Though I am out of town this week, Episode 45 is now available for your listening pleasure. This is another World War II episode that is not set in Southeast Asia, but next to it. Today we begin the long jungle war in New Guinea, as the Japanese stage their first invasions of the world’s second largest island. Meanwhile to the southeast, in the Coral Sea, Japanese and American aircraft carriers meet. The result is a crucial battle, halting the Japanese advance toward Australia from the sea.
Today marks a new month, and you know what that means — it’s time for a new episode! This time we have an overview of what life was like for those in Southeast Asia, during the years when Japan ruled the region (hint: most of it is bad.)
Today we have a diversion from the narrative the podcast has been following lately. When Japan conquered Southeast Asia in early 1942, it gained access to the Indian Ocean, and the Japanese ventured into that ocean afterwards. This episode will look at what followed: the invasion of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the bombing of Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), and a battle between the British, French and Japanese for Madagascar. Although this area is not in Southeast Asia per se, I believe you will find the stories interesting, because they are really obscure to those people who don’t live around the Indian Ocean. That includes the host; I did not hear any of this in school! Now listen and enjoy.
This year three holidays fall on April 1: April Fool’s Day, Easter and Passover. Now you have another reason to celebrate; Episode 42 is available! This episode begins coverage of the Burma campaign, a nasty jungle war that would go on between Japan and the Allies for the rest of World War II in the Pacific. Today we will see the Japanese conquest of Burma (modern Myanmar), from December 1941 to May 1942. The conquest did not take five months because of Allied resistance, as was the case in the Philippines, but because of the rugged terrain and the size of the territory that was to be occupied.
Ten days ago, on March 6, 2018, the number of downloads of this podcast reached 100,000! Yes, in the twenty months since the podcast was launched, people have listened to or downloaded episodes 100,000 times. Thanks a million for your support!
The latest episode finishes what we started in Episode 38, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II. Although the Japanese win again, as they have in other recent episodes, it takes them five months to conquer the islands, because both the Americans and Filipinos were united in resisting them.
This episode is a break from the narrative usually presented. Recently I was interviewed by Stephanie Craig for another podcast, History Fangirl, to give the historical background behind Thailand and Bangkok. On the page hosting this episode is a link to the interview on HistoryFangirl.com; check it out to learn about the other places Stephanie has visited.
Normally I upload new episodes of my podcast on the 1st and 16th days of each month, but because February is the shortest month, I am giving you the second episode a day early. For Episode 39 we will see how the Japanese conquered most of Indonesia, an area the Dutch had dominated for more than three centuries, in only three months.