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History Happy Hour

WWII (8)

Episode 98:  HHH Special: Normandy Master Class

Hosts Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer exploring the beaches and battlefields of Normandy - in person

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Something different this week on HHH. Chris and Rick have spent the week traveling the D-Day beaches with fellow Stephen Ambrose Tour historians and a small group of guests. On several evenings there were extended conversations about D- Day issues and questions that arose from our travels. This week's show contains excerpts from those conversations. It's a deep dive into some esoteric D-Day questions from Bayeux, France, with observations from Chris and Rick as well as fellow historian/guides Hugh Buchanan and Matt Broggie. Sunday at 4 PM on History Happy Hour, where history is always on tap. Hugh McDonald [...] more

Encore Episode: The Life and Death of a Nazi Fugitive

Guest: Philippe Sands, author, The Ratline

Sunday, April 3, 2022

This week on History Happy Hour: A tale of a high ranking Nazi, his family, mass murder, love, cold war espionage, a mysterious death in the Vatican - and "the Ratline" the Nazi escape route to Peron's Argentina. In this encore episode, Host Historians Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer welcome Philippe Sands, author of: The Ratline: The Exalted Life and Mysterious Death of a Nazi Fugitive . Sands digs into the life of Baron Otto von Wächter, a lawyer, husband, and father, who was also a senior SS officer and war criminal, indicted for the murder of more than [...] more

Episode 96:   War in the Ukraine: History Repeats?

Guests:  Sean McMeekin, author, Stalin's war, David Murphy, author The Winter War

Sunday, March 20, 2022

The ongoing war in Ukraine is the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II, and brings to mind many striking parallels with the events of 1939-1945: Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland, the strategic importance of Ukraine itself and the desperate plight of refugees. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been compared to Stalin and Hitler, while Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky’s stirring words have brought comparisons to Winston Churchill. This week on History Happy Hour, Chris and Rick welcome three distinguished historians (and HHH Alums) to discuss what insights WWII can offer us about the [...] more

Episode 94: The Spy Hotel

Guest: Stephen Duffy, Security Manager, St. Ermin's Hotel

Sunday, March 6, 2022

This week on History Happy Hour: It’s been called “London’s House of Spies,” and suffice it to say, that for much of the twentieth century, St. Ermin’s hotel was at the epicenter of British intelligence efforts through two world wars and the subsequent Cold War. Used by various intelligence agencies during World War II, the top floor became the home of the Secret Intelligence Service’s Section D, while one floor below, the Statistical Research Department-the precursor to the Special Operations Executive-got its start. Later, at the height of the Cold War, traitors from the infamous Cambridge Five [...] more
book cover of the ambassador

Episode 69: Joseph Kennedy

Susan Ronald, author, The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James 1938-1940

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The controversial appointment of Joseph P. Kennedy as US Ambassador to Great Britain on the eve of WWII. Author Susan Ronald argues within two years of his appointment, the legendary Boston tycoon had revealed himself to be a Fascist sympathizer and raging antisemite who misrepresented American foreign policy and disobeyed direct orders from FDR. Host historians Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer welcome Susan Ronald , author of “The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James’s, 1938-1940.” An unflattering appraisal of the legendary Kennedy patriarch's diplomatic star-turn at the start of WWII, this Sunday at 4PM ET [...] more
book cover of Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown

Episode 72: Japanese-American GI’s in WWII – The 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Daniel James Brown, author of Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The remarkable patriotism of Japanese American soldiers during WWII. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans had to navigate the complexity of their country being attacked by their ancestral home, virulent racism, and the horror of internment. Despite unimaginable injustice, many young Japanese American men still volunteered to fight for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most decorated unit (for its size and length of service)in US history. Host-historians Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer welcome Daniel James Brown , author of “Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II. ” [...] more
Cover of Blossoms from the Sky

Episode 78:  Japanese Kamikaze Rocket Pilots

Guest: Dan King, author of Blossoms From the Sky: Firsthand Accounts from Kamikaze Pilots Who Volunteered to Fly the Ohka Baka Bomb

Sunday, October 10, 2021

A unique and fascinating glimpse into the experiences of Kamikaze pilots. Host-historians Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer welcome back author Dan King, a fluent Japanese speaker who has interviewed more than 100 Japanese WWII veterans to gain insight into the war from their point of view. He’ll talk about his new book, Blossoms From the Sky: Firsthand Accounts from Kamikaze Pilots Who Volunteered to Fly the Ohka Baka Bomb . Dan had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with men who trained to fly rocket planes into the American fleet. Why were they ready to give their lives, and [...] more

Episode 79:  The Battle for Brest

Guest: Joe Balkoski, author of Beachhead to Brittany: The 29th Infantry Division at Brest

Sunday, October 17, 2021

After the successful D-Day landings, people looked forward to the rapid liberation of occupied Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower knew, however, that the liberation would never succeed without seizing a port that would accept the ships bringing the estimated 26,000 tons of supplies the allied armies consumed every day. One such port was Brest, defended by some 40,000 Germans soldiers determined to deny Eisenhower this vital prize. In August 1944, the war-weary GIs of the VIII Corps were given the task of prying the Germans out. Host Historians Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer discuss this vital, but forgotten, battle [...] more
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