The Finest Half Hour
With a rich soundscape including period recordings, the series explores all facets of World War 2, from the gut-wrenching decisions of commanders, the sacrifices of individual soldiers, and the terrifying new weapons of war that changed the battlefield forever.
The Finest Half HourFeb 22, 2021
The Battle of Midway
Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto predicted that he would win victory after victory for the first six months or so of the war, but beyond that he had 'no expectation of success.' In June 1942, he decided to force one more major engagement, which he hoped would decide the course of the war. The battle would take place on the tiny atoll of Midway … but little does he know the Americans have intercepted his plan.
Battle of Java and Coral Sea
Allied fortunes in the Pacific are at their lowest ebb. They’ve been beaten on every front. Their colonies have been overrun. A ragtag fleet is scraped together to face off against the Imperial Armada of Japan. Will the Allies prevail?
Singapore and the Malayan Campaign
The hammer falls on the British. Soon retreat turns into a rout, but will the Japanese be able to take the Gibraltar of the East, the fortress once thought impregnable: the great redoubt of Singapore?
The Fall of the Philippines
Things look grim for the United States. Many of the Pacific fleet's battleships have been damaged or destroyed at Pearl Harbor. The U.S. army is small and unprepared for war … And now their strongest redoubt in the Pacific, the Philippines is under attack.
A day that will live in infamy. A day that shaped the American character and forever changed the American outlook on the war. December 7th, 1942. The attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Invasion of China
At last we turn our focus to the Pacific! The war here begins long before the war in Europe, as Japan looks to build a colonial empire to rival that of any European power. It starts in China. Rogue elements of the Japanese military seize Manchuria and plan to use it as a jumping off point to conquer the mainland. A brutal campaign ensues. But will Japan truly be able to hold such might prize?
How does a modern nation descend into barbarity? How can ordinary people become torturers and murderers? How can other people look away? Join us today as we talk about the origins of the holocaust, because we must never forget.
By the autumn of 1942, German fortunes are at high tide. Rommel is driving on El Alamein in Egypt and von Paulus has reached the banks of the Volga. It is here, in the city that bears Stalin’s name, the fate of the war will be decided in one of the bloodiest battles of WW2: Stalingrad.
Gates of Moscow
The Wehrmacht is within striking distance of Moscow – but Winter is coming. Will German forces capture the Soviet capital or suffer the same fate as Napoleon’s Grande Armée?
Road to Moscow
The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. Nazis are on the doorstep of Moscow. A few short miles and the Soviet capital will fall. This cannot happen. Moscow must be held at all cost.
Siege of Leningrad
Leningrad, the deadliest siege in the history of the world. It’s a story of terror and heroism, privation and hope. How much can one city endure?
The war in the east begins! Join us for the largest invasion ever mounted. The fate of nations, and of the whole world, may well rest on what happens here. If the Soviet Union falls, so falls the last opposition to fascism in continental Europe.
Second Battle of El Alamein
Montgomery joins the fray. Two of the greatest foes of the war match wits. Both sides feel they are near a turning point. Which way will the pendulum swing?
Two great nations come to grips in the Egyptian sand. A race for Alexandria. A last ditch defense. Will the British be able to hold the line?
The Desert Fox
The Desert Fox comes to North Africa! One of the most cunning and able tacticians of the Wehrmacht, the whole world waits to see: will he be able to turn the tide of the war?
The Roman Lake
The war in the desert begins! Mussolini races to prove that Italy is an equal member of the Axis, but will he restore the glory of Rome or lead his nation to disaster?
The Scientific War
World War 2 was a war of industrial might and technological innovation, including in tank design and production. The interwar 'light tank' thinking quickly gave way to a focus on heavier, more powerful tanks like the Panzer IV or T-34, as each nation sought to outgun its foes.
The unbreakable code. The undecipherable cypher. The lynchpin of German communications. The Enigma. If the code could be broke it might change the very outcome of the war.
The Battle of the Atlantic
The Battle of Britain is won, but the greatest threat to the British Empire lurks below the waves.
Setting up the Pieces
This week we take a step back from the battles and the conquests to take a look at the major players.
The Fall of France
The Twilight War is over. The battle for Europe’s largest democracy has begun.
The Twilight War
The Finns mount perhaps the greatest defense in the history of modern arms. Norway falls to might of fascist arms. But at what cost?
We jump back to the beginning of the war in Europe. Unprovoked, Nazi tanks storm across the Polish border. The Blitzkrieg has begun.
Their Finest Hour
We start in the darkest hour. The democracies of Europe have fallen. One last light of liberty flickers dimly off the French coast.
Welcome to the Finest Half Hour, a weekly 30 minute podcast about WW2! This week we're pleased to release the series trailer. Stay tuned for episode 1, which launches soon!