Ray Harris Jr. has a degree in history from James Madison University.

NFORMATION TO JUSTIFY YOU LISTENING TO MY PODCAST Ray Harris Jr. has a degree in history from James Madison University. I’ve been obsessed with the events and people from WWII since I first learned of them. I’ve been waiting years for someone to do a podcast on WWII and couldn’t wait any longer.

54 Responses to “About”

  1. ian meacham says:

    Hi i love your podcast and since i found it i have been listening to one a day while working and have almost caught up(next week i think).I want to say how much i have found out about the war through you that i had no idea about,Hitler in Liverpool really?That one knocked me for 6 and i still can’t quite belive it.I love history and know a fair bit about it but with all the indepth details i am always learning.Thank you for making the working day better. PS. 50 episodes and still only on Battle of Britain this is going to be a long haul for you and years of listening for us!

  2. Darren Swift says:

    Hi Ray – reeally enjoying the pod – can’t wait until you get into the action on the Eastern Front – Leningrad, Stalingrad etc. Have you watched the World at War series from the BBC…really good?

    Both my Grandfathers fought in the War – one was a dessert rat in north africa and my family (all passed away now) lived through the London blitz

    I’m mailing you from my office in the Docklands, East London – hard to imagine how this place was being bombed nightly all those years ago in the blitz.

    There is a plaque at Bethnal Green Tube station commerating the people who died (crushed to death) during an air raid – it was the biggest loss of civilian life at the time…mostly women & children (very sad).

    Best Regards
    Darren
    London

    • Hi Darren, please submit your stories on the ‘your stories’ page so other visitors can rad them.
      http://worldwariipodcast.net/wordpress/stories/

      Thanks

      Paul Finch

    • matthew says:

      Hi Ray
      Just a reply from England to say a big thank you for your podcast.I really appreciate the effort you put into it especially fitting it in around your working and family life.
      The podcasts are so full of detail and having been a WW2 buff for many years,the detail and build up to events are really great.
      Like others i am looking forward to years!! of podcasts especially Arnham!! my favorite period of the war and my favorite film!!!
      Thanks for making the working day alot better
      Matthew

  3. Ray,

    Thanks for the podcasts bro!!

    Cheers,

    Bob

  4. Hi Ray, your podcast is so much rich in material, good English and good voice. Am from nigeria and just started listening to it and always can’t waite for the next episode. Please keep up uploading. As Darren say, we are waiting for eastern front episodes.

  5. Hi Ray,

    Found your podcast last week after deciding my knowledge of WWII is pretty poor and now I’m very addicted. Listen to two a day on my commute from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, makes a very boring drive hugely interesting and I’m learning so much. Also, I’d just like to comment on the improvement on each podcast from the raw beginnings to where I am at epidsode 14, well done.

    Thank you for your great efforts.

    Chris (British expat)

  6. Hi Ray,

    I came across your podcast about a month ago and I have found it so captivating that I have put all others on hold for the time being.

    One of my grandfathers served under Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. Also a Great Uncle was a Navy doctor captured in the Phillipines. Unfortunately he passed just a few months before the war ended from malnutrition and disease due to the extremely poor conditions found in the Japanese prison boats/camps. Letters from his fellow POWs say that he faithfully carried out his duties to the very end.

    Thank you for spending so much of your time putting these podcasts together for your listeners. Not only is it educational but it honors all of those who sacrificed so much.

  7. Dear Paul.
    I recently discovered your podcast by chance on iTunes. As a great history fan myself, I was instantly a fan, love the way you really cover the subjects.
    So, you have a great fan in Denmark :)

  8. Hi Ray,

    I’m just saying a huge thank you for all the time and effort you’ve put into this delightful podcast.
    You’re excellent use of the english language and your clear voice make this my personal favourite podcaste ever!

    Kepp up the good work;

    Finn.

  9. Chris B says:

    Hi Ray

    Great podcast.

    Wish I could come on the tour this year. Maybe I will be able to make it in the future, as im hoping it will happen again.

    I’m British but living in Asia, maybe I can catch the asian leg of the tour? I have travelled in malaysia and thailand and as you know there are some amazing stories here.

    Any way mate keep up the good work

    chris

  10. Hi Ray,

    Great podcasts. Glad I found your site and glad someone found this subject worth making a podcast about.

    Like you, I became completely enamored of WWII from a very young age. I’ve been fortunate to have known many combat veterans from all theaters of the war. Only a handful of my older friends are left.

    Even my own parents were child witnesses to the war (Mom from England, Dad from Germany). I’ve had relatives fighting on both sides of the European Theater – and dying. The War also directly affected my parents’ families.

    Imagine my delight, when my Dad was a working on contract in Germany for 2 years, as a child of 12 being on the Normandy beaches, seeing the cemeteries (of both sides) and still remember going past the Maginot Line. We lived in a small town in Bavaria and drove past the Dachau concentration camp on many occasions. This was at a time when it was still an abandoned, dark and sad place – not the commercialized tourist site it is now.

    To me the war became less about the statistics of the battles, the armaments and vehicles involved – and mostly about the people who experienced the war up close and personal. I enjoy when you personalize the podcasts with the experiences of those that were there.

    All my life, every time I met a WWII veteran I thanked them for their service – for what they did. All my life I have lived in awe of these humble men (and women) who stopped tyrants from taking over the world. They truly are THE Greatest Generation.

    Best Regards,
    Werner Meyer

  11. Mike Sturrock says:

    Ray,
    I’m really enjoying the podcast. As a Brit, who’s father lived throught the blitz in South London, and who was brought up on a diet of war films and documentaries I thought I pretty much knew about WW2. You’ve put me straight on that! I had not even scratched the surface. I’m completely hooked with the detail you’re providing and the easy style that makes that detail easy to access and remain engaged with. thank you for all your efforts and commitment. really appreciated.
    regards
    Mike

  12. Brilliant show!!!…
    I listen to it every night, if it were a book I’d never put it down!
    You do a great job!
    My father trained Bill Foxley.. The spit pilot who played the roll of the burned pilot on the film the battle of Britain.. He was an engineer after the war..
    Anyway.. Back to your podcast !
    Thank you again !

  13. Andy Wallace says:

    Hi Ray,

    Congratulations on doing such a wonderful job.

    Highly detailed and informative………..and addictive!

    Thank you
    Andy

  14. Hi Ray,
    Your podcast is terrific. I listen everyday while walking. I just finished Episode 8. Obviously, an incredible amount of work has gone into it. I love that it is so thorough, covering the events leading up to the war in Italy and Japan as well as Germany.

  15. Hey just started listening to your podcast. I think its awesome being A canadian though I do feel you missed a bit about our effort to the war. we were a huge part in the battle of the Atlantic and the air battle for Britain but other than that amazing. I cant stop listening keep up the good work. Pretty upset I missed the trip in October. I plan on going to Europe and following in the foot steps of my great grandpa starting with him being posted to A Canadian mobile artillery regiment. Im going to write about it and maybe even make a podcast so hopefully we can keep in touch

    Mike !

  16. You’re so awesome! I do not suppose I’ve read through a single thing like that before.
    So nice to find another person with a few genuine thoughts on this subject.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the
    web, someone with some originality!

    Ervin

  17. David Plazak says:

    Ray:

    I came upon your podcast after listening to some others (Mike Duncan, Dan Carlin..) and am really enjoying it. I’m about a year behind but catching up fast. Your episodes on the fall of France and Dunkirk were really great. I gained a lot of insight, especially in terms of what what going on politically behind the scenes. Your attention to detail is impressive. Thanks!

  18. Robert Lewis says:

    A wonderful, detailed exegesis of the events day by day, thoroughly absorbing, endlessly fascinating. A 4-star general at US European Command once told me over a beer that when amateurs get together they talk strategy. But when professionals get together they discuss logistics. I have read reams of WWI and WWII books’ — I am the amateur. You are the professional. Thank you, from my entire family. We really enjoy your podcast.

  19. Ray, your podcast is stunningly detailed and that’s what I love about it. Not a HUGE fan of the talk radio episodes, but I’d rather have them then not have them. Best WWII podcast on the net, and while you probably have 2-3 years left until you reach the conclusion of WWII, I’d love to hear that you’ll do WWI next!

  20. neil bellamy says:

    Ray, thank you so much for the podcasts – I’m really enjoying them and just caught up yesterday after many, many weeks listening in the car. I now feel like i’m properly in the podcast club now!

  21. Peter tya52 says:

    Ray,
    I discovered your podcast in Nov//2012 through the History of Rome series that I loved as well.
    I’m a History buff especially the WW 2 period & love your Podcast.
    I love the way you deliver the details & am now on The Dunkirk episode.
    I listen to your Podcast while I walk my dogs & at the Gym during my workouts
    Keep it up, your Podcasts are an indispensable part of my daily routine.
    Peter, Toronto, Ontario,

  22. Shane Donohoo says:

    Ray,

    I have really enjoyed listening to your podcast and keenly await each one. I would like to become a member. Is there a mechanism in iTunes allowing me to do this?

    I hope I am not missing something obvious here!

    Please keep the episodes coming – I have so much to learn!

    Thanks

    Shane Donohoo
    Sydney Australia

  23. Malcolm Brown says:

    Hi Ray’

    at long last I ot round to making a donation to “help the cause” and keep the podcasts coming. As on my review on iTunes I really love the way you mangle various place names you mention to do with the war! Having said that the one thing that made it for me is when you mentioned the small town of Cullercoats on the North East English coast just a mile or two North of Tynemouth on the mouth of the River Tyne and now part of the Suburbs of Newcastle [upon Tyne] and only a short train ride from my home, on the South side of the Tyne. I suppose like a lot of people I often feel the war happened somewhere else and the mention of Cullercoats really brought it home, as Britian was “the Front” being so close to mainland Europe compared to the U.s. Equally I think it’s great to have an American who takes the view that WWII didn’t start with President Roosvelts’ Day of Informy in [7th] December 1941.

    • Hi Malcolm

      I’m from south of the river too (Sand Dancer) and have always been fascinated by the local history and WW2. Have you spotted the remains of the Flying Boat track on the little north beach (low tide needed)? I was lucky enough to see the last Short Sunderland fly over there too. On the north side Blyth Battery is now open to the public and there is a re-enactment group there soon, check out blythbattery.org.uk they are always putting interesting stuff on. Not to mention great fish and chips and ice cream about ten yards away :)

      Cheers!

      Andy

  24. Wow
    I listened to 74 podcasts in
    3 months. Totally blown away by your perspective and insight thanks ray

  25. Emmy Hashaka says:

    Just discovered your ww11 podcasts and i must say i am totally hooked. In such2 days already on episode 13. In my marketing career i heard abit about the war strategies during brand marketing sessions and have always been fascinated by ww11. Getting to learn about the war in such detail is amazing. Great work….Asante (swahili for “thank you”)

    Emmy Hashaka
    Kampala, Uganda

  26. Love the podcast. Thanks for the effort you put in it.

  27. Karen Hatten-D'Asero says:

    Ray, I listen to your podcast everyday while taking my walk. Your telling of the events and main characters takes me back in time, and I truly feel that I am experiencing the moment. I also enjoyed your podcast about your trip to Claremont, CA, not far from my home in Los Angeles. If you ever come back to LA, you should visit the George S. Patton Memorial Museum in Indio. There is quite a collection of tanks used in WWII and Korean Wars. I have yet to go there. I am currently reading the book, “Agent Garbo” by Stephan Talty. “The brilliant, eccentric secret agent who tricked Hitler and saved D-Day”. Keep up the good work and thanks for a great podcast.
    Karen

  28. Hi Ray, I am very lucky to have found your podcast! Very well written and narrated and the attention to detail is perfect. I’m only up to the invasion of Poland so far but in it for the long haul and enjoy the fact I am learning about this defining period everyday. International political process must have moved on dramatically since the 30s? Or am I still naive on that point?

    My grandfather was in the Royal Navy involved in the convoys to Malta. Sadly Malta does not preserve their history at all well and is currently left to expats who are only just piecing together the important bunker network and artifacts – still a fascinating visit.

    All the best,

    Thomas
    London, UK

  29. Ray,
    I recently found your podcast by chance. I love history, and especially this era. Not only the war aspect, but the people and politics as well. It seems that whenever I try to find anything covering both aspects of WW2, it hardly goes into any detail about anything except the war itself. In the past 3 days I’ve listened to your first 26 podcasts. They’re addicting! I really appreciate how you go into all of the details – and take the perfect amount of time addressing them. The background on all of the main “players” in the first few episodes are much appreciated. Especially the Mussolini podcasts. You never seem to hear too much about him, with Hitler taking all the attention (which as you pointed out, Mussolini detested). My summer job is landscaping, and I really miss learning. However I don’t miss classrooms. Your podcasts are perfect for me because I don’t really talk to anyone in this line of work. I just plug you in and listen for 10 hours a day, but never get bored. You display all the facts in an interesting way – something I wish my professors would learn to do. I have a way to go but I’m not excited to catch up. Waiting two weeks for another podcast is unfathomable right now.

    Thank you very much,
    John
    Montana, USA

  30. My son turned me on to your podcast, it is the first one I have ever listened to, and I listen on my way to and from work. Thank you for the excellent work you have put into this. I have recommended it to several other people.

  31. Butch Bryant says:

    Ray,
    Greetings from a fellow Virginian and JMU History graduate.
    I found your podcast a few weeks ago and have really enjoyed the detail you’ve gone into particularly on the Battle of Britain. I am up to Episode 52 and look forward to the many episodes to come. I really appreciate the amount of work you must be putting into this. By the way, I graduated from JMU with a BA in History in 1987.
    Thanks for producing this Podcast!

  32. Was a bit late coming to your excellent podcasts but am listening to a few every week and catching up. Great stuff – thanks!

  33. Michael Soricelli says:

    Just found your podcast about a month ago and find it very interesting and complete. Thank you for you efforts… they are appreciated and enjoyed.

  34. Bob Lang says:

    Ray,

    Greetings from the Windy City. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed listening to your podcasts. Not only are the podcasts extremely informative and well done (I really liked the history on Mussolini), but they are also a terrific antidote to long commutes in Chicago traffic. I am up to episode 23 and look forward to each new episode. Keep up the great work and thank you for bringing these wonderful WWII podcasts to your listeners.

    Bob, Chicago IL

  35. Hi Ray, I stumbled across your podcast about a month ago. I am up to Episode 35 and it has completely changed my work commute. The detail and delivery is pitched perfectly and I look forward to listening to it each morning. I would like to hear more of the radio / recorded speeches etc. please keep up the good work, I am hooked and have learnt so much.

    Best wishes to you and yours.

    Cheers
    Rob

    London, Great Britain.

  36. Bob Brown says:

    Thanks for your labor. I listen to these on my work commute. Whose writing is best on WWII?

  37. Linda W. says:

    You are the MAN. I love the podcast and have listened to every single one.
    Donation is on the way!
    All the best,
    Linda
    Madison, Wisconsin

  38. Malcolm Brown says:

    Hi Ray,

    and fellow WWII podcast followers. Well I’ve just made another donation to the cause and still loving those names that turn you into a “tongue twister” as you try to say them!

    What’s more we “still” haven’t had the Russians, Americans or Japanesse enter the war yet. Though we are into nominally 1941, with dear old “Blighty” [Great Britain & it's Empire]facing Hitler and Mussilini alone, as Greece and the Balkans falling to the Axis.

  39. Hey Ray
    Terrific podcasts I knew quite a bit about WW2, but there’s so much detail that you point in. Like the certain countries and peoples feelings during the time and great little battle and leader facts that’s help understand the conflict and give one better knowledge of that chaotic period in history. Addictive to listen to as well keep up the great work.

  40. Andy McGill says:

    Please, please, please give extra attention to some events that are rarely covered elsewhere:

    1. Operation Tiger conducted to prepare for D-Day, but which resulted in 40% as many US deaths as D-Day itself, but nobody ever heard of it. Also any other notable training exercises.

    2. Allied raid on Dieppe and any other raids on the western coast of Europe before D-day. Nothing much is said about those important events.

  41. Thank-you Ray, this is amazing! well done. Very comprehensive
    Donation is on it’s way
    Thanks C

  42. Emjoy your Pod cast, but would recommend include something about the Kaiser. Granted he 2was no longer in power and in the neitherlands at the time of the war, but I heard some place that he hadf helped finace Hitler after being promised he would be returned to the throne. Also it seems he and Hitler and Kieser Wilmeim had some similaraties in personality.
    Keep up the good work

  43. Ray,
    I just decided to join the 21st century and see what a podcast was. I have a long commute and have been catching up on your episodes, but I’m only up to #22 so far. You are doing a great job! I have a MA in history myself but focused on the Pacific and mostly Cold War era so I’m learning a lot. I did enjoy the time you spent on the diplomatic events leading up to the war that all too frequently gets ignored. I hope you go back to the diplomatic events as there are some key events that influence the Cold War. After college I joined the Navy and became fascinated with Naval history, especially submarine history so I hope you cover more of the Pacific theater. Keep up the great work!
    Bob

  44. Thanks for the podcasts Ray, I’m really enjoying them. I also have picked up a couple of your recommended books, enjoying “The Arms of Krupp” now. Wondering if you’ve read “Empire on the Adriatic”? Great book on Italian/Serbia/Croatia/Yugoslavia quagmire prior to and during WWII. Thanks again for your insights!

  45. Mark foxhall says:

    Hi Ray,

    I hope this finds you well.

    I’m really enjoying your recent series on Churchill. Your decision to focus on his life before the war although risky, has paid off! Please continue, I cannot get enough!
    Churchill’s Granddaughter in law Minnie, lives locally in Ware cliffs just outside Lyme Regis. My friends have met her and inform me that she enjoys discussing her late Grandfather in Laws exploits over a cup of tea. I hope to meet her one day to enjoy her first hand accounts of the great man.

    Keep up the excellent work
    Kindest regards
    Mark

  46. Ray,

    I am currently on the episode 36 of your podcast series. I listen to your podcast when I workout – great stuff. I am Russian myself, so I am looking forward to getting to your ‘Eastern Front’ episodes. I live in Dallas, TX. World War 2 (The Great Patriotic War, as we know it) is one of my favorite topics.

    In any case – great job and thanks for putting these out there. I will send you a list of some Russian books/authors you may want to read if you wanted to get an idea on how things looked like/were presented on the other side.

    Max

  47. Rob Pioli says:

    On Paypal, I finally made my donation a monthly recurring charge so I won’t forget. Thanks Ray! For the 100th show, can we email questions or topics?

  48. David Sharp says:

    Hi Ray,

    Please ignore my comment about England vs.
    Britain – just heard the intro of episode 12 where
    you covered this error!

    Thanks again!

    Particularly looking forward to hearing you cover
    the Russian “Operational Art” in the Far East at the
    end of the war.

    Thanks,

    David, Japan

  49. John Niebel says:

    Hi Ray,

    I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic podcast, all your efforts are hugely appreciated. I thought I knew a lot about WWII but every episode bring something new to my attenton. Teriffic work, I look forward to several more years of superior listening and enlightenment. my mum and dad both survived being bombed in Manchester nothern England and my ex father-in law landed in France on D-day +6 hard to imagine what they lived through and we complain because the internet is slow some days!We forget all this happened the day before yesterday.

    Best wishes

    John

    Thanks again

  50. I’m a Swede living in Warszawa since three years back. These three years in Poland has made me more and more aware of and interested in to WW2. Your podcast is just great and filled with so much interesting information. I’m listening to it when commuting back and forth from the office. Thank you very much for doing this!

  51. i would like to hear more about the balkans and yugoslavia in particular. maybe its best saved for another time, but the ustaša and the catholic church involvement in genocide is a very compelling story. have listened to all 95 episodes keep up the good work!!

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