Today’s family stories include the desert experiences of an Eighth Army medic, the Sicilian adventures of a dispatch rider and how wooden sheep helped fool the Luftwaffe.
How did the Second World War in China play a part in the Communist Revolution?
Al Murray and James Holland are joined by Oxford historian Rana Mitter to talk about China’s role in the war and the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek.
Last week we discussed the Battle of Kiev in 1941, today we move forward to 1943 as the Red Army return to the Ukraine. Al and James discuss the Dnepr Battles, the Bukrin Bridgehead and the recapture of Kiev.
This week’s family stories include remembering a Battle of Britain pilot, a chance meeting of two old adversaries and a tale that Spielberg borrowed.
In the autumn of 1944 Winston Churchill agreed to briefly sit for the brilliant portrait artist Frank Salisbury. He gave the artist just half an hour to paint him in oils. The resulting artwork disappeared from Britain after the war and has finally returned. Al Murray and James Holland were offered a sneak preview at the Churchill War Rooms in London, in the company of art expert Philip Mould.
As the current situation in Ukraine deteriorates, Al Murray and James Holland explore events both now and in 1941.
This week’s family stories include a hair-raising amphibious assault, a long turn in a POW camp, a brave man in Burma and a childhood under German occupation.
“You have done a Herculean task, a grateful nation should thank you for what you’ve done …but I suppose they never will.” Thomas Kendrick had a list of ‘friends’ which included Counts, aristocrats and generals. All of whom were under his surveillance. Kendrick was more than just a high-flying socialite, he was a spymaster. Helen Fry joins Al and James to discuss all things espionage, an area so shrouded in secrecy, documents are still classified to this day.
Al Murray and James Holland discuss the details of the Battle of Bréville. They also chat about War Fest Zwei, the Philippines and fear of a new European conflict between Russia and the West.
This week’s family stories include an IRA man who ended up fighting for Britain and being torpedoed twice, a Scot who spent five years as a prisoner of war, a teenage sailor who braved the Atlantic and the U-boats, and a pilot who never forgave his enemy.