The Japanese determine that Burma must be occupied to protect their new possession of Malaya. It’s up to Chiang Kai-Shek, American Gen. Joe Stilwell and British Gen. Wavell to stop them. The problem is the Allies don’t trust each other, in regards to Burma’s future. Churchill doesn’t care about China right now, but FDR needs the massive country to stay in the fight. Or else the many Japanese divisions in China might be turned on Australia and the US General Staff have det...more
With Rabaul taken the Japanese go after locations in NE New Guinea, but will have to deal with Vice Adm. Wilson Brown and the US carriers Lexington and Yorktown. The Americans and Australians achieve a surprise air raid on Lae and Salamaua, now owned by the Japanese, but the later will not be deterred from planning their next strike against Port Moresby.
The invasions of New Britain and New Ireland get underway. But are over just as quickly. Meanwhile, Australian PM John Curtain informs Churchill that his country will now tie its wagon to the US. Gen. Douglas MacArthur will be their overall commander. Lastly, the incredible story of the Lost Women of Rabaul is covered.
Joining us is Damien Lewis, to talk about his latest book Churchill’s Shadow Raiders: The Race to Develop Radar, WWII’s Invisible Secret Weapon. Operation Biting’s goal was to steal a German Radar Device, yet because of that very device, the Germans knew the British Commandos were coming. And as the raid is launched, Churchill’s cabinet can not forget the first airborne operation, which many thought ended in disaster, Operation Colossus.
With much of SE Asia conquered, the Japanese now focus on New Guinea, staring with the islands of New Britain and New Ireland. Lark Force at Rabaul will be sacrificed, but will do their duty.
Despite Allied hopes that Timor would be left alone, the Japanese Empire has need of its airfield to bomb Australia. But what the invaders were not counting on was the tough Australian Commandos who stay behind and inflict impressive casualties until the end of 1942. Col. Doi, the Japanese officer in charge therefore, calls in the Tiger of Singapore.
The Final of the Java series. East Java falls and what is left of the Java Allied Defense is trapped in the south at Tjilatjap.
The Japanese come at Java but first must deal with the Combined Fleet of Dutch, Australian, British and American vessels. What follows is The Battle of the Java Sea and The Battle of Sundra Straight. Then the fall of western Java.
Peter Lion joins up to talk about the incredible George Mergenthaler, the sole heir to a vast fortune, but after Pearl Harbor, he joined the US Army as a buck private, only wanting to do his part.
With Sumatra lost, the Allies know that Java is next. Gen. Archibald Wavell, ABDA Commander gathers his meager forces, but already knows they will not win. Still with vessels like the heavy cruiser USS Houston, the best the defenders can hope for is to make the Japanese bleed before taking their latest prize.
With Singapore all but taken, the Japanese start operations against Sumatra. The Dutch ask for help from ABDA Command, but it may be too little, too late. Still, the Allies have one chance to stop the invasion, as they launch 50 fighters and bombers at the coming invasion force. Yet the Japanese have their own surprise in store, paratroopers.
Writer, Wes Tooke joins us to talk about the film Midway. We cover this pivotal turning point in the Pacific War, lead by Adm. Chester Nimitz. Young men like Dick Best, Wade McClusky and Clarence Dickinson lead the charge after the disastrous attack on Pearl Harbor. MIDWAY is currently available on Digital and arrives on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on February 18th.
Needing another airfield to attack Java, the Japanese quickly work up a plan to take Bali. Dutch Rear Adm. Karel W. Doorman and ABDA Command respond with three separate naval groups of Dutch and American vessels to stop the invasion.
During World War II, thousands of Axis prisoners of war were held throughout Nebraska in base camps that included Fort Robinson, Camp Scottsbluff and Camp Atlanta. Many Nebraskans did not view the POWs as “evil Nazis.” To them, they were ordinary men and very human.
With Singapore captured, the Japanese Empire sets its sights on Sumatra and Java. But first, the Celebes and Maluku Islands must fall, so Australia and other nearby locations can be kept away.
Despite a 3 to 1 advantage in men, Archibald Percival, GOC Malay, is pushed by Churchill and ABDACOM Commander Gen. Wavell to defy the Japanese in trying to take Singapore. Yet Gen. Yamashita will continue defying the odds with audacity and speed.
Bringing up the Australian 8th Infantry Division, it’s hoped these fresh troops can stop the Japanese 25th Army from taking Johore and thus capturing all of the Malayan Peninsula. Yet Percival and Wavell are already thinking of abandoning the peninsula and focusing on the island of Singapore. Even then, Churchill wants the island fortress held until there is protracted fighting among the ruins of Singapore City.
With reinforcements on the way, the British lead Commonwealth troops strive to keep the Japanese away from Singapore. And though exhausted, the Gurkhas, Punjabis, Hyderabad, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of the 11th Indian Infantry Division are on their own against Lt. Gen. Yamashita’s 25th Army. It’s a race between the arrival of help versus the capture of the port city.
The Japanese 25th Army continues pushing the Malaya Command further south, ever closer to Singapore. But the latest stand will take place near Kampar yet here, the defenders have the enviable position of having their guns on the heights.
The third of the Battle of Singapore series. The 11th Indian Infantry Division, operating on the west coast, as well as the 9th Indian Infantry Division, on the East, both find themselves unable to deal with a few Japanese Battalions and a few companies of light tanks. Within a week, half the Malayan peninsula is lost. Soon, Singapore will be open to direct bombing by nearby, land based enemy bombers. The order of the day is retreat.
Acting Admiral Sir Tom Phillips of the British Royal Navy, hopes to begin a campaign that will save SE Asia. If he can stop the invasion of southern Thailand and Northern Malaya, then one day, Singapore could be the starting point of retaking western possessions. Yet it’s not the invading Japanese force Phillips fears or the convoy carrying it, it’s the land based bombers in southern Indo-China.
Dr. David Stahel discusses his latest book, Retreat from Moscow, A New History of Germany’s Winter Campaign, 1941-1942, in where he takes a new line on Operation Barbarossa’s first winter.
Though the British plans to defend Singapore with the Royal Navy and Air Force never materialize, Air Marshal Brooke-Popham and GOC Percival still want the British Far East possessions to hold out as long as possible. So Operation Matador and Operation Krohcol are created. But one will not be viable and the other, will be too little, too late.
Professor Mikhal Dekel joins me to talk about her book, covering Jewish Polish refugees, as 1000 children make an incredible 13,000 mile journey from Eastern Europe to Palestine, via Tehran.
The Japanese troops push the British led forces as well as the Dutch troops around Borneo, taking coastal towns and villages along the way. But not everything will go the invader’s way, as the Dutch use their older bombers and fighters to resist. Not to mention, the US Navy makes an appearance. Still the Japanese win out. But then, both the defenders and the invaders have to content with the locals and some of them are headhunters.
After the raid on Pearl Harbor, two Japanese destroyers are sent to damage the American facilities at Midway Island. Then the invaders make for Borneo. The British and Dutch forces there have no choice but to surrender, but first, will make the Japanese earn their victory.
Broken by overwhelming numbers, Gen. Maltby and Gov. Young surrender the cause of Hong Kong. But in some ways, the battle over the island is just beginning, as Chinese Communists and Nationalists come together to harass the occupiers of China and Hong Kong. Then comes the tragic tale of the Lisbon Maru, full of Commonwealth POWs, sunk by an American sub.
As Christmas approaches, the overwhelming Japanese forces reduce the British holdings throughout Hong Kong. Still, Gen. Maltby is unwilling to give up. One counter attack after another is launched.
With the eastern half of Hong Kong Island practically lost, it’s up to the West Brigade, under Brig. John Lawson to hold the invading Japanese troops back. But Lawson will deal with the same conditions as the defeated Brig. Wallis of the East Brigade, not enough troops and overwhelming enemy forces. Still, both sides will bleed over the Wongneichong Gap.
Gen. Sakai begins his invasion of Hong Kong, but Gen. Maltby has his troops ready and his Motor Torpedo Boats, which will hopefully stop the invasion before it can begin. Still, the Japanese reach shore and so begins Japanese atrocities and the end of Hong Kong resistance.
With the Gin Drinker’s Line pierced, Gen. Maltby pulls back his men to Hong Kong Island. The Japanese will ask the Commonwealth forces to surrender, but Gov. Young and Maltby give a one word answer, no. Now Gen. Sakai prepares to invade Hong Kong with a bombardment to weaken British defenses.
As the Japanese military has been able to take the port cities of China by 1941, the British held Hong Kong is still free. But now its turn has come and Gen. Christopher Maltby and his mix of Canadian, British, Indian and Eurasians troops will try to hold out as long as possible. The Gin Drinkers Line, Maltby’s first line of defense will be tested.
London had decided that Hong Kong was to be sacrificed to the Japanese, but after Canada offered up two battalions, Churchill reversed this decision. Now, the hope was that the British Colony would hold out behind the Gin Drinker’s Line, manned by Canadians, Indians and the men from a Hong Kong Chinese Regiment. Still, the odds were going to be 4 to 1.
The marines on Wake Island are holding out, due to discipline and Japanese tactical mistakes. Yet Maj. Devereux is unaware of this and thus brings to fighting to an end. Yet the Japanese atrocities are only just beginning, against the marine and civilian POWs. As for Adm. Frank Fletcher’s task force to save Wake, that suffers too, from the equally timid Vice Adm. Pye.
Wake Island becomes the focal point of US resistance to Japanese aggression. Adm. Kimmel will send a relief force to Wake, but will it get there in time. Meanwhile, Rear Adm. Kajioka of the Imperial Japanese Navy, in command of the force that is to take Wake is reinforced by two of the carriers that led the Pearl Harbor attack. Pictured-1st Lt. John Kinney works himself into exhaustion trying to keep the marine’s remaining Wildcat fighters operational. Who will get to Wake first, the Japan...more
The Marines on Wake Island are down to four Wildcat fighters, but are determined to resist any Japanese invasion, no matter the odds. “Hammering Hank” and Maj. Putnam and their pilots score hit after hit, but the Japanese bombers and transports keep coming. Meanwhile Maj. Devereux comes up with his own surprises for the invaders. Brought to you by Ridgewallet.com/ww2
With MacArthur’s airfields still smoldering, the Japanese attack Guam and Wake Island. But the Marines on Wake, though staggered after the first strike are determined to fight on. This episode is brought to you by ridgewallet.com/ww2.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in command of all U.S. forces in The Philippines, is convinced that the Japanese will not attack until April of 1942 and plans accordingly. But as we have seen, Clark Field is ravaged and half of his B 17s are destroyed. Meanwhile, Adm. Tom Phillips of the British Royal Navy will take the warships Repulse and the Prince of Wales up, along the coast to check any Japanese landings. This episode is brought to you by www.ridgewallet.com/ww2.
As Japan launches Operation No. 1, the invasion of SE Asia, numerous transport ships head out to attack The Philippines, Malaya and Thailand. The British believe themselves prepared while the Americans offer to help as much as they can, thinking themselves safe.
Author Walter Borneman joins us to talk about his book, Brothers Down: Pearl Harbor and The Fate of the Many Brothers Aboard the USS Arizona
As the Japanese invasion fleet comes closer to Malaya, the various plans established by each side will be tested. Yet, the invaders will find that, perhaps, the gods are on their side. Meanwhile President Roosevelt addresses Congress and asks for a declaration of war against the Japanese Empire.
As Axis victories cause colonial powers to become vulnerable in the Far East, Japan decides to enter the war. With a quick strike at Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces will make for Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippines, Wake Island and Midway. All this, President Roosevelt will have to share with Congress as he tells of the death and destruction at Pearl.
Here is the first part of the first episode of Espionage, the latest podcast from Parcast. Podcast.com/espionage
With details of the Pearl Harbor attack still coming in, President Roosevelt knows he needs to inform but also calm his fellow Americans, who can only think of revenge. Japan declares war against the U.S. and Great Britain, but will FDR call for a war against Japan and Nazi Germany? What will Hitler do?
The Second attack wave comes and goes at Pearl Harbor. Now, FDR, Adm. Nimitz, Adm. Halsey and Gen. Douglas MacArthur have to face what’s coming next, the invasion of SE Asia.
The Americans with Canadian help attempt to drive away or capture the Japanese troops stationed on Attu and Kiska. Yet the mysterious Battle of the Pips will aid the Japanese.
The Americans continue to bomb Kiska, but the Japanese troops are not leaving. Worse, the Imperial Japanese High Command has sent reinforcements. So the US 7th Division from California, along with parts of the 13th Canadian Infantry Brigade have been chosen to land on Attu, to capture the enemy or push them into the sea.
As the Japanese grab a second Aleutian Island, the US military, though denying the Japanese advance, makes plans to remove them. The result-The Kiska Blitz.
Adm. Yamamoto wants to occupy the Midway Islands, but first needs to confuse his opponent Adm. Chester Nimitz with a diversionary attack on the Aleutian Islands. The attack on Midway does not go according to plan, but neither does the defense of Dutch Harbor, Attu or Kiska.
Shot Down covers the events leading up to and after the crew of the B 17 Susan Ruth is shot down over the French/Belgium border on February 8, 1944. Of the ten man crew, some died, some ended up in prison camps, and some evaded capture. As for Pilot Howard Snyder, find out how he evaded capture from the Gestapo for 7 long months.
As the carrier USS Enterprise is late for its return to Pearl Harbor, Adm. Bull Halsey sends on ahead Scouting and Bombing squadron 6. The 18 Douglas Dauntless SBDs are about to fly into the tragedy that is the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Also Lt. Gen. Walter Short, in overall command, realizes the unthinkable has happened. And Chaplin Lt. Howell M. Forgy of the USS New Orleans is about to utter his famous line, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.
Dr. Jonathan Fennell discusses the big battles and issues such as morale, doctrine and social change in his latest book: Fighting the People’s War: The British and Commonwealth Armies and The Second World War
As the Japanese bombs and bullets begin to destroy American equipment and lives, the mostly young men are about to find out what they’re made of. This episode focuses on the American’s response at Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station, the Marines’ Mooring Mast Field at Ewa and Bellows Field.
This episode is a crossover from The Cold War Podcast that I co-host with Cameron Reilly. With us is historian Andrew Roberts as we discuss his new book, Churchill-Walking with Destiny.
Back with us is Flint Whitlock as we discuss his book Depths of Courage:American Submariners at War with Japan, 1941-1945. With America’s surface fleet and air arm crippled after Pearl Harbor, the few subs in the Pacific were tasked with keeping the Japanese Navy at bay.
Laszlo Montgomery of The China History Podcast joins me to discuss Claire Chennault and the Flying Tigers. Just after the devastation of Pearl Harbor, the AVG are the only Americans taking the fight to the Japanese Empire.
Please checkout The Parcast Network’s latest hit: Assassinations. One death can change the world. Assassinations recounts history’s most dramatic deaths. Through little-known facts, “what-ifs?” and examining the assassin’s motives, they explore how one murder can alter the course of history. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/assassinations/id1441176049?mt=2
With the Allies being held up in southern Italy by The Gustav Line, near the end of 1943, Gen. Mark Clark decides to do an end run. The force of British and American troops, led by Gen. John Lucas, will land just south of Rome. However, the Allies have few facts to go on and will be caught off guard by the number of troops Field Marshal Albert Kesselring will throw at the tiny beach head at Anzio.
The 2nd Air Wave comes at Pearl Harbor to finish what the First Wave started. Yet, their target selection will be poor. Meanwhile, the Americans are as ready as they can be and as such, the invaders will suffer more than double the losses from the first attack. Still, the battleships Nevada and Pennsylvania will be heavily targeted. Pictured are the Cassin, Downes and in the rear, the flag ship Pennsylvania.
While the official government story has always been that no Allied POWs were held in German concentration camps, 168 Allied airmen were beaten, experimented on, and otherwise mistreated in Buchenwald, where the famous rocket scientist Wernher von Braun obtained slave labor for his V-2 factory, the Mittelwerk. Here is the story of one of those airmen, Frederic Martini.
This episode covers the first attack wave of Japanese aircraft, from the Japanese point of view. Battleship Row is hit, but Fuchida’s plan is far from perfect. Then came the high level bombers, which inflicted damage on every battleship, sinking 3 of them.
The first air wave of attacking Japanese warplanes reaches Oahu, on their way to Pearl Harbor. But before they reach Battleship Row, several civilian planes offer the excited pilots a chance to score their first kills. The locals and US Military personnel on the ground can’t believe their eyes. They assume, it’s the most life like war game ever put on by the Army and Navy Brass.
Writer Robin Hutton talks about her latest book which tells of the animals who contributed to the Allied effort of WWII. There’s Chips, who served as a sentry dog for the Roosevelt-Churchill conference; Ding, a paradog whose plane was hit by enemy fire on D-Day, ended up in a tree, and once on the ground still saved lives. G.I. Joe, who flew 20 miles in 20 minutes and stopped the planes on the tarmac from bombing a town that had just been taken over by allied forces, saving the lives of ov...more
In the predawn darkness, the Japanese Strike Force has prepared to launch its first wave of bombers and fighters. Meanwhile, the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor sleeps. However, a strange looking submarine is spotted and fired upon near the entrance to Pearl, by the USS Ward. Word of this gets back to Adm. Husband Kimmel, who then has to decide how to react.
Writer Mary Jo McConahay comes on the show to discuss her latest book, The Tango War: The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds and Riches of Latin America during WWII. We discuss Latin America’s involvement in WWII, which includes Mexican Oil, Brazilian Rubber, The Smoking Cobras and Mickey Mouse.
On December 7, 1941, Ambassador Nomura and Special Envoy Kurusu are about to give Secretary of State Hull and FDR Japan’s response to the Hull Note. But really, it’s a declaration of war. That is, until the Japanese Military changes the wording. All of America will find out about the attack on Pearl Harbor before the Japanese representatives do. Pictured is Nomura, Hull and Kurusu.
Multiple Japanese Assault Fleets are on the move, but with so much incoming information, President Roosevelt and his cabinet do not pick up on the threat to Pearl Harbor. Besides, the military men advising FDR still can not imagine the smaller nation starting an all out war.
Attacked on 30 July 1945, the heavy cruiser was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, and sank in 12 minutes. However, the two authors seek nothing short than to tell the entire story and return the USS indianpolis to its rightful place as the proud and courageous flagship of the US 5th Fleet during WWII.
Emperor Hirohito reluctantly gives his approval for the attack on Pearl Harbor. As Tojo said, “With war, if you don’t try it, you can’t know how it will turn out.”
Through MAGIC, the US’s ability to read Japan’s diplomatic messages, FDR learns of a final deadline and a coming Japanese attack. Pictured are Ambassador Nomura and special representative Kurusu.
Tokyo and Washington seem to be making progress in their peace talks. And yet, the Japanese 1st Air Fleet departs for its attack on Pearl Harbor.
Prince Konoye’s government collapses as Gen. Tojo demands war with the U.S. Emperor Hirohito then orders Tojo to form his own government, hoping this will cause the Japanese Army to be more cautious. Meanwhile the alerts sent to Pearl Harbor by Washington remain vague.
Dr. Vinogradova comes back to the show to discuss her latest book, Defending the Motherland: The Soviet Women Who Fought Hiter’s Aces. This episode’s sponsor: parcast.com/gone
As the various issues with attacking Pearl Harbor are overcome, the Japanese Military evades telling the truth to Emperor Hirohito and PM Konoye. And they, in learn, deceive President Roosevelt’s cabinet. Please support the show by checking out our sponson, mackweldon.com. Use “worldwar” promo code at checkout to say 20% off your first order.
Washington and Tokyo continue their diplomatic dance but neither side is willing to give in. The Americans have broken the Japanese Diplomatic cypher codes, but so have the Japanese, of American Diplomatic codes. Then the Japanese Army finishes occupying the rest of French Indo-China. Of FDR’s many responses, one is to reactivate Douglas MacArthur and send him to the Philippines.
With Washington and Tokyo trying to bend the other to its will, President Roosevelt seeks to strangle Japan’s aggression in China with a trade blockade while Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto begins to plan his attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. War seems imminent, but both sides still hope for peace through negotiations, on their own terms.
Having chased Chiang Kai-Shek back to Chongqing, the Japanese Empire is still unable to get him to surrender. So, on to Chongqing it is, but events in Europe: The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland and then the war in the West will stymie one Japanese government after another. Which leaves Japan to head towards SE Asia and in conflict with the United States, setting up the attack on Pearl Harbor.
After the clash at the Marco Polo bridge, the Japanese Military decides to occupy northern China. Defying them are the forces of Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong, as they come to an understanding and put on hold their civil war. After the episode I discuss the film Dunkirk and the events of the Alt Right in Charlottesville, VA.