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.
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.
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.
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.