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Leadership: Band of Brothers

Historian Chris Anderson joins Mark to discuss leadership and the company that became known as the Band of Brothers, Easy Company of the 101st Airborne in WWII. As an expert and interviewer of that close-knit group of veterans, Chris highlights Major Dick Winters, their commander.

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Civil War Medicine II

Dr. Kenneth Rettig joins Mark again to discuss medicine during the Civil War. They look into a comparison of medical techniques, remedies and emergency treatments then and now in the modern military. Check out an earlier episode, “Civil War Medicine: Practices Then and Now,” for a deeper dive into a subject that has fascinated historians...

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Touring Civil War New Orleans

Nic Clark of Civil War Tours New Orleans joins Mark to discuss the intriguing people and places guests visit on his guided tours about the Civil War. From the French Quarter to the famous cemeteries, we see how guests can experience history in New Orleans as he gives them a “great way to see the...

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Vicksburg Monuments: The Art of Commemoration

General Parker Hills joins Mark to discuss the monuments at the Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi. General Hills’ book, Art of Commemoration, catalogues and details the magnificent sculpture, architecture, the artists and interpretations that memorialize this incredible Park. Excerpt from the Introduction to Art of Commemoration Soon after Vicksburg National Military Park was established...

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Civil War Medicine: Practices Then and Now

Historians have been fascinated by medical practices during the Civil War. Dr. Ken Rettig discusses the methods used by army surgeons and how they have involved in later years. From bullet wounds and amputations to respiratory diseases they compare the emergency procedures in the field and in hospitals. This is a prelude to their further...

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Civil War: New Orleans Prepares

New Orleans during the Civil War is Mark’s topic. In 1861, the City of New Orleans prepared for an imminent invasion by Union forces. As crisis loomed, leadership, politics and military shortcomings became evident. A bright spot is the Confederate victory at Manassas in Virginia, where native-son P.G.T. Beauregard leads the army and the Louisiana...

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Winter Events in History

Mark reviews some significant events that occurred at during winter in history. We go from the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century to Europe’s worst winter in history in 1940. The Civil War was brewing as the states of the Deep South seceded to form the Confederacy in 1861 and the last battle of the...

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Cold War In The Middle East

Cold War studies often focus on events in Europe. However, the Cold War quietly and sometimes loudly raged in the Middle East. Numerous political, religious and ethnic factions struggled for power while the U.S. and the Soviet Union maneuvered to exert influence and control in the region—whether behind the scenes or overtly. This week on...

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Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Joel Bius’s new book, Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em: The Rise and Fall of the Military Cigarette Ration, is a treatise on the relationship between the American Military-Industrial complex and the cigarette. Mark and Joel discuss the story of how the cigarette and the soldier relationship evolved, developed and devolved during the twentieth century—and...

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Christmas In Wartime

Christmas during wartime, just as in life, shines with a different glow than that in more peaceful years. Luxuries are often non-existent and even basics are scarce but soldiers and civilians find ways to celebrate. This week on History with Mark Bielski, I look at the holidays in difficult times from the crowning of William...

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Jefferson Davis: His Final Days and Passing in New Orleans

Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, died in New Orleans in December 1889. Mark talks with Mrs. Gladys LeBreton, whose grandfather was a friend of Davis’. As a child, Mrs. LeBreton’s mother lived in the home where Davis stayed and was there when he passed away. Mrs. LeBreton relates the story of his final days. Feature photo:...

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The Lost Battalion of WWI

Mark’s guest is Robert J. Laplander who wrote the book, Finding the Lost Battalion: Beyond the Rumors, Myths and Legends of America’s Famous WWI Epic. They discuss the deep research Laplander did in order to tell the story of the soldiers and their commander, Charles Whittlesey and their grueling ordeal by fire in the Argonne...

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Lewis & Clark

Image: Statue of Sacajawea in Portland, OR We reprise the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Historian Hal Stearns. Recorded at Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon, it gives a detailed narrative overview of that incredible explorative journey. But first Mark responds to a comment from a listener about General George B. McClellan; then as...

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November Events in History

We review some significant November events in history from WWI to the American Revolution as well as the American Civil War and WWII. We include the First Battle of Ypres in 1914 and the 1918 Armistice that ended the bloodshed of WWI as well as the last action of the Civil War with the surrender...

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WWI with Gary Sheffield – Part II

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...

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Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House

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...

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WWI with Gary Sheffield – Part I

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...

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Autumn Events in History

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...

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General George S. Patton Part II: Post WWII

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. Listen to General Georges S....

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Antietam with Historian Jack Mountcastle

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...

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USS Indianapolis

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...

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The Legion’s Fighting Bulldog with Vince Dooley

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...

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Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France

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,...

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Battle of Second Manassas

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...

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August History Happenings and Fall Preview

This week Mark takes a look at some events that happening during the month of August in WWII and the Civil War, including the Siege of Leningrad, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the infamous Quantrill’s Raiders and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raid on Memphis. He also previews upcoming fall episodes that cover Antietam, the Allied Bombing of...

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