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72 - Mediterranean Strategy

The WW2 Podcast

Release Date: 08/01/2018

103 'Chink' Eric Dorman-Smith show art 103 'Chink' Eric Dorman-Smith

The WW2 Podcast

If you’ve ever read about the British 8th Army in North Africa during WWII, one name usually gets a mention that of Eric Dorman-Smith, often refered to as ‘chink’.

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102 - D-Day Through German Eyes show art 102 - D-Day Through German Eyes

The WW2 Podcast

June 2019 marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we had a month of D-Day podcasts looking at the operation from the British, Canadian and American perspectives. The narrative of that day is the difficulty of the operation, doubts if the landings would succeed, but what if we turn the tables? How was it for the Germans?

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101 - Operation CHASTISE: The Dambusters show art 101 - Operation CHASTISE: The Dambusters

The WW2 Podcast

On May 16th 1943, 19 Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron took off from England heading toward the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr. They carried a new bomb, codenamed ‘upkeep’, we know it today as the ‘bouncing bomb’ designed by Barnes Wallis.

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100 - Left For Dead At Nijmegen show art 100 - Left For Dead At Nijmegen

The WW2 Podcast

On the 17th September 1944 Gene Metcalfe, of the 82 Airbourne, parachuted in to Holland as part of Operation Market Garden. Approaching the bridge they were to capture Gene is injured in a firefight and left for dead. He would spend the rest of the war as a POW.

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99 - George Mergenthaler - MERG show art 99 - George Mergenthaler - MERG

The WW2 Podcast

George Mergenthaler, heir to the Mergenhaler Linotype Company. In 1944 he was a translator attached to a recon unit in the Ardennes when the Germans launched their offensive.

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98 - Operation Market Garden show art 98 - Operation Market Garden

The WW2 Podcast

2019 is the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, the allied attempt to create a sixty mile corridor, and secure a crossing over the Rhine. The plan was to use the newly formed First Allied Airborne Army to seize and hold nine key bridges until relieved by the British Army’s XXX Corp.

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97 - Japanese POW: Ray Fitchett show art 97 - Japanese POW: Ray Fitchett

The WW2 Podcast

In this episode Ray Fitchett recounts his time on HMS Exeter, and it’s sinking at the second battle of the Java Sea, he was rescued by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp. Ray would eventually sent to work in Japan at the fukuoka camp near Nagasaki, where he would witness the atomic bomb going off.

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96 - Bridge Busters: The Dortmund-Ems Canal Raid show art 96 - Bridge Busters: The Dortmund-Ems Canal Raid

The WW2 Podcast

In this episode we’re looking at an RAF raid in 1940 against the Dortmund-Ems canal. It was very much a WWII proto-dambusters raid.

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95 - Jimmy Stewart show art 95 - Jimmy Stewart

The WW2 Podcast

For a long time I’ve been fascinated by movie stars who chose to join the military and saw combat in World War Two. One star in particular has always interested me, Jimmy Stewart.  A star in the 1930’s, in 1940 he would win the Oscar for best man in 'The Philadelphia Story’. When WWII came he joined the USAAF flying combat missions over Europe.

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94 - 1941 show art 94 - 1941

The WW2 Podcast

The usual narrative for WWII is that turning points of the war are in victories of 1942. While these are unquestionably major victories that signalled the ‘end of the beginning’, as Churchill would put it, Andrew Nagorski has suggested that actually 1941 was the pivotal year of the war.

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More Episodes

Back in episode 7, I talked to Alexander Fitzgerald-Black about his MA thesis which focused on the allied air campaign in support of Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. Which if you’re interested has now been released as a book ‘Eagles over Husky: The Allied Aire Forces In The Sicilian Campaign, 14 May to 17 August 1943’.

Alex and I have kept in touch and always said we should do another episode together discussing the Mediterranean campaign.

I was struggling to pin down a topic, when Alex suggested I read Douglas Porch’s book ‘The Path To Victory: The Mediterranean Theater in WWII, which focuses on the Mediterranean theatre as a whole. It was a light bulb moment for me, so we’ve decided to have a look at the Mediterranean Strategy.

If you want to hear more from Alex he works for the Juno Beach Centre and hosts their podcast, you can find that at junobeach.org.