Ep7 – Deep dive: First Battle of Bull Run or Manassas

Gary interviews Spencer in a deep dive into the first Battle of Bull Run or Manassas. This was the first land engagement of the US Civil War was fought on 21 July, just 30 miles south of Washington—close enough for U.S. senators to witness the battle in person. Confederates called it the Battle of Manassas, after the closest town. Union soldiers called it Bull Run, after a stream running through the battlefield.

Ep6 – Classic books: Paddy Griffith’s Battle Tactics of the American Civil War

Gary interviews Spencer on one of Spencer’s favourite military history books, Paddy Griffith’s Battle Tactics of the American Civil War.  Published in the 1980s, this volume reappraises the events, the weapons used, the men of the novice armies, their leaders and the strategies employed in the Civil War – which was fought with a new generation of weapons and trench systems similar to those of World War I. Spencer considers how the author argues that the conditions of combat were little changed from those of earlier times and far from…

Ep5 – Classic books: John Keegan’s Face of Battle

Spencer interviews Gary about one of his favourite books, John Keegan’s Face of Battle. Published in 1976, it deals first with the structure of historical writing about battles, the strengths and weaknesses of the “battle piece,” and then with the structure of warfare in three time periods—medieval Europe, the Napoleonic Era, and World War I – by analysing three battles: Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, all of which involved English soldiers and occurred in approximately the same geographical area. Gary talks about how he came to purchase this book in…

Ep4 – Exploring combat motivation with Dr Tom Thorpe

Gary and Spencer speak to the podcast producer and editor Dr Tom Thorpe about his research and interest into combat motivation and resilience. They discuss what is meant by combat motivation and what factors are most dominant in driving soldiers to fight and persevere on military service. A range of drivers are considered from small group cohesion, ideology and coercion. Tom is an independent scholar, tour guide, communications professional and podcaster. Tom holds a PhD from King’s College London that explored the extent, nature and impact of small group cohesion…

Ep3 – Summer Reading Recommendations

Spencer and Gary talk about their recommendations for summer beech reading over the holiday period. Gary recommends the Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser, Wellington’s Waterloo Allies: How Soldiers from Brunswick, Hanover, Nassau and the Netherlands Contributed to the Victory of 1815 by  Andrew W. Field and The First Day on the Somme by Martin Middlebrook. Spencer on the other hand suggests Hero: The Life & Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda, The Fall of Robespierre: 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris by Colin Jones and The Armchair General: Can You Defeat the Nazis?…

Ep2 – Sarah-Louise Miller – Espionage History

Spencer and Gary talk to Dr Sarah-Louise Miller about her research into espionage history. Sarah is a historian of war and conflict, specialising in the Second World War and the use of military intelligence. She is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of History, and is a member of Kellogg College, Oxford. She is also a tutor in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London. Sarah received her PhD from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, in July 2022. Her thesis examined the…

Ep 1 – Trailer: what is Military History Plus?

In this first episode, Gary and Spencer set out the aims, why they set up the Military History Plus podcast and outline the first season of the podcast. This podcast explores military history in its broadest sense, going beyond battles and combat to encompass various aspects such as politics, economics, society, and cultural history. It delves into the way war is studied and written about, highlighting that military history is not limited to generals and weapons but extends to the overall story of humanity. The podcast aims to provide a…