From the Pages of History to the Gaming Table – The Great War Podcast

The Great War Podcast

 A chronological look at the origins and battles
of the First World War from 1890-1920.

Presented by Daniel Clark

Sunday, November 11, 2018, marks the 100 anniversary of the end of The Great War. Never before had the world seen such a global war of this magnitude. Its impact was such that it was referred to as the war to end all wars, but of course, it was not. Twenty-one years later a new global war would push the first world war into the background of history. Most people can recall the basics of The Great War, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, trench warfare, poison gas, bi-planes, machine guns, tanks, and u-boats. Not much time is set aside in the classroom to learning about the conflict. It’s quickly glossed over to present the events of World War Two. Unless one specifically reads a book on the subject or takes a college course on it, only the common fact will most-likely be known. For those who wish to know more than the basic facts, Daniel Clark presents The Great War Podcast, an audio history detailing the origins, battles, and the aftermath of The Great War.

Daniel launched the Great War Podcast in June of 2014. His hope is to bring to life a much-overlooked subject. He examines the context of events based on the attitudes and practices of the period. When researching and presenting the events of The Great War Daniel looked at all sides of the conflict to get a well-rounded view and not just his native Canadian perspective. With this, we get more than just the reports from the Western Front. We see the conflict as a whole from all the battle lines including the Italian, Eastern, and other minor theaters.

The first 12 episodes begin with the origins of the conflict, starting in 1890. Daniel focuses on the events that contributed to the conflict; the political and military alliances, an arms race, conflicts in the Balkans, and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The remaining episodes go into detail of the battles, tactics, personalities, and the newly developed technologies of war. The podcast is currently up to episode 66 which ends the year 1916 and looks ahead to the next year. Daniel has several more episodes before he can bring his project to a close. His plan is to continue the podcast past the end of hostilities and cover up to 1920.

Listeners will find the podcast well researched and entertaining. Enhancing the some of the episodes, Daniel includes supplemental material such as maps, pictures, and video of the subject of discussion. Listeners can follow along on a period map or view pictures as they listen to the events unfold. The supplemental material is posted with their respected episode on The Great War Podcast Podpean website.

This summer Daniel took a break from the podcast but left the listeners with a series of supplemental episodes in its place. Daniel is a teacher at Ontario College of Teachers in Ontario, Canada. The first of the “summer episodes” covers the air power from 1914-1916. It’s a three-part series looking at air power and the flying aces. He then follows the series with an episode on the life and death of the infamous double spy Mata Hari.

As of the time of this article, Daniel has yet to launch into 1917, but hopefully, it will be coming soon. If not possibly more supplemental episodes will follow which is fine with me as they are of the same quality as the regular episodes. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone who is looking to learn more about The Great War. It’s incredibly researched and the production values of the podcast are high. You can listen to The Great War Podcast at iTunes, Podbean, or at your favorite podcast provider.

The Great War Podcast is a wonderful resource for your gaming needs, be it historical wargames or roleplaying games. Learning about the political causes that set the war into motion or the details of the battles fought can only enhance your sessions. The podcast goes deeper than most historical texts or other podcasts as it provides the perspective and stories of lesser-known theaters while providing the context of the political and social attitudes of the time period. So what are you waiting for? The whistle is blowing. Your fellow readers are going over the top, heading straight into the no man’s land of podcasts to be the first to reach The Great War Podcast.

~Stephen Pennisi

Follow Stephen on G+ or on Twitter at @DadsAngry
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