0: Introduction


A brief description and overview of the podcast, its structure, and its organization.



Hello everyone and welcome to History of the Second World War. This is what I am calling episode 0 and the purpose of this episode is to discuss information about the podcast: what this is, the content that it will cover, who I am, and then how you can support the podcast. After you listen to this episode, or at any time in the future, if you have any questions, comments, thoughts, or concerns you can reach me at historyofthesecondworldwar@outlook.com, on twitter at WorldWar2Pod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/historyofthesecondworldwar

This is the History of the Second World War podcast, which will be a weekly podcast which will cover the events of the Second World War in roughly chronological order. It will cover the events of the interwar years in the lead up to the conflict, through the war years, and then probably up to the creation of the United Nations although that is far in the future. While covering this very eventful time period, I hope to be able to take you off the beaten path a bit which should allow us to discuss events that are sometimes not given the attention they probably deserve.

As I mentioned, these events will be covered in roughly chronological order, which means for the next several months we will be discussing the events of the interwar period, beginning with the founding of the League of Nations, then onto the rise of Mussolini in Italy, then the Great Depression, and so on throughout the interwar years. I do want to take a moment to define what I mean when I say “roughly” chronological, a definition that will become even more important during the war years. When I use the term roughly, I mean that while we will mostly be discussing events in order that they occurred, those events will be broken up into logical pieces. To use a specific example which we will eventually have to contend with: December 1941. In December 1941 there are several very large events happening around the world, on December 7th the Russian counter attack had just began in front of Moscow, Rommel would order a retreat in North Africa, Japanese forces were on the move in Southeast Asia, and Japanese planes were on their way to Pearl Harbor. The podcast will not be cutting between all of those events in real time, which would be a confusing mess. Instead we will cover each campaign before turning to the next. There will be times when we break out of this chronology to discuss events that do not neatly fit on a timeline, like the strategic bombing campaigns, what life was like in countries around the world, or partisan activities, just to name a few but these will be the exception and not the rule. If you would like to see a very rough roadmap for what this all looks like in practice, I have posted a Roadmap over at historyofthesecondworldwar.com.

Along with chronology, another piece of information about the podcast I want to discuss is level of detail. With the Second World War, maybe more than any war in history, the ability to go into extreme detail is not just possible, but very easy to do almost by accident. The amount of writing and analysis done by historians since 1945 provides incredibly rich and detailed sources that are simply incredible. For this podcast I will be holding to a more zoomed out approach to events. I try to stay away from what I call “platoon chasing” which is basically tracking and discussing the events of a bunch of small units over the course of an extended period of time. At the scale of events during the Second World War I think that such detailed accounts are valuable to history, but for a podcast can create a lot of confusion. The precise level of detail will depend on the topic being discussed, but hopefully you will find it to always be appropriate.

So that is a bit about the podcast, but what about me? My name is Wesley Livesay, and in 2014 I started a podcast on the First World War called History of the Great War. When I made the decision to start that podcast I was looking for a way to engage with my love of history and I thought that a podcast would be a good way to do so. After a bit of a rocky start, History of the Great War continued for over 5 years until in late 2019 I ran into a problem. History of the Great War was a chronological podcast about World War 1 and eventually I arrived at a point on the timeline where I felt I had stopped telling the story of the First World War and had bumped into the story of the Second. Which is where the concept for this podcast started.

As part of my previous podcast, and also as part of this new endeavor I am running a Patreon campaign. You can find information about the campaign over at historyofthesecondworldwar.com/members. If you choose to support the podcast you can gain access to several benefits. The first is a podcast feed without any advertisements. You can also get access to special Patreon only episodes which are released once a month. These episodes are generally deep dives into topics that do not really fit within the main narrative. The first series of Patreon episodes has already started, and will discuss the changes in the naval planning and preparations of the United States and Japanese Navies starting in the early 20th century when they began to view conflict with one another as a distinct possibility. These episodes will discuss the evolution of this planning up to about the late-1930s, with the final state of both navies covered in the main episodes. Along with all of the new content which will be released every month, as a supporter of this podcast you will also get access to the entire back catalog of 53 Patreon episodes from my First World War podcast. You can find out more information over at historyofthesecondworldwar.com/members.

Well, that is all for this episode, you should have another episode already in your feed, Episode 1: Introduction in which the real content of the podcast begins. If you have any questions, comments, thoughts or concerns shoot me an email at historyofthesecondworldwar@outlook.com, on twitter at WorldWar2Pod, or on facebook at facebook.com/historyofthesecondworldwar.