Neal Bascomb – The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War
WWI / February 11, 2019

February 11, 2019 – We welcome one of our favorite authors back into our time machine. It’s Neal Bascomb. We last caught up with him in Nazi-occupied Norway for the bone-chilling tale of The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb. Neal’s latest book is The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War. It’s the tale of Allied airmen set out to defeat Kaiser Wilhelm’s dreaded prisoner of war camp, Holzminden, and outwit its infamous commandant, Karl Niemeyer who swore that no one would get out alive. Dipping into memoirs and letters seen for the first time here, Neal Bascomb brings this forgotten story to life, in a rare bit of encouraging news for the home front during the darkness of the Great War. It’s a legacy of innovation that not only taught captured allies escape in far greater numbers when World War 2 arrived, but that informs how we prepare military personnel for capture to this day. Visit our guest at, follow him @NealBascomb on Twitter, or like him on Facebook at Neal R. Bascomb.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 52:46 — 48.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |…

Patrick Gregory – An American on the Western Front
WWI / November 5, 2018

November 5, 2018 – Our time machine soars over the Great War’s trenches — and gets down and dirty on ground level — through the eyes of a pilot in the very early days of U.S. air power. Our guide on this journey is Patrick Gregory, co-author of An American on the Western Front: The First World War Letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber 1917-18. Written along with his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Nurser (Kimber’s niece), Patrick Gregory has produced a true labor of love, bringing to life the only Great War record of its scope from the period of America’s involvement. In addition to having a family friend in former President Theodore Roosevelt, Lt. Kimber also had the distinction of carrying the first official U.S. flag to the nation’s European allies, adding rich details to the story of one doughboy among so many. Patrick spent most of his career as a journalist at the BBC, working for 20 years at Westminster and helmed a number of political and history documentaries, as well as working in journalistic democracy-strengthening initiatives in the Asia-Pacific area. Visit him online at or @AmericanOnTheWF on Twitter.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:04:22 — 147.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts…

Richard Pyves – Courage, Sacrifice and Betrayal: The Story of the Victoria Rifles of Canada, 60th Battalion, in the First World War
Canada , WWI / July 30, 2018

July 30, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to the Western Front of the Great War, and enlists with the 60th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, which captured the villages of Vimy and Petit Vimy, in the pivotal battle for Vimy Ridge. Author Rick Pyves contacted 2,500 living relatives of the soldiers through Ancestry, uncovering 86 personal recollections and letters as well as over 200 photos for Courage, Sacrifice and Betrayal – The Story of the Victoria Rifles of Canada, 60th Battalion in the First World War.  One of those relatives is our own resident genealogist, Catherine, who offers her research services through Her grandfather’s first cousin, Private Charles Henry Mainwaring, gave his life in the 60th Battalion at only 20 years old. Rick Pyves is an avid historian and a genealogist who, like Catherine, also hails from Canada. His first book — Night Madness: A Rear Gunner’s Story of Love, Courage, and Hope in World War II — weaves his father’s tale into a touching love story in one man’s very personal war. Visit or follow @RichardPyves on Twitter for more on this view of the First World War War from the nation Winston Churchill…

John U. Bacon – The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story
Canada , WWI / April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 – Our time machine travels back 100 years, to witness the split-second explosion that blew a chunk of Halifax, Nova Scotia off the map. On December 6, 1917, this key city in supplying the Allies in the Great War, suffered the largest man-made explosion prior to the bombs that ended World War Two — something that caught the attention of physicist Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb.” On the shore in Canada to witness the collision in the harbor is John U. Bacon, author of The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism. John U. Bacon teaches at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and the University of Michigan. He’s written five New York Times bestsellers, including Three and Out, Fourth and Long, and, Endzone. You can catch him often on NPR and national TV, as well as, @JohnUBacon on Twitter, or         Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:04:27 — 147.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Margaret E. Wagner – America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History
WWI / November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back to a time when the United States fought its first major overseas conflict, joining a fight idealized as making the world safe for democracy. Our guide on this journey is Margaret E. Wagner, a senior writer/editor in the Library of Congress Publishing Office. She brings us America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History. This book is almost an art history museum sitting on your coffee table, offering up over 250 images, along with 4-color illustrations — many never seen before. Margaret Wagner has applied the talents she put into her previous books, The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War; The American Civil War: 365 Days, and, World War II: 365 Days. She’s also co-author of The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference and The Library of Congress World War II Companion.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:17:58 — 71.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Jim Leeke – From the Dugouts to the Trenches
Sports , WWI / October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 – Today, our time machine follows professional baseball players, onto the battlefields of Europe in World War One a century ago. We hear the story about how the game, players, fans and the War Department clash in From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War, by author Jim Leeke. Jim is a contributor to the Society for American Baseball Research Baseball Biography Project, as well as the writer or editor of several books on U.S. and military history. We chatted a previously with Jim about his Civil War novel for young adults: Matty Boy, and talked about a single, special game along the lines of today’s topic in his book: Nine Innings for the King: The Day Wartime London Stopped for Baseball, July 4, 1918. Which makes Jim, our three-peating guest. Find Jim on at or on Twitter @WW1Baseball.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 51:10 — 117.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Kevin C. Fitzpatrick – World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War
New York , WWI / May 27, 2017

May 29, 2017 – We’re uploading this episode for Memorial Day 2017, to pay tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to the United States. Leading us on this trip into the past, is Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, a licensed New York City Sightseeing Guide, United States Marine veteran, and author of World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War. World War I has deep roots in the Empire State, which sent more men to fight than the other stars on the flag. Next-door New Jersey played a big role, as well, including Dean’s hometown of Cresskill, which was home to the sprawling Camp Merritt. When those men shipped out, they rode the rail line to Hoboken, a prime embarkation point for the doughboys, leading to General Pershing’s slogan that they’d be in “Heaven, Hell or (back home in) Hoboken” by Christmas. The area remained an important hub for men, prisoners of war, and recruiting throughout the conflict. Following the Armistice in 1918, the city sought to remember those who lost their lives over there, and erected more memorials for this event than any other. To mark the…

Jacqueline Wadsworth – Letters from the Trenches
WWI / November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015 – In honor of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day on November 11th, Bristol writer Jacqueline Wadsworth takes us back to “the war to end all wars” in Letters from the Trenches: The First World War by Those Who Were There. We hear from soldiers on the Western Front, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Italy, Northern Russia — and, of course, from the women and children suffering through the Great War back home. In addition to the book, you can visit for tons of additional content, and follow Jacqueline Wadsworth on Twitter @SoldiersLetters. Discover Your History magazine calls Letters from the Trenches, “A warm evocation of how ordinary people’s lives were affected by a devastating conflict,” and they highly recommend it. But Jacqueline’s book is more than a pile of letters, more than another poetic retelling of the romance and tragedy of the war. It’s a book where real people speak for themselves, as war upends their daily lives.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 55:21 — 50.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More