Historyzine 006: Siege Warfare

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In episode 6 of Historyzine we look at early 18th century sieges, the changing nature of warfare and some of the reasons behind the reticence to commit troops to a fully fledged battle in this War of the Spanish Succession. We will focus particularly on the great French engineer Vauban, his fortresses and his techniques for laying siege to a fortress. There’s a plan of a Vauban type fortress here

If you take a look at this pdf document you will be able to see some really good aerial photographs of Vauban fortresses that give a fine indication of how it works as a piece of defensive technology.

Finally here’s a picture showing the lines of circumvallation and contravallation and the three parallels the besiegers would dig as part of the siege of a fortress town.

We mention in the podcast one of the finest references on the net for the War of the Spanish Succession www.spanishsuccession.nl and also give a shout out to the Genealogy Gems podcast plus a mention for a site simply jammed full of history podcast reviews http://anneisaman.blogspot.com/
Latest news on the Oudenaarde re-enactment for the 300th anniversary of the battle of Oudenaarde is that I have booked my hotel room and the reenactment will be taking place over the weekend 12th and 13th of July.

Our review this time is of a podcast from the History Network and is an audio tour of a walk around Soho in London.

If you wish to leave feedback on the podcast then do so through the site http://historyzine.com/ or use the contact page to send a form email http://historyzine.com/contact/

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6 Responses to Historyzine 006: Siege Warfare

  1. FNH says:

    Another good show and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

    Thought : The battle across history between the Castle builder and the Beseiger might make a good topic for a future episode.

  2. Robert Scott says:

    Jim …..

    Once again nice Job !!!

    Sweet Images …..

  3. Wilder says:

    When you were talking about the Podcast tour, it actually started to slow things down a bit. Then you mentioned the Broadstreet Waterpump, which amused me as the last book I read was “Ghost Map” about the 1848 Cholera epidemic of London. That story could make an interesting Podcast itself. You are at your best when describing the actual battles, events and participants. The science of the siege, the actual experience of the common soldier and emotional state of the monarchs. Brilliant. Thank you for making these podcasts. I’d go to Itunes and leave you a good review but I don’t have an Ipod.

  4. Robert Scott says:

    Wilder ….

    No need for an Ipod to leave a review or to use i-tunes
    And if ya don’t have i-tunes ( versions available for MS and MAc no Linux as of yet ) its a great app and an awsome source for free and commercial fodder

  5. jimmowatt says:

    I’ve just looked up Ghost Map on Amazon and it looks as if it would be a fascinating read. It sounds ludicrous doesn’t it, the notion of reading about a cholera epidemic as entertainment and yet whenever I’ve heard about this I’ve always found it quite riveting. I was reminded of the conditions in which cholera could spread in London while watching the recent series on television, ‘City of Vice’. They only had about 4 sets but one of them was to simulate the 7 Dials area of London and showed people scavenging around stagnant water and gave a really good idea of the deeply insanitary conditions in which the poor attempted to survive.
    City of Vice was about the Brothers Fielding and the formation of the Bow Street Runners (forerunner of the London Metropolitan Police force). Some strong stories and a very vivid picture of the criminal underclass in London.
    It was only 5 episodes long and has just recently finished.
    Well worth attempting to obtain on dvd.

    As for Itunes; I don’t have an ipod but use Itunes. It’s a nifty application for downloading and sorting your podcasts. It even has a utility for converting Ipod only files to regular MP3’s so they can be played on any player.

  6. Wilder says:

    Interesting. I wasn’t aware I could use I tunes. I’ll have to look into that soon. Thank you Robert and Jim. I received Ghost Map as a Christmas gift. I liked it. The best parts of the book are when he talks about the metropolis of London growing beyond the limits where anyone knew how to cope with the high population, the extremely unsanitary conditions and undesirable jobs of some of the lower classes. The men who solved the mystery of the epidemic had to fight against the established concepts of the Medical community. The widespread attitude of hospitals, drs and nurses (Florence Nightingale included) that smells caused illness. So that they thought fresh air or bowls of bleach were the first priority to curing a sick person. However the weak point of the book is the overly long epilogue. The actual story is about 200 pages. Then he goes on for another 40 pages or so about how epidemics could occur today and touches briefly on the 1918 Flu and the Bird Flu. Interesting but too much speculation. So I thought Ghost Map was very good but it was also the first time I’d ever heard of the London Cholera Epidemic. I can’t say if anyone else has done a better account.

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