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.
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.
In 1946 almost half a million German prisoners of war were still being held in Britain. Interviews, archive footage and photographs shed light on the experiences of the people of Oswaldtwistle, who were banned from fraternising with the enemy until 1946, a Lancashire town that offered the hand of friendship to the prisoners of war located near the town. The documentary is based largely on the book Enemies Become Friends by Pamela Howe Taylor.
Exposing the undercover dealings of enemy agents and the MI5 counter deception, known as the double cross system, in the Second World War. Captured German spies were turned into double agents and used to deceive the Axis forces. These agents played a crucial role in the success of the Normandy landings Includes interviews with Pat McCallum, who was in charge of the double agents' files at MI5, Anthony Simkins, former Deputy Director of MI5, as well as members of the German Abwehr military intelligence service.
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.
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.
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.
Documentary series telling the history of the Great War, in which nine million people perished. Episode 6 Collapse - This part looks at the poverty and unrest among the German people, how the Americans finally joined in and how the war ended. Starring Judi Dench, Louis Gossett Jr., Martin Landau, Paul Mercurio.
Documentary series telling the history of the Great War, in which nine million people perished. Episode 7 Legacy - Judi Dench narrates an exploration of the aftermath of World War One, when four empires lay devastated, while missing limbs, unhealed injuries and personal grief left painful reminders for those who survived.
Join hosts Peter and Dan Snow for a look at the decisive conflicts of the 20th century. The intricacies of these crucial battles, strategies, weapons, tactics and their impact. CGI brings to life an overview of the major actions, while the dramatized testimony of ordinary soldiers brings the experience of combat. 1918 Western - Covers the Battle of Amiens, and in particular the innovative tactics invented, most notably the close coordination of infantry, tanks and aircraft which characterises modern battles shown by the British commander Douglas Haig, as well as basic Infiltration tactics. Peter and Dan Snow observe a combined - arms exercise.
Join hosts Peter and Dan Snow for a look at the decisive conflicts of the 20th century. The intricacies of these crucial battles, strategies, weapons, tactics and their impact. CGI brings to life an overview of the major actions, while the dramatized testimony of ordinary soldiers brings the experience of combat. 1942 Midway - Covers the War in the Pacific from the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Coral Sea and then in more detail on the Battle of Midway. The episode also focuses on the rise of the aircraft carrier in World War II. Dan Snow takes part in a training exercise with the Royal Navy where they tackle a simulated engine room fire.
Join hosts Peter and Dan Snow for a look at the decisive conflicts of the 20th century. The intricacies of these crucial battles, strategies, weapons, tactics and their impact. CGI brings to life an overview of the major actions, while the dramatized testimony of ordinary soldiers brings the experience of combat. 1942 Stalingrad - Focuses in particular on urban warfare tactics employed, especially snipers. Dan Snow spends some time with the British Army Snipers to illustrate the power of the sniper, targeting a command post occupied by Peter Snow. Dan succeeds in "assassinating" his father.
From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England's past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island "at the edge of the world" into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 15 The Two Winstons - The lives of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who created the hero Winston Smith in his novel 1984. These men had a huge personal impact on the historian and touched many of the key events of the 20th century, including the World Wars and the Depression.