WDF 1: The Franco-Prussian War

Where it all began! In 1870 two continental titans faced off; one old and ruled by a nephew of an esteemed imperial house, the other youthful, aggressive and led by one of the most ambitious, colourful and remarkable statesmen of the 19th century. Prussia was there too (I'm joking!). Check it out here folks, in our very first episode, accompanied of course by Sean, who joins us with equal trepidation to retell one of the most fascinating stories of the early-modern period!

Napoleon III surrenders to the soon to be Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm I, while Bismarck stands longingly in the background. Courtesy Library of Congress, Washington, D.C

Napoleon III surrenders to the soon to be Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm I, while Bismarck stands longingly in the background. Courtesy Library of Congress, Washington, D.C

                  WDF 2: The Second-Punic War

The Second Punic War was the classical clash of two impossible rivals in the Classical World. Carthage and Rome were vastly different states, chasms apart in terms of military structure, ideology, religion and economic output, yet both happened to occupy the same Mediterranean basin, and it happened to not be big enough for either of them.

Hannibal crosses the Alps, and one of his elephants had vertigo...apparently... Courtesy http://cdn.ancienthistorylists.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Hannibal-invades-Italy-218-BCE.jpg

Hannibal crosses the Alps, and one of his elephants had vertigo...apparently... Courtesy http://cdn.ancienthistorylists.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Hannibal-invades-Italy-218-BCE.jpg

                  WDF 3: The Russo-Japanese War

Offended easily? Stay away now! Fan of woeful accents? Stay tuned!One of the wars which had always fascinated me, and still does. The colossus of Russia taking on the minnow of Japan, and somehow Goliath falls. The story of how and why this came about has a lot to do with the circumstances taking shape within the Russian Empire, a realm badly in need of reform and overextended by its frequent forays against different regional and worldy powers. The Japanese, oddly enough, rather than Britain, would be the Empire tasked with providing Russia with its greatest rebuff arguably since the Crimean War over 50 years before. That it did so, and some would say, handily, meant disaster and major shakeups across the continent. Make sure also to dip into the TALK episode with Sean, great banter to be had within!

Lovely bit of Russian propaganda to liven up one's day! Courtesy: http://www.theromanovfamily.com/romanov-family-russo-japanese-war/

Lovely bit of Russian propaganda to liven up one's day! Courtesy: http://www.theromanovfamily.com/romanov-family-russo-japanese-war/

                WDF 4: The Spanish American War

What happens when a burgeoning, belligerent and bountiful young power attempts to carpe the freakin' diem? Just ask Spain! In yet another of our 'new powers upsetting the apple cart' series, we look at America's somewhat shocking entrance into the world stage and the concern of powers, at the expense of the oldest European coloniser man had known. 

How did the Spanish and Americans come to blows? A series of unfortunate events only begins to describe it! Courtesy Print Collector Hulton Archive Getty Images

How did the Spanish and Americans come to blows? A series of unfortunate events only begins to describe it! Courtesy Print Collector Hulton Archive Getty Images

                       WDF 5: The Seven Years War

The SYW spanned multiple continents, and is normally referred to as the French and Indian Wars due to the tendency of both France and Britain to steal the spotlight from everyone else. We try to buck this trend, as we examine the incredible story of Frederick the Great of Prussia, and his state's survival during the course of these chaotic and dramatic seven years. By its end, though the map of Europe had changed the same, and most would talk about London's considerable gains, Europe was dealing with the fact that Frederick had definitively arrived in European power politics - he was, the Great. Make sure to gain another perspective during Sean and I's unwrapping of its events.

"Why so downcast, oh my soul!" - Prussia's defeat at the Battle of Kunersdorf in August 1759 was the worst of Frederick's career and reign, and nearly led him to end it then and there. Courtesy: http://www.britishbattles.com/frederick-the-great-wars/seven-years-war/battle-of-kunersdorf/

"Why so downcast, oh my soul!" - Prussia's defeat at the Battle of Kunersdorf in August 1759 was the worst of Frederick's career and reign, and nearly led him to end it then and there. Courtesy: http://www.britishbattles.com/frederick-the-great-wars/seven-years-war/battle-of-kunersdorf/

           WDF 6: The War of the Spanish Succession

You and I have been through a lot (or will go through a lot, depending on where you are with us right now) with the person and majesty of Louis XIV, but this is arguably one of his most infamous wars. The goal - seize the throne of Spain and takeover Europe, at least that's what older histories claimed the Sun King desired. The truth was far more complex, and sheds an important light on the nature of succession, dynasties and the complexities of European power politics in the period. It also testifies to Louis' staying power, as he eventually outlasted the will and patience of his foes. For this, he had the late military engineer Vauban to thank, but Louis was happy to take the credit for himself!

Louis XIV was immensely fortunate to have in his employ some seriously talented men. Case in point, the centerpiece of this painting Marshal Villars, who saved France at the Battle of Denaim in the closing months of the war. Courtesy: Joconde database

Louis XIV was immensely fortunate to have in his employ some seriously talented men. Case in point, the centerpiece of this painting Marshal Villars, who saved France at the Battle of Denaim in the closing months of the war. Courtesy: Joconde database

                   WDF 7: The Great Northern War

Sweden's rise, rise and massive fall came about almost squarely because of this conflict. Its events, the untimely death of its sovereign and the arrival of the largest land empire the world would ever see struck the early 18th century as strangely timely, in a continent where in the West, almost simultaneously, Europeans were fighting for the throne of Spain. Europe was in the throes of chaos at the beginning of the 1700s, and from such fires of change sprang incredible new shoots of power! (Peter is offended by your beard)

The incredible twists and turns of the campaigning season saw Sweden trounce the enemies it faced, but so many enemies seemed to remain in place! Courtesy: Great_Northern_War_Part2.png: S. Bollmann

The incredible twists and turns of the campaigning season saw Sweden trounce the enemies it faced, but so many enemies seemed to remain in place! Courtesy: Great_Northern_War_Part2.pngS. Bollmann

                    WDF 8: The American Revolution

It needs no introduction to be fair, so we won't give it one! Ah, that was easy! Check out my take on America's favourite pastime - blowing things up, while making London sweat!

The fighting was bitter, the cause...just? The ramifications, monumental. The revolution, successful. Courtesy: Studio 88

The fighting was bitter, the cause...just? The ramifications, monumental. The revolution, successful. Courtesy: Studio 88

              WDF 9: The War of the Polish Succession

When Poland wasn't into space, it at least could post its crown up for grabs on the nearest Craigslist, and let everyone know about it. Pretty soon everyone insisted they had the best offer for the throne, but only two candidates truly stepped forward, and Italy, of all places, became the place to duke it out for that crown. Didn't know a thing about this war? It's a brilliant look into the complex and forgotten diplomatic world of 1730s Europe, and one of Poland's last desperate gasps of relevancy, so check it out!

The 1734 Siege of Danzig by Russo-Saxon troops. Someone was happy about this, and you can bet it wasn't the Poles! Courtesy: Wikipedia/Public Domain.

The 1734 Siege of Danzig by Russo-Saxon troops. Someone was happy about this, and you can bet it wasn't the Poles! Courtesy: Wikipedia/Public Domain.