Themes

The podcast will broadcast on a seasonal basis where between six to eight episodes will be recorded around a theme before they are released as a series over a number of weeks. Each episode will feature interviews with one or two experts. Five themes are planned at present:

  • Combat motivation during the Second World War. This series explores what influenced the will to fight in soldiers, sailors and aviators from the Soviet Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States during the conflict. It seeks to explore how the culture, political system and culture, geostrategic context and policies pursued by individual nations shaped combatant motivation on and off the battlefield.
  • What will motivate the future soldier? This theme explores what factors may shape combatants of the future to enlist, fight and engage in armed conflicts. Importantly, it seeks to consider at the role of technology, AI, drones and robotics and how that may shape the nature of interpersonal relationships or relationships between individuals in a group but also between human and machine. It also seeks to explore how changes in societies, political ideas and the climate may also shape the reasons for why people may fight.
  • Soldier motivation in Vietnam. This topic aims to consider the combat motivation of Australian, Korean, US, South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese forces during the 1965-75 conflict. In particular, this them seeks to explore the impact of the US personnel rotation policies, the ‘fragging’ phenomenon and the influence of domestic events in each combat country shaped the will of each countries respective military forces to fight in the war.
  • Combat morale in asymmetric wars. This thread aims to explore how the combat motivation of insurgency and counter-insurgency forces to fight and endure in asymmetric guerrilla conflicts. In particular, this theme explores the importance of political concepts and ideology in motivating participants.
  • The will to fight in the revolutionary and industrial age, 1789 to 1914. This focuses on how did the nature of motivation and interpersonal relationships changed in armed forces with the rise of mass armies, near-universal literacy, mass media and political ideas such as communism, nationalism and democracy between the French Revolution and the outbreak of the Great War. It explores the motivation for soldiers and sailors to fight or mutiny in conflicts such as the Crimean War, US Civil War and the Anglo-South African Wars.

The recording is underway for these five themes and it is hoped that the first batch of interviews will be released over the summer of 2021.

Other themes will be developed such as combat motivation in the 17th century, the medieval world and ancient times (e.g. Roman Republic/Empire).