Al Murray and James Holland launch seafaring operations on the podcast as they examine the effectiveness of the British submarine effort. The boys also enjoy the book used as a basis for the new Tom Hanks movie Greyhound, and they offer their opinions on the latest Churchill debate.
June 6th remains one of the most iconic dates in history. James Holland and Al Murray look back on D-Day with a particular reverence for British naval power.
Al and James are joined by historian and writer David Edgerton to discuss industry and innovation during the war. Famous for taking on the ‘declinists’, David offers a unique perspective on the power of industrial Britain in the 1930s and 40s.
As the last men are lifted from Dunkirk we look at the legacy of the battle in both political and strategic terms. Al and James discuss the implications for the Mediterranean and North Africa and describe Churchill flirting with disaster as he flies home from France.
As clouds lift over Dunkirk the evacuation has to be suspended during daylight hours. Meanwhile the men on the perimeter resort to desperate measures to hold up the German advance.
Al and James are joined by US military historian Michael Neiberg to look at Dunkirk and the fall of France from an American perspective.
As the men at Dunkirk continue to be lifted in huge numbers, Al and James turn their attention to some of the fascinating details of the story. We hear about the role of British medics working desperately on the injured men, while Goering loots fine art from a gallery in Amsterdam.
Churchill’s grip on the war cabinet begins to strengthen as the news from Dunkirk continues to improve. Record numbers of men are rescued from both the beaches and the East Mole. In this episode Al and James are joined by Seb Cox, head of the Air Historical Branch.
It’s a hugely significant day as 47,000 men are lifted from Dunkirk, but as the remaining soldiers run out of water on the beach they raid the cellars of local bars with predictable results. Al and James are joined by Pierre-Samuel Natanson, a military historian, who offers a French perspective on events.
The success of Dunkirk was considered little short of a miracle. But not every soldier made it onto the rescue ships. To help buy time for their comrades to be picked up from the beach some soldiers paid the highest price. One was Al Murray’s grandad. In this highly personal episode, Al’s dad Ingram tells the story of a single band of men who didn’t make it home.
May 27th, 1940, could be described as the single most important day in the twentieth century. British war cabinet meetings this day defined the policy to fight on rather than seek peace via Italian intermediaries. It was a close run thing.
Al and James are once again joined by the head of the Naval Historical Branch, Stephen Prince.