Towering Infernos • 1996 • episode "20/20" The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century

Category: History
Download:
Torrent:

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.

The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • 8 episodes •

Descent from the Skies

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.

1996 • History

No Surrender!

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.

1996 • History

Lawrence of Arabia

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.

1996 • History

They Landed by Moonlight

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.

1996 • History

Fastest on Land

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.

1996 • History

Spies in the Sky

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.

1996 • History

Save Our Souls

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.

1996 • History

Towering Infernos

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.

1996 • History

You might also like

Joan of Arc: God's Warrior

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

300 Spartans: The Last Stand

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

Egypt's Great Pyramid: The New Evidence

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

Part One

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.

1/2The Birth of Empire: The East India Company • 2014 • History

The Battle of Normandy: 85 Days in Hell

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

Idi Amin

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.

6/6The Dictator's Playbook • 2019 • History