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military history

Six Impossible Episodes: Soldiers, Snipers and Spies

This installment of our impossible episodes series features a set of stories that are all about front-line heroism. Most of them are listener requests. See more »

Three Nuclear Close Calls

There have been many moments in history when the world came perilously close to a full-scale nuclear war, due to false alarms or miscommunication. One such moment is the only known time that a head of state has activated their nuclear briefcase. See more »

Mongolian Princess Khutulun

Khutulun's story is a little bit cloudy, in part because it’s many hundreds of years old, and in part because accounts of her life involve a combination of propaganda and an outsider’s interpretation of it. See more »

Six Impossible Episodes: Déjà Vu Edition

We often get requests for topics that are so similar to existing episodes that they would sound like repeats. Here are six that will probably sound very familiar to regular listeners. See more »

Anglo-Cherokee War

During the French and Indian War, a clash between Cherokee tribes and the British -- who had been allies -- slowly escalated on the southern end of the larger conflict. See more »

Zheng He and the Treasure Ships

Zheng He led expeditionary voyages from China in the 15th century. While there are many tall tales about his accomplishments, his actual life was pretty spectacular without them. See more »

WASP of WWII with Dr. Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Part 2

The duties of the women of the WASP evolved over time, and some of them were quite dangerous. And once the program ended, there were -- and still are -- controversies over whether the women involved should be recognized as military veterans. See more »

WASP of WWII with Dr. Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Part 1

The Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII was formed to see if women could fly military aircraft, and potentially free up male noncombat pilots to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Our expert guest reveals that there's so much more to the story, though. See more »

Jimmy Doolittle and the Doolittle Raid

The Doolittle Raid was an attack on Japan launched by the U.S. in retaliation for Pearl Harbor. But the leader of the mission was a legend long before his daring efforts in WWII. See more »

The Gallipoli Campaign

One of the most infamous aspects of World War I was its long, brutal stalemate along the enormous system of trenches known as the Western Front. The powers involved all expected the war to be over quickly, but it reached an impasse almost immediately. See more »