On the Future of the Show

War Stories Listeners,

Firstly, thank you. This show started with an email written on a whim. Staffer and I had recently appeared on a podcast episode together. In the episode, we talked about the dearth of history that occupied the space between popular and academic ones. More specifically, histories that showed you what it was like to be on the ground at a particular moment in history while also showing you that single, minute puzzle piece could be used as a gateway to understanding a larger picture. I didn’t then and I still don’t think there’s anything revolutionary about that model. Still, there were so many of these threads that occurred on the frayed edges of history. Ones you only heard as parlor stories. Instead, in the right setting, we thought they could illuminate something more. We built the show around that idea, not knowing whether it’d be too personal for the military audience, too niche for the storytelling crowd, or perhaps both. I’m glad you saw the same value we did and started listening.

When we began the show, we didn’t know what it’d take to finish a season. We didn’t know if we’d be able to finish a season at all. The response we received from you all made that decision easy. Still, once we started it up, we spent those four weeks between episodes constantly digging through primary sources, looking at official histories, technical manuals, writing and editing scripts, before eventually recording the thing then producing it. One slip in a schedule or a research track was enough to upset that episode’s release. And even then, we were coming out with a fraction of the number of shows we should have in a month in order to give you the continuous narrative you expected.

We never thought that was a viable way to run the show. But it’s how we did it for two seasons in order to keep up a relatively consistent output of episodes, letting you know, “Hey, we’re still here!” It’s also why we’re now putting the show on a break. It’s not a total shutdown, but short of funding that allows us (or me) to make this a full-time position, what we do come out with is going to look a little different than you’re used to. I’d say you should expect less frequent, longer specials on particular topics that’ll come out when we can manage it, with some fun ones that have caught our eye mixed in. It’ll allow us to look at topics that might not have taken up a full season, but are filled with the same sorts of personal stories that made War Stories resonate. I’m being careful not to promise too much or give too many details on what a schedule might look like; a lot of this is still up in the air. All the same, we hope you’ll listen in when we update the War Stories stream.

This means a few things more or less immediately. First, we’re going to keep the shows and website online. Don’t worry about suddenly not being able to retrieve anything we’ve done in the past. We will be shutting down our supporter program on Patreon and assuming I can find the source files, adding some additional bonus episodes to our regular stream. However, we’re going to leave our supporter Slack channel online. You just won’t have to pay for it anymore. If you’d like to be added, drop me a line (it’s where I’ll be running a series of alt history RPGs when there’s interest and/or time).

We do still have episodes that’ll be released over the next few months. Loose Rounds will continue through October. We’ll also be taking part in a live event around the annual Association of the U.S. Army conference in DC, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Finally, I have a special that’ll come out around October or November. After that, I’ll make sure to give you all an update about where we’re at.

I’ll be honest. The opportunities this show opened are part of the reason we’re making this shift. This was a passion project from the moment it began, one which hinged upon schedules that allowed for no small bit of flexibility, constant engagement between Staffer and I to develop research and topics, and learning how to work as a jack-of-all-trades between social media, production, writing, web development, and everything else that goes into running a show we’re proud of. The calculus just isn’t there to hold up all parts of that equation right now, and we’d be uncomfortable offering anything less than the standards we’ve set for ourselves. Regardless of how much time we can spend putting together stories specifically for this show, its spirit will continue on in the projects we continue working on. I know for at least a couple of mine, audio versions will come out on here first, I can promise you that. I hope you’re here to listen.

Until then, thanks for sharing in these stories.

A.D.

So What Now?

When we set out to tell the story of tanks at the beginning of last July, we didn’t have all that much of an idea about how well the idea we had on paper would look in practice, whether wee’d get stuck in the middle of it due to sources, or whether we were even capable of putting it together. To be fair, we’ve encountered some of those problems at various points throughout these months, but we’re incredibly excited to have the finale of season one launch today. From the outset we were indebted to people like yourself who supported the show through social media, reviews on iTunes, and on Patreon. It’s been the foremost factor in continuing to push us to improve the show in every way we know how and then some. We can’t wait to bring you more.

-Adin

 


 

A few requests/updates as we close out the season.

Survey

In order to make sure we keep improving where it’s most important, we’d like to continue hearing from you. On this page we’ve drawn up a set of questions that will help us get a better sense of how you’re listening to the show and where we can improve. As always, if there’s anything we’ve missed, feel free to get in touch with us via social media or contact@warstoriescast.com.

Inter-season Episodes

In the following months, we’ll be telling some one-off stories that we either couldn’t fit into this season, or ones that just really interest us. We’ll play around with the format of these episodes in order to keep them coming out at a relatively quick clip while also allowing us to start work on season two. For some of these episodes, they’ll come out as bonus episodes for supporters of the show on Patreon (so it’s a great time to sign up!). Others we’ll release through our standard channels on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you might listen to War Stories. We think you’ll enjoy these.

Season Two

As we near the end of summer, we’ll start up season two of the show. We’re not quite ready to announce the topic we’ll cover, but rest assured it’ll be the same great War Stories with some further refinements in how we do things.

Angry Staff Officer Talks War Stories on Foreign Policy’s Best Defense Blog

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Today, Foreign Policy’s Best Defense blog featured an article from War Stories‘ Angry Staff Officer. In the article, Staffer discusses the founding of WS and the motivation behind our model.

“Over drinks, Adin and I tossed these ideas around and wondered about the most effective ways to bridge this gap. It was not until I returned home that Adin approached me with the idea of a podcast that could engage the human interest angle while also tracing broader trends in warfare, through balancing narrative and dialogue. It was fortuitous timing, as I had been mulling the idea over as well. We agreed to give it a shot, and chose the topic of tanks and armor warfare for our first season. Right out of the gate we encountered some perfect “war stories” that captured our interest. They also happened to fit right into some revolutionary moments in warfare, as tanks emerged on the World War I battlefield.”

To read the full article, visit the Best Defense page >

Want to Know When You Can Finally Listen to War Stories?

Hey there.

If you’re reading this, you’ve found out about our latest project, War Stories. 

War Stories is a narrative podcast series that combines a 20,000 foot view of warfare’s development with on-the-ground stories of those who witnessed the developments.

These broad arcs are broken down by single topics that occupy a season of the show. Think “armor,” “artillery,” or “strategy.” In each of episode of the season, which generally last between 5-10 episodes, we re-tell a story at a key point in the development of the topic. For example, in our season on armor, our first episode describes the final cavalry charge of World War I before armored tanks could take on machine guns with little more than a dent.

So, onto the important part. When can you actually listen to War Stories?

Right now, War Stories is going through a private beta listener process with some of our colleagues in the history and national security communities. We’re working closely with them to make sure that War Stories hits the ground running with great production value, compelling stories, and a comprehensive listener outreach program. We hope the first public episode of War Stories will be launched by the end of August.

So what can you do in the mean time to stay up-to-date?

Well first, sign up for the War Stories newsletter. It’s the easiest way to stay in the loop about what’s coming up in War Stories as well as additional information, sources, and any events or goodies we may have planned.

Additionally, if you feel like fully taking the plunge into the War Stories experience, you can sign up to be an early patron of the show on Patreon. Patrons of the show have perks like PDF transcripts with even more sources and information about the stories on the show, extended episodes, and behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into making a War Stories episode.