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The Explaining History Podcast has been exploring the 20th Century in weekly chapters for the past 10 years, helping students and enthusiasts engage with the past. With the help of expert guests, your host Nick Shepley navigates competing debates around the key events and processes of the past century. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/explaininghistory
 
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In the winter of 1937-38, Japan launched an assault of previously unprecedented brutality against a Chinese civilian population in the nationalist capital of Nanjing. Japan's desigs for China and South East Asia rested on being able to break the power of China's Guomindang nationalists, who were more inclined to build alliances with European powers…
 
Two weeks ago Sinn Fein achieved something that had previously been considered politically impossible in Northern Ireland, it gained a majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections and is now likely to form a government. This edition of the update explores the ramifications for Northern Ireland, Britain, the Irish Republic and the EU of this …
 
In today's episode of the podcast, I explore Richard Overy's arguments in Blood and Ruins and discuss his ideas around the necessity for expansionism during the 1930s among the three Axis powers, Germany, Italy and Japan. The great depression triggered ideas of expansionism as a solution to economic hardship and eugenic beliefs about growing, vital…
 
Even before the war had officially ended, German cities began the process of clearing debris and rubble and rebuilding. Often, municipal authorities didn't wait for allied authorisation, they simply organised the clearances and began to move the millions of tonnes of brick and stone that had been left in the wake of allied bombing and Soviet shelli…
 
Germany was able to inflict huge losses on Britain during the Battle of the Atlantic. The British organised merchant ships into trans-Atlantic convoys, but between 1940-41 the German U-Boat wolf packs sank millions of tonnes of shipping. The initial successes were gradually replaced with ever greater losses for Germany, as inadequate U-Boats (too s…
 
Today's update focuses on the emerging dynamics of the Ukraine war and the possible long term position on the crisis that the Biden administration is taking. Plus, a short history of Moldova and Transnistria and the power of Russian gas. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/explainin…
 
This is the first of many podcasts exploring the writing of historian Sean McMeekin in his revisionist exploration of the role of the USSR in World War Two. In this episode we examine how conventional ideas about Stalin's intentions, preparedness and his outlook regarding the prospects of the allied powers against Germany by 1941 need to be revised…
 
In today's episode we discuss author and lawyer James Philips new book, Two Revolutions and a Constitution, which explores the impact of Britain's Civil Wars in the 17th Century, and the American war of Independence in the 18th Century on the shaping of the US Constitution. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Become a member …
 
After six years of Japanese control of Manchuria, and the establishment of control piecemeal across northern China, a skirmish at the Marco Polo bridge near Beijing presented Chiang with a fateful decision, to wage war now against Japan to prevent China further weakening or to ignore the crisis. Chiang knew that China would be forced to fight alone…
 
Today's update takes a sidestep away from Ukraine to look at the historic developments in France, following the defeat of Marine Le Pen and the Front National in Sunday's presidential election by Emmanuel Macron. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/explaininghistory.…
 
Our guest is Ben Wrigley and Ben is a Community Shares Practitioner working with East Marsh United to raise £500,000 to buy 10 more houses - part of our grand vision to buy 100 houses for 100 years and ensure the continuity of community engagement here on the East Marsh. Ben talks about Community Share Offers and about how the whole process is mana…
 
This is the fourth part of my exploration of the Ukraine crisis, and its wider ramifications. Across Europe and America both the Russian Federation and more recently Ukraine have found sympathisers whose support to either side reflects the state of cultural conflicts that have divided western democracies in the past decade. Whether this is by Russi…
 
In this special extended feature episode of the Explaining History podcast, I had the great pleasure to chat with Dominic Selwood, author of Anatomy of a Nation: A history of Britain in 50 documents. In this episode we discuss British national identity throughout the post war era and the crisis of identity that marks the Brexit era. You can purchas…
 
SS killers approached the violence and brutality of their murderous work in the camps during the war as part of the wider racial struggle that the Nazi regime had tasked them with. The camp SS viewed the camps as a battlefield and the murder of prisoners as another arena of warfare, so much so that SS murderers were given medals by Heinrich Himmler…
 
Today's episode about the Million Pound Challenge takes place from Grimsby's Freeman Street Market. The million pound challenge aims to put money into the pockets of East Marsh residents by providing free welfare and advice appointments at Freeman Street Market. Help may also be available if people are struggling to pay housing and home energy bill…
 
This is the third Ukraine update and in this episode, we look at the wider strategic and diplomatic realignments that are rapidly occurring, including China's current strategic ambiguity and Britain's growing diplomatic irrelevance under Johnson's Brexit government. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Become a member at https…
 
The failure of Nazi Germany to seize the small British mediterranean colony of Malta was a significant strategic error. In 1941, Hitler decided not to invade the island and instead decided to put his energies into the seizure of Crete, which he believed would pose a threat to Romania's oil fields if it remained in British hands. General Erwin Romme…
 
After the detection of the Soviet Union's first atomic bomb test in 1949, the race to create bigger and more destructive weapons led to testing in the wide expanses of Utah and at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The horrific costs of on civilians of these tests was mirrored by the USSR, which air-detonated bombs in the Urals to see if soldiers on the …
 
China, in the British or American historical memory of the Second World War is rarely seen as an equal allied power, despite the huge sacrifices endured by the Chinese people during the conflict. This is the second part of a series of podcasts based on the work of Dr Rana Mitter, which re-examines China's wartime role and origins and causes of Japa…
 
In August 1914, German leaders of the SPD, including the anti war Hugo Hasse accepted the inevitability of conflict and voted against their principals of internationalism and solidarity. The fear of the Rusian army invading Germany, or of state repression against political parties viewed as treacherous or disloyal created the illusion of unity. Els…
 
Eisenhower's domestic policy is often obscured to students of history by the struggles of the era (the Red Scare and McCarthyism and the civil rights struggle), making the president's own policy agenda and his political inclinations less easy to explore. This podcast looks at the conservative tendencies of Eisenhower, his opposition to the growing …
 
China was the first country to be invaded by an Axis power and historian Rana Mitter has argued that its wartime experience is one of the most obscured and misunderstood in the west, though Chinese losses dwarfed those experienced by European and American combatants. Only the USSR suffered more during the war than China, but the immediate civil war…
 
Robert McNamara was John F Kennedy's choice to fix the sprawling bureacracy at the Department of Defence. McNamara employed an economist's mind to problems, had greatly increased the destructive power of the USAAF during the Second World War by using data and intelligence to firebomb Japanese cities more effectively, and became the first non family…
 
Eisenhower found McCarthy distasteful but had not desire to enter into a political fight with him. He thought that this would diminish the presidency and give lie to the idea that America was a harmonious post war society. He hoped that the public mood would change and when McCarthy was finally defeated the evidence suggests that attitudes were tra…
 
This episode is our third Ragged Reading Group discussion - this time we explored the text suggested during our last one: An Inspector Calls by English dramatist J. B. Priestley. An Inspector Calls is a three-act drama which takes place on a single night in April 1912, focusing on the prosperous upper middle-class Birling family, who live in a comf…
 
By 1939, the Royal Navy had lost a decade of growth, after budget cuts during the Great Depression and the closure of shipyards resulted in an older fleet than that of its enemies. The navy's role as the defender of the sea lanes that bound the empire together meant that it was for much of the war, Britain's primary line of defence against the Axis…
 
When Richard Nixon won his second presidential term in 1972 defeating George McGovern in 1972, he was at the height of his popularity. The previous year he had captured the public mood when he addressed the nation's fears about the growing economic stagnation that America had begun to experience at the end ofthe 1960s. He had successfully negotiate…
 
In today's episode, Jack Booth and Billy Dasein talk to Jason Stockwood, Club Chairman of Grimsby Town Football Club and so much more. We set a high bar with our opening question and the conversation then ranges across kibbutzim and DisneyWorld, how work really works for people and organisations (spoiler: trust people), a brief discussion of Wittge…
 
Despite a decade of social conflict prior to the First World War between German trade unions and bosses, the declaration of war by Germany against Russia in the summer of 1914 led to a temporary but significant period of social unity in the Reich. The SPD, Germany's Social Democratic Party, showed its loyalty to the Kaiser's government by voting fo…
 
This episode is in support of our Ragged Reading Group’s imminent exploration of J.B. Priestley’s play An Inspector Calls, which was first performed in 1945 at a time of great change - both World Wars were fresh in the minds of the people, women had become more prominent in the workplace and believe it or not people of the 21st Century, it was poss…
 
When the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies drove their tanks into Prague in 1968, crushing the nascent pro democracy movement led by Alexander Dubcek, the last pretense of there being anything emancipatory about Soviet Communism disappeared. Instead, the USSR and its sattelite regimes were shorn of any ideological credibility and now faced su…
 
In the summer of 1940 the British faced supply shortages in the Middle East and were vastly outnumbered by Italian forces in Libya. Archibald Wavell, one of Churchill's least favourite generals, came under intense pressure from his Prime Minister for a swift and impressive victory. HIs opposite number Count Graziani quickly realised the Italian Arm…
 
Community Organiser Bryn Phillips talks to Jack and Billy from the East Marshian Chronicles Podcast. Bryn talks about bringing organisations together to build civic power - including here in Grimsby. He speaks of the important issue of where the money comes from in terms of a self-determining group of citizens. In particular, Bryn discusses crucial…
 
In the summer of 1940, German successes in Europe had been based on a very particular model of interaction between air and ground forces. The planned invasion of southern England and the seizure of London envisioned by Hitler presented the German airforce with entirely new problems. Some German commanders believed that the Luftwaffe alone could def…
 
During the forced programme of industrialisation in the late 1950s in China, known as the Great Leap Forward, China's peasants came under intense pressure from the violent Maoist state to produce impossible grain quotas. Villages had already undergone the process of communalisation, where the basic structures of communal and even family life were t…
 
Today's podcast from the edge of things is a fascinating chat with Lord Maurice Glasman. Maurice talks about his strong family background, finding himself in an unchallenging role as an academic and about breaking free of all that and discovering a joyous new skill-set as a Community Organiser allied with the Industrial Areas Foundation - and unexp…
 
Harold Wilson was the most successful Labour prime minister of the 20th Century, but was the subject of plots to remove him from power by the military, business and intelligence elites. No coup attempt against Wilson was ever launched in Britain, but his sudden resignation in 1976 followed years of speculation that he had been spied upon by the int…
 
This episode is our second Ragged Reading group and our Ragged Readers are Al Burley, Carolyn Doyley, Josie Moon, Jill Harrison and facilitator Billy Dasein. We first of all explore the famous Great Money Trick where the character Frank Owen organises a mock-up of capitalism with his workmates, using slices of bread as raw materials and knives as m…
 
When Mao Zedong, China's 'great helmsman' died in 1976, the China that emerged after destructive reign began to be de-Maoified economically but also culturally. By the early 1980s a cutlure of Mao criticism was prevalent in the arts, television and cinema, along with critiques of the Mao era communist party. This podcast examines the processes of D…
 
By 1944 it was clear that there was no future for the Third Reich, but unlike other regimes that have faced overwhelming odds, Germany fought on to the end. Historian Ian Kershaw wrote a groundbreaking book in 2011, The End, which explained why the Third Reich chose the path of Gotterdammerung (downfall). This is the first of several podcasts where…
 
Today we have something different, we're starting a few podcasts exploring different approaches to local democracy and community development and engagement. We start with some brilliant young people who have been travelling around the country asking the question 'What's Next'? Thanks to the intrepid Freedom Tourers: Greg, Paul, George, Lara, Liv. I…
 
By the late 1960s there were huge opportunities for Richard Nixon to capitalise on the growing discontent across America towards the counter culture. Millions of Americans looked on with disdain at a generation of anti war protesters and young men and women who actively rejected the lifestyles of their parents generation. Nixon, and every Republica…
 
Welcome to Episode 4 of The Magic Garden. In the final episode, we find out what Cosmo has been making with his mum. Will Barry the Beetle and his babies find a new home? What is the giant with the green legs doing? Will Notwhat have good news? We hope you enjoyed listening to the story and we look forward to bringing you more later this year. The …
 
Following the disastrous chaos and violence of the cultural revolution, Deng Xiaoping, one of Maoist China's inveterate survivors and a hate figure for Mao himself, began a series of changes of global significance in 1978. Deng's four modernisations (agriculture, industry, education, science and defence), and the policy of opening up China to forei…
 
Episode Three: Who is the giant with the green legs? Why isn’t Carrie afraid of him? In Episode Three, we find out more about the animals and their fears over their homes. The Magic Garden, by Josie Moon is a brand new story featuring intrepid children Carrie and Cosmo, Sandi the snail, Susan the hedgehog and many more garden creatures. The story w…
 
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