According to Rome, German barbarians were among the most brutal of all. Terry Jones discovers that when it came to brutality, it was the Romans who were the masters and the Germans merely rebelled against Roman occupation.
A look at how Tsar Nicholas II and his wife the Empress Alexandra's complete misjudgement and lack of understanding led to the fall of the Russian Empire from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. We explore how their decisions during the war led to widespread public anger and a revolution that would eventually bring a tragic and brutal end to Tsar Nicholas' reign, making him the last Emperor of Russia. Broadcast title: The Tsar and Empress: Secret Letters.
This landmark special explores the special relationship between Australia and the US. Hosted by acclaimed journalist Mike Munro, we explore our long friendship, forged in battle, ideas, art, people and trade.
The Vietnam War was a decade-long struggle that humbled America. It has never before been told start to finish purely as a first person military chronicle: the raw, horrifying war as experienced by the men who fought it, believing they were there to win. Their experiences revolve around "tipping points", affecting the crucial events that shaped military decisions and, ultimately, determined the outcome of the war. From the rise of Ho Chi Minh in 1959 and the subsequent formation of the Vietcong to the deadly battle in La Drang valley in 1965 through to the quagmire of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and its eventual conclusion in 1975, no detail is spared in this three-part, back to back special.
This program chronicles how the world leaders in the greatest military conflict in human history made their decisions and how these decisions (both good and bad) altered the outcome of WWII. Each episode of this thoughtful and striking television series focuses on one major player of the war, identifying his strengths and his weaknesses, his thinking, his decision-making, and the results.
The Nazis seized power when Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich chancellor on 30 January 1933. What began with great jubilation ended after a world war in which 50 million people were killed. This four-part series embarks on a unique journey through the bleakest chapter of German history.
In 2011 a team from the University of Basel made two astonishing discoveries in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. By chance they came across a new tomb that was the first to contain a body since the discovery of Tutankhamun. Then they discovered that the tomb beside it, which had never been excavated before, held the bodies of around 50 people. But who were all the people in these two linked tombs? This film follows the archaeological detective story to uncover the answer. It pursues the trail that leads to one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs, Amenhotep III - and to the women he was close to. And the film also reveals the astonishing project behind the re-emergence nearby of the largest temple ever built in ancient Egypt - the lost mortuary temple of the same pharaoh, Amenhotep III.
For 70 years, rumours have circulated around the small town of Walbrzych in south-west Poland about a concealed Nazi railway tunnel. How, in 1945, the original tunnel was fortified by the retreating German army with 10m of reinforced concrete, and its entrances blown up. And how anyone who spoke of the tunnel was either shot by the Nazis or pursued by the Russians after the war. Naturally, they fell silent - and the tunnel's precise location was lost in the mists of time. Then, in August 2015, ground penetrating radar pinpointed the tunnel's location. It's the 21st century equivalent of an unexplored pharaoh's tomb.
Terry Jones immerses himself in the world of the 'barbarians' of the East - the Greeks and the Persians - and discovers that it was they who were the brains of the ancient world and the Romans the destroyers of progress.
The Nazis seized power when Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich chancellor on 30 January 1933. What began with great jubilation ended after a world war in which 50 million people were killed. This series embarks on a unique journey through the bleakest chapter of German history. It traces the story of the Third Reich, painting a picture of Nazi dictatorship behind the propaganda by utilising what in some cases is previously unpublished footage.
Terry Jones reveals the image of savages, hell bent on slaughter, pillage and rape, is merely ancient spin by Rome. In his journey Jones exposes the depth of this deception, exploding myths and setting records straight.
This series explores the greatest empires in a way that has never been fully investigated. Each episode highlights and exposes the political intrigue, personal vendettas, family mayhem, acts of vengeance and the ever-evolving tension, turmoil and chaos that shaped these civilisations and led to their destruction from within. Born in 624 CE, Wu Zhao became the concubine of Emperor Taizong. Her entry into the palace would begin one of the most dramatic periods in Chinese history. She would ultimately rule as the Empress Wu and expand Chinese military and political control in Central Asia and the Korean peninsula. Court intrigue raged during her reign and she successfully undermined constant attempts to usurp her power. In the end, however, ill health and conspiracy would combine to force her abdication. The former rulers seized control and the second Zhao dynasty began and ended with her.
In World War I the Germans, ignoring international treaties they signed, were first to weaponise a chemical. In this case it was chlorine - a highly toxic ingredient used in the manufacture of chemical dyes of which they had a huge supply. Their action unleashed an escalation of poison gas weapons as both sides developed different chemicals and more effective counter measures. Their use of culminated in a bold British plan that unfolded beneath the battlefield at Messine Ridge. British mining and explosive experts planted 450 tonns of high explosive hidden in a network of tunnels under Messine ridge. When ignited, they created the biggest land mine in history - killing 10,000 German soldiers. The explosion rattled windows at 10 Downing Street, 140 miles away and registered as an earthquake in Switzerland.
From teenage infatuation to her wedding to Hitler and suicide in the fuhrerbunker - Adolf and Eva: Love and War reveals the shocking lengths to which Nazi Germany's secret First Lady went to rise to, and cling to, power. The Nazis kept Eva Braun's affair with Hitler hidden until the very end. But the Fuhrer's inner circle knew she had survived against the odds to become the most powerful woman in Germany. Revealing the truth behind the influential, ambitious and manipulative Nazi bride, this is the story of Eva's incredible rise - and dramatic fall.
How can something as devastating as war help bring about civilisation? Ancient Mesoamerica is the perfect petri dish to examine the process of 'destructive creation'. Evolutionary theorist Peter Turchin regards war as a necessary evil. It brought people together in a common cause while stimulating an arms race of technological progress.
This follow up documentary to KKK: The Fight for White Supremacy sees filmmaker Dan Murdoch back in the US to revisit some of the people he met from the Ku Klux Klan and also meet members of the Black Liberation Movement.
Explore the controversial life of Mao Zedong (1893-1976), founder of the People s Republic of China and the first Chairman of its ruling Communist Party. Using archival film from a variety of sources, including formerly classified CIA collections, this fascinating documentary is a stunning visual profile of the man who created modern China but at a terrible price for millions of people. Featured topics include the failure of the Great Leap Forward in 1958, the tensions of the Sino-Soviet Split in 1962, the terrors of the Red Guards and the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, and Mao's deteriorating health in the years leading up to his death.
The Nazis seized power when Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich chancellor on 30 January 1933. What began with great jubilation ended after a world war in which 50 million people were killed. This four-part series embarks on a unique journey through the bleakest chapter of German history. It traces the story of the Third Reich, painting a picture of Nazi dictatorship behind the propaganda by utilising what in some cases is previously unpublished footage.
While most people think the Blitz originated in World War II, the truth is that the first Blitz happened during World War I. Bombs were delivered from giant airships designed by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who got his inspiration when he was a Germany Army observer in the US during the Civil War and rode in a hot air balloon for the first time. These lighter than air superstructures, two times longer than the Statue of Liberty is high, measured their flights in hundreds of miles when pioneering aviators measured their success in hundreds of yards.
When Alexander the Great lay on his deathbed his companions asked to whom he wished to leave his kingdom. "To the strongest," was his reply. The passing of the great conqueror plunged the Greek Empire into 40 years of war as kings, generals and henchmen vied for ultimate power.
In World War I, tanks were the first armoured fighting machine to be used on the battlefield. These "land ships", as they were first called, were championed by Head of the British Admiralty Winston Churchill. Adapted from an American tractor with caterpillar tracks, the machine was designed in secrecy to break through the heavily fortified trenches and offer protection for troops that were being mowed down by heavy artillery. Though a massive failure in their first combat in the Battle of the Somme- they broke down and got stuck in the mud-British government propaganda reversed the story and paved the way for thousands of tanks to be built and become a decisive weapon in the war.
The Atlantic became a killing field as German submarines took on the might of the dominant British Navy during World War I. The stealth and silent killers were able to sink 5200 ships by war's end, and nearly brought Britain to its knees. But in their frenzy of attacks, the Germans sink the US passenger liner Lusitania, killing nearly 2000 on board. American outrage helped President Wilson get Congress to finally agree to enter the war. In the end, the Allied Atlantic blockade forces Germany to surrender, but the submarine was established as an effective military weapon.
Taking a terrifying journey through 3000 years of ideas, movie tough guy Danny Trejo explores the darkest recesses of both the underworld and the human imagination. From Ancient Greece, through the birth of Christianity, medieval Europe and Modern America, he tries to map out where the idea of Hell came from and even visits real locations believed to be portals to Hell.
Russia, still recovering from the Communist Revolution, is in political turmoil. Joseph Stalin rises to the top of the Communist party after Lenin's death, and in a period of violence called 'The Great Purge' he orders the death of millions, as he tightens his grip on the Russian government. Finally in control of an army, and emboldened by his rapid rise to power, Adolf Hitler starts demanding land lost to Germany in the Treaty of Versailles.
Tonight's episode looks at the Death's Head Battalion, whose members were identified by the badge with a skull on the right lapel of their uniform. They underwent rigorous training to abolish every trace of human emotion and independent thought, leaving them willing tools of the unimaginable crimes committed in its name.
The SS, symbol of terror and genocide represented more than any other Nazi organisation the wild and deadly delusions of those who believed themselves part of the master race. It took only a few years for Hitler's Schutzstaffel or 'protective echelon' to be transformed from an insignificant personal bodyguard to an all-powerful institution that tortured and murdered without the slightest compunction.
The spy who helped bring down the USSR... The Farewell File shows KGB agent Colonel Vladimir Vetrov as an arrogant and selfish man frustrated by his lack of promotion and recognition. In revenge he concocted a plan to reveal KGB secrets to the West, preparing a file of countless cases of KGB's technological theft that made it all the way up to Mitterand and Reagan and led to a mass expulsion of Soviet spies.
This final episode features interviews with Nazi hunters Beate Klarsfeld, Ephraim Zuroff and Serge Klarsfeld; former members of the US secret service and army officers William Gowen, James Milano and Wolfgang Robinow and former SS members.
In this definitive series, the individual experiences of those involved - from the Poles first incarcerated there, to those who worked in the gas chambers and former SS soldiers - are revealed. In this episode, camp commandant Rudolf Hoss arrives in the Polish town to create a new concentration camp, its role being to imprison and terrorise anyone who resists the Nazi occupation of Poland.
Tonight's episode looks at The Waffen SS who were the elite military wing of the organisation. They were fanatical fighters who spread fear and terror in the early days of the war as the Blitzkrieg was launched against Poland and the West.
Unlike the altruistic Robin Hood of legend, outlaws were more likely to rob the poor to give to the rich and remarkably gained a place of respect in society. The poor however weren't without in this surprisingly litigious time.
At look at the obstacles Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra overcame during what was a rather unconventional start to their royal relationship. But having survived the challenges of a long-distance relationship, as well as incompatible religious upbringings, their relationship blossomed and the two were eventually married as the young tsar assumed control of the Russian Empire. Broadcast title: The Tsar and Empress: Secret Letters.
There's more to Tutankhamun's iconic treasures than meets the eye. New evidence suggests the tomb's stunning contents were meant for someone else. But who is more deserving of such opulence than Egypt's most famous king? Tutankhamun's legendary death mask is arguably the greatest treasure in history, found on the head of the king's mummified remains. Yet the mask betrays more than the king's wealth. Discrepancies between the mask and the head piece have led Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves at the University of Arizona to theorise that the mask wasn't intended for Tutankhamun, but remodelled for him. The presence of earring holes suggests it was originally intended for a woman. Now it's time to put this theory to the test.
The focus turns to two tiny babies that were buried with Egypt’s boy king 3000 years ago, and could hold the key to finally unravelling the twisted web of his family. With a revolutionary DNA study, disease testing and forensic bone analysis, the program uncovers the inbred world of Tutankhamun’s dynasty. It unravels the claims that the boy king was plagued with hereditary diseases, and finally identifies the twist of biological fate that killed the two tiny royals. The show also reveals how their deaths changed the course of Egyptian history, leading to the beginning of an entirely new regime.
Bringing together rare and forgotten footage, this six-part series provides a ground-breaking portrait of WWII that depicts not only its complexity, but the perspectives of both its victims and its victors. Tonight, 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.
Supposedly wandering gaily from town to town, medieval minstrels are written off as an ineffectual part of history. In reality showbiz could be risky and these entertainers often found themselves involved in wars and politics.
The amazing army of terracotta soldiers is Qin Shi Huangdi's most widely known legacy. This documentary looks at how he created the greatest empire of antiquity, planned the first Great Wall, and built the largest burial site in the world. But at what cost?
The little-known story of a group of Polish Jewish children, mainly orphans, who made a wartime odyssey from Europe to Palestine. When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, more than 300,000 Jews fled eastward, among them thousands of children. After imprisonment by the Soviets, the Jewish orphans were released in 1941 and allowed to accompany Polish soldiers on a long and arduous journey to Tehran. From there they struggled on to Palestine, arriving in 1943.
Chronicling the history of the global anti-apartheid movement that took on South Africa's apartheid regime. Diving into the heart of the conflict, South Africans tell the story of the most important effort in the anti-apartheid campaign of the 80's.
The chariot is just about the only thing the Chinese didn't invent, but for over 1000 years, chariots thundered across China's battlefields, dominating warfare far longer than anywhere else on Earth, and unifying the nation. A team of experts discover how the Chinese did it, how they perfected the ultimate high-status weapon of the ancient world. With exclusive access to superb archaeological discoveries, beautifully preserved chariots from the height of Chinese chariot warfare have been unearthed, complete with sacrificed charioteers, horses and chariots that reveal every detail of their design.
Bringing together rare and forgotten footage, this six-part series provides a ground-breaking portrait of WWII. Tonight, the story of the sudden Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the early days of the war in the Pacific. Back in Europe, the program looks at the bombing offensive against Germany and at the appalling crime of the Holocaust.
We open in the trenches of battle - revealing the epic scope of warfare in 1916. We find on the battlefield a young soldier caught in the midst of the attack when mustard gas canisters suddenly fill the trench and our soldier in a panic hurries to find and secure his gas mask. But, his large handlebar moustache prevents the mask from sealing properly and the noxious gas fills his lungs. After nearly dying, we watch as the soldier shaves off the obstructing pieces of his moustache, revealing the face of a young Adolf Hitler.
With his advance in the Soviet Union stalled, Hitler orders his army to advance on Stalingrad - but Stalin orders that the city be defended at all costs. Despite staggering losses, the Soviet forces survive the onslaught, and Hitler suffers his first defeat of the war - and loses an entire Army in the process.
When war broke out in Europe in July 1914, people on all sides believed it would be over by Christmas. Little could they know just how wrong they were. By November 1918, ten million people had died and the political map of the world had been re-drawn. Caught up in the middle of the chaos were millions of ordinary men, women and children. Their very lives changed in ways they could never have imagined - this is their story. The centenary of the outbreak of World War I is fast approaching. This is not the time for yet another film about battles fought and governments toppled, but for a radical new approach to historical documentary. The Great War Diary will retell the story of the greatest war mankind had ever seen in a unique way - it will let viewers experience World War I solely through the eyes of those who lived it. From over 1000 very dramatic stories of the war, left behind in diaries, letters, postcards and telegrams, we have chosen the 14 most vivid and emotional from around the globe.
The Roaring Twenties are a time of unheralded prosperity, but when the Stock Market crashes, America is catapulted into a Great Depression. The Depression rapidly spreads from America to the rest of the world, and Adolf Hitler uses the unrest to gain political favour.
Chronicling the history of the global anti-apartheid movement that took on South Africa's apartheid regime. In the first of a four part series, the story of Oliver Tambo's escape into exile and his 30 year battle to win the world's support for the ANC.
From the dramatisation of the American Revolution in Sons of Liberty through to how Gene Sharp's nonviolent revolutionary theories helped inspire the Arab Spring, see how revolution has reshaped the world.
Before European people arrived in Australia in 1788, the way indigenous people lived was very different to how we live today. Find out more about their life pre colonialisation. (ACHASSK107,VCHHC082,VCHHC097,VCHHC121)
This playlist focuses on Australia post 1900 and includes topics such as race, rights and immigration in Australia since 1900. Also find out more about migration experiences to Australia. (VCHHC097,VCHHC098,VCHHC100)
Australia as a Nation moves from colonial Australia to the development of Australia as a nation. Explore the factors leading to Federation and experiences of democracy and citizenship. (VCHHK072,VCHHK076,VCHHK073)
Space inspires our greatest scientific and creative minds. Take to the stars with NASA, or hop aboard Millennium Falcon in the best of space fact and fiction. (ACSSU188,ACSSU189,VCSSU127,VCSSU128,VCSSU129)
On April 27, 1994, millions of first-time voters cast their ballots in South Africa's first free elections, ushering in the presidency of Mandela. Learn about the enormous change from those who lived it.
Dive into the Great Barrier Reef with Attenborough, explore Kakadu's Mountford rock art, peek inside the micro-worlds of the Galapagos, and be awed by the Great Wall of China when exploring the world's heritage sites.
Commemorate the 1915 struggle that saw enormous courage in the face of enormous loss at Gallipoli, which many consider the psychological birth of Australia. Start with the Peter Weir classic, Gallipoli. (ACHASSK064, VCHHK076, VCHHK144)