Professor Gary Sheffield, one of Britain’s foremost experts on WWI, returns to offer insightful analysis of the end of WWI. Mark and Professor Sheffield discuss America’s participation in the Great War, the conclusion of hostilities, the Armistice of 11 November 1918 and the Versailles Treaty. Mark draws from Professor Sheffield’s new release of “The First World War,” published in association with the Imperial War Museum, as well as his earlier work, “Forgotten Victory.”
Mark goes back to Good Friday April 1865 and President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre in Washington with Dorothea Barstow, the curator of the Dr. Samuel Mudd House and Museum. Later that night, assassin John Wilkes Booth, on the run and in desperate need of medical attention for his broken leg, stopped at the home of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd in Southern Maryland. Mark visits the home and grounds, now a museum, with Barstow to learn about the conspiracy, Booth and Dr. Mudd.
Photo: Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Historical Marker
Dr. Samuel Mudd
Professor Gary Sheffield, one of Britain’s foremost experts on WWI, discusses his new edition book The First World War, published in association with the Imperial War Museum. Mark and Professor Sheffield review the War up until the end and American involvement in 1918. They cover the major events in the great cataclysm as well as some lesser known, yet important and intriguing aspects of the war.
Photo: Marshal Joseph Joffre, French Commander-in-Chief
On this week’s podcast, I take a look at some events that happened in autumn during WWII and the Civil War, as well as WWI and the American Revolution. I discuss the 1918 Meuse-Argonne offensive by the America Expeditionary Forces and the French army. Launched against the Germans on the Western Front, this final campaign led to the Armistice. I also look at the momentous events that took place at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. Again, with the aid of the French, this battle proved to be the final military blow for the British in the American war for independence.
Photo: By John Singleton Copley – First Foot Guards, Public Domain
Mark revisits his episode from last October with historian Kevin Hymel, who returns for the second of a two-part discussion of General George S. Patton. They cover his post-war governance in Germany and the actual story of his fatal accident and death. This is Part II of a two-part episode.
Historian Jack Mountcastle returns to discuss the momentous battle of Antietam in September 1862. It was the single bloodiest day of warfare in American history. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, emboldened by the victory at Second Manassas in August 1862, had crossed into Maryland. Near the little town of Sharpsburg, they clashed with the Union Army of the Potomac under George B. McClellan. Somehow Lee’s battle plans fell into Union hands. Would that make a difference?
Image: The Battle of Antietam, by Kurz & Allison (1878), depicting the scene of action at Burnside’s Bridge
Mark speaks with best-selling author, Lynn Vincent, and National Geographic Historian, Sara Vladic, about their new book, Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man.
Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis was sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she was struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sunk within minutes. Some 300 men went down with the ship. Nearly 900 made it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battled injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 survived.
For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated—and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewitnesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own.
Published by Simon & Schuster, Indianapolis relates individual stories of the sailors, their ordeal in shark-infested Pacific waters awaiting rescue, the aftermath and media coverage, as well as the families of the lost and efforts to exonerate the captain after his court martial.
Listen to veterans of the USS Indianapolis talk about their experiences in this trailer for Indianapolis.
Mark has a conversation with Vince Dooley about his book, The Legion’s Fighting Bulldog: The Civil War Correspondence of William Gaston Delony. Through the letters of Delony and his wife Rosa, we get human insights into the struggles of the war both on the battlefield and at the home front.
Coach Dooley is an avid student of history, and well-known for his legendary career as head football coach at the University of Georgia for 25 years. Vince won Six SEC titles and the National Championship in 1980 and served as Athletic Director until 2004.
William G. Delony raised a cavalry company in Athens, Georgia, in the summer of 1861, and was commissioned Captain of Company C of the Cavalry Battalion, Cobb Legion. He was later promoted to command the battalion and survived a serious wound on his face when slashed by a sabre at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863). Returning to duty, he was wounded in a leg and captured at a skirmish at Jack’s Shop, Virginia. He died in a hospital in Washington, D.C., in Oct. 1863. – from Find A Grave
Photo: Delony’s gravestone at Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens, Georgia. Credit: Michael Dover
Mark’s guest is Steve Bourque, whose new book: Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France takes on a subject often ignored in historical accounts.
Bourque explores the effects of Allied air attacks on French towns and infrastructure in 1944 as part of the D-Day Invasion and war with Nazi Germany. In discussing the book, they examine the different operations, the destruction of military and civilian targets and casualties as well as the results and aftermath of the bombings.
About Steve Bourque
Stephen A. Bourque is Professor Emeritus of military history at the School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He left the US Army in 1992 after twenty years enlisted and commissioned service, with duty stations in the U.S., Germany, and the Middle East. Dr. Bourque has taught at several colleges and universities including Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, California State University-Northridge, the University of Kansas, and the Command and General Staff College.
His publications including Jayhawk! The VII Corps in the 1991 Persian Gulf War (2002), The Road to Safwan (2007), and Soldiers’ Lives: The Post-Cold War Era (2008) and, most recently book Beyond the Beach, the Allied War Against France (2018). Currently, he is writing a history of the Northwest Europe Campaign as experienced by a senior officer who began the war as a corps chief of staff and ended it as an infantry regimental commander.
General Jack Mountcastle joins Mark to discuss the Battle of Second Manassas, the major Confederate victory in August 1862 that gave Lee the thrust to invade Maryland that September. Jack also details the extensive tour he leads for Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours that covers Manassas as well as the other key events in the Eastern theatre. We explore the strategies, leaders on both sides and specific actions in the battle and leading up to the fight. It’s the closest thing to going to the battlefield itself.
General James Longstreet, CSA