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

We’ve always promised ourselves we would record some extra podcasts. As we’ve caught with the magazine release we thought it was time for such an episode… So we decided to look at the Chariot Race in Ben-Hur.

Angus, Josho, Murray, Marc and Mark were joined by David Reinke who ,with Graham Sumner, writes the film articles for Ancient Warfare Magazine
It proved to be a marathon recording, and we were terrible at staying on topic of the Chariot race… I hope you enjoy us wandering round the subject...
Direct download: Ben-Hur.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

Essentially there are 3 main ways in which finances can be raised with which to use for war: Taxation, raising debt, or simply printing and creating new money. The Romans (among others of course) took a taxation route. It was from around 100 BCE that Roman Legions divided into 10 cohorts of around 400-500 men each. That's 4,000 to 5,000 men in a Legion. Let's assume it was the upper 5,000 figure as there were also some legions with 5,500 men, so we'll average at 5000. In 167 BCE there were 8 of these legions, but by 50 BCE this had almost doubled to 15 - a total of around 75,000 men... Dur: 21mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2111_Financing_War.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 5:29pm UTC

In 1187 Saladin at the head of a huge army crossed the river Jordan. Laying siege to the fortress at Tiberias, inside was the wife of Raymond of Tripoli. Until recently Raymond had been at odds with the new Crusader King Guy of Lusignan. The Crusader army numbered an impressive 20,000, though this was not as large as Saladin's. What it lacked in quantity it made up for however, in quality with heavily armoured knights, horsemen, foot soldiers and crossbow men. When word reached Guy that the siege was underway he decided to relieve the fortress with all haste, taking the shortest route possible straight across the hot arid plains with minimal baggage... The Crusaders had taken Saladin's bate. Dur: 23mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2110_The_Battle_of_Hattin.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 11:12am UTC

"Once people began to live in settled villages, they started to identify themselves not just based on their language and culture, but also on where they lived. Farmers became, to a lesser or larger extent, tied to the soil. As villages grew into cities and cities became the centres of larger city-states, kingdoms, and even empires, it became ever more important to define territories in a visible way, and to defend them whenever necessary."

We're discussing Ancient Warfare Magazine volume X, issue Wars at the edge of empires.

If you've enjoyed the podcast over the years why not show your support and help us improve the podcast by becoming a Patron of the show via Patreon.

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

2109 12th Armoured Division - The 'Hellcats' at Herrlisheim

The 12th Armoured Division set off from New York for the European theatre of war on September 20th 1944. They would spend November and December surging across northern France encountering the enemy in Alsace and at the Maginot Line, liberating parts of France as they went. They were one of only two US Armoured Divisions to have african american combat companies integrated into the division. They adopted the nickname "Hellcats" symbolising their toughness and readiness for combat. They would meet their toughest opposition against German Forces at Herrlisheim - part of Hitler’s Operation North wind.  Dur: 20mins  File: .mp3

Direct download: 2109_12th_Armoured_-_The_Hellcats_At_Herrlisheim.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 2:22pm UTC

On the 3rd of December 1940 the German Auxiliary Cruiser Kormoran slipped out of Gotenhafen. She was the largest of the new wave of Merchant Raiders, which had proved so successful in the first world war. Captained by Theodor Detmers, at just 38 he was the youngest of the Auxiliary cruiser captains. In his own opinion too young. Officially he didn't even hold high enough rank to captain such a ship. But over the next year they successfully sank 11 enemy merchantman and sparred with the Destroyer HMAS Sydney, a David and Goliath encounter... An encounter in which they triumphed. Dur: 24 mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2108_WW2_Auxilliary_Cruiser_Kormoran.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 10:48am UTC

In the latest podcast we focus on terrain, or more specifically terrain boards and mats. Which is better? What do people prefer? With expert comment provided by Mel "the terrain tutor", Eric Lauterbach from the WWPD Network and from Cigar Box Battle Mats Cory Ring and Chris Ward.

As usual Guy, Jasper and Angus are joined by the berserkers from Brixham, Rossco and Paul.

Don't forget if you have any comments or suggestions you can email, or go to Facebook or look us up and leave a message on Skype at WSS Podcast.

Show Notes

Escape from Colditz
EBob Miniatures 
Mel "The Terrain Tutor"
Cigar Box Battle Mats
Terra Tiles, from Rainn Studios
Project 217
Eagle Rampant, WSS 80


Direct download: WSS_3_-_A_Flocking_Nightmare.mp3
Category:WSS Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

Around the 12th Century, German regionalism was very strong with the northern lowlands having their own distinct languages of Saxon and Frisian. Efforts by Imperial central government to unify provincial and legal frameworks, while attempting to impose Middle High German as the official language, failed.

 The importance of towns within this regionalism, they were the focus and strength of the local communities with the power to effect terms of trade, rights, position.

It was therefore a fertile period for the emergence of urban leagues, and in 1241 the first formal alliance between Lubeck and Hamburg was strengthened when they agreed to jointly protect trade routes on sea and land. This was the first formation of what would become the Hanseatic League. This league would expand, fight, defend, trade and negotiate across the next 400 years until Europe no longer needed it. But its legacy can still be seen and found today. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3


Direct download: 2107_The_Hanseatic_League.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

Northern Sudan had always been under the control of the Ottoman administered Egypt, though from the early part of the 19th century the now almost autonomous Egypt extended her rule South. Muhammad Ali, the self declared Khedive of Egypt, garrisoned troops throughout the region at outposts such as Khartoum. Soon the busy garrison town was a thriving settlement, the focal point for trade (including slave trade). Dur: 19mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2106_The_Seige_of_Khartoum_and_the_Death_of_Gordon.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

In this episode we’re looking at Volume 10, issue 3: Rome vs Poisonous Pontus: The Mithridatic Wars, 88BC - 63 BC

Don’t forget if you missed the issue you can pick up your copy from Better still why not subscribe! That way you’ll be fully versed in the subject before you listen to the podcast!

I’m joined by stalwarts of the podcast Josho Bouwers, Murray Dahm, Mark MaCaffery and Marc de Santis.

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

Eugene - Who's full french title was Francois-Eugene, prince de Savoie-Carignan was born in Paris in 1663. His Italian mother, Olympia Mancini, was niece to Cardinal Mazarin the Chief Minister of the French King (or in his case Kings as he served both Bourbon monarchs Louis XIII and Louis XIV). His father was the Italian-French nobleman Eugene Maurice, Count of Soissons. Dur: 21mins  File: .mp3

Direct download: 2105_Prince_Eugene_of_Savoy.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

As night fell on July 4, 1863, the fate of the Confederate States of America had been sealed. General Robert E. Lee's second attempt to invade the Union had been turned back at Gettysburg with heavy and irreplaceable losses. In the west the city of Vicksburg surrendered to Ulysses Grant, severing the Eastern and Western portions of the Confederacy and denying the Confederates use of the Mississippi River. The Confederacy would fight the remainder of the war on the defensive, with steadily dwindling resources. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2104_The_Battle_of_Franklin.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 2:27pm UTC

In our second podcast we decided to look at the little men we craft into soldiers and how they are produced. 

Angus chats with Leon Pengilly from Pendraken who produce 10mm led miniatures and carry possibly one of the most extensive ranges to game almost every period, and Julian Blakeney-Edwards from Victrix who produce 28mm hard plastic figures.

Regular columnists Rossco and Paul discuss lead vs plastic, and Ancient Warfare Magazine regular Murray Dahm looks at double envelopment and how we can attempt it at the gaming table.

You can find the podcast on

Direct download: WSS_2_-_Design_to_Table.mp3
Category:WSS Magazine -- posted at: 1:00am UTC

Throughout history there have been many versions of armoured cavalrymen. In the west we might typically think back to the medieval Knight. Dig down a little deeper and we find that its precursor was the Frankish panzerotti from the 8th 9th and 10th century, however long before this with its Origins in Iran was the cataphract. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2103_The_Cataphract.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Three brothers born in the 1830s in the Wisconsin Territory left a remarkable legacy of bravery, loyalty and determination through their service to the Union during the American Civil War. William, Alonzo and Howard Cushing each fought in separate theaters of that war and their combined service represents a remarkable mosaic of the Union soldier's experience. In the words of biographer Jamie Malinowski, "The Cushing brothers had an astonishing ability to show up at the Civil War's most important moments." Dur: 36mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2102_The_Cushing_Brothers_Pt2.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 8:16am UTC

Wars in Hellenistic Egypt

In this episode we look at Ancient Warfare Magazine Vol X, issue 2 "Wars in Hellenistic Egypt: Kingdom of the Ptolemies".

We have a big group of guests with usuals Josho, Murray, Mark and Lindsay, also joining us is Marc de Santis and Seán Hußmann.

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

Three brothers born in the 1830s in the Wisconsin Territory left a remarkable legacy of bravery, loyalty and determination through their service to the Union during the American Civil War. William, Alonzo and Howard Cushing each fought in separate theaters of that war and their combined service represents a remarkable mosaic of the Union soldier's experience. In the words of biographer Jamie Malinowski, "The Cushing brothers had an astonishing ability to show up at the Civil War's most important moments." Due: 27mins  File: .mp3

Direct download: 2101_The_Cushing_Brothers_Pt1.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

The Archidamian War

In this episode Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Murray Dahm, Mark McCaffery, Owen Rees and Roel Konijnendijk.

We’re looking at Ancient Warfare Magazine Volume X issue 1, Conflict between Sparta and Athens: The Archidamian War.

Don’t forget if you want to send in any questions for the team you can find us on Facebook either The History Network or Ancient Warfare Magazine.

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

Why we game

In this pilot episode of the podcast Guy Bowers (editor WSS Magazine), Jasper Oorthuys (managing director at Karwansaray Publishers) and Angus Wallace (some guy who makes podcasts) investigate why people play wargames and where does the hobby come from.

You can find the podcast on

Direct download: WSS_1-_Why_we_game....mp3
Category:WSS Magazine -- posted at: 6:53am UTC

A long and lively discussion of Ancient Warfare Magazine IX.6 "The Aftermath of Battle".

"When we think about warfare in the ancient world, the first thing that probably pops into mind are images of men, clad in armour, fighting each other. Battle usually draws a lot of attention, and there have been many heated discussions about the nature and mechanics of combat. By comparison, there is often less interest in what happens after battle has been decided and the dust has settled. But the aftermath of conflict is no less interesting than the fight itself, as this issue of Ancient Warfare magazine will demonstrate."

Angus is joined by Josho Brouwers, Murray Dahm, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Cezary Kucewicz.

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

To many of us the the idea of a torpedo is that of a sweaty submarine, the commander peering through his periscope and announcing "fire", and the torpedo whizzes through the water leaving a discernible foamy trail. The single hit is devastating. Whilst this has many elements of truth the Torpedo has a much longer history than the World War Two films we grew up with... Dur: 21mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2010_The_Torpedo.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:37pm UTC

The Aleutian Islands Campaign is often referred to as the Forgotten Battle due to history concentrating more on battles like that of Midway and Guadalcanal, yet this important campaign to take back U.S. soil, witnessed the first American amphibious assault in the North Pacific as well as one of the first Japanese banzai attacks of the war, and was fiercely fought by both sides. After the Japanese first took their Aleutian Island targets it would take over a year and a force some 20 times as strong before the US retook the land back from the Japanese. Dur: 20 mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2009_The_Aleutian_Islands_Campaign.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 11:25am UTC

At the Outbreak of English Civil War it was convention that the aristocracy would lead the troops, this was irrespective of ability or experience. As the war went on it became clear to the parliamentarians that a conflict of interest both for power, and the unwillingness to drive home a Royalist defeat, meant that another solution should be sought. The result was the New Model Army, at Naseby it would show its mettle. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2008_The_Battle_of_Naseby.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:34am UTC

Warriors of the Hellenistic Age

In this episode we’ll be looking at Ancient Warfare Magazine volume 9, issue 5 “At the point of a Sarissa: Warriors of the Hellenistic age”

To discuss the topic Angus is joined by Josho Browuers, Murray Dahm and Marc de Santis.

Direct download: Warriors_of_the_Hellenistic_Age.mp3
Category:Ancient Warfare Magazine -- posted at: 8:06am UTC

Despite being well-led, trained, and equipped at the outbreak of the Second Boer War in October 1899, the British army was unprepared for the guerilla-style tactics their enemy employed, suffering more than 3000 casualties and several defeats in the first two months of the conflict. On December 12th, as the leadership in London was attempting to formulate a plan to counter the Boer threat, 28-year old reservist Lieutenant Simon Joseph Fraser the 14th Lord Lovat & 22nd chief of the clan Fraser, approached the War Office with a proposal to raise two companies of Scottish Highlanders, one mounted and one infantry, for use as elite units with the express mission of neutralizing the Boer on their own terms. Dur: 25mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2007_The_Lovat_Scouts.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:24am UTC

By the first decade of the last century, the two great opposing alliance systems in Europe had formed, or been starched into the fine conformity of Milton, "a staunch and solid piece of framework, as any January could freeze together" (if we overlook the pliable Italians). All had their war plans, but none as famous as Schlieffen's. And by 1914, all plans were for the offensive – any previous defensive ones were discarded in favour of the much more manly and becoming offensive action, or so the thinking went. Dur: 46mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2006_The_Schlieffen_Plan__A_Pistol_Cocked_at_Englands_Heart_.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

"If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles", so said the great Chinese general and strategist Sun Tzu. Though all military tacticians since the dawn of time have tried to predict and understand their enemy, few organisations have succeeded and truly become their enemy. To truly become one's enemy, takes more than putting on a uniform. Empathy with their foundation, a knowledge of their society, traditions and customs are the basics when trying to get inside your enemy's head. In modern military times, when discussing becoming one's enemy, the name of the Selous Scouts easily stands out above all others. Dur: 20 mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2005_Pamwe_Chete_The_Story_of_the_Selous_Scouts.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 3:11pm UTC

In the last episode we heard of Dracula's rise to power in Wallachia and how in 1459 he refused to pay tribute to the Ottoman's. His failure to do so forced Sultan Mehmed II to raise a huge army to march on Wallachia. Dracula had prepared Wallachia for such a fight. Not only did he order the construction or repair of border castles, and hire mercenaries for the army, but he also prepared his people for war. He moved his official residence south to the strong citadel of Bucharest to be closer to the border. Dur: 28mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2004_Vlad_Dracula_Prince_of_Wallachia_Part_2.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

The First Punic War

"The First Punic War (264 to 241 BC ) was the longest uninterrupted war in antiquity and the beginning of a series of military conflicts between Carthage and Rome. During the struggle, these ancient powers fought for the control of Sicily, a strategic point in the central Mediterranean. In the end, Rome was victorious and Carthage lost Sicily."

In this episode we look at Volume 9, issue 4 “The First Punic War”.

To discuss the topic Angus is joined by Josho Browuers, Murray Dahm, Lindsay Powell, Mark McCaffery and Marc De Santis.


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

In December 1476, two monks from the monastery of Snagov, about forty kilometers north of Bucharest, stumbled upon a bloody, mangled, headless corpse. Recognizing the clothing, the monks secretly interred the body in the monastery's crypt. The head, meanwhile, made its way to Constantinople where it was put on display. The body belonged to the newly returned prince, Vlad, who was at the time known as 'the Impaler', but history knows him by a different name - Dracula. Dur: 39mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2003_Vlad_Dracula_Prince_of_Wallachia_-_Part_1.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

The threat to Britain's supply lines during the second world war is a story of U-Boat Wolf Packs, preying on the merchant shipping as they brought vital goods to Britain across the Atlantic. But in other seas and oceans there was another threat, much akin to latter-day day pirates, at sea for months at a time in converted cargo ships. With their guns hidden, masquerading as other merchantmen they would sail remote sea lanes sinking or capturing lone shipping. Only nine German merchant raiders put to sea, yet they sank 130 Allied or neutral ships… The origins of these raiders goes back to the First World War... Dur: 22mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2002_Commerce_Raiders_-_WW1.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 1:04pm UTC

The Second Punic War was already in its twelfth year with neither side in a strong enough position to claim supremacy. The Roman general Scipio had been campaigning successfully in the contested province of Spain for over three years but now the Carthaginians had gathered a huge army and marched out to destroy him. Significantly outnumbered, yet eager to draw his enemies into a decisive battle, Scipio accepted the challenge and in the spring of 206 BC the two armies met near the small town of Ilipa in southern Spain. The outcome of the Battle of Ilipa would not only determine control of the wealthy and strategically vital Iberian peninsula, but ultimately decide which city would become master of the whole Mediterranean world; Rome or her arch rival – Carthage. Dur: 29mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 2001_The_Battle_of_Ilipa.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:00am UTC