Journalist and television personality Lisa Wilkinson is on a deeply personal quest to unearth the truth about her maternal ancestors. Lisa's mother, Beryl, was born illegitimately, and right up until her recent death, had many unanswered questions about her identity. Lisa encounters her Irish three-times great-grandmother, Eliza O'Brien, whose complex, troubled life has uncanny parallels with her own mother's story. On her father's side, Lisa travels to colourful India, where she discovers her two-times great-grandmother, Ann Beech, whose life shifts from poverty to privilege and back again.
In May 1941, 14,000 German paratroopers supported by nearly a thousand aircraft were dropped on the island in a unique blitzkrieg operation. An airborne invasion of this scale would never be repeated. Several thousand elite paratroopers, the pride of the Nazi Luftwaffe strikeforce, were killed and hundreds of planes lost in 10 days of fierce fighting. Despite the huge cost, the Germans defeated 30,000 British, Australian and New Zealand troops supported by Greek partisans.The Allies had few heavy weapons and no air cover. The loss of the island was controversial. We examine claims that the New Zealand commanders made tactical blunders that lost control of a key airport in the second day of the battle, allowing the German forces to gain a crucial foothold on the island.
In the fall of 1940, British prime minister Winston Churchill ordered a small team of scientists on a clandestine transatlantic mission to deliver his country's most valuable military secret: a revolutionary radar component - not to the US government, but to a mysterious Wall Street tycoon, Alfred Lee Loomis. Using his connections, his money and his brilliant scientific mind, Loomis and his team of scientists developed radar technology that would arguably play a more decisive role than any other weapon in the war. The program tells a long-overlooked story of an individual who helped alter the course of history in World War II.
June 6, 1944. D-Day. The biggest land and sea operation in history: 256,000 men, 20,000 vehicles and 4000 landing craft. On this pivotal moment in history when the outcome of the Second World War was at stake, much has been written, recounted, analysed, examined, filmed and filmed again. And yet, what if I told you the D-Day landings were only possible thanks to a socially awkward, antimilitarist mathematician whose dream was to build an artificial brain? Far-fetched? Let's add that this crazy dream, besides bringing a halt to Hitler's plans, gave rise to modern computer science. The dreamer in question was Alan Turing and his field was the most fundamental branch of mathematics, logic. How could someone who lived in the realm of ideas have had such an impact on history and the world? The answer can be found at the end of a railway line on the outskirts of London, in a quiet little town by the name of Bletchley. It was here, during the World War II, that a huge game of chess was played out, the aim of which was to crack the encoded communications of the German army. In this game which changed the course of history, the key player was an eccentric homosexual, a non-conformist mathematician and keen cross-country runner with a taste for self-mockery: Alan Turing. The unlikely trajectory of this genius, entwined despite himself with world events, will allow us to take a fresh look at a whole section of the history of the World War II, and discover that a close link exists between the Allied victory and the invention of the computer.
Examine the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladimir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to the White House. Unravelling the true depth and scope of 'the Russia story' as we have come to know it, this film is a jarring reminder that some conspiracies hide in plain sight.
Dr Alice Roberts presents a landmark history event with exclusive access to a major excavation in Tintagel, Cornwall, that will completely transform our understanding of Dark Ages Britain, and the man behind the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table mythical legend.
World-renowned mariner Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and a Norwegian crew attempt a journey across the North Sea in a replica Viking ship. Not only do they navigate without modern charts or compasses - as did their Viking ancestors - but they also put to the test the Viking practice of portaging, by attempting to haul a 9 tonne cargo ship across a narrow strip of land in Shetland from the North Sea to the Atlantic.
In the wake of the Civil War, a revolution is taking place on the backs of visionary entrepreneurs of industry. Before they become brand names, budding innovators like Henry Heinz, John and Will Kellogg, and CW Post push the limits of ingenuity to launch businesses that will revolutionize industry, and change the landscape of the nation forever.
The whole world has its eyes riveted on the Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt. Yet, nearby, on the Giza plateau, other architectural masterpieces stand up to the test of time: the Sphinx, the lion with a human head, and the pyramids of Pharaohs Khafra and Menkaure.
Michael Buerk discovers how the Victorians built the biggest, fastest, most technologically advanced ships in the world and dominated the high seas. He'll climb aboard HMS Warrior in Portsmouth - Queen Victoria's flagship warship - to uncover her surprising construction secrets and the powerful ways she kept the peace in international waters.
Liverpool Cathedral is the Church of England's newest cathedral, and the largest in Britain. It was designed in the Gothic style by Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed the red telephone box. It took 74 years to build and was paid for by money donated from the people of Liverpool. National tragedies such as the sinking of the Titanic - many of whose crew came from Liverpool - and the Hillsborough football disaster are remembered within its walls. It is also where Paul McCartney composed and performed his first classical piece of music, the Liverpool Oratorio.
Sometimes, secrecy has its benefits. The National Reconnaissance Office declassified a top-secret 1960s program to put a manned spy platform into orbit. It was called MOL, a fitting acronym for the secretive Manned Orbiting Laboratory. While Apollo got all the attention and the glory in its race to the Moon, the men and women behind MOL worked in the shadows to give America the eyes and ears it needed to navigate an increasingly dangerous world. After 50 years of secrecy, examine rarely seen footage from America's secret spy satellite systems with interviews from experts and MOL crew members themselves to tell the story of the space race's unsung heroes.
Professor Bettany Hughes takes us on a beautiful, bespoke journey across this dramatic country, bringing you the definitive countdown of her top 10 treasures of Ancient Egypt. From blockbuster temples to the lost treasures of the pharaohs, this is a thrilling exploration of one of the world's oldest and most mysterious civilisations. Bettany travels from the Nile Delta in the north of Egypt, to the shores of Lake Nasser in the far south, taking in stunning sites including the Great Sphinx, the Rosetta Stone, the Valley of the Kings, and the Great Pyramid at Giza.
For the first time ever, archaeologists dive inside underwater pyramid tombs to shed new light on the Nubian kingdom that ruled Egypt for 75 years.
On the site of Dahshur, 40km to the south of Cairo, are two breathtakingly beautiful pyramids: two revolutionary monuments which would seem to be the first real pyramids, a link in the chain which is essential to understanding the evolution in the building of pyramids. To the south is the unusual rhomboidal Bent Pyramid. To the north is the Red Pyramid, which may well be the very first triangular pyramid to have been built.
May 8, 2020 marked 75 years since the world celebrated as Victory in Europe was announced. In commemoration of the war efforts and the lives lost in the battle for freedom, we relive the last key days and events of the final moments leading to Victory, including memories of those who were there, in colour. VE Day was celebrated across the world, and this film aims to show the final steps and emotions that came with this.
It was constructed in the middle of the Jordanian desert more than 2000 years ago, but how was the architectural prowess of Petra achieved?
In 1837, the British railway was in its infancy - experimental engines had proven steam trains were a viable option to transport goods and people, but Victorian vision, ingenuity, and determination took a good idea and transformed a nation with it.
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