The History Network
The military history podcast specialists, looking at all aspects of war through the ages.

Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Murray Dahm, Mark McCaffery, Steven Weingartner and Sean Manning.

They discuss Ancient Warfare Magazine volume IX, issue 3 "The Hittites and their Successors".

"Anatolia juts out from Asia and forms an important gateway to Europe. Essentially a large peninsula, it borders Syria in the south, Mesopotamia in the east, and the Aegean in the west. Over the course of time, it has been the home of a remarkable number of different peoples, speaking a great variety of different languages. In the second millennium BC , a powerful kingdom arose whose leaders rubbed shoulders with mighty rulers from other parts of the Near East: the kingdom of the Hittites." More


Direct download: The_Hittites_And_Their_Successors.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

SPECIAL - The Lancaster Bomber

During the hiatus between seasons we thought you might be running a bit short of military history? So we thought we'd put out this episode from Angus's new WW2 Podcast (sorry if you already subscribe and have heard it).

The WW2 podcast is a regular podcast looking at all aspects of the Second World War. You can subscribe on iTunes, for more information have a look at

In this episode, from August, Angus talked to Andrew Panton.

Andrew is the pilot of "Just Jane", a Lancaster based in Lincolnshire. You can find out more at


Direct download: SPECIAL_-_The_Lancaster_Bomber_by_the_WW2_Podcast.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

The ascendancy of Thebes

In this episode Angus is joined Josho Browers, Murray Dahm, Mark MacCaffery, Owen Rees and Roel Konijnendijk.

We look at Ancient Warfare Magazine IX.2 The ascendancy of Thebes.

"The women of Sparta screamed at the sight of the flames that raged just across from the bridge over the Eurotas. Their men were in a panic, rushing to prepare and defend the unwalled city. Fighting had broken out in the nearby village of Amyclae. Lacedaemonians were falling to the earth, dead. The soil of Sparta had been invaded for the first time in centuries. The mightiest warriors of Greece were at the mercy of a new order in the Hellenic world. Thebes had finally ascended to its place of power and control. All it needed to do was learn from the mistakes that Sparta had made."

Direct download: The_ascendancy_of_Thebes.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

During the 15th Century Swiss Pikemen dominated the battlefield. Fighting as mercenaries these well drilled, professional soldiers, would provide the backbone to many European armies. The Spanish introduction of the Arquebusiers into their armies would prove to be their achilles heel to pike units and ushered in the era of "Pike and Shot". Dur: 25mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1911_Pike_and_Shot.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

By the outbreak of the first world war the railways had become key to any military deployment. Troops could be rapidly moved en masse with all their equipment. The early hotch-potch of railway lines had become politicised as governments saw their use for both offensive and defensive reasons. It's not unfair to say in certain situations the laying of a new lines was done more for military reasons than economic. The importance of the train and its crucial role in the build of troops for the first world war is emphasised in AJP Taylor's statement that the First World War was "war by timetable". Dur: 27mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1910_War_by_Timetable_-_The_Train.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

As peace descended on Europe in 1945, The Colt Manufacturing company had no intention of reinvigorating production of a weapon, who's design it now considered to be obselete - after all it had first become the standard United States Army revolver over 70 years prior - However, the post World war two years saw the burgeoning of television, and with that came Western themed movies, which in turn created customer demand for the revolver, and so Colt resumed its manufacture in 1956 with the Second Generation of Peacemakers. Even then, this would not be the last generation of the famous firearm. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1909_The_Colt_Single_Action_Army.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 1:07pm UTC

The end of empire: the fall of Rome

In this episode of the Ancient Warfare Magazine podcast Angus, Josho, Lindsay and Mark discuss volume 9, issue 1 "The end of empire: the fall of Rome"

"On 4 September AD 476, the Western Roman Empire came to an end. No great battle was fought, no great foreign invasion force marched upon the capital, nor was there an iconic enemy in the shape of a second Hannibal who annihilated Rome’s armies and broke down the emperor’s gates. Odoacer of the Germanic Sciri tribe and military commander in Rome’s employ, simply marched into the city of Ravenna after being proclaimed king by his troops, and dethroned the last Roman Emperor in the West."

Direct download: The_Fall_of_Rome.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

When Alexander the Great requested ships from an unwilling Athens, the Senate asked the incorruptible Phocion for his opinion. He responded that "you should either have the sharpest sword, or keep upon good terms with those who have". In the Pact of London, signed on 5th September 1914, Britain, France and Russia agreed that none would make a separate peace with the Central Powers, deliberately making each indentured to the others: Even if one country achieved its aims, it had to remain in the fight until the other two succeeded in theirs. This must be considered at least a little odd given that their aims were very disparate, sometimes even opposed. The following April Italy signed this secret pact, having been promised far more extensive territorial gains by the Entente than by her former allies. Dur: 36mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1908_Phocion_s_Sword_-_Prussian_Militarism_and_Navalism.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Armour was not just protection for the wearer it was a status symbol, however impractical and uncomfortable, it was a sign of power and authority. From the 18th century its popularity waned, as that of gunpowder weapons rose. What was left in use was more symbolic than practical protection. The last vestige was the helmet, often retained by the Heavy Cavalry in the 19th Century. That was until the outbreak of the first world war where it once more found use protecting Tommy Atkins, the American Doughboys, the French Poilu or the German infantryman. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1907_Helmet.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

By 1936, the SS under Himmler was in charge of all police forces in Germany and with that came the duty to protect Hitler at all times. Yet apart from his personal escort Hitler preferred not to have local police or military involved. He believed that remaining inconspicuous, apart from appearances at official ceremonies, was an integral part of his safety. For that reason Hitler's transport, be it automobile, aeroplane or train, were kept free of extensive insignia and other identifying factors. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1906_Protecting_Hitler.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 3:16pm UTC

Starting officially in 1977, the U.S. Air Force implemented one of its most secretive, ambitious, and successful intelligence programs in its history, an amazing story that is still relatively unknown to this day. Through the ten-year life of its program, USAF personnel were able to acquire close to thirty Soviet MiG fighter, fighter-bomber, and interceptor aircraft for use in both evaluation and training of American and NATO fighter pilots. Although closely associated with many other U.S. intelligence-gathering programs, Constant Peg stands alone for both the depth and breadth of understanding it was able to achieve, that is, Soviet aircraft technology and tactics during the Cold War. Dur: 39mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1905_Constant_Peg.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

The Roman Conquest of Greece

In this episode Angus is joined by regulars Josho, Murray, Lindsay, Mark and with special guest Owen Rees. Its a lively discussion looking at Ancient Warfare Magazine volume, VIII issue 6 "The Roman conquest of Greece"

"From the northern rivers and plains of Macedon to the southern heart of the peninsula – amongst whose ragged mountains and plateaux nestled the venerable poleis of old Greece – countless kingdoms, city-states, leagues, and tribes struggled by turns for supremacy and survival in a flux of ever-changing alliances. Into this world, already ancient before their arrival, crashed the youthful republic of Rome that, although relatively unknown at the outset, eventually came to dominate a region once so fiercely independent."

Direct download: VIII_6_-_The_Roman_Conquest_of_Greece.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

The 'July Crisis' refers to that month in 1914 when the various capitals in Europe played a continental game of brinkmanship, following the assassination on 28th June of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo. Franz Ferdinand was a nephew of the Emperor Franz Josef, and heir to the Habsburg throne. He was originally fourth in line, but those ahead of him all died or were killed between 1867 and 1896. Culpability for this assassination rests with the Serbian armed and trained Ujedinjenje ili smrt! [Union or death!], more familiar to us as The Black Hand. Dur: 54mins File: .mp3

By July 1918 the Australian Imperial Force or "AIF" was hardened by four bloody years of war – from the beaches and ravines of Gallipoli, to Fromelles, the Somme, Bullecourt, Messines, Passchendaele and Villers–Bretonneux - of the more than 295,000 Australians who served on the Western Front in the AIF - 46,000 would lose their lives and a further 132,000 would be wounded. Dur: 38mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1903_The_Battle_of_Le_Hamel.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 11:23am UTC

The Abwehr, the German intelligence service during the second world war was not known for its resounding successes. But in Nazi occupied Netherlands its Operation North Pole, or "the England Game" was a resounding success. Captured resistance agents tried to warn their British handlers, but to no avail. Agents were repeatedly inserted, captured and executed. Dur: 22mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1902_Englandspiel.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 11:33am UTC

In August 1914 the airplane was seen as an interesting toy by the High commands of all the powers. The British Royal Flying Corps took five squadrons to France, consisting of some 60 planes of different varieties. The pilots being generally rich sportsmen, who had learned to fly in their own aircraft before the war. The planes were fragile, slow and very expensive ­an airplane cost over £1,000, at a time when the average weekly wage was £2 for a labourer – so close to 10 years’ pay!  Dur: 35mins  File: .mp3

Direct download: 1901_The_War_in_the_Air__1914-1918.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 10:54pm UTC

The Jewish-Roman wars

In this episode Angus is joined by Josh Brouwers, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Joseph Hall. We look at Ancient Warfare Magazine volume VIII, issue 5 "Rebellion against the Empire: The Jewish-Roman wars"

"It is well known that in the opening statement of his Jewish War, Flavius Josephus imitates the fifth-century BC Athenian Thucydides when he says that “the war of the Jews against the Romans is not only the greatest of the wars of our own time, but so far as accounts have reached us, nearly of all whichever broke out between cities or nations”."

Direct download: VIII_5_-_The_Roman-Jewish_Wars.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

In this episode Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Mark McCaffery and Marc DeSantis.

We look at Ancient Warfare Magazine volume 8, issue 4 "The ancient world's fragile giant: the Seleucid Empire at war".

"Seleucus, who eventually acquired the epithet ‘Nicator’ was not a prime candidate to succeed to the largest share of Alexander the Great’s empire when the king died in Babylon in 323 BC. He certainly held some rank in Alexander’s chain of command, but he was not a member of the inner circle, and a host of men had greater claim to rule. As things turned out, this was a good thing for Seleucus, as an early start in the age of the successors usually meant an early end."


Direct download: The_Seleucid_Empire_at_War.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

From the time of Homer a small strait of water from the aegean to the black sea has proved both a strategic crossing point and a symbolic one, being the divide between Europe and Asia. It has provided a line from which invasions have started, and a channel when blocked that prevents access to the wider world from the Black sea. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1810_The_Dardanelles.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 3:02pm UTC

"The battlefield is the place: where one toasts the divine liquor in war, Where are stained red the divine eagles, Where the tigers howl, Where all kinds of precious stones rain from ornaments, Where wave headdresses rich with fine plumes, Where princes are smashed to bits." The poet of these verses, the Aztec emperor Nezahualcoyotl, captures the spirit and pageantry of Aztec warfare. The empire known to us as the Aztecs was an alliance of city-states in the Valley of Mexico. From 1428 to 1521, the Aztecs ruled and terrorized Mesoamerica. The Mexica, once a scorned, nomadic people, ultimately became the dominant power in this alliance. “Aztec” – a name these people did not use – derives from Atzlan, the semi-legendary homeland of the Mexica. Dur: 36mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1809_Flower_Wars_and_Hungry_Gods_-_Warfare_of_the_Aztecs.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

After World War Two, former New Zealand prisoner of war Gunner Jim Henderson wrote "We used to say after the war the Red Cross should take over the world and run it. They'd shown what they could do in a world mad with war." Most people know about the Red Cross: during the War of Italian Unification between imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian alliance, Swiss businessman Henri Dunant visited the northern Italian battlefield of Solferino in 1859. Deeply affected by the 40,000 mostly unattended casualties on the battlefield, Dunant wrote A Memory of Solferino, founded the relief society that became the Red Cross and was the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. Dur: 36mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1808_Parcels_From_Home.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

In this episode we look at Ancient Warfare Magazine VIII.3 "Swift as the wind across the plains". Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Murray Dahm, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Owen Rees.

"Cimmerians. Sarmatians. Scythians. Horsemen of the steppes. They emerged from the fog of prehistory around the eighth century BC. Semi-nomadic, they dominated the Pontic Steppes for a millennium. Over centuries, pressure from one steppe people against another kicked off great migratory patterns. The mobile, agile and ferocious horsemen became a scourge upon their more civilized neighbours to the south. Other migrations took them west into Central and Western Europe and east as far as Mongolia."

Direct download: AW-VIII_3_-Horsemen_of_the_Steppes.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

Gas was one of the most feared weapons of world war one. Proportionally though, there were few casualties from gas throughout the war. The British kept accurate figures from 1916, of those casualties only 3% were fatal and 70% would be back on the front line in weeks. Gas was the "bogeyman", it was not a bullet to be dodged or something you could hide from. Initially protection was rudimentary from a cotton pad covered in urine to a chemically infused bag to place over your head with plastic eye slits. Dur: 25mins File:.mp3

Direct download: 1807_Gas_Warfare_in_WW1.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

On October 17, 1781, four years to the day when British General John Burgoyne surrendered his army to American forces at Saratoga, New York, Lord Charles Cornwallis requested terms of surrender from General George Washington. Two days later, the British marched between lines of French and American soldiers to the tune of "The World Turn'd Upside Down." Upon hearing the news, British Prime Minister Lord North, "reeled, threw out his arms, exclaiming wildly, as he paced up and down…'Oh, God! It's all over!'" Dur: 44mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1806_The_Siege_of_Yorktown.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 12:34pm UTC

War, trade and adventure: struggles of the Ionian Greeks

In this episode we look at Ancient Warfare Magazine VIII.2 "War, trade and adventure: struggles of the Ionian Greeks". Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Murray Dahm, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Cezary Kucewicz. 

"The ancient Greeks originally divided themselves into four major tribes, namely the Dorians, Aeolians, Achaeans, and Ionians. Each of these tribes also spoke a distinct dialect (Doric, Aeolic, Ionic), apart from the Achaeans, who used a form of Doric. The Athenians believed themselves to be the original Ionians and spoke a variant dialect called Attic. The focus of this issue is on the Ionian Greeks. Outside of Attica, Ionians lived on the island of Euboea, on the Cyclades, and in colonies settled in the central part of the west coast of Asia Minor, as well as on the islands off its coast, such as Chios and Samos."

Direct download: AW-VIII_2_-_War_Trade__Adventure.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

In elegant bronze capitals, the name 'M. AGRIPPA' graces one of the most famous and iconic buildings to survive from antiquity, the domed Pantheon in Rome. He was one of Ancient Rome's most remarkable sons, and the best friend and general of Caesar Augustus. Yet the extraordinary story of his rise from obscurity to be the second most important man in the Roman World is known to remarkably few. Dur: 37mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1805_Marcus_Agrippa.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 3:43pm UTC

On the 23rd July 1998, the Public Records Office published a number of files, that had previously been held in secret, in respect of activities planned and undertaken by the Special Operations Executive, or SOE, in Western Europe during the Second World War. Dur: 24mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1804_Operation_Foxley.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 11:44pm UTC

Deserters, defectors, traitors

Angus Wallace (from the History Network) is joined by Josho Brouwers, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Murray Dahm to look at Ancient Warfare Magazine Volume 8, Issue 1Deserters, defectors, traitors: Betrayal in the ancient world.

"The ancient world had its fair share of brave and courageous men, who stayed the course despite profound adversity or who seemed to laugh in the face of death. However, our sources also include accounts of people who – out of fear, for personal gain, or some combination of these and other factors – decided to betray their friends, their country, or their principles."

Direct download: VIII_1_-_Deserters_Defectors__Traitors.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

The musket might have revolutionised the battlefield, allowing relatively unskilled levees to become truly dominant. But up until the machine guns of the first world war stopped the cavalry in their tracks, the mounted horseman had a vital role to play in any conflict. Dur: 28mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 1803_Napoleonic_Cavalry.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:21pm UTC