Living History with Mat McLachlan

82 EpisodesProduced by Mat McLachlan

Historian Mat McLachlan brings Australian history to life in this engaging, educational and entertaining podcast. From the ancient age to the modern world, take a trip through time with Living History!

82 Episodes | 2017 - 2019

[MOON LANDING SPECIAL 4] New Apollo 11 Movie

July 18th, 2019


In the final episode of our special series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, Mat speaks to Stephen Slater about his work …

[MOON LANDING SPECIAL 3] Apollo Astronaut Charlie Duke

July 14th, 2019


In this extraordinary interview, Mat speaks to Apollo astronaut Charlie Duke, the 10th man to walk on the moon and one of only four moonwalkers still …

[MOON LANDING SPECIAL 2] Australia and Apollo

July 7th, 2019


Mat speaks to John Sarkissian, a scientist at the CSIRO Radio Telescope at Parkes (the famous 'Dish') about Australia's crucial role in the space …

[SPECIAL] Chris Masters joins our WW2 Cruise!

July 3rd, 2019


Renowned Four Corners journalist Chris Masters is joining our WW2 Cruise as Master of Ceremonies for the onboard conference. In this special podcast, he speaks to Mat about the upcoming voyage.

The 11-day cruise departs …

[MOON LANDING SPECIAL 1] The Apollo Space Program

June 30th, 2019


In this first of a series of special episodes commemorating the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon, Mat speaks with NASA historian Brian …

Treaty of Versailles 100th Anniversary

June 28th, 2019


Mat discusses the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War one hundred years ago this week. This vitally important document changed the course of world history, and had important implications for …

[BONUS] Jungle Warfare with Gary McKay

June 26th, 2019


Mat speaks to Vietnam veteran Gary McKay about our upcoming WW2 cruise and Gary's contribution to the onboard conference - the evolution of jungle …

Lost Diggers of Fromelles - Interview with Lambis Englezos

June 23rd, 2019


Mat sits down with Lambis Englezos, the Melbourne schoolteacher who discovered a mass grave containing 250 Australian soldiers killed at Fromelles in …

Visiting the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park

June 16th, 2019


Mat tours the new museum at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, with the centre's Director, Brad Manera. Brad explains how the museum tells the story of Australia's wartime history through hundreds of personal …

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: WW2 Cruise to Papua New Guinea

June 15th, 2019


I'm delighted to announce the launch of our WW2 History Cruise to PNG in August 2020. Join me and a group of expert WW2 historians as we hold an …

Heroes Before Gallipoli - The Battle of Bita Paka

June 9th, 2019


Mat speaks to historian David Howell about the Battle of Bita Paka, Australia's first operation of the First World War, which was fought in September 1914 in New Guinea.

For more information visit

D-Day 75th Anniversary - Interview with Paul Reed

June 2nd, 2019


Historian Paul Reed joins Mat to discuss the significance of the D-Day landings, the largest amphibious operation in history.

How to Visit the D-Day Beaches

May 26th, 2019


Mat gives you the complete overview of visiting the D-Day beaches of Normandy - how to get there, where to stay and what to see.

For more information or to join one of our Normandy tours, visit

How Good was the AIF? - Interview with Meleah Hampton

May 22nd, 2019


Australian War Memorial historian Meleah Hampton joins Mat to explore the true story of the Australian Imperial Force in the First World War, and the extraordinary developments that led to victory.

War Stories: Tobruk Veteran Bert Le-Merton

May 12th, 2019


Mat speaks with Second World War veteran Bert Le-Merton about his combat experience in Tobruk, El Alamein, New Guinea and Borneo.

For more information, visit

SPECIAL: Walking Long Tan

May 7th, 2019


In the final episode of our special series of Anzac Day podcasts, Mat walks the battlefield of Long Tan, gaining a unique insight into Australia's most famous action of the Vietnam War.

For more information, visit

SPECIAL: Anzac Day at Gallipoli

April 27th, 2019


In the last episode of our special Gallipoli series, Mat and Peter reflect on the legacy of the campaign, as they visit some key sites on Anzac Day.

SPECIAL: Live from Gallipoli (Part 3)

April 25th, 2019


The third installment in our special series from Gallipoli. Mat and historian Peter Hart explore the Cape Helles battlefield, plus make a special …

SPECIAL: Live from Gallipoli (Part 2)

April 24th, 2019


The second installment in our special episodes from Gallipoli sees Mat and historian Peter Hart discussing their journey into the heart of the Anzac …

SPECIAL: Live from Gallipoli (Part 1)

April 23rd, 2019


Mat and historian Peter Hart are at Gallipoli for Anzac Day, and will be uploading a podcast each night as they explore the battlefields! In this …

Bougainville - Interview with Karl James

April 21st, 2019


Australian War Memorial Senior Historian Dr Karl James joins Mat to discuss the Bougainville Campaign, one of the most controversial actions of the …

An Evening with Eric Bogle

April 13th, 2019


Iconic folk musician Eric Bogle joins Mat to discuss his 45-year career, the origins of his songs, and their important contribution to our …

Normandy: New Perspectives - Interview with Gary Sheffield

April 7th, 2019


Historian Gary Sheffield joins Mat to discuss the Normandy campaign from a broad perspective, and to explore the significance of D-Day, the British and Commonwealth contribution to the campaign, and the very different …

Operation Market Garden - Interview with Jo Hook

April 1st, 2019


Battlefield historian Jo Hook joins Mat to discuss Operation Market Garden, the failed Allied attempt to seize the Rhine bridges and bring an end to the Second World War in 1944.

For more information, visit

Commonwealth War Cemeteries - Interview with Peter Smith

March 24th, 2019


In this fascinating episode, Mat is joined by battlefield historian Peter Smith, to discuss the past, present and future of Commonwealth war cemeteries, our most tangible link to the sacrifices of the First World War.

Australia and the American Civil War - Interview with Dale Blair

March 17th, 2019


Historian Dale Blair joins Mat to discuss Australia's intriguing links to the American Civil War, and the extraordinary connection between the city of Melbourne and the CSS Shenandoah, a Confederate raider.

How to Research an Australian Soldier

March 12th, 2019


Mat gives you tips and tricks to find everything you need to know about an Australian soldier who served during the First World War.


War Stories: Afghanistan Veteran Megan Cole

March 7th, 2019


Mat interviews former RAAF sergeant Megan Cole about her experiences as a 'new Anzac', part of the current generation of military personnel who are …

How to Visit Gallipoli (Part 2) - Interview with Peter Hart

February 26th, 2019


In the second episode of our Gallipoli special, historian Peter Hart joins Mat to discuss his favourite sites at Gallipoli, and to give you tips and …

How to Visit Gallipoli

February 20th, 2019


Join Mat as he details the logistics of visiting Gallipoli - how to get there, where to stay, and how to walk in the footsteps of the Anzacs.

Guadalcanal 1942

February 17th, 2019


Mat discusses the history of the Guadalcanal campaign, one of the most important battles of the Pacific War.

For more information, visit

Ypres 1917

February 12th, 2019


Join Mat as he explores the Belgian town of Ypres, one of the most infamous battle sites on the Western Front.

Lost Tanks of Bullecourt - Interview with Richard Osgood

February 10th, 2019


Archaeologist Richard Osgood joins Mat to discuss his recent excavation of the Bullecourt battlefield, searching for evidence of the tanks that …

World War I: Behind the Lines

February 7th, 2019


Join Mat as he explores key sites from behind the old front lines of the First World War. In this exclusive documentary, Mat explores headquarters …

North Africa Campaign - Interview with James Holland

February 3rd, 2019


Mat speaks to James Holland, one of the world's foremost authorities on WW2, about the significance of the North Africa campaign and Australia's role …

Walking the Somme

February 1st, 2019


Mat visits key sites from the Battle of the Somme, which raged in 1916.

Anzac Day Update, the Last Dambuster and more!

January 25th, 2019


Mat gives an update on important developments in history and remembrance, including changes to the Anzac Day dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux, the …

How to Visit the Western Front

January 13th, 2019


Mat takes you on a journey through the battlefields of France and Belgium, as he explains how you can visit the iconic battlefields of the Western Front.

Remembrance Day at Villers-Bretonneux

November 12th, 2018


Mat recounts his experiences of commemorating the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Day at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France.

Australian War Memorial - Roger Lee, Karl James & Aaron Pegram

October 22nd, 2018


Mat joins a panel of three of Australia's leading military historians, Drs Roger Lee, Karl James and Aaron Pegram, for a special episode from the Australian War Memorial. Topics discussed include the nature of …

REVISIT: WW2 Prisoners of War

October 17th, 2018


A revisit of an episode from earlier in the season when Mat spoke to Professor Christina Twomey about WW2 Prisoners of War and her book, 'The Battle Within'.

Montbrehain 1918 - Australia's Final Battle

October 7th, 2018


Mat McLachlan brings you the history of the Battle of Montbrehain, the last Australian battle on the Western Front, which took place a century ago this week.

REVISIT: Interviews with WW1 & WW2 Veterans - Peter Hart

October 4th, 2018


A revisit of an episode from earlier in the season, when historian Peter Hart joined us to discuss his lifetime's work of interviewing veterans from the First and Second World Wars.

1918: The Last Battle - Interview with Peter Hart

October 2nd, 2018


Mat interviews Imperial War Musuem historian Peter Hart about the closing days of the First World War, and the crucial role played by Australian, …

The Death of Hitler

September 23rd, 2018


Mat interviews French journalist Jean-Christophe Brisard about his work exploring Russian archives for evidence about the fate of Adolf Hitler. Over …

Beyond Combat - Interview with Tom Richardson

September 16th, 2018


Mat interviews historian Tom Richardson about Australian military operations away from the front line, as explored in his new book 'Beyond Combat'. 

From an army nurse’s letters home during the First World War, military …

The Last Post - Interview with Emma Campbell

September 9th, 2018


Mat interviews author Emma Campbell about her new book, 'The Last Post', which details both the history of this iconic bugle call and its roll in the …

Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre - Interview with Jane Lydon

September 5th, 2018


Mat interviews Professor Jane Lydon about her new book, 'Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre', which sheds new light on one of the most infamous …

The Bulldog Track - Interview with Peter Phelps

August 19th, 2018


Mat speaks to veteran Australian actor Peter Phelps about his new book, 'The Bulldog Track'. The books tells the story of Peter's grandfather, who …

London at War - Interview with Alan Jeffreys

August 5th, 2018


Mat interviews Alan Jeffreys, WW2 curator at the Imperial War Museum, about his new book London at War.

Carpathia - Interview with Jay Ludowyke

July 22nd, 2018


Mat interviews Dr Jay Ludowyke about her new book, 'Carpathia', which tells the intriguing story of the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors.

HMAS Vampire

July 8th, 2018


Join Mat as he explores HMAS Vampire at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

For more information, visit 

Murder at Dusk - Interview with Ian W. Shaw

July 1st, 2018


Murder at Dusk is a new book by historian Ian W. Shaw about the 'Brownout Strangler', a serial killer who terrorized Melbourne in 1942. In this interview, Mat and Ian explore life in wartime Melbourne, and the social …

Driving the WWI Tank

June 24th, 2018


Mat visits the Norfolk Tank Museum where he takes a spin in their WWI Mark IV tank.

For more information about the museum, visit

Convicts, Colonists and Cholera - Sydney Quarantine Station

June 11th, 2018


Mat explores convict history at the historic Quarantine Station in Manly, NSW.

For more information, visit


Peter FitzSimons - Monash's Masterpiece

June 3rd, 2018


Mat interviews Australian author Peter FitzSimons about his latest book, Monash's Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World. 

Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with the Sydney Morning …

An Australian Band of Brothers

May 25th, 2018


Mat interviews historian Mark Johnston about his new book, An Australian Band of Brothers, which follows a group of men from Don Company, 2/43rd …

Sir Tony Robinson

May 17th, 2018


Sir Tony Robinson has been a beloved comedy actor and history presenter for more than 40 years. 

In this episode he joins Mat to discuss the significance of history in his life and career. He also discusses his latest …

Monash and Me - Interview with Peter Greste

April 19th, 2018


Journalist Peter Greste joins Mat to talk about his new documentary, Monash and Me: Peter Greste on Australia's Great Commander, which tells a new story of General Sir John Monash, commander of the Australian Corps in …

Sinking of Titanic - Interview with Tim Maltin

April 12th, 2018


Mat speaks to historian Tim Maltin about the RMS Titanic, on the 106th anniversary of her sinking. Tim explains amazing new information that has recently come to light about the loss of the great ship, and unravels some …

Temora Aviation Museum

April 7th, 2018


Mat enjoys a behind-the-scenes tour of the Temora Aviation Museum, one of the world's premier collections of flying warbirds. Join him as he explores …

Battle of Dernancourt - Interview with Aaron Pegram

March 30th, 2018


In March and April 1918, German forces threw themselves against the Allies in one of the largest offensives of the First World War. Australian troops were rushed into the line to help stem the tide, and at the Somme …

1918 German Spring Offensive - Interview with Paul Reed

March 23rd, 2018


In March 1918 Germany played its last card on the Western Front, launching its enormous Spring Offensive against the British in a last-ditch attempt …

Kokoda Special (Part 2) - Veteran Lloyd Birdsall

March 10th, 2018


In the second episode of our Kokoda special series, Mat speaks to veteran Lloyd Birdsall, who served as a signaller with the Australian artillery throughout the Pacific War.

In this enthralling interview, Lloyd talks …

USS Lexington Found!

March 7th, 2018


Mat discusses this week's discovery of the USS Lexington, the WW2 aircraft carrier sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. The ship was found in 3km of water, 800km off the coast of Queensland, and is a …

Kokoda Special (Part 1) - Veteran Reg Chard

March 2nd, 2018


In the first of a special series of episodes, Mat interviews WW2 veteran Reg Chard about his experiences fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific. Reg served throughout the New Guinea Campaign, and fought at Milne …

Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

February 26th, 2018


Join Mat for a special episode of the podcast, as he visits the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway in Sydney, a living monument to the men who fought and died on the Kokoda Track in 1942.

To see video of Mat's visit, check …

Fromelles - Interview with Roger Lee

February 22nd, 2018


On July 19, 1916, Australia launched its first major attack on the Western Front, when the 5th Division advanced against the German trenches near the …

SPECIAL: Bombing of Darwin

February 19th, 2018


On February 19th, 1942, the Second World War came suddenly and shockingly to Australia, when Japanese bombers attacked Darwin. In only 30 minutes nine ships were sunk, dozens of aircraft were destroyed and about 300 …

War Stories: Vietnam Veteran Gary McKay

February 16th, 2018


Mat interviews former platoon commander Gary McKay MC about his experiences during the Vietnam War. Gary's platoon played a pivotal role in the last …

Nazi Invasion of Britain (Operation Sea Lion) - Interview with Gary Sheffield

February 8th, 2018


It's the great 'what if' of Second World War history - what if the Germans had won the Battle of Britain and invaded the UK in 1940? Could they have …

WW2 Prisoners of War - Interview with Christina Twomey

February 1st, 2018


What world awaited World War Two prisoners of war on their release from captivity? Was it possible for them to return to 'normal' life after the …

SPECIAL: Australia in WW2 Tour

February 1st, 2018


Mat is so excited about our new Australia in WW2 Tour he couldn't wait to tell you all about it!



WWI Archaeology - Interview with Andy Robertshaw

January 25th, 2018


What can we learn about the battles of the Great War by digging in the places where this war was fought? Historian and archaeologist Andy Robertshaw …

Aviation Pioneers - Interview with Michael Molkentin

January 19th, 2018


Historian Michael Molkentin joins Mat to discuss the rapid advance of aviation in the early 20th century. Only a decade after the Wright brothers …

Interviews with WW1 & WW2 Veterans - Peter Hart

January 12th, 2018


For nearly 40 years Peter Hart has worked as an oral historian at the Imperial War Museum in London, and has interviewed thousands of First and Second World War veterans about their wartime experiences. In this episode …

Kokoda - Interview with Karl James

January 5th, 2018


Kokoda is one of Australia's most iconic battles - why does it hold such an important place in our national identity more than 75 years after the …


December 22nd, 2017


This week Australia's greatest naval mystery was solved, when the wreck of the AE1, a WWI submarine, was found in the waters off New Guinea.

AE1 was …

Convict Graveyard - Interview with Richard Osgood

December 15th, 2017


Earlier this year an archaeology team from the British Ministry of Defence investigated a late-18th century burial ground on Rat Island in Portsmouth …

Will Davies - 1918, The Last 100 Days

December 11th, 2017


Historian Will Davies joins Mat McLachlan to discuss his upcoming book about 1918 and the last 100 days of the First World War.

1918 was arguably Australia's most important military year, when the AIF engaged the German …

Aaron Pegram - The Victoria Cross

December 3rd, 2017


Mat McLachlan interviews Aaron Pegram, Senior Historian at the Australian War Memorial, about his new book 'For Valour'. The book tells the story of the 100 Australians who have been awarded the Victoria Cross since …

Chris Masters - No Front Line

November 24th, 2017


Award-winning Australian journalist and former Four Corners reporter Chris Masters discusses his new book, No Front Line, the first in-depth account of Australia's Special Forces in Afghanistan. Chris shares his …

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