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 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.
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.
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.
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