As 1940 drew to a close the conflict was spreading. Disasters were continuing to unfold around the Italian war effort. The invasion of Greece had turned to catastrophe as the Italians were driven back into the hills of Albania. In North Africa the British Army drove the Italians deeper into retreat. These failures had begun to draw Germany further into the south to rescue its Axis comrade. At the same time another front had opened up in North Africa; Erwin Rommel and his North Afrika Korps stepped up to take their place in history.
In newly conquered England, the years which followed the Battle of Hastings were marked by violent turmoil. King William eventually responded to the constant uprisings of the Anglo-Saxon people by laying waste to the north of England. This is a the story of a brutal period in English history, a time which saw the introduction of feudalism, a proliferation of Norman churches and castles and the completion of the remarkable Domesday book.
In the summer of 1943, the Italians voted Mussolini out of office, declaring the war over. Why couldn't the Germans do the same? Why did it take the near total destruction of their country for them to give in?
To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News brings a captivating documentary featuring 28 eyewitnesses. Never before has this collection of key individuals been gathered to tell their personal stories and roles they played in history.
Even after the triumph of VE Day, there still remained a war to be fought. The final act of this war was played out in the skies above Japan. A new US President, Harry Truman, took the devastating decision to deploy a new weapon against the forces of Japan. The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the dreams of Imperial Japan were ended at a stroke.
In 1940 he fought against, but could not prevent, the greatest humiliation in the history of the France he loved so dearly. How did Charles De Gaulle recover from this? How did he preserve the spirit of France and then help liberate his nation? How did he then go on to lead it as its most important political figure since his fellow general, Napoleon?
The paranoid and murky world of atomic espionage behind one of the most astonishing untold chapters in Australian history; the quest by successive governments to fortify the nation with atomic weapons.
He was a US Army general who was also the only ever Field Marshal of the Philippine Army and this symbolises MacArthur's visionary belief that Asia would dominate the future of the world. How did he turn initial disasters in the Pacific War against Japan to a famous comeback that would make him a national hero?
Turning to fascinating moments in American history to understand the present, Simon Schama reveals how the American attitude to war is different from what outsiders assume it to be. "The world has got in the habit of thinking of America as the tough-guy empire; trigger-happy cowboys addicted to the rush of military power. But that's not the way America sees itself," he says.
This episode begins in Russia, with Stalin's army fighting to defend Moscow. Hitler believed his enemies beneath contempt as both communists and as Slavic people. He intended to obliterate them; for this conflict the end would only come at the expense of the total destruction of one side or the other.
In this episode, we look at the impact of the Battle of Britain. Hitler's aim was total air supremacy, to negate British Naval power and enable the German army to cross the Channel and invade Britain. But the battle proved to be more complex.
He remains the most famous Allied general of the Second World War thanks to George C Scott's unforgettable performance in the Oscar winning movie. But our remarkable documentary reveals there was vastly more to Patton than his so-called lust for glory.
In the second episode, those that have survived, march on. They must fight their way across the five hundred year old chain bridge over the Dadu, then pass through Tibetan lands, cross the Snow Mountains and endure the harshness of the Songpan Grasslands before finding refuge and finally establish their strength in Yan'an - now known to history as Red Yan'an.
Historian Simon Schama looks at the bitter conflict over immigration in American history. Who should be allowed to enter America and call themselves an American has always been one of the nation's most divisive issues. It continued to be so at the 2008 election. He traces the roots of this conflict to the founding of America.
In this episode, we see how across the world the forces of the Axis were in retreat. In the sands of the desert Rommel had been overwhelmed by the Allies and driven out of Africa. A new legend was born in the shape of Bernard Montgomery.
The time that followed the destruction of Poland came to be known as the Phoney War, a period were neither side wanted to engage the other. Both armies used the time to fortify their positions and many, on both sides, hoped that the war might simply go away if neither side upset the other.
Ike's public image is frequently overshadowed by more attention-grabbing colleagues. Cases in point: General Patton, his World War II subordinate; and JFK, his successor as President of the United States of America. But we reveal that there is far more to Ike than the myth of his being an uncharismatic conservative in everything he did.
Fatherland is an intimate documentary exploring an unresolved relationship between a father who served as a soldier in Hitler's army and a son who fled his country, his family and his history. Canadian filmmaker Manfred Becker returns to Germany 60 years after the end of the war to confront his father, the 'old Nazi' and to explore their two separate roles as pre-determined by history.
If any of those involved in the war doubted what all the fighting had been for then the last months of conflict would show them. As soldiers entered the territory of the Third Reich conclusive proof of the evils of Nazism was found as the death and concentration camps were uncovered.
As the conflict continued, countries in all corners of the globe became deeply entangled in their own theatres of war. In the desert the Afrika Korps seemed certain of their successful capture of Egypt. But yet another change of British commander saw the arrival of a man who created his own desert legend, a legend to match Rommel.
Erwin Rommel has achieved almost legendary status as the German Field Marshall of World War II. He is now known as the desert fox mainly because of his cunning ability to outwit and outmanoeuvre his allied enemies. This is a truly remarkable achievement, given the hatred for Nazism and all things Nazi in the wake of World War II. But History's Verdict asks if this is a deserving accolade?
By the Spring of 1944 it seemed obvious that the Allies would have to mount an invasion of Western Europe in order to bring about the end of the war. In an elaborate game of double cross the Allied forces managed to convince Germany that this attack would happen at the French port of Calais. In fact the real target lay further to the west, in Normandy.
On May 13, 1940 Winston Churchill became Britain's Prime Minister. He gave no quick solution to the conflict but swore there would be no appeasement of Hitler. This decision was made all the more difficult as, in the first few hours of Churchill taking office, the war in Europe exploded into life.
Now that his systematic deletion of the Versailles Treaty was complete, Hitler began to turn his eyes to his weaker neighbours. The Anschluss had made Germany even stronger and now Hitler focused his attention on Czechoslovakia and Poland.
The story of the cold war proves that an individual can leave his or her mark on history. It is certain that the personalities of the leaders of America and the Soviet Union in those first post war years shaped history and plotted the path of world events. The second episode of this series examines how America solidified its position as a new superpower and how the Soviet Union, under the iron fist of Stalin, continued to spread the word of communism. Britain, exhausted by world war and lacking in resources, began to break up her Empire. Britain gradually reduced its position on the world stage and America stepped in to fill the void. At the same time the relationship that had developed between Russia and the US during the final stages of World War II slowly began to disintegrate as both sides grew to see the other as a threat to their respective ideals.
This is the true story of the biggest and bloodiest suicide campaign in history. In 1945, Operation Ten-Go (Operation Heaven) lasted four months, involving more than 3000 planes, hundreds of rocket bombs, suicide ships, human torpedoes and the world's biggest battleship The Yamato. More than 7000 Japanese died, 400 Allied ships were hit and 5000 Allied sailors were killed in the largest suicide attack in history. Stylised re-enactments of the Kamikaze in action give an intense and visceral feel of what it was like for the pilots and sailors involved in the attacks. Photo real CGI re-enacts the horror of a Kamikaze attack. Newly discovered Japanese letters and diaries challenge the stereotype of the Japanese pilots as blood crazed, fanatical patriots who were happy to die. The programme includes never before seen Japanese archive film of Kamikaze training and preparations for attack and original colour film of The Day of the Kamikaze.
September 3, 2009, marks the 70th anniversary of one of the most momentous days in world history: the day Britain declared war on Germany and World War I began. Outbreak 1939 vividly recreates the day the war began for a primetime television audience. This high-impact film tells the story of that fateful Sunday hour by hour using solely the words of those who were there, supplemented by archive footage.
August 2016 marks the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games hosted by Adolf Hitler. Explore the extraordinary moment in the history of the Olympics and the growing power of the Nazi Party. Featuring Captain Eric Winkle Brown, now 97, as he recalls visiting the Games and his role in the War. Leading nations planned a boycott and Jesse Owens stole the show but these were just brief distractions for the Nazi PR machine, as the foreign press praised Germany s spirit following the depression. Compelling, frightening and relevant today.
Friendships between nations are created through ties of language, religion, and culture. The relationship between Britain and the United States of America is thought special because it is a unique alliance of two peoples sharing common values and history. But is it a relationship that still exists? Or is it a bond that Britain clings to in order to hold on to lost greatness?
The Industrial Revolution was one of the greatest transformative moments in history, revolutionising the way humans worked, how they ordered their societies and how they thought about their lives all over the world. But was it really a happy coincidence that a handful of geniuses unleashed the fruits of their inventiveness on a grateful nation at roughly the same time?
In 1000 AD, the Vikings made it to North America, establishing a base camp in Newfoundland at a site called L'Anse aux Meadows. But could they have made it further south to what is now the United States to build a permanent settlement called Vinland, which has been documented in legend, but has never been found? Forensic Geologist Scott Wolter thinks so. Now, he's hot on the trail of never before seen evidence and geologic clues that could prove it - including a message discovered off the coast of a forbidden island in Massachusetts that may have been left by famous Viking voyager Leif Ericson himself.
America's 50th state has a 'little' mystery that's persisted since ancient times; did an ancient race of tiny people called Menehune really exist? Scott Wolter can't resist weighing in on the possibility while on vacation with his family in Hawaii, and as he discovers, geology could be key in solving the mystery.
The Wall marks the memorable fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent end of the Cold War. The Wall tells the story from the unique perspectives of world leaders who were there, Helmut Kohl, the former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union, and George HW Bush, the ex-President of the United States. Through beautifully researched archival film, photos and historical interviews, The Wall takes us back to a tumultuous era and gives a unique insight into the event that changed the course of history.
One of the most brilliant generals of World War I and an architect of Anzac Day, Sir John Monash helped create the Anzac legend by ensuring the courage of his men was enshrined in Australian history. Today he is all but forgotten. Monash - The Forgotten Anzac explores the character and achievements of an extraordinary figure in Australian history, the battles he fought both on and off the battlefield, and the prejudice he overcame to help win a war. (TEACHERS NOTES AVAILABLE)
From February 1917, Imperial Russia was plunged into nine months of popular and spontaneous revolt. The end of this revolution was a coup that changed the course of history and profoundly altered the future of civilisation and it was all chronicled by a journalist stationed in Petrograd.
Examine the personal experiences of six of the men and women whose stories are featured at the National Anzac Centre. We follow their remarkable journeys; from recruitment, departure by convoy from Albany, on to the battlefields and life post-war. Family members appear in newly filmed interviews, providing a lasting testament and deeply personal connection to the tumultuous events of a century ago.
What might Washington DC have in common with ancient sites like Stonehenge? It is thought by some to be constructed using an ancient unit of measurement called the megalithic yard. Thought to be used by some of the greatest civilisations of all time, this antiquated unite of measure could be the key to understanding the hidden meaning behind Washington's streets and structures. Scott Wolter investigates whether its use in the design plans of Washington created a sanctuary for people practising goddess worship; people, like George Washington himself.
A penetrating documentary about the war in Korea, this two-hour special examines five years after World War II, and the US is once again plunged into bloody battle. While the government plays politics, heroic American soldiers continue to die in battle.
Uncle Hitler introduces us to the descendants, family members, acquaintances and employees of Adolf Hitler. The documentary focuses on exploring the unknown story of Hitler's family and the dramatic fates of those related to the most hated man in history. It also explores the genetic history of Eva Braun to determine if Hitler and his wife had any Jewish ancestries, and it establishes the claims that Hitler's relatives hold to his remaining assets. The film introduces Hitler's living relatives including cousins in Austria, grand-nephews in Germany and New York and his in-laws, including Eva Braun's close cousin, her two sisters and the fates of their respective families and heritage. Betrayal, murder, conspiracy, physical deformity, incestuous love and robbery are all part of the ongoing tale of the exceptionally dysfunctional Hitler family.
This special program pays homage to those Australians who served in World War II - a farewell to the generation now passing into history. Remembrance is powerful storytelling about the lingering human cost of war and how ordinary people face extraordinary challenges. The eight veterans interviewed include former POWs of the Japanese, a chaplain who served in New Guinea and another New Guinea veteran who, like many young men of that generation, put his age up to serve on the frontline as a 16-year-old.
United in war, the Allies would reveal themselves as divided rivals in peace. How can such a failure of a real effort at entente be explained? With the Yalta Conference in 1945 to 1953, discover a new world order drawn up by three men.
The Soviet Air Force was nearly wiped out in the first days of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. But thanks to the courage of its aircrews and brilliant new aircraft designs, it began to fight back, and by 1944 dominated the skies over the Eastern Front.
Stalin's USSR was a nation obsessed with secrecy and highly experienced in the skills of espionage. But despite establishing networks of agents across Europe and the far east in the 1930s, the Soviets were still caught off-guard by Hitler's invasion in 1941. But thereafter, the GRU (army intelligence) and NKVD (KGB forerunner) went on to score some amazing intelligence coups in Tokyo, Washington, and even from the heart of Berlin.
Examine behind the scenes of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, arguably the most elaborate ceremony of the 20th century, to celebrate not only the royal family and those who masterminded the Coronation but the people from all walks of life who contributed to making it a unique occasion. Hear eyewitness testimony from those at the heart of the action and those who remember watching the magical day unfold, either alongside the procession route in London, or on televisions across the country.
The Wall marks the memorable fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent end of the Cold War, told in two parts, A World Divided and A World United. The Wall tells the story from the unique perspectives of world leaders who were there, Helmut Kohl, the former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union, and George HW Bush, the ex-President of the United States. Through beautifully researched archival film, photos and historical interviews, The Wall takes us back to a tumultuous era and gives a unique insight into the event that changed the course of history.
In 1805, when Napoleon was crowned King of Italy, he was at the height of his power - the previous year, he had been crowned Emperor of the French. This episode charts the transformation of a political leader of the French to Emperor and global statesman, from a son of the French Revolution to husband of the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, the most powerful, conservative, monarchist nation on earth. It features the Battle of Austerlitz, one of the greatest military encounters of the nineteenth century and the rise of a Napoleonic Empire - at its peak numbering over 40 million people.
Britain would have lost her empire and the war in 1942, had Axis forces beaten the British army in the Middle East. Tim Collins re-investigates Britain's critical desert campaign, and the controversial battle tactics needed to take on the unbeaten Panzer army in total war that prevented Hitler from gaining Egypt, Iraq and the oilfields. Foreshadowing current world events, this oil-rich region was crucial to the war effort. These are the World War II battles that shaped the Middle East, and created the world in which we live today.
In February of 1950 the world's largest bomber took off on a secret Cold War mission from Alaska. Inside the belly of the B-36 is a Mk IV nuclear bomb and its 13 pound plutonium core. The route would take aircraft '075' along the BC coastline until it reached Washington State and headed inland. During the mission engine fires forced the crew of seventeen to abandon the massive bomber over the BC coast. Despite the largest search and rescue operation in Air Force history five of the crewmen, along with the bomber and its nuclear weapon are presumed lost in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
The Soviet navy fought many different types of war, from coastal raids in the Black Sea, to convoy escorts in the Arctic Ocean and submarine patrols in the Baltic Sea. Their submarines would prove a particularly lethal force, and in 1945 were responsible for massive and controversial losses of life at sea.
United in war, the Allies would reveal themselves as divided rivals in peace. How can such a failure of a real effort at entente be explained? With the Yalta Conference in 1945 to 1953, discover a new world order drawn up by three men.
The epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For 12 long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But heroic young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back with an extraordinary campaign to rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden, and stolen treasures. Now, more than 60 years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.
When Scott Wolter gets a call from his friend John DeSalvo, an avid collector of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia, he has no idea that he's about to embark on a quest to learn whether there were a lot more people than just John Wilkes Booth behind the assassination of one of America's most influential presidents. Evidence Wolter uncovers suggests Booth was part of an infamous group of Confederates who formed a secret society called the Knights of the Golden Circle; a group that included influential politicians and rogue raiders like Jesse James. The evidence Scott complies suggests a new twist on the motives behind Lincoln's killing, and takes him on a wild ride through the history of the South at the time of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of the Knights of the Golden Circle.
This moving documentary shows the violent and savagery experiences shared between Australian and Japanese soldiers forged in the dense jungles of Papua New Guinea. The Kokoda Campaign was a war without mercy, the scene of one of the most brutal conflicts in Australian History. This 2-hour special shows the story of men caught in the war and how they reconcile their shared history over sixty years later by interviews with Australian soldiers and for the first time show extensive interviews with Japanese soldiers and airmen to gain a unique and almost lost perspective of the Kokoda Campaign. The battle was a decisive Australian victory, a victory that delivered Australia from Japanese encirclement and possible occupation. The film provides Australian and Japanese audiences with poignant statements about the bloody nature of war and how this has scarred the young men who fought it.
In this final episode in the series we examine the end game of the Cold War and look at how the gradual thawing of the conflict began. This was the era that began with detente and ended with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Neither Reagan nor Thatcher believed in the high ideals of detente. They spoke the language of new weapons and renewed aggression towards communism. Thatcher's foreign policy was confrontational and confident. She, just as Reagan, saw no reason to compromise with or accept communism. In Thatcher, Reagan saw a great ally and the chance to expand its nuclear sphere of influence. At the same time, the Soviet Union was suffering the effects of life under a succession of failed rulers. The economy was collapsing and there was growing dissent among the nations in the Soviet Empire. One by one countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia rejected Soviet rule and established their own independence. Russia had lost its superpower status and with it had gone the need for cold war. But did the end of this period in history bring about the positive social changes that everyone predicted or did it leave behind it a world empty of order, just as dangerous but in a different way? Time has yet to tell but it is certain that history has not quite finished with America and Russia.
In August 1945 the US dropped two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, devastating the Japanese cities. See the aftermath of the attacks while exploring the history of nuclear disasters. (ACDSEH107, ACDSEH127)
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.
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.
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)