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

The legions of Magnentius and Decentius in Amida had been raised by the former usurper Magnentius (a general who usurped against Constantius in Gaul between 350 and 353) in his name and that of his brother. They were therefore a remnant of those disloyal troops, hence their stationing (a banishment) in the east. Their conduct at Amida would restore both their honour and reputation. Dur: 21mins File: .mp3

In the summer of AD 359, the armies of the Sasanian Persian Shahanshah ("King of Kings"), Shapur II (r. 309-379), invaded the Roman east. This invasion was the long-cherished revenge for a humiliating peace imposed on the Persians by the Romans sixty years earlier. The Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus was an eyewitness to the most dramatic events of this new war, serving in the army of the emperor Constantius II (r. 337-361) as a protector domesticus, a guard cavalryman. His Res Gestae (Roman History) at this point is full of precise detail and evocative description. No action is more dramatic than the Siege of Amida. Dur: 16mins File: .mp3

Our best source for Thutmose's battle of Megiddo are the Annals of Thutmose, an account kept by his scribe Tjaneni and then, almost twenty years later, inscribed into the interior walls of the sanctuary of the temple to Amun-Re at Karnak. There are other sources too. These were official documents, however, and we must be wary of 15th century BC spin. The traditional date of the battle is usually given as 1479 BC but it is more likely to date to 1457 BC - whichever year it was, it was the 23rd year of Thutmose’s reign. Dur: 24 mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3408_The_Battle_of_Megiddo_from_Thutmose_III_to_World_War_One_Part2.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

The Battle of Megiddo, fought during the latter stages of the First World War over a week in late September 1918 against the Ottoman Turks, was so-named quite deliberately by the victorious British general, Edmund Allenby. Allenby was entirely conscious of the associations with the battles of Megiddo of the past (especially Thutmose’s famous battle although another had been fought in 609 BC) but also with Armageddon and Revelation, named after the ‘perfect’ battlefield the area around Megiddo represented. Dur: 30 mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3407_The_Battle_of_Megiddo_from_Thutmose_III_to_World_War_One.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

On July 31st, 1945, the Japanese cruiser Takao sat at anchor in Singapore dockyard. Little did her crew know that beneath the surface of the water, Royal Navy divers prepared to place magnetic mines which would take her out of the war. The Takao-class heavy cruiser had been a threat to US and allied forces throughout the Pacific War. She had been in action since 1941 and participated in many engagements, sinking enemy shipping and supporting various landings and evacuations. She had also survived several engagements where many other Japanese ships had been sunk. With the sinking of her three sister ships, Atago, Maya, and Chōkai in late 1944, Takao, although damaged, remained a major threat in the theatre. Dur18 mins File: .mp3

Only one man has ever been awarded both the Victoria Cross and the Iron Cross - Surgeon General William Manley. In 1864 he was awarded a VC for his actions during the siege of Gate Pa during the New Zealand Wars. Then, when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Manley went with the British Ambulance Corps attached to the Prussian Army - in December 1870 he was awarded the Iron Cross (second class) for bravery in several engagements around Chateauneuf, Bretoncelles, Orleans, and Cravant. Dur: 21mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3405_Iron_Valour.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

When the Second Boer War was declared on October 11th, 1899, governments of colonies from around the British Empire offered to send troops to contribute to the British war effort. This included the governments of the six colonies of Australia (Australia would not be confederated into a Commonwealth until January 1st, 1901). Among the troops sent were the 1st Tasmanian Imperial Bushmens’ Contingent, a unit whose members would be awarded two Victoria Crosses. Most of the troops the colonies of Australia contributed were mounted units, formed before departure. This was despite a decree requesting infantry contingents as being of most service and cavalry of the least. Dur: 36mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3404_Bushmen_against_the_Boers__Australians_in_the_Boer_War.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

Benedict Arnold chose treason. In a shocking turn of events, one of the most talented American generals had turned traitor. The news sent shockwaves throughout the rebellious states. Arnold became the most wanted man in America as General George Washington made it clear he wanted Arnold captured and put on trial. Arnold, however, was safely behind British lines. Left behind was the British officer sent to recruit him, John André, another victim of Arnold's greed. But that was of little concern to Arnold. Now that his treason was complete and he a Brigadier General in the British Army, his focus was on winning the war and ensuring his place in history. Dur: 15mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3403_The_Treason_of_Benedict_Arnold_Part3.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

Benedict Arnold spent years becoming a respectable merchant in Connecticut and the coming of the American War of Independence presented him with an opportunity to increase his standing even further. His bravery in battle was unquestioned, but his desire for reward led him to dubious actions. Congress had little money to pay the soldiers, so Arnold decided to pay himself through the sale of captured goods. His temper, greed, and arrogance created enemies within American ranks. Fellow officers wished to see him fail and forwarded complaints to Congress. The victory at Saratoga should have been Arnold’s crowning achievement, but his severe wound at the moment of triumph opened the door for his rival, Horatio Gates, to receive the credit. Dur: 24 mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3402_The_Treason_of_Benedict_Arnold_Part2.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

Benedict Arnold, a name in the American lexicon that is synonymous with treason. History remembers Arnold solely for his attempted betrayal and his subsequent return to the American War of Independence as a British general, this was only the sudden climax to a story that saw Arnold rise from humble beginnings as an apothecary apprentice to one of the most competent generals in the Continental Army. He fought to protect his honor and was quick to challenge any perceived slight. Dur: 30mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3401_The_Treason_of_Benedict_Arnold_Part1.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

On a clear day in 1960, a conversation took place between the pilot of a South African Airways passenger aircraft and Heathrow Airport's ground control. The pilot had a special request. He wanted to do a low-level circuit in London. In turn, the tower asked the reason for the special request. The pilot simply replied…I wish to show the Sailor his London. Dur: 26mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3310_King_of_the_Few_-_Adolph_Sailor_Malan.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 9:22am UTC

The entry for the year AD 991 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Olaf Tryggvason (later king of Norway) sailed with a fleet of ninety-three ships and raided the English coast. He began in Kent raiding Folkestone and then Sandwich, and then moved on to Ipswich in Suffolk. After overrunning Ipswich, the fleet moved onwards to Maldon in Essex, sailing up the River Blackwater and establishing a base at the island of Northey in early August. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3309_Bloodshed_on_the_Blackwater_The_Battle_of_Maldon.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

1951 had begun disastrously for the United Nations forces in Korea. On December 31st, 1950, the Chinese 13th Army breached UN defences below the 38th parallel as part of the Third Phase Campaign and, on January 3rd, Seoul was evacuated by the US Eighth Army. The Eighth Army was commanded by Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgeway, who had been in office for little over a week, taking up his command only on December 26th, 1950. Dur: 18mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3308_Fix_Bayonets_An_heroic_old-fashioned_charge_in_the_Korean_War.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

On their seemingly inexorable advance south in 1942, the Japanese had occupied Aitape in northern New Guinea on their advance south. Allied offensives to halt the Japanese advance began in 1943 and in April 1944 units of the United States Army, especially the 163rd Regimental Combat Team from the 41st Infantry Division landed at Aitape and retook parts of the area (centred on the Wewak airstrip). Dur: 22mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3307_The_Aitape_Wewak_Campaign.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

On 27 September 1918, Captain Frisby and Lance Corporal Jackson led the assault against enemy machine-gun positions during the battle of the Canal du Nord, Nord-pas-de-Calais region of Northern France. Following the successes of the German Spring Offensive in March 1918, the Allies launched a series of successful counter-attacks from May to July 1918 which forced the Germans to fall back.

Direct download: 3306_Heroism_in_the_Hundred_Days_Offensive.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

The battle of Montgisard (fought near Ramla in central Israel) saw the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem unexpectedly defeat the forces of Saladin. The Latins were vastly outnumbered and fought thinking that they faced certain defeat. Their victory put an end to the inexorable advances that the Muslim conqueror Saladin had won up to that point. Dur: 19mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3305_The_Battle_of_Montgisard.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

Epaminondas' victory at Leuctra created the Theban Hegemony, a brief period where Thebes dominated Greek politics. There has always been criticism that when Thebes defeated Sparta at the battle of Leuctra they had no real plan to replace the Spartan domination of Greece with one of their own. Hence the Theban hegemony of Greece was short-lived. One consideration to keep in mine is that Thebes only sought to end Spartan domination, not replace it. By achieving that feat at Leuctra, they actually created a power vacuum (which would eventually be filled by Macedon under Philip II, achieving domination of Greece in 338). Dur: 19mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3304_Epaminondas_of_Thebes_Part_2.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:30am UTC

Epaminondas of Thebes is one of the greatest and most revolutionary commanders in military history, destroying the might of Sparta in a single day at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. At that battle, Epaminondas led the outnumbered Theban phalanx to an overwhelming victory over an army of feared Spartan hoplites. Theban victory that day forever changed the political map of Greece. Dur: 20mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3303_Epaminondas_of_Thebes_Part_1.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 7:30am UTC

By mid-afternoon on the 4th of August 1578, three monarchs lay dead on the battlefield of Alcazar in Morocco: two Sultans and King Sebastian I of Portugal. The consequences of their deaths would resonate for decades throughout Europe and North Africa. The Battle of Alcazar is known by several names, all of which are attempts at Anglicizing the town of El-Ksar el-Kebir in Morocco where the battle was fought. It is also known, unsurprisingly, as the Battle of the Three Kings.

Dur: 24mins File: .mp3

Direct download: 3302_The_Battle_of_Alcazar.mp3
Category:military -- posted at: 1:39pm UTC