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Key Battles of American History

Salem Radio

War has played a key role in the history of the United States from the nation’s founding right down to the present. Wars made the U. S. independent, kept it together, increased its size, and established it as a global superpower. Understanding America’s wars is essential for understanding American history. In the Key Battles of American History, host James Early discusses American history through the lens of the most important battles of America’s wars. James is an Adjunct Professor of History at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX. He has published one book and two scholarly articles. He is also the cohost (with Scott Rank) of the Presidential Fight Club, Key Battles of the Civil War, Key Battles of the Revolutionary War, and Key Battles of World War I podcasts.

Location:

United States

Description:

War has played a key role in the history of the United States from the nation’s founding right down to the present. Wars made the U. S. independent, kept it together, increased its size, and established it as a global superpower. Understanding America’s wars is essential for understanding American history. In the Key Battles of American History, host James Early discusses American history through the lens of the most important battles of America’s wars. James is an Adjunct Professor of History at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX. He has published one book and two scholarly articles. He is also the cohost (with Scott Rank) of the Presidential Fight Club, Key Battles of the Civil War, Key Battles of the Revolutionary War, and Key Battles of World War I podcasts.

Language:

English


Episodes

Silent Cavalry and Surprising Civil War Stories

3/2/2024
Learn more about the Alabama Unionist soldiers in the Civil War with this exclusive interview from History Unplugged, hosted by Scott Rank. Continue listening to History Unplugged: Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3Ysc7Zg Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3j0QRJy Parthenon: https://www.parthenonpodcast.com/history-unplugged-podcast

Duration:00:50:49

The Pacific - Part 1

3/2/2024
In this episode, Dave and James discuss and review Part 1 of the epic 2010 HBO miniseries The Pacific, which follows the lives and wartime actions of three well-known Marines who served in the Pacific Theater: John Basilone, Robert Leckie, and Eugene Sledge. In Episode 1 of The Pacific, we are introduced to the three main characters and we witness the initial Marine landing on Guadalcanal, the Battle of Alligator Creek, and the Battle of Savo Island.

Duration:01:11:44

G4: Japan Strikes Back: Tojo Time and Alligator Creek

2/28/2024
The Japanese realized that if the U. S. were able to hold and utilize the airfield on Guadalcanal, Japan’s strategic objectives in the South Pacific would be foiled. Consequently, Japanese air, naval, and land forces immediately began trying to retake the airfield, recently renamed Henderson Field by the Americans. In August, Japanese bombers began conducting daily bombing raids on the field, an effort that the Americans called “Tojo Time.” In addition, an infantry battalion launched an aggressive attack on the Marine perimeter in an effort to retake the field. But would it work? Listen, and Dave and James will let you know!

Duration:00:49:27

G3: Initial Landings and the Battle of Savo Island

2/21/2024
On August 7, 1942, elements of the First Marine Division landed on Guadalcanal. They met little opposition and quickly captured their initial objective, an airfield that the Japanese had recently built. The Marines got to work establishing a perimeter and preparing for the inevitable Japanese counterattack. Soon after, Japanese and American naval forces clashed in the first major naval engagement of the Guadalcanal campaign, the Battle of Savo Island. Join Dave and James as they narrate the exciting opening of the epic struggle for Guadalcanal.

Duration:00:51:16

Midway (2019 – With Sean McIver) (ENCORE)

2/17/2024
On June 4, 1942, a Japanese naval task force launched an attack on the American naval and air base at Midway Island. The task force then encountered an American carrier fleet, leading to an epic naval battle that helped change the course of the war in the Pacific. The 2019 action-war film Midway tells the story of the leadup to the battle, the battle itself, and the aftermath. Is it historically accurate? Is it a quality film? In this episode, James and Sean McIver answer these and other questions.

Duration:01:40:35

G2: The Road to Guadalcanal 2: The Coral Sea and Midway

2/14/2024
In early 1942, Japan’s leaders decided to capture the key Allied port of Port Moresby on the southern coast of New Guinea, in an attempt to threaten American shipping lanes to Australia. But on its way to the port, at the Coral Sea, the Japanese fleet arrived encountered an American naval force. A month later, a large Japanese naval and air force attempted to capture the American base at Midway, but again, they ran into a powerful American fleet. Join Dave and James as they discuss the crucial battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, American victories that made the Guadalcanal Campaign possible.

Duration:00:46:21

Tora! Tora! Tora! (with Sean McIver) (ENCORE)

2/10/2024
In the late 1960s, a Japanese film production team joined forces with an American team in an effort to produce a balanced and accurate retelling of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The result is the classic 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora! which after more than 50 years still remains the definitive Pearl Harbor film. Join James and Sean McIver as they discuss the film’s story, its historical accuracy, its quality, and its legacy.

Duration:01:33:57

G1: The Road to Guadalcanal 1: Pearl Harbor to The Doolittle Raid

2/7/2024
On December 7, 1941, Japanese air and naval forces attacked the American naval and air base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing 2400 Americans and heavily damaging the US Pacific Fleet. Over the next 5 months, Japan conquered several European and American possessions in southeast Asia, including Guam, Malaya, Wake Island, Hong Kong, Burma, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines. In this episode, James and new cohost Dave Holland narrate this period of rapid Japanese expansion, including the famous “Doolittle Raid.”

Duration:00:47:03

Band of Brothers, Episode 10: Points

2/3/2024
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 10: Points. Easy captures the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden without resistance, and the end of the war in Europe is announced. Finding a collection of 10,000 bottles of liquor, wine and champagne in a cellar at Hermann Göring's house, Winters allows the company to celebrate before they travel to Austria to become an occupying force. It is then announced that the division will be redeployed to the Pacific Theater, but those with enough points will get to go home. Winters applies for a transfer to the Pacific, but the officer in charge tells him his men have earned the right to keep him around. Despite the peace and the relative ease of life in Salzburg, men continue to be injured and die. Together with the rest of the battalion, Easy oversees the surrender of 25,000 German troops in Zell am See. Over a company baseball game, Winters narrates the fates of some of the men playing in it. He interrupts the game to announce the surrender of the Empire of Japan, which ends the war, and then narrates Nixon's fate and finally his own. The episode concludes with interviews with actual surviving Easy Company members.

Duration:01:09:44

JFK in WW2

1/31/2024
In this special episode, commissioned by Early's Raiders Colonet Daniel Fisher, James discusses John F. Kennedy's service in the Second World War.

Duration:00:26:52

Band of Brothers, Episode 9: Why We Fight

1/27/2024
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 9: Why We Fight. While on patrol, some of the men of Easy Company stumble across a concentration camp near Landsberg and free the surviving prisoners. The sight of the victims leaves the soldiers horrified and disgusted, and Liebgott serves as a German interpreter for Winters as they learn from one of the survivors that the prisoners are Jews and noncombatants. The German locals deny knowing anything about the camp. The 101st Airborne's commander, General Taylor, imposes martial law and orders all able-bodied civilians from ages 14 to 80 to clean up the camp, including removing the bodies. Nixon informs Easy that Adolf Hitler has committed suicide.

Duration:00:51:25

US Involvement in the Boxer Rebellion

1/24/2024
In this topical episode, commissioned by Early’s Raiders Colonel Lee Beaumont, James discusses the Boxer Rebellion, focusing on American involvement in the conflict, especially the role of US Marines. If you would like to commission an episode on a topic of your choosing, you can do so by joining Early’s Raiders at the Major level or higher. For more information, go to Patreon.com and search for Key Battles of American History.

Duration:00:36:33

Band of Brothers, Episode 8: The Last Patrol

1/20/2024
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 8: The Last Patrol. In Haguenau, Easy adjusts to leaving the combat zone and gives a cold welcome to Private David Webster, who did not break out of the hospital to rejoin the company like others; and new replacement Second Lieutenant Henry Jones, fresh from West Point. Jones and Webster participate in a night raid across the river to get prisoners for interrogation, which gains them some respect. Winters is promoted to major, Lipton's commission becomes official, and Jones is promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to the regimental staff.

Duration:00:45:37

Quanah Parker

1/17/2024
In this topical episode, commissioned by Early’s Raiders Colonel Terry Davis, James discusses the fascinating life and career of Quanah Parker, a half-Comanche, half-white warrior who played an outsize role in Texas and American history during the nineteenth century. If you would like to commission an episode on a topic of your choosing, you can do so by joining Early’s Raiders at the Major level or higher. For more information, go to Patreon.com and search for Key Battles of American History.

Duration:00:26:32

Band of Brothers, Episode 7: The Breaking Point

1/13/2024
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 7: The Breaking Point. Easy holds the line near Foy, Belgium, losing numerous soldiers. Winters and the men worry about the company's new commander, First Lieutenant Norman Dike, who is frequently absent without explanation. First Sergeant Carwood Lipton attempts to keep Easy's morale up. Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton watches in horror as his close friends Guarnere and Joe Toye lose their legs to shelling, and he too is pulled from the line. During the assault on Foy, Dike freezes up during an attack, so Winters orders Lt. Ronald Speirs to relieve him. Victorious, Easy takes shelter in a church, where Lipton is told he has been given a field commission as a second lieutenant and Speirs is officially assigned command of Easy.

Duration:01:07:21

Fierce Valor with Jared Frederick

1/10/2024
In this episode, James again interviews professor, reenactor, and YouTuber Jared Frederick, this time about his 2022 book (co-authored with Erik Dorr) Fierce Valor: The True Story of Ronald Speirs and His Band of Brothers. Jared and James discuss the fascinating military career of Ronald Speirs, the final World War II commander of the 101st Airborne Division’s Easy Company and a key character of the award-winning 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Duration:00:43:51

Band of Brothers, Episode 6: Bastogne

1/6/2024
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 6: Bastogne. Easy faces harsh winter conditions in the Ardennes, running dangerously low on ammunition, food, and medical supplies. Combat medic Eugene "Doc" Roe helps his fellow soldiers where he can, while also scrounging for medical supplies. He befriends a Belgian nurse named Renée; she is later killed in a bombing raid. Easy and other American units are surrounded, but General McAuliffe, their commander, rejects a German surrender offer with the reply "Nuts!"

Duration:00:51:13

The Sioux Wars

1/3/2024
In this topical episode, commissioned by Early’s Raiders Major Alex Calabrese, James discusses the various Sioux Wars, including the Dakota War of 1862, Red Cloud’s War (1866-68), the Great Sioux War (1876-77), and the Ghost Dance War (1890). If you would like to commission an episode on a topic of your choosing, you can do so by joining Early’s Raiders at the Major level or higher. For more information, go to Patreon.com and search for Key Battles of American History.

Duration:00:24:56

Band of Brothers, Episode 5: Crossroads

12/30/2023
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 5: Crossroads. Winters writes an after-action report on Easy's actions during a German counter offensive on the Nijmegen salient; he is troubled by the fact that he shot an unarmed, teenage Waffen-SS soldier during the battle. Winters is promoted to battalion executive officer, and command of Easy is given to "Moose" Heyliger. Winters, Nixon, Heyliger and Sink meet Lt. Col. David Dobie of the British Parachute Regiment and 1st Airborne Division, who enlists Easy's help in Operation Pegasus to rescue 140 of his comrades. The operation succeeds, and the rescued British Paras celebrate with Easy and toast them. Heyliger is badly wounded, and command of the company passes to Norman Dike before they are rushed to Bastogne when the Germans break out in the Battle of the Bulge.

Duration:00:49:43

Medical Care in World War II

12/27/2023
In this topical episode, commissioned by Early’s Raiders Major Ana Concepcion Castro, James discusses medical care in World War II, including the crucial role of combat medics, the various types of hospitals, and medical advances made during the war. If you would like to commission an episode on a topic of your choosing, you can do so by joining Early’s Raiders at the Major level or higher. For more information, go to Patreon.com and search for Key Battles of American History.

Duration:00:25:24