17 unmissable battles podcasts
Sunday marks the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt, a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. To mark the occasion, we’re running a Battles Week exploring clashes from ancient Rome right through to the Second World War. Here, we round up 17 of our best battles podcasts…
D-Day and the Wars of the Roses
In this May 2014 podcast, military historian James Holland challenges some popular assumptions about the 1944 Normandy campaign and recounts his experiences of meeting veterans.
Meanwhile, historian and author Sarah Gristwood pays a visit to Tewkesbury Abbey, which was a pivotal location in the 15th-century Wars of the Roses.
The battle of Agincourt
Ranulph Fiennes talks about his ancestors’ involvement in the battle of Agincourt, in this October 2014 podcast.
Also in this episode, Paul Preston explores the life of Spanish communist politician Santiago Carrillo.
England and Scotland go to war
George Goodwin describes the Anglo-Scottish battle of Flodden, in this episode recorded in August 2013.
Plus, Gary Sheffield considers how First World War commanders coped with the peculiar challenges of that conflict.
The battle for Madagascar and the Wars of the Roses
Tim Benbow describes the Second World War battle for Madagascar, while Sarah Gristwood reflects on the role of women in the Wars of the Roses, in this podcast recorded in September 2012.
The battle of Britain
Dr Anthony Cumming challenges traditional assumptions about the battle of Britain, in this October 2007 podcast.
Also in this episode, Top Gear presenter James May explains his admiration for the Wright Brothers, while author and journalist Leo McKinstry reveals how the Spitfire nearly missed its finest hour.
An RAF fighter station in England during the btttle of Britain, 16 August 1940. Members of the Squadron rest between battles, and listen to an account given by a New Zealand officer (right) who has just bailed out of his aircraft, having been shot down by an enemy aircraft. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Waterloo 200 special
Expert historians Julian Humphrys and Tim Blanning reveal how Napoleon was finally defeated at the battle of Waterloo, and offer their thoughts on the legacy of the events of 1815. Plus, we broadcast a bonus audio version of a recent article on the tragic ascent of the Matterhorn.
This podcast was recorded in June 2015.
The battle of Marathon
Michael Scott offers his insights into the 490 BC battle of Marathon, while Laurence Rees explains why Hitler didn’t press his advantage at Dunkirk in 1940.
Also in this May 2010 episode, Gillian Mawson tells the stories of Guernsey’s Second World War child refugees.
Richard III vs Henry VII
Chris Skidmore describes how the first Tudor king seized the crown from Richard III at Bosworth, in this June 2013 podcast.
Meanwhile, Brendan Simms examines Europe's past, present and future.
Re-living the Battle of Blenheim
Professor Richard Holmes takes our Time Machine back to the 1704 battle of Blenheim, in this March 2008 podcast.
Also in this episode, Professor Lisa Jardine looks at the relationship between England and the Netherlands in 1688, and historian and broadcaster Michael Wood offers his thoughts on Alfred the Great.
Battle of Blenheim, 13 August 1704. Hand-coloured engraving. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
The battle of Quebec
In this September 2009 podcast, Dan Snow gives his opinions on the momentous battle of Quebec that took place more than 250 years ago.
Plus, we speak to Tracy Borman about how Elizabeth I grew envious of the other women at her court.
The battle of El Alamein
In this November 2012 podcast, Jonathan Dimbleby considers a momentous Second World War clash.
Also in this episode, Emelyne Godfrey reveals the story of suffragette martial artists.
Historian Andrew Roberts talks to us about his new book on the opening day of one of World War One’s bloodiest battles, in this September 2015 podcast.
Also in this episode, Professor Christopher Whatley discusses the events of the Jacobite revolt, 300 years after the 1715 uprising.
The Spanish Armada
Robert Hutchinson explores the reality of the Spanish Armada campaign of 1588, in this July 2013 episode.
Meanwhile, Professor Michael Fulford discusses the discovery of a huge Iron Age mansion at Silchester.
The Spanish Armada. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The battle of Poitiers
Bernard Cornwell considers the 1356 battle of Poitiers, in this October 2012 podcast.
Also in this episode, David Reynolds discusses Britain's Second World War strategy.
Sean McGlynn delves into the story of England's medieval battle of Trafalgar, in this June 2012 podcast.
Meanwhile, John Romer considers ancient Egypt.
The battle of the Bulge
In this May 2015 podcast, military historian Antony Beevor offers a fresh interpretation of the 1944 Ardennes offensive that represented Hitler’s final attempt to turn the tide of the war.
Meanwhile, journalist Wendy Holden tells the remarkable tale of three young women who gave birth while in Nazi captivity.
An American infantryman takes time out for a pipe smoke during a lull in the fighting during the battle of the Bulge, January 1945. (Photo by Photo12/UIG/Getty Images)
In April 2015, on the centenary of the battle of Gallipoli, Australian writer Peter FitzSimons describes the disastrous Allied campaign of 1915.
Meanwhile, historian Cormac Ó Gráda, author of Eating People Is Wrong, explains how famines occasionally resulted in cannibalism.