Key Battles of American History Episodes

Show notes for all the latest episodes of Key Battles of American History.

Show notes for all the latest episodes of Key Battles of American History.


Grave of the Fireflies

In this episode, James and Sean completely change gears, discussing the 1988 Japanese animated Studio Ghibli film Grave of the Fireflies, which tells the story of a young boy and his little sister who struggle to stay alive during the Allied firebombings of Japan that occurred in the last few…

Windtalkers

In early 1942, the US Marine Corps began recruiting young Navajo men to serve as “codetalkers” who would transmit orders via radio using a code based on the Navajo language. The code was inscrutable to the Japanese, who were never able to crack it. John Woo’s 2002 film Windtalkers tells…

Run Silent, Run Deep

Based loosely on the 1955 novel of the same name, Run Silent, Run Deep tells the story of a submarine captain who disobeys orders in an attempt to get revenge against a Japanese destroyer that sank his previous command. In this episode, James and Sean share their thoughts about this…

Mister Roberts

Not all World War II American naval personnel saw combat. Many spent the entire war in non-combat roles, including serving on the thousands of supply ships that were essential to the war effort. The classic 1955 drama/comedy Mister Roberts tells the story of one such supply ship and its crew,…

The Caine Mutiny

Typhoons and other storms were a real danger for naval vessels during the Pacific War, and many ships were lost to them. The Caine Mutiny, based on the novel of the same name by Herman Wouk, tells the story of a tyrannical destroyer captain whose decision to sail right through…

The Thin Red Line

During a war, combatants often ponder the deep existential questions of life. These questions form the basis of Terence Malick’s 1998 war drama The Thin Red Line. On one level, The Thin Red Line is about a U. S. Army division’s attempt to take a hill on the island of…

Midway (2019)

On June 4, 1942, a Japanese naval task force launched an attack on the American naval and air base at Midway Island. The task force then encountered an American carrier fleet, leading to an epic naval battle that changed the course of the war in the Pacific. The 2019 action-war…

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

In April 1942, sixteen American B-25B bombers took off from the carrier USS Hornet and conducted a bombing raid over Japan that is known to posterity as the Doolittle Raid. After bombing Japan, the pilots’ intent was to land their planes in China…but things did not go as planned for…

They Were Expendable

Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats, while not as famous as battleships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and other large ships, nevertheless played a crucial role in the Pacific War. In 1942, author W. L. White wrote They Were Expendable, a book that tells the story of the work of PT boats in the…

Tora! Tora! Tora!

In the late 1960s, a Japanese film production team joined forces with an American team in an effort to produce a balanced and accurate retelling of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The result is the classic 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora!, which after more than 50…

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