The WW2 Podcast

The WW2 Podcast
A podcast looking at WWII, and not just the military history
89 - Cork Wars
Apr 15 • 32 min
A few months ago I got email from David Taylor asking if I’d ever considered looking at the cork industry in WWII? I’m sure like you, it had never crossed my mind. The more I looked into it the more I got enthused by the story of cork, it used in all…
88 - Division Leclerc
Apr 1 • 55 min
In this episode we’re going to be looking at the Free French and the Division Leclerc, commanded by Philippe de Hauteclocque. Raised in the French Colonies of Africa, they fought with distinction in the deserts of Libya and with the British 8th Army. They…
87 - Hitler’s Death
Mar 15 • 41 min
We all know the story of how Adolf Hitler committed suicide and the body was destroyed at the end of WWII. How much of that story do we actually know? Since the end of the war a series of newspaper reports, books and more recently the TV series Hunting…
86 - The SAS in Italy, 1943-45
Mar 1 • 54 min
The SAS made their name in the North African desert, but less well known is after that they continued to fight in the mediterranean theatre. They carried out raiding missions in advance of the invasion of Sicily, Operation Husky, and then operating behind…
85 - Alarmstart East
Feb 15 • 49 min
Last year I discussed the experiences of German Luftwaffe pilots fighting in the West, against the Allies, I was joined by Patrick Eriksson. Patrick has completed the second book in his trilogy looking at the Luftwaffe - Alarmstart East- this time…
84 - Shot Down
Feb 1 • 47 min
In this episode we’re going to be looking at the story of Howard Snyder, a B-17 ‘Flying Fortress’ pilot, flying with the US 8th air force from Britain during WWII. Through letters Howard wrote to his family, and exhaustive research, his son Steve Snyder…
83 - Operation Crossbow
Jan 15 • 36 min
In 1943 allied surveillance picked up the construction of V1 and V2 rocket sites in France. Without quite knowing the extent of the threat allied planners decided to embark upon a pre-emptive campaign to deny the Germans the use of these sites, the code…
82 US Navy vs IJN Fleet Submarine, 1941-42
Jan 1 • 41 min
In this episode we’re going to be looking a Japanese submarine operations in the Pacific in the early part of the war. While I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Imperial Japanese surface fleets actions during 1941-42, especially if you’ve listened to my…
81 - Britain’s Blockade of Europe & the response of the ICRC
Dec 15, 2018 • 47 min
During WWII Britain put into motion the strategy of blockading Germany, to deprive her of essential goods. In Greece this would lead to famine, and a relief operation organised by the International Red Cross. I’m joined by Dr James Crossland of Liverpool…
80 - The Italian Army In North Africa
Dec 1, 2018 • 28 min
Long standing listeners will have heard me chat to Walter Zapotoczny before, in episode 57 we looked at Ardennes offensive, and in episode 63 we looked at German penal battalions. Patrons of the podcast might recall on both occasions after I’d finished…
Last Man Standing: Geoffrey Rothwell
Nov 26, 2018 • 70 min
In #53 I talked to Gabrielle McDonald-Rothwell about the SOE agent Diana Rowden. Afterward Gabrielle told me about her husband Geoffrey Rothwell, was the last surviving pilot for SOE during the war. Sadly since then Geoff has passed away, but Gabrielle…
79 - The Forgotten Dead: Exercise Tiger
Nov 15, 2018 • 50 min
‘On a dark night in 1944, a beautiful stretch of the Devon coast became the scene of desperate horror. Tales began to leak out of night-time explosions and seaborne activity. This was practice for Exercise Tiger, the main rehearsal for the Utah Beach…
78 - Bones of My Grandfather
Nov 1, 2018 • 61 min
US Marine, Lt Alexander Bonnymanlanded on Tarawa in December 1942. He was mortally wounded leading an assault on a Japanese bunker, which was key to defense of the island, and act for which he would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor. In this episode…
Hitler’s Vikings
Oct 15, 2018 • 62 min
We’re looking at ‘Hitler’s Viking’s’, those Waffen SS units that were comprised of volunteers from Scandinavia in the latest the podcast. Last year, in episode 55, I discussed the Flemish Waffen SS, with Jonathan Trigg. Since then he’s been busy tracking…
76 - RAF Flight Engineers
Oct 1, 2018 • 46 min
Way back in episode four of the podcast, I talked to Andrew Panton about the Lancaster Bomber; Andrew is the pilot of Lancaster ‘Just Jane’ here in the UK. Whilst chatting the role of flight engineer came up, I had no clue what they actually did, I wasn’t…
75 - The Rise of Hitler and National Socialism
Sep 15, 2018 • 64 min
September 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the Munich agreement, where Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Hitler. He famously returned with an agreement which he believed would deliver ‘peace in our time’. It got me thinking about Hitler’s rise…
74 - The M3 ‘Grant’ Tank
Sep 1, 2018 • 33 min
The American built M3 tank was one of the first tanks purchased and supplied in large numbers to the British army in WWII, where it was known as the ‘Grant’ or the ‘Lee’. It’s the first American built tank I became aware of as a child, when I saw…
73 - Ghost Riders: Operation Cowboy
Aug 15, 2018 • 42 min
Mark Felton is back, with another cracking story he’s managed to turn up in the archives, that of Operation Cowboy; the book is Ghost Riders. It recounts the activities of an American unit which raced into Czechoslovakia to accept the surrender of a group…
72 - Mediterranean Strategy
Aug 1, 2018 • 60 min
Back in episode 7, I talked to Alexander Fitzgerald-Black about his MA thesis which focused on the allied air campaign in support of Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. Alex and I have kept in touch and always said we should do another episode…
USS Indianapolis
Jul 15, 2018 • 46 min
In this episode we’re looking at the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. Returning from delivering the atomic bomb to Tinian, the Indianapolis was hit twice by Japanese torpedoes. She sank just over 10 minutes. 800-900 men went in the shark infested waters,…
70 - Aerial Warfare
Jul 1, 2018 • 51 min
In the last episode we looked at the development of the world’s navies during the interwar period. To compliment that I thought we’d do something similar with aerial warfare. It is easy to forget in 1939 aviation was still very much in its infancy, and…
69 Interwar International Naval Policy
Jun 15, 2018 • 37 min
Today what I thought we’d investigate the interwar naval treaties which aimed to prevent conflict, but at the same time, what they did was help shape the navies of the world, in the run up to WWII. In this episode I’m talking to Craig Symonds. Craig is…
68 Go Betweens for Hitler
Jun 1, 2018 • 35 min
When Hitler came to power he had few international connections, what he needed was people he could trust, who were connected to the highest echelons of power. We look at the ‘back channels’, the aristocratic go betweens that Hitler employed.
67 - Luftwaffe Night Fighter ‘Ace’, Wolfgang Thimmig
May 15, 2018 • 43 min
Joining me today is Max Thimmig, Max’s grandfather was the German WWII night fighter ace, Wolfgang Thimmig. Wolfgang joined the German Army, the Reichswehr, in 1934, and was one of the early pilots in Hitler’s newly created Luftwaffe, in 1935. Incredibly…
66 - Northrop P-61 Black Widow
May 1, 2018 • 46 min
The P-61 was built in response to the Blitz on Great Britain, in 1940. The RAF were in need of a night fighter and they confirmed with their US counterparts on the specifications. The result was a twin tail plane with a crew of three, it was specifically…
65 Lt Col William Edwin Dyess
Apr 15, 2018 • 67 min
This episode, is released just after the 75th anniversary of the escape of ten US POWs, from the Davao Penal Colony. The man made famous for escaping was Lt. Col. William Ed Dyess. A fighter pilot who not only fought in the air, but during the defence of…
64 - The Early Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign 1942
Apr 1, 2018 • 78 min
One of my first guests was Jeffrey Cox, we discussed in length the Java Sea campaign in episode 14. Jeff has been busy for the last couple of years writing his follow up book Morning Star, Midnight Sun – The Early Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign of World…
Strafbattalion: Hitler’s Penal Battalions
Mar 15, 2018 • 38 min
In episode 57 I talked to Walter Zapotoczny about Ardennes Offensive, chatting with him it told me had had a new book out in 2018 looking at German Penal Battalions. That sounded like a topic right up my street so I got him back to talk with us.
Betrayed: The Buchenwald Airmen
Mar 1, 2018 • 73 min
In this episode we’re going to be discussing the plight of 168 Allied Airmen who found themselves imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp. It’s something that even to this day governments seem unwilling to admit to. Joining me is Frederic Martini, his…
61 - RAF Liberators Over Burma
Feb 15, 2018 • 51 min
If Slim’s 14th army was the ‘Forgotten Army’ the RAF bombing campaign in the Far East is even more forgotten! In this episode I’m talking to Matt Poole. Matt’s mother is from Liverpool, her first husband was in the RAF serving in Burma when he was shot…
60 Alarmstart: German Fighter Pilots in Europe
Feb 1, 2018 • 49 min
Joining me is Patrick Eriksson. Patrick is the author of Alarmstart: The German Fighter Pilot’s Experience in the Second World War. Since the 1970’s Patrick has been an associate member of the German Air Force Veterans Association interviewing and…
59 - Case Red: The Collapse of France
Jan 15, 2018 • 56 min
In this episode I’m looking at ‘Case Red’ the German attack on France post Dunkirk. Often when we talk about the Battle of France the history seems to stop at Dunkirk, in actual fact the fight carried on for a few more weeks. There was still British…
58 Lost Warriors: Seagrim and Pagani of Burma
Jan 1, 2018 • 61 min
In this episode we’ll be looking at two British soldiers in occupied Burma. Major Hugh Seagrim operated for two years behind the Japanese lines, organising Karen resistance. He crosses paths with Roy Pagani, trying to make his way back to British army in…
57 - The 110th Holds In The Ardennes, 1944
Dec 15, 2017 • 34 min
This episode is being released on the 15th of December, the eve of the Battle of the Bulge. It was the 16th of December 1944 that Hitler launched Operation Watch on the Rhine, the last great offensive in the West. Joining me today is Walter Zapotoczny,…
56 - Haile Selassie’s Mongrel Foreign Legion.
Dec 1, 2017 • 52 min
In the classic narrative WWII starts with the invasion of Poland in 1939, though for the Chinese it started with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Wikipedia solves the start date by stating ‘relate conflicts started earlier’, and that is what…
Darkest Hour
Nov 22, 2017 • 23 min
I’ve been promising you an extra episode since September… Well it never came off, I was all prepared to discuss the end of the war in the Pacific but I struggled to pin down the guest so I gave up! But good things come to those that wait! I was asked if I…
55 - The Flemish Waffen SS
Nov 15, 2017 • 58 min
Within a year of Belgium falling to the Germans in 1940, Belgian citizens were volunteering to join the Waffen SS to fight communism on the newly formed Eastern Front. Thousands volunteered, and the suffered heavy casualties. I’m joined by Jonathan Trigg…
54 - The Bataan Death March
Nov 1, 2017 • 44 min
One topic we’ve skirted round in a number of episodes is the Bataan Death March, its been a topic I’ve been keen to look at as we’ve mentioned it a few times. I’m joined by Jay Wertz from “World War II Comix”
53 - Her Finest Hour: Diana Rowden, SOE Agent
Oct 15, 2017 • 72 min
Last year I talked to Greg Lewis about the female agents in the British Special Operations Executive, SOE, who Churchill had tasked with “setting Europe ablaze”. In this episode we’ll be looking specifically at Diana Rowden who was flown into France in…
52 Shadow Over the Atlantic
Oct 1, 2017 • 45 min
Between 1943-45 Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5 “Atlantik” would fly missions of up to 18 hours at a time over the Atlantic. They acted as the eyes for the U-Boats. Equipped with big, four-engined Junkers Ju 290s Fernaufklärungsgruppe (FAGr) 5 ‘Atlantik’…
51 The German Airborne Threat to Britain & the Psychological Impact
Sep 15, 2017 • 47 min
I was reading the British Journal for Military History and an article caught my eye titled The Psychological Impact of Airborne Warfare & the British Response to the Airborne Threat by Dr Tim Jenkins.
50 - Operation Tonga
Sep 1, 2017 • 48 min
In this episode I’m looking at Operation Tonga, the British airborne element that lead the way during the D-Day landings in 1944.
49 - Castle of Eagles
Aug 15, 2017 • 65 min
In this episode we’re looking at high ranking British POWs held by the Italians and their attempts at escape. It’s arguably a story to rival that of the Great Escape or Colditz. Joining is Dr Mark Felton.
48 - Fallen Giants: The Russian T-35 Tank
Aug 1, 2017 • 42 min
The Five Turret Monster Tank
47 - Flying to Victory: The Western Desert Campaign 1940-41
Jul 15, 2017 • 47 min
Raymond Collishaw
The Covenanter Tank
Jul 6, 2017 • 43 min
Covenanter A13 Mark III Cruiser Mk V tank
46 - Fighting Through From Dunkirk to Hamburg
Jul 1, 2017 • 52 min
A Green Howard’s WWII Memoir
45 - The Jersey Brothers
Jun 15, 2017 • 44 min
A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family’s Quest to Bring Him Home
44 - The Winter War: The British Reaction to the Invasion of Finland
Jun 1, 2017 • 41 min
The Russian Invasion of Finland 1939
43 - The Red Cross: Humanitarians at War
May 15, 2017 • 57 min
The Red Cross in the Shadow of the Holocaust
42 - The Battle of the Coral Sea
May 1, 2017 • 44 min
The Emergence of Carrier Warfare
41 - Amphibious Operations in WWII
Apr 15, 2017 • 39 min
Bloodstained Sands
40 - Homefront to Battlefront
Apr 1, 2017 • 58 min
An Ohio Teenage in WWII
39 - Allen Dulles and the German Resistance
Mar 15, 2017 • 54 min
An American Spymaster and the German Resistance in WWII
38 - The Race for the Rhine
Mar 1, 2017 • 48 min
The WWII Rhine crossings in 1945
37 - 82nd Airborne at Operation Husky
Feb 15, 2017 • 51 min
Airborne Troops at the Invasion of Sicily
36 - Volunteers and Pressed Men
Feb 1, 2017 • 38 min
How Britain and its Empire raised its forces in two World Wars
35 - Air Campaigns on the Eastern Front
Jan 15, 2017 • 46 min
The air war over Russia during WWII
34 - Surviving the Nazis, Gulags and Soviet Communism
Jan 1, 2017 • 56 min
The incredible story of Nachman Libeskind
33 - The American St Nick
Dec 15, 2016 • 39 min
How the US Army brought Christmas to a small town in Luxembourg
32 - Operation Sea Lion - The invasion of Britain
Dec 1, 2016 • 60 min
The WWII German Planned Invasion of Britain
31 - Shadow Warriors: Daring Missions of WWII by Women of the OSS and SOE
Nov 15, 2016 • 51 min
The incredible stories of female agents in WW2
30 - Lucky 666: The Impossible Mission
Nov 1, 2016 • 45 min
A B-17 Suicide Mission
29 - Selling Hitler
Oct 15, 2016 • 52 min
A look at Nazi Propaganda
28 - Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina
Oct 1, 2016 • 38 min
The Classic WWII Flying Boat
27 - Anthropoid: Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich
Sep 15, 2016 • 47 min
Reinhard Heydrich, Lidice and the North Staffordshire Miners
26 - Operation Agreement
Sep 1, 2016 • 37 min
The WWII Raid on Tobruk
25 - MacArthur
Aug 15, 2016 • 59 min
WWII in the Pacific
24 - Stug Revisited and the Plasch Palatka
Aug 1, 2016 • 13 min
A visit to the Yorkshire Wartime Experience
23 - Military Internees and the Irish Free State
Jul 15, 2016 • 43 min
Neutral Ireland during WWII
22 - 1941: Fighting the Shadow War
Jul 1, 2016 • 59 min
America’s Entry into WWII
21 - WWII Tank Hunting
Jun 15, 2016 • 41 min
Where to find surviving restored WW2 Tanks
20 - The Castaway’s War
Jun 1, 2016 • 33 min
One Man’s Battle Against Imperial Japan
19 - The Winter Fortress
May 15, 2016 • 47 min
The Epic WWII Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb
18 - The Nazi Hunters
May 1, 2016 • 61 min
WWII Nazi war criminals and those that tracked them down
17 - Shooting Up: Drug use in WWII
Apr 15, 2016 • 44 min
Drugs have a long history in war. We investigate their use in WW2
16 - The De Havilland Mosquito
Apr 1, 2016 • 56 min
The “wooden wonder” classic aircraft of WW2
15 - The British Resistance: Auxiliary Units
Mar 15, 2016 • 38 min
By the end of June 1940 the Battle of France was over, the British Army had been plucked from the Beaches of Dunkirk, but much of its heavy equipment had been abandoned in France. It looked like Britain would be the next target for the Nazi war…
14 - The Java Sea Campaign
Mar 1, 2016 • 67 min
In this episode we’re looking at the Java Sea Campaign, with Jeffrey Cox. Jeff’s book Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II from Osprey publishing, examines the events following Pearl Harbor. In their own…
13 - Gliders
Feb 15, 2016 • 48 min
In this episode I’m looking at the use of Gliders during the war and I’m joined by Matt Yates. Matt is a member of Chalk a living history group in the north of England who specialise in the British Glider Regiment and its activities from…
12 - Assault Gun: The German StuG
Feb 1, 2016 • 24 min
The StuG started development before the war and was in full production by 1940. Designated an Assault Gun it was designed round a Panzer III chassis but no turret, this gave it an extremely low profile. It’s role was to support infantry…
11 - The Forgotten Victor: Richard O’Connor
Jan 15, 2016 • 62 min
At a time when Britain stood alone there was one shining light in North Africa. Richard O’Conner’s Operation Compass was on the cusp of capturing the whole of North Africa, before his troops were diverted to Greece. His stunning victories in 1940/41…
10 - Parcels From Home: Red Cross Parcels During WWII
Jan 1, 2016 • 42 min
Parcels delivered by the International Red Cross proved to be a lifeline for many Prisoners of War. These were guaranteed by the Geneva Convention of 1929 providing PoWs with tobacco, food and some hygiene products. For many they supplemented the…
09 - Angels of the Underground: Resistance in the Philippines
Dec 15, 2015 • 46 min
In this episode I’m joined by Professor Theresa Kaminski. We look at the Japanese occupation of the Philippines and the extraordinary stories of those women who escaped internment and help American POWs and those interned. Theresa’s speciality is…
08 - Churchill and Britain’s Decision To Fight in 1940
Dec 1, 2015 • 29 min
By the end of 1940 Britain defiantly stood alone against Nazi tyranny. Appeasement of the late 1930s was a reaction against the slaughter of the First World War, even after the fall of France some in power advocated a peace with Germany. In this…
07 - Eagles over Husky: The Role of the Airforce during the invasion of Sicily
Nov 1, 2015 • 57 min
The Invasion of Sicily, 1943
06 - The OSS - America’s WW2 Intelligence Service
Oct 1, 2015 • 42 min
The US Spy Agency during WWII
05 - The Dieppe Raid
Sep 1, 2015 • 48 min
Operation Jubilee, the Dieppe Raid with Mark Zuehlke
04 - The Lancaster Bomber
Aug 1, 2015 • 28 min
WW2 Podcast - The Lancaster Bomber
03 - Omar Bradley
Jul 1, 2015 • 40 min
WW2 Podcast - Omar Bradley
02 - The USS Neosho: The Ship That Wouldn’t Die
Jun 1, 2015 • 42 min
WW2 Podcast - The USS Neosho
01 - The German Halftrack - SdKfz 251
May 1, 2015
In this first episode of the WW2 podcast Angus talks to Paul Hilditch, of the Northern WW2 Association, about the iconic German halftrack, the Sd.Kfz 251.