Marking the anniversary of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon in wartime and the swift end it brought to World War II, this special features never-before-seen archival footage, long-suppressed colour film from the immediate aftermath of the bomb, and overlooked audio testimony from core protagonists and victims to provide a a unique and highly personal understanding of the most devastating experiment in human history. HIROSHIMA: 75 YEARS LATER aims to infuse humanity into one of the planet's darkest moments, allowing the figures who designed, built and detonated the bomb, as well as those who were caught in its wake, to narrate their own journeys through an astonishing story of scientific endeavor, unprecedented ambition and unyielding horror. Told entirely from the first-person perspective of leaders, physicists, soldiers and survivors, the documentary presents the moral, scientific and military conundrums of the atomic bomb as felt by those closest to it.
2020 • History
Based on the book The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies, The Codebreaker reveals the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work to decode thousands of messages for the U.S. government would send infamous gangsters to prison in the 1930s and bring down a massive, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. Her remarkable contributions would come to light decades after her death, when secret government files were unsealed. But together with her husband, the legendary cryptologist William Friedman, Elizebeth helped develop the methods that led to the creation of the powerful new science of cryptology and laid the foundation for modern codebreaking today.?
2021 • History
Starting in the 5th century AD, the Franks migrated to France, the Anglo-Saxons to Britain, and the Goths to Spain and Italy. Europe and the Christian west grew out of their empires.
To Roman eyes, the tribe they called the Cimbri, the Cimbrians, lived at the edge of the inhabited world, in Jutland. In 120 B. C., they and other Germanic tribes began a mass migration. Now through excavations, we learn about these ancient tribes and their lives.
The Goths rocked the Roman Empire and wrote themselves into history. Who were these tribes from the north that ended the rule of Rome?
For the people of the ancient world, the Huns were "the most feared of all warriors". Never before had people experienced such brutal fighting. The power of the mounted nomads became a threat to Rome, but other tribes were also on the move and headed to the center of a weakened empire.
Moscow, 31 December 1991: the Red Flag of the Kremlin is pulled down and replaced by the banner of Russia, marking the end of the Soviet Union and of its ideologies. Exceptional footage sheds some light on the political turnarounds, breaches of alliances, treacheries, coups d'etat, physical threats and lies among those who plotted to stop or caused the inexorable collapse of the Soviet Regime.
2010 • History
On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was shot twice as he rode in an open-top limousine through Dallas, Texas. The assassination sent shockwaves across the world and begged the question: How could a United States president be murdered so easily? Now, thanks to new research, firsthand accounts, and unpublished CIA files, we uncover ten crucial errors—from ignored threats to intelligence breakdowns to major security failings—any one of which, if avoided, could have saved JFK's life…and changed history.
Think of a Viking warrior and you probably imagine a fearsome, muscular, bearded man. Well, think again. Using cutting-edge facial recognition technology, scientists have brought to life the battle-hardened face of a female fighter who lived more than 1,000 years ago.
2019 • History
A unique and compelling documentary examining the events of September 11th 2001, featuring never-before-seen footage captured by those on the ground on that fateful day. Told in the moment without interview, commentary, or narration, this riveting documentary weaves together the personal video of a dozen people whose accounts provide a raw and unfiltered telling of 9/11.
2021 • History
Newly declassified MI5 files reveal the story of the female spy who stole Britain’s atomic secrets and gave them to the Soviets. In January 1941, Ursula Kuczynski, a Jewish German refugee, arrives in Oxford with her children on a British passport. She settles into the daily life of a housewife, but this woman has a secret – she is a Soviet spy.
2017 • History
When did World War II begin? This film answers that question in a way most audiences will find surprising. Americans might say December 7th 1941... The day the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For Europeans, it was September 1st 1939... When Nazi Germany invaded Poland. But in China, people will tell you a different date, August 13th 1937. That day, after a century of humiliation, and six years of repeated "Incidents" initiated by the Japanese military, China at last "stood up." This act of defiance took place in Shanghai, the most international city in Asia. It was headline news around the world. Today, the story is largely forgotten… except in China. The Battle of Shanghai has been described as the last battle of World War I, and the first battle of World War II. It was a warning to the world, a warning that was ignored. And it was the place where the destiny of modern China was set in motion.
2018 • History
Explore the buried clay warriors, chariots, and bronze weapons of China's first emperor. In central China, a vast underground mausoleum conceals a life-size terracotta army of cavalry, infantry, horses, chariots, weapons, administrators, acrobats, and musicians, all built to serve China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, in the afterlife. Emperor's Ghost Army" explores how the Emperor directed the manufacture of the tens of thousands of bronze weapons carried by the clay soldiers. NOVA tests the power of these weapons with high-action experiments and reports on revolutionary 3D computer modeling techniques that are providing new insights into how the clay figures were made, revealing in the process the secrets of one of archaeology's greatest discoveries.
The cause of the infamous Hindenburg crash has baffled experts for over 80 years, with theories about the airship’s fire ranging from deliberate sabotage to a spark generated by the stormy conditions in which it landed. But little-known amateur footage of the crash has resurfaced, showing the airship’s final seconds from a fresh angle and in unrivaled clarity. Taking clues from the footage and other sources, NOVA leads a fresh investigation at a leading scientific lab with eye-opening experiments that point to a final solution of the mystery.
For the last 35 years, they have been exploring the most mythical wreck in the world, but now 108 years after it sank, the Titanic is under threat. Resting at over 12,500 feet below sea level and 380 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland, in pitch darkness, the most famous shipwreck in the world is being consumed by a colony of iron-eating bacteria. This slow and irreversible decay, according to the most concerned experts, will sweep away all the secrets of the mythic liner within a few decades.
2021 • History
Also known by the acronym SS, the Schutzstaffel organization was a privileged instrument within the German state. Created in April 1925 to ensure the close protection of Adolf Hitler, it became over the years a real state within a state, organizing the extermination of the Jews of Europe, but also assuming political functions, repressive, ideological and even military with the creation of the Waffen-SS. This documentary looks back on its origins and its workings. Nuremberg. In 1945 the main war criminals were tried in this city where Hitler gathered fanatical crowds. The Allies judge Nazi leaders and officials of the Third Reich. Among the defendants - the Fuhrer's closest collaborators.
2019 • History
A few weeks after the death of President Roosevelt shocks the country, Germany surrenders. Meanwhile, American sailors, soldiers and Marines endure the worst battle of the Pacific--Okinawa. In August, American planes drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese, too, surrender. Millions return home--to try to learn how to live in a world without war.
Americans are shocked by Hitler's massive counterattack in the Ardennes Forest--but by mid March, 1945, they are across the Rhine, while the Russians are 50 miles from Berlin. In the Pacific, after weeks of desperate fighting, Iwo Jima is secured, and American bombers begin a full-fledged air assault on Japan.
Victory in Europe seems imminent, but in Holland, the Vosges Mountains, and the Hurtgen Forest, GIs learn painful lessons as old as war itself--that generals make plans, plans go wrong and soldiers die. Meanwhile, on the island of Peleliu, the Marines fight one of the most brutal, and unnecessary, battles of the Pacific.
On June 6, 1944, D-Day, 1.5 million Allied troops take part in the greatest invasion in history, but then bog down in the Norman hedgerows for weeks. Saipan proves the costliest Pacific battle to date, while back home dreaded telegrams from the War Department begin arriving at an inconceivable rate.
Americans are shocked by terrible losses on the Pacific atoll of Tarawa, while in Italy Allied forces are stalled for months at Monte Cassino and a risky landing at Anzio fails utterly. At home, as overcrowded "war towns" boom, economic transformation leads to confrontation and ugly racial violence.
Americans mobilize for total war at home and overseas. Factories hum around the clock, while in North Africa and then Italy, inexperienced GIs learn how to fight. Meanwhile, in the skies over Europe, thousands of American airmen gamble their lives against preposterous odds on daylight bombing missions.
The tranquil lives of the citizens of Mobile, AL; Sacramento, CA; Waterbury,CT; and Luverne, MN are shattered on December 7, 1941, as they, along with the rest of America are thrust into the greatest cataclysm in history.
The South Vietnamese fight on their own, succumbing to terrible losses in Laos. After he is reelected, President Richard Nixon strikes a peace deal with Hanoi that sees the release of American prisoners of war.
Roman Empire looks at the end of the reign of Caligula. His sisters Agrippina and Livilla plot against him after he marries. He later has them shipped to exile on an island in the Mediterranean. The derange emperor becomes even more debauched and begins to spend large amounts of money on monuments to himself. To raise money seizes property after accusing senators of treason and raises taxes. He later orders the invasion of Britain, but his distrustful soldiers refuse to go. Eventually, he is assassinated by the Praetorian Guard and his uncle Claudius is made Emperor.
Rome Empire looks at the increasingly deranged and paranoid reign of Emperor Caligula. He a kills his heir and forces his praetorian prefect to commit suicide. In search of a new heir to solidify his place as Emperor, Caligula begins affairs with his three sisters in order to have a child of royal blood. When his sister Drusilla dies, Caligula becomes deranged and the plot of three daggers surrounds him.
Roman Empire examines the life of Caligula from his days as co-heir of the Empire. He smothers Emperor TIberius to death with a pillow and nullifies his will instructing co-emperors. Caligula is made Emperor and works to win over the Senate by offering amnesty to those we sentences under Tiberius. He then wins over the people by putting on elaborate gladiatorial games. He searches out his exiled sisters and enjoys a life of debauchery. Later, he survives brain fever but the illness drives him mad and he kills his heir Gemellus.
Caesar implements important reforms and grows more powerful and popular in Rome. He acts like a king and plans to become a dictator in perpetuity. To demonstrate his power, he plans to conquer Parthia. However, the Senate and Brutus in particular, are outraged.
The story of the decline of the French empire and the indelible mark colonialism left on countries that were colonised. In the mid-to-late 19th century, the French and other European powers colonised much of Africa and Southeast Asia. During the decades of imperialism, these industrialising powers viewed the African and Asian continents as reservoirs of raw materials, labour and territory for future settlement. In most cases, however, significant development and European settlement in these colonies was sporadic. After the second world war, the French and European colonial empires started falling apart. By 1966, most French-controlled territories and colonies gained independence, and new nation states were established. This three-part series charts the history of that period of decolonisation, and explores the debates about assimilation, race, identity and citizenship that have troubled France from then until now. Featuring interviews with war veterans and descendants of those who experienced the "blood and tears" of colonialism and decolonisation directly – in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific – it also looks at the indelible mark this has left on the hearts and souls of close to half a billion people across five continents and some 45 countries.
2020 • History
After finding strands of human hair buried in Greenland's permafrost, scientists are attempting the impossible: to be the first to reconstruct the identity of a Stone Age human being through nothing but his ancient locks. From scraps of DNA an ancient face appears. Further discoveries in the genetic code threaten to overturn long-held beliefs of how humans populated the earth. How much does your hair say about you? Scratch that. How much will your hair say about you, in say, 4,000 years? After finding tufts of human hair buried in Greenlands permafrost, scientists will assemble a remarkable human blueprint that details the life of one early human down to the color of his eyes, the shape of his teeth...even his receding hairline. But as the research team, lead by evolutionary biologist Eske Willerslev, break into this genetic code, they find far more than they bargained for, and the discovery threatens to turn our long held concept of how humans populated the earth on its head. In the ultimate cold case, National Geographic will obtain exclusive access to the international team of genetic scientists, archaeologists and paleo- artists who are breathing life into a man dead for 4,000 years, learning everything about him and even the way he and his people lived... through his hair.
The British, French and Americans are waiting to enter Berlin. In the meantime, the Soviets appoint mayors, organise the food supply and go on the hunt for war criminals. The Jewish community, among whom there are few survivors, regroup. The fate of the city is determined at the Potsdam Conference. Life returns to the ruins, theatres reopen and orchestras play in the open air. By the end of 1945, the bond that held the Allies together is torn apart - and the Cold War begins.
The Battle for Berlin has begun. Step by step, the soon-to-be victorious powers advance. On 30 April, the Red Flag flies over the Reichstag and Adolf Hitler takes his own life. Another seven days pass before the Wehrmacht disassembles. National Socialism is finally beaten, along with Germany and Berlin. But for many, the fall of Nazism spells liberation rather than defeat.
At the beginning of 1945, Berlin remains under the spell of the Nazi promise of salvation, an illusion at odds with the city’s daily reality. Every day there are bombing attacks, fires to be extinguished and corpses to be buried. Life goes on as the front lines of the war close in each day. Death comes for men, women, the old, the young, the National Socialists and the forced labourers. In April, the Red Army stands ready outside the city. In a time of uncertainty on the front lines, nobody has a clear view of what will happen. Civilians hiding, SS soldiers shooting deserters, and Red Army soldiers hoping to survive the final days of the war. As the war comes closer and closer to the metropolis, it returns everything to its roots, showing no mercy.
Three-part drama-documentary series revealing the truth about England's most infamous King, King Henry VIII. Filming in historic locations including Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and the Vatican and unearthing new documents never seen before on TV, a team of Tudor experts uncover the real Henry, and explore how his complex personality fundamentally shaped the nation. Ch1. Rise of a Tyrant Experts examine how Henry VIII's traumatic childhood affected his personality, from the death of his older brother to the tragic early death of his beloved mother. Narrated by Jason Isaacs. Ch2. Bloodlust and the Boleyns Takes viewers on a journey through the turbulent marriages, affairs and tyrannical politics of King Henry VIII's reign, and explores how Henry's obsession with marrying Anne Boleyn resulted in a cataclysmic and hugely unpopular split with the Roman Catholic Church. The programme also examines Henry's relationship with his new chief advisor and enforcer, Thomas Cromwell, who would come to bear the brunt of the King's increasing unhinged behaviour in the years to come. Narrated by Jason Isaacs. Ch3. Endgame A look at the king's final years, when the pain caused by an infected ulcer on his leg had a detrimental impact on his increasingly angry temperament. Lauren Johnson examines the king's exotic diet, including meat from porpoises and seals, and considers its impact on both his weight and his health. Plus, a look at a Catholic rebellion and the breakdown of Henry's relationship with advisor Thomas Cromwell.
2020 • History
Join coffee roaster Dean Cycon and food lover Judith Jones to explore America’s love affair with the red bean that arrived on American shores not long after the Pilgrim Fathers themselves. “Coffee: The Drink That Changed America” explores the brew’s amazing story, from its origins in the Middle East to the 21st century coffee palaces in America.
2018 • History
Begins with the story of the signature scientific achievement of our time: the mapping of the human genome. As scientists learn to read the genetic code, they grapple with the dangers inherent in increasingly sophisticated and easily available methods of intervening in the very essence of what makes us human, our DNA.
During the seventh episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM, the turbulent and often harrowing years from 1945 to the present are explored. Emerging from the Depression and the Second World War as the most powerful metropolis on Earth, New York soon confronted urban woes of unprecedented proportions, and fought for its very existence. In exploring the social, economic and physical forces that swept through the city in the post-war period, Episode Seven examines the great African-American migration and Puerto Rican immigration of the '40s, '50s, and '60s; the beginnings of white flight and suburbanization; and the massive physical changes wrought by highways and urban renewal -- all of which were directed, to a surprising degree, by one man: Robert Moses. The film comes to a climax with the destruction of Penn Station, the battle over the Lower Manhattan Expressway, the social and fiscal crises of the '60s and '70s, and New York's miraculous revival in the last quarter-century.
During the sixth episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM, the dramatic events that followed the Crash of '29 fuel the greatest economic depression in American history and plunge the city and the nation into economic gloom. In little more than ten years, immense new forces were unleashed in New York, from the Depression itself to the New Deal, which permanently altered the city and the country. Along the way, two of the most remarkable New Yorkers of all time came to the fore: Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and master builder Robert Moses, both of whom attempted to create, in the darkest of times, a bold new city of the future. The episode examines their careers in detail, as well as the immense public works that transformed the city in the '30s. Also explored are the demise of Mayor Jimmy Walker, the coming of the New Deal, the fate of Harlem during the Depression, and the increasingly complex impact of the automobile on the city.
During the fifth episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM, the post-war economic boom, the rise of consumer culture, and the birth of new mass-media industries fuel the convergence of an incredible array of human and cultural energies, ending with the Crash of 1929 and the construction of the Empire State Building. In this short but dazzling period, New York became the focal point of an extraordinary array of human and cultural energies, reaching its highest levels of urban excitement and glamour. In just over a decade, New York gave birth to its signature skyscrapers, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, and to artistic creations like F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY, George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," and to the jazz compositions of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Along the way, Harlem emerged as the undisputed capital of the African- American experience and the new media industries of advertising, radio networks, public relations, and magazines found their homes in midtown Manhattan.
This episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM follows New York into a new century in the wake of an extraordinary wave of immigration and the birth of the skyscraper. As New York spilled into the new century, the extraordinary interplay of capitalism, democracy and transformation surged to a climax. During a single generation, over 10 million immigrants arrived in New York. The city itself became an even more dramatic lure with the construction of the first subways and skyscrapers. And arising from the plight of New York's most exploited citizens came landmark legislation that would eventually transform the lives of all Americans.
This episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM turns to the period when greed and wealth fueled an expanding metropolis, even as politics and poverty defined it. Now the spotlight shines on the growth, glamour and grief of New York during America's giddy postwar "Gilded Age." Exploring the incomparable wealth of the robber barons and the unabashed corruption of political leaders, such as Tammany Hall boss William M. Tweed, the episode examines the era when the expansion of wealth and poverty -- and the schism between them -- built to a crescendo. The program ends as the city itself dramatically expands its boundaries, annexing Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island into a single massive metropolis -- Greater New York.
This episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM details New York's enormous growth as a booming commercial center and multi-ethnic port, and the mounting tensions that set the stage for the nation's bloodiest riot. Already established as America's premier port, New York City swelled into the nation's greatest industrial metropolis as a massive wave of German and Irish immigration turned the city into one of the world's most complex urban environments, bringing with it a host of new social problems. Episode Two reveals how the city's artists, innovators and leaders, from poet Walt Whitman to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (the designers of Central Park) grappled with the city's growing conflicts -- which culminated in the catastrophic Civil War Draft Riots of 1863.
The first two hours of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM chronicle New York's beginnings -- from its earliest days as a Dutch trading post to the 17th century construction of the Erie Canal, which made New York City a vital conduit to the mainland of a growing America.
Exploits of Firefighters Some of the world's most dramatic fires and how they have been fought, with live action footage of daring rescues and escapes. Spectacular, out-of-control blazes create unique problems for firefighters. During World War II, in Hamburg, bomb-triggered fires of unprecedented scale created heat so intense it sucked in hysterical bystanders. A 25-story Brazilian office complex belched thick, toxic smoke, trapping workers on balconies and windows. And the highrise MGM Grand Hotel, firefighters staged a daring helicopter rescue for frantic guests breaking out windows on the upper floors. No matter how great the danger, firefighters battle on until the last ember is doused... then prepare for the next inferno. The Towering Inferno was one of Hollywood's blockbuster disaster films. But the reality of a major fire that is out of control is a more frightening spectacle than any film can portray. Using live footage of the major fire disaters of the twentieth century, this episode shows how these towering infernos have been fought and the bravery that has led to daring rescues and unbelievable escapes.
20/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Dramatic Sea Rescues Some of the Twentieth Century's most famous examples, with emphasis on how the rescue services have operated in the most appalling conditions. When the "unsinkable" Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage, she went down long before rescue ships could reach her. Those who survived owed their lives to the brave, self-sacrificing efforts of some of the crew and passengers on board. Shipbuilding, sea communications and rescue capabilities have advanced since then, but as the ill-fated voyages of the Morro Castle, Andrea Doria, Estonia and others show, disaster can strike at any time. And when it does, heroic efforts often mean the difference between survival...and a watery grave. Disasters at sea can be due to war, negligence or more often the force of nature. The twentieth century is littered with examples of sea disasters, from the negligence that sunk the unsinkable Titanic on her maiden voyage, to the tragedies of war and the weather. However, if the cause of the disaster was bad weather, the rescue services then have the most difficult task of responding to the SOS in the most appalling conditions.
19/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of Aerial Photographic Reconnaissance The fascinating story with newly released footage on how flying high and fast, and often unarmed, aircraft brought back valuable intelligence on the enemy in both war and peace. Sometimes they did not return. We have come a long way since the first few silk-suited aerostiers of the French revolution ascended in tethered balloons to scan the battlefield through wobbly telescopes. In just 230 years, humanity has progressed from its first faltering flights to the capability to photograph from space an object the size of a grapefruit - a testament both to technological progress and our need to keep a close eye on the world around us. From the days of artillery-spotting balloons the extensive use of aerial reconnaissance began in the Great War and has continued throughout wartime and peacetime. Newly released footage shows the dangers that these planes faced flying high and fast in enemy territory. Many of these reconnaissance planes were unarmed with only their wits to guide them safely back home. Some however never returned.
18/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Berlin Escapes 1961-89 The many and sometimes successful attempts to escape under the watchful eyes of the East German border guards. Set against the background of the history of the Wall. On August 13th, 1961 building commenced on die Berliner Mauer, the wall that would divide the world for nearly thirty years, as well as the city of Berlin. During that period more than five thousand people escaped to freedom, but over two hundred lost their lives. Even the phrase, Checkpoint Charlie, evokes the deception and fear that existed every day in the East and West Berlin. On a Sunday morning in 1961, shocked citizens awoke to the sounds of a barrier being built along the border separating East and West Berlin. Over the next three decades, thousands of of East Berliners risked their lives--leaping from buildings, crashing vehicles into gates, digging tunnels--in desperate attempts to breach the Berlin Wall and reach the West. In 1989, as Communist rule was collapsing throughout Europe, defiant Berliners began to tear the Wall down. Today, a few battered sections remain standing--a monument to those who died trying to escape to freedom.
17/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Exploring the World's Longest River In the tradition of 'Indiana Jones' the true story of Man's efforts to reach the source of the world's mightiest river including the mystery of the disappearance of Colonel Fawcett in 1923. The Amazon basin is a marvel of the world and the imagination, an ecosystem of unrivaled size and diversity, and a place of near mythical status among travelers. The Amazon River has more water than the next eight largest rivers combined, and is twice the area of India, and the basin spans eight countries. The Amazon is the world's mightiest river and the second longest at 6.280 kilometres. The river was first discovered when a captain noticed that his ship, which was out to sea, was actually sailing in fresh water and that this must be the outflow of river. Since then many explorers have tried to discover the source of this great river. One of them, Colonel Fawcett, mysteriously disappeared in 1923 whilst tracking up the Amazon.
16/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
How a Future US President Faced Death in the War in the Pacific Set against the backcloth of motor torpedo boats attracting adventurous spirits in both world wars, this is the story of the future US President and his struggle to survive after the sinking of his PT-109 off New Georgia in the Solomons in July 1943. Few people know how close JFK came to death in World War II when his PT-109 was rammed by a Japanese destroyer in the Pacific killing two of its crew. While on night patrol in the Solomon Islands, skipper Jack Kennedy's torpedo boat was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer. Although injured himself, Kennedy pulled one badly wounded man to the shore, then swam to nearby islands to find help for his crew. Kennedy's torpedo boat was the only one to be rammed by the Japanese navy during the war, which led to accusations of poor leadership. However, nobody could doubt the courage of Kennedy to lead his 10 men to safety as he swam for over five hours to raise the alarm and be rescued by a navy that had given him up for dead. His exceptional courage and leadership saved his men... and made him one of World War II's most notable heroes.
15/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of the Escadrille Lafayette Well before their country entered the Great War a number of adventurous Americans volunteered to fight for the British and French. Among them were a number of pilots, and in early 1916 they were formed into a special French fighter squadron, which fought with great distinction on the Western Front. Amazing aerial footage shows WW1 dog-fights as they really were. If the Wright brothers' 1903 flights in Kitty Hawk marked the birth of aviation, World War I can be called its violent adolescence—a brief but bloody era that completely changed the way planes were designed, fabricated, and flown. France's Yankee Fliers tells the story of the men who were at the forefront of that revolution: the daredevil Americans of the Lafayette Escadrille, who flew in French planes, wore French uniforms, and showed the world an American brand of heroism before the United States entered the Great War.
14/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Great Air Escapes Some of the remarkable escapes which people have had from air disasters including the tail gunner who fell 12,000 feet without a parachute and survived. More than half the passengers in plane crashes escape with their lives... but how? Flying in a plane is not only the fastest way to get to a destination, it's also the safest. Despite this fact, engine issues, bad weather, and even pilot errors can occur and lead to a plane crash. But even when these rarities occur, there are often survivors who make it off the plane alive.The greatest escapes from disasters in the air are truly breathtaking. These stories of plane crash survivors are proof that even when the odds are against people, they can still find a way to make it out of unimaginable circumstances. Chances are very high that most of us will never have to experience a plane crash, but there are plenty of people who have and have lived to tell the tale. From the Hindenburg airship disaster to the tail gunner who fell 12,000 feet without parachute and survived, these remarkable tales of survival are a testament to the fact that surviving an air disaster is against all odds.
13/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
A History of Aerobatics Fighter pilots developed the art during the Great War, but it soon became a source of wonderment for the peoples of the world. A select group of these daredevils found new audiences, performing their stunts in the silent feature films and serials that proliferated throughout the 1920s. Startling footage never seen previously of early flying stunts. The history of Aerobatics was developed into an art by the fighter pilots of the Great War who sometimes performed miracles in the air. They flew their rickety aircraft within a few feet of the ground, looped them again and again in dangerous maneuvers and roared earthward in seemingly suicidal dives, pulling out at the very last minute. These were the danger-loving fliers of aviation's early days, widely known as barnstormers. Soon it became a source of wonderment around the world as people risked their lives trying to perform dangerous feats that really tested the Limits of Man's endurance and agility. Startling, never seen before, footage of early flying stunts are included in this programme.
12/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of Imperial Airways How the air routes were trailblazed to the east and the Pacific during the 1920s and 1930s. The fascinating story of how the East and Australia became just an air-journey from Europe. The air route to the east and the Pacific was a trailblazing effort for Imperial Airways during the 1920's and 1930's. Subsidised by the government its objective was to open air routes between Britain and her Empire. In January 1927 a service between Cairo and Basra was opened after a furrow several hundred miles long was dug in the sand to assist navigation across the desert. This programme depicts the fascinating story of how the East and Australia became just a plane journey from England.
11/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of the Land Speed Record The men that have striven for it and the cars they drove. Craig Breedlove and the plane without wings and Malcolm Campbell's historic 'Bluebird'. Breathtaking shots of success and disaster in the Nevada Desert. In 1904, automotive pioneer Henry Ford set an early speed record--to increase sales. By the late '20s, British competitors Henry Seagrave and Malcolm Campbell had pushed the record to more than 200 mph...25 years later, Campbell's son Donald doubled his father's speed. Craig Breedlove's jet-powered "Spirit of America" soon rocketed to a new record--which was broken by a rocket-powered vehicle and then by one attached to a sidewinder missile. Today Breedlove is once again trying to become the world's fastest man...by driving the speed of sound. With breath-taking footage of triump and disaster this documentary tells the story of men who risked their lives to be the fastest on land. From Malcolm Campbell's 'Bluebird' to Craig Breedlove's self-designed plane without wings that broke the 600 mph barrier in 1965 it is the true story of man's obsession with speed and danger on land.
10/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Dropping of Agents into Occupied Europe during World War II Set against the backcloth of the Special Operations Executive and its US equivalent, the Office of Strategic Services, the use of light aircraft, parachutes, motor torpedo boats, and submarines to insert agents. The programme illustrates examples of particular agents such as Odette, Yeo-Thomas (The White Rabbit), and Violet Szabo. 1942. British Special Operations Executive ("SOE") agent Odette Sansom, mother of three, steps off a courier for the French resistance network--a highly trained Allied spy. One slip of the tongue, a flash of a British clothing label...and her life could be over. During the course of war, dozens of brave SOE agents gathered intelligence for relay back to England, destroyed Nazi roads, bridges and strongholds, and paved the way for D-Day, the largest military operaton ever attempted.
9/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Norway's World War II Radio Spies A group of Norwegians, separate from Milorg, the main Resistance movement, sent back intelligence of German activities in their country by radio direct to the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Among their coups was tracking down the German battleship Tirpitz. They were often infiltrated back into their country by the Shetland Bus, a group of Norwegian fishing smacks based in the Shetland Islands. When Hitler invaded Norway in 1940, some fled, most submitted...and a courageous few became Fjord Watchers-spies. Whether roaming a busy Oslo street or foraging in a remote mountain cabin, they radioed a constant stream of intelligence to Allied forces even as German soldiers relentlessly hunted them. Special agents such as Torstein Raaby, whose reports helped sink the infamous German battleship Tirpitz, and author Thor Heyerdahl would pose as merchants, fishermen an laborers while they scrutinized Hitler's every move. They were the eyes, ears and voice of the armies that liberated Norway.
8/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
How He Helped the Arabs to Liberate Their Lands from the Turks The story of T E Lawrence's exploits with the Arabs during the Great War. Hitherto unseen clips of Lawrence riding in the desert with King Faisal and the victorious arrival into Damascus. Thomas Edward Lawrence was dispatched to Arabia in 1915 to support Britain's war effort there. Lawrence grew to love the desert people and their struggle and made it his private agenda to ensure that Britain granted the Arabs independence from Turkey as promised. Lawrence led countless raids on railways, long desert treks and repeated assaults on Gaza. He endured capture and brutal torture that scarred him emotionally and served to bolster his resolve. His heroism made him legendary in Arabia and worldwide. T.E. Lawrence was probably one of the greatest adventurers of the Great War and was immortalised in film by Peter O'Toole. But what was the true story behind this man who helped liberate the Arabs from the Turks? This documentary contains rare footage of Lawrence of Arabia riding with King Faisal at their triumphant arrival into Damascus.
7/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Japanese Soldiers Who Refused to Believe World War II was Over A number of Japanese soldiers in the Pacific did not heed the news in August 1945 that their country had surrendered. They continued to wage guerrilla war both in the belief that their country was fighting on and for their own survival. One on the island of Guam in the Marianas did not surrender until 1960 and the last, Hiru Onada, endured a further ten years before giving himself up to the Philippine authorities. August 1945. The Japanese Empire's four million troops surrender to Allied forces. But many Japanese soldiers--stranded deep in the jungles of the Pacific islands--fought on single-handedly. And their imagined enemies--mainly island residents or peace-keeping forces--swarmed in their gunsights. Not even leaflets, endless pleas by radio, nor friends and family could budge these warriors from as much as thirty years of jungle warfare. Some Japanese soldiers in the Pacific refused to believe Japan would commit the shame of surrender and thought that the news of Japan's capitulation in August 1945 was an American trick. They continued to wage a guerrilla war for a further twenty five years until the Emperor's last, loyal soldier surrendered in 1970. The soldier's loyalty etched their names forever on the hearts of their countrymen.
6/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of the Parachute Parachutists are a breed apart, for few experience the freedom and the whims and the very substance of the air as they do. From its original development and use during the Great War, through the beginning of sport parachuting between the wars and its use in World War II (including airborne forces) to the skydivers of today. Includes footage of early unsuccessful attempts. A history of parachuting incorporates the pioneers, those who have leapt for their lives from stricken aircraft, the paratroopers who used the parachute to carry them to battle , the show-jumpers, the Sky Divers who jump simply for pleasure and the test jumpers who made it possible for them to do so. Like many inventions the parachute was originally developed during the heat of battle in the Great War. During the inter-war years it started to develop as a sport but came into its maturity in the Second World War with the development of airborne forces, which played a key part in Hitler's invasion plans. The skydivers of today are the latest in a long list of those who sought to descend from the skies; sometimes with unfortunate consequences. It is a story that relates the excitement, the triumph, and the tragedy that have accompanied parachuting through the years.
5/10 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of the Special Air Service A young Commando officer conceived the idea in Egypt in 1941. Since then the SAS has grown to become the world’s most feared and prestigious Special Forces unit. The Special Air Service was created in 1941 by a young Commando officer, David Stirling, after a disastrous parachute jump whilst on duty in the Middle East. Since then the SAS has become the world's most feared and respected Special Forces unit. Only ten percent of those who apply for entry into SAS detachment are accepted to begin training--and few survive that. An SAS soldier must live off the land, crouch concealed for days at a time, live for months in the jungle or desert--and accompish the impossible. Since their creation, SAS forces have have completed missions in Egypt, Libya, the Falkland Islands and Borneo. Anywhere that Britain's interests are threatened, the SAS can be found...but not easily. Their history and most famous achievements, such as the Iranian embassy siege in 1980, are captured in this startling documentary.
4/10 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of Captain Carlsen and the Flying Enterprise Kurt Carlsen's epic solo struggle to save his 6,700 ton merchant vessel, her holds waterlogged, from the ravages of an Atlantic hurricane during Christmas 1951. Spectacular film taken at the time shows the immense bravery of this famous Captain in his efforts to stay with his ship. Danish Captain, Henrik Kurt Carlsen, was given the name of 'Captain Stay-put' by the press in 1952, when his ship rolled on her side and couldn't right itself. The vessel Flying Enterprese was doomed. Pounding seas had cracked her hull, tilting her thirty degrees on the port side, and sending a tidal wave pouring through her engine room. Making sure that the passengers were taken off, he--together with Mate Kenneth Dancey-- stayed on board his ship as rescue efforts to tow him into Falmouth failed. They battled the raging seas in a valiant attempt to bring the battered ship into port. Captain Carlsen only jumped off the ship at the last moment before it sank and was rescued by the Turmoil. Their story is one of astounding courage and determination.
3/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The World's Longest Motor Journeys Long distance car rallies, including the London-Sydney and the Pan African rallies, and attempts to drive round the world (by Kegresse half-tracks in the 1920s) and the length of the Americas. Epic footage of speed and endurance. With the development of the motor car man soon turned his attention from using it as a means of travel to using it for his sporting aspirations, to driving around the world, to remote corners, to those places where few men have ventured before. Driving in these early days was always a challenge. Dirt roads that the horse found perfectly acceptable became impassable quagmires of mud for the automobile. Despite these challenges, it was not long before the automobile transformed itself from novelty to necessity. The advent of the world's longest motor journeys took place with the London-Sydney and Pan Africa car rallies, in deserts and at tropical jungles. These were then followed by epic attempts of endurance to drive round the world and across the length of the Americas.
2/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
How the Atlantic was conquered by air ranging from the pioneering epic of Lt Cdr Read USN in his Curtis flying boat and Alcock and Brown in their converted Vickers Vimy bomber in 1919, to Charles Lindbergh's epic solo crossing of 1927 and the record speed flights, including Concorde. Once man had conquered the power of flight, his next goal was to find a way to cross the Atlantic. The pioneer was Lt Commander Read of the US Navy who crossed the North Atlantic in a Curtiss NC-4 flying boat. In 1919 he was followed by Alcock and Brown in their converted Vickers Vimy bomber; and a few years later Charles Lindbergh made his epic solo flight across the Atlantic. In the following years the record breaking attempts were aimed at speed with Concorde's breaking of the sound barrier.
1/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Even 2,000 years after his death, General Hannibal's battle strategies are still studied today. But of all his military feats, perhaps his greatest was leading his massive Carthaginian army of men and three-dozen elephants across the Alps and into the heartland of Rome in 218 B.C. Until now, the route they took has been a matter of dispute, but thanks to modern-day technology, geomorphologist Bill Mahaney and microbiologist Chris Allen believe they've accurately traced this ancient journey.
2019 • History
In the History Channel Samurai – Miyamoto Musashi, Mark Dacascos, 8th dan Wun Hop Kuen Do expert, and martial arts movie actor, travels to Japan to trace the footsteps of the ultimate samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi. They were the most lethal swordsmen who ever lived, an elite warrior class who held the reigns of power in Japan for more than 700 years. Among this group of powerful fighters, one man stood out above all the rest, Miyamoto Musashi. Originally the samurai's job was to serve the emperor, much the same way the legendary Knights of the Round Table were meant to serve King Arthur. The life of the Samurai changed when the country was in transition from one Shogun to another.
2009 • History
"Had the party given me orders, maybe East Germany would still exist today. You can count on that." (Erich Mielke, Minister of State Security from 1957-1989) An informative and chilling account of the history of the notorious East German secret police, the Stasi. Up to 90,000 full-time employees and more than 180,000 unofficial informants work for the Ministry for State Security of the GDR, and about one in 50 adults in East Germany collaborated with East Germany's Secret Police. Relative to population, it was the largest secret service in the history of mankind. Headed by the sinister Erich Mielke, the Stasi kept the East German population under constant surveillance. The Stasi - just another intelligence agency, in just another country? "Shield and Sword of the Party" is what the Stasi calls itself. The Party dictatorship never dares to face its opponents. Instead, the Stasi has to keep all dissenting opinions under control. The goal is total total surveillance. In addition to the state security, the "Stasi" is responsible for foreign intelligence and counter-espionage, personal and property protection, border and passport controls. As the party's shield and sword, the MfS is supposed to keep all enemies of the state under control. "Die Firma: Stasi" takes a look at the extent of Stasi work and shows the omnipresence of state security - from the enormous headquarters of the Ministry in Berlin through district administrations, local offices, detention facilities, prisons, disguised isolation camps, hidden bunkers, reconnaissance planes, eavesdropping stations to the secret execution site of the GDR. Through tapping phones, reading mail, and installing informers they created an insidious culture of fear and suspicion. This definitive doc reveals the calculated cruelty and brutal repression committed by East Germany's most infamous organization.
2007 • History
A fully dramatised reconstruction of the story of the first atomic bomb deployed in an act of war. Interviews with both the aircrew who dropped the bomb and the survivors, special visual effects and archive all bring to life the fateful mission of the Enola Gay and the devastating impact of the bomb on the people of Hiroshima.
2005 • History
In September 1944, Allied forces undertook Operation Market Garden, a joint air and ground mission with the aim of ending the Second World War by Christmas. Though the initiative liberated much of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation and established a foothold from which the Allies could make later offensives into Germany, it was considered a costly failure with lasting consequences.
Documentary offering a chronological timeline of how and why the central alliance between Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union was formed in the years leading into the Second World War. It was an uneasy alliance and one fraught with power struggles, false promises and deadly suspicions. Plus, an in-depth picture of the race to ultimate victory and post-war supremacy, concluding with V day on the May 8 1945.
This is one of the last and greatest untold stories of the Second World War, revealed by the last surviving Chief of State, King Michael I of Romania. “We took the train to Berlin to see the other side of the coin and we had lunch with Hitler. It wasn’t an enjoyable meeting.” It is the story of a King’s decision who, in a critical moment of the Second World War, relinquished Germany’s support, guiding Romania towards the Allies, thus bringing about a quicker end to the war. It is a story of palatial intrigues. And a story of deceptions. From Buckingham Palace to Bucharest. From Moscow to Washington. Lost diplomatic signals, aristocrat spies and blackmail at gun point. And the courage of a young king who dared. Romania, at the outbreak of the Second World War, was a very young nation, with an age of only 20 years.
2017 • History
Mankind is a building species. Inspired by the divine we create monuments to its power (Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid). New challenges create new sciences and when the Romans mixed volcanic ash with water they created a new super-material: concrete.
Five thousand years ago man first throws a handful of rocks into a campfire and stumbles upon a discovery that changes the world: Metal. Copper, Tin and Bronze empower the ancient world and allow empires to expand, armed with sharp, hard-wearing weapons.
Man uses plants to feed, heal and clothe himself, to build his world and even to alter how he feels. The use of plants like corn, tobacco and cotton become such an important part of our lives that they play a central role in our evolution.
When ordinary people desire the luxuries of the rich, ingenuity and innovation come together to take history in a new direction. From the obsession with silk to the fall of Constantinople, our desire for luxury has shaped our history and evolution.
Showcases five of Soviet Europe's most grandiose architectural enterprises. Created to embody the 'collective good', the buildings, made with courage and a bit of lunacy, were used to remind the people of the power and brighter future that awaited them. Each building was designed to be either the tallest or the largest, or to have the biggest clock on earth or the most advanced technology of its time. Now that socialism is over, film-makers Missirkov and Bogdanov revisit five of communism’s most splendid palaces to reveal their hidden secrets through the eyes of the people who designed, built and worked in them. Featuring the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Moscow State University, the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade and the Palace of the Republic in Berlin.
2019 • History
It's February 1953, the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Little does the Queen know she is about to be deployed in a US plot to topple Iran's democratic leader in favour of an all-powerful shah. Planned by MI6 and executed by the CIA, the coup destroyed Iran's democracy and had an impact on relations between Iran and the West. Using declassified secret documents, this documentary reveals the truth of what happened in 1953.
2020 • History
On the morning of June 6, 1944, thousands of ships reached the French coast of Normandy as part of an Allied operation to take back France from the Germans. For the next 85 days, U.S., British, and Canadian soldiers engaged in conflicts of unimaginable violence, conquering and liberating the region's cities, but at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. From the D-Day invasion to the final Nazi surrender in Argentan, this is the definitive story of the three-month Battle of Normandy as it's never been seen before.
2018 • History
The National Geographic Channel EXPLORER series takes on the August 6, 1945, U.S. Air Force atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, in this chronological retelling of the 24 hours following the event. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945, was a moment that changed the world. Power that fueled the stars had been unleashed and turned into a lethal technology. Now learn the second-by-second story of that defining moment through those hit hardest by that weapon--the survivors. On August 6th, 1945 a weapon unlike any other before was unleashed on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Four days later, the Japanese surrendered having been subjected to horrors and devastation previously unknown and unimaginable. But beyond the horror and human toll, real scientific questions remained unanswered. In 1945, a team of scientists and experts from the Manhattan Project was ordered by President Truman to investigate the facts of what really happened when the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima. National Geographic reveals the incredible science behind what happened moment by moment in the 24 Hours After Hiroshima.
This program contends that the popular perception of the Muslim occupation of Spain toward the end of the first millennium is largely wrong. The eighth century Muslim invasion of the Iberian Pennisula was largely welcomed by the locals and rejuvenated the area with advanced technology, agriculture and a construction boom. This program describes these innovations. All this changed in the eleventh century when the regional government fragmented. That set the stage for the Christian invasion and the Islamic fundamentalist resistance leading to more of a civil war than a holy war that decimated the region with corruption, destruction and exile.
2005 • History
Even during the brutality of the Dark Ages, the Vikings of Northern Europe were considered particularly fearsome, ruthless, and dangerous. For centuries, historians believed all Viking warriors were men, but new archaeological discoveries on a small island in central Sweden have revealed evidence that some of the fighters were women. See how modern forensic testing helped identify the sex of one female war chief.
2019 • History
A detailed look at the life of Elizabeth I, the 'Virgin Queen'. Exploring the close relationships with her intimate attendants and the attitudes to and treatment of women at the time, this episode about Elizabeth focuses on her affairs, her diet and her power.
Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Normans on southern Europe and the Middle East. The Normans spread south in the 11th century, winning control of southern Italy and the island of Sicily. There they created their most prosperous kingdom, where Christianity and Islam co-existed in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. It became a great centre of medieval culture and learning. But events in the Middle East provoked the more aggressive side of the Norman character. In 1095, the Normans enthusiastically answered the Pope's call for holy war against Islam and joined the first crusade. They lay siege to Jerusalem and eventually helped win back the holy city from the muslims. This bloody conquest left a deep rift between Christianity and Islam which is still being felt to this day.
In the second of this three-part series, Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Norman conquest of Britain and Ireland. Bartlett shows how William the Conqueror imposed a new aristocracy, savagely cut down opposition and built scores of castles and cathedrals to intimidate and control. He also commissioned the Domesday Book, the greatest national survey of England that had ever been attempted. England adapted to its new masters and both the language and culture were transformed as the Normans and the English intermarried. Bartlett shows how the political and cultural landscape of Scotland, Wales and Ireland were also forged by the Normans and argues that the Normans created the blueprint for colonialism in the modern world.
In the first episode of an exciting three-part series, Professor Robert Bartlett explores how the Normans developed from a band of marauding Vikings into the formidable warriors who conquered England in 1066. He tells how the Normans established their new province of Normandy -'land of the northmen' - in northern France. They went on to build some of the finest churches in Europe and turned into an unstoppable force of Christian knights and warriors, whose legacy is all around us to this day. Under the leadership of Duke William, the Normans expanded into the neighbouring provinces of northern France. But William's greatest achievement was the conquest of England in 1066. The Battle of Hastings marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and monarchy. The culture and politics of England would now be transformed by the Normans.
Mike Loades has spent his life exploring history. He is a historian who believes that when you get your hands on the past, you discover what a surprising place it was - a place with familiar challenges but very different solutions. Now historian and weapons expert Mike Loades presents this program on the Middle Ages, from the 5th to the 15th centuries. It is a distinct period in time that conjures up images of knights on horseback, castles, combat and chainmail, and which has played host to countless fictional adventures, from tales of King Arthur and Merlin to Robin Hood and many more.
2012 • History
It lasted only one day on a small piece of land, but the impact the Battle of Waterloo had on history is massive and far-reaching. This is the definitive account of the fight that ended Napoleon's rule as emperor and altered the destinies of France, Europe, and the world. Based on testimonies of those involved, we reveal the tactical decisions and human dramas that transpired on both sides of the battle to give you an unprecedented look of one of history's most epic conflicts.
2014 • History
The movies have taught us that the west was won by rugged individuals with a gun on one hip and a gal on the other. But those Americans, who settled the west, those icons of freedom and independence, lived at the mercy of the railroad tycoons.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change. The twelve years that composed the post-war Reconstruction era (1865-77) witnessed a seismic shift in the meaning and makeup of our democracy, with millions of former slaves and free black people seeking out their rightful place as equal citizens under the law. Though tragically short-lived, this bold democratic experiment was, in the words of W. E. B. Du Bois, a 'brief moment in the sun' for African Americans, when they could advance and achieve education, exercise their right to vote, and run for and win public office.
2019 • History
It's said that journalists write the first draft of history. To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, John Simpson, the BBC's world affairs editor and longest-serving correspondent, goes back to his reports on what he believes is the most important story he ever covered – the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
2019 • History
Between 1950 and 1953, more than 24 nations sent troops to Korea as the opposing ambitions and ideologies of the emerging Cold War superpowers - China, Russia and the USA - fought for supremacy on the peninsula. With first-hand testimony and new historical material, Korea: The Never Ending War retraces the history of a conflict that resulted in millions of deaths, brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, and continues to shape history to this day. The 1953 armistice brought a fragile peace to the Korean Peninsula, but the war has never officially ended and deep divisions - and the threat of nuclear conflict - remain.
2019 • History
In this edition of the critically acclaimed "American Experience" series, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Barak Goodman reopens the investigation into the infamous My Lai massacre, a Vietnam War-era atrocity that killed more than 300 unarmed civilians. Complemented by 400 hours of newly discovered audio recordings that shed light on what happened on the ground, Goodman's Emmy-nominated film includes first-person accounts from the participants and other eyewitnesses.
Examines the botched raid on the German-occupied harbour of Dieppe, France in August 1942, which resulted in the loss of around 4,000 Allied men and drove home just how costly an invasion of France would be. The programme also focuses on Hitler's order in 1945 to destroy any military or industrial facilities that could be useful to the enemy - which would have condemned the German people to utter desolation.
A look at how Hitler calculated that to fight on long enough to fulfil his aim of eradicating Europe's Jews he needed to capture the Caucasus, and to do that he had to take Stalingrad. There is also a look at how the US rebuilt its navy and took itself from the 18th-ranked army in the world to be second only to the Soviet Union, a tale of ingenuity and enterprise that turned the vast resources of America into the numbers that could win a war.
A look at the Battle of Britain, examining the limited resources the British military were left with following the retreat from Dunkirk, and the pressure on German forces to conquer England quickly, so attention could be switched to Russia. The second half of the programmes examines the US entry into the war, in defiance of the promise made by President Roosevelt during his re-election campaign.
Begins by looking at the story of Franz Honiok, a 43-year-old farmer who is often considered the first victim of the Second World War, before going on to show that when Germany invaded Poland in August 1939, no-one was ready for war.
D-Day is a success, but now the Allies face the challenge of breaking out of the dense hedgerows of Normandy and into open country. They face highly motivated and experienced German soldiers, including Waffen SS units, who make them pay dearly for every yard they advance. The savagery of the fighting also takes a high psychological toll on Allied soldiers – much more so than on German troops who have been subjected to years of indoctrination. But in the end, Allied material superiority takes its toll. General Patton arrives to lead the charge into open country. German soldiers start to surrender in ever greater numbers, and the road to Paris is suddenly open.
D-Day is underway, but at Omaha Beach, 'the Bedford Boys', volunteers of the US 29th Infantry Division, find themselves thrown into freezing surf and a murderous German cross-fire. As the first assault waves are mown down on the ramps of their landing craft, it looks like the Allied invasion of Europe might be careering towards disaster. But at other beaches the British, Canadian and US troops are soon able to advance inland. For the local French population it is a moment of joy, but also great danger. Hundreds are killed when the RAF bombs the Norman town of Caen – one of their D-Day objectives. The fighting inland is no less fierce than on the beaches. As 'the Longest Day' draws to a close, rumours circulate on both sides that the enemy is shooting its prisoners.
D-Day suffers a last minute postponement when the weather over the Channel deteriorates. For Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower these are moments of extreme anxiety. Many of his men will be experiencing combat for the first time, and there is much that could go wrong. When meteorologists promise Eisenhower a brief window of improved weather, he takes the gamble and orders the invasion to proceed. Airborne divisions lead the way, parachuting into the darkness over Normandy. Shortly after dawn landing craft approach the coast. At Omaha Beach the Germans are waiting for them. The carnage that follows is described here with vivid personal testimony from both sides.
In 1943 the British and Americans plan the opening of a 'Second Front' in Northwest Europe. Huge numbers of troops, aircraft and ships begin to assemble in England for the invasion of France. They train relentlessly for what will prove the largest amphibious operation in military history. Meanwhile across the Channel the Germans also gather their strength. Hitler sends one of his best generals, 'the Desert Fox' himself Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, to supervise the construction of coastal defences known as 'the Atlantic Wall'. But the Allies retain one crucial advantage that even Rommel's genius cannot compensate for – only the Allies know where and when they will strike.
On June 4th, 1989 the world’s biggest, longest, and most famous pro-democracy demonstration was brought to a tragic end. The images from those final bloody days remain potent and the death toll is still disputed. In Tiananmen: The People V the Party, eyewitness accounts and leaked secret documents provide a deeper understanding of how the events of those seven weeks unfolded in the Square and behind the scenes, changing the course of Chinese history.
2019 • History
Simon Sebag Montefiore charts Rome's rise from the abandonment and neglect of the 14th century into the everlasting seat of the papacy recognised today. His story takes us through the debauchery and decadence of the Renaissance, the horrors of the Sack of Rome and the Catholic Reformation, through to the arrival of fascism and the creation of the Vatican State. By taking us inside Rome's most sensational palaces and churches and telling the stories behind some of the world's most beloved art, Sebag Montefiore's final instalment is a visual feast.
Simon Sebag Montefiore looks at how every event in ancient Rome revolved around religion. From the foundation myth through to the deification of emperors, nothing could happen without calling upon the pantheon of Roman gods. Simon investigates how the Romans worshipped and sacrificed to the gods. He discovers that sacredness defined what was Roman and it was the responsibility of every Roman to play their part in the cult. Even the ancient Roman sewer was holy ground!
In April 1944, two Jewish prisoners miraculously escaped from Auschwitz. When they recounted what they had left behind, their harrowing testimony revealed the true horror of the Holocaust to the outside world for the first time. They described in forensic detail the gas chambers and the full extent of the extermination programme. The news they brought presented the Allies with one of the greatest moral questions of the 20th century: Should we bomb Auschwitz? While the Allies deliberated in London and Washington, the killing machine ground on in southern Poland. One month after the men’s escape, almost 800,000 Hungarian Jews had been rounded up awaiting transport to Auschwitz. By early July 1944, the majority had been transported. Most of them were murdered on arrival. As the killing at Auschwitz reached its frenzied climax, the outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance. Millions of troops were fighting on both fronts and battling for supremacy in the air. Should the Allies use their resources to push on and win the war or to stop the industrial slaughter at Auschwitz? The request to bomb the camp, with 30,000 captive prisoners, was remarkable and came from a place of utter desperation. But it was a direct response to the destruction of an entire people. There were operational challenges - was it possible to reach the camp to bomb it? How many heavy bombers would it take? What would the Nazi propaganda machine say about such an attack? - as well as complex moral ones. How many prisoners would likely die in such a raid? Can you kill friendly civilians in order to save the lives of those being transported towards the death camp? These were the hard questions faced by Churchill, Allied Air Command and the Jewish Agency.
2019 • History
1942. After blocking the Germans right outside of Moscow, Stalin now faces Hitler's second assault. The world's fate will be decided in Stalingrad. Like in Leningrad, men, women and children, plunged into hell, are sacrificed. Will Stalin become Master of the World?
Episode covers Joseph Stalin's early life and his early political activities which resulted in his rose to power with the help of Lenin. June 1941 Hitler has thrown himself into a fight to the death against Stalin. Two decades earlier, in 1917, Joseph Jughashvili from Georgia is a member of Lenin's Bolshevik Party, who has just seized power in Russia. The country is torn by civil war.
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius is renowned for its decimation of Pompeii, but nearby, an equally impressive Roman settlement known as Herculaneum was lost to history. Today, the latest in technology is opening a wind to the past, as scientists digitally "unravel" the Herculaneum Scrolls.
Historical documentary featuring colourised archive footage charting the First World War's aftermath in Europe and beyond once celebrations marking the end of hostilities had ceased. Ch1. Vengeance Traumatised by combat, demobilised soldiers return home to the four corners of a war-shattered world. At the Palace of Versailles, the victors draw the borders of new nations, created through strife. Ch2. Return to Hell Nations try to rebuild, but the USA withdraws into isolation, the threat of communism frightens European democracies and populist movements spring up, determined to impose their totalitarian ideology.
2019 • History
The team continues to make astonishing discoveries on the floor of the Black Sea. A treasure trove of shipwrecks uniquely preserved that date back two and a half thousand years to the Greek and Roman empires, culminating in maritime archaeology’s greatest ever wreck discovery.
Michael Buerk looks at the transformation of the nation during the Victorian era, telling the surprising stories behind famous landmarks and the hidden heroes behind epic constructions. He begins by revealing how the Victorians created public transport and sewerage systems. Michael Buerk looks at how the Victorians created what is now known as the modern home, exploring the huge rise in house-building during the period. He travels to Fakenham, Norfolk, to visit the last remaining gasworks in England, and discovers how the Victorians mastered the art of producing `town gas" from coal. He also investigates how the kitchen was transformed with the advent of gas cookers, as more complex meals including the Sunday roast steadily became the norm across the nation.
2018 • History
In 2017, the U.S. released films from a generation of nuclear tests allowing scientists to study the last images of thermonuclear explosions we hope we'll ever see. But just getting them took years of trying and dozens of nuclear explosions. In Los Angeles, a secret film studio, Lookout Mountain, staffed by Hollywood professionals, produced countless films aimed at diverse audiences from policymakers to soldiers, scientists to civilians. The goal: convince anyone who will listen.
Just two years ago, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) declassified a top-secret 1960s program to put a manned spy platform into orbit. While Apollo got all the attention and the glory in its race to the Moon, the men and women behind MOL worked in the shadows to give America the eyes and ears it needed. After 50 years of secrecy, Spies in Space will be the first television program to weave together rarely seen footage from America's secret spy satellite systems.
The flash of the first atomic blasts exposes a multi-billion dollar clandestine operation: The Manhattan Project. A modern state secrecy apparatus emerges directly out of Los Alamos – only to find itself immediately compromised as Russia announces its own atomic arsenal. Radiation testing on unsuspecting civilians. An 800 page American World War III battle plan that targeted 600 million civilians. Broken Arrows. And the real stories of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It is 1918 and the end of WWI. Millions have died, and the world is exhausted by war. But soon a new horror is sweeping the world, a terrifying virus that will kill more than fifty million people - the Spanish flu. Using dramatic reconstruction and eyewitness testimony from doctors, soldiers, civilians and politicians, this one-off special brings to life the onslaught of the disease, the horrors of those who lived through it and the efforts of the pioneering scientists desperately looking for the cure. The film also asks whether, a century later, the lessons learnt in 1918 might help us fight a future global flu pandemic.
2018 • History
Which ten events will stay in our minds and hearts as those that marked history Martin Luther king’s i have a dream speech influenced civil rights laws, apartheid ended in south Africa, a bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and man landed on the moon.
We countdown from 23 to 11 events that include a new vaccination for the polio epidemic, a leap in human rights with a new Declaration, and the invasion of Poland that started a world war.From the Wright brothers who launched a plane into flight for the first time, to a country that launched a rocket called Sputnik into space for the first time, the 20th century showed our rapid advance in technological feat
We count down from 49 to 34 events that include a Treaty in Versailles aimed at bringing peace to the world, the Watergate political scandal, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the assassination of John Lennon.
We countdown from 62 to 50 events including creation of the bra that would symbolize liberation of women, a groundbreaking heart transplant, and an Olympics disaster in 1972.The battle of Stalingrad was turning point in WWII, the Rwandan genocide and Tiananmen Square massacre left millions in sorrow, and war criminals were taken to trial in Nuremberg.
Counting down from 75 to 63 we showcase great works of art and scientific feats in space, civil wars, sieges and environmental crises. In Episode Three we see the construction of the Panama Canal that created a passage between two continents, the invention of genetically modified crops that changed the future of food, the kidnapping of Lindbergh's baby, and a Battle of the Sexes on the tennis court.
Hitler's military decisions become disastrous, the defeats increase, fronts break apart. After Stalingrad, the military leadership realizes that the war is lost. The western allies defeat the German troops in Italy and Africa. The Russians push back the German army in the East. But even after D-Day, Hitler refuses any idea of surrender. After the failed assassination attempt, he feels invulnerable
Hitler personally arranges for a euthanasia program, underestimating the resistance of the Church. The killing of the mentally ill has to be slowed down, but the extinction of Jews is expanded to an industrial scale. Russian prisoners of war are murdered directly, abused, or left to starve. Most Germans know of these crimes even if they refuse to acknowledge them.
In pure breach of the Munich Agreement, Hitler claims further territories for Germany based on the alleged wish of the people in those areas. After the occupation of Czechoslovakia, the world is duped and are waiting to see if Germany will risk European peace. Hitler firmly expects that England and France are afraid of a war
In Benito Mussolini, Hitler finds an ally to whom he remains faithful until his downfall. The trips to Italy are the only foreign ones he undertakes. Hitler takes control of the army. The threat alone of an invasion is enough: the Austrian Chancellor allows Hitler to take over, 75% of the Austrian people want to be part of the German Reich. Planning to disintegrate Czechoslovakia, Hitler signs the Munich Agreement in September 1938, in which Czechoslovakia has to abdicate the territories of the so-called Sudeten Germans
Hitler's fame reaches its climax. Germany is simultaneously admired and feared by foreign countries. In 1936, the Wehrmacht invades the Rhineland, a demilitarized zone by the Treaty of Versailles. The Nuremberg party rallies are a magnificent spectacle of the ever-growing leadership cult. The Summer Olympics in 1936 show Hitler's popularity internationally.
Hitler's power has become unrestricted and unlimited. He is Chancellor and President. He makes the law. Cabinet and parliament just have alibi functions. Hitler is admired by the people. Germany feels strong again, and people accept the merciless dictatorship and the persecution of others as necessary evil. The 'Nuremberg Race Laws' pass unanimously by the Reichstag parliament. A referendum in then-French Saarland shows 91 percent of the population voting to return to the German Reich. Now the world looks anxiously whether Hitler will make further territorial claims. His gaze turns to Austria, his homeland.
Forty years ago, hundreds of skeletons were unearthed in a mass grave in an English village. Bioarchaeologist Cat Jarman believes these bones are the last remains of the “Great Heathen Army,” a legendary Viking fighting force that invaded England in the ninth century and has long been lost to history. Armed with the latest scientific methods, Cat’s team uncovers extraordinary human stories from the front line, including evidence of women fighters and a lost warrior reunited with his son in death
In a spectacular adventure, NOVA unlocks the mystery on the vast, grassy plains of Kazakhstan, where horses still roam free, and nomadic herders follow their traditional way of life. Investigating clues from archaeology and genetics, researchers reveal vivid evidence of the very first horsemen. They also discover warriors who swept across Europe and turn out to be the ancestors of millions today.
The end of the War in the Pacific is one of the greatest and most terrible tales of modern history. The Japanese fought to the bitter end and continued to fight island by island, hill by hill. US Air Force command tried bombing Japan into submission, firebombing Tokyo but could not break the Japanese resolve. Over 200,000 people died. In the end, President Truman decided to go nuclear and the fates of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sealed.
The months of the war in Europe were shocking and desperate. This film follows the British and Americans as they cross the Rhine and the Russians as they push through Poland into Germany itself. It covers the horrors of the liberation of Belsen and Buchenwald, and the final terrible street fighting in Berlin. The story culminates in the suicide of Hitler, the carving up of Germany between the Allies, and the Nuremberg trials.
Since December 1941, a vicious war against Japan was being waged in the Pacific. The Japanese were driven back across the ocean, island by island, in savage hand to hand fighting. American dominance at sea was finally established in "The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot", when radar gave the US Navy advance warning of a huge Japanese attack and the last vestiges of Japanese naval air power were destroyed. But this film also looks at the war in the jungles, in places like Burma, where new specialist fighting units - like Orde Wingate's Chindits - slowly pushed back the Japanese despite horrific conditions.
In 1944 America and Britain in the West and Russia in the East began to close their pincer around Germany. But even now, the outcome was in the balance. The film explores the Allied disaster at Arnhem and the tragedy of the Warsaw uprising, when Polish freedom fighters were abandoned to their fate by Stalin. It tells the shocking story of the Liberation of the death camps, when the full extent of the Holocaust became clear for the first time. The film ends with Hitler's last great gamble, as he threw all his last reserves against the oncoming Allied forces in the Ardennes.
Today it is easy to see D-Day as inevitable - a straightforward victory against a German army that was already all but defeated. This film explodes that myth. It charts the careful planning of the campaign, the development of specialised equipment needed for the amphibious landing. It reveals the deception plan that wrong footed Hitler. It shows how the Americans were very nearly driven off Omaha beach. If that had happened, the whole operation might have failed. The film ends with the Liberation of Paris, as the Free French forces led by Charles de Gaulle matched down the streets of the capital.
Both the Allies and the Nazis were always looking for a single knock-out blow to end the war. Britain's Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris thought the answer might lie in "strategic bombing." The idea was to blow the belt out of Germany's infrastructure and cities. This, he argued, would cripple the Nazis ability to wage a war and the ordinary people would soon lose the will to fight. But it led directly to the tragedy of Dresden, when Allied planes firebombed tens of thousands of ordinary Germans. The Germans believed that the decisive stranglehold would come from their submarines. If they could only cut American supply lines to Britain across the Atlantic, then the Allied effort would collapse. So begun a long game of cat and mouse between U-Boats and British and American convoys.
Mussolini's ambition had always been to recreate the old Roman empire. The trouble was, militarily, he was a disaster. After failed attacks in North Africa and Greece, his armies were on the run. Hitler, now faced a difficult choice. Did he divert troops needed at other fronts to support his ally, or did he let Mussolini fall ? Hitler chose to support him - a decision that would spell disaster for both of them. Hitler would lose hundreds of thousands of troops. Mussolini would be assassinated. This film tells the extraordinary story of the war in North Africa and features the heroics of the tiny island of Malta as it withstood wave after wave of Nazi assault. It ends with the Allies fighting their way up Italy and Germany in retreat.
December 7th 1941 is "a date that will live in infamy" proclaimed President Franklin Roosevelt. That was the day that Japan entered World War II, with its surprise attack upon the US Fleet in Pearl Harbour. Japan swiftly followed this up with the defeat of a huge British army in Singapore. For a while Japan was rampant in the Pacific. But gradually, America, the sleeping giant, awoke. The war that would follow would be characterised by major innovations. In particular, it saw the battleship consigned to history and the emergence of the aircraft carrier as the decisive weapons of the seas.
When Hitler expounded his intention to invade Russia his generals looked at him in horrified silence. The Soviet Union was vast and had matchless resources. Hitler's whole plan depended upon striking a swift and decisive knock-out blow. Get sucked into a long, drawn-out war and Germany would surely lose. Hitler was certain his forces could do it. No one had so far defeated them. But there had never been a military gamble like it... This film takes in Stalingrad and the battle of Kursk, the biggest tank battle in all history.
In June 1940, Britain stood alone against the Nazis. Hitler was convinced that it was only a matter of days before it sued for peace. He had more troops, a better air force and the better weapons. This film shows how close Britain came to defeat, as its exhausted air force struggled to fight all the German Luftwaffe. However, because of critical errors by the Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering, Britain was able to regroup. Then using its brilliant team of code crackers and specially trained spies, it began the fightback, working alongside the resistance movements in the occupied territories.
This film shows how the Nazis developed a terrifying new military tactic - Blitzkrieg - and how it caught first Poland and then Britain and France utterly unprepared. It charts the fall of Poland and how Hitler then conquered France in just a few weeks, an achievement that had eluded Germany throughout all the four years of World War One. It also reveals how heroic French resistance allowed the British to escape from Dunkirk and live to fight another day.
The series starts with that great paradox. How could the settlement at the end of World War One - the 'war to end all wars' - lead to an even greater conflict just a few years later ? The answer is a tale with terrible resonancy today. This film shows how the Great Depression sapped the will of the democracies of the West to face up to a new and disturbing political phenomenon - the rise of militaristic dictators, in Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain. The result was that the major powers ignored all the warning signs and allowed the likes of Mussolini and above all Hitler to begin the course that would lead the world into catastrophe. The programme ends as Hitler plots his attack upon Poland.
At the end of the 80s, the Soviet army is being universally modernized, observed closely by western military intelligence in East Germany. Weapons-scouts in the field are constantly on duty, as are agents in high command or in intelligence service stations.
Some just counted tanks, others stole blueprints for bombs. The Cold War was the battleground for thousands of spies and spotters. Even the Allied Military Missions in Germany doubled as covert observers in the spying game.
Since the end of the 19th century, Indochina has been a flourishing colony, the gem of the French Empire. However, the Second World War turns everything upside down. At the end of the war, the Viet Minh movement announces its independence.
University of Glasgow, England, 1763. A young engineer tries, in vain, to fix a steam engine before finally understanding what is wrong with it. James Watt still doesn’t know it but he will soon revolutionize the world of industry.
In 814 BC, the exiled Phoenician queen Dido founds the city of Carthage on the African Coast. The city develops and takes the lead of a maritime empire based on trade. Carthage dominates the Western Mediterranean. But in the third century BC, she finds herself opposed to the Roman Republic.
1916, the Great War, far away from the trenches, in the sand of the Middle East, war has a very different face. With a handful of intrepid men, Thomas Edward Lawrence leads the revolt of the Arabs alongside Sharif Hussein, against the Ottoman Empire.
In July 1799, during the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, the French soldiers of lieutenant Bouchard discover by chance at Rosetta a large black stone. It is, in fact, the fragment of a stele engraved in honor of King Ptolemy V, including three writing systems: Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphs.
In 1415, the Portuguese launch an era of explorations that will lead to the European discovery of the world. The competition is intense between France and the United Kingdom for the possession of North America and the West Indies for the Indian colonies, but also for Science.
While the Viking raids have come one after another in the Occident for almost a century, in November 885, hundreds of Scandinavian boats sailing towards Burgundy present themselves before the walls of Paris and besiege the city.
In the spring of 1943, after the successive failures of Moscow and Stalingrad, the armies of the Reich go on the offensive again. Considered the greatest tank battle in History, this event represents a real turning point of World War II on the Eastern Front.
The Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany was the most potent symbol of Communist oppression in Europe during the Cold War. The documentary "The Wall: A World Divided" profiles how a source of violence, hostility and pain was torn down by ordinary journalists and citizens who risked their life to bring down an oppressive regime and achieve what politicians and world leaders could not. "The Wall: A World Divided" looks deep inside the revolution that swept across Europe two decades ago — with the November 1989 opening of the Berlin Wall — to understand how this remarkable event helped end the Cold War without a shot being fired. The film explores the lives of ordinary people caught up in Cold War politics: a young father forced to tunnel beneath the wall to reunite his family; a teenager whose love of pop culture got him in deep trouble with the state; a student activist helping make a peaceful revolution while facing down tanks; and a young man broken by the ruthless interrogation methods of the secret police. With insights from political leaders like George H.W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, James Baker and Condoleezza Rice, explore the origins and demise of the notorious Berlin Wall, the structure's affect on ordinary German lives and the peaceful end to the Cold War. Full of detailed information, this historical PBS documentary explains the stark differences between East and West Germany and their process of reunification.
2010 • History
The incredible story of Ben Ferencz - the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor and lifelong advocate of "law not war". After witnessing Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation, Ferencz became the lead prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen case at Nuremberg, which has been called the biggest murder trial in history. All 22 Nazi officials tried for murdering over a million Jews were convicted. Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. At 98, his fight for justice for victims of atrocity crimes is stronger than ever.
2019 • History
In France, Henry III still has no heir. Catherine de Medici is determined to prevent him from being the last of the Valois line and leaving the throne to Henry of Navarre. Yet again, the wind of revolt blows over the kingdom of France and leads to the assassination of Henry, Duke of Guise.
S2E6 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2018 • History
Mary, Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate and flee to England, where Queen Elizabeth has her imprisoned. Refusing to acknowledge her cousin as her legitimate heir, Elizabeth accepts to wed one of Catherine de Medici’s sons. In Flanders, William I requests military assistance from France.
S2E5 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2018 • History
In the name of religious tolerance, Catherine de Medici weds her Catholic daughter, Margaret of Valois, to the young Protestant heir of the Bourbon dynasty, Henry of Navarre. Protestants and Catholics are both in attendance. This event leads to the most infamous bloodbath in France's history.
S2E4 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2018 • History
In France, perfidy and treason plunge the French Kingdom into chaos. Behind new king Charles IX, Catherine de Medici rules in the background as master of the throne. However, she is unable to prevent a civil war.
S2E3 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2018 • History
The rise of Protestantism is dividing Europe. This is the beginning of the Wars of Religion. While celebrating an alliance treaty, Henry II dies during a jousting tournament. Espionage, conspiracies, treason - his son, the sickly Francis II, sees his life and his reign threatened by the Protestants.
S2E2 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2018 • History
In the middle of the Renaissance, the son of Francis I shake up the foundations of Europe. Henry II, the King of France, secures a claim to the Scottish crown by marrying young queen Mary Stuart to his son, the future Francis II, heir to the French throne.
S2E1 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2018 • History
Archaeologists investigate Hatshepsut, one of the greatest female pharaohs in history; a discovery inside one of Hatshepsut's quarries sparks an investigation which leads to the temple of Karnak; an archaeologist excavates mummy parts.
The discovery of a rare mass grave with the bones of nearly 60 people outside Luxor sends archaeologists on a quest to find out who the remains belong to, why they were buried the way they were and what was happening in ancient Egypt that would have led to a mass burial. Could the collapse of the empire’s Old Kingdom provide any clues?
After four centuries of occupation and leadership, the Romans left Britain in 410 AD and the island’s fate was left hanging in the balance. History teaches that in the 5th century, the country descended into a tumultuous and violent period knows as the Dark Ages, leaving the nation vulnerable to invading Angle and Saxon hordes from northern Europe. With a nation divided, great leader known as King Arthur emerged, uniting the lawless lands to fight off invaders – or at least that’s what the fragmentary historical texts suggest. The truth is, no one really knows what happened, and this pivotal moment in history has been shrouded in mystery – until now. Professor Alice Roberts and a team of experts use new archaeological discoveries to decode Dark Ages myths and piece together a very different story of this turning point in Britain’s history that might also explain the legend of King Arthur.
The new treasure map leads Albert Lin to discover lost pyramids at the ancient city of El Palmar and beneath the site of a sacrificial ball game. Hidden treasures reveal the epic scale of the ancient Mayan civilization.
Archaeologists hunt for Queen Cleopatra's lost tomb; underwater archaeologists explore sunken ruins; a team takes mummies to the hospital to scan for hidden treasure; an archaeologist discovers a secret tunnel network at a forgotten temple.
An investigation into why the great pharaohs of Egypt abandoned the pyramids of Giza and chose a secret cemetery in the Valley of the Kings in which to be buried; a team looks for clues to identify human remains found in looted graves.
Archaeologists unearth a long-lost box of treasures from inside Tutankhamun's tomb; new technology reveals why this boy king's resting place remained hidden from tomb robbers for thousands of years; a team is tasked with transporting Tut's treasures.
Albert Lin follows the treasure map to a pyramid at the heart of the most famous ancient Mayan city; divers search for an entrance to a flooded cave beneath a Mayan pyramid; archaeologists find a ceremonial royal drinking cup that reveals the tomb of a lost king.
The treasure map uncovers a mysterious pyramid complex that reveals clues of violent sacrifices; newly discovered cave systems reveal gruesome evidence of ancient Mayan rituals; Albert Lin dives deep beneath the surface of the Mayan spirit underworld.
A treasure map leads to the discovery of a lost fortress; a sacred altar is unearthed, revealing secrets of the legendary Maya Snake King uprising; Albert Lin travels to a remote jungle, where technology reveals evidence of a forgotten war.
From D-Day to the final Pacific Island hopping campaigns, we see what they experience and how that shapes them as leaders. Nixon faces a barrage of live fire, Bush is shot down in the Pacific, Ford faces kamikazes on the USS Monterey and Eisenhower takes on perhaps the greatest invasion in world history the invasion of Normandy.
Part One of this epic event special follows these men through war in both the European and Pacific theaters, starting in December 1941 through late 1943, telling the story of their war experiences and how those experiences shaped them as leaders. In the Pacific, Johnson is nearly killed in a twist of fate, and JFK's PT boat is blown up, Reagan becomes the popular face of the American soldier, Carter joins the US Naval Academy and Eisenhower moves from a rookie to a seasoned general as he leads the invasion of North Africa, Italy and prepares for D-Day.
Witness the dawn of modern America, through famous and infamous images and footage, shown in full color. From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the music of the Beatles; from the March on Washington to the walk on the moon, it's the '60s like they've never been seen before.
In ancient Japan, honor and glory were reserved for male soldiers only, which makes the story of Takeko Nakano so remarkable. Not only was she a female Japanese warrior, but she was joined by several hundred other samurai warrior women, whose complete dedication and extensive suffering remains one of the world's great untold stories. In this Docu Drama, Discover Nakano's rise to become a martial arts master, her epic battle for her clans' independence, and how in today's martial arts schools, the spirit of Japan's female warriors continues to thrive.
2015 • History
An extraordinary journey tracing the footsteps of early Homo sapiens leaving Africa, reaching the easternmost end of the Eurasian continent, and developing unique culture there. The latest paleoanthropological findings and CGI created by top game creators should stun the viewers.
The Roman emperor Nero is considered one of history's greatest criminals. His name has become synonymous with evil, as historic accounts have accused him of killing his stepbrother, his wife and his mother, as well persecuting Christians and instigating the devastating Great Fire of Rome. This is the judgement that is passed in history from one generation to the next, but are these accounts of Nero's reign accurate? New scientific discoveries and a closer examination of the ancient texts written about Nero cast a different light on the Roman emperor and the accusations levelled against him. Secrets of the Dead: The Nero Files follows internationally renowned criminal psychologist Thomas Muller and a team of scientists and historians as they investigate the new evidence in order to discover the truth about the controversial emperor.
See how Idi Amin used lessons learned in the colonial British army to build a powerful dictatorship in Uganda. Through a combination of populist charm and brutal violence, he ruled for eight years until his strategic blunders brought him down.
11th November 1918. The world emerges from the worst conflict ever known. While the victors build a new world order, traumatised peoples rebuild their lives. In the years to come, the major empires collapse while hatred and fear resurface, leading the world to a new apocalypse. Directed by: Isabelle Clarke, Daniel Costelle (France, 2018). Narration: Mathieu Kassovitz
2018 • History
In Episode Four Watch Manuel Noriega rise through the Panamanian military to become chief of intelligence and then, military dictator. He spied for the United States, but in the end, money laundering, drug trafficking and political crimes led to his downfall.
Learn how six dictators, from Mussolini to Saddam Hussein, shaped the 20th century. How did they seize and lose power? What forces were against them? Learn the answers in these six immersive hours, each a revealing portrait of brutality and power In Episode Three see why Benito Mussolini was considered a pioneer among 20th century dictators. From undermining judges to indoctrinating children, he forged key tactics for seizing power. He also created fascism, an ideology that would plunge Europe into darkness.
Learn how Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron fist for almost 30 years. To maintain power, he used fear, intimidation and violence like few other dictators in history, but he made the fatal mistake of believing his regime could take on the world.
In The First Episode, Witness Kim Il Sung's transformation from guerrilla fighter to brutal dictator of North Korea. How did he build the most controlled society on earth and launch a dictatorship that has lasted for three generations?
Academy Award winner Peter Jackson's poignant WWI documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old' to commemorate the centennial of the end of the first World War. The acclaimed documentary is an extraordinary look at the soldiers and events of the Great War, using film footage captured at the time, now presented as the world has never seen. By utilizing state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies, and pulling from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews, Jackson puts forth an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic experience through the eyes and voices of the British soldiers who lived it. Jackson recorded a special introduction to the film offering his perspective on why the film is important for audiences, who have never experienced WWI footage as anything but grainy black & white, and silent. Jackson opens a window to the past in a way that has never been seen or heard before, noting, "Restoration is a humanizing process."
2018 • History
The numbers will favoured one side, then the other in 1918. When the Bolsheviks took Russia out of the war, millions of German and Austro-Hungarian troops were freed up to attack Britain and Belgium, France and Italy. But across the Atlantic, America was training an army of two-million men.
Neil reveals how the clans plotted against Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, ultimately leading to the beheading of the most charismatic queen in Scottish history. The tale turns on a brother's plot to overthrow his sister in a ruthless bid for power. James Stewart, Earl of Moray, uses clan power to first control and then rid Scotland of his sister Mary. As she battles conspiracies, plots and counterplots, Mary is trapped in the cruel and tumultuous world of clan blood feuds. After they murder her husband Lord Darnley and Mary flees into the arms of the Earl of Bothwell, the most ruthless of Scotland's clan chiefs, civil war breaks out. Mary escapes to England, never to return again.
Neil follows the rise of Clan Stewart to become Scotland’s Royal dynasty. It’s the blood soaked tale of a bitter family feud. In a vicious contest, using clan power to plot, manoeuvre and murder their way to power, the story culminates with the dramatic assassination of King James I below a tennis court in Perth, 1437. Neil traces this family feud through clan combat, royal romances and spectacular Renaissance courts to the brutal torture and execution of the last rival Stewart, Walter Atholl, when the king’s widowed Queen Joan wreaks a terrible revenge for his treachery.
Neil follows the clans as they rallied behind Robert the Bruce in his against-all-odds bid to win Scotland's crown. After their crucial role in crushing the English at Bannockburn in 1314, Bruce rewarded the loyal chiefs with land and titles. They rise to shape the fate of kingdom in the centuries to come.
In the heart of a metropolitan city of 15 million people and among the construction of a new billion-dollar transportation network, an archaeological sensation has been discovered: the ancient harbour of Theodosious. Theodosious was the last ruler over both Eastern and Western portions of a unified Roman Empire; the harbour has been buried and shrouded in mystery for over 800 years…until now. Istanbul, Turkey, is situated exactly between Europe and Asia. It has, since prehistoric times, bridged the gap between these continents, their cultures and its people. Engineers are working to connect East to West through a spectacular 1.4 kilometer railway tunnel, 60 meters below the surface, but they've been stalled by the discovery of the Emperor's Lost Harbor.
For decades, scientists believed that humans were forced to wait until the end of the last Ice Age before they could enter the Americas. Evidence suggests that 11,000 years ago they crossed the Bering Land Bridge by foot, into what is now modern-day Alaska. Those peoples were called the Clovis, and their arrival and hunting practices were blamed for the sudden disappearance of many large mammals, from mastodons and woolly mammoths to giant ground sloths and sabre-toothed tigers. In recent years however, tantalizing – but often frustratingly inconclusive – evidence of an earlier human migration into the Americas has begun to emerge. It is an incredible revelation – to think that ancient humans could somehow have managed to get past a sheet of ice four kilometres thick. In this fascinating documentary, Canadian anthropologist and adventurer Niobe Thompson takes us inside the incredible scientific discoveries that are finally unraveling these mysteries
Stonehenge is an icon of prehistoric Britain, an enigma that has seduced archaeologists and tourists for centuries. Why is it here? What is its significance? And which forces inspired its creators? For the last four years, an international team has surveyed and mapped every monument, both visible and invisible, across 10 square kilometres of the sacred landscape to create a complete digital picture of Stonehenge and the surrounding area through time. Known monuments have yielded more data than ever before, revealing hidden structures within; and new finds are revolutionising the history of Stonehenge.
Hendrik Poinar is a bit of a mystery man – as in, he likes to solve them. And he’s part time traveller – as in, he likes to dig up the past. Think Doctor Who meets Indiana Jones. Poinar is an evolutionary biologist - which means he studies the nature of how we humans got here and where we’re going. He happily admits his childhood dream was to travel the world and travel back in time. “No-one imagines that there’s actually something still hidden within a bone that’s been buried for a few thousand years or 100,000 years, let alone the possibility of resurrecting it or bringing it back to life,” says Poinar. “I mean, that’s sort of completely bizarre. It’s like a time machine, yeah, it’s a kid’s dream.” Secrets in the Bones follows Poinar on an epic journey to Italy, Germany, Britain, and across the Unites States. His mission: solve one of the greatest mysteries of science, a mystery that has eluded researchers for more than six centuries: unlock the secrets of the fourteenth century killer disease that caused the Black Death and wiped out more than 50 million people.
Harald Sandner, a history enthusiast, has traced Adolf Hitler's early life. From his childhood home, through his relationship with his family, the challenges he endured as a young man, and the home he made for himself in the German military. Follow the world's greatest murderer's rise to power.
Industrialized and processed food has dominated the last century. Now, the question is, what's next? We go around the world to meet pioneers in urban farming, veganism, and insect protein production to find out what will be the future of food.
Humans have depended on fire for millennia, but do we fully understand the impact it has had on our diet? When our hunter-gatherer ancestors learned to harness this tool, it ignited a culinary and cerebral revolution believed to be one of the most important factors in our evolution.
Cities of the Sky explores the creation of some of the ancient world's largest and most splendid cities. Were people across Native America inspired by celestial phenomenon to build their communities? Answers are revealed in American urban centers that bloomed from the Mexican jungle, a massive multi-cultural city in Central Mexico that is among the largest urban centers in history, and the capital of South America's greatest empire.
Nature to Nations explores the rise of great American nations, from dynastic monarchies to participatory democracies. What lies behind these diverse and sophisticated governments? Answers emerge from an archaeologist excavating America’s oldest temple in the Peruvian Andes, a tribe initiating a new chief at a ceremony surrounded by cedar totem poles in the Pacific Northwest, an expert reading ancient hieroglyphs from a sarcophagus to tell a forgotten history of Maya kings, and the return of an ancient shell wampum belt to the birthplace of democracy near Syracuse, New York.
In this one-hour special, Rick Steves travels back a century to learn how fascism rose and then fell in Europe — taking millions of people with it. He traces fascism’s history from its roots in the turbulent aftermath of World War I, when masses of angry people rose up, to the rise of charismatic leaders who manipulated that anger, and the totalitarian societies they built.
2017 • History
Istanbul: At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, many of its secrets are concealed or underground. The latest 3D imaging technology reveals the city as no human eye ever could to show how the city has had to reinvent itself over and over through its turbulent past.
Professor Darius Arya uses scanning technology to reveal the hidden secrets of ancient Athens. From the buildings on the Acropolis to the silver mines and quarries beyond the city, he investigates the story of the city that gave the world democracy.
The dramatic story of the D-Day landings and of the liberation of Paris. In the east the Soviets liberate Auschwitz and fight their way to the heart of Berlin. Germany finally surrenders, but Japan fights on until the atom bombs are dropped.
This episode looks at the turning of the war against Germany, with Allied victory at El Alamein and Russian triumph at Stalingrad. Inside Hitler's Germany the SS gain more power, and in southern Europe the Allies fight their way though Italy
The story of the sudden Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the early days of the war in the Pacific. Back in Europe, this episode looks at the bombing offensive against Germany and at the appalling crime of the Holocaust.
This first episode covers Hitler's invasion of Poland, when the world stood on the brink of war, and features stunning colourised footage of the catastrophe faced by the Polish army as it was crushed by the Nazi war machine.
1917. People have had enough of the war. Behind the scenes, uprisings are brewing, like the one that toppled the Tsar in Russia; on the front soldiers begin to mutiny as they did at Chemin des Dames in France. German submarine attacks in the Atlantic will finally pull the Americans into the war, but they arrive too late to help prevent the carnage of the Battle of Passchendaele.
1916. The war is raging in Europe and stretches from the trenches in France to the Italian Alps and the Balkans, and beyond to the gates of the Eastern world. The conflict becomes industrial, and millions of shells rain down on the battlefields; Verdun and the Somme are the deadliest battles in this second year of the war. Who can stop this infernal machine?
The French army stops the German advance at the battle of the Marne, while the Germans halt the Russians at Tannenberg on the eastern front. In France, the warring parties dig themselves in for 4 years in the trenches. Soldiers from the colonies come lend a hand to their colonizers and the war becomes global.
On June 28th, 1914, the assassination of an obscure Austrian archduke in Sarajevo triggers the most disastrous conflict the world has ever known. Germany becomes an enemy to France, invades Belgium, and in September arrives at the gates of Paris.
Europe has never experienced such a long period of peace and prosperity as after the Second World War. When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, the dream of a Europe united in peace and freedom seemed to have finally to become a reality. But the clouds of nationalism have started to gather once again.
Europe was embroiled in near constant conflict for centuries. Violent power struggles between nations and rulers shook the continent. Not until the Enlightenment and the French Revolution of 1789 that a new idea of Europe emerged based on common values: freedom, equality, and fraternalism.
From the 15th to well into the 20th century, Europeans conquered and dominated the world. On behalf of Spain, Christopher Columbus sought a new sea route to India and instead found a "New World". His discovery was the starting signal for the "Europeanization of the Earth".
Europe has seen Christianity as central to its Western identity. While true, many beliefs and ideas shaping Europe, including Christianity, originate in the Middle East. Long before the birth of Jesus, Judaism spreads across the Roman empire; Muslim Moors dominate the Iberian Peninsula.
Where and when does the history of Europe begin? The traces lead to ancient Greece, more precisely to Crete: Here we not only found the first high culture of the continent, but also the founding myth, to which it owes its name: the kidnapping of the princess Europa by the Greek god Zeus.
King Harold of England takes on two invasion forces. First, his brother Tostig attacks the south coast. He is repelled, but there is more to come. Later in the year, a vast Viking invasion force led by King Harald Hardrada of Norway lands in the north.
In the premiere, King Edward the Confessor dies without an heir, triggering a bitter race to succeed him as King of England. Earl Harold is on the spot and takes the crown. But in Normandy, Duke William believes the throne has been promised to him.
Dr Helen Castor explores the life - and death - of Joan of Arc. Joan was an extraordinary figure - a female warrior in an age that believed women couldn't fight, let alone lead an army. But Joan was driven by faith, and today more than ever we are acutely aware of the power of faith to drive actions for good or ill. Since her death, Joan has become an icon for almost everyone - the left and the right, Catholics and Protestants, traditionalists and feminists. But where in all of this is the real Joan - the experiences of a teenage peasant girl who achieved the seemingly impossible? Through an astonishing manuscript, we can hear Joan's own words at her trial, and as Helen unpicks Joan's story and places her back in the world that she inhabited, the real human Joan emerges.
2015 • History
The dramatic story of the defense of France against Hitler's invading army in order to enable the desperate evacuation of over 300K men of the British Expeditionary Force and Allied troops across the English Channel to safety in 1940.
In the 17th century, a long period of civil war in France and war across Europe, rebellious members of the French Parliament, dubbed The Fronde, defy the monarchy and this defiance does not end well for them...and changes the history of France.
The former Soviet Union collectivized many aspects of agricultural and industrial development in the 1950's. While some efforts were successful, others, like the cotton-growing around the Aral Sea, have proven to be an ecological nightmare.
Dramatised documentary, based on the experiences of the soldiers who invaded France in the D-Day Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944 which were instrumental in ending World War II. The planning for the Allied invasion took two years and cost thousands of lives, and involved a deception of breathtaking audacity. D-Day examines the intricate jigsaw, presenting events through the eyes of the men and women who were there, telling their extraordinary stories.
2002 • History
This first programme in a two-part series investigates what Neanderthals looked like and how they lived in their Ice Age world. It turns out that almost everything we thought we knew about them is wrong. They weren't hunched, grunting, knuckle-dragging ape-men at all. In reality they were faster, smarter, better looking - and much more like us than we ever thought. Our guide is Ella Al-Shamahi, a young, British, rising star in Neanderthal research, with an unusual side-line as a stand-up comic She enlists the skills of Andy Serkis, the global movie star and master of performance capture, best known as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Planet of the Apes
From Roman marbles and Egyptian mummies to Renaissance masterpieces and African sculptures, in this special accompanying programme to Civilisations, Mary Beard goes in search of extraordinary works of art from all over the world that can be seen here in Britain.
If David Olusoga's first film in Civilisations is about the art that followed and reflected early encounters between different cultures, his second explores the artistic reaction to imperialism in the 19th century. David shows the growing ambivalence with which artists reacted to the idea of progress, both intellectual and scientific, that underpinned the imperial mission and followed the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.
Simon Schama explores one of our deepest artistic urges - the depiction of nature. Simon discovers that landscape painting is seldom a straightforward description of observed nature - rather it is a projection of dreams and idylls, as well as of escapes and refuges from human turmoil, the elusive paradise on earth.
Examine the process of "destructive creation"-the idea that fear, rivalry and conflict strengthen community bonds while stimulating an arms race of technological progress. The result is civilization. Ancient Mesoamerica exemplifies this development.
Child hostages, marriages, battles, and betrayals -- this is the story of Francis I, King of France and Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, and the rivalry that engulfed Europe in war. But in the end, did either of them "win"?
S1E4 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2017 • History
Louis XI of France faced a formidable range of enemies when he ascended the throne. English kings and Burgundian dukes had eyes for the monarchy of France. This is the story of how Louis battled, schemed, bribed and even arranged marriages, all in a quest to keep his kingdom.
S1E3 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2017 • History
In the turbulent formative centuries of early Europe, power-hungry family dynasties fought for domination of the continent. The conflicting ambitions of the Plantagenet king of England, Edward III, and the Valois king of France, Philip VI, brought intrigue, war, kidnapping and mayhem to France.
S1E1 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2017 • History
As France fell to the German armies in May 1940, 300,000 Allied troops were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. Their annihilation seemed certain - a disaster that could have led to Britain's surrender. But then, in a last-minute rescue dramatized in Christopher Nolan's recent film, Royal Navy ships and a flotilla of tiny civilian boats evacuated hundreds of thousands of soldiers to safety across the Channel - the legendary "miracle of Dunkirk." Now, NOVA follows a team of archaeologists, historians, and divers as they recover the remains of ships, planes, and personal effects lost during the epic operation. With access to previously classified files recently released by the UK government, they also uncover the truth behind the myths of Dunkirk - notably, a claim that the Royal Air Force failed to protect the stranded men from the Luftwaffe's constant bombing of the beaches. Featuring an exclusive excavation of a newly-found Spitfire wreck, NOVA debunks the myth and highlights the essential role that the RAF's iconic fighter played in reversing the desperate stakes that played out in the air above the beleaguered men.
Julius Caesar is the most famous Roman of them all: brutal conqueror, dictator and victim of a gruesome assassination on the Ides of March 44 BC. 2,000 years on, he still shapes the world. He has given us some political slogans we still use today (Crossing the Rubicon), his name lives on in the month of July, and there is nothing new about Vladmir Putin's carefully cultivated military image and no real novelty in Donald Trump's tweets and slogans. Mary Beard is on a mission to uncover the real Caesar, and to challenge public perception. She seeks the answers to some big questions. How did he become a one-man ruler of Rome? How did he use spin and PR on his way to the top? Why was he killed? And she asks some equally intriguing little questions. How did he conceal his bald patch? Did he really die, as William Shakespeare put it, with the words Et tu, Brute on his lips? Above all, Mary explores his surprising legacy right up to the present day. Like it or not, Caesar is still present in our everyday lives, our language, and our politics. Many dictators since, not to mention some other less autocratic leaders, have learned the tricks of their trade from Julius Caesar.
2018 • History
Alastair unpicks the reasons behind the dazzling revolution that gave birth to classical Greek art, asking how the Greeks got so good so quickly. He travels to the beautiful Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, and to the island of Mozia to see the astonishing charioteer found there in 1979, and marvels at the athletic bodies of the warriors dragged from the seabed - the Riace Bronzes. It was a creative explosion that covered architecture, sculpting in marble, casting in bronze, even painting on vases. Perhaps the most powerful factor was also its greatest legacy - a fascination with the naked human body.
In the subsequent 65 million years, mammals are part of Europe’s history. Sea mammals conquered the oceans while herds of herbivores crisscrossed the land. It was 600,000 years ago that Homo Heidelbergensis first began hunting. Seen from a geological perspective, human beings have been on the earth for only a few short moments, but within this brief time we have already fundamentally transformed the planet. Rivers have been straightened, forests cleared and roads laid down across the natural habitats of nearly all the earth’s animals.
The Big Crash” relates the dramatic history of how the continent of Europe came to be – from the carboniferous period to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. During its long creation process Europe has “traveled” through various climate zones, has been shaped by the elements and transformed by collisions with other continents. Dinosaurs were also at home here – until the Big Crash came.
Alastair concludes the epic story of Egyptian art by looking at how, despite political decline, the final era of the Egyptian Empire saw its art enjoy revival and rebirth. From the colossal statues of Rameses II that proclaimed the pharaoh's power to the final flourishes under Queen Cleopatra, Sooke discovers that the subsequent invasions by foreign rulers from the Nubians to Alexander the Great and the Romans produced a new hybrid art full of surprise. He also unearths a seam of astonishing satirical work, produced by ordinary men, that continues to inspire Egypt's graffiti artists today.
On a journey through Ancient Egyptian art, Alastair Sooke picks treasures from its most opulent and glittering moment. Starting with troubling psychological portraits of tyrant king Senwosret III and ending with the golden mask of boy king Tutankhamun, Sooke also explores architectural wonders, exquisite tombs and a lost city - site of the greatest artistic revolution in Egypt's history where a new sinuous style was born under King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. Along the way Egyptologists and artists reveal that the golden veneer conceals a touching humanity.
Tracing the origins of Egypt's unique visual style, he treks across the Sahara and travels the Nile to find the rarely-seen art of its earliest peoples. Exploring how this civilisation's art reflected its religion, he looks anew at the Great Pyramid, and the statuary and painting of the Old Kingdom. Sooke is amazed by the technical prowess of ancient artists whose skills confound contemporary craftsmen.
66 million years ago a seven-mile-wide asteroid collided with Earth, triggering a chain of events suspected of ending the dinosaurs' reign. But experts have long debated exactly what happened when the asteroid struck and how the giant beasts met their end. Now, scientists have uncovered compelling new clues about the catastrophe - from New Jersey to the wilds of Patagonia, and an international expedition of scientists has drilled into the impact crater off the coast of Mexico, recovering crucial direct evidence of the searing energy and giant tsunami unleashed by the asteroid. Join NOVA as scientists piece together a chillingly precise unfolding of the Earth's biggest cataclysm, moment by moment. And discover how our early mammalian ancestors managed to survive and repopulate the Earth.
In 1957, Britain exploded its first megaton hydrogen bomb - codenamed Operation Grapple X. It was the culmination of an extraordinary scientific project, which against almost insuperable odds turned Britain into a nuclear superpower. Featuring access to the top-secret nuclear research facility at Aldermaston, the programme features interviews with veterans and scientists who took part in the atomic bomb programme, some speaking for the first time, and newly released footage of the British atomic bomb tests.
2017 • History
The contrast between the majestic statues of Easter Island and the desolation of their surroundings is stark. For decades Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, has been seen as a warning from history for the planet as a whole - wilfully expend natural resources and the collapse of civilisation is inevitable. But archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper believes this is a disastrous misreading of what happened on Easter Island. He believes that its culture was a success story not a failure, and the real reasons for its ultimate demise were far more shocking. Cooper argues that there is an important lesson that the experience of Easter Island can teach the rest of the world, but it doesn't begin by blaming its inhabitants for their own downfall. This film examines the latest scientific and archaeological evidence to reveal a compelling new narrative, one that sees the famous statues as only part of a complex culture that thrived in isolation. Cooper finds a path between competing theories about what happened to Easter Island to make us see this unique place in a fresh light.
2014 • History
In the final part of the series Bettany Hughes recalls the time that marked Rome's symbolic break with its 1,000-year pagan past - the day in 337AD that Emperor Constantine the Great was baptised a Christian. It was a moment of profound significance not just for the empire, but for the history of the world and one of its major religions. Constantine was one of the last great Roman emperors to rule over a united empire, giving it a new capital - Constantinople, today known as Istanbul - a city which would one day eclipse Rome as the greatest city on Earth.
Bettany Hughes explores the day in 80AD when the Colosseum opened its gates for the first time. For new emperor Titus, the spectacular games and events were an opportunity to win over the people and secure his place on the imperial throne, but why did the Romans - cultured and civilised in so many ways - enjoy witnessing such brutality and bloodletting? Bettany travels across the Roman world in a bid to find answers.
Beginning with the day, around 60 AD, when Roman troops invaded Boudica's settlement, flogged her and raped her daughters, Bettany Hughes reveals the stark realities of brutal Roman rule. The outrage provoked the Iceni queen to lead a revolt that came perilously close to ending the Roman occupation of Britannia.
Presenter Bettany Hughes explores the day in 32BC when Octavian, Julius Caesar's adopted son, stole the secret will of Mark Antony, his most dangerous political rival. The document's release gave Octavian crucial support in the civil war that followed and allowed him to establish himself as Rome's first emperor, Augustus.
Bettany Hughes recalls eight pivotal days that defined the Roman Empire and its establishment as the world's first superpower. She begins by exploring the day in 202BC when Rome defeated the might of Carthage under Hannibal at the Battle of Zama in modern-day Tunisia "Eight Days That Made Rome is a docu-drama that leaves behind the conventional chronologies of Rome's thousand-year history and brings razor-sharp focus to eight days that created, tested and defined its greatness. Each programme works as a stand-alone, as strong in its own right as part of a series and reveals a Rome relevant to us today, with its noblest and darkest instincts still resonating in the world around us."
NOVA and National Geographic present exclusive access to a unique discovery of ancient remains. Located in an almost inaccessible chamber deep in a South African cave, the site required recruiting a special team of experts slender enough to wriggle down a vertical, pitch-dark, seven-inch-wide passage. Most fossil discoveries of human relatives consist of just a handful of bones. But down in this hidden chamber, the team uncovered an unprecedented trove—so far, over 1,500 bones—with the potential to rewrite the story of our origins. They may help fill in a crucial gap in the fossil record and tell us how Homo, the first member of the human family, emerged from ape-like ancestors like the famous Lucy. But how did hundreds of bones end up in the remote chamber? The experts are considering every mind-boggling possibility. Join NOVA on the treacherous descent into this cave of spectacular and enigmatic finds, and discover their startling implications for the saga of what made us human.
See how Osama bin Laden's journey unfolds; from his roots as a privileged young Saudi boy to becoming the formidable leader of al-Qaeda, and his lifetime commitment to violent jihad against the West, which results in the horrific attacks in 2001.
The story of Saddam Hussein the sadistic tyrant who rules Iraq with an utter contempt for humanity for 23 years - a man whose cruelty knows no limits and who'll stop at nothing to achieve the power of life and death over millions of people.
Mao Zedong, Supreme Leader of Communist China for 30 years, is one of the 20th Century's most ruthless tyrants. His reign of cruelty and revenge, transforms him to a position of authority so great, his personality cult remains to this day.
The story of the world's longest serving dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, and his 42 year reign of terror at home in Libya and around the world. His actions are so increasingly insane that President Reagan dubs him The Mad Dog of the Middle East
In the third episode Mary takes an in-depth look at the question of identity and citizenship within the Roman Empire. What did it mean to be, or to become, Roman, and how did the very different parts of the empire react to Roman rule?
Mankind takes on godlike powers: to feed billions of people, reshape the landscape, re-engineer the human body. The greatest power of all was unleashed over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Since entering the Atomic Age we’ve been living between eternity and oblivion. But at the same time, we’ve become more connected as a species. 100,000 years ago there were a few thousand hunter-gatherers on the African savannah. Today there are 7 billion of us in every corner of the globe. It’s been an amazing journey.
The end of the American Civil War allows Mankind to go into overdrive. This is an age of innovation, transformation and mass production. People believe that ‘Anything, everything, is possible.’ Japan goes from feudal society to industrial superpower within 50 years. But progress has its dark side. The demand for rubber devastates Africa. And the desire to build bigger, faster, better leads to a titanic disaster…
In the Andes, the Spanish open up the largest silver mine in the world – and mint millions of pesos de ocho (pieces of eight). These coins transform the global economy. They fill the treasure chests of pirates. They fuel a stock market boom. They help pay for the Taj Mahal. As trade booms, millions of people come to the New World as slaves. But a handful of Pilgrims come as pioneers – looking for freedom.
The Aztecs have built a mighty empire that dominates Central America. But it will be destroyed because of a domino effect. 7,000 miles away in modern-day Turkey, the great trading centre of Constantinople is overrun by an Islamic army. Europeans race to find a new route to the spice-rich East. Instead, Christopher Columbus lands in America – and discovers gold. Within 30 years the Aztecs will be conquered.
Genghis Khan--the bloodiest warlord in history--sweeps south from Mongolia into China and creates a mighty empire. He leaves 40 million dead bodies in his wake. But a greater killer stalks Mankind--the Plague. Traveling along Mongol trade routes, the disease wreaks havoc in Asia and Europe--the greatest biological disaster in history. But the Americas are unaffected. Here, civilizations flourish in isolation.
When Rome is sacked by barbarians, Europe enters a Dark Age. But from the fringes of the old empire, two new forces remake the world. The Arabs, funded by a gold rush, unite under the banner of Islam. The Vikings rejuvenate the cities of Europe, travel to America and become Christian knights. The stage is set for a clash of civilisations - the Crusades.
A mysterious band of pirates plunders the Mediterranean coast – leaving destruction in its wake. Empires fall, but out of the chaos, we discover iron. Armed with this wonder metal, ordinary folk can overthrow tyrants and build a new world order. From the birth of democracy in Athens, to the creation of the Bible in Babylon – people power reshapes Mankind.
On a unique planet, a unique species takes its first steps: Mankind begins. But it’s a world full of danger. Threatened by extinction, we innovate to survive – discovering fire and farming; building cities and pyramids; inventing trade – and mastering the art of war. From humble beginnings, we become the dominant creature on the planet. Now the future belongs to us…
After Caesar, Antony and Octavian divided the empire for a time. But there could only be one successor to Caesar. Ten years later, the supreme strategist Octavian waged a critical naval battle, the Battle of Actium, against his former ally, Antony, who now had the backing of Cleopatra.
Marc Antony and Octavian were part of the triumvirate seeking to avenge Caesar. The two leaders managed to combine their forces to punish Brutus and Cassius, Caesar’s assassins, following the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC. But how would the ambitions of the two men collide as time went on?
Many people believe the Hiroshima atomic bomb instantly incinerated nearly everyone in the Japanese city. That was true at ground zero, but not everywhere. Hiroshima government officials have been tirelessly collecting records on those killed to find out how they died. Using this "big data", NHK created a visualization of the movements of the 557,000 victims of the 6th August 1945 attack. Some did indeed perish instantly. Others burned to death in collapsed buildings. But what about the people who died in a strange "donut zone of death" days after the bombing and in areas more than 2 kilometers from ground zero? This documentary goes beyond big data to provide heart-rending accounts from people close to victims and survivors, revealing the true story of what happened on that dark day more than 70 years ago.
2017 • History
Drama-documentary about Winston Churchill's extraordinary experiences during the Great War, with intimate letters to his wife Clementine allowing the story to be told largely in his own words. Just 39 and at the peak of his powers running the Royal Navy, Churchill in 1914 dreamt of Napoleonic glory, but suffered a catastrophic fall into disgrace and humiliation over the Dardanelles disaster. The film follows his road to redemption, beginning in the trenches of Flanders in 1916, revealing how he became the 'godfather' of the tank and his forgotten contribution to final victory in 1918 as Minister of Munitions. Dark political intrigue, a passionate love story and remarkable military adventures on land, sea and air combine to show how the Churchill of 1940 was shaped and forged by his experience of the First World War.
2013 • History
Egypt's Great Pyramid may be humanity's greatest achievement: a skyscraper of stone built without computers or complex machinery. This super-sized tomb has fascinated historians and archaeologists for centuries, but exactly how the ancient Egyptians finished the monument and fitted its two and a half million blocks in a quarter of a century has long remained an enigma. Today the secrets of the pyramid are finally being revealed thanks to a series of new findings. At the foot of the monument, archaeologists are uncovering the last surviving relic of the pharaoh Khufu, whose tomb it is: a huge ceremonial boat buried in flat-pack form for more than 4500 years. It's a clue that points to the important role that ships and water could have played in the pyramids' construction. This documentary follows investigations that reveal how strong the link between pyramids and boats is. It's a story of more than how Egypt built a pyramid: it's about how the pyramid helped build the modern world.
2017 • History
It's known as the Miracle of Dunkirk: in May 1940, approximately 340,000 Allied troops were trapped with their backs to the sea. Sitting ducks, the troops were subjected to an endless barrage of bombs and bullets as the Luftwaffe apparently bombed at will. The situation seemed hopeless. Then a fleet of ships appeared on the horizon, mostly sent by the Royal Navy but joined by smaller craft captained by plucky civilians. The soldiers were rescued from the beaches and taken safely back to Britain. They would later return to win the war. But behind the Miracle of Dunkirk there's another, hidden story. Soldiers and mariners, angry that they'd apparently been left undefended against the Luftwaffe, blamed the RAF. Historians have long viewed Dunkirk as the RAF's poorest hour. But now, recently released MoD files reveal that, far from being absent, the RAF were suffering massive losses supporting the evacuation.
This is the glorious story of the Hittites - the most powerful people in the Near East of their time. Narrated by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, "The Hittites" brings the fascinating history of this mighty empire to life with expert interviews, stunning cinematography, dramatic reenactments, and visual effects. Highlights include a breathtaking recreation of the controversial battle of Kadesh that decimated the armies of Egypt's Pharaoh Ramesses II. Based on the actual words of the Hittites, deciphered from ancient clay tablets excavated in the 20th century, their story unfolds as beautifully as it written almost 3500 years earlier.
2003 • History
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war?
2013 • History
Unearth over 2000 years of history deep below the streets of London On the surface, London is a buzzing, modern metropolis--but underneath lies a secret, hidden world, all but forgotten by the millions of people above. Secrets of Underground London uncovers 2000 years of subterranean history: a world of ancient caves and perfectly preserved Roman remains; mysterious rivers and gruesome plague pits; impenetrable vaults and top-secret bunkers. As we dig deep, we'll unearth some of the most extraordinary stories of the darkest side of the city.
2014 • History
The untimely death of the Roman Emperor of the Western Empire and the poor decisions of the Roman Emperor of the Eastern Empire change the fortunes of the Roman Army in their battle with the Goths. And this changes the future of Europe.
In the region that includes the Mediterranean, the Aegean, Mesopotamia and Egypt, the Bronze Age arrived about 3000 BC and lasted nearly 2000 years. What singled out this period and the new societies and cities that emerged? The development of formal writing is one among several important factors.
After examining the evidence presented in the series, it seems clear the dates given by traditional Egyptology don t fit. Carefully considering cycles of time through gold, silver, bronze and iron ages of Plato's Great Year, a new chronology emerges that illuminates Ancient Egypt.
The empowered human proposes that the pyramid builders were living in a Golden Age. They had more refined senses, and experienced higher levels of consciousness, which gave them superior abilities to those we have today. The sacred feminine was honored and existed in balance with the masculine.
In this episode, evidence that the Ancient Egyptians used high level technology to construct pyramids and temples is shown. Scientists discuss the source of this power and its application in the ancient world. Our science is just beginning to grasp what the ancients clearly understood.
This episode raises questions about the purpose of the pyramids, challenging the story traditional Egyptology tells. See rare footage of six distinct pyramid sites near the Great Pyramid, with evidence of superior technology and sophisticated knowledge of science and the cosmos.
The Industrial Revolution and the rise of modern warfare have roots in the depths of time—in the natural process that enriches the soil. How do prehistoric forests link to the development of steam engines, and the rise of modern industry?
Columbus has no idea that because of Earth’s geology and geography he won't get to his destination…or how that epic failure will make his voyage one of the most influential expeditions in the history of humankind. Let's add an asteroid hitting the earth billions of years ago and connect the dots...
About 8,000 BC, in a few select places some people begin to experiment with a new way of harvesting energy. They’re growing their own crops. An act so simple, it’s hard to believe it will kick start a revolution. But it will. These are the first seeds, literally, of the rise of civilization.
Cleopatra was one of the most famous women who ever lived, yet she remains an enigma as most of her world has long since vanished. Roman sources portray her as a seductress but by examining evidence from all over Egypt a different picture emerges. With drama and CGI we bring back to life some of amazing monuments that made her city of Alexandria great and construct a new 3D image of the woman herself.
Over 100 years ago an unidentified mummy was found lying alongside some of the most famous pharaohs in Egyptian history but his face is locked in an eternal scream. In 1881, a bizarre mummy was unwrapped by a team of Victorian Egyptologists. Known today as the Screaming Man or Man E, he was very different from previously discovered royal mummies. What caused this mans haunting expression? Why wasn't he mummified according to custom? Find out what makes him different: Unknown Man E is nameless and, according to Egyptian beliefs, unable to move on to the afterlife because his body, wrapping, and coffin were left completely unmarked.
The Scorpion King was a mythical Egyptian ruler who predated the pharaohs. Recent developments, such as the excavation of the king's tomb, have revealed surprising new details about early Egyptian civilization. This program details the continuing research into the earliest period of Egyptian history that was inspired originally by discoveries such as the Narmer palette and the Scorpion mace head. The combined efforts of a number of archaeologists have pushed the boundaries of Egyptian civilization back into a period previously considered prehistoric. As a result some of the most fundamental beliefs about Egyptian civilization require a re-think. Is there more behind the mythical and violent leader known simply as the Scorpion King? New evidence suggests that his achievements may have layed the foundations of Egypt. Learn more about the king who likely united ancient Egypt, organized the world's earliest phonetic writing system, and inspired the creation of the pyramids.
The pyramids of Egypt are the most enduring monuments of the ancient world. From underground burial chambers they developed into soaring structures that revolutionized architecture. This film reveals the name of the man who designed the very first pyramid and shows how his ideas were refined and perfected, until pyramids eventually fell out of fashion altogether. The Egyptian pyramids have fascinated us for thousands of years. Who built them, how were they built and why? Experts across Egypt are discovering new information that sheds light on the Ancient Egyptians' pyramids and how they evolved. One theory poses that King Sneferu's Bent Pyramid was not a mistake. Recent discoveries show how the pyramids evolved from a mound of rocks and sand to flat, rectangular mastabas, to the pyramid shape, so famously exhibited in the Great pyramid of Khufu and beyond. Now the archaeology is being taken a stage further with new technology. The film shows how the next generation of archaeologists are finally piecing together the secret pyramid code which might have been used by the Egyptians.
Was the Sphinx originally built with a lion's head and later remodeled? Dr. Zahi Hawass presents the latest theories and evidence in the mystery of the Sphinx. Egypt is a land filled with hidden treasures, buried secrets, and centuries of old mysteries left unsolved. Perhaps the greatest of these is the Sphinx, no one knows for sure who built it, or when. This Sphinx, a lion with the face of a pharaoh, towers above the Giza Plateau. It is a four-and-half thousand -year old puzzle, but now the latest science is offering new clues.
There is one Egyptian pharaoh who towers above the rest: Ramesses II. A formidable warrior, builder, lover and statesman, he declared himself a living god. Archeologists look again at Ramesses, in the hope of finding out more and explores his claim to be called the "Great". This instalment charts the life of Rameses II, the longest-lived pharaoh, who is widely regarded as Egypt's greatest ruler. New discoveries have shed more light on the king's successful reign, while Egyptologists continue to debate the nature of his character and the political, military and religious achievements of Rameses II.
Built over 500 years, spanning nearly two and a half miles and holding 63 tombs, Egypt's Valley of the Kings is a staggering, complex set of enigmas locked beneath the sands for 3,500 years. What drove Egypt's greatest pharaohs to seek out this secluded valley? How did the ancient craftsmen achieve such feats of engineering? And why was this sacred site finally abandoned? Join National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Zahi Hawass and a team of experts as they uncover new evidence about how early engineers were able to construct the elaborate structures of tombs and chambers.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the complex trade networks and advanced educational institutions that transformed early north and West Africa from deserted lands into the continent’s wealthiest kingdoms and learning epicentres. In Part 4 Gates explores the power of Africa’s greatest ancient cities, including Kilwa, Great Zimbabwe and Benin City, whose wealth, art and industrious successes attracted new European interest and interaction along the continent’s east and west coasts.
Parts 1 and 2. Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores Africa's rich history. Journey with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to Kenya, Egypt and beyond as he discovers the origins of man, the formation of early human societies and the creation of significant cultural and scientific achievements on the African continent. In part 2: Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. charts the ancient rise of Christianity & Islam, whose economic & cultural influence stretched from Egypt to Ethiopia. Learn of African religious figures like King Lalibela, an Ethiopian saint, and Menelik, bringer of the Ark of the Covenant.
Dr Spencer Wells retraces the footsteps of 200 random New Yorkers and proves they are all cousins. On a single day on a single street, with the DNA of just a couple of hundred random people, National Geographic Channel sets out to trace the ancestral footsteps of all humanity. Narrated by Kevin Bacon, The Human Family Tree travels to one of the most diverse corners of the world -- Queens, N.Y. -- to demonstrate how we all share common ancestors who embarked on very different journeys. The goal: to retrace our ancestral footprints and prove we are all cousins in the "family of man." Regardless of race, nationality or religion, all of us can trace our ancient origin back to the cradle of humanity, East Africa. What did our collective journey look like, and where did it take your specific ancestors? At what point in our past did we first cross paths with the supposed strangers living in our neighborhood? Now, in The Human Family Tree, the people of this quintessential American melting pot find out that their connections go much deeper than a common ZIP code. Cutting edge science, coupled with a cast of New Yorkers – each with their own unique genetic history - will help paint a picture of these amazing journeys. Ultimately, Man's First Migrations answers some of humanity's most burning questions, such as who we are and where we come from, and forces us to change how we think not only about our relationships with our neighbours, but ourselves.
In Richard Miles's epic story of civilization, there have been plenty of examples of the great men of history, but none came close to the legend of Alexander of Macedon, known to us as 'the Great'. Uniting the fractious Greek city-states, he led them on a crusade against the old enemy, Persia, and in little more than a decade created an empire that stretched from Egypt in the west to Afghanistan in the east. But it was Alexander's successors, the Hellenistic Kings, who had to make sense of the legacy of this charismatic adventurer. By knuckling down to the hard graft of politics, taxation and public works, they created something far more enduring than a mere legend - they built a civilization. Richard traces Alexander's battle-scarred route through Turkey, Syria and Lebanon to Egypt and ultimately to the western Punjab, Pakistan, where he discovers fascinating traces of a city where Greek west and Buddhist east were united in an intriguing new way.
Richard Miles explores the power and the paradox of the 'Greek Thing' - a blossoming in art, philosophy and science that went hand in hand with political discord, social injustice and endless war. He paints a fascinating picture of the internal and external pressures that fuelled this unique political and social experiment, one that would pioneer many of the political systems that we still live with today, from oligarchy to tyranny, from totalitarianism to democracy.
Archaeologist and historian Richard Miles looks at the winners, losers and survivors of the great Bronze Age collapse, a regional catastrophe that wiped out the hard-won achievements of civilisation in the eastern Mediterranean about 3,000 years ago. In the new age of iron, civilisation would re-emerge, tempered in the flames of conflict, tougher and more resilient than ever before.
Archaeologist and historian Richard Miles explores the roots of one of the most profound innovations in the human story - civilisation - in the first episode of an epic series that runs from the creation of the first cities in Mesopotamia some 6,000 years ago, to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Starting in Uruk, the 'mother of all cities', in southern Iraq, Richard travels to Syria, Egypt, Anatolia and Greece, tracing the birth and development of technology and culture.
In the first episode, we see the origins of the Celts in the Alps of central Europe and relive the moment of first contact with the Romans in a pitched battle just north of Rome - a battle that the Celts won and that left the imperial city devastated.
In 480BC, the Greek army, led by 300 Spartan warriors, awaited the onslaught of the Persian Empire's war machine. Discover what happened at the bloody Battle of Thermopylae. This spectacular two hour documentary tells the amazing true story of the 300 Spartan warriors who so selflessly defended their country against the mighty Persian army, estimated at being a million strong for almost 7 days. This is the real story of the most famous last stand in history. At the height of the Persian-Greek war, Xerxes, King of Persia, intent on conquering all of Greece, led his mighty army into battle. But what awaited them was not to be anticipated. For seven days the King of Sparta Leonidas accompanied by just 300 Spartan warriors and a number of Greek regulars held off the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, so that the Greek army would have time to mobilise. Against impossible odds, the Spartans held the narrow pass, inflicting shocking casualty numbers on the Persians untill every last Spartan was slain. This program is visually stunning with breathtaking dramatisations and graphics helping to bring the true story of the Spartans last stand to life and tell the real story behind what happened at the pass at Thermopylae, which is still used in military academies and by tactitians around the world today. Spartans never retreated. That's a fact. Or is it? But, putting aside the myths and legends surrounding the 300 Spartans, this documentary, which involves the most accurate, real-life ancient battle scenes ever filmed, takes a detailed look at The Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, leading to the last stand of the 300 Spartans, other Greeks and the Great Spartan King, Leonidas. The legend passed down is that Leonidas went to Thermopylae with a picked band of 300 Spartans to defend the narrow pass with units from other Greek cities. Then on the 3rd day of the battle, when he found out he was being surrounded, he sent most of his troops away and covered their retreat with a last stand because, again, Spartans never retreated. Had this heroic stand by the 300 Spartans never occurred, Western Civilization would not have flourished as we know it today.
2007 • History
Historian Michael Scott continues his journey through Sicily, tracing the island's story through the arrival of the Muslim Arabs and then the Normans - times in which religious and cultural tolerance was the order of the day. Michael explores the dark days of the Spanish inquisition and then delves into the modern world - the unification with Italy and the rise of the Mafia. Today, Sicily faces a new challenge. The island is on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis but the Sicilian response, formed in part by their own turbulent history, may well surprise many northern Europeans.
Historian Michael Scott begins his journey through Sicily on the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. For the ancient Greeks, the island was a land of gods and monsters - a dangerous and unpredictable world. Michael discovers how 3,000 years ago, the Greeks began to settle on Sicily's east coast - planting their olives and vines and building great city states that soon came to rival even Athens itself. He learns how great battles were fought between the Greeks and the Carthaginians for control of the island. How the Romans made it their first foreign colony and stripped Sicily of its forests to plant vast fields of grain.
From the depths of the greatest tomb on earth comes an epic new story that could rewrite history, revealing for the first time the true origin of one of the world's most powerful nations: China. In this landmark film, historian Dan Snow, physical anthropologist Dr Alice Roberts and scientist and explorer Dr Albert Lin investigate a series of earth-shattering discoveries at the mighty tomb guarded by the Terracotta Warriors, a site two hundred times bigger than Egypt's Valley of the Kings and the final resting place of China's first emperor. Mobilising the latest technology, delving into some of the oldest texts, enlisting world experts and employing forensic science, together the three reveal an explosive secret from the foundations of the Chinese empire.
2016 • History
For the first time, we are able to show full details of the excavation of a hidden tunnel, sealed and forgotten for 1,800 years, beneath a pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico. The ongoing excavation is producing a flood of discoveries that are not only shedding fresh light on the religious and intellectual life of the people who lived here, but also radically changing the way we think civilization began.
2014 • History
The transformation of a political leader of the French to Emperor and global statesman, from a son of the French Revolution to husband of the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, the most powerful, conservative, monarchist nation on earth. It features the Battle of Austerlitz, one of the greatest military encounters of the 19th century, the rise of a Napoleonic Empire - at its peak numbered over 40 million people - and the supreme meritocracy that was the Napoleonic regime.
From lowly Corsican Army officer to first consul of France, this episode charts the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte to leader of the French nation in the late 1790s. It tells of Napoleon's military triumphs in Italy, Eqypt and against anti-revolutionaries on the streets of Paris, his marriage to Josephine Beauharnais and leadership of the military coup of 1799 that swept him into power.
By 1800 the East India Company had grown from a tiny band of merchants into a colossal trading empire. But scandal and corruption in the 18th century had led to a curtailment of its powers by the British government. The state now controlled the company's affairs in India and, throughout the 19th century, would chip away at its remaining powers and trading privileges. The company was transformed from a trading enterprise into the rulers of India, and governed vast swathes of the subcontinent on behalf of the British Crown. Its territory expanded enormously and an empire was born. As the company traded opium to a reluctant Chinese Empire, in India a dangerous chasm opened up between the British rulers and the Indian people. Alienated and disaffected, significant numbers of the company's massive army of Indian soldiers finally revolted and the Company's handling of the mutiny was its final undoing. In 1858 British India passed into Queen Victoria's hands and the Raj was born.
400 years ago British merchants landed on the coast of India and founded a trading post to export goods to London. Over the next 200 years, their tiny business grew into a commercial titan. Using the letters and diaries of the men and women who were there, this documentary tells the story of the East India Company, which revolutionised the British lifestyle, sparked a new age of speculation and profit and by accident created one of the most powerful empires in history. Yet inexorable rise ended in ignominy. Dogged by allegations of greed, corruption and corporate excess, by the 1770s the company's reputation was in tatters. Blamed for turning its back as millions died in the Bengal famine, and thrown into crisis by a credit crunch in Britain, the world's most powerful company had run out of cash, sparking a government intervention.
In the final part of his personal account of Britain's empire, Jeremy Paxman tells the extraordinary story of how a desire for conquest became a mission to improve the rest of mankind, especially in Africa, and how that mission shaded into an unquestioning belief that Britain could - and should - rule the world. In Central Africa, he travels in the footsteps of David Livingstone who, though a failure as a missionary, became a legendary figure - the patron saint of empire who started a flood of missionaries to the so-called 'Dark Continent'. In South Africa, Paxman tells the story of Cecil Rhodes, a man with a different sort of mission, who believed in the white man's right to rule the world, laying down the foundations for apartheid. The journey ends in Kenya, where conflict between white settlers and the African population brought bloodshed, torture and eventual withdrawal.
Jeremy Paxman continues his personal account of Britain's empire, looking at how the empire began as a pirates' treasure hunt, grew into an informal empire based on trade and developed into a global financial network. He travels from Jamaica, where sugar made plantation owners rich on the backs of African slaves, to Calcutta, where British traders became the new princes of India. Jeremy then heads to Hong Kong, where British-supplied opium threatened to turn the Chinese into a nation of drug addicts - leading to the brutal opium wars, in which Britain triumphed and took the island of Hong Kong as booty. Unfair trading helped spark the independence movement in India, led by Mahatma Gandhi; in a former cotton spinning town in Lancashire, Jeremy meets two women who remember Gandhi's extraordinary visit in 1931.
In the first programme, he asks how such a small country got such a big head, and how a tiny island in the North Atlantic came to rule over a quarter of the world's population. He travels to India, where local soldiers and local maharajahs helped a handful of British traders to take over vast areas of land. Spectacular displays of imperial power dazzled subject peoples and developed a cult of Queen Victoria as Empress, mother and virtual God. In Egypt, Jeremy explores the bit of Empire that never was, as Britain's temporary peace-keeping visit turned into a seventy year occupation. He travels to the desert where Lawrence of Arabia brought a touch of romance to the grim struggle of the First World War. As Britain came to believe it could solve the world's problems, he tells the story of the triumphant conquest of Palestine by Imperial troops - and Britain's role in a conflict that haunts the Middle East to this day.
Henry V has claimed the French crown for his heirs, but to secure it the English must conquer all of France. Potent French resistance comes in the most unlikely form of an illiterate, young peasant girl - Joan of Arc.
Edward III rips up the medieval rule book and crushes the flower of French knighthood at the Battle of Crecy with his low-born archers. His son, the Black Prince, conducts a campaign of terror, helping to bring France to her knees.
Nowhere in the British Isles was the Viking connection longer-lasting or deeper than in Scotland. Hundreds of years after their first hit-and-run raids, the Norsemen still dominated huge swathes of the country. But storm clouds were gathering. In 1263 the Norwegian king Haakon IV assembled a fleet of 120 longships to counter Scottish raids on the Norse Hebrides. It was a force comparable in size to the Spanish Armada over three centuries later. But like the Armada, the Norse fleet was eventually defeated by a powerful storm. Driven ashore near present-day Largs, the beleaguered Norsemen were attacked by a Scottish army. The outcome of this vicious encounter would mark the beginning of the end of Norse power in Scotland. Marine archeologist Dr Jon Henderson tells the incredible story of the Norsemen in Scotland. Visiting fascinating archeological sites across Scotland and Norway, he reveals that, although the battle at Largs marked the end of an era for the Norsemen, their presence continued to shape the identity and culture of the Scottish nation to the present day.
2012 • History
In episode two we explore the Ottoman Empire’s Golden Age and chart the height of its expansion into Europe, climaxing with the 1683 siege of Vienna. The episode opens in Istanbul where Presenter Julian Davison explores the reign of the Empire’s most successful Sultan, Sulieman the Magnificent. A sophisticated ruler, Sulieman not only encouraged artistic and architectural achievement but helped to organise and unify the wide range of cultures and religions across his growing empire.
In this first episode we follow the Ottomans rise from obscure beginnings as a nomadic tribe in Anatolia to their game changing conquest of the famed Byzantine capitol of Orthodox Christianity, Constantinople. Julian’s journey begins in Bursa, the Ottomans first capitol city and one of Turkey’s historical gems, where he explores the wealth of early Ottoman architecture and examines the legends, cultural traditions and unique circumstances that helped give birth to an empire.
Documentary `resurrecting' the city buried under volcanic ash almost 2,000 years ago with the aid of CGI. Michael Buerk takes viewers through 24 hours in the area, from the commute to work in the morning, to brutal sports at noon and a plenitude of vices by night.
2016 • History
Alastair Sooke follows in the footsteps of Rome's mad, bad and dangerous emperors in the second part of his celebration of Roman art. He dons a wetsuit to explore the underwater remains of the Emperor Claudius's pleasure palace and ventures into the cave where Tiberius held wild parties. He finds their taste in art chimes perfectly with their obsession with sex and violence. The other side of the coin was the bombastic art the Romans are best remembered for - monumental arches and columns that boast about their conquests. Trajan's Column in Rome reads like the storyboard of a modern-day propaganda film. Sooke concludes with the remarkable legacy of the Emperor Hadrian. He gave the world the magnificent Pantheon in Rome - the eternal image of his lover Antinous, the most beautiful boy in the history of art - and a villa in Tivoli where he created one of the most ambitious art collections ever created.
The Romans were brilliant engineers and soldiers, but what isn't as well known is that they also gave us wonderful artistic treasures. In this three-part series, Alastair Sooke argues that the old-fashioned view that the Romans didn't do art is nonsense. He traces how the Romans during the Republic went from being art thieves and copycats to pioneering a new artistic style - warts 'n' all realism. Roman portraits reveal what the great names from history, men like Julius Caesar and Cicero, actually looked like. Modern-day artists demonstrate the ingenious techniques used to create these true to life masterpieces in marble, bronze and paint. We can step back into the Roman world thanks to their invention of the documentary-style marble relief and to a volcano called Vesuvius. Sooke explores the remarkable artistic legacy of Pompeii before showing how Rome's first emperor, Augustus, used the power of art to help forge an empire.
In the spectacular deserts of coastal Peru, archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper explores the dramatic rise and fall of Chimor, the first empire of South America. His journey begins among the ruins of a vast lost city once home to an all-powerful monarchy, whose subjects transformed the desert landscape, created gold and silver treasures and believed so strongly in the power of their gods that they made the most shocking of sacrifices. Chimor thrived despite facing some of the most extreme climate conditions in the world, but not even this powerful empire could withstand the forces that eventually destroyed it.
Deep in the Bolivian Andes at the height of 13,000ft stands Tiwanaku, the awe-inspiring ruins of a monolithic temple city. Built by a civilisation who dominated a vast swathe of South America, it was abandoned 1,000 years ago. For centuries it has been a mystery - how did a civilisation flourish at such an altitude and why did it vanish? Jago Cooper journeys through Bolivia's spectacular landscape to investigate the origins of Tiwanaku and finds evidence of an ancient people with amazing understanding of their environment, whose religion was based on collective effort and ritual beer drinking.
Rome was the world's first ancient megacity. At a time when few towns could number more than 10,000 inhabitants, more than a million lived in Rome. But in a world without modern technology, how on earth did the Romans do it? How did they feed their burgeoning population, how did they house them, and how did they get them into town without buses or trains? How on earth did the Romans make their great city work? In the final episode of the series, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill takes us up ancient tower blocks, down ancient sewers, and above 2,000-year-old harbour basins still filled with water, to find out. He reveals how this city surpassed all those from the ancient world that had gone before. Last but not least, Professor Wallace-Hadrill uncovers the secret of Rome's success - the planning still captured on pieces of an 1,800-year-old marble map of the city, a map which shows that astonishingly, in many places, the street plan of Ancient Rome mirrors that of the city today in exact detail.
In the opening episode of the series, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill takes us on a journey across stunning locations in Greece and Italy to find out how Athens gave birth to the idea of a city run by free citizens 2,500 years ago. Every aspect of daily life from defence to waste disposal was controlled not by a king, but by the Athenians themselves. Ultimately, this radical new system would define a way of life and the Athenians would give it a name.
China's last empire, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1912. It began in violence and war as the Manchus swept down from the north, but invaders became emperors, with three generations of one family ruling the country. Among them, Michael Wood argues, was China's greatest emperor - Kangxi.
Michael Wood tells the tale of China's first great international age under the Tang Dynasty (618-907). He travels along the Silk Road to the bazaars of central Asia and into India on the track of the Chinese monk who brought Buddhism back to China.
Historian Michael Wood looks back at the start of China's history from the creation legend to the first 3 recorded dynasties Xia, Shang and Zhou, to the unification of 7 states under Qin Shi Huang. The name China comes from this Qin Dynasty, although the Chinese people refer to themselves as The Han.
Day by day. Hour by hour. Second by second. This is the story of last century's bloodiest conflict told in a concise and compelling 3 hour special. Including personal accounts, strategic analysis and rare footage, Inside WWII provides a new and intimate perspective on the experience of war. A soldier's duty is not to reason why; a soldier's duty is to do or die. Inside World War II is the story of the doing and the dying … in the defining conflict of the 20th century. From the producers of the critically acclaimed specials Inside 9/11 and Inside the Vietnam War comes a three-hour television event that provides a detailed visual timeline of this complex war, with personal, in-depth stories from veterans who fought in one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. Inside World War II combines archival footage with more than 50 testimonies from American, British, German and Soviet servicemen; a former member of the Hitler Youth; and Jewish and black Germans who endured persecution under Hitler's reign. Viewers hear from America's first Japanese American senator, Daniel Inouye, in one of his final interviews before passing away, as he describes with haunting candor what it was like to kill someone during battle. "He had on this German hat, so I told the men, 'That's mine.' He was not only my first, but when I think back, I think back with horror because I was proud." Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient for his service in World War II, goes on to say, "You don't forget the horrors of the war." The explosive first hour of Inside World War II begins in pre-war Germany at the 1936 Olympics, with American distance runner Louis Zamperini describing in an original, never-before-seen interview what it was like to meet Adolf Hitler. "His face, his mustache, the way he combed his hair. I mean he looked like somebody purposely did cosmetics on him for a comedy. He was, to us, a dangerous comedian." The second hour explores the attitudes of soldiers fresh from battle, including Harold Brown, an original Tuskegee Airman who recalls what it was like to fly next to and protect long-range bombers, and Paratrooper Earl McClung, who shares a harrowing tale of being stranded behind enemy lines. Author Benjamin Patton also explains how his grandfather General Patton commanded a ghost army to mislead the enemy, "He was commanding a fictitious Army group that was made up of inflatable tanks and cardboard vehicles, and tents," while General Eisenhower stormed the beaches of Normandy. Inside World War II culminates with the dramatic events of 1945, from Hitler's suicide to the revelation of Nazi concentration camps. And we'll hear Col. Paul Tibbets address the media after dropping the world's first wartime atomic bomb: "We saw this cloud of boiling dust and debris below us with this tremendous mushroom on top. Beneath that was hidden the ruins of the city of Hiroshima." As Lt. Lynn "Buck" Compton, 101st Airborne, US Army (Ret.), in the last interview he gave before his death last year, concludes, "I'm glad I did it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Not that it was fun, but I think of it as it's a part of my life. And just lucky that I lived through it."
2012 • History
An ancient murder mystery plays out like an episode of C.S.I. When human bones are found hidden under the floor of an old army barracks, a homicide detective is called in to examine the evidence. Preliminary observations indicate the victim may have been bound and killed with blunt force trauma to the skull. The culprit must be found and brought to justice. But there is one key problem: The victim died nearly 1,800 years ago. British investigators discover bones hidden under the floor of an old army barracks near the Scotland border. Solving the mystery of who murdered a 10-year old child in 213 AD, Murder in the Roman Empire delves into the life of an ancient Roman garrison using forensics, archaeology, and criminal investigation. Could an individual soldier have taken advantage of deserted barracks to hide his crime? Or was there collusion among a group of soldiers?
2011 • History
The film chronicles the story of how the Nazis and the IOC turned, to their mutual benefit, a small sports event into the modern Olympics. The grand themes and controversial issues from the 1936 Games have continued to this day: Monumentality, budget overruns, collusion with authoritarian regimes, corruption and sometimes even bribery. Featuring never before seen archival footage and new research, The Nazi Games reveals how the Olympics as we have come to know them were shaped by the collaboration of interests between Hitler and ambitious Olympic gentlemen. After initial distrust, both the IOC and the Nazis found common ground in turning the 1936 Games into the biggest Olympic show the world has ever seen.
2016 • History
Narrated by Brian Cox, Revelation of the Pyramids takes an in-depth look into one of Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramids of Egypt. For centuries, the Great Pyramids have fascinated Mankind; every year brings a batch of new theories, from the plausible to the absolutely bizarre. One lone seeker, after more than thirty-seven years of study and research, has at last managed first to understand and then to prove what lies behind this greatest of archaeological mysteries: a message of paramount importance for all mankind, through time and space. Its key - and its heart - are the Great Pyramids of Egypt. From China to Peru, from Egypt to Mexico, throughout the Middle East - through the world's oldest, most enigmatic and often most beautiful sites - the director has spent six years of investigation, guided by his anonymous informant, verifying his discoveries one by one, and meeting the planet's most eminent scientific and technical specialists. The result will shake the history of mankind as it is taught to its very core, and revolutionize Egyptology entirely. A great odyssey along a breathtaking route rich in staggering imagery, an extraordinary scientific leap and finally a revelation as unexpected as it is spectacular: the message bequeathed to future generations by these mysterious builders.
2010 • History
When Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe, they ran into the Neanderthals. The two types of human were similar enough to interbreed — and both created artifacts of similar complexity. But as more and more Homo sapiens moved into Europe, the balance of power shifted. Neanderthals were overwhelmed. Ever since, we’ve had Europe and the rest of the world to ourselves.
When Homo sapiens arrived in Australia, they were, for the first time, truly alone, surrounded by wildly different flora and fauna. How did they survive and populate a continent? There is a close cultural and genetic link between the First Australians and modern-day Aborigines. The ancient and modern story intersect here as nowhere else in the world. The secret to this continuity is diversity. Intuitively, they found the right balance between being separate and connected.
Around 200,000 years ago, a new species, Homo sapiens, appeared on the African landscape. While scientists have imagined eastern Africa as a real-life Garden of Eden, the latest research suggests humans evolved in many places across the continent at the same time. DNA from a 19th-century African-American slave is forcing geneticists to re-think the origins of our species. The theory is that our ancestors met, mated and hybridized with other human types in Africa — creating ever greater diversity within our species.
We visit ancient cities and battlefields, great ruins and wild countryside, all in his search to uncover how the ancient Greeks thought and lived. What he finds is that ancient Greece was a seething tornado of strange, unsettling and downright outrageous customs and beliefs, inhabited by a people who could be as brutal as they were brilliant.
In the final episode, Waldemar looks towards the north of Europe. The Carolingians saw themselves as successors to Rome, reflected in their art. Elsewhere, the Vikings were constructing long ships with intricate decoration and marking their territory with powerful rune stones. And on the British Isles, the Irish and Anglo-Saxons were creating unique works of manuscript illumination and remarkable jewellery.
Waldemar looks at how Christianity emerged into the Roman Empire as an artistic force in the third and fourth centuries. But with no description of Jesus in the Bible, how were Christians to represent their God? He explores how Christian artists drew on images of ancient gods for inspiration and developed new forms of architecture to contain their art.
Series premiere of a docudrama that chronicles the rebel tribes that brought down the Roman Empire. In the opener, An epic 700-year battle for freedom begins as the barbarians rise against Rome; Hannibal builds a rebel alliance and conquers the Alps; the shepherd Viriathus unleashes a wave of resistance to save his people from destruction.
Bettany Hughes' series exploring the lives and teachings of influential ancient philosophers draws to a close with a profile of Confucius, who is credited as the first Chinese thinker to take a systematic philosophical approach to issues of social, political and ethical importance. Born during the chaotic Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history, Confucius believed that harmony could be promoted and achieved through the examples of sage rulers. He was also a innovative teacher, and tried to instill his principles of moral excellence in China's elite, but died without seeing his vision for his nation come to pass. However, his philosophies would eventually form the bedrock of Chinese culture, with many of his principles of tradition surviving to this day.
Bettany Hughes' series profiling the most celebrated thinkers of the Ancient world continues as she turns her attention to Socrates. Heading to Greece, she details how the Athenian philosopher secured a reputation as an influential maverick. She also highlights how his contributions as one of the founders of Western philosophy did not please his detractors, as his outspoken defence of his beliefs ultimately led to his execution.
Historian Bettany Hughes investigates the ideas of ancient philosophers, starting with the Indian nobleman Siddhartha Gautama, more popularly known as Buddha. Thought to have been lived and tought between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, the sage and holy man inspired a diverse belief system that influences the lives of millions of people to this day. She travels to India, where Buddha experienced the challenging ideas and extreme methods of wandering `truth seekers', after he had abandoned his family and homeland in the Himalayas to embark on his philosophical quest to find a solution to human suffering.
Simon explores modern Istanbul in search of the last desperate centuries of Christian Byzantium, in which the once glorious city was buffeted by enemies in both East and West, and yet still produced a golden artistic renaissance. This is story of the Christian crusaders who destroyed the city, and the Ottoman Muslims who restored it to life as an imperial capital after the epic siege of 1453.
Simon uncovers the city's ancient Greek roots, maps its transformation into the imperial capital of a Christian Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great and reveals how ecclesiastical clashes forced Eastern and Western Churches apart.
In 1901, a group of divers excavating an ancient Roman shipwreck near the island of Antikythera, off the southern coast of Greece, found a mysterious object - a lump of calcified stone that contained within it several gearwheels welded together after years under the sea. The 2,000-year-old object, no bigger than a modern laptop, is now regarded as the world's oldest computer, devised to predict solar eclipses and, according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics. Following the efforts of an international team of scientists, the mysteries of the Antikythera Mechanism are uncovered, revealing surprising and awe-inspiring details of the object that continues to mystify
2012 • History
Neil Oliver reveals the truth behind the legend of the Vikings. (Part 2.) Neil Oliver heads out from the Scandinavian homelands to Russia, Turkey and Ireland to trace the beginnings of a vast trading empire that handled Chinese silks as adeptly as Pictish slaves. Neil discovers a world of 'starry-eyed maidens' and Buddhist statues that are a world away from our British experience of axe-wielding warriors, although it turns out that there were quite a few of those as well.
Neil Oliver reveals the truth behind the legend of the Vikings. (Part 1.) Neil begins by discovering the mysterious world of the Vikings' prehistoric ancestors. The remains of weapon-filled war boats, long-haired Bronze Age farmers, and the Swedish site of a royal palace and gruesome pagan ritual conjure up an ancient past from which the Viking Age was to suddenly erupt.
Rageh Omaar explains how the collapse of this Islamic super-power following the first World War left problems that still exist in Europe and the Middle East today. From its capital in Istanbul the Ottoman Empire matched the glories of Ancient Rome. Yet its achievements have been largely lost in the trauma of its last few years. Brutality, massacres and the carve-up of former Ottoman lands created a legacy of tension and conflict that continue to this day. The heartland of the former empire - modern day Turkey - turned its back on its Islamic, Ottoman past. It underwent a social revolution led by military commander and secular visionary Mustafa Kemal-Ataturk. So why is Ottomanism back on the political agenda? And why are many politicians in the West hoping that Turkey can provide a role model as a modern, Islamic democracy?
Continuing his fascinating journey to rediscover the central role played by the Ottoman empire in Europe and the Middle East, Rageh Omaar explores the huge contrasts in the times of two very different Ottoman sultans. The most famous Suleiman the Magnificent in the golden age of the 16th century and the troubled reign of Abdul Hamid II in the 19th century when the Ottomans were dubbed 'the Sick Man of Europe'. Rageh examines the cultural legacy as well as the physical, religious and political architecture of Ottoman rule to find out what a Muslim world run from Europe was really like. It reveals the backdrop to the relationship between Islam and Europe today, how the Ottomans became central in the power politics of Europe and what could have happened had they succeeded in their successive bids to seize Vienna, then a key European capital.
In this first episode, the unlikely roots of the Ottomans are revealed. From nomadic horsemen, in a rural backwater of modern day Turkey, they became rulers of a vast empire spanning three continents. At an incredible speed they came to rule over Baghdad and Cairo in the south, where they controlled the holiest sites of Islam - Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, and they reached deep into Europe.
Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history. Using dramatic reconstructions, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics, he reveals the decisive moments that shaped the world we live in today, telling stories we thought we knew and others we were never told. (Part 8: Age of Extremes) Andrew Marr brings the story right up to date with the twentieth century. Marr suggests that humanity found itself propelled forward by our technological brilliance but limited by the consequences of our political idiocy. The decisions we make in the next 50 years, he argues, may well decide our fate. For Marr, the most interesting part of human history lies just ahead.
Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history. Using dramatic reconstructions, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics, he reveals the decisive moments that shaped the world we live in today, telling stories we thought we knew and others we were never told. (Part 7: Age of Industry) Andrew Marr tells how Britain's Industrial Revolution created the modern world. The old agricultural order of aristocratic landowners, serfs and peasant farmers was replaced by a new world of machines, cities and industrialists. Across the world, many resisted this sweeping change. From China to America, Russia to Japan, bitter battles were fought between the modernisers and those who rejected the new way of life. In Europe, new industrial powers competed with each other to create vast empires which dominated the world. But this intense competition would lead to the industrial-scale slaughter and destruction of the First World War.
Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history. Using dramatic reconstructions, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics, he reveals the decisive moments that shaped the world we live in today, telling stories we thought we knew and others we were never told. (Part 6: Revolution) Andrew Marr explores the Age of Revolution. In the 17th and 18th centuries, people across the world rose up in the name of freedom and equality against the power of the church and monarchy. In America, people fought a war to be free from British rule. In France, bloody revolution saw the king and aristocracy deposed. And in Haiti, the slaves revolted against their masters. The world was also gripped by a scientific revolution, sweeping away old dogmas and superstition. Galileo revolutionized the way we saw humanity's place in the universe, while Edward Jenner used science to help save the lives of millions.
Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history. Using dramatic reconstructions, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics, he reveals the decisive moments that shaped the world we live in today, telling stories we thought we knew and others we were never told. (Part 4: Into the Light) Andrew Marr reaches the Middle Ages. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe was little more than a muddy backwater. Vikings explored and pillaged from Northern Europe to North America. But they also laid the foundations of powerful new trading states - including Russia. This was also the Golden Age of Islam, and the knowledge of ancient civilisations from India, Persia and Greece was built upon by Islamic scholars in Baghdad's House of Wisdom. By exploring the conquests of Genghis Khan, the adventures of Marco Polo and the extraordinary story of an African King - the wealthiest who ever lived - Marr finds out how Europe emerged from the so-called 'Dark Ages' and used influences from around the world to rise again with the Renaissance.
Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history. Using dramatic reconstructions, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics, he reveals the decisive moments that shaped the world we live in today, telling stories we thought we knew and others we were never told. (Part 3: The Word and the Sword) Andrew Marr plunges into the spiritual revolutions that shook the world between 300 BC and 700 AD. This was an age that saw the bloody prince Ashoka turn to Buddhism in India, the ill-fated union of Julius Caesar and Egypt's Cleopatra, the unstoppable rise of Christianity across the Roman Empire and the dramatic spread of Islam from Spain to Central Asia. But the most potent human force on the planet came from the combination of faith and military power as both Christianity and Islam created new empires of 'the word and the sword'.
Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history. Using dramatic reconstructions, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics, he reveals the decisive moments that shaped the world we live in today, telling stories we thought we knew and others we were never told. (Part 2: Age of Empire) Andrew Marr tells the story of the first empires which laid the foundations for the modern world. From the Assyrians to Alexander the Great, conquerors rampaged across the Middle East and vicious wars were fought all the way from China to the Mediterranean. But this time of chaos and destruction also brought enormous progress and inspired human development. In the Middle East, the Phoenicians invented the alphabet, and one of the most powerful ideas in world history emerged: the belief in just one God. In India, the Buddha offered a radical alternative to empire building - a way of living that had no place for violence or hierarchy and was open to everyone. Great thinkers from Socrates to Confucius proposed new ideas about how to rule more wisely and live in a better society. And in Greece, democracy was born - the greatest political experiment of all. But within just a few years, its future would be under threat from invasion by an empire in the east...
Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through 70,000 years of human history. Using dramatic reconstructions, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics, he reveals the decisive moments that shaped the world we live in today, telling stories we thought we knew and others we were never told. (Part 1: Survival) Starting with our earliest beginnings in Africa, Marr traces the story of our nomadic ancestors as they spread out around the world and settled down to become the first farmers and townspeople. He uncovers extraordinary hand-prints left in European caves nearly 30,000 years ago and shows how human ingenuity led to inventions which are still with us today. He also discovers how the first civilisations were driven to extremes to try to overcome the forces of nature, adapting and surviving against the odds, and reveals how everyday life in ancient Egypt had more in common with today's soap operas than might be imagined.
Dan Snow uncovers the lost Vikings in America with space archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak. Sarah uses satellites 383 miles above the earth to spot ruins as small as 30cm buried beneath the surface. As Sarah searches for Viking sites from Britain to America, Dan explores how they voyaged thousands of miles when most ships never left the shoreline. He also tracks their expansion west, first as raiders and then as settlers and traders throughout Britain and beyond to Iceland and Greenland. In North America they excavate what could be the most westerly Viking settlement ever discovered.
2016 • History
Auschwitz-Birkenau was designed to kill. Four gas chambers murdered thousands at a time, belching out smoke and human ashes. Starvation, thirst, disease, and hard labor reduced the average lifespan to less than three months. More than 1-million people perished in the largest German Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Seventy years after her liberation, Kitty Hart-Moxon makes a final return to Auschwitz-Birkenau to walk among the crumbling memorial with students Natalia and Lydia, who, at 16, are the same age now as she was then.
2015 • History
Historical documentary telling the definitive story of Hitler's final hours as told by the people who were there. The programme features exclusive interviews originally filmed in 1948 - only recently rediscovered after 65 years and never before seen in the UK - with the inner circle who were trapped with Hitler in his bunker as the Russians fought to take Berlin. Parts of the bunker are rebuilt according to this eyewitness testimony in order to forensically chart the last hours, days and minutes of the Fuhrer's life.
2016 • History
Was America's first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, a greedy robber baron, a generous philanthropist, or both? And did the oil tycoon exploit America's poor or give them access to much-needed energy? Historian and Hillsdale College professor Burt Folsom, author of "The Myth of the Robber Barons," reveals the truth about the Rockefeller empire.
In the concluding part, Dr Jago Cooper argues that it wasn't simply a clash of arms that destroyed the Inca, but a clash of world views. He travels from Peru to the far north of Inca territory in Ecuador to reveal how the great strengths of the empire suddenly became factors in its rapid demise. The Spanish conquest of the Inca destroyed one of the most remarkable empires in the world, yet the Inca legacy leaves a great deal for modern civilisations to learn from.
In the first of a two-part series, Dr Jago Cooper reassesses the achievements of the Inca Empire. He begins in Peru, where evidence is still being uncovered that challenges preconceptions about its origins and significance. Venturing from the coast to the clouds, he reveals how the Inca transformed one of the most challenging landscapes in the world to ward off the worst effects of the climate, and created sophisticated systems of communication. He shows how one of many independent societies became a commanding empire - not through force, but by using subtle methods of persuasion.
The final programme in the series looks at Romania, where Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu ran a personal dictatorship for nearly a quarter of a century. Abortion and contraception were banned as their rule reached far into the private lives of every Romanian. When communism collapsed and the regime was overthrown, the self-styled 'mother and father of the nation' were executed by a firing squad on December 25 1989.
Second part is looking at Czechoslovakia's attempts to reform communism, which were brutally crushed in an invasion by Warsaw Pact allies in 1968. What followed was the reimposition of hardline communist rule known as 'Normalisation' - under which the reformers were removed, the reforms reversed and history rewritten, leaving the country known as 'the Kingdom of Forgetting'.
The German Democratic Republic was created out of the Soviet Zone of occupied Germany in 1949 to build a democratic, anti-fascist Germany. One of the East Germany's greatest achievements was the creation of a more egalitarian society, but he other side of the coin was that there was also the Stalinist bureaucracy and East Germany is mostly remembered as "Stasiland". In the first episode we examine how the collapse of communism affected people in the 'socialist paradise' of East Germany.
An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts. Visit fallen.io for the interactive version and more information.
German commanders discover the efficiency of gassing prisoners, and Auschwitz transforms from a small backwater camp for those resisting the Nazi occupation of Poland to a large scale extermination camp for Jews.
Albert Speer - Hitler's architect, arms minister and only friend. After the war, he became the Nazi who said sorry, even for the crimes he claimed had been kept secret from him. Was his remorse genuine, or did he know more than he admitted, still proud of his meteoric career under Hitler?
North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. It is Orwell's 1984 made reality. The regime controls the flow of information to its citizens, pouring relentless propaganda through omnipresent loud speakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty and the slightest sign of discontent.
Hitler becomes chancellor in 1933 after the German economy collapses and sets out to ensure the Nazi party's members dominate every aspect of society. One year later, he is proclaimed Fuehrer, beginning an ideological and military programme that eventually lead to the invasion of Poland and the start of the Second World War.
Documentary charting the dictator's rise to power, from his beginnings as a struggling artist in Vienna to his eventual demise in Berlin. The first episode focuses on Hitler's formative years and how, when he returned home from the First World War, his nationalistic diatribes were largely ignored by the public, until the 1929 economic crisis put him and his ideas in the spotlight.
World War II was one of the definitive events of the 20th century, if not all of human history. John Green takes a look at the causes of World War II, the key event, as well as, both the short and long term effects of the war. For those interested in looking at World War II from a world perspective, this video focuses on the war before United States involvement.
2012 • History