I have crossed the line. Semi-exhausted, semi-elated, with a similar sense of accomplishment as having finished a grueling challenge. Not that it was unpleasant, far from it, but it is the denouement: the slightly sad afterglow of a long, bright day. A time to kick off the mud caked boots, rub the aching calves, prop the pack and sword belt by the door, and reflect with a melancholy satisfaction on the journey so far completed.
Around January or February I started looking in earnest for new podcasts to listen to, having come from the brilliant History of Rome I was ready for another journey through the annals of time, and found The History of World War II Podcast, by Ray Harris Jr. At the time it was up to something like 120 episodes, and as of yesterday, after listening to little else, I have managed to work my way through the now 138 back episodes and am completely up-to-date. That is not to say that The History of World War II is finished! Operation Barbarossa is just kicking off and there is plenty to be covered yet, but that for now, my journey with Ray Harris Jr., is done.
I really loved the History of Rome, which is a brilliant podcast and well worth listening to, and The History of World War II is similarly excellent. Ray does a very good job of covering, in detail, what is a complex and fascinating story. Altogether I would have listening to something like 90-100 hours of the podcast, and would recommend it to anyone with a passing interest.
If you do stop over and listen, I would recommend downloading a bunch and listening to them in groups. To be honest, I prefer to listen to history podcasts this way - a stream of audio following the story, however long, is preferable to small piecemeal chunks where detail may be lost or forgotten between installments. Ray will undoubtedly keep up with his schedule, but I won't be joining him again for at least a couple of months as I allow the bank of episodes to build back up. I very much look forward to it!
My one and only gripe with The History of World War II is the cover image. When I open my phone and I have been listening to the show, the cover image above dominates the screen, with the distinctive red colouring, swastika and the image of Hitler, it has drawn some interesting looks from those who happen to be nearby... but that is a small price to pay for such quality listening!