Chernobyl • 2016 • episode "S1E7" Butterfly Effect

Category: History

The decisions of only a handful of individuals determined the course of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. What transpired over a few hours would have an impact on the local community, Russia, Europe and the globe.

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Butterfly Effect • 2016 - 2018 • 39 episodes •

Alexander Becomes Great

What if Alexander had not died at the age of 32? What if he had listened to advisors and returned to Macedonia instead of going on his worldwide conquest? How does the legacy of ideals and leadership left from Alexander's time resonate today?

2016 • History

Race to the Moon

What is the future of the human presence in space? How might things be different if there had not been a Cold War and a Space Race? What does humanity gain by venturing into our solar system...and beyond?

2016 • History

Martin Luther King Jr

What would the Civil Rights movement in the USA have been like if Martin Luther King, Jr. had not been motivating change? How does the legacy of the American Civil War still affect the American democracy?

2016 • History

King Philippe of France and Richard the Lionheart of England

A series of battles in France had an impact on modern day Europe and the fates of three countries down to our modern century. What might have happened if Richard the Lionheart had not been wounded? Or Philippe Auguste of France had fled the battlefield?

2016 • History

Confucius and China

The choices that Kong Qui, known in the West as Confucius, made during his career as a civil servant and administrator influenced an entire civilization. What if Kong Qui had been as opportunistic and corrupt as other officials? How might the fate of China and its worldview be changed?

2016 • History

Ghengis Khan

How did the events of his childhood shape the man who would become Genghis Khan? What impact did the Mongol invasions have on the history of Asia and on the psyche of Europe?

2016 • History

Chernobyl

The decisions of only a handful of individuals determined the course of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. What transpired over a few hours would have an impact on the local community, Russia, Europe and the globe.

2016 • History

Samurai

The shape of Japan's internal politics and the country's response to external influences for centuries can be traced back to the choices of two warlords and a decisive battle. What was the Edo Period and how did it mold Japanese society?

2016 • History

Einstein and the Manhattan Project

A famous scientist wrote to the President of the United States, and the face of war, and our world, was changed forever. How and why did humanity develop a weapon capable of almost total destruction?

2016 • History

Rome vs Barbarians

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.

2016 • History

The Internet

What if the source codes for the internet had remained with the US military, rather than being released to the world? How did our lives of unfettered internet access become a reality?

2016 • History

Birth of Rock

Elvis Presley paid $4 to record two songs for his mother and the rest, as they say, is history. But without Elvis, would rock and roll have gone the same route? And how have the many iterations of rock and roll developed and changed our taste and culture since the 1950's?

2016 • History

Charles Darwin

Picture the last two hundred years without the publication of Darwin's "On The Origin of Species" -- how might the scientific conversation have developed? What were the influences in Victorian England during Darwin's youth, and how tenuous was his opportunity for sailing on the Beagle's voyage?

2016 • Nature

Al Capone Child Of Prohibition

Unable to bring mob boss Al Capone to justice for many of the crimes ascribed to him, the US Federal government took a new tack to end the rule of gangsters in the Depression.

2017 • People

The Suffragettes Battle for the Ballot Box

In late Victorian England, women began to organize to gain the right to vote. The fight for women's suffrage lasted well into the early 20th Century.

2017 • History

Cortees at the Heart of the Aztec Empire

The encounter between the conquistador and opportunist Hernan Cortes and the indigenous peoples of Central America is one of history's tragic tales of greed, conflict, imperial weakness and superior weaponry.

2017 • History

The Gold Rush for a Fistful of Nuggets

Timing is everything, just look at what happened in 1848. How did the finding of gold in Sutter's Mill make an impact on the development of California and the history of the United States?

2017 • History

Cuba Nuclear Standoff

The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the defining moments of the mid-twentieth century and of the presidency of John Kennedy. How did the two Cold War powers of the USSR and the USA come to the point of threatening nuclear war?

2017 • History

Black Death the Invisible Enemy

A disease that developed and killed within a few days decimates Europe and changes the course of history.

2017 • History

Istanbul from One Empire to the Other

Constantinople was a part of the Roman Empire, then became the seat of the Byzantine Empire and then was the imperial city of the Ottoman Empire. Here is the story of the fabled city and its history of power and conflict through the ages.

2018 • History

Aral a Sea for Cotton

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.

2018 • History

The Fall of Quebec France Loses America

The battle between the French and English for the French territory of New France hinges on the presence of the British navy. And the Battle on the Plains of Abraham is tipped to Great Britain by the solidly trained soldiers of the British army. This changed the landscape of North America.

2018 • History

The Fronde

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.

2018 • History

The Olympic Games a Mirror to Society

How did one man succeed in relaunching the Olympic spirit and turn the Games into a global event?

2018 • History

Gutenberg

In the 15th century, an inventor in a workshop in Strasburg came up with a machine that would eventually change the history of the entire world and shake a religion to its core. The choice of the first work to be printed is an astute one: Saint Jerome’s Latin version of the Bible.

2018 • History

Dunkirk Resist at All Costs

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.

2018 • History

Kursk: The USSR Strikes Back

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.

2018 • History

Vikings: Assault on the Frankish Empire

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.

2018 • History

Deepwater: An Ocean of Oil

Rented by the BP oil company to drill an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes on April 20, 2010, before sinking into the ocean and causing a gigantic oil spill. At issue: negligence in the maintenance and in the tests carried out.

2018 • Environment

Cook in Pursuit of the Southern Lands

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.

2018 • History

Champollion: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Stone

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.

2018 • History

Gandhi: The Force of Willpower

In May 1893, a man is thrown out of a train, on the platforms of the train station of Pietermaritzburg, a little city of South Africa, for daring to sit in a first-class compartment. This young Indian lawyer is named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

2018 • People

Lawrence of Arabia: For a Fistful of Sand

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.

2018 • History

Apartheid: The Spiral of Fear

August 5, 1962, South Africa. After several months on the run, the Black leader Nelson Mandela is arrested by the South African police and incarcerated in Robben Island, a fortress-like jail off Cape Town. He doesn’t know it at that time, but it is only the beginning of his penitential ordeal.

2018 • History

Augustus: Emperor of the Republic

At the end of a succession of civil wars which have weakened the Roman Republic, Caesar proclaims himself dictator for life. However, on March 14, 44 BC, he is assassinated by conspirators in the name of the Republic.

2018 • History

Carthage: Romes Rival

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.

2018 • History

Miners: Fodder of the Industrial Revolution

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.

2018 • History

Encyclopedia: Dare to Know

July 31, 1784, Paris. Denis Diderot has just passed away and with him, the memory of the biggest editorial epic of the Age of Enlightenment: Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts.

2018 • History

Dien Bien Phu: a Losing Battle

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.

2018 • History

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12/12Mankind Decoded • 2013 • History

Origins

Chapter 1: Politics Takes us into the corridors of power where Germany's top political mastermind sees an opportunity to use the sudden popularity of the Nazis for his own ends. This sets off a chain of miscalculations, backroom deals and power grabs that will propel Hitler from the fringes of political activism into the heart of government. Hitler wants to become absolute leader of a single-party German state - standing in his way is democracy and the rule of law. After leading a failed coup in 1923, Hitler decides on a new strategy for taking power: instead of being revolutionaries, the Nazis will become a legitimate, mainstream political party operating under the veneer of legality. Hitler aims to win power democratically and then destroy democracy from within. To achieve his goal Hitler must overcome Germany's political elite, including Paul von Hindenburg, the president who looks down on him, and, behind the scenes, political mastermind Kurt von Schleicher, who wants to use him. Whilst this political intrigue plays out at the highest level of government, Hitler faces another obstacle at ground level - a Jewish lawyer called Hans Litten, who is out to prove that the Nazis are far from the legal, legitimate party they claim to be. Chapter 2: The First Six Months in Power At the start of 1933, Hitler is the chancellor of Germany but he does not have absolute power - there is still a democratic parliament beneath him, a head of state above him and the rule of law hanging over him. Hitler sets his sights on dismantling the German state. When Hitler calls a general election to increase Nazi representation in the Reichstag, Hermann Goring sees an opportunity to impress by taking out the left-wing opposition. Goring orders a raid on the Communist Party HQ in the hope of finding evidence of a planned uprising. He doesn't find it, but when a fire breaks out in the Reichstag it is an opportunity to pin the blame on the left. Goring then has the green light to use the stormtroopers to brutally round up communists and social democrats - terror reigns in German streets. Thousands of arrests have been made but to make them legal, Hitler calls on president von Hindenburg and a decree is passed giving the Nazis emergency powers to ban free speech, the right to protest and to arrest without charge. When the Reichstag burned the Nazis persuaded the German people and their president that this was the first sign of a left-wing insurrection. The ensuing fear of left-wing violent lawlessness means that Hitler can push through another law that suspends democracy, allowing him to act without the approval of parliament. Soon, the first laws to restrict the freedom of the Jewish population are passed. One Jewish baker is found dead with a swastika carved into his chest. Goring has eradicated the Nazis' parliamentary opposition. He is rewarded with more power and more prestige. Another Nazi wants this type of power and influence but in early 1933 Henrich Himmler is based in Munich, not Berlin. He is the unassuming, uncharismatic head of an elite force of fanatical Nazis known as the SS. Himmler wants to make the SS the central institution in Germany in charge of political repression. Now that Himmler can arrest perceived Nazi opponents indiscriminately, he needs somewhere to put them. He gives a press conference regarding the opening of a camp to re-educate political prisoners. It has a capacity of around 5,000. The camp is near the small town of Dachau. In April 1933 a 39-year-old deputy state prosecutor called Josef Hartinger receives a telephone call. Four detainees have tried to escape from the camp at Dachau, three have been shot dead. Under German law it is Hartinger's job to investigate these unnatural deaths. He visits Dachau and sees the bodies - he realises something is very wrong. The official story just doesn't add up and it is strange that all the dead happen to be Jewish. Hartinger is sure these deaths are murders and that they are not an isolated case. He collates enough evidence to implicate the commandant of Dachau in the murders. This means going up against Himmler, whose power is growing. Himmler is in the process of bringing every state in Germany under SS control. He does not want the wider world to know that Dachau is a place of savage brutality and murder. Hartinger's boss will not go against Himmler's authority and shuts his deputy down but Hartinger will not be silenced and files a report. Himmler is worried - the SS does not have the right under German law to kill political opponents. To placate his critics, Himmler fires the commandant and as far as the German public are concerned the concentration camps are benign and humane. Hartinger's file goes all the way to Berlin and the killings stop at Dachau - it seems like a victory for the law. But Himmler is starting to impress, and he manages to persuade Hitler to block the legal investigations into Dachau. Now Himmler and the SS feel emboldened and the killings continue. Goring realises he has to take Himmler seriously and that his grip on power could be under threat, but he has his own secret weapon. He has created a surveillance organisation that listens in on anyone that could move against him. To act on the information gathered, Goring creates a new branch of the secret police, known as the Gestapo. But Himmler wants Goring's secret police - this is after all his territory. Goring will not relinquish control. These rivalries mean nothing to Hitler - books are being burned, Jewish people, gay people, intellectuals, anyone held to have anti-Nazi beliefs are disappearing. Germany is well on its way to becoming a Nazi dictatorship, but there is a serious obstacle in Hitler's way: the country's elderly president. Chapter 3: Night of the Long Knives Adolf Hitler has been chancellor of Germany for just under a year. It is a challenging balancing act. On the one hand, the Nazis must be mindful of President Paul von Hindenburg and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, who are members of Germany's traditional aristocratic ruling elite. On the other, there is the Nazis' own power base- the stormtroopers - millions of angry, disenfranchised men who wreak havoc on German streets. The stormtroopers are led by Ernst Rohm, one of Hitler's oldest and closest friends. Rohm wants Hitler to fulfil his promise to sweep away the traditional ruling class. Hitler owes Rohm: he has paved the way for Hitler's political career, and his stormtroopers have helped to eradicate left-wing opposition to the Nazi Party. Now, though, they're a potential threat - stormtrooper violence is undermining Hitler's credibility as chancellor. In a bid to placate Rohm, Hitler makes him a minister, but Rohm tries to wrestle control of the existing army that reports to President Hindenburg, putting Hitler is in a difficult position, stuck between his president and his old friend. Rohm's actions present Hermann Goring with an opportunity to persuade Hitler that his old comrade is no longer a friend, but a threat. But G?ring will also need the help of his own rival, Heinrich Himmler. Himmler agrees to help destroy Rohm and his stormtroopers and make the SS Germany's only paramilitary force.

S1Rise of the Nazis • 2019 • History

The Mad King and the Maiden: 1392-1453

In 15th Century France confusion reigns with a king who goes mad, dauphines who die as teenagers, a queen who switches allegiances between rival dukes and multiple assassinations. And then, of course, there was the English king, Henry V, who also claimed the throne of France...

S1E2The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2017 • History

Poisoning the Soil

As communism takes off in Russia and China, Joseph Stalin begins his ruthless reign and the Soviet Union enters an era of terror.

S1E2Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War • 2024 • History

Come Together

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.

S1E1Ancient Worlds • 2010 • History

Nazi Fortress

Desperate to feed the Allied advance after D-Day, US forces target a deep water port in France during a month long siege against Nazi paratroopers.

S1E2Hitler's Last Stand • 2018 • History