Easter 1916

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Easter 1916: Part 4
Part 4
Episode 4  |  The History Channel  |  July 18, 2018

This major award-winning historical documentary series, narrated by Brendan Gleeson and featuring dramatic reconstructions of key scenes both before and during the Rising, examines the lives of the men who were signatories of the 1916 Easter Proclamation and who, by doing so, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The signatories have become legendary figures in Republican and Nationalist mythology but their personal stories and the factual basis of their lives are often masked or lost in the hagiography. So who were these seven men who drafted and signed it and, in doing so, effectively signed their own death warrants? Thomas J Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Plunkett are their respective names but this series goes in search of the men, their backgrounds and their families. Each man had his own unique story and they were a much more diverse group than is generally realised, as this important series demonstrates.

This major award-winning historical documentary series, narrated by Brendan Gleeson and featuring dramatic reconstructions of key scenes both before and during the Rising, examines the lives of the men who were signatories of the 1916 Easter Proclamation and who, by doing so, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The signatories have become legendary figures in Republican and Nationalist mythology but their personal stories and the factual basis of their lives are often masked or lost in the hagiography. So who were these seven men who drafted and signed it and, in doing so, effectively signed their own death warrants? Thomas J Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Plunkett are their respective names but this series goes in search of the men, their backgrounds and their families. Each man had his own unique story and they were a much more diverse group than is generally realised, as this important series demonstrates.

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WWII: Battle of Crete

Occupation  |  Episode 3  |  The History Channel

The resulting German and Italian occupation of Crete was marred by massacres on both sides of both German soldiers and Greek partisans and civilians. More than 8000 Cretans lost their lives in the resistance. When 20,000 Italians surrendered in 1943 they were made POWs too but almost a third drowned at sea after German merchant ships carrying them to the mainland were torpedoed by British submarines. These forgotten tragedies constituted one of the world's biggest maritime disasters. In all more than 20,000 people from all sides lost their lives in the Cretan conflict. The British intelligence service, known as the SOE, assisted what became one of the most successful resistance movements of the war. It helped rescue Allied soldiers who had been abandoned on the island and involved agents such as archaeologist John Pendulbury, known as 'the Cretan Lawrence' and writer and adventurer Patrick Leigh Fermor who staged the famous kidnap of the German commander of Crete with William Moss. Crete was one of the last places surrendered by the Nazis right at the end of the war. German soldiers had to be escorted off the island by the British for fear of reprisals. Two German commanders on the island were executed by firing squad for war crimes. It took more than 30 years before the 4000 German dead were properly buried on the island. They were stored in a monastery as claims for reparations dragged on. They have still not been settled today.

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