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Seven at Santa Cruz

Mark’s guest is Ted Edwards, whose new book, Seven at Santa Cruz, is a riveting biography of WWII pilot, Stanley “Swede” Vejtasa. It is an up-close look at the battles of Santa Cruz and Coral Sea and how Vejtasa became a naval hero fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. He flew from aircraft carriers Yorktown...

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July History: WWII and Civil War

Some cursory but analytical looks at a few key July historical events. We discuss WWII, including the Einsatzgruppen SS mission in the Soviet Union, as well as the Civil War battle of First Manassas (Bull Run). We also take a look on the lighter side—how Louisiana took an innovation from the 1930’s and raised it...

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Touring Civil War New Orleans

Nic Clark of Civil War Tours New Orleans, feels that he gives guests a “great way to see the city.”  We 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.

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Trench Dogs

An interview with Ian Densford, artist, and animator, who has just published his graphic novel, Trench Dogs. A book that draws its inspiration from a collection of first-hand accounts from WW1. More information about Trench Dogs Inspired from assorted first-hand accounts, this fictional story of World War I is an anthropomorphic retelling of that global...

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The Civil War: Early July 1863

A quick look at the two major Civil War events that took place in early July 155 years ago and some characters who played key roles. The man who initiated the battle of Gettysburg, one of the most controversial generals who took part in it and the General who could have saved Vicksburg for the...

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Leadership: The Essential Qualities Part II

Prof. Harry Laver returns to continue the discussion on the qualities of Leadership and his book edited with Jeffrey J. Matthews, The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell.

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Leadership: The Essential Qualities

Professor Harry Laver joins Mark to discuss the qualities of Leadership and his book edited with Jeffrey J. Matthews, The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell.

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Iraq: Ancient Country, Modern Conflicts

Iraq: from ancient to modern times. Kate Tietzen joins Mark to discuss the conflicts, sometime resolutions and the evolution of the country. Her in-country research delves into the many facets of the Iraqi people, the religious factions and the nation’s friends, foes and allies.

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The D-Day Invasion-The Beach Landings

As a commemoration of the 74th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, Mark continues with a discussion of Operation Overlord in June 1944, especially the Omaha Beach landings and actions at Vierville Draw on D-Day.

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D-Day Invasion: Preparation and Deception

As a commemoration of the 74th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, Mark discusses Operation Overlord, the planning of the D-Day invasion, and the deception operations. This podcast includes excerpts from Dr. Stephen Ambrose’s lectures on WWII. You will also want to listen to my two-part interview with D-Day veteran, Mort Sheffloe (July 12 and 26,...

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The Ghost Army of WWII with Rick Beyer

In this episode of History With Mark Bielski, Rick Beyer discusses the Ghost Army operations in WWII and the upcoming tour he will be leading this September to experience and study their creative deceptions during the war.

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May Historical Events: Civil War

In this episode, Mark takes a look at some significant events that took place in May from the Civil War era, even considering these events in light of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous (yet unrelated) quote “What potent blood hath modest May” which Mark will show is an applicable description when considering the outcome of some...

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Medicine in the Civil War

Dr. Ken Rettig and Mark discuss medical practices during the Civil War. From bullet wounds and amputations to respiratory diseases they explore how army surgeons treated patients during that period. An excerpt from the medical report after Antietam: Gross misrepresentations of the conduct of medical officers have been made and scattered broadcast over the country,...

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Predicting Pearl Harbor

Ron Drez discusses his latest book, Predicting Pearl Harbor: Billy Mitchell and the Path to War. Gen. Billy Mitchell recognized the signs and foresaw the eventual showdown between the two nations―eighteen years before the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. Yet his predictions were dismissed out of hand. From Commodore Matthew Perry’s 1853 voyage into Japanese waters...

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Civil War: The Fall of New Orleans

Mark discusses the Union bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip by David Dixon Porter’s mortar boats. The rest of the Union fleet under David Farragut is able to steam past the forts. After a duel with the few effective Confederate gunboats in action, they reach New Orleans and demand the city’s surrender on April...

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April Historical Events: Civil War and WWII

Mark takes a look at some significant events that took place in April during the Civil War and WWII. “April is the cruelest month” according to T.S. Eliot, but how accurate is that historically? You decide. Here are some major happenings and a few occurrences that are not so well known: Fort Sumter, Shiloh, Eel...

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Sultana Disaster: Part II

Author Sally M. Walker joins Mark to discuss the tragic disaster of the explosion and sinking of the Sultana in 1865. It was America’s greatest maritime disaster that occurred on the Mississippi River at the end of the Civil War—but so few people know about it. Her book, Sinking the Sultana, tells the intriguing story.

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The Lincoln Assassination and the Sultana Disaster

Mark and Professor Gerry Prokopowicz wrap up last week’s Lincoln discussion with some points about the assassination in April 1865. Mark gives background and the basic story of the Sultana tragedy, America’s greatest maritime disaster that occurred that same month.

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Civil War and Abraham Lincoln: Part I

Mark talks with Professor Gerald J. Prokopowicz about Abraham Lincoln, his youth, early career, presidency and the Civil War. Professor Prokopowicz addresses some of the popular questions readers ask about the sixteenth president as well as some that may be more obscure.

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Patton and the Third Army at Fort Driant

Mark talks with historian Kevin Hymel about General Patton and the Third Army at Fort Driant. After the historic breakout in Normandy and their rapid advance through northern France, the Third Army faced an unexpected obstacle at Fort Driant on the Maginot Line. A seasoned garrison of Wehrmacht troops put up a staunch resistance. Mark...

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Band of Brothers: Leadership of the 101st Airborne Division

Historian Chris Anderson joins Mark to discuss leadership in the Second World War at various levels. As an expert on Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, Chris highlights Major Dick Winters of Band of Brothers renown.

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Civil War New Orleans

Mark talks about New Orleans during the Civil War. General Mansfield Lovell assumes military command of New Orleans and begins to shore up the defenses. He affirms that the threat will come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, despite Richmond’s insistence that he transfer men and boats north. Construction begins on two super CSA gunboats,...

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Hood’s Texas Brigade

Mark and guest Susannah J. Ural, a professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and co-director of the University’s Dale Center for the Study of War and Society, discuss her recent book, Hood’s Texas Brigade: The Soldiers and Families of the Confederacy’s Most Celebrated Unit.

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The Band of Brothers: George Luz and Easy Company

In this episode, guest George Luz, Jr. talks about his father’s experiences in WWII as a soldier in Easy Company, the Band of Brothers. They discuss the training, toil, camaraderie and sacrifices of the men in E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

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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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