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Society & Culture
History

When Diplomacy Fails Podcast

Updated 1 day ago

Society & Culture
History
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A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

Read more

A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

iTunes Ratings

493 Ratings
Average Ratings
423
39
13
11
7

A great podcast for true history fans

By James G Barnard - Jan 09 2020
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Zack has a genuine love for history which comes through in the podcast. He is sincere and unassuming and passionate in his love for the subject. He really has a strong grasp of 17th-century diplomacy and politics, and since I’m a history teacher, his podcast has been a goldmine in my own research into the era.

Top tier

By matt_h84 - Jan 22 2019
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This is one of the most well researched and entertaining podcasts out there

iTunes Ratings

493 Ratings
Average Ratings
423
39
13
11
7

A great podcast for true history fans

By James G Barnard - Jan 09 2020
Read more
Zack has a genuine love for history which comes through in the podcast. He is sincere and unassuming and passionate in his love for the subject. He really has a strong grasp of 17th-century diplomacy and politics, and since I’m a history teacher, his podcast has been a goldmine in my own research into the era.

Top tier

By matt_h84 - Jan 22 2019
Read more
This is one of the most well researched and entertaining podcasts out there
Cover image of When Diplomacy Fails Podcast

When Diplomacy Fails Podcast

Latest release on Jan 22, 2020

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A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

Rank #1: Versailles #1: OTD 11 Nov 2018 - To The Last Man

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It's time.


It's time at long last to unleash this project, to reveal the hidden complexities, the terrible truths, the dire dangers, the fascinating characters and the inspiring anecdotes of the period in history so often maligned and misunderstood, but so critically important to our world. It's time to go to 11th November 1918, where the guns fell silent at long last, and the birds could finally be heard to sing.


******

The Versailles Anniversary Project is possible because of your support and interest - make sure to spread the word, engage with the debate, and look at the different ways you can help this project succeed!

Visit the homeland for this new project: 

http://www.wdfpodcast.com/vap/

Support the podcast financially: 

https://www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails

Follow WDF on Twitter! 

https://twitter.com/wdfpodcast

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 11 2018

22mins

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Rank #2: WDF 28.0: The Second Anglo-Dutch War I

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The drought is over, the dust is settling and a new war is on the horizon. Who are we? We are When Diplomacy Fails, and we are back to our roots looking at the series of wars and events which occurred during the era of Louis XIV - the Sun King. In this episode we intro you all to the first of our twelve parter (I know!) on the Second Anglo-Dutch War, a critical war for the history of the era in its own right, and one which sets us up for so much of what's to come, so let's begin, in a makeshift room on some dingy island (and I'm not talking about my desk!). Thankssssssss!
Remember history friends, you can help this podcast and ensure that this is where history thrives! Support us by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails
Follow me on Twitter @wdfpodcast
And visit our official website www.wdfpodcast.com For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 31 2016

38mins

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Rank #3: WDF Rem* 13: The Boer War I

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The Boer War was a pivotal colonial war fought by Britain's Imperial reserves far away in South Africa against the formerly independent Boer Republics. Here we begin our coverage with some background. By and large it seemed London was content to leave the Boers to themselves. With the discovery of precious materials though, their lives would never be the same. Imperial interest soon evolved into full-scale war. Thanksss!
Remember also history friends, to make sure that you BEFIT! Visit our website www.wdfpodcast.com
Follow us on Twitter @wdfpodcast
Find us on Patreon by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 15 2017

32mins

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Rank #4: WDF Rem* 1: The Franco-Prussian War I

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Here we are! The first remastered episode of our special and the official beginning of a very exciting project from WDF. Now that we're finally here I can shut up about it all, and introduce you back into the world which we were last a part of...5 years ago. Thankssss for making all of this possible history friends, and remember to support us at WDF is you are as excited as I am to begin!
Remember also history friends, to make sure that you BEFIT! Visit our website www.wdfpodcast.com
Follow us on Twitter @wdfpodcast and
find us on Patreon by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 21 2017

33mins

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Rank #5: WDF Rem* 14: The War of 1812 I

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How did Britain and the US come to fight each other in 1812, and what can the war tell us about Anglo-American relations up to that point? The trade disputes and impressment controversies were heady, but surely calmer heads would prevail? Hint, they do not! Thanksss for joining me as we revisit one of history's forgotten wars!
Remember also history friends, to make sure that you BEFIT! Visit our website www.wdfpodcast.com
Follow us on Twitter @wdfpodcast
Find us on Patreon by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 17 2017

32mins

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Rank #6: Versailles #7: George Clemenceau Profile Part 2/2

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"From the blind confusion of factional strife the Frenchman has emerged in this hour all of a piece throughout, stronger, more resolute, silent, smiling, his eyes bright with an invincible fire which affirms that the legend of France shall not fail…It is in that mysterious hour when something comes to birth in us which burns out the dross and clears the way for the casting of a metal which neither steel nor diamond can scratch. And when, some day, after superhuman efforts, all these souls, fatigued with heroism, meet again under the vast blue vault of a regenerated fatherland, it must be that of so many hearts which were sundered a soul of France will forge itself, and the discords which are a condition of life will dissolve, fast fused in a bond of solidarity so closely knit that nothing will have power to shatter it."


These were the words which Georges Clemenceau used upon learning of the outbreak of the war. The war would cleanse France of its lethargy, provide it with an opportunity to redeem its past loss, and of course, provide an even more important opportunity to inflict a defeat upon Germany, and restore the rightful order of things. Nobody that marched to war in 1914 could have imagined the kind of losses which awaited their nation, and France was no exception. Her people quickly learned their lessons the hard way. In the month of August 1914 alone, 75,000 Frenchmen died. On the bloodiest day of the war for France, the 23rd August 1914, 27,000 men lay dead by the end of it.


With losses like these, George Clemenceau quickly turned his attention to that critical question - why was the war so costly, and who was sabotaging France's successful realisation of its aims? It was above his imagination to think that actually, such casualties were the result not of sabotage or anyone's fault necessarily, and were instead the predicable consequences of a French high command which preferred old tactics like charging straight at the enemy - the cult of the offensive - while the soldiery were decked out in the finest clothing and fanciest accessories. France's old world was shattered after successive years in this meat grinder, but Clemenceau remained somewhat aloof from it all.


A heavy critic of the government's method of fighting the war, Clemenceau found his paper banned and his friends no longer talking to him. Clemenceau became more shrill and less able to find some solution to the carnage, but in its hour of need, France relied on this formidable 76 year old once more. Against so many odds, this veteran statesman was at the helm of France again, and he had a strong message for those that would listen - not one more step back. Even if it took another August 1914 of casualties, Clemenceau was resolute in his determination not to give in to the German war effort. 1918 would test him to his limits, but at no point did the elder statesman ever imagine that making peace, would be just as difficult as winning the war

*********

The Versailles Anniversary Project is possible because of your support and interest - make sure to spread the word, engage with the debate, and look at the different ways you can help this project succeed!

->Visit the homeland for this new project!

->Become a delegate and play the Delegation Game for just $6 a month!

->Support the podcast financially and access ad free episodes with transcripts from just $2 a month! 

->Follow WDF on Twitter! 

->Join the Facebook group!

->Subscribe on... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 24 2018

49mins

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Rank #7: D-Day - Sand and Steel w/ Peter Caddick-Adams

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75 Years ago, our ancestors made a brave step towards the liberation of France from the most terrible of tyranny. Now, with the considerable help of Dr Peter Caddick-Adams, historian, journalist, author, reservist and more, I delve into this event, using the recently released book Sand and Steel - a New History of D-Day  by the author as my guide. We get into so much detail here, and a huge thanksss must go out to Peter for being so swell and coming onto the show - I had a ball talking with him!


To get Peter's book click on the link here OR enter our competition by sharing the relevant status on Twitter or Facebook...or both! The winner will get a signed copy of Peter's whopper book sent directly to their door, so don't delay! Competition ends Monday 10th June at 12 noon GMT. Thanksss!

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Jun 06 2019

1hr 25mins

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Rank #8: WDF Rem*: WDF THINKS// Honour and Foreign Policy

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Here at WDF we've encountered the concept of national honour a great deal over the last five years. In many ways you could argue that I never shut up about it, and you'd be right, but I make no apologies. This serves as a round up of the concept, and an indication of where I hope to direct my PhD in history in the future if funding comes through. A reminder that the book I've written on the subject can be bought in signed copy format from me at http://www.wdfpodcast.com/shop/ and of course through Amazon
Remember also history friends, to make sure that you BEFIT! Visit our website www.wdfpodcast.com
Follow us on Twitter @wdfpodcast
Find us on Patreon by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 12 2017

26mins

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Rank #9: WDF Rem*: J David Markham Collab Part 2

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We return here with part 2 of the interview/collab/conversation, to unwrap Napoleon Bonaparte with J David Markham. David is one of the foremost authorities on Napoleon in his field, and first shot into my ears with his Napoleon 101 podcast, undertaken alongside the podcast god Cameron Reilly. Make sure you track him down by going to:
http://napoleonbonapartepodcast.com/
In this second part of our talk together we delve into a number of Napoleonic issues, including: the question of when JDM first become interested in the person of Napoleon, the fact that David takes issue with a number of misconceptions about Napoleon, and which in particular really bother him. We then change tack and ask whether there's much that can still be learned about Napoleon? What can we learn from him? Is there any room for further study on additional aspects of his life/personality/struggles etc.? What books on Napoleon can David recommend to us? What does he feel was Napoleon's best achievement or his worst mistake, and why... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 10 2017

46mins

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Rank #10: 1916 - Episode 16: 'The Beginning of Ireland New'

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In our final episode (and also our longest!) we examine the complex series of events which led Ireland to exterminate its Irish Parliamentary Party in the 1918 General Election, to replace it with the Sinn Fein Party - the political arm of the 1916 Rising, and the vehicle through which revolutionary violence would dominate Ireland for the next few decades. It is a winding listen, tying together a number of issues as well as posing a series of controversial, challenging questions to you guys, so I hope you all enjoy it, and let me know what you think! MUSIC: 'The Mother' & 'James Connolly' by Patrick Cassidy from the album '1916'. I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO THIS SONG/ALBUM.
Remember history friends, you can help this podcast and ensure that this is where history thrives! Support us by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails
Follow me on Twitter @wdfpodcast
And visit our official website www.wdfpodcast.com For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 15 2016

50mins

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Rank #11: 30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 8

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After covering the adoption of a revolutionary new musket drill by Maurice of Nassau in the late 1590s, in this episode we come to the point where all of these innovations would be put to the test, so I hope you’re ready to listen in, as the full horrors of constant barrages of lead on the human body were felt to their full effect for the first time in Western Europe, in the relatively unknown Battle of Nieuwpoort, in July 1600.


This episode provides a key example of what made the Military Revolution so unique and important for European warfare. From Maurice’s display at Nieuwpoort, so many other innovations would follow, including the adoption of its key lessons by other powers, and the perfecting and adding to them by others, like the Swedish and French. Before long, the drill would be the staple means by which infantry would take the field, and training these men and giving them the platform they needed to succeed would become the occupation of all competent commanders in early modern Europe. Make sure you tune in here to see what made innovators like Maurice of Nassau tick, and why he was so important for his time. We also get a window into how the Dutch government organised its military, and what they were up against in the sheer professional supremacy of the Spanish tercio system. I hope you enjoy it history friends! Make sure you spread the word – thanksss!

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Click here to pre-order the book | Click here to sign up on Patreon from as little as $2 a month and access awesome goodies! | Click here to find our dedicated section of the website | AND #1) Follow us on Twitter #2) Like us on Facebook #3) Join the history friends group!

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Sep 09 2019

49mins

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Rank #12: Korean War #34: Building Inchon

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Episode 34: Building Inchon examines the extensive diplomatic and political preparation which the Truman administration engaged with in the weeks before MacArthur’s landing at Inchon on 15th September 1950. Truman was forced to deal with several issues, including the independently minded actions of some of his own personnel, like the Secretary of Defence, who would be forced to resign. We see a new policy report NSC 81 come to the fore, even while it didn’t promise a whole lot it still managed to please the British and French, which was its primary goal.


Meanwhile, Mao and Stalin’s cynical approach to Kim Il-sung’s precarious position became clear as August became September. As Stalin’s support of North Korea slackened, the Soviet leader became focused instead with building towards his political strategy and end goal of bringing China into conflict with the West. Mao on the other hand was determined to wait until the landings at Inchon took place, landings which he almost certainly expected, so that it would be easier to swoop into North Korea and re-orientate the loyalties of that state in its moment of desperation. 


Thus the Americans were allowed to plan for their famed amphibious landing in peace, and General MacArthur moved forward with his finest hour unaware that he was as much of a pawn in the wider game as Kim Il-sung had been. It was up to MacArthur now to turn the tide and open the next phase of this conflict, and the General proved more than up to the task.

*******

Music used

“You’re a Grand Old Rag” by Billy Murray in 1906. Available: https://archive.org/details/GrandOldRag-BillyMurray9256

SPONSORS

1) Use the code WDF15 to get 15% off your stylish new pair of headphones/earphones/listening things

2) To access some fascinating books, nerd out with like minded enthusiasts, further your knowledge of some classical works, get 25% off your first three months AND help the show, head on over to onlinegreatbooks.com!

Remember to BEFIT!

B is for blog

E is for email wdfpodcast@hotmail.com

F is for Facebook, the Page and the Group

I is for iTunes, please rate, review and subscribe

T is for TELL ANYONE!

1) Pre-order our book on the Thirty Years War 2) Are you TeamFerdinand or TeamFrederick ? It's time to pick a side, and a t-shirt! 3) Don't forget of course to support WDF on Patreon to access ad-free episodes with the scripts attached, as well an hour of extra content every month, and so much more! - $1, $2 & $5 memberships available! 4) Of course, make sure you also follow us on Twitter, visit our website and... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Aug 26 2018

39mins

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Rank #13: Korean War #31: Laying Down The Gauntlet

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Episode 31: Laying Down The Gauntlet looks at the other side of the coin and how the Americans reacted to the developing war in the late summer of 1950. MacArthur attempted to follow War Plan SL-17, which stipulated that a landing at Inchon should take place in response to a Northern surge down the peninsula, but problems existed in this plan, and MacArthur faced a conundrum throughout July 1950 as he tried to adapt to the curious nature of the communist advance. Pusan, it was clear, would be the holding action, and the test of allied mettle before reinforcements arrived. 


What was also clear in the Truman administration was that the time was right to present its first of many appeals to the public and to Congress. The policy aim of NSC 68 and the requirements within the defence budget necessitated that the President acted fast and did not hesitate to request, in consideration of the urgent state of affairs in Korea, some emergency funding increases. In addition, the apparently contradictory policy of appeasement towards the Chinese was adopted. 


This, as we’ll see, was pursued only because of the momentary vulnerability of the defenders at Pusan – if the Chinese intervened now, in late July-early August, all would surely be lost. Far better it would be to see the Chinese involve themselves AFTER the reinforcements had arrived and triumphs had been achieved. This, indeed, was the outcome eventually reaches. Little did Mao Zedong know, while he cautiously welcomed the allied approaches and watched the conflict unfold on the peninsula somewhat nervously, that all was proceeding according to the plans of everyone but his own.

********

Music used: 

“While They Were Dancing Around”, by Eddie Morton released in 1914. Available: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Eddie_Morton/Antique_Phonograph_Music_Program_04282015/While_They_Were_Dancing_Around_-_Eddie_Morton

SPONSORS

1) Use the code WDF15 to get 15% off your stylish new pair of headphones/earphones/listening things

2) To access some fascinating books, nerd out with like minded enthusiasts, further your knowledge of some classical works, get 25% off your first three months AND help the show, head on over to onlinegreatbooks.com!

Remember to BEFIT!

B is for blog

E is for email wdfpodcast@hotmail.com

F is for Facebook, the Page and the Group

I is for iTunes, please rate, review and subscribe

T is for TELL ANYONE!

1) Pre-order our book on the Thirty Years War 2) Are you TeamFerdinand or TeamFrederick ? It's time to pick a side, and a t-shirt! 3) Don't forget of course to support WDF on Patreon to access ad-free episodes with the scripts... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Aug 05 2018

34mins

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Rank #14: WDF Rem* 5.5: TALK The Seven Years War

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Just as we did 5 years ago for episode 5, here us 5 times 5 people talk 5 times about 5 different fives. So you are paying attention? Good! You'll have to, as Sean and I TALK about the Seven Years War in my personal favourite episode together. Check out this classic now, brought to you because some things are too good to leave behind!
Remember also history friends, to make sure that you BEFIT! Visit our website www.wdfpodcast.com
Follow us on Twitter @wdfpodcast
Find us on Patreon by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 29 2017

39mins

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Rank #15: WDF Rem* 6: The War of the Spanish Succession I

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We return to the late 17th/early 18th century with arguably one of the most infamous examples of early modern warfare EVER! It is a fascinating conflict, and since we all know Louis XIV that much better this time around, I figured it was only right to do it justice. I hope you enjoy the journey - thanksss!
Remember also history friends, to make sure that you BEFIT! Visit our website www.wdfpodcast.com
Follow us on Twitter @wdfpodcast
Find us on Patreon by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 30 2017

35mins

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Rank #16: 30YearsWar: NEW Introduction

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We're back! At long last, after a lot of confusing scheduling and weird decisions, WDF is finally ready to introduce to you what we have planned for the next few years. It is an investigation of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) like you've never seen it before, and I couldn't be more excited to begin! Listen in here for a rundown of what we've done so far since our too eager release back in May 2018, and what we plan to do going forward. For those confused with what this all means, and why there's so many introduction episodes floating around, look no further than this episode, which is made up of explainers, disclaimers, and probably a few complainers! Thanksss!


Click here to pre-order the book | Click here to sign up on Patreon from as little as $2 a month and access awesome goodies! | Click here to find our dedicated section of the website | AND #1) Follow us on Twitter #2) Like us on Facebook #3) Join the history friends group!

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 09 2019

40mins

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Rank #17: WDF Rem* 14: The War of 1812 II

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Our coverage concludes with a striking image - Washington in flames and British soldiers across the lands, the war unpopular and Napoleon on the back foot. It was, it's true, the most incredible side show of the Napoleonic Wars, so I hope you've enjoyed this trip back down memory lane to examine it once more. Thanksss!
Remember also history friends, to make sure that you BEFIT! Visit our website www.wdfpodcast.com
Follow us on Twitter @wdfpodcast
Find us on Patreon by going to www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 17 2017

28mins

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Rank #18: Korean War 36: Ordering Chinese

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Our biggest episode yet!

Episode 36: Ordering Chinese picks up from the last episode, this time from the perspective of the Chinese, as in late September they were clearly faced with something of a quandary. Stalin was ramping up his campaign to urge the Chinese to intervene, and in response, the Chinese claimed that since Kim Il-sung had yet to ask for help, Beijing could not give it. Stalin thus set to work engineering his plan into motion, and ensuring that the North Koreans would indeed ask for help. It was only to be expected that as the military situation worsened for Pyongyang in light of the Inchon landings, that Kim would see sense and appeal to the communist comrade in Beijing. Indeed, it was likely that he would have no choice but to do otherwise, thanks to the Soviet unwillingness to aid the NKPA in its time of need. 


In case Soviet involvement in the war was discovered by the West, Stalin insisted, the Soviets would have to pull the plug of support for the Northern Army. These threats were delivered solely to produce the policy outcome that Stalin wanted, and in the first two weeks of October, we’ll see how, after some hesitation and preparations, Mao Zedong determines that the time had come to intervene. With a resolution approving the crossing of the 38th parallel on 7th October, it was clearly necessary to fight back and prepare for the conflict which Mao had once feared, then tacitly accepted, and now actively planned for. The next phase of the conflict began to whir into life, just as MacArthur believed that his greatest triumph was in the works.

**********

Music used:

“Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts”, Al Jolson, available: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Al_Jolson/Antique_Phonograph_Music_Program_03242015/Sister_Susies_Sewing_Shirts_for_Soldiers_-_Al_Jolson

SPONSORS

1) Use the code WDF15 to get 15% off your stylish new pair of headphones/earphones/listening things

2) To access some fascinating books, nerd out with like minded enthusiasts, further your knowledge of some classical works, get 25% off your first three months AND help the show, head on over to onlinegreatbooks.com!

Remember to BEFIT!

B is for blog

E is for email wdfpodcast@hotmail.com

F is for Facebook, the Page and the Group

I is for iTunes, please rate, review and subscribe

T is for TELL ANYONE!

1) Pre-order our book on the Thirty Years War 2) Are you TeamFerdinand or TeamFrederick ? It's time to pick a side, and a t-shirt! 3) Don't forget of course to support WDF on Patreon to access ad-free episodes with the scripts attached, as well... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 16 2018

52mins

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Rank #19: Versailles #11: Woodrow Wilson Profile Part 1/2

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Welcome to Woodrow Wilson's United States of America. As we build towards a key concept, the Fourteen Points, here we set some background and ask some pertinent questions, such as - why did the US intervene in the war, and why did Wilson wait so long before doing so?

Woodrow Wilson is a character we must understand if we are to grasp the nuances of the Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles which that created. Wilson was an integral part of what made the end Treaty so significant, but he can also be blamed for its uninspired record in America, and its ultimate failure. All the while, his message was one of firm but fair treatment for a defeated Germany, and this message was one which many at the top levels of Germany's government could not fail to heed.

To understand where such high minded ideals came from, we must examine Woodrow Wilson before he arrived in Paris in late 1918. More than that, we must investigate whether Wilson's ideals were developed not to meet the crisis of the Great War, but as a repeat of what he had done before, in Mexico.

Thus, we take a seemingly strange detour into the Mexican American border over 1913-1914, to get to the bottom of what the President was doing and why. Why did he care so much about what government was represented in Mexico? Why did he feel compelled to work against big businesses when they could have cut him a tidy profit? Wilson's actions led to turmoil along the border with Mexico, and even some Mexican raids into American soil, which Uncle Sam had to meet directly, as this cartoon suggests.

My point is, in history, nothing is ever so straightforward as we might think. Wilson's famed ideals did not come from nowhere, and here we debate whether we can see their origins in the tumultuous relationship which America's southern neighbour had with the President. It's quite a journey, so I hope you'll join me to see where it takes us... 

***********

The Versailles Anniversary Project is possible because of your support and interest - make sure to spread the word, engage with the debate, and look at the different ways you can help this project succeed!

->Visit the homeland for this new project!

->Become a delegate and play the Delegation Game for just $6 a month!

->Support the podcast financially and access ad free episodes with transcripts from just $2 a month! 

->Follow WDF on Twitter! 

->Join the Facebook group!

->Subscribe on iTunes!

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 04 2018

1hr 16mins

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Rank #20: WDF Rem* 10: The Wars Against The French I

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Ta-da! It's time to remaster Napoleon, the French Revolution and this era in general, so if you're ready, let's jump into this incredible world. It's been a long time coming, so I can't wait to bring it all to you guys again!
Remember to support the podcast through BEFIT and of course www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFails For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 06 2017

34mins

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30YearsWar: #3 - "Dukes, Electors, Emperors and Kings"

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If you thought you properly understood how the Empire worked at long last – then think again! There was always some wrinkle or exception to the rule, but perhaps no rules were more important than those concerning the role of Electors. We touched on them in the last episode, but here we place them in their proper context, and unwrap what specifically made them so important to the functioning of the Empire. The Habsburgs, powerful though they were, depended upon the Electors for their legitimacy, and after the Reformation, the seven invaluable votes which could be offered were split along these lines. What was the solution? To a generation of Habsburg rulers, it was quite simple – maintain such a monopoly on power that the votes come in regardless. How to manage this feat? Marriage, of course!


Into this examination we throw several wrenches, including the Julich-Cleve Crisis of 1609-14, which provided a dangerous training ground for the two ideological blocs of the Empire to square off. Another incident, the destruction of the city of Donauworth in 1608, and its capture by the Duke of Bavaria, also deserves mention. The Empire, stable though it somehow remained, was in danger of a major rupture if calmer heads did not prevail. Somewhere to the west, an individual was seeking an opportunity to capitalise, and bring his Kingdom to the front of the Emperor’s lists of problems. Henry IV, the King of France, had emerged triumphant from the French Wars of Religion, but this scion of the House of Bourbon had a way to go before he could sponsor the showdown with the Habsburgs that his son and grandson were to pursue. Tune into episode 3 to see exactly how Europe sustained such domineering personalities and powers!

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**DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**

1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!

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3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!

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Jan 22 2020

31mins

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30YearsWar: #2 - 'The Small Print'

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The Holy Roman Empire was a unique place, full of unique laws, unique settlements and very unique rulers. Unique is just a polite way of saying, that the HRE was a freakin’ mess, but it is a mess which we have to acquaint ourselves with if we’re to stand any chance of understanding the event which it housed – the Thirty Years War. It was in the lands of this sort of state/sort of empire that the events of this conflict were played out. It was fanned and exacerbated by men like Electors and Emperors, it was driven by arguments over religion and constitutions, and it was empowered by actors outside of the Empire, who had their eye on manipulating the situation to their advantage.


Our focus in this episode goes to 1555, where a settlement between protestant and catholic agents was agreed. The Peace of Augsburg, the religious and profane peace, as it would come to be known, was a crucial milestone in the history of the Empire, but it is also vital to our understanding of the conflict which followed three generations later. How did the Empire work, what did the Electors did, how did the Emperor get elected, what did the whole thing look like in practice – all of these are questions which we will get to grips with in this episode, so I hope you’ll join me!

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**DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**

1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!

2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!

3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!

4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!

5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter!

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Jan 15 2020

41mins

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Poland Is Not Yet Lost - What's That? [Teaser]

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Today in our Patreon feed, the first episode of the Poland Is Not Yet Lost narrative is released, which is super exciting! But, even if you've been tempted in the past to sign up for $5 a month and get this extra content, you may be wondering, what exactly does this series look like, and how do I know if I'll like it? All good questions, which I hopefully answer with some preview clips of episodes we've released before in this exclusive series.


If you find yourself wanting more, you know where to go! Head over to the Patreon page for this podcast by clicking this link here. By supporting the show you're not only accessing great history content you won't get anywhere else, you're also helping me live my dream in my History PhD! So thanksss so much!

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Jan 14 2020

25mins

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30YearsWar: #1 - "Prosperity, Profit, Power"

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We're back! After running through 17th Century Warfare with a fine-toothed comb, I am finally ready to deliver to you the most exciting series we've ever covered here at WDF Towers. It's eerily familiar, but also breathtakingly different - it sounds like the Thirty Years War!


Our first proper episode of the Thirty Years War begins with a somewhat surprising scene – Hernan Cortez, far away in South America, coming face to face with the Aztecs. Why do we begin our story with such a controversial, pivotal character? Simple – Cortez was, truth be told, an agent of the Habsburgs, or more specifically, Charles V, the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor.


Charles was the embodiment of Habsburg power and influence; he was arguably the most powerful man in Europe since the era of Roman Emperors, and he owed his position to the incredible marital policy of his forebears, who married their way out of obscurity in an isolated Swiss castle, to become THE predominant European family by the turn of the 16th century. The Thirty Years War is a story which cannot be told without the Habsburg dynasty, so I hope you’ll join me in this first true instalment of our series to see where this dynasty came from, and where it went next!

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**DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**

1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!

2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!

3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!

4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!

5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter!

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jan 08 2020

30mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 15

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In the words of the historian John A. Lynn, "trying to understand seventeenth-century European history without weighing the influence of war and military institutions is like trying to dance without listening to the music." For the last 15 episodes, we've surrounded ourselves with a heck of a lot of music, so I hope you're ready to dance!


This is it, our FINAL episode of 2019 [if you're not a patron!] and our last instalment of the 17th Century Warfare series! We've come a long way in our examination of warfare in this eventful century. Everything from Swedish Kings, to siege ingenuity, to barrages of artillery reforms, to the development and spread of the infantry firearm drill. Hopefully after listening in, you feel like you've learned something about warfare worked, and you appreciate me shining this light on a topic which is rarely given the attention it deserves outside of really nerdy history circles.


Hopefully as well, you feel ready and prepared to begin again in the Thirty Years War, and start to climb the mountain which is the actual narrative of the war itself. I for one am REALLY excited to deliver it to you, as it's something which I've been creating and perfecting in the background for YEARS. It is the backbone of our upcoming book, and it's also [to my mind] the ONLY series which analyses this pivotal conflict in the detail it deserves. So, from January 6 2020, I hope to have you in my corner as we revisit those characters, the weighted issues and the high drama once again.


This time, with the knowledge of how it ends, and how it keeps going for three decades, I hope you will find me a more accomplished guide! Either way, soon it'll be time to lay down your arms, and listen into our latest deep dive. Until it arrives though, have a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas/Hannukah/New Year etc., and I'll be seeing you all....soon!


Wanna listen to Poland Is Not Yet Lost? Visit our Patreon to find out more, and scratch that Polish itch!

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Dec 18 2019

39mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 14

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Our war is nearly over, but we still have some matters to discuss! Here we summarise what we’ve learned over the last few episodes, and pave the way for the narrative to come. There is much we still don’t know about warfare in the 17th century, simply because there is so darn much to know! However, over the last several episodes, we’ve given a very good grounding in what 17th century warfare was all about. We saw how important the theory of the military revolution was, because it shaped debate about how warfare changed during the 17th century. Indeed, the military revolution thesis led to historians producing counterarguments at a rapid rate, to the point that more material than ever before on the period was released in the last fifty or so years. This is of course great news for us, and means that we haven’t exhausted the well of sources just yet.


Here we revisit some of the most important lessons we came across. The trace italienne was arguably the most important, since this technological development facilitated the creation of more impressive armies to adequately besiege and take them down. In addition, more advanced siege techniques led in turn to the creation of more effective defensive bastions, in a kind of arms race between defender and attacker which resulted in an explosion of experimentation and architectural marvels. The French, arguably, benefited from this the most, as Louis XIV harnessed the defensive potential of fortresses to hold the numerous enemies of France at bay at critical times.


If the French gained the most from the use of the fortress, arguably the Dutch were the most impressive pioneers with musket drills in the beginning of the century, as Maurice of Nassau searched for new ways to combat the core of tercio professionals which Spain boasted. Speaking of Spain, the Spanish were by no means the useless, wasteful dolts that historians have sometimes portrayed them as. Well into the 17th century as we saw, Spain maintained its reputation for military supremacy, while across the continent, its cousins in Austria were experimenting with new ways to maintain an army all year round, and anticipating the benefits this could bring. In addition, to the east, the Turks were also throwing their considerable weight around, and were far from insignificant, as is often claimed.


In short, we’ve learned a lot about warfare in the 17th century – be it through the eyes of different states, when we examined certain case studies, or analysed given terms like the trace italienne and fire by rank mass volley musket tactics. We saw the English trade the longbow for the musket, and discovered how the Ancient Roman legionnaires managed to contribute to the Dutch military theories of the day. It’s been a great ride, so I hope you’ll join me here as we attempt to wrap it up.


Sign up for a fiver or less a month on Patreon to support the show, support Zack and support history - in return you'll get some fantastic audio content which you can't listen to anywhere else! Currently, we're preparing the way for Poland Is Not Yet Lost!

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Dec 04 2019

37mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 13

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This is a tale of two sieges! We examine the siege of St Martins on the Isle of Re by the ENglish, and the siege of Mantua by the Imperials and Spanish. These two sieges in the late 1620s were pivotal cases where the Thirty Years War hung in the balance. Unrelated though these theatres were to the main war in Germany, they each created ripples which had a profound effect on the outcome of the war. But these sieges did more than that - they also provided us with an ideal opportunity to focus our warfare obsessed microscope, and investigate what's really going on on the ground.


What did the practice of a siege mean for the defenders and attackers, particularly when the defences were strong, or when the besiegers weren't very well led? Here is where we investigate! You may never have heard of these campaigns before, but this just goes to show that the war which housed them is full of surprises, so I hope you'll join me for this fascinating story. Thanksss!


Could you spare 3 minutes to tick a few boxes, and complete this survey for the Agora Podcast Network? PRETTY PLEASE!

Check out BT Newberg's new show a History of Sex!

Listen to the intro episode


Wanna listen to Poland Is Not Yet Lost? Visit our Patreon to find out more, and scratch that Polish itch!

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Nov 20 2019

44mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 12

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We've heard a great deal about how armies changed during the 17th century, and how their commanders adopted new tactics and reforms to increase their firepower and ferocity. BUT what about the states that commanded these armies? Here we look at a specific case study, Austria, to see not just how the creation of a standing army empowered this curious state, but also how it defined what it meant to be an Austrian Empire. Where exactly did the Austrian Empire come from, carved as it was from the rump Habsburg Hereditary Lands in the south central portion of Europe? The answer is found in the fascinating process which led to the creation of an Imperial standing army, courtesy of the Emperor Ferdinand II, and made possible by everyone's favourite generalissimo, Albrecht of Wallenstiein! Check it out!


Could you spare 3 minutes to tick a few boxes, and complete this survey for the Agora Podcast Network? PRETTY PLEASE!

Check out BT Newberg's new show a History of Sex!

Listen to the intro episode

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Nov 06 2019

35mins

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Happy Birthday Zack Twamley!

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In an unscripted romp through several issues, I say thanksss for joining me and for making October 2019 our most successful month yet! If you want to be a PhD Pal then you have only 24 HOURS left to get your name in the acknowledgements of our book, so don't delay! In other news, I explain our plan for the PhD audio diaries, which were recently unlocked, and my plans for the History Podcasting Platform. All in all, it's a super positive episode, and as wife and I are currently relaxing in the Lyrath, courtesy of our Delegation Game Delegates, I can only say thankssss!


Check out the History Podcasting Platform if you're a budding podcaster!

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Oct 30 2019

20mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 11

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Breitenfeld. The most important battle of the Thirty Years War in my view, and the ideal but also terrifying testing ground for all of Gustavus' new reforms. Could the Swedish King leverage all his innovations in the infantry drill, in the use of artillery, or in the harnessing of cavalry's best bits? Or would he be just another victim to Count Tilly's war machine? You probably know the answer, considering his large fame, but you may not know the story of how it all happened. With a focus that I don't usually take, WDF is going to the battlefield for once, so I hope to see you all there!


Obligatory shout out to my wonderful patrons, who have rallied to the colours for our special offer in October 2019, and have nearly helped us smash our goal of $2k! Amazing! If you want a signed copy of our book an your name in the acknowledgements, make sure you sign up to become a PhD Pal now! Time is of the essence, as October is your ONLY CHANCE to make it happen!

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Oct 23 2019

40mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 10

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At long last, our series on 17th century warfare smacks straight into the man many of you probably came all this way to see. What did Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden do to make his name in the military sphere? Did he really do all that is often assumed? Do we give me too much credit? What, at the base level, can it truly be said that he accomplished? Come and find out here, as we look at the Swedish king's innovations in infantry drill, firepower, artillery and cavalry, to build a picture of the most famous Swede in the game. If you think you know Gustavus, you ain't seen nothing yet!


I would remiss if I didn't thank all my lovely patrons for making the first week of this special offer such a massive success! Our Patreon income has exploded by more than 15%, up over $200, and we have an army of nearly TWENTY PhD Pals now on our side! If you want to get your name in lights in our new Thirty Years War book, and get it signed, delivered to your door, then make sure you sign up to become a PhD Pal in the month of October. Thanksss!

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Oct 09 2019

37mins

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Could You Be My PhD Pal?

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It's high time we marked such an auspicious occasion with something of a celebration - for the month of October 2019, we have a very special offer to reveal to listeners and patrons all.

It's nothing less than a chance for YOU to get your name in lights, get yourself our latest book, and feast on premium content for years to come. History friends have never had it so good, but being a PhD Pal, now THAT'S where it's at!


Read the related blog post here: https://www.wdfpodcast.com/thevassalstate/phdpal

Does being a PhD Pal sound interesting to you? Click here!

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Oct 01 2019

35mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 9

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In our ninth installment on 17th century warfare, we assess the overall contribution of the Dutch to the military revolution, through a few important spheres. We will learn that spreading the word about new technological innovations was not an unusual practice, and that Europeans were far more willing to share their discoveries than we may have previously imagined. In addition, we examine how the drill became the supreme method of warfare, and how it inculcated a sense of discipline which profoundly affected European society on the battlefield as much as off. The journey involves one of discipline, forbearance and continued practice, and obsolete methods of making war did not go quietly...

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Click here to pre-order the book | Click here to sign up on Patreon from as little as $2 a month and access awesome goodies! | Click here to find our dedicated section of the website | AND #1) Follow us on Twitter #2) Like us on Facebook #3) Join the history friends group!


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Sep 25 2019

37mins

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PINYL: A) Creating a Commonwealth Part 1

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How did Poland and Lithuania come to be joined together as one state? Here we answer that critically important question, as well as several others which go along with it. Of course, our story may begin in the year 1700, but we would be remiss if we didn't mention several threads of the story which brings the narrative to that point. Why did the Commonwealth have an elective monarchy? Why were the nobility so powerful? And perhaps the most pressing question - how did a pagan grand duke of Lithuania, the last of his kind, become engaged to the sole heir of Poland's Catholic Angevin King? It's a story which needs to be heard in full, so make sure you don't miss out! Thanksss so much for making Poland possible, and remember that by listening in, you're not just helping make it viable, you're also funding my PhD! I can't thank you enough!


Check out Poland Is Not Yet Lost in full by clicking here

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Sep 16 2019

31mins

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Poland Is Not Yet Lost: Introduction 2

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Where did the inspiration to tackle this project come from, what sources have we devoured, and what can you expect from this series? These questions and so many more besides will be addressed here, so make sure you get the full picture of what we're up to by listening in!

Click here to access all of what Poland has to offer!

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Sep 16 2019

33mins

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Poland Is Not Yet Lost: Introduction 1

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FINALLY! After several years, countless teases, numerous changed plans, and no shortage of research, one of the most anticipated series we have ever tackled lands at long last. Poland Is Not Yet Lost has been made possible thanks to the incredible support I received from you, my patrons, so I hope you'll check this first introduction episode out as we set the scene, and set forth some of our plans for this fascinating and very chunky series. Click here to sign up on Patreon and get ALL Poland has to offer!

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Sep 16 2019

30mins

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30YearsWar: 17th Century Warfare Episode 8

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After covering the adoption of a revolutionary new musket drill by Maurice of Nassau in the late 1590s, in this episode we come to the point where all of these innovations would be put to the test, so I hope you’re ready to listen in, as the full horrors of constant barrages of lead on the human body were felt to their full effect for the first time in Western Europe, in the relatively unknown Battle of Nieuwpoort, in July 1600.


This episode provides a key example of what made the Military Revolution so unique and important for European warfare. From Maurice’s display at Nieuwpoort, so many other innovations would follow, including the adoption of its key lessons by other powers, and the perfecting and adding to them by others, like the Swedish and French. Before long, the drill would be the staple means by which infantry would take the field, and training these men and giving them the platform they needed to succeed would become the occupation of all competent commanders in early modern Europe. Make sure you tune in here to see what made innovators like Maurice of Nassau tick, and why he was so important for his time. We also get a window into how the Dutch government organised its military, and what they were up against in the sheer professional supremacy of the Spanish tercio system. I hope you enjoy it history friends! Make sure you spread the word – thanksss!

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Click here to pre-order the book | Click here to sign up on Patreon from as little as $2 a month and access awesome goodies! | Click here to find our dedicated section of the website | AND #1) Follow us on Twitter #2) Like us on Facebook #3) Join the history friends group!

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Sep 09 2019

49mins

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30YearsWar: NEW Introduction

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We're back! At long last, after a lot of confusing scheduling and weird decisions, WDF is finally ready to introduce to you what we have planned for the next few years. It is an investigation of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) like you've never seen it before, and I couldn't be more excited to begin! Listen in here for a rundown of what we've done so far since our too eager release back in May 2018, and what we plan to do going forward. For those confused with what this all means, and why there's so many introduction episodes floating around, look no further than this episode, which is made up of explainers, disclaimers, and probably a few complainers! Thanksss!


Click here to pre-order the book | Click here to sign up on Patreon from as little as $2 a month and access awesome goodies! | Click here to find our dedicated section of the website | AND #1) Follow us on Twitter #2) Like us on Facebook #3) Join the history friends group!

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Sep 09 2019

40mins

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WDF Collab: Diplomacy Games

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What a lovely surprise! I sat down with Kaner [Ken] and Amby [Gavin], two Ozzies with a love of the game Diplomacy, which I have name dropped many times on this show. The three of us chat about a whole range of topics, from our experiences playing the game, to my recent projects and the processes involved with them, to current examples of diplomacy failing. It was a great chat and I had a wonderful time, and if you did too, make sure to check out their show Diplomacy Games, and follow the links below!

Subscribe to their show [iTunes]: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/diplomacy-games/id1148827717

Subscribe to their show [Stitcher]: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/diplomacy-games?refid=stpr


If you are interested in playing Diplomacy online, check these links:

webDiplomacy  -  https://webdiplomacy.net

playDiplomacy  -  https://www.playdiplomacy.com

vDiplomacy -  https://www.vdiplomacy.net

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Aug 17 2019

1hr 5mins

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Versailles: Retrospective

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The Versailles Anniversary Project consumed 8 months of my life, and 8 months of your attention. It was the largest, most ambitious, and most exhausting project we have ever taken on. What did this 'taking on' actually look like though? You may know that it was a long hard enjoyable slog, but what else is there to the story of this monster, which, as the statistics show, has taken more than 67 hours to fully unwrap? Well history friend, look no further, as finally bid farewell to this project once and for all. 


No concluding revelations here - just the musings and memories of me, your host, as I spill the beans about my experience. If you were curious, or had more questions about how I did this, then look no further. A huge thanksss must be said once more history friend, for maing Versailles the best place to be for well over half a year. Here's to the next audio adventure, but until then, I will see you all on 9th September for the Thirty Years War!

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The Versailles Anniversary Project is possible because of your support and interest - make sure to spread the word, engage with the debate, and look at the different ways you can help this project succeed!

->Visit the homeland for this new project!

->Become a delegate and play the Delegation Game for just $6 a month!

->Support the podcast financially and access ad free episodes with transcripts from just $2 a month! 

->Follow WDF on Twitter! 

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Jul 10 2019

30mins

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iTunes Ratings

493 Ratings
Average Ratings
423
39
13
11
7

A great podcast for true history fans

By James G Barnard - Jan 09 2020
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Zack has a genuine love for history which comes through in the podcast. He is sincere and unassuming and passionate in his love for the subject. He really has a strong grasp of 17th-century diplomacy and politics, and since I’m a history teacher, his podcast has been a goldmine in my own research into the era.

Top tier

By matt_h84 - Jan 22 2019
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This is one of the most well researched and entertaining podcasts out there