Killing Time

This is a podcast about the greatest military battles and campaigns that changed the course of history for non-military listeners.

Episode 10 - Trafalgar

November 16th, 2015

In October 1805, Britain had been almost continuously at war with Napoleonic France and under the constant menace of invasion across the narrow English Channel at Boulogne.  There stood nearly a quarter million men under the personal command of Napoleon himself.  The Armee d'Angleterre was the finest army on the continent of Europe and stood ready to invade and humble the "nation of shopkeepers", as the French Emperor contemptuously called his most implacable enemy.  Standing between him and the beaches of Kent was the British navy. Napoleon had conceived a clever plan to unite the French and Spanish fleets and temporarily attain naval superiority in the Channel, long enough to get his army across.  If he succeeded, he later claimed, "it would have been all over with England."  This is the story of England's most famous naval commander of all time and how he managed to utterly annihilate the combined Franco-Spanish fleet off the coast of Spain in about five hours, losing his own life in the battle.  Upon the outcome of this one battle on the high seas the fate of three empires were were sealed and the world would never be the same again.


Episode 9 - The Battle of Austerlitz

October 8th, 2015
After a dizzying rise to power, the 35 year old Napoleon Bonaparte faced his downfall in the summer of 1805 when first Russia and then Austria allied themselves with Britain to destroy the French Empire.  A fourth great power, the kingdom of Prussia, waited in the wings for Napoleon to falter and would then join the alliance too.  Deciding not to wait while his enemies slowly mobilized, Napoleon and his Grande Armee, encamped for nearly two years at Boulogne waiting to invade England, broke camp and marched east.  This is the story of how Napoleon defeated his enemies, winning his greatest military triumph at Austerlitz and broke the alliance in just four months time on December 2, 1805.  This campaign, culminating in this famous battle, is the supreme accomplishment of the greatest military mind of his age and, perhaps, of any age.