DiscoverThe History of WWII Podcast - by Ray Harris Jr
The History of WWII Podcast - by Ray Harris Jr
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The History of WWII Podcast - by Ray Harris Jr

Author: Recorded History Podcast Network

Subscribed: 23,548Played: 425,982


A biweekly podcast covering the last great war. Join Ray Harris Jr as he explores World War Two in intimate detail.
299 Episodes
It's the beginning of the end for the Allied defense of Burma. While Gen. Slim's men are pushed back, their Chinese Allies in the Shan States of Eastern Burma are set upon and scattered.. Their remnants head back to China. Still, Gen. Slim wants to stay and fight and plans to build on Gen. Joseph Stilwell's string of victories, but even these can not alter the course of the wider war. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Gen. William Slim will have to use all his experience and cunning to survive this latest defeat and retreat. In the balance is the entire 1st Burma Division. Fortunately for the Allies, Chinese Gen. Sun Li-jen of the 38th Division had dreamed as a boy that he would win a great victory and bring glory to China. The Sun was about to shine bright! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Michel Paradis joins us to talk about his book, Last Mission to Tokyo: The Extraordinary Story of The Doolittle Raiders and Their Final Fight for Justice. A few of the pilots are captured by the Japanese, tortured and sentenced to death. And it will be those Japanese officers connected with this cruelty, that will be tried by the American Government. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The British lead Allies will suffer defeat on land, sea and in the air, but Gen. Slim will not give up. Moving his men north after loosing at Prome, the defenders set up a new line further to the north. The Chinese lend another force to this new defensive line, but what arrives is a far cry than the tough 500th Division. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
My web design guru Paul Finch of Scotland comes on as we discuss the WWII Podcast on its 10th Anniversary. Paul pitches the questions sent in by listeners and I answer them as best I can, with a pinch of humility. Thanks to everyone who listens and we should get this wrapped another 10 years! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Bryan Rigg talks about his book Flamethrower: Iwo Jima Medal of Honor Recipient and US Marine Woody Williams and His Controversial Award, Japan's Holocaust and the Pacific War. Iwo Jima must fall to the Americans to allow more intense bombing of the Japanese Home Islands. But Lt. Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi, the commander on Iwo Jima will move Heaven and Earth, not to mention break all precedent to inflict staggering casualties on the approaching US Marines. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This episode brings in Gen. Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell as he “takes command” of Chinese Armies bound for Burma. Yet, as he will find, appearances can be deceiving. The RAF and AVG crews are pushed out of Burma as the Japanese 55th Division comes at Toungoo, to begin the battle of central Burma. But in their way, is the Chinese 200th Division of the 5th Army, the best that Chiang Kai-Shek has to offer. Oh and this is my 10th Anniversary Episode! Thanks for listening. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This episode introduces Gen. William Slim of BurCorps. It would be his job to turn the tables on the Japanese in Burma, by working with American Gen. Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell. But first, we look back at Slim's experiences in the Middle East as the Allies subdue Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Japanese 15th Army invades Burma, hoping to use speed to reach Rangoon. But several British officers hope to hold them off until reinforcements can arrive. The episode covers the fighting retreat from the Salween River, the fighting retreat from the Bilin River and the Battle of Sittang River, where the 17th Indian Division looses more than half of its troops due to bad planning and even worse communication. The situation is most dire before the arrival of Gen. William Slim and Gen. Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Although the British are unprepared to defend Burma, Wavell believes that the Japanese may have extended themselves too far with this invasion. But it’s wishful thinking as the 3 most southern British airfields quickly fall. With the invaders coming ever closer to Rangoon, it’s up to the Flying Tigers and RAF pilots at Rangoon to give hope to the Allies. And these men will deliver impressive defeats to the Japanese Air Arm. But the Japanese and Thai ground troops are still getting closer to the Burmese capital, where the Lend Lease material is waiting. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This potpourri of an episode has lots from early 1942 in the Pacific. Covering the Admiralty, Marshall, Gilbert, Mariana, Caroline and Solomon Islands, we cover more Japanese victories, but also Washington's desire to strike back. Then asking the question, what was the turning point in the Pacific Campaign, Midway or the Solomon Islands Campaign. And finally, ending with Adm. Halsey and Adm. Fletcher as they lead air raids against the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Japanese determine that Burma must be occupied to protect their new possession of Malaya. It's up to Chiang Kai-Shek, American Gen. Joe Stilwell and British Gen. Wavell to stop them. The problem is the Allies don't trust each other, in regards to Burma's future. Churchill doesn't care about China right now, but FDR needs the massive country to stay in the fight. Or else the many Japanese divisions in China might be turned on Australia and the US General Staff have determined that Australia has to hold out, to serve as a base. From their Gen. Douglas MacArthur will plan his return to the Philippines. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
With Rabaul taken the Japanese go after locations in NE New Guinea, but will have to deal with Vice Adm. Wilson Brown and the US carriers Lexington and Yorktown. The Americans and Australians achieve a surprise air raid on Lae and Salamaua, now owned by the Japanese, but the later will not be deterred from planning their next strike against Port Moresby. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The invasions of New Britain and New Ireland get underway. But are over just as quickly. Meanwhile, Australian PM John Curtain informs Churchill that his country will now tie its wagon to the US. Gen. Douglas MacArthur will be their overall commander. Lastly, the incredible story of the Lost Women of Rabaul is covered. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Joining us is Damien Lewis, to talk about his latest book Churchill's Shadow Raiders: The Race to Develop Radar, WWII's Invisible Secret Weapon. Operation Biting's goal was to steal a German Radar Device, yet because of that very device, the Germans knew the British Commandos were coming. And as the raid is launched, Churchill's cabinet can not forget the first airborne operation, which many thought ended in disaster, Operation Colossus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
With much of SE Asia conquered, the Japanese now focus on New Guinea, staring with the islands of New Britain and New Ireland. Lark Force at Rabaul will be sacrificed, but will do their duty. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Despite Allied hopes that Timor would be left alone, the Japanese Empire has need of its airfields to bomb Australia. But what the invaders were not counting on was the tough Australian Commandos who stay behind and inflict impressive casualties until the end of 1942. Col. Doi, the Japanese officer in charge therefore, calls in the Tiger of Singapore. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Final of the Java series. East Java falls and what is left of the Java Allied Defense is trapped in the south at Tjilatjap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Japanese come at Java but first must deal with the Combined Fleet of Dutch, Australian, British and American vessels. What follows is The Battle of the Java Sea and The Battle of Sundra Straight. Then the fall of western Java. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Peter Lion joins up to talk about the incredible George Mergenthaler, the sole heir to a vast fortune, but after Pearl Harbor, he joined the US Army as a buck private, only wanting to do his part. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (28)

George Scott

Just downloaded and started reading the book. Thanks for having Mr. Rigg on the podcast!

Aug 8th

Cristian Butusina

If interested in WW2 check "History of the Second World War" by Wesley Livesay. To me it seems less biased.

May 1st

damned skeptic

forgot to mention that the Pole's had large amounts of anti tank riffles, they never changed tanks with calvery.

Mar 5th

El Pinto Grande

I'd be really interested to learn what fel sorcery was performed to allow the guest to cram a metric-ton of lazy cliches into such a confined package! though, tbh, I'll sit through just about anything for the pleasure of watching naval combat on the big screen (even Battleship).

Feb 12th

Nicholas Bohlen

extraordinary podcast!

Jan 8th
Reply (2)

Jon G. Aichs

We need today more than ever a NSDAP. Europe is dying especially our beloved ancestral home Germany. She must rise from the ashes of multiculturalism and bolshevik rule and take her place once again above the all others on the world stage. this time we Will Win.

Oct 7th

Navid Hosseini


Oct 4th

Jeremy Cartwright

My grandfather fought in this campaign. This was a great summary of this series of events around the Aluetian Islands. Thanks!

Sep 13th

Pedro Hernandez

Was a big fan, told my history loving friends about the show. first noticed a change a couple of months back, now I'm getting shows I have no interest in being down loaded instead of your show. Unsubscribing.

May 25th

Android Account

love this podcast.... educational and entertaining too!

Mar 6th
Reply (1)

George Scott

stumbled upon this podcast and I have to thank ray for making my commuting time on the train actually enjoyable. I truly appreciate the labor of love .

Mar 6th

Tyrel Byler

Hey Ray, I really like listening to WWll history and listened to the first 200ish episodes in just a few months. But am very disappointed with the channel in the last few months (ever since you started podcasting full time) the episodes come out rather sparsely and at least half of the new ones are boring self-promoting interviews of random authors. I'd just love to see you go back to what got you listeners in the first place, telling history.

Feb 1st

Jas Rec

Hopefully this gets back to Ray, but I digress, I really enjoy this podcast and the other podcasts that Ray makes with Cameron Riley, but it’s too bad Ray didn’t do this interview for wwii history podcast alone. I usually enjoy Cameron and his witty commentary, but I didn’t get the same feeling from his aggression toward the author of the Churchill biography. Cameron’s constant attempts to demonize Churchill was pointless considering the author didn’t live Churchill’s life. As I said I am usually there loving Cameron’s intelligent wit but this felt more personal to the point of childish. Overall still a good show but would’ve been better if the interview had been done for the wwii history podcast and not for their shared show.

Jan 25th

sara ~

horrid screaming adverts made me unsub immediately. no thanks!

Jan 18th

Martin Zurada

This is a very good podcast but at this pace it will never reach the end of WWII. Too many detours on book reviews etc.

Dec 30th

Shaun Fryer

I've listened to 60 episodes in two weeks

Dec 28th

I like dick up my Bum Hole and

one of my favorite podcasts. simply astonishing.

Dec 4th

Russell Lee

how many times are you going to cover pearl fuckin Harbor? damn, it's hardly the largest most important battle of the war. the USSR had already been at war by then. try KURSK,Moscow, leningrad, Kiska, Burma, on and on and on.

Nov 21st

Peter Chaloner

Compared with the babyvoiced airheads of today, whining about misogyny and patriarchy, how splendidly clearly this lady speaks. An example to our daughters.

Oct 30th

J Kunkel

This podcast is well appreciated! One take away- could the French be historically identified as an AXIS power due to the Vichy actions against allies? The Vichy did represent the actual government, De Gaulle was a rebel.

Jul 4th
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