By the beginning of 1915 the horrific killing power of machine guns and artillery had taught all sides that the only way to survive was to find shelter and dig in.
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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.
2017 • History
The story of Hitler's lightning invasion of France and its rapid collapse, of the evacuation from Dunkirk, and of the summer of 1940 when Britain fought on alone. In new digital colour, this episode shows the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.
Up to one million gladiators are thought to have died in arenas across the Roman Empire. Seventy-five were recently found in a single cemetery in York. Two thousand years ago, York was a Roman stronghold, a staging ground for the push against the Scots. Apart from ancient Italy, Roman Britain had the highest density of gladiatorial arenas in Europe. As part of a routine building inspection in the outskirts of York, archaeologists discover an ancient Roman burial site. It soon became apparent the find was anything but routine. Of total 80, 75 of the skeletons were men, a much higher majority than would be expected in a family grave site. The height, build and signs of musculature made the men much bigger than that of the average Roman man. A closer inspection of the bones also revealed a number of cut marks and fractures, evidence the men were no strangers to violence. Most disturbing of all most of the men had been brutally decapitated. Could the men be gladiators?
2010 • 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
This is the incredible true story behind Quentin Tarantino's film Inglourious Basterds; a group of Jewish-American refugees of Nazi Germany who boldly went behind enemy lines for vengeance. As a teenager, Hans Wijnberg is sent to America from Holland to escape Nazi aggression; Fred Mayer and his family flee Germany at the onset of war. Both enlist in the U.S. army and are recruited by the OSS. But for their daring mission 'Operation Greenup', investigating the Nazi stronghold of Tyrol in the Austrian alps, they need an inside man – POW and Tyrol native Franz Weber, a former officer and conscientious deserter from the Austrian Wehrmacht… "The truth is way stranger than fiction," muses one interviewee in this unbelievable true account of an incredible war time saga. As the Second World War was coming to a close, the US Office of Strategic Services trained and parachuted two Jewish refugees and a German deserter deep into Nazi occupied Austria. The film reveals how their efforts disrupted a vital supply route between Germany and the Italian front to bring about the surrender of Innsbruck to Allied Forces. Their unbelievable adventure has a finale that beats any Hollywood movie hands down — but a story so powerful that it became the basis for Quentin Tarantino's mega hit. Through vivid first-person accounts from the extraordinary OSS veterans, gripping dramatic reconstructions, CGI and archive, the intrepid trio's hair-raising 'Operation Greenup' is brought to life, revealing one of the most successful and daring covert operations of World War Two. Hear directly from two of the men on the missions, Hans Wijnberg and Fred Mayer as they detail their amazing exploits. Both Fred and Hans were interviewed extensively, however Hans died from heart problems the day after the interviews with him were recorded. Written and Directed by Min Sook Lee ; Produced by 2271120 Ontario Inc. for Storyline Entertainment with Shaw Media, CMF Canada Media Fund, Rogers Cable Network Fund, History Television and TVF International
2012 • History