The Redcoat History Podcast is now in its third season – The Peninsular War.
Learn the history of the British army, its most famous campaigns, its worst defeats and its greatest leaders. On or around the 15th of every month battlefield explorer and historical storyteller, Christian Parkinson, delves deep into a new topic. This is a podcast for the military geeks, the obsessives, those who like to feel what it is like to fix bayonets and charge the French. It is military history as it should be: exciting, fast-paced and so real you can smell the gunpowder.
Season Three covers the Peninsular War – probably Britain’s greatest military achievement. Season Two is a deep dive into the Battle of Plassey and the beginnings of the British Empire in India. The first Season examines the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
To make your life easier, I have also embedded all of the episodes below, from the most recent to the first ever episode.
Season Three: The Peninsular War
In this month’s Peninsular War episode I interview the amazing Rob from Britishmuzzleloaders – he is a walking encyclopedia of historical British rifles and muskets. Today he teaches me all about the Development, accuracy, rate of fire and tactical use of the Baker Rifle – aka the Pattern 1800 Infantry Rifle.
In this bonus Redcoat History Podcast episode, I meet Chris Simpson from the awesome heavy metal band Forlorn Hope. They have an entire album all about the Peninsular War, and in February 2021 their new single drops – To the Bitter End – a thrilling retelling of the story of the 1916 defence of Frankfurt Trench. YouTube: Chris Simpson and the band Forlorn Hope have agreed for me to use excerpts from their songs in the course of this interview. You can check out the band’s website here – https://forlornhope.uk/to-the-bitter-end-2021
In the latest episode of Season 3 of The Redcoat History Podcast, we examine the Battle of Busacco…fought in Portugal on the 27th September 1810. The battle is important for many reasons – not least of which as it marked the coming of age of the newly reorganized and re-equipped Portuguese army which would achieve so much throughout the rest of the Peninsular war. March in the ranks and sit alongside Wellington as he decides when and how to try and stop the third French invasion of Portugal – will he be successful or will Marshal Massena’s army of veterans brush the Redcoats aside and advance to Lisbon?
In the latest video installment of the Redcoat History Podcast I talk to Marcus Cribb (manager of Apsley House) all about the first Richard Sharpe book “Sharpe’s Eagle”. We follow the plot of the novel and explain which bits are true and which bits do not conform to the actual history of the Battle of Talavera. It’s a really fun episode.
The 5/60th Rifles were arguably the most elite unit of Wellington’s Peninsular army. Dressed in green, carrying the Baker Rifle, they fought in virtually every battle from 1808 to 1814. But did you know that they were mainly foreigners – Germans, Russians and Hungarians? In this in-depth interview, Rob Griffith talks with Redcoat History all about the formation, tactics and eventual disbandment of this impressive unit.
The British cavalry of the Napoleonic wars has often been criticised, including by the Duke of Wellington himself who accused them of “galloping at everything”. But was the criticism fair? How were they organised? How were they recruited? Did they perform well? In the latest episode of the Redcoat History Podcast I talk with Marcus Cribb (manager of Apsley House) to try and answer all of these questions.
It’s Spring 1809 and Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) has returned to Portugal to continue the campaign against the French invaders. In this important episode, we see Wellington at his most decisive as he sends his army across the Douro River to throw the French out of northern Portugal at the 2nd Battle of Oporto. I’ve tried to improve the production values from previous episodes, so please feel free to share constructive thoughts.
In this episode of the Redcoat History Podcast, myself and Joshua Provan (adventuresinhistoryland.com) discuss The Duke of Wellington’s early life when he was still known as Sir Arthur Wellesley. Where did he go to school? Was he a good junior officer? How did he perform in India? Josh answers all of these questions and many, many more.
In this episode, my good friend Rob from the excellent Britishmuzzleloaders YouTube channel tells me all about the history, development and use of the Brown Bess Musket (used by the bulk of the British army during the Peninsular War and beyond). “Brown Bess” is a nickname for the British Army’s muzzle-loading smoothbore flintlock Musket and its derivatives. Ever wondered where the name came from or why the weapon was in use for so long? Then have a listen and find out.
It’s December 1808 as we join the British army after their small but impressive victory at the Battle of Sahagun. With the might of Napoleon’s Grande Armee streaming towards him, Sir John Moore is forced to retreat through northern Spain to the coast. Will the British Expeditionary Force be caught and destroyed in the snow? Will discipline break down? Or, can Sir John Moore steer them to one final victory before they escape? This month’s episode is a long, hard look at one of the most famous campaigns in British military history. So, take off your pack, place your musket by your side and pour yourself a stiff drink – you are going to need it.
In the latest installment of The Redcoat History Podcast we meet Sir John Moore and follow the British expeditionary force as it advances into Spain to challenge the mighty Napoleon himself. We charge at the battle of Sahagun alongside the 15th Hussars in what the historian Charles Oman considered the greatest cavalry action of the Peninsular War. Will Moore prove himself a great General or will the army be defeated and embarrassed once more? By the way, for those of you like my films about the Anglo-Zulu War you will be pleased to discover that my new book is now available on Amazon as a kindle download. Here is the link: https://amzn.to/3elkI7X
In the second part of my deep dive into the Peninsular war of 1808-1814, we follow Sir Arthur Wellesley and his small expeditionary force as they tackle Portugal’s French occupiers. We examine the battle of Vimeiro – can Wellesley prove his mettle against “Boney’s invincibles” or will he and his men be pushed back into the sea?
Welcome to a new season of The Redcoat History Podcast. In season three we will be taking a deep dive into the Peninsular war – Yes, that’s right, think Richard Sharpe and the South Essex. It is a conflict that saw the Duke of Wellington rise to fame and the development of arguably the greatest and most successful British army to ever take the field. In this, the first, episode we meet Sir Arthur Wellesley (soon to become the Duke of Wellington) and have ringside seats as he takes on the all-conquering French army at Rolica…Will he emerge victoriously or will the British be thrown back into the Atlantic ocean? To stay up to date with all the episodes and to get your free ebook about the Martini-Henry rifle please be sure to subscribe to my newsletter – https://redcoathistory.com/newsletter/
Season 2: The Battle of Plassey
The podcast has been upgraded for YouTube – watch me read the latest episode of the Podcast as pictures, maps, and graphics animate behind me. In today’s show, a small force of British and Indian Redcoats take on the might of the Nawab of Bengal. Is it finally curtains for Clive of India or is it just the beginning? Join me as we take a deep dive into this incredibly important historical battle.
India – 1756. Calcutta is lost. The British have been defeated and have been forced to retreat in disgrace. But inspired by the horror of the infamous Blackhole of Calcutta incident they are now full of a righteous desire for revenge. After a series of internal squabbles Command of the expedition to retake Calcutta is given to a man named Robert Clive, a man who will play a big part in today’s episode and a man whose legacy is still with us. But who is he and what was his background? Find out in this episode as the thin red line of heroes takes on the huge army of the Nawab of Bengal, a drunk Sailor captures a fort single-handed and the British suffer heavy losses as they battle the French in a brutal artillery fight at Chandernagor. It’s rip-roaring stuff.
It’s the start of a new season for the Redcoat History Podcast. In Season 2 we are exploring the Battle of Plassey and the birth of the British Empire in India. It’s a fascinating story of intrigue, corruption and world-changing battles. In this episode, we examine the siege of the British in Calcutta by the Nawab of Bengal and the subsequent “Black-hole” incident 0f 1756 which ignited a passion for revenge amongst the British.
Season 1: The Anglo-Zulu War
This is the final episode of season one of the Redcoat History Podcast. Today I interview American fiction author James Mace about his incredible series on the Anglo-Zulu war. We talk everything AZW including the legacy of Anthony Durnford, the myths of Rorke’s Drift and whether Lord Chelmsford deserves to be treated harshly by most students of the war. If you like the episode then please comment and share with friends so that we can spread the word and build a tribe of people who love British military history.
In episode 7 of the Redcoat History Podcast I interview the brilliant Rob from the YouTube channel Britishmuzzleloaders. Rob is an expert on rifles of the Victorian era and in this hour-long interview he gives us the low-down on the Martini-Henry rifle. Do please check out Rob’s YT channel as it is amazing – https://www.youtube.com/user/britishm…
In Episode 6 of the Redcoat History Podcast, we examine the final chapter of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. After a series of defeats at Isandlwana, Ntombe Drift and Hlobane mountain the British are finally ready to turn the tables and launch a fresh invasion of Zululand. This time they have the manpower, the weaponry and the will to steam-roller King Cetswayo and his already battered army – but can they do it?
In episode 5 of The Redcoat History Podcast, I explore the battles of Ntombe Drift, Hlobane and Khambula – fought by the northern column during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. We see a British unit wiped out as it slept, another almost destroyed trying to raid a Zulu stronghold and then a huge battle at the camp at kambula – can the Zulus finally knock the British out of the war?
In this episode of The Redcoat History Podcast Christian Parkinson delves into the history of the battle of Nyezane, the siege of Eshowe and the battle of Gingindlovu – tough scraps from the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 that are often overlooked in popular history.
The Battle of Rorke’s Drift, fought at a lonely mission station on the Natal/Zululand border on 22 January 1879, is probably the most famous British engagement of the Victorian era. 11 Victoria Crosses were won in a single day as a handful of British troops fought for their lives against around 4000 Zulus. It is the stuff of legends, forever immortalized in the 1964 film Zulu. But how realistic is that film and how true are our preconceptions about the battle. In this episode of the Redcoat History Podcast, Christian Parkinson walks us through the battle, drawing heavily on the accounts of those who were there. For more information including maps and videos then visit http://www.redcoathistory.com.
The battle of Isandlwana is one of the most famous defeats that the British army has ever suffered. In this episode of the podcast, I go deep and examine the primary sources. We discuss the lead-up to the battle and the aftermath.