DiscoverThe History of WWII Podcast - by Ray Harris Jr
The History of WWII Podcast - by Ray Harris Jr
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The History of WWII Podcast - by Ray Harris Jr

Author: Recorded History Podcast Network

Subscribed: 26,337Played: 709,953


A biweekly podcast covering the last great war. Join Ray Harris Jr as he explores World War Two in intimate detail.

421 Episodes
As the escorting destroyers fill up with rescued crewmen, now it’s the Ohio’s turn as her engines give up the ghost. But the men in this story are determined to get her to Malta, by hook or by crook. For her fuel is the difference to whether Malta endures or surrenders to the not so tender mercies of the Axis Powers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Craig Nelson's book V is For Victory has it all: FDR's early days of combatting the Great Depression, restoring faith in the country and gearing up for a war that many hoped would never come. But it was FDR putting the country on the right path that got the US ready to aid the Allies and eventually enter the war. And win it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
When the sun rose on August 13th, the Axis forces in the Mediterranean knew they had one last day to stop Operation Pedestal. As such, the Axis air formations came in hot and heavy, with their normal level of accuracy. This wasn’t over yet and more ships would be lost. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Within a four hour period of darkness, Pedestal will lose many ships. By morning, 7 of the 14 merchants were gone. Still if the rest can get through, then Pedestal would be considered a success. And yet, the rising sun brings whole scores of Luftwaffe planes, vying to finish off Churchill’s last hope of resupplying Malta. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
As August 13th turns into the 14th, more ships of Pedestal are lost. Some fought bravely during their last moments, other’s not. But Adm. Syfret’s orders are that all ships are to try. And Commander Gibbs of the destroyer HMS Pathfinder and his crew enter into the history books as the ablest crew ever to sail a ship. Still, when the sun rises on August 14th, there are fewer ships to protect and fewer to protect them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The ships of Pedestal have entered The Narrows. Waiting for them are Italian E-boats that rule the night. But Keith Park, Malta’s Air Arm commander, has an ace up his sleeve. Well, at least a great poker face. Meanwhile Kesselring and the Italians argue from sun rise, past sun set on whether Adm. Da Zara’s attack fleet should have air cover. What’s the worst the planes on Malta could do to them? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Churchill visits Stalin for the first time, only to give him bad news. There will be no Second Front in 1942. Then, back to Pedestal as the merchant ships have been scattered. The destroyers will try to round them up, but some captains don’t want to finish the trip. And the tanker Ohio is still limping towards Malta, but now she’s on her own. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
As Pedestal nears the Narrows, more escorts and merchant ships are lost to Axis planes and submarines. The convoy had been laid on heavily, to make up for any anticipated losses, but the losses about to take place would strain the very reason for London even trying. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
As Force Z leaves Force X and Pedestal to their fate, Italian subs and torpedo boats line up in the narrow Sicilian Narrows to finish off the merchantmen. Adm. Burrough is confident that he can get through, until a lone but lucky Italian sub launches 4 torpedoes that changes the odds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
It’s still August 12, 1942 and after two large attacks, the Axis now launch their main attack, that afternoon. There were to be Axis dive bombers, torpedo bombers, high level bombers, submarines and torpedo boats. A potpourri of death for the Pedestal Convoy. Yet the Allied carriers did sterling work that day. But one of them will pay the price. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The early afternoon of August 12th would be hell for the defenders of Pedestal. Several air attacks take place, in between U-boat attacks. And the Italians have their own technologically advanced surprise for the ships of Pedestal. But can they pull it off? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Chloe Melas, granddaughter of the author, comes on to discuss the book, Luck of the Draw. Frank Murphy, a navigator was shot down and became POW for 18 months. His camp was liberated by Gen. Patton. Frank Murphy will be one of the characters in Tom Hank's new series, Masters of the Air. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
It’s August 12, 1942 and it’s a beautiful day. Which makes Axis reconnaissance flights ideal. Soon, Rome knows all it needs to and its various ships, subs and planes are sent out, all to converge on the convoy. Pedestal will need a miracle just to make it to noon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
HMS Furious having delivered its Spitfires to Malta, turns around with its escort. But they are not out of danger yet. Meanwhile, as the ships of Pedestal get closer to Malta, the Allies launch several distractions. Some are a waste of time, but one gives the British an edge that a certain Italian admiral would come to loath. But surviving a war or not truly is, the luck of the draw. Check out and use promo code History, for $10 off your first purchase. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Churchill pushes to have the largest convoy thus far, sent to Malta. Yet the Germans and Italians are ready. Before the Merchantmen and the tanker Ohio can reach Malta, they will have to survive both enemy's air forces and U-boats, not to mention Italy's cruiser squadrons. Not everyone is expected to make it through. Then again, that was expected as well. It's crunch time for Malta. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Join me in listening to the first episode of William Clark's exploration of The French Revolution, from the Grey History Podcast. Clark goes deep and explores the grey areas around all history and certainly of Revolutionary France. The following is the episode that got the whole thing going. Prepare to binge! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Rommel gathers his panzers in the south for another attack. But he has gone to the well, one time too many. Monty predicts this and plans his own cauldron trap. The question is, can the Afrika Korps be tricked into taking the bait? And for the first time, the U.S. Army Air Force helps take on The Desert Fox. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Monty comes to grips with the type of fighter Rommel is and plans accordingly. More men are brought forward and a trap is set for the Axis forces. Meanwhile, Churchill brings the Allies closer together with a visit to Stalin in Moscow. The bad news is there will be no cross channel attack in 1942. The good news is that the Americans will soon land in North Africa. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
First, Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch come to discuss The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill. For the second episode: Auchinleck is out, Monty and Harold Alexander are in. They all know that Rommel is going to attack and soon, so Monty gets to work, ordering forward more men and telling 8th Army: We are here to win, not try. Thus all trucks on standby for a retreat, will be sent away. Meanwhile, Keith Park takes over air operations on Malta and decides, now is the time to go back on the offensive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Though both sides are depleted, Churchill wants Auchinleck to attack again, so he does. As not much has changed, the result is another loss of men, material and fuel, with nothing to show for it. Meanwhile, Rommel is asking for more of everything as he is so close to Cairo and finally taking North Africa for the Axis. But soon, there will be another actor on the stage as the Americans make plans to land on the African continent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (41)

Hugh Braddock

Great pod on an amazing WW2 story. Savoia Marchetti SM 79 Sparviero - Sparrow HAWK 👍👍

Mar 11th

Hector Dyck

good podcast

Jan 29th

Barry Wilson

Ray is great. I've listened for years, and it's always informative, but just by coincidence I was listening to Dan Snow cover this subject with this same contributer who has knowledge to burn today, and while that podcast was 35 mins Ray gave us an hour more and was a brilliant listen. Massively informative and entertaining his interviews have upped the game of this podcast, I'm just sorry I'm not in a position to financially support you, but please keep up the good work. Essential download

Jan 17th

Fleetwood McDuecen25

Ray Harris jr.: Gold standard of ww2 pods. Fact. 🤛

Jun 5th

Terry Lassle

is that all we're going to get from now on is just interviews?

Feb 25th

Bruce Tait

New to the Pod. I have some real catching up to do but so far so good! Keep up the great work!

Dec 27th


I love podcasts like these you definitely deserve more recognition 👏

Jul 10th

I am worried that I will die before you ever get back to Europe. Do you have any idea when that might be?

Jan 28th

Manish Mehta

In the 1940s, some 1,000 Polish children owed their lives to a Maharaja in Jamnagar, Gujarat. Now, 76 years later, six of them, aged nearly 90, are returning to the place that provided them refuge from Nazi and Soviet occupation of Poland during World War II. During World War II, an Indian king set up a home away from home for Polish refugees and orphans: a Little Poland in India. His efforts saved the lives of more than 640 women and children. The ravages of the Second World War left Poland a shadow of the country it once was. The nation was torn apart by destructive forces, its people held captive in concentration camps and countless of its children left orphans. Overcoming grave obstacles and challenges, hundreds of Polish children (and women) managed to escape the dire circumstances in their country. Contradictory reports exist on how the kids planned their escape. However, it is known that they were turned away from every country they approached for help. When their ship docked in Mumbai, the British governor too refused them entry. Maharaja Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Nawanagar, who had heard of the plight of the refugees, sought to help them and pressurized the British government to allow the refugees to disembark. Frustrated by the lack of empathy and the unwillingness of the government to act, the Maharaja ordered the ship to dock at Rosi port in his province. Thus began the story of Little Poland in India. On disembarking, the Maharaja warmly welcomed the Polish women and children, saying “Do not consider yourself orphans. You are now Nawnagaris and I am Bapu, father of all the people of Nawanagar, so also yours.” The children were set up in tented accommodations, while the Maharaja set about building the Balachadi camp, located near his summer palace and 25 km away from the capital city of Jamnagar. Facing severe objections from the British government for taking in foreign refugees, the Maharaja proudly claimed they were part of his family, even going so far as to provide the government with adoption certificates for them! “Our father politically adopted them,” the king’s daughter Harshad Kumari, told

Dec 8th

alan hibberson


Sep 30th

Cristian Butusina

If interested in WW2 check "History of the Second World War" by Wesley Livesay. To me it seems less biased.

May 1st
Reply (1)

damned skeptic

forgot to mention that the Pole's had large amounts of anti tank riffles, they never changed tanks with calvery.

Mar 5th

El Pinto Grande

I'd be really interested to learn what fel sorcery was performed to allow the guest to cram a metric-ton of lazy cliches into such a confined package! though, tbh, I'll sit through just about anything for the pleasure of watching naval combat on the big screen (even Battleship).

Feb 12th

Nicholas Bohlen

extraordinary podcast!

Jan 8th
Reply (2)

Jon G. Aichs

We need today more than ever a NSDAP. Europe is dying especially our beloved ancestral home Germany. She must rise from the ashes of multiculturalism and bolshevik rule and take her place once again above the all others on the world stage. this time we Will Win.

Oct 7th
Reply (3)

Navid Hosseini


Oct 4th

Jeremy Cartwright

My grandfather fought in this campaign. This was a great summary of this series of events around the Aluetian Islands. Thanks!

Sep 13th

Pedro Hernandez

Was a big fan, told my history loving friends about the show. first noticed a change a couple of months back, now I'm getting shows I have no interest in being down loaded instead of your show. Unsubscribing.

May 25th

Android Account

love this podcast.... educational and entertaining too!

Mar 6th
Reply (1)

Tyrel Byler

Hey Ray, I really like listening to WWll history and listened to the first 200ish episodes in just a few months. But am very disappointed with the channel in the last few months (ever since you started podcasting full time) the episodes come out rather sparsely and at least half of the new ones are boring self-promoting interviews of random authors. I'd just love to see you go back to what got you listeners in the first place, telling history.

Feb 1st
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