If memory serves me correctly, War Stories was founded during the centenary ceremony of the Somme. A few weeks prior to that, my co-conspirator, Angry Staff Officer, and I met up to chat (or more likely, to snark) over drinks in Alexandria. And a few weeks before that, we talked about the use and misuse of history with Nate Finney on the Military Writers Guild’s podcast. As of today, season one of the show has closed out and now begins our inter-season planning and writing grind.
We set out with a number of goals in mind for the show, some ambitious, others decidedly not. On a fundamental level, we wanted to bridge the individual narratives of war with the larger historical and contextual picture. Through this model, we hoped that both the history and story-interested listeners of the show would be on level playing fields. On a loftier level, I also think there’s something to this model in getting people to better understand and use history, particularly in the uniquely human endeavor of warfare. I don’t think there’s anything particularly novel or innovative about the method, but that’s not to say that it’s practiced enough.
There were also smaller goals relating to the format of the show and what it would feel like for those listening. There’s something more intimate, or at least potentially intimate, about audio programming. Written words indeed have a massive amount of power over us, but there’s a relationship between storyteller and listener that exists in audio which doesn’t come forth as frequently in writing. The subjects we chose to cover only added to that.
I don’t want to take away from an upcoming article/interview about the show by hashing over many of the same points I always make, but I do want to say that it’s been an absolute pleasure writing, editing, producing, re-editing, re-writing, etc. it. It has fit the multi-disciplinary, humanistic, conflict-driven type of work which I most enjoy. To be sure, there’s a whole lot of work to be done in order to have the show continue improving. We’re a two man team and that meant essentially continuous work in order to keep our schedule, but with a bit of additional planning I think we’ll have more room to play around with additional content and improve production value.