US developed M1 Abrams tanks to counter the Russian T-90s. This tank is still dominant today, although experts believe that it will become obsolete within the next 20 years. For more information, read Extreme War b

  • Erwin Rommel the Desert Fox

    04/02/2006 Duración: 09min

    Erwin Rommel (due to propaganda by Goebbels) was considered a hero to both the allies and the axis. "Only Napoleon had made a comparable impression on the British" -BH Lidell Hart. The following are major eras in his life: * WWI: As a junior officer, Rommel became the youngest man to win the Pour le Merite (the most prestigious award in the German Army) for his actions at the Battle of Longarone. * Between the Wars: Rommel wrote Infantry Attacks and Tank Attacks. This greatly impressed Hitler, and eventually led to gaining more power in the Army. * WWII (France): Led the 7th Panzer Divison (also known as the Ghost Divison) in a mad dash towards the Atlantic in the initial battle to conquer France. * WWII (Africa): Led the Afrika Korps in roller coast campaign across north Africa, the southern flank of Europe. He was finally defeated at the Battle of El Alamein. * WWII (Atlantic Wall): Submitted a plan for the defense of Europe which was tragically disregarded by the German command. *

  • Roman Fighting Tactics

    28/01/2006 Duración: 12min

    Roman military tactics (which revolved around heavy infantry) can be divided up into two distinct periods: before the Marius reforms, and after the Marius reforms (around 100BC). * Pre Marius: In each legion, there would be dozens of maniples consisting of around 120 men each. The heavy infantry of a legion would contain hastati, princeps, and triarii. They would be supported by velites skirmishers, and their flanks would be protected by equites cavalry. The tortoise, hamstringing, the wedge, and vastatio were some of the tactics used at this time, * Post Marius: The basic unit of the military became an enlarged maniple. Now, instead of three distinct heavy infantrymen, they were simply called legionaries. Auxilaries (non-Romans trying to gain citizenship) also played an important support role. For more information, Dictionary of Battles by David Chandler Miltiary History Podcast is sponsored by A

  • Mongolian Fighting Tactics

    21/01/2006 Duración: 09min

    The Mongols, nomads from the Steppes (north of China), were first united by Genghis Khan in 1206. Genghis Khan led the Mongols across Eurasia via innovative and effective military tactics. * The Mongols were oriented around extreme mobility. They carried their houses with them, drank their own horse's blood to stay alive, and could travel up to 100 miles per day. * The Mongols had an elaborate priority-mail-system which allowed orders to be transmitted rapidly across Eurasia. * Genghis Khan used combined fake retreats with accurate Manguadai Horse Archers to pick off his European enemies. * Genghis Khan slaughtered a few cities, in an attempt to scare all other cities to surrender without a fight. He, being a practical leader, also valued smarts more than bravery. * On occasion, the Mongols also used biological warfare against their enemies (most notably at Kaffa)

  • Smedley Butler the Fighting Quaker

    14/01/2006 Duración: 10min

    Smedley Butler, also known as "The Fighting Quaker" or "Old Gimlet Eye", was an outspoken member of the Marine Corps in the early part of the 20th century. He served in many parts of the world including Central America, the Caribbean, and the Far East. His many acts of heroism include: * Tientsin: Butler and five other men carried a wounded officer 17-miles through heavy fire to get the officer medical attention. The four enlisted men in the group were award the Medal of Honor (officers were ineligible). * Veracruz: Butler became one of the 56 men awarded the Medal of Honor for service in occupying Veracruz, Mexico. * Haiti: Butler led a counterattack against a numerically superior number of Cacos Rebels. He also led an assault into a Cacos rebel fortress, earning him his second medal of honor. * Butler exposed a coup (proposed by industrialists and bankers), thereby preserving FDR's presidency. For more information, read Military History Magazine (February 2003) Military History Podcast is

  • US Military Stands

    07/01/2006 Duración: 13min

    The following four topics are all stands by the US military. This is just a small selection of famous stands since there are many more (some of which will be mentioned in a future episode). * Alamo (1836): Lt. Col. Travis leads the Texian defense of the Alamo against a numerically superior foe, the Mexicans led by Santa Anna. The Texians cannot hold and every male is killed. * Little Bighorn (1876): Lt. Col. Custer underestimates the Lakota/Cheyenne forces in the area (under the leadership of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull). Custer is overwhelmed and all of his men are killed. * Khe Sanh (1968): The US military base near the border of North and South Vietnam is besieged by numerically superior NVA forces. Using heavy bombers, the US troops break the siege and damage the NVA significantly. * Mogadishu (1993): Operation Restore Hope in Somalia suffers a major defeat when special forces groups executing "Operation Gothic Serpent" are trapped in the city. After a horrendous night of fighting, they

  • Battle of Pharsalus

    01/01/2006 Duración: 09min

    The Battle of Pharsalus was fought in Greece in 48BC. The two combatants were Caesar and Pompey, the two greatest generals of the Roman Republic (they were also the last). Despite Rome being famous for its invulnerable legions, the battle was decided by cavalry. More specifically, Caesar won the battle after he defied Pompey's massive cavalry charge. Caesar then proceeded to become dictator for life of Rome, consequently starting the Roman Empire. For more information, read Military History Podcast (February 2001): Battle of Pharsalus Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Roman Military Defeats

    26/12/2005 Duración: 09min

    The Romans were, without a doubt, the most dominant force in the Western Mediterranean throughout most of their history. However, these titans still had their share of catastrophic defeats. The four most notable being: * Battle of Lake Trasimene (217BC): Hannibal, being pursued by Flaminius of Rome, hides in the forests to the north of Lake Trasimene. He then ambushes Flaminius, surrounds him, and easily defeats him. * Battle of Cannae (216BC): Hannibal proves that superior tactics can make up for inferior numbers. Hannibal, using a pincer motion, surrounds the slow Roman forces and slaughters them. * Battle of Arausio (105BC): Boiorix of the Cimbri takes advantage of the two un-cooperative Roman commanders and easily defeats them. * Battle of Teutoberg Forest (9AD): Ariminus of the Germans conducts many hit-and-run attacks on the Romans until every single one of their 24,000 man force is dead. To learn more, read Extreme War by Terrence Poulos Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armch

  • Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

    19/12/2005 Duración: 09min

    The Battle of Chaldiran was fought in northwestern Persia in 1514. It was fought between the Ottomans (dominant Sunni Muslims from Turkey) and the Safavids (inexperienced Shiite Muslims from Persia). The Ottomans, who had both a numerical advantage and a technological advantage, easily won the battle. However, they chose not to continue the campaign into the Safavid capital. After this battle, the Ottomans experienced a short period of growth, followed by centuries of decline. They were eventually defeated in WWI. As for the Safavids, they experienced a long period of growth until they too were finally overcome by Afghan clans in 1722. For more information, read Worlds Together, Worlds Apart by Robert Tignor et. al. Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Desert Storm and Desert Sabre

    10/12/2005 Duración: 13min

    The Gulf War (lasting from 1990-1991) began when Iraq invaded its neighbor Kuwait. This was the second invasion launched by Iraq in the past decade, with the first being the Iran-Iraq War. It can be divided into four phases: * Desert Shield: Buildup of US and coalition troops in Saudi Arabia * Desert Storm: Incredibly successful air strike on key Iraqi missile installations and SCUD missile launchers. The Smart Bomb became a keynote image of this phase. * Desert Sabre: A tank charge through Kuwait and into Iraq. The US M1A2 Abrams tanks encountered little opposition. * Desert Farewell: A withdrawal of coalition troops after securing the independence of Kuwait. Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

  • Cyrus the Persian Conqueror

    03/12/2005 Duración: 12min

    Cyrus the Great, though he did not found the First Persian Empire, did conduct four expeditions which made it the sole power in the Middle East and Anatolia. His empire would last for the next 200 years until the coming of Alexander the Great. The four campaigns were: 1. Conquering Media: With the help of Harpagus, Cyrus invaded Media currently ruled by Astyages. Astyages was his grandfather and his attempted-murderer. 2. Conquering Lydia: Cyrus conquers Sardis, the capital of the Lydian Empire (under the rule of Croesus). After the Lydian Empire fell, Croesus became an adviser to Cyrus. 3. Conquering Assyrians: Cyrus conquered Babylon, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. He entered the city via draining the Euphrates River. 4. Conquering the Massegatai: Cyrus attempted to conquer Queen Tomyris of the Massegatai (a Scythian Tribe), but was tragically killed by a volley of arrows For more information, read The Histories by Herodotus Military History Podcast is sponspored by Armchair General Maga

  • The Fight for Iwo Jima

    26/11/2005 Duración: 11min

    The Battle for Iwo Jima, "sulfur island" of the Pacific, was a battle between the elite US marines and the stout-hearted Japanese defenders. The Japanese, after years of preparation, had created an extensive tunnel network that prevented them from being hurt by the naval bombardment. Consequently, when the Fifth Amphibious Corps (VAC) landed, they had to fight 22,000 well-entrenched Japanese, complete with banzai charges and other intimidating tactics. In the end, the US death toll was 10% and the Japanese death toll was 99% (with the other 1% being captured). For more information: Military History Magazine (February 2003): Marine Private's Iwo Jima Memories The Pacific War Companion by Daniel Marston

  • Non-Lethal Technology

    20/11/2005 Duración: 18min

    Non-lethal technology has always been a goal of military strategists. It provides the same effect of killing without all the horrible consequences (ethical, tactical, etc.). For example, Joshua's capture of Jericho in the bible is a prime example of non-lethal technology. Now, we have various methods of non-lethal warfare, both anti-personell and anti-material. * Lasers: Used to give the illusion of imminent death * Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons: Disables all electronic equipment in a given radius * A weapon that "turns off" all guns in its vicinity * Insect Sex Pheromones: Attracts all nearby insects to infest a certain enclosure * Netgun: Fires a strong net to disable people or vehicles, also serves as an obstacle * Acoustics: Vibrations caused from sound waves have many devastating effects Read Future War by John B. Alexander for more information

  • Close Calls for Christendom

    14/11/2005 Duración: 13min

    Christendom, the most powerful domain in the world for the past 1500 years, was frequently permeated and even brought to the brink of ruin many times. Three of these "close calls" include: * Battle of Tours (732AD): Charles the Hammer of Franks vs. Abd er Rahman of Moors in France * The Golden Horde (1230sAD): Batu Khan invades Eastern Europe, plans to invade Germany * Siege of Vienna (1529AD): Suleiman II of Ottomans vs. Charles II of Austrians at Vienna Each of these events could have ended Christendom prematurely and stunted important ages such as the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, as Imperialism.

  • The Persian Wars

    05/11/2005 Duración: 13min

    The First Persian War includes the Persians being defeated by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon. The Persians started this war out of anger for the Athenians and their support of the Ionian Revolt. This battle is also where we get the name for our modern-day Olympic Game: The Marathon. The Second Persian War includes the famous Greek stand at Thermopylae, the brilliant Athenian naval victory at Salamis, and the catastrophic Persian defeat at the Battle of Plataea. Following this war, the Persians would not reenter Greek affair until briefly in the Peloponnesian Wars. This also set the stage for Alexander the Greats conquering of Persia in the 4th century BC.

  • Biological Weaponry

    02/11/2005 Duración: 13min

    Biological warfare has been a part of war since 1,000 BC when the Chinese burned toxic vegetables and hoped the fumes would travel towards the enemy. Since that time, biological warfare has become dealier and more precise, yet there is always the risk of collateral damage. In the past few decades, world powers have worked to outlaw biological weaponry for their gruesome effects and their "unfairness" in war. However, biological warfare continues to be a threat both in war, and at home.

  • Sniper Warfare

    30/10/2005 Duración: 11min

    Throughout modern history, snipers have had a prominent role as the forward observers and marksmen of any army. They are trained to camouflage themselves, shoot a high-ranking enemy soldier, and extract themselves from the area without the enemy ever knowing they were there. Snipers have a unique mindset in that they are highly solitary, must stay in the same position for hours, and must be able to kill an enemy without even giving them a chance. For these reasons, snipers have earned their fair share of medals and recognition.

  • Sargon the Great

    25/10/2005 Duración: 07min

    Sargon the Great is the founder of the Mesopotamian Empire and the First Great Conqueror. He conquered the entire known world (Mesopotomia and the surrounding areas) using a combined military force and innovative ruling strategies. Yet another interesting history tidbit from Military History Podcast: Sargon the Great (the earliest event in military history) and Saddam Hussein (the most recent event in military history) have probably stood on the exact same spot of ground, four-thousand years later.

  • Gladiatorial Combat

    22/10/2005 Duración: 07min

    Ever since 326BC, the Romans have been conducting gladiatorial fights, originally for funerals, and later for pure entertainment. Gladiators are highly disciplined slaves trained at ludi. At one point, their excellent fighting ability posed a threat to Rome itself. There were various types of gladiators including the essedari (charioteers) and retiarii ("the fisherman") that fought animals or each other. Sometimes, these gladiators were loaded on to two boats and naval battles were conducted. Although the practice died down by 500AD, gladiatorial combat kept the Roman people happy and is a staple of Roman society.

  • 11 Unique Warriors

    14/10/2005 Duración: 13min

    Throughout history, there have been dozens of unique warriors that have each contributed something new to military history. This episode of Military History Podcast concisely profiles 11 of these unique warriors and explains what made them superior. Samurai, Ninjas, Peltasts, Hoplites, Praetorian Guards, War Elephants, Mongol Mangudai, Chariots, Cataphracts, Berserkers, and Amazons are all featured in this episode. If you can think of any unique warriors that you would like to know more about, email me at military history military history

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