The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. A Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom is about Troy. But is there any reality to the myth? This documentary has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has made amazing discoveries, how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred. But who had attacked the city and why? This documentary follows a trail of clues, the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. Korfmann is using science to get closer than ever to the truth behind the myth by digging in tunnels deep beneath the excavation site.
In December 1938, in Berlin, a simple chemical experiment showed for the first time that the atom can be split, releasing immense power. Within months, the Wehrmacht had started research into nuclear weapons. The Germans were the first to start work on the atom bomb. The programme investigates the reasons why Hitler was not the first leader to use it, drawing on new evidence gathered by historian Mark Walker. Dramatised scenes, eyewitness accounts from Allied and German scientists, interviews and archive footage are all employed.
For 25 centuries the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, almost destroyed by explosion, and disfigured by well meaning renovations. It has gone from temple, to church, to mosque, to munitions dump. What could be next? How about a scientific search for the secrets of its incomparable beauty and astonishingly rapid construction? With unprecedented access, NOVA unravels the architectural and engineering mysteries of this celebrated ancient temple.
The program covered the phenomena of unidentified flying and submerged objects, close encounters with alleged extraterrestrial life, and alleged military and government cover up conspiracies. Episode 7 UFOs vs. The Government - Looks at four reported sightings of UFOs in England, Belgium, Canada, and southwestern Michigan, deemed by experts to be some of the best evidence available on the existence of possible extraterrestrial spacecraft. We tell the stories, then disbelievers present their best guess of what witnesses really saw.
Timewatch looks at the Red Army's sweep to Berlin and battle for the city, and the great loss of life and suffering endured. Historian Antony Beevor looks at the scale and tactics of the battle, and at the rapes, murder, looting and destruction that went on against the civilian population. Drawing on new evidence gleaned from soldiers' remains and interviews with survivors, he has been able to unearth a number of new discoveries, including Stalin's willingness to sacrifice his own men to take the German capital before the Americans, and the Red Army's brutal treatment of German civilians as they advanced across the country.
On 14th November 1940, the Luftwaffe launched the most devastating bombing raid so far on Britain. The target was Coventry, deep in the heart of England. In a 12 hour blitz, the Luftwaffe dropped thousands of tons of bombs. Three quarters of the city centre was devastated, including the ancient cathedral. The Nazis coined a phrase - "to Coventrate" - to describe the intense destruction. It was a baptism of fire for Coventry and Britain. For years, the government feared that aerial bombardment could destroy civilian morale. In Coventry, those fears were tested, and in the immediate aftermath of the blitz the evidence was not encouraging.
Ben MacIntyre brings to life his bestselling book Agent Zigzag, the gripping true story of Britain's most extraordinary wartime double agent, Eddie Chapman, he duped the Germans so successfully that he was awarded their highest decoration, the Iron Cross. He remains the only British citizen ever to win one. Including remarkable and newly discovered footage from an interview Chapman gave three years before his death in 1997, the programme goes on the trail of one of Britain's most unlikely heroes - a story of adventure, love, intrigue and astonishing courage.
Documentary looking at the relationship between Hitler and Himmler, and how the latter made secret approaches to the Allies as the Second World War in Europe drew to a close, a betrayal of the Nazi principle of absolute loyalty and obedience to the Fuehrer. Also looks at his failed attempts to use Jewish hostages to barter for money or equipment with the Allies, and at instances where other SS generals contradicted or refused to follow unnecessary suicidal military orders from Hitler. By the spring of 1945, Himmler had lost faith in German victory. He came to the realization that if the Nazi regime was to have any chance of survival, it would need to seek peace with Britain and the United States.
Chronicles the final days of Adolf Hitler's life and an account of how he died. Uses information gathered from the Soviet intelligence operation codenamed "Operation Myth" which describes how his body was found and identified after his suicide. Also, re-enactments of interrogations and responses of Germans by Soviet Intelligence taken from transcripts.
A Documentary, with dramatised elements, looking at the psychological profile of Adolf Hitler compiled by a team of Harvard psychologists in 1943. Interviewing former colleagues and the former family doctor who had fled to the USA and using Freudian techniques and theories of the day they came up with a profile and predicted how he would react to certain situations, concluding that he would not surrender and would be most likely to commit suicide when faced with defeat. This led to future profiling of many world leaders and dictators.
On the night of October 1, 1950, five high ranking Soviet Communist Party officials who led the city of Leningrad through its tragic wartime siege, were marched out into the cold night and executed. The death of the leaders under Stalin's direct orders, was part of a witchhunt that started three years after the war ended and became known as the Leningrad Affair. Based on a series of bizarre allegations, Stalin executed not only the city's senior party leaders but purged the whole city from the top down.
Dr Saul David investigates the violent world of the medieval melee tournament. Forget the images of chivalric knights, well-dressed damsels and dropped handkerchiefs associated with the joust. The melee tournament was a brutal free-for-all with sharpened weapons, few rules and one undisputed champion, William Marshal. His story reveals a very different kind of tournament, one in which brute force ruled, handkerchiefs stayed in pockets and where money was more important than manners.
Chronicling the exploits of former German Panzer driver Henry Metelmann, who was conscripted to fight for the Fatherland in World War Two. Transformed from idealistic Hitler Youth to battle-hardened soldier, he was responsible for the deaths of surrendering fighters and innocent civilians, only surviving the Russian Front through a combination of luck and cowardice. He tells his story in flashbacks from his home in Britain as an old man. A matter of fact account of his youth before the war and his trials during his time as a soldier.
Documentary about the final hours of Stalin's life, why was he denied medical attention, was he poisoned? Was it one of his inner circle of cronies and henchmen, also reconstructions of that days events and interviews with Stalin's living relatives and the children of his inner circle. This is a real who done it.
This documentary provides a behind the scenes look, with unprecedented access, into life inside the Vatican. With rare footage of secret archives, private chapels and papal quarters, the program explores the Vatican's long, powerful history, and the unique traditions and ceremonies that have survived for nearly 2000 years. Accounts from Vatican officiants, historians and devoted individuals who work closely with the Pope John Paul II provide privileged insight into the inner workings of one of the richest wonders of the world.
Documentary which examines the history of the Third Reich through the jokes told by and about the Nazis and the fate that befell some of the joke tellers. At first this was tolerated and even encouraged - but as the war drew on jokes became a channel for subversive information and dissent, and by the end laughter out of turn was cracked down upon severely. Satire and jokes at Hitler's expense were encouraged to some degree as he came into power but gradually anything deemed "subversive" was squeezed out and telling such jokes gradually became more and more dangerous. As the war started to turn back against German cities and civilians, where understandably there was a certain amount of gallows humour. Cabaret artiste, Werner Finck, was imprisoned in a concentration camp, but then released, while actor Fritz Muliar's anti-Hitler jokes landed him in a penal battalion in Russia. Throughout the film the jokes are recreated by two German comedians. A bizarre but compelling examination of humour in the Third Reich. Director/Narrator: Rudolph Herzog (Son of Werner Herzog, documentary film maker). Also known as: Satirizontas to Hitler.
On July 14, 1789, only a few years after France helped colonists in America win their freedom from Great Britain, a band of Parisian rebels staged an attack on the Bastille, looting needed supplies of food and materiel after the increasingly callous French authorities ignored their pleas. A decade of idealism, war, murder, and carnage followed, bringing about the end of feudalism and the rise of equality and a new world order. With dramatic reenactments, illustrations, and paintings from the era, plus revealing accounts from journals and expert commentary from historians, The French Revolution vividly unfurls in a maelstrom of violence, discontent, and fundamental change. Narrated by Edward Herrmann.
Who Do You Think You Are? is a British genealogy documentary series. In each episode, a celebrity traces their family tree. Episode Boris Johnson - He compares himself to a jar of honey found on a supermarket shelf, "the product of many countries". He thinks he is part Jewish, part French, part English, part American, part pterodactyl and, unpredictably, part Turkish. He knows that his grandfather, "Johnny", was the son of a Turkish journalist and politician who was ultimately kidnapped and lynched in the early 1920s, but knows little about his life, reputation and the circumstances of his death. He learns more about the political climate of his great-grandfather's era in Turkey and discovers personal details about his life and death. Returning to western Europe, Boris sets off in search of the truth about Granny Butter's background, and follows an intriguing family trail that leads him to a surprising conclusion.
Documentary examining the medieval myth of the Philosopher's Stone, a Holy Grail-type relic which supposedly held the key to alchemy and immortality. Many noted alchemists and adventurers searched obsessively for the artifact hoping to learn its powerful secrets, a quest which allegedly drove some to madness and others to celestial encounters. Today, the quest for the Philosopher's Stone is merely thought of as a work of fiction from the pages of a Harry Potter novel. However, in the Middle Ages, the very real search for the Philosopher's Stone was second only to that of the Holy Grail. This fascinating documentary unearths the astonishing events surrounding this legendary stone, and the alchemists and adventurers who stopped at nothing in their search for this tantalising quarry.
Documentary series telling the history of the Great War, in which nine million people perished. Episode 2 Stalemate - Documentary series telling the history of the Great War through the words of those who lived through the conflict. As the war began, experts thought that technical advances in weaponry would bring about a quick victory, but the reality was different as armies resorted to trench warfare on the Western Front.