Dan Snow's History Hit

Love and Lust in WWII

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Episode notes

Though rarely spoken about, love, lust and sexuality were key to many soldiers' experiences of the Second World War. Veterans might allude to them in their recollections, but what do we know about wartime experiences of sex and sexual identity? And how did this intersect with the soldiers' understandings of masculinity?For this episode that marks the beginning of Pride month, Dan is joined by Luke Turner, author of Men at War: Loving, Lusting, Fighting, Remembering, 1939 - 1945. Luke has assembled a cast of fascinating characters, from a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp who later became an LGBT+ activist, to a gay RAF fighter ace; their stories help to demystify notions of sexuality and masculinity in the Second World War.

Produced by Mariana Des Forges and James Hickmann, and edited by Dougal Patmore.

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