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History Unplugged Podcast

Scott Rank, PhD

977
Followers
10.6K
Plays
History Unplugged Podcast

History Unplugged Podcast

Scott Rank, PhD

977
Followers
10.6K
Plays
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About Us

For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.

Latest Episodes

The Average WW1 Soldier Was a 110-Pound Villager Who Suffered Disease, Hunger, and PTSD

This episode is an overview of the profile of an average soldier in World War One. We will look at the backgrounds, training, and provisions allotted to troops in the British, French, German, Russian, and Ottoman armies. We will look at their lives in the trenches, which were with very few exceptions absolutely miserable. We will also look at the terrible experiences that they faced on the battlefield, trying desperately to survive artillery barrages or poison gas attacks. Many suffered "shell shock" from the experienced, what we know today as PTSD.

51 min18 h ago
Comments
The Average WW1 Soldier Was a 110-Pound Villager Who Suffered Disease, Hunger, and PTSD

Germany's Plans For Total French Defeat in 1914 Failed at the Battle of the Marne

The beginning of World War One was marked the breakdown of the western powers’ war plans. Leaders on both sides experienced surprises, shocks, and the failure of plans. The first few months saw shocking violence on a scale never experienced before, at least not in Western Europe. During the first few months of the war, an average of 15,000 lives were lost each day. (five times as much as the worst day in the Civil War). This happened at the Battle of the Marne, fought from September 6 to 12 in 1914. The Allies won a victory against the German armies in the West and ended their plans of crushing the French armies with an attack from the north through Belgium. Both sides dug in their trenches for the long war ahead.

61 min5 d ago
Comments
Germany's Plans For Total French Defeat in 1914 Failed at the Battle of the Marne

Germany So Completely Annihilated Russia At the WW1 Battle of Tannenberg That A Russian General Committed Suicide

The Battle of Tannenberg was the first major battle of World War One, fought between Germany and Russia, who surprised everyone with its fast mobilization. This muddled the plans of Germany, which sought to quickly fight a two-front war against France and Russia, knock France out of the war, then focus its resources on Russia. The plan didn't work, but Germany issued a crushing blow against Russia, largely due to its fast rail movements that allowed it to focus on two Russian armies at once (and Russia failing to encode its messages did nothing to help). Germany named the battle after Tannenberg in order to avenge a defeat from 500 years earlier in which the proto-German Teutonic Knights were defeated by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The past was alive and well in the minds of these combatants. Commanding general Alexander Samsonov was so humiliated by the defeat he committed suicide.

59 min1 w ago
Comments
Germany So Completely Annihilated Russia At the WW1 Battle of Tannenberg That A Russian General Committed Suicide

Teaser: Forging a President, Part 3, Teddy Roosevelt's First Buffalo Hunt

This is a preview of an episode in a members-only series on Teddy Roosevelt's years in the Dakota Badlands called Forging a President. Subscribe today for access to all premium episodes! https://patreon.com/unplugged

9 min1 w ago
Comments
Teaser: Forging a President, Part 3, Teddy Roosevelt's First Buffalo Hunt

Europe's Pre-WW1 Alliances Were a Doomsday Machine That Pulled the Entire Continent Into War

An impossibly complex web of alliances that maintained a fragile peace in Europe (and surprisingly held it together since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815) always threatened to unravel. The 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, by Serbian nationalists, made Austria declare war on Serbia. A doomsday machine kicked into gear: Russia mobilized against Austria. Germany mobilized against Russia. France mobilized against Germany. Germany prepared long-held plans to attack France.

50 min1 w ago
Comments
Europe's Pre-WW1 Alliances Were a Doomsday Machine That Pulled the Entire Continent Into War

Introducing "Key Battles of World War One": Why Europe in 1914 Had Absolutely No Idea It Was About To Enter The Most Hellish War Ever

World War One is the watershed moment in modern history. The Western World before it was one of aristocrats, empires, colonies, and optimism for a future of unending progress. After four years of hellish trench warfare, shell fire, 10 million combat deaths, and another 10 million civilian deaths, the world that emerged in 1918 was irrevocably changed. Nation-states came out of the rubble, along with a push for universal rights. New technologies emerged, such as tanks and fighter planes. But something was lost permanently in the Great War: a sense of optimism in mankind. This episode is the beginning of a 24-part series called Key Battles of World War One. In this series, history professors Scott Rank and James Early look at the 10 key battles that determined the outcome of the war between the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire) and the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, United States).In this first episode, Scott and James look at the state of affairs in Europe in 1914. Europe was dominated by several major powers, most of which were multinational empires. They called themselves the Great Powers. There were 5 Great Powers, as well as two other nations who desired to be, although they lacked the military and economic power of the others. Let’s go around Europe and take a look at each of these powers.

55 min2 w ago
Comments
Introducing "Key Battles of World War One": Why Europe in 1914 Had Absolutely No Idea It Was About To Enter The Most Hellish War Ever

2 Announcements: Key Battles of WW1 Begins Soon; History Unplugged Launches Youtube Channel

Next week James Early and Scott Rank will kick off their massive series called Key Battles of World War One. By the end, you'll know every aspect of the Great War, arguably the most horrific event in human history. History Unplugged also has a new Youtube channel. Go check it out to see live recordings of each new podcast episode.

4 min2 w ago
Comments
2 Announcements: Key Battles of WW1 Begins Soon; History Unplugged Launches Youtube Channel

Dreams of India's Vast Wealth Made Everyone From Ancient Greeks to Renaissance Portuguese Risk Death To Reach It

Claims of India's fantastic wealth lead Europeans through the centuries to seek to trade with this fabled land, which existed on the far eastern reaches of known civilization.As far back as the 500s BC, Scylax of Caryanda, a Greek explorer sailed down the length of the Indus in the service of Darius.Later Alexander's troops passed through India, and many troops stayed behind, creating an incredible East-West synthesis. Buddhism came out of this mix, as well as the early Christian heresy Manicheism. Exotic trade. For hundreds of years, Greek speakers could be found in Indian port towns.Such legends inspired Cristopher Columbus to sail west across the Atlantic and reach a direct route, even though other navigators insisted his calculations were terrible and he and his crew would starve at sea. Yet he did reach land and traded with settlers whom he believed the rest of his life to be of India, and the name stuck, as Indians.Today’s episode is about the impact that India had on Western...

38 min2 w ago
Comments
Dreams of India's Vast Wealth Made Everyone From Ancient Greeks to Renaissance Portuguese Risk Death To Reach It

Why 1776 -- Not 1619 -- Matters More Than Ever in 2020

The American Revolution has received a burst of attention in the last two decades, with Pulitzer Prize-winning monographs from David McCullough and Ron Chernow (and the biggest Broadway musical in recent history, with Hamilton). But it’s come under attack as well, with historical revisionist projects like the New York Times 1619 Project, which says 1776 was a colossal mistake steeped in racism.Today’s guest is Edward Lengel, editor of the new book “The 10 Key Campaigns of the American Revolution.” He argues that the American Revolution encompasses a human drama of epic proportions. At different points in time, at locations separated by hundreds and often thousands of miles, individuals—often the unlikeliest imaginable—took destiny in their hands and accomplished astonishing things that profoundly changed the course of human history. Their deeds should be unforgettable.We discuss all sorts of things – like unsung heroes of the Revolution (Henry Knox is a favored choice), whether or not Benedict Arnold was a traitor or just misunderstood, and what the Revolution means for Americans in 2020.

48 min3 w ago
Comments
Why 1776 -- Not 1619 -- Matters More Than Ever in 2020

A Jewish Family Couldn’t Flee Nazi Germany. So They Wrote Letters to Strangers in America Asking For Help

In 1939, as the Nazis closed in, Alfred Berger mailed a desperate letter to an American stranger who happened to share his last name. He and his wife, Viennese Jews, had found escape routes for their daughters. But now their money, connections, and emotional energy were nearly exhausted. Alfred begged the American recipient of the letter, “You are surely informed about the situation of all Jews in Central Europe….By pure chance I got your address….My daughter and her husband will go…to America….help us to follow our children….It is our last and only hope….”After languishing in a California attic for over sixty years, Alfred’s letter came by chance into Faris Cassell’s possession. Questions flew off the page at her. Did the Bergers’ desperate letter get a response? Did they escape the Nazis? Were there any living descendants? Today’s guest, Faris Cassell, author of the book The Unanswered Letter, discusses many things, including a previously unknown opportunity to assassinate Hitler—to which the Bergers were connected.

56 minSEP 1
Comments
A Jewish Family Couldn’t Flee Nazi Germany. So They Wrote Letters to Strangers in America Asking For Help

Latest Episodes

The Average WW1 Soldier Was a 110-Pound Villager Who Suffered Disease, Hunger, and PTSD

This episode is an overview of the profile of an average soldier in World War One. We will look at the backgrounds, training, and provisions allotted to troops in the British, French, German, Russian, and Ottoman armies. We will look at their lives in the trenches, which were with very few exceptions absolutely miserable. We will also look at the terrible experiences that they faced on the battlefield, trying desperately to survive artillery barrages or poison gas attacks. Many suffered "shell shock" from the experienced, what we know today as PTSD.

51 min18 h ago
Comments
The Average WW1 Soldier Was a 110-Pound Villager Who Suffered Disease, Hunger, and PTSD

Germany's Plans For Total French Defeat in 1914 Failed at the Battle of the Marne

The beginning of World War One was marked the breakdown of the western powers’ war plans. Leaders on both sides experienced surprises, shocks, and the failure of plans. The first few months saw shocking violence on a scale never experienced before, at least not in Western Europe. During the first few months of the war, an average of 15,000 lives were lost each day. (five times as much as the worst day in the Civil War). This happened at the Battle of the Marne, fought from September 6 to 12 in 1914. The Allies won a victory against the German armies in the West and ended their plans of crushing the French armies with an attack from the north through Belgium. Both sides dug in their trenches for the long war ahead.

61 min5 d ago
Comments
Germany's Plans For Total French Defeat in 1914 Failed at the Battle of the Marne

Germany So Completely Annihilated Russia At the WW1 Battle of Tannenberg That A Russian General Committed Suicide

The Battle of Tannenberg was the first major battle of World War One, fought between Germany and Russia, who surprised everyone with its fast mobilization. This muddled the plans of Germany, which sought to quickly fight a two-front war against France and Russia, knock France out of the war, then focus its resources on Russia. The plan didn't work, but Germany issued a crushing blow against Russia, largely due to its fast rail movements that allowed it to focus on two Russian armies at once (and Russia failing to encode its messages did nothing to help). Germany named the battle after Tannenberg in order to avenge a defeat from 500 years earlier in which the proto-German Teutonic Knights were defeated by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The past was alive and well in the minds of these combatants. Commanding general Alexander Samsonov was so humiliated by the defeat he committed suicide.

59 min1 w ago
Comments
Germany So Completely Annihilated Russia At the WW1 Battle of Tannenberg That A Russian General Committed Suicide

Teaser: Forging a President, Part 3, Teddy Roosevelt's First Buffalo Hunt

This is a preview of an episode in a members-only series on Teddy Roosevelt's years in the Dakota Badlands called Forging a President. Subscribe today for access to all premium episodes! https://patreon.com/unplugged

9 min1 w ago
Comments
Teaser: Forging a President, Part 3, Teddy Roosevelt's First Buffalo Hunt

Europe's Pre-WW1 Alliances Were a Doomsday Machine That Pulled the Entire Continent Into War

An impossibly complex web of alliances that maintained a fragile peace in Europe (and surprisingly held it together since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815) always threatened to unravel. The 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, by Serbian nationalists, made Austria declare war on Serbia. A doomsday machine kicked into gear: Russia mobilized against Austria. Germany mobilized against Russia. France mobilized against Germany. Germany prepared long-held plans to attack France.

50 min1 w ago
Comments
Europe's Pre-WW1 Alliances Were a Doomsday Machine That Pulled the Entire Continent Into War

Introducing "Key Battles of World War One": Why Europe in 1914 Had Absolutely No Idea It Was About To Enter The Most Hellish War Ever

World War One is the watershed moment in modern history. The Western World before it was one of aristocrats, empires, colonies, and optimism for a future of unending progress. After four years of hellish trench warfare, shell fire, 10 million combat deaths, and another 10 million civilian deaths, the world that emerged in 1918 was irrevocably changed. Nation-states came out of the rubble, along with a push for universal rights. New technologies emerged, such as tanks and fighter planes. But something was lost permanently in the Great War: a sense of optimism in mankind. This episode is the beginning of a 24-part series called Key Battles of World War One. In this series, history professors Scott Rank and James Early look at the 10 key battles that determined the outcome of the war between the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire) and the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, United States).In this first episode, Scott and James look at the state of affairs in Europe in 1914. Europe was dominated by several major powers, most of which were multinational empires. They called themselves the Great Powers. There were 5 Great Powers, as well as two other nations who desired to be, although they lacked the military and economic power of the others. Let’s go around Europe and take a look at each of these powers.

55 min2 w ago
Comments
Introducing "Key Battles of World War One": Why Europe in 1914 Had Absolutely No Idea It Was About To Enter The Most Hellish War Ever

2 Announcements: Key Battles of WW1 Begins Soon; History Unplugged Launches Youtube Channel

Next week James Early and Scott Rank will kick off their massive series called Key Battles of World War One. By the end, you'll know every aspect of the Great War, arguably the most horrific event in human history. History Unplugged also has a new Youtube channel. Go check it out to see live recordings of each new podcast episode.

4 min2 w ago
Comments
2 Announcements: Key Battles of WW1 Begins Soon; History Unplugged Launches Youtube Channel

Dreams of India's Vast Wealth Made Everyone From Ancient Greeks to Renaissance Portuguese Risk Death To Reach It

Claims of India's fantastic wealth lead Europeans through the centuries to seek to trade with this fabled land, which existed on the far eastern reaches of known civilization.As far back as the 500s BC, Scylax of Caryanda, a Greek explorer sailed down the length of the Indus in the service of Darius.Later Alexander's troops passed through India, and many troops stayed behind, creating an incredible East-West synthesis. Buddhism came out of this mix, as well as the early Christian heresy Manicheism. Exotic trade. For hundreds of years, Greek speakers could be found in Indian port towns.Such legends inspired Cristopher Columbus to sail west across the Atlantic and reach a direct route, even though other navigators insisted his calculations were terrible and he and his crew would starve at sea. Yet he did reach land and traded with settlers whom he believed the rest of his life to be of India, and the name stuck, as Indians.Today’s episode is about the impact that India had on Western...

38 min2 w ago
Comments
Dreams of India's Vast Wealth Made Everyone From Ancient Greeks to Renaissance Portuguese Risk Death To Reach It

Why 1776 -- Not 1619 -- Matters More Than Ever in 2020

The American Revolution has received a burst of attention in the last two decades, with Pulitzer Prize-winning monographs from David McCullough and Ron Chernow (and the biggest Broadway musical in recent history, with Hamilton). But it’s come under attack as well, with historical revisionist projects like the New York Times 1619 Project, which says 1776 was a colossal mistake steeped in racism.Today’s guest is Edward Lengel, editor of the new book “The 10 Key Campaigns of the American Revolution.” He argues that the American Revolution encompasses a human drama of epic proportions. At different points in time, at locations separated by hundreds and often thousands of miles, individuals—often the unlikeliest imaginable—took destiny in their hands and accomplished astonishing things that profoundly changed the course of human history. Their deeds should be unforgettable.We discuss all sorts of things – like unsung heroes of the Revolution (Henry Knox is a favored choice), whether or not Benedict Arnold was a traitor or just misunderstood, and what the Revolution means for Americans in 2020.

48 min3 w ago
Comments
Why 1776 -- Not 1619 -- Matters More Than Ever in 2020

A Jewish Family Couldn’t Flee Nazi Germany. So They Wrote Letters to Strangers in America Asking For Help

In 1939, as the Nazis closed in, Alfred Berger mailed a desperate letter to an American stranger who happened to share his last name. He and his wife, Viennese Jews, had found escape routes for their daughters. But now their money, connections, and emotional energy were nearly exhausted. Alfred begged the American recipient of the letter, “You are surely informed about the situation of all Jews in Central Europe….By pure chance I got your address….My daughter and her husband will go…to America….help us to follow our children….It is our last and only hope….”After languishing in a California attic for over sixty years, Alfred’s letter came by chance into Faris Cassell’s possession. Questions flew off the page at her. Did the Bergers’ desperate letter get a response? Did they escape the Nazis? Were there any living descendants? Today’s guest, Faris Cassell, author of the book The Unanswered Letter, discusses many things, including a previously unknown opportunity to assassinate Hitler—to which the Bergers were connected.

56 minSEP 1
Comments
A Jewish Family Couldn’t Flee Nazi Germany. So They Wrote Letters to Strangers in America Asking For Help
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