Podcasts

HISTORY WITH MARK BIELSKI PODCAST

On History with Mark Bielski, tune in to hear Mark discuss history from ancient to modern times with experts in their fields of study, with special attention to the Civil War and WWII. We leave the textbooks behind and delve into the characters, backstories and often the intrigues that drove events throughout history.

Thank you to our sponsor Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, the first name in historic travel!

May 24 – The Ghost Army with Rick Beyer

Rick Beyer discusses the Ghost Army operations in WWII and the tour he will be leading this September to experience and study their creative deceptions during the war. Click here for more information on the Ghost Army and the D-Day tour.

May 18 – May Historical Events: Civil War

A review of historical events in May leading up to and in the early years of the Civil War.  From the slavery issue at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to the mortal wounding of Stonewall Jackson in May of 1863.See some accompanying information click here.

May 10 – Medicine in the Civil War

Dr. Ken Rettig and Mark discuss medical practices during the Civil War. From bullet wounds and amputations to respiratory diseases and dysentery, they explore how army surgeons treated patients  in the mid-nineteenth century. For a segment from a surgeon’s report click here.

May 3 – Predicting Pearl Harbor

Gen. Billy Mitchell recognized the signs for the eventual showdown between the U.S. and Japan―eighteen years before the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. Yet his superiors dismissed his studies out of hand. In his book, Predicting Pearl Harbor, historian Ronald J. Drez finally gives credence to Mitchell’s predictions. Click here for information on Ron’s book.

April 26 – Civil War: The Fall of New Orleans

The Union bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip by David Dixon Porter’s mortar boats continues.  The rest of the Union fleet under David Farragut is able to steam past the forts. After a duel with the few effective Confederate gunboats, they reach New Orleans and demand the city’s surrender on April 26, 1862.

April 19 –  April Historical Events: Civil War and WWII

A look at some significant events that took place in April during the Civil War and WWII. “April is the cruelest month” according to T.S. Eliot, but how accurate is that historically? You decide. Here are some major happenings and a few occurrences that are not so well known: Fort Sumter, Shiloh, Eel Creek, California, Norway, Murmansk and Iraq. For more info and quiz, click here.

April 12 – The Sultana Disaster-Part II

Author Sally M. Walker joins Mark to discuss the tragic disaster of the explosion and sinking of the Sultana in 1865. America’s greatest maritime disaster occurred on the Mississippi River at the end of the Civil War—but so few people know about it. Her book, Sinking the Sultana tells the intriguing story.

April 5 – The Lincoln Assassination and the Sultana Disaster

Professor Gerry Prokopowicz wraps up the Lincoln discussion with some points about the assassination in April 1865.  Mark gives background and the basic story of the Sultana tragedy, America’s greatest maritime disaster that occurred that same month.

March 29 – Questions About Lincoln

Professor Gerry Prokopowicz discusses Abraham Lincoln, his youth, early career, presidency and the Civil War.  He addresses some of the popular questions readers ask about the sixteenth president as well as some that may be more obscure ones.

March 22 – Patton and the Third Army at Fort Driant

After the historic breakout in Normandy and their rapid advance through northern France, the Third Army faced an unexpected obstacle at Fort Driant on the Maginot Line.  A seasoned garrison of Wehrmacht troops put up a staunch resistance.  Historian Kevin Hymel returns to discuss the battle and logistics issues that bogged down their progress.

March 15 – Leadership in WWII: Band of Brothers

Chris Anderson joins Mark to discuss leadership in the Second World War at various levels.  As an expert on Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, he highlights Major Dick Winters of Band of Brothers renown.

March 8 – Civil War New Orleans

General Mansfield Lovell assumes military command of New Orleans and begins to shore up the defenses.  He affirms that the threat will come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, despite Richmond’s insistence that he transfer men and boats north.  Construction begins on two super CSA gunboats, the Louisiana and Mississippi—said to surpass anything the Union had. For a summary of part of the episode and an image of the Manassas in action click here.

March 1 –  Hood’s Texas Brigade

Susannah J. Ural, professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and co-director of the University’s Dale Center for the Study of War and Society discusses her recent book, Hood’s Texas Brigade: The Soldiers and Families of the Confederacy’ts Most Celebrated Unit.  Published by Louisiana State University Press.

 

February 22 – The Band of Brothers: George Luz and Easy Company

In this episode, guest George Luz, Jr. talks about his father’s experiences in WWII as a soldier in Easy Company, the Band of Brothers.  We discuss the training, toil, camaraderie and sacrifices of the men in E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

February 15 – Vicksburg Monuments: The Art of Commemoration

General Parker Hills joins Mark to discuss the monuments at the Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi.  Gen. Hills’ book Art of Commemoration catalogues and details the magnificent sculpture, architecture, the artists and interpretations that memorialize the Park. For more information click here.

February 8 – Civil War New Orleans

In 1861, the City of New Orleans prepared for an imminent invasion by Union forces after Louisiana joined the Confederacy. As a crisis loomed, leadership, politics and military shortcomings became evident. Click here for related text, map and photos.

February 1- Ulysses S. Grant: Later War Years

Professor Laver returns to review the Vicksburg Campaign, Grant’s rise to General-in-Chief of the Union Army, the Chattanooga campaign and his campaigns in Virginia. Click here for some facts about Grant at Fort Donelson.

January 25 – Ulysses S. Grant: Early Career and Civil War

Harry Laver, Professor of History at the US Army Command and General Staff College, joins Mark to discuss Grant’s development and leadership in the Western Theatre of the War. They cover Grant’s youth, West Point, life as a young officer, Shiloh and Civil War service up to the Vicksburg Campaign. For more information on the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, click here.

January 18 – Tudor England in the Media

Professor Bill Robison joins Mark to discuss Tudor England and its portrayal in film and TV—especially the series The Tudors and the interpretations of key characters such as Henry VIII, Ann Boleyn, Catherine of Aragon, Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey.

January 11 – January Events in American History

The beginning of a new year has often seen major developments in U.S. history.  We review some of the key events such as the Battle of New Orleans and the Emancipation Proclamation.

January 5 – Preview of Upcoming Episodes Early 2018

Mark gives a preview of some of the historical topics he’ll be discussing and the historians who will join him on History with Mark Bielski for the “Spring Semester.”

December 20, 2017 – Christmas During Wartime Part II

This episode reviews some of the happenings that American and Allied soldiers experienced during WWII. There are a few items from the home front and some from where the fighting occurred, as well as a few segments from POWs. For accompanying images click here.

December 14, 2017 – Christmas During Wartime

War brings few joyous moments. Over the years, Christmas time has provided a few glimmers of warmth. From a surprise victory for George Washington, to mules masquerading as reindeer in the Civil War, to a flare-lit soccer game between Brits and Germans in WWI, Mark shares some wartime Christmas memories. For accompanying images click here.

December 8, 2017 – Operation Overlord: D-Day Preparation

Mark discusses Operation Overlord, the planning of the D-Day invasion, on this podcast. It includes excerpts from Dr. Stephen Ambrose’s lectures on Operation Overlord. To see accompanying map and images click here.

November 30, 2017 – Lewis & Clark

Montana historian Hal Stearns joins Mark to discuss Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. They had their talk at Fort Clatsop, the winter encampment of the Expedition.  The restored fort is near present day Astoria, Oregon on the Columbia River.

November 23, 2017 – The Ghost Army Part II

Writer and filmmaker Rick Beyer returns to discuss in further detail the extraordinary deception soldiers better known as the Ghost Army. Rick made the PBS documentary The Ghost Army and co-authored the book,The Ghost Army of World War II. To see maps and images related to the Ghost Army click here.

November 16, 2017 – The Ghost Army

In this episode of History with Mark Bielski, Filmmaker and author Rick Beyer visits with Mark to discuss the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, the extraordinary deception soldiers better known as the Ghost Army. Rick made the PBS documentary The Ghost Army and co-authored the book,The Ghost Army of World War II. For additional information about Rick, his book and documentary click here.

November 9, 2017 – D-Day Beach Landings

Guest historian, Marty Morgan, returns to discuss the invasion operations, Omaha Beach landings and actions at Vierville Draw on D-Day. To see accompanying map and images click here.

 

November 1, 2017 – Conspiracy Theories: JFK and Pearl Harbor

On this episode of History with Mark Bielski, Mark interviews historian Marty Morgan on “Conspiracy theories: JFK and Pearl Harbor.” They discuss Lee Harvey Oswald, the new JFK documents being released and conspiracy theories that have revolved around the Pearl Harbor attack.

October 25, 2017 – D-Day Airborne Operations

Mark and guest historian, Marty Morgan, discuss the airborne operations and actions of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne and the British 6th Airborne Divisions on D-Day. This podcast originally aired on the anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2017. We highly recommend you listen to Mark’s follow up conversation with Marty on the June 21 D-Day Beach Landings podcast, where they discuss the invasion operations, Omaha Beach landings and actions at Vierville Draw on D-Day. To see an invasion map click here.

October 18 – Patton Part II: Post WWII

Kevin Hymel returns for a discussion of Patton’s post-war governance in Germany and the actual story of his fatal accident and death. For additional information click here.

October 11 – General George S. Patton: Early Years and WWII

Kevin Hymel, writer and Patton historian, joins Mark to discuss one of America’s greatest generals. They cover Patton’s background, his early years and his career leading up to and into WWII.

October 4 – Civil War New Orleans: Prelude to Conflict

Mark takes a comparative look at developments leading up to the Civil War and the importance of the city of New Orleans to the Confederacy. To see the additional information discussed in the Podcast click here.

September 27 – Antietam Part II

Gerry Prokopowicz returns to discuss the battle, its consequences and aftermath and the response from both sides. We include Abraham Lincoln’s writing the the Emancipation Proclamation.

September 20 – Antietam Part I

Professor Gerry Prokopowicz joins Mark to discuss the events leading up to the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. We cover the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) that August, Robert E. Lee’s reasons for taking the Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland and the beginning of the battle. For a summary click here.

 

September 13 – Preview of Autumn Historians and Topics

Host Mark Bielski provides information on the background of the historical topics he’ll be discussing and the historians who will join him on History with Mark Bielski this fall.

August 30, 2017 – The Ghost Army Part II

Writer and filmmaker Rick Beyer returns to discuss in further detail the extraordinary deception soldiers better known as the Ghost Army. Rick made the PBS documentary The Ghost Army and co-authored the book,The Ghost Army of World War II. To see maps and images related to the Ghost Army click here.

August 16, 2017 – The Ghost Army

In this episode of History with Mark Bielski, Filmmaker and author Rick Beyer visits with Mark to discuss the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, the extraordinary deception soldiers better known as the Ghost Army. Rick made the PBS documentary The Ghost Army and co-authored the book,The Ghost Army of World War II. For additional information about Rick, his book and documentary click here.

July 26, 2017 – Part II with WWII Vet Mort Sheffloe

Combat veteran Mort Sheffloe continues discussing his WWII experiences in Normandy and Brittany in 1944. Mort talks about Operation Cobra and being shot by a German sniper near Brest. To see maps and images click here.

July 12, 2017 – Interview with WWII Vet Mort Sheffloe

In this episode of History with Mark Bielski, Mark is on location in Normandy with a group of graduate students and veteran Mort Sheffloe, who discusses his WWII experiences in Normandy and Brittany in 1944. Some of the interviews took place while walking the sands and in cafés at Utah and Omaha Beaches. To see accompanying map and images click here.

June 21, 2017 – D-Day Beach Landings

Guest historian, Marty Morgan, returns to discuss the invasion operations, Omaha Beach landings and actions at Vierville Draw on D-Day. To see accompanying map and images click here.

June 6, 2017 – D-Day Airborne Operations

On the anniversary of D-Day, Mark and guest historian, Marty Morgan, discuss the airborne operations and actions of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne and the British 6th Airborne Divisions on D-Day. To see an invasion map click here.

May 31, 2017 – Operation Overlord Part II: Deception Plan

In this podcast, Mark covers the grand plan to fool Hitler about the D-Day invasion. To see accompanying maps and images click here.

May 24, 2017 – Operation Overlord: D-Day Preparation

Mark discusses Operation Overlord, the planning of the D-Day invasion, on this podcast. It includes excerpts from Dr. Stephen Ambrose’s lectures on Operation Overlord. To see accompanying map and images click here.

Introduction 

Mark discusses his new podcast, History with Mark Bielski, giving you an idea of what you can look forward to hearing in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you to our sponsor Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, the first name in historic travel!