Few military leaders of the Second World War divide opinion quite so much as George S Patton. His decisive leadership drove the Third Army rapidly through France in 1944 and after the Battle of the Bulge he continued deep into Nazi Germany. But his expletive laden speeches and controversial slapping of shell-shocked soldiers caused serious concerns among others in high command. Al Murray and James Holland examine Patton, his methods and his reputation.
Stan Perry was the last living troop commander of the legendary Sherwood Rangers. Injured in Normandy and again in Germany, he recently attended We Have Ways Fest where he discussed his extraordinary war time experiences on stage with James Holland. Sadly, Stan passed away yesterday, Wednesday, October 6th.
Stan Perry 1923 – 2021
How politicised was the Luftwaffe? Second World War aviation expert Victoria Taylor joins Al Murray and James Holland to examine the history of German airmen, Hermann Göring and the Nazification of the Luftwaffe.
Colin Bell flew thirteen missions to Berlin in his beloved Mosquito as part of Bomber Command. The 100-year-old veteran pilot joined James Holland on stage at We Have Ways Fest to describe restarting his engines over the city after surviving a full on attack, dodging away from German jet fighters, and being woken up on the way home by an exploding shell fired from an all-female training centre.
When the 82nd Airborne jumped into Nijmegen they had high hopes of being the final link in the chain for XXX Corps on the road to Arnhem. But things went badly wrong and General Gavin’s men failed to grab the bridge until the operation was already doomed. John C McManus, US military historian and author, joins Al and James to discuss the ‘other bridge’.
It took a certain type of courage to serve in a tank in World War Two. Encased in steel, surrounded by highly explosive shells, a big and slow-moving target, every crew member was utterly vulnerable to enemy attack from all sides. Living – and dying – in a tank was a brutal way to fight a war. Al Murray reads a chapter of James Holland’s new book Brothers in Arms.
What can we learn from exploring original training manuals? Aviation historian Christoph Bergs and YouTube historian Bernhard Kast join James and Al to discuss documents and doctrine.
Shortly after the war a Buffalo LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) was taken to Lincolnshire to help with food defences. The vehicle was swept away and sank in a hole.
Al Murray and James Holland visit the unearthed vehicle and hear the story of its excavation. The lads also get to speak to a veteran LVT driver.
If Hugo Boss didn’t design Nazi uniforms, who did? Al Murray and James Holland take a deep sartorial dive into what the Wermacht wore. Al and James also discuss the upcoming festival and cardboard tanks.
Although Spain remained neutral in the Second World War, a number of Spanish citizens volunteered to fight for the British Army. Al Murray and James Holland are joined by historian Séan Scullion, to recount the tales of six extraordinary men.