Miscellanea: A Very Short Glossary of Military Terminology

For this week, I wanted to expand a bit on a comment I made on Twitter expressing some frustration at the failure of journalists attempting to cover the war in Ukraine (and thus interpret military experts for a lay audience) to master some of the key military terminology being used and to convey its actual … Continue reading Miscellanea: A Very Short Glossary of Military Terminology

Collections: How the Weak Can Win – A Primer on Protracted War

Thanks to our volunteer narrator, this post is now available in audio format. This week, in an effort to fill in some of the theoretical basis for thinking about how weaker powers think about fighting against or defending themselves from stronger powers, I'm going to give you all a basic 101-level survey of the theory … Continue reading Collections: How the Weak Can Win – A Primer on Protracted War

Collections: No Man’s Land, Part I: The Trench Stalemate

This week (and next) I want to build a bit off of our discussion of Victoria II and talk a bit about World War I and in particular the trench stalemate on the Western Front. That trench stalemate is, in many countries, synonymous with the war itself. Of course the war was much larger than … Continue reading Collections: No Man’s Land, Part I: The Trench Stalemate

Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part IV: Screamers and Howlers

This series is now available in audio format. You can find the playlist here. This is the fourth part of a four part (I, II, III, IV) look at the Dothraki from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO's Game of Thrones. We're looking at, in particular, if Martin's claim … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part IV: Screamers and Howlers

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman

This is the eight and last part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time we looked at the overall impact of morale and … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part I: Bargaining for Goods at Helm’s Gate

This is the long-awaited first part of a series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. VIII) taking a historian's look at the Battle of Helm's Deep from both J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson's 2002 film of the same name. We're going to discuss how historically plausible each sequence of events … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part I: Bargaining for Goods at Helm’s Gate

Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part VII: Spartan Ends

This is the seven (and last!) part of our seven part series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI) look at Sparta in popular memory and historical truth. Last time we talked about Sparta's battlefield record and came away noting that it was profoundly, disappointing average. Longer term readers will know, of course, that we can't … Continue reading Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part VII: Spartan Ends

Collections: The Siege of Gondor, Part I: Professionals Talk Logistics

(Note: Thanks to the effort of a kind reader, this post is now available in audio format! The playlist for the entire series may be found here.) This is the first part of a six-part (II, III, IV, V, VI) series I expect to roll out taking a historian’s look at the Siege of Gondor … Continue reading Collections: The Siege of Gondor, Part I: Professionals Talk Logistics