American Military History: From Colonials to Counterinsurgents

Watch American Military History: From Colonials to Counterinsurgents

  • 2018
  • 1 Season

Gen. Wesley Clark explores America’s armed conflicts, from the French and Indian War in the mid 18th century to the Global War on Terrorism in the 21st, covering battles such as Gettysburg, D-Day, and Operation Desert Storm. You learn military history the military way - analyzing tactics, strategy, logistics, leadership, training, and other factors that go into winning battles and ultimately wars.

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Seasons
Facing Wars Past and Future
24. Facing Wars Past and Future
February 2, 2018
Probe why U.S. troops faced endless low-level warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq. For perspective, review the lessons of American military history, from the young nation's own guerilla movement during the Revolution to today's era of push-button war. Then look ahead at America's challenge for staying preeminent in military technology. Gen. Clark closes with lessons from his lifetime of service.
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Terrorism
23. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Terrorism
February 2, 2018
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 sparked a U.S. military response like no other, combining overwhelming air power against the terrorist regime in Afghanistan, along with special forces and allied units on the ground. Also chart the 2003 invasion of Iraq, another success in regime change. Unfortunately, initial victory in both cases evolved into a no-win struggle with insurgents.
Balkan Wars: Bosnia and Kosovo
22. Balkan Wars: Bosnia and Kosovo
February 2, 2018
Now hear directly from the commander of a major military operation. Gen. Clark himself was head of NATO forces during the Kosovo War of 1998-1999, directing a 78-day bombing offensive that defeated an attempted Yugoslav takeover of newly independent Kosovo. In a conflict rife with ethnic and international tensions, Gen. Clark applied strategic lessons you've learned in the course.
Knocking Iraq Out of Kuwait
21. Knocking Iraq Out of Kuwait
February 2, 2018
Continue your study of America's rebuild of its war-fighting capability in the 1980s. Then see how this expertise was put to use in 1991 to eject Iraq from Kuwait, which it had invaded the previous year. With Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in command, U.S. and coalition forces executed a classic envelopment of the Iraqi army, in the process fighting the largest armored engagement in military history.
American Forces in Grenada and Panama
20. American Forces in Grenada and Panama
February 2, 2018
Explore the American military's struggle to overcome the loss of confidence known as "Vietnam syndrome," which was especially worrisome due to the Soviet military buildup at the time. Highlight two operations that demonstrated renewed vitality: the U.S. invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989-1990. Both restored democratic rule amid worsening political turmoil.
Elusive Victory in Southeast Asia
19. Elusive Victory in Southeast Asia
February 2, 2018
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the new approach to winning the war in Vietnam, instituted after Gen. Creighton Abrams took over in 1968. This was the war fought by your lecturer during his tour of duty. Gen. Clark describes in vivid detail the firefight that abruptly ended that tour, and he gives a sober evaluation of how the disastrous end of the war might have been averted.
The United States Enters Vietnam
18. The United States Enters Vietnam
February 2, 2018
Gen. Clark introduces the war that was his own baptism of fire, Vietnam, where he served as a young officer after graduating from West Point. In this lecture, he covers the background of the war, charting how America was drawn deeper and deeper into the conflict, and discusses Gen. William Westmoreland's initial American strategy, which proved ineffective for dealing with an insurgency.
Korea and the Cold War
17. Korea and the Cold War
February 2, 2018
The U.S. emerged from World War II as the most powerful nation on Earth. That status was challenged by the Soviet Union, which pushed the spread of its communist ideology. The two rival systems clashed in Korea in a war that was vicious and inconclusive. Focus on America's part in this opening shot of the Cold War and the controversial role of the U.S. commander in Korea, Douglas MacArthur.
From Normandy to Berlin and Tokyo
16. From Normandy to Berlin and Tokyo
February 2, 2018
Go ashore on D-Day with the largest amphibious operation in history, tracking the Allied invasion through its breakout from the beachhead and reversals such as the Battle of the Bulge. After Germany's surrender in May 1945, follow Pacific troops to the brink of a planned invasion of Japan. Then examine the B-29 bombing campaign, which culminated in the dropping of two atomic bombs, ending the war.
Air Power over Germany; Toward Japan by Sea
15. Air Power over Germany; Toward Japan by Sea
February 2, 2018
Air power achieved strategic importance in World War II. Compare American and British bombing strategies against Germany. Also follow the Allied land offensive from North Africa to Sicily to the Italian peninsula. Then cover America's island-hopping campaign in the Pacific and the momentous Battle of the Philippine Sea, which defeated Japan's attempted naval comeback, crippling its carrier force.
War in North Africa and the South Pacific
14. War in North Africa and the South Pacific
February 2, 2018
Consider U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt's strategic dilemma in simultaneously fighting Germany and Japan. Weigh the competing views of Army Chief of Staff George Marshall and Chief of Naval Operations Ernest King, along with the views of Allied leaders Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Learn why the North Africa campaign was so vital, and spotlight continuing actions in the South Pacific.
From Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway
13. From Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway
February 2, 2018
Two decades after World War I, Germany was ready to fight again, supported by Japan and Italy. Focus on America's preparations for war and its reaction to Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, followed by Germany's declaration of war against the U.S. See how the U.S. Navy halted Japanese expansion in the Pacific, fighting crucial battles in the Coral Sea and off Midway Island.
John J. Pershing, the Doughboys, and France
12. John J. Pershing, the Doughboys, and France
February 2, 2018
America joined the fight against Germany at the height of the enemy's last make-or-break offensive. U.S. commanders faced a steep learning curve, initially using tactics that were unsuited to the new style of mechanized warfare. Discover the hard-won lessons that allowed the Yanks to break the stalemate, driving Germany to accept an armistice on November 11, 1918.
American Expeditionary Forces: 1917-1918
11. American Expeditionary Forces: 1917-1918
February 2, 2018
Survey World War I, which drastically upped the material and human cost of war. Study the causes of the conflict, the rival alliances, and the failure of Germany's opening gambit, leading to ruinous trench warfare. Then trace America's belated entry into the war and its unprecedented mobilization. Learn how Gen. John J. Pershing was chosen to command the American Expeditionary Force.
The Spanish-American War of 1898
10. The Spanish-American War of 1898
February 2, 2018
A generation after the Civil War, America fought a major war with Spain over its misrule of Spanish colonies. Investigate such famous battles as the naval action at Manila Bay and the Rough Riders' assault up San Juan Heights. Also, look at the insurgency that frustrated American peace efforts - a problem that resurfaced years later in Vietnam and the Middle East.
Chattanooga to Appomattox: 1863-1865
9. Chattanooga to Appomattox: 1863-1865
February 2, 2018
Gen. Clark narrates the dramatic endgame of the Civil War, in which Gen. William T. Sherman outmaneuvered Confederate forces in the west to take Atlanta, then marched to the sea; while Grant fought Lee across a broad swath of Virginia, finally cornering him at Appomattox, where Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865. Review the murderous toll of this, the world's first modern war.
Vicksburg to Gettysburg: 1862-1863
8. Vicksburg to Gettysburg: 1862-1863
February 2, 2018
In the summer of 1863, the Civil War reached a climax on two fronts. Study the brilliant generalship of Grant in isolating and defeating the Confederate force defending the Mississippi River fortress of Vicksburg, cutting the South in two. Then dissect Gen. George Meade's tactics that halted Lee's daring invasion of the North in a three-day battle in and around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The Civil War's Main Front: 1862
7. The Civil War's Main Front: 1862
February 2, 2018
Trace the ebb and flow of battle in the eastern theater, as President Lincoln promoted and fired a succession of top commanders, including Gen. George McClellan. The South, too, faced instability in the top ranks, until Robert E. Lee emerged as the Rebel army's preeminent leader, in concert with his chief lieutenant, Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson. Follow events through the bloody Battle of Antietam.
Opening Volleys of the Civil War: 1861-1862
6. Opening Volleys of the Civil War: 1861-1862
February 2, 2018
The Civil War set the pattern for warfare in the 20th and 21st centuries - in scale, consequences, and slaughter. Cover the political events leading up to the war, the strategy devised by the Union's initial commanding general, Winfield Scott, the chaotic First Battle of Bull Run, and developments in the western theater, which saw the emergence of a remarkable leader, Ulysses S. Grant.
The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848
5. The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848
February 2, 2018
The continental U.S. reached its present span due to the Mexican-American War, which also served as a proving ground for future commanders on both sides of the Civil War. Explore the superb strategy and tactics of generals Zachary Taylor (later elected president) and Winfield Scott. Both showed what disciplined and bold maneuvers conducted by a professional army could accomplish.
Andrew Jackson and the War of 1812
4. Andrew Jackson and the War of 1812
February 2, 2018
Historians still debate why the United States chose to fight Britain in the War of 1812, which lasted until 1815. Survey America's grievances and ambitions, which included conquest of Canada. Study the poor strategy, command, and training that led to a strategic stalemate. The exception is the one military genius who emerged from the war: Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans.
Redcoats Fall to the Continental Army
3. Redcoats Fall to the Continental Army
February 2, 2018
Pick up the story of the American Revolution with Washington's army in dire straits and his command in question. He revived his reputation with the famous crossing of the Delaware River to defeat the British at the Battle of Trenton. Follow the next four years of the revolution, which saw Britain's strategic advantage deteriorate, ending with their surrender at Yorktown in 1781.
George Washington Takes Command
2. George Washington Takes Command
February 2, 2018
The French and Indian War helped unite Britain's North American colonies. When the colonies began their struggle for independence, they chose their greatest war hero, George Washington, to lead the army. Analyze Washington's brilliant defense of Boston and his disastrous defeat trying to hold New York City. Contrast British and American objectives in the Revolutionary War.
America: Forged in War
1. America: Forged in War
February 2, 2018
Gen. Clark begins the course by plunging you into combat with a 25-year-old Army captain in Vietnam in 1970. He was that captain. He then turns back the clock to one of the formative conflicts in American military history, the French and Indian War of the mid 1700s, focusing on the experiences of a young colonial officer fighting for the British: Lt. Col. George Washington. #History
Description

Gen. Wesley Clark explores America’s armed conflicts, from the French and Indian War in the mid 18th century to the Global War on Terrorism in the 21st, covering battles such as Gettysburg, D-Day, and Operation Desert Storm. You learn military history the military way - analyzing tactics, strategy, logistics, leadership, training, and other factors that go into winning battles and ultimately wars.

American Military History: From Colonials to Counterinsurgents is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on February 2, 2018.

Where to Watch American Military History: From Colonials to Counterinsurgents

American Military History: From Colonials to Counterinsurgents is available for streaming on the The Great Courses Signature Collection website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch American Military History: From Colonials to Counterinsurgents on demand at Apple TV+ and Hoopla.

  • Premiere Date
    February 2, 2018