Military History Podcast

May 04 2009 30.8k

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









Democracy in Iraq
Nov 21 2008 14 mins  
Why has democracy failed in Iraq? Here are some potential theories, with their originators in parentheses: Modernization (Rostow, Lipset): Iraq is not wealthy, urban, modern, or secular enough to support democracy. It has not followed the same path to development that Western democracies have set out, and thus, it is not yet ready.Cultural (Huntington, Weber): Iraqis are not inherently suitable for democracy, simply because their culture favors an authoritarian style of government.Marxist (Moore, Marx): Iraq still has a strong landed elite and a weak bourgeoisie, meaning that it is not ripe for class conflict and thus, it is not ripe for social and political developmentVoluntarist (Di Palma): Iraq lacks the strong leadership needed to usher the country into a democratic phase. Each of these theories has its flaws and counterexamples, which will be discussed in this episode. This is not meant to define one theory as better than the rest...it is simply meant to put all ideas on the table. For more information, read: Huntington's Third Wave Di Palma's To Craft Democracies Bellin's Authoritarianism in the Middle East Colton's Putin and Democratization Johnson's Political Institutions and Economic Performance Lipset's Political Man Marx's Communist Manifesto Moore's Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth Selbin's Revolution in the Real World Skocpol's Social Revolutions in the Modern World Varshney's India Defies the Odds Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism


Forces of Nature (2)
May 24 2008 15 mins  
Whether they are seen as acts of God, or as simple climate-related occurrences, natural events have always had a sizeable impact on military operations. At the small end of the scale are the little changes in terrain or weather that may affect a battle or a small war. For example, many armies have postponed their campaigns due to inclement weather conditions, and many militaries have suffered from rampant disease. On the other end of the scale are the times when nature has so much of an impact that the fate of an entire nation or civilization is decided upon it. In the words of Charles Darwin, these are times when “the war of nature” results in the downfall of one party and the rise of another. Colonization Smallpox: Rampant disease severely weakened the Aztecs and Incas, allowing small bands of Spanish conquistadors (led by Cortez and Pizarro, respectively) to easily overthrow two great empires.Revolutionary Wind and Fog: Heavy winds subsided after the Battle of Long Island, allowing American troops to evacuate and fight another day. Their retreat was concealed by a dense fog. Later, just before the Battle of Trenton, a heavy fog concealed the Americans long enough to conduct a surprise attack which greatly boosted the morale of the Continental Army.Russian Winter: Cold temperatures forced Napoleon to retreat after he failed to conquer Russia and find accommodations in Moscow. The lack of grass and unfrozen roads resulted in the destruction of up to 75% of Napoleon's Army as it marched back to France. For more information, read: Hopkins' The Great Killer Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel McCullough's 1776 Burton's Napoleon's Invasion of Russia Tolstoy's War and Peace George's Napoleon's Invasion of Russia Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

Forces of Nature (1)
May 03 2008 10 mins  
Whether they are seen as acts of God, or as simple climate-related occurrences, natural events have always had a sizeable impact on military operations. At the small end of the scale are the little changes in terrain or weather that may affect a battle or a small war. For example, many armies have postponed their campaigns due to inclement weather conditions, and many militaries have suffered from rampant disease. On the other end of the scale are the times when nature has so much of an impact that the fate of an entire nation or civilization is decided upon it. In the words of Charles Darwin, these are times when “the war of nature? results in the downfall of one party and the rise of another. Thales' Eclipse: Halted the epic Battle of Halys River, thereby saving one or both of the participants (Lydia and Media) from destruction.Kamikaze (Divine Wind): Created a storm that destroying the invading Mongol fleets, thereby saving Japan from foreign conquest.Athenian Typhoid: Wreaked havoc throughout Athens, contributing to its downfall in the Peloponnesian War.Bering Land Bridge: Facilitated the "invasion" of North America.Clouds over Kokura: Obscured the primary target for the "Fat Man" atomic bomb, thereby saving Kokura but resulting in the destruction of Nagasaki.Legend of Quetzacoatl: Convinced the Aztecs that Cortez was the reincarnation of Quetzacoatl, thereby facilitating the Spanish conquest of Latin America. For more information, read: Darwin's Origin of Species Herodotus' Histories Mitchell's Eclipses of the Sun Lamont-Brown's Kamikaze Daniels' Almanac of World History Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


The Philosophy of War (2)
Apr 07 2008 15 mins  
According to Lawrence Keeley, "90-95% of known societies engage in war". Why? What compels homo sapiens to kill each other? Why do we fight? Part one will describe two hypotheses.War is Necessary:Aristotle says in Nicomachean Ethics that "we fight war so that we may live in peace". This notion is echoed by many other famous thinkers including Marx (an advocate of a final proletarian revolution in order to establish a worker's paradise) and Zoroaster (the first monotheist to discuss the final battle of judgment between good and evil).War is Logical:Using Darwin's logic, mankind continues to fight wars because it is the means through which our species survives. Thomas Malthus adapted this into a population argument, stating that humans fight wars in order to keep populations small and manageable. Samuel Huntington took this one step further by saying that war negates massive youth bulges. Lastly, John Nash (the economist) proved, through game theory, that war is a more logical choice than peace.War is Accidental:AJP Taylor argued that all wars are unintended and unhappy escalations of smaller conflicts. Warmongering is neither inherent nor unavoidable. Taylor's ideas link closely to the pacifistic ideas of Tolstoy and Gandhi.For more information, read:Nicomachean Ethics by AristotleCommunist Manifesto by MarxHoly Avesta, Holy Bible, Holy Qur'anOrigin of Species by DarwinAn Essay on the Principle of Population by MalthusEnvironmental Science by Richard WrightClash of Civilizations by Samuel HuntingtonMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine





Lincoln's Assassination
Feb 18 2008 12 mins  
President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a southern sympathizer and a self-proclaimed modern-day Brutus, on April 14th, 1865 (five days after the end of the Civil War). Booth snuck into Lincoln's viewing Booth at the Ford's Theater while Lincoln was watching "Our American Cousin" and shot him in the back of the head. Booth then jumped down onto the stage and ran out the back door. The ensuing manhunt eventually caught up with him in the swamps of the Potomac River. He was shot, and his co-conspirators were hanged.The event has many interesting stories associated with it:Lincoln had a dream in which he walked into the East Room of the White House and saw a casket. He asked the soldiers why there was a casket and the soldiers told him that the President had been assassinated. He had the dream three days before being assassinated.Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, stood by his father's body as he passed away. Strangely, Robert Todd Lincoln would also stand by the sides of Presidents Garfield and McKinley (both shot by assassins) as they lay dying.Robert Todd Lincoln once fell onto the train tracks but was saved by Edwin Booth, John's brother.Boston Corbett, the soldier who fatally wounded Booth, shot him in the exact same spot that Booth shot Lincoln. There are also several conspiracy theories about the Lincoln Assassination:Vice President Johnson indirectly communicated with Booth on the day of the assassination. He stood to gain the most from the death of Lincoln.Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin might have ordered the assassination of the opposing head of state for tactical reasons. Benjamin destroyed all of his records after the surrender, and then fled to England and never returned.Secretary of War Edwin Stanton disliked Lincoln for his moderate stance on many issues. Stanton prevented Ulysses Grant (and his military escort) from attending "Our American Cousin" with Lincoln (and potentially saving his life). He also lowered security on the bridge that Booth used to flee into Maryland. He also destroyed a few pages of Booth's diary before it was used as evidence in court. For more information, read:The American Presidents by David WhitneyManhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer (The History Channel)The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told by Rick Beyer



Iraq's Environment
Jan 13 2008 28 mins  
This episode is an analysis of the environmental impacts of the current war in Iraq. There are several major categories, each of which will be discussed. This episode is meant to be an overview of the rarely-discussed ecological situation in Iraq, rather than a persuasive piece towards one viewpoint or another. The entire episode will revolve around environmental issues--political and strategic issues and biases will not be included. Negative Effects:Oil Fires: Saddam lit oil wells on fire, resulting in extreme air pollution.Oil Spills: the oil wells spilled into the surrounding ground and sea, ruining vast expanses of animal habitats.Depleted Uranium: DU munitions used by Coalition forces have chemically wounded thousands of Iraqis and Americans.War Machines: Military vehicles and structures wreak havoc through the fragile deserts of Western and Northern Iraq.Munitions: Unexploded ordinances and explosion craters have wrecked acres and acres of potential farmland.Water Pollution: Unnatural or unhealthy chemicals, such as oil and human biomass, have entered waterways in large quantities, thereby rendering them unusable.Infrastructure Damage: The lack of leadership in Iraq means that significant environmental problems, such as broken sewage systems, never get fixed.Fiscal Allocation: Funds allocated to defense could have been used to pursue environmentalist initiatives. Positive Effects:Iraq War is a major catalyst for the “alternative energies initiative?.Saddam’s ecologically harmful policies will no longer devastate the Iraqi ecosystem.Iraq’s relationship with the United Nations has improved, meaning that UN environmental agencies can now safely enter the region. For more information, read: Environmental Science by Richard Wright The Gulf War Aftermath by Mohammed Sadiq Desk Study on the Environment in Iraq by the United Nations Environment Program The Iraq Quagmire by the Institute for Policy Studies The Environment Consequences of the war in Iraq by the UK Green Party Special thanks to: Captain Christopher Green, Corporal Trent Davis, and Master Sergeant Jonny Lung Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine





Aircraft Carriers
Dec 08 2007 17 mins  
Aircraft Carriers are the ultimate tool of modern power projection. They are symbols of both naval strength and air superiority. This episode covers their history and their future: 1840s: Balloon Carriers are invented1900s: Seaplane Carriers are invented1910s: Modern aircraft carriers are invented1930s-1940s: WWII (five major carrier battles) Pearl Harbor: Japan's six carriers surprise the United States NavyCoral Sea: Japan's three carriers engage America's two carriers (both lose one carrier)Midway: America's three carriers engage Japan's four carriers and sink all four, with the help of codebreakers and reconnaissance. Considered a turning point in the Pacific WarPhilippine Sea: America's sixteen carriers destroy or disable all but 35 of the 500 Japanese carrier-based aircraftLeyte Gulf: America's seventeen carriers decisively defeat the Imperial Japanese Navy in the largest naval battle in history WWII-present: US Carrier Strike Groups control the seas For more information, read: http://www.sandcastlevi.com/sea/carriers/cvchap1a.htm http://www.navy.mil/navydata/ships/carriers/cv-list.asp http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/carriers.htm http://science.howstuffworks.com/aircraft-carrier.htm http://www.combatreform2.com/submarineaircraftcarriers.htm The Pacific War Companion by Daniel Marston Jane’s Warship Recognition Guide Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers (1921-1945) by Mark Stille US Navy Bluejacket’s Manual Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


Operation Downfall
Nov 24 2007 15 mins  
Operation Downfall was the proposed invasion of mainland Japan by Allied Forces near the end of WWII. It was canceled because the atomic bombs were dropped and Japan surrendered, thereby removing the need for a military conquest. It would have been the largest amphibious invasion in history, and it would have been the first time that a foreign power had set foot on mainland Japanese soil (in the country's 2500 year history). Operation Downfall had two parts: Operation Olympic (Nov 1945) and Operation Coronet (March 1946). Both were commanded by MacArthur and supported by Nimitz. Operation Olympic involved the I, V, IX, and XI Corps storming the beaches of Kyushu (the southern main island) and taking airbases to support Operation Coronet. Operation Coronet involved the First Army and the Eighth Army, as well as numerous British Commonwealth units, storming the beaches of Honshu near the capital city of Tokyo. On the opposing side was Operation Ketsu Go, the Japanese defense of its main islands. Most of Japan's forces (air and ground) were focused on the island of Kyushu. Also, tens of millions of Japanese civilians (all able-bodied civilians, men and women) were trained in basic martial arts in order to repel the invasion. In addition, the Japanese government created numerous suicide units to repel the invasion. All in all, it would have been one of the bloodiest battles in history. An estimated 1 million Americans and 10 million Japanese would have lost their lives. For more information, read: The Japanese Army Handbook by George Forty The Pacific War Companion by Daniel Marston Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

The Peloponnesian War (Part Two)
Nov 10 2007 9 mins  
The Peloponnesian War was fought by Athens and Sparta in the late 5th century BC. It was an epic war between two superpowers, and the similarities to the Cold War are numerous. Since most people know about the Cold War, since it was so recent, I will summarize this episode via comparisons between it and the Peloponnesian War. This second episode covers the Amphipolis Campaign/Cuban Missile Crisis to the surrender of Athens. The Participants: Athens/United States: wealthy, democratic, powerful navy, supported by numerous smaller states (Delian League/NATO)Initially led by Pericles/FDR: rulers during the expansion of their respective nations' geopolitical status Sparta/USSR: communist, totalitarian, powerful army, supported by numerous smaller states (Peloponnesian League/Warsaw Pact)Initially led by Archidamus II/Stalin: rulers during the expansion of their respective nations' geopolitical status Thebes/China: Weaker third power allied with Sparta/USSR Timeline: Persian Wars/WWII: Sparta/USSR and Athens/USA were originally allied in the fight against Persia/AxisPentecontaetia/Berlin Blockade: Sparta/USSR and Athens/USA skirmish briefly over intermediate territory (Corinthian Isthmus/Germany)Archidamian War/Korean War: Sparta/USSR engages in a land war with Athens/USA over intermediate territory (Corinthian Isthmus/Germany). Results in a stalemate.Pylos Campaign/Suez Crisis: Athens/USA intervenes in territory close to Sparta/USSR in order to gain an economic and political advantage. Amphipolis Campaign/Cuban Missile Crisis: Sparta/USSR sneaks into the Athens/USA sphere of influence and creates an outpost.Aegean Sea Propaganda Campaigns/Third World War: Sparta/USSR provides support to revolutions in Athens/USA's sphere of influence. Sicilian Expedition/Vietnam War: Athens/USA attempts to contain Sparta/USSR's sphere of influence and fails miserably (loses lives and money). Where the analogy fails: Sparta launches a successful, massive land invasion against Athens (Problem: USSR never fought USA over Europe). Decisive victory at the Battle of Mantinea Sparta destroys the entire Athenian Navy at the Battle of Aegospotami (Problem: USSR never defeated the American Navy decisively)Athens surrendered to Sparta (Problem: The US won the Cold War) So, the analogy isn't perfect, but it is still accurate in most respects. After the Peloponnesian War, Thebes (the former third power) swept down and became the new superpower (over both Sparta and Athens), just like China seems to be becoming now (over the US). For more information, read: History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General

The Peloponnesian War (Part One)
Nov 10 2007 12 mins  
The Peloponnesian War was fought by Athens and Sparta in the late 5th century BC. It was an epic war between two superpowers, and the similarities to the Cold War are numerous. Since most people know about the Cold War, since it was so recent, I will summarize this episode via comparisons between it and the Peloponnesian War. This first episode covers the beginning through the Amphipolis Campaign/Cuban Missile Crisis. The Participants: Athens/United States: wealthy, democratic, powerful navy, supported by numerous smaller states (Delian League/NATO)Initially led by Pericles/FDR: rulers during the expansion of their respective nations' geopolitical status Sparta/USSR: communist, totalitarian, powerful army, supported by numerous smaller states (Peloponnesian League/Warsaw Pact)Initially led by Archidamus II/Stalin: rulers during the expansion of their respective nations' geopolitical status Thebes/China: Weaker third power allied with Sparta/USSR Timeline: Persian Wars/WWII: Sparta/USSR and Athens/USA were originally allied in the fight against Persia/AxisPentecontaetia/Berlin Blockade: Sparta/USSR and Athens/USA skirmish briefly over intermediate territory (Corinthian Isthmus/Germany)Archidamian War/Korean War: Sparta/USSR engages in a land war with Athens/USA over intermediate territory (Corinthian Isthmus/Germany). Results in a stalemate.Pylos Campaign/Suez Crisis: Athens/USA intervenes in territory close to Sparta/USSR in order to gain an economic and political advantage. Amphipolis Campaign/Cuban Missile Crisis: Sparta/USSR sneaks into the Athens/USA sphere of influence and creates an outpost.Aegean Sea Propaganda Campaigns/Third World War: Sparta/USSR provides support to revolutions in Athens/USA's sphere of influence. Sicilian Expedition/Vietnam War: Athens/USA attempts to contain Sparta/USSR's sphere of influence and fails miserably (loses lives and money). Where the analogy fails: Sparta launches a successful, massive land invasion against Athens (Problem: USSR never fought USA over Europe). Decisive victory at the Battle of Mantinea Sparta destroys the entire Athenian Navy at the Battle of Aegospotami (Problem: USSR never defeated the American Navy decisively)Athens surrendered to Sparta (Problem: The US won the Cold War) So, the analogy isn't perfect, but it is still accurate in most respects. After the Peloponnesian War, Thebes (the former third power) swept down and became the new superpower (over both Sparta and Athens), just like China seems to be becoming now (over the US). For more information, read: History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General




Canadians at Vimy Ridge
Oct 20 2007 12 mins  
The Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 1917) was a turning point in WWI. It was the first great allied victory. It also continues to be the greatest event in modern Canada's military history.The 100,000 Canadians of the Canadian Corps were commanded by Arthur Currie. Currie began numerous preparations including:Giving maps to all Canadian troops, not just the officersTraining all Canadian troops on a replica of Vimy RidgeBuilding an elaborate tunnel system underneath no man's land in order to carry men to the enemy front lines more quicklyUse air support (including the famous Billy Bishop, a Canadian flying ace) to protect against German recon The actual battle began with a creeping barrage attack, in which over 1 million shells were fired by Canadian artillerymen. The creeping barrage was followed by 20,000 charging Canadian troops, who successfully all four trenches on Vimy Ridge. By midday on April 9th, Hill 145 and the Pimple (a high point) were taken.Four Victoria Crosses were awarded in the battle. 3000 Canadians were KIA, and another 7000 were wounded. 20,000 Germans were wounded and 4000 were captured.For more information, read:http://www.northpeel.com/news/article/20719http://www.legionmagazine.com/features/special/07-03a.asp?id=print#5http://wwii.ca/page9.htmlhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/background/vimy/http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=14742http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6373IRqSeUMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

The Most Dangerous Man in Europe
Oct 11 2007 14 mins  
"The Most Dangerous Man in Europe" was how Eisenhower described Otto Skorzeny, Nazi Germany's most famous commando and special operations leader. Before he became the leader of Jagdverbande 502 (a special operations unit), Skorzeny fought on the Eastern Front and even won an Iron Cross for bravery. His most famous mission was Operation Oak, the search and rescue of Benito Mussolini, who had been captured and imprisoned by his rivals in the Italy. Skorzeny led a glider assault on Gran Sasso Mountain, where Mussolini was being held, and captured him without having to fire a single shot. Skorzeny brought Mussolini back to Hitler. Hitler was overjoyed. Skorzeny was tasked to lead many other commando missions including: Operation Rosselsprung: Kidnap Josip Tito (the future leader of communist Yugoslavia)Operation Panzerfaust: Kidnap the son of Miklos Horthy (king of Hungary) to persuade him to stay in the AxisOperation Greif: Infiltrate behind allied lines at the battle of the bulge and spread chaos and confusion After the war, Skorzeny was imprisoned in Darmstadt prison. From the prison, he operated the ODESSA network to smuggle Nazis (out of Germany) to safety. He was put before a war crimes tribunal at one point, but he was acquitted. On July 27th, 1948, he escaped from the prison thanks to the help of several SS colleagues (disguised in American uniforms). He then fled to Franco's Spain, Nasser's Egypt, and Peron's Argentina. In Argentina, he fell in love with Eva Peron. At the same time, he managed to secure large portions of the Bormann treasure, named after Martin Bormann (Hitler's secretary) who smuggled Nazi wealth out of Germany just before the Third Reich's collapse. He died in 1975 of cancer. For more information, read: Armchair General Magazine (October 2007): The Devil’s Commando Skorzeny’s Special Missions by Otto Skorzeny http://greyfalcon.us/Otto%20Skorzeny.htm http://ww2db.com/person_bio.php?person_id=133 Battle Fleet.com http://www.2worldwar2.com/otto-skorzeny.htm http://homepages.ius.edu/RVEST/SkorzenyDr2.htm Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

The Sword of Allah (Part Two)
Sep 29 2007 13 mins  
The Sword of Allah refers to Khalid ibn al-Walid, the prophet Mohammad's top general. Khalid commanded over 100 battles and never lost, making him the most undefeated general in history. He usually fought in the front lines either as a cavalry commander or as a champion dueler. This is the first of a two-part episode. This part will cover Khalid's conquest of Byzantine Syria:Some famous battles on the Syrian front include: Bosra, Ajnadayn, and Damascus. The Siege of Damascus saw the first use of Khalid's unit of elite cavalrymen, the Mobile Guard. However, the greatest battle in the theater was the Battle of Yarmouk. Khalid had removed from command by Umar (Abu Bakr's successor) but he still had operational command because the nominal commander respected him so much. The Battle of Yarmouk was fought between 100,000 Byzantines and 30,000 Arabs along a battle line 12 miles long. After a series of significant duels (including one where Khalid personally persuaded an enemy commander to convert to Islam), the main battle began. For the first few days, it was a stalemate. Eventually, though, Khalid managed to maneuver his cavalry all the way around the Byzantines and flank them.Soon after the battle, Umar, who believed that Khalid was gaining too much power, removed Khalid from command completely.For more information, read:Dictionary of Battles by David Chandlerhttp://www.ezsoftech.com/islamic/ohod.asphttp://islambyquestions.net/moreAbout/Hunayn.htmhttp://islam.pakistanway.com/showtopic.aspx?topicid=266&typeid=25http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/10_abu_bakr.htmhttp://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9045249/Khalid-ibn-al-Walidhttp://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/00_abu_bakr.htmhttp://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=1206http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/muslimwars/articles/yarmuk.aspxMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

The Sword of Allah (Part One)
Sep 23 2007 19 mins  
The Sword of Allah refers to Khalid ibn al-Walid, the prophet Mohammad's top general. Khalid commanded over 100 battles and never lost, making him the most undefeated general in history. He usually fought in the front lines either as a cavalry commander or as a champion dueler. This is the first of a two-part episode. This part will cover Khalid's conquests of Arabia and Persia: Khalid ibn al-Walid originally fought with the Meccan Quraiysh tribe against Mohammad and the Muslims. However, he converted after the Battle of the Trench and joined the forces of Mohammad. His first campaign as a Muslim commander was into Ghassanid Territory to fight the Battle of Mutah, in which he led an expert retreat after the first three Muslim commanders were killed. His second campaign involved attacking south and east in order to conquer the Arabian Peninsula. He participated in the conquest of Mecca and in the Battle of Hunayn. After Mohammad's death, Abu Bakr took over and formed the Rashidun Caliphate (the first of three great Islamic Empires with the other two being the Umayyad and Abbasid Dynasties). Khalid led the campaign to reconquer all the tribes that left the Muslim confederation after Mohammad's death. Specifically, he commanded the Muslims at the Battle of Yamama, which was fought against the "liar prophet", Musailima. After the Arabian Peninsula was retaken, Khalid was put in charge of the Rashidun invasion of Iraq (which was held by the Sassanid Persians). Some of the famous battles of the invasion include the Battle of Chains, the Battle of Ullais, the Battle of Hira, and the Battle of Al-Anbar. However, the most famous is the Battle of Walaja, which is known as the eastern Battle of Cannae because of Khalid's successful double envelopment of the Persians. To this day, Khalid and Hannibal are the only ones to pull this off against a numerically superior force. The Battle of Firaz is also important because Khalid defeated a Persian army ten times his own (in numbers). The second part of this episode will cover Khalid's exploits in Syria. For more information, read: Dictionary of Battles by David Chandler http://www.ezsoftech.com/islamic/ohod.asp http://islambyquestions.net/moreAbout/Hunayn.htm http://islam.pakistanway.com/showtopic.aspx?topicid=266&typeid=25 http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/10_abu_bakr.htm http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9045249/Khalid-ibn-al-Walid http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/00_abu_bakr.htm http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=1206 http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/muslimwars/articles/yarmuk.aspx Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


DARPA's Revolution in Military Affairs
Sep 03 2007 24 mins  
The Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was founded in 1958 in order to ensure that the science gap remained in the US's favor. Many great empires, such as the Mongols, Chinese, Ottomans, Mughals, and later, the Soviets, fell from grace because they missed out on major military revolutions, such as the Gunpowder Revolution, the Two Industrial Revolutions, and the Information Revolution. America was determined to not let it happen to them. Since its creation in 1958, DARPA has been at the forefront of technology and innovation. It's inventions since 1958 include: Satellites GPS M-16 Rifle ARPANET (predecessor to the Internet) Stealth Fighters (F-117, B-2, F-22) Cruise Missiles UAVs (Predator, Global Hawk) UGVs (SWORDS, TALON, Packbot) DARPA now focuses on nine major areas: Robust, Secure, Self-Forming Networks Detection, Precision ID, Tracking, and Destruction of Elusive Targets Urban Area Operations Advanced Manned and Unmanned Systems Detection, Characterization, and Assessment of Underground Structures Space Increasing the Tooth To Tail Ratio Biorevolution Core Technologies Many of its current "Revolution in Military Affairs" projects fall under the Future Combat Systems Program. This includes the Future Warrior battlesuit that can change color, carry more, become harder than kevlar, heal the user, connect directly back to the command post, sense dangers, change temperatures, and reinforce human muscles. For more information, read: http://www.darpa.mil/ War Made New by Max Boot Foreign Affairs (January 2007): The Real Meaning of Military Transformation Foreign Affairs (July 2006): The Military’s Manpower Crisis Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine My Odeo Channel (odeo/a5b9222a2c4c44e2)


Major General Andrew Jackson
Aug 21 2007 13 mins  
Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the United States. He had the fourth highest rank of all the presidents, below Washington, Eisenhower, and Grant. He is also considered to be the nation's ninth greatest president, after Lincoln, FDR, Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, and Truman. Therefore, he is the second greatest warrior-president in US History, after only George Washington, himself. Andrew Jackson's military career began in the War of 1812. First, he defeated Chief Red Eagle of the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Then, he defeated Sir Pakenham of the British at the Battle of New Orleans. Even though the war was over at this point, Jackson delivered Britain one of its greatest defeats in history, while only suffering 21 casualties. In the Seminole War that followed soon after, Andrew Jackson captured Spanish Florida and became its territorial governor, thereby founding the state of Florida, which is currently America's fourth most powerful state. Andrew Jackson's personal life was a tough one. "Old Hickory" got into 103 duels. He famously defeated Charles Dickinson, thought by many to be the nation's greatest dueler, despite being shot two inches from the heart. In the Senate Chamber, Jackson also sat next to Thomas Hart Benton, the man who had shot him repeatedly while he lay on the floor in a hotel in Nashville in a fight a few years earlier. While president, he beat his would-be assassin with his own cane until his aides apprehended him. Lastly, at his funeral, his pet parrot had to be removed because it was swearing too much (a skill taught to it by Andrew Jackson, himself). This episode only covers Andrew Jackson's life up to his presidency. For more information, read: The American Presidents by David Whitney Military Blunders by Geoffrey Regan Kaplan AP US Government Princeton Review AP US History Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


MacArthur - American Caesar (2)
Aug 04 2007 14 mins  
As Supreme Allied Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area, Douglas MacArthur led an island-hopping campaign (Operation Cartwheel) known as "hit em where they aint". He avoided major Japanese garrisons and conquered from Australia, up through New Guinea, and to the Philippines. Upon wading ashore at Leyte during the Battle of Leyte, he proclaimed "I have returned". MacArthur was chosen to lead Operation Downfall (the invasion of Japan), but the war ended before the campaign began. After being present at the signing of the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri, MacArthur became the military governor of Japan and led the reconstruction and occupation. One of his most famous acts as the governor was to exonerate Emperor Hirohito. In 1950, MacArthur became the commander of UN Forces in the Korean War. After North Korea had pushed the South Koreans all the way to Pusan, MacArthur led a giant amphibious left hook into Inchon. He cut off the North Korean supply lines and pushed them all the way back to the Yalu River. MacArthur suggested to Truman that nuclear weapons be used, and he was fired as a result. He gave a famous speech to Congress in which he said, "old soldiers never die, they just fade away". After that, he stayed away from the public (although he almost became a vice presidential candidate) until he died in 1964.For more information, read:Armchair General (November 2005): Douglas MacArthurThe Guinness Book of Military Blunders by Geoffrey ReganThe Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes by Max HastingsThe Pacific War Companion by Daniel MarstonReader's Digest Illustrated History of WWIIThe Dictionary of Battles by David Chandlerhttp://ww2db.com/person_bio.php?person_id=3&list=Groundhttp://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/douglasmacarthurfarewelladdress.htmMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

MacArthur - American Caesar (1)
Jul 29 2007 11 mins  
Douglas MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1880. He was the grandson of a former governor of Wisconsin, and the son of a medal-of-honor-winning military governor of the Philippines. He attended West Point and graduated first in his class. After a brief stint as an aide to his father, he became the chief of staff of the 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division in France during WWI. He led the division through the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and the Battle of St. Mihiel. During the war, he developed a bad relationship with General Pershing.After the war, he became the superintendent of West Point. Then, he was charged with breaking up the Bonus Army, which had gathered in Washington DC to protest Hoover's treatment of them. After that, he became the head of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps. Then, he became US Army Forces Commander in the Far East and was stationed in the Philippines. When WWII rolled around for the United States, he led the failed defense of the Philippines. Although he did not do the best job, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. In March 1942, he was instructed to go to Australia to become Supreme Allied Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area. He famously yelled "I shall return" as he sailed away.MacArthur's actions during WWII and the Korean War will be in the next episode.For more information, read:Armchair General (November 2005): Douglas MacArthurThe Guinness Book of Military Blunders by Geoffrey ReganThe Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes by Max HastingsThe Pacific War Companion by Daniel MarstonReader's Digest Illustrated History of WWIIThe Dictionary of Battles by David Chandlerhttp://ww2db.com/person_bio.php?person_id=3&list=Groundhttp://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/douglasmacarthurfarewelladdress.htmMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

The British Empire (Part 2)
Jul 21 2007 13 mins  
The British Empire is the largest (14.1 million square miles) and most populous (532 million people) empire in history. It is the reason why English is one of the world's most important languages, why 1/3 of the world drives on the left, and why much of the world uses the parliamentary system. Another testament to its power is the fact that one of its former colonies, the United States of America, is the current hyperpower.In addition to colonizing the British Isles and North America (discussed in part one), Britain colonized islands in the South Atlantic, the South Pacific, and the Mediterranean (for the purpose of Royal Navy bases). Britain also colonized Australia as a penal colony. A joint-stock company, the British East India Company, also controlled India from 1600 to 1857, when power was transferred to the British crown as a result of the Sepoy rebellion. Significant territorial gains were also made in Africa after the Berlin Conference of 1884 during the Scramble for Africa time period. However, all of these possessions became independent one-by-one after WWII, with the exception of a few overseas territories. Most of the former colonies still have ties to Britain through the Commonwealth of Nations.For more information, read:http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/2003_34_thu_01.shtmlhttp://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/uk/armada/back/backd.htmlhttp://www.britishempire.co.ukThe Penguin Book of Historic Speeches by Brian MacArthurThe Dictionary of Battles by David ChandlerThe Guinness Book of Military Blunders by Geoffrey Regan

The British Empire (Part 1)
Jul 15 2007 12 mins  
The British Empire is the largest (14.1 million square miles) and most populous (532 million people) empire in history. It is the reason why English is one of the world's most important languages, why 1/3 of the world drives on the left, and why much of the world uses the parliamentary system. Another testament to its power is the fact that one of its former colonies, the United States of America, is the current hyperpower. The British Empire began in 1066 with the Battle of Hastings, where William of Normandy defeated King Harold II of the Saxons. Since then, England has consolidated power by annexing Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the crown dependencies, and numerous other territories and colonies around the world. For example, thanks to Francis Drake's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the United Kingdom has been able to expand throughout the New World. In North America, Britain founded 13 colonies along the eastern seaboard of the modern-day United States. North of these colonies, Britain founded the Dominion of Canada after it defeated the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. The next episode focuses on British expansion into Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. For more information, read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/2003_34_thu_01.shtml http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/uk/armada/back/backd.html http://www.britishempire.co.uk The Penguin Book of Historic Speeches by Brian MacArthur The Dictionary of Battles by David Chandler The Guinness Book of Military Blunders by Geoffrey Regan The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes by Max Hastings Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


Falklands War (1982)
Jun 29 2007 18 mins  
The Falklands War is one of the few modern wars between two modern adversaries (in this case, Argentina and Britain). The war was over the Falkland Islands, off of the southeastern coast of Argentina which Britain held and Argentina claimed. General Leopold Galtieri, leader of Argentina, decided to act because he needed something to justify his military government. He launched Operation Azul to successfully capture the islands. Margaret Thatcher, leader of Britain, decided to respond militarily. Air War: Operation Black Buck (UK) conducts air raids against Argentinean targets. Argentina attempts to respond with its own air force but fails.Sea War: ARA General Belgrano is sunk by the HMS Conqueror (the first and only nuclear submarine kill in history). The HMS Sheffield is sunk by an Exocet missile.Ground War: SAS conducts successful raid against Pebble Island Airfield. Main Royal Marines force lands in East Falkland Islands and defeats Argentinean defenders at Goose Green, Top Malo, Mount Harriet, Two Sisters Ridge, Mount Longdon, Wireless Ridge, Tumbledown. British retake capital city of Stanley. Argentina surrenders. For more information, read: http://www.naval-history.net/NAVAL1982FALKLANDS.htm Military History Magazine (April 2002): Blood and Mud at Goose Green http://www.falklandswar.org.uk/index.htm http://www.falklands.info/history/82timeline.html http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/sg1.html Telegraph.co.uk Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

Iran-Iraq War
Jun 23 2007 14 mins  
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 Iranians back to pre-war borders. A ceasefire was agreed upon and the war ended. Both sides had been supported by foreign powers, including the United States and the Soviet Union. For more information, read: How to Make War by James Dunnigan The Presidency of George Bush by John Robert Greene http://www.jonhs.net/freemovies/iran_iraq.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/iraniraq.htm http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/iran-iraq.htm http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/war/docs/3203/ http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/arming_iraq.php http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/airforce.htm http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/airforce.htm http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20950607-1702,00.html Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine




Shamil Basayev-Chechnya's Bin Laden (2)
May 24 2007 11 mins  
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. Many civilian casualties resulted from the fire that resulted and approximately 1/4 of the hostages were killed.In 2006, Shamil was killed (probably by Russian security forces). For more information: Theage.comhttp://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/shamil/shamil.htmhttp://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/2002/1104/cover/story.htmlhttp://www.caucasus.dk/publication1.htmhttp://www.smallwarsjournal.com/documents/wolvesden.htmhttp://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/chechnya2.htmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3624136.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3627406.stm Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine

Shamil Basayev-Chechnya's Bin Laden (1)
May 18 2007 11 mins  
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 information:Theage.comhttp://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/shamil/shamil.htmhttp://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/2002/1104/cover/story.htmlhttp://www.caucasus.dk/publication1.htmhttp://www.smallwarsjournal.com/documents/wolvesden.htmhttp://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/chechnya2.htmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3624136.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3627406.stmMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


Invading Iraq (2003)
Apr 27 2007 21 mins  
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 invented the concept of Thunder Runs--rapid mechanized thrusts into the city to inspire shock and awe. Two thunder runs were sent into Baghdad and eventually the city (minus Saddam Hussein) was taken. On May 1st, 2003, President Bush declared Mission Accomplished (excerpt in episode). Sources: http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/daily/graphics/iraqMap_040103_2.gif http://www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,011805_Thunder_Run,00.html Foreign Affairs (May/June 2006): Saddam’s Delusions http://geocities.com/saberoca/ http://icasualties.org/oif/ http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/iraq/casualties.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh4U-Tbqbx4 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/invasion/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soohikNdbWs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdlEcFfYZ2k http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/Iraq.htm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFijzDyJnVE Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine



Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979)
Apr 01 2007 13 mins  
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 and thus, the Algiers Accords were signed by the United States and Iran. The hostages were returned on Reagan's inauguration day. However, tensions between these two countries still exist today (see Iranian capture of 15 British sailors). For more information, read: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3978523.stm The American Presidents by David Whitney http://www.historyguy.com/iran-us_hostage_crisis.html Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine






Ancient Rome and Modern America
Feb 17 2007 16 mins  
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 make any predictions about the future. I am trying to support famous claims, but this does not mean that these claims are foolproof. Feel free to comment with your opinions. For more information, read: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbons http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/romefallarticles/a/fallofrome.htm 2007 World Almanac Vanity Fair (October 2006): Empire Falls Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine and the International Research and Publishing Corporationca

Clausewitz's Principles of War
Feb 04 2007 17 mins  
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 entityExample: Japanese defenders on Iwo-Jima wasted lots of time and effort by switching commanders halfway through the preparation effort SecurityDon't let the enemy rob you of your advantagesExample: Japanese Navy at Midway lost its element of surprise (because its communications were intercepted) and lost SimplicityKeep your plans clear and simpleExample: Guerrilla militiamen (ex. Aidid's militia in the Battle of Mogadishu) have a much simpler plan that the professional armies they have to fight SurpriseAttack when the enemy least suspects itExample: Germanic tribes slaughtered 24,000 professional Roman soldiers at the Battle of Teutoberg Forest Economy of ForceAllocate your limited forces wiselyExample: Germany Army during WWII did not get immediately overrun despite a 13million-56million numerical disadvantage For more information, read: Armchair General: War College http://www.military-quotes.com/Clausewitz.htm How to Make War by James Dunnigan On War Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine and the International Research and Publishing Corporation






Iraq Study Group Recommendations
Dec 30 2006 12 mins  
The Iraq Study Group Report's Recommendations Sections gives a total of 79 recommendations for how the US should proceed in Iraq. Diplomatically, the US should do more by launching the New Diplomatic Offensive accompanied by the creation of a Support Group (full of regional and world powers) in order to discuss and compromise on a variety of issues. This support group should include Iran and Syria because, even though the White House has problems with their respective governments, both countries would benefit from negotiating since both countries put a lot of effort into Iraq. Also, the US should threaten withdrawal whenever the Iraqi Government does not reach its benchmarks on time (these include the ratification of the Petroleum Law, the Militia Law, etc.). Even if it does reach these benchmarks, though, the US should begin a gradual rollback of forces. First, active combat forces should be moved into Iraqi Army Brigade protection roles, Iraqi Army training roles, and Iraqi Army support roles (Special Operations, Air Support, etc.). Then, these training forces should also be slowly pulled out of Iraq as the Iraqi security forces gain more power. By early 2008, the US should be 100% training and 0% occupation. The Iraq Study Group is a bipartisan commission led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. This episode summarizes the recommendations section of the Iraq Study Group Report. The previous episode featured the Iraq Study Group's assessment of the current situation. For more information, read: Iraq Study Group Report Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine and the International Research and Publishing Corporation

















Napoleon (Emperor-Death)
Sep 09 2006 22 mins  
This episode begins with two victorious campaigns for Napoleon. The first was against the Russians and the Austrians (the Third Coalition), whom he defeated at the Battle of Austerlitz (which is considered his greatest tactical masterpiece). Then, he defeated the Prussians and Russians in the War of the Fourth Coalition at Friedland, Jena, and Eylau. However, this marked the beginning of the end for Napoleon because he four major cracks began to form within his empire: the failure of the Continental System against Britain, the prolonged guerilla uprising in Spain, the Austrian defense at the Battle of Wagram, and the failure of the long and harsh campaign into Russia.Once Napoleon was weak, the other nations formed a Sixth Coalition which finally defeated Napoleon at the Battle of the Nations. Napoleon lost much of his army and was forced to abdicate once Paris was lost. He was exiled to Elba but later came back and formed another army during the period known as the 100 days. The 100 days ended with the Battle of Waterloo, in which the Duke of Wellington (Britain) defeated Napoleon's inexperienced army. Napoleon was once again exiled, this time to St. Helena, where he stayed until his death. For more information, read: Military History Magazine (February 2002): Napoleon’s Haitian Guerilla War Military History Magazine (August 1999): Final French Triumph in Egypt Military History Magazine (December 2005): Austerlitz Military History Magazine (October 2005): Nelson at Trafalgar Armchair General Magazine (July 2005) The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes by Max Hastings Extreme War by Terrence Poulos The Guinness Book of Military Blunders by Geoffrey Regan Dictionary of Battles by David Chandler World Book (1992): Napoleon Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine





Raptors and Spirits
Aug 05 2006 11 mins  
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 equivalent to that of a small bird. But just because it is stealthy does not mean that it cannot carry a huge payload. In fact, it can carry 80 "dumb bombs", 36 cluster bombs, 16 "smart bombs", and 16 nuclear bombs. Also, it can drop 16 different bombs at 16 different targets simultaneously.For more information, read:USAF Fast Facts by Trident Press Internationalwww.f22fighter.comHow Stealth Works in the B2Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine







Impenetrable
Jun 02 2006 13 mins  
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 associated with "something that is relied on but fails".Atlantic Wall (Built during WWII): This line of defenses was created by the Germans along the Atlantic Coasts of Norway and France. It was intended to deter an Allied amphibious invasion of Fortress Europe. However, the Allies still continued with their attack and were able to break through at Normandy. However, this massive collection of defensive tools greatly slowed the Allied advance. For more information, read:http://www.greatwallofchina.cn/http://www.hadrians-wall.org/http://www.maginot-line.com/http://search.eb.com/dday/browse?browseId=237176http://www.atlantikwall.net/The Reader's Digest Illustrated History of WWIIMilitary History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine









Liquid Fire
Apr 08 2006 10 mins  
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 user, and only useful in certain circumstances. Napalm: First used in WWII, it was a key part of air power during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In the latter, it was especially useful against entrenched Vietcong; in the former, it was especially useful against tanks. However, it is considered an inhumane weapon and in 1980, the UN decreed that it shouldn't be used against civilians. For more information, read: Military History Magazine (April 2006): The Lost Secret of Greek Fire ABC-Clio: US at War: Napalm http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/flamethrowers.htm http://science.howstuffworks.com/flamethrower.htm Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


King Shaka Zulu
Mar 25 2006 13 mins  
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 first war, Shaka defeated a much larger force under Nomahlanjana by fighting off several assaults at the top of Qokli Hill. During the second war, Shaka defeated an enemy force under Soshangane at a river crossing and in a plain. Just before his assassination, Shaka's Zulu nation spanned 2 million square miles consisting of 250,000 citizens and 40,000 soldiers. He had killed around 2 million enemy soldiers during his campaigns. For more information, read Military History Magazine (October 2002): Africa's Black Napoleon, and http://www.rapidttp.com/milhist/vol044sb.html http://www.carpenoctem.tv/military/shaka.html Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine


































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