98. World War 2

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

“When every morning brought a noble chance,

And every chance brought out a noble knight” (Winston Churchill, ‘We shall fight them on the beaches’ speech, delivered to the House of Commons, Westminster, June 4, 1940 at 3:40pm; ref. Vol. 361, cc.787-98)


Welcome to Histories of the Unexpected where we demonstrate how everything has a history and how those histories link together in unexpected ways.


For this episode let us the Winston Churchill of war time stories and speeches, Dr Sam Willis, and the D-Day Bell of History, Professor James Daybell, as they protect the home front to bring to you the unexpected history of World War Two.


With rifles loaded and ready our two brave Tommies will lead us through the mud chocked trenches, from the concept of total war and the millions of people affected by it to the hidden letters and postcards, mementos and keepsakes linked to World War II, from the setting up of the Red Cross to racist Nazi propaganda, from King Arthur and his knights to Nazi super cows, from the Fray Bentos canning factory to the blackouts and fear of crime, and from the atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the lost memories of those caught up in conflict. With the concept of their new book firmly in mind, James and Sams unexpected history will give you a glimpse of World War Two in an unexpected and unique way.


James and Sam discover that this unexpected history is actually all about; catalyst and change, perspectives and opinion, recruitment and biology, myth and hope, innovation and technology, fear and security, experience and memory.

Listen out as Sam and James list the very unusual chapters of their forthcoming book, with some rather strange headings; Mozart, Zen Buddhism and insects, to name but a few. But how can these be linked to World War Two?

If you hold any war time records get in touch, we would love to hear more!

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