Posted in: History
The Great Famine
The Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. It is sometimes referred to, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine because one-third of the population was then solely reliant on this cheap crop for a number of historical reasons. During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the island's population to fall by between 20% and 25%. The proximate cause of faminewas a potato...
Posted in: History, War
The Necessary War
Our perceptions of the First World War today are dominated by the idea it was a futile conflict, a colossal waste of life, and an immense tragedy for Britain and all of Europe. It is a view that has been fostered by the war poets who wrote vividly about the experience of trench warfare, and by countless novels, films and television programmes in the years since. Many even go as far as suggesting that the First World War led directly to the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of the Second World War. In a single...
Posted in: History, War
Normandy ’44: The Battle Beyond D-Day
To mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, historian James Holland takes us through the depths of the operation, the brutal 77 day Battle for Normandy that came after the initial invasion. Holland challenges some of the myths that come to surround this vital campaign, arguing that we have become all too comfortable in our understanding of these events. As veterans gather to relive one of the turning points of the Second World War, historian James Holland moves beyond the D-Day beaches to reassess the brutal 77-day...
The French Revolution: Tearing Up History
A journey through the dramatic and destructive years of the French Revolution, telling its history in a way not seen before - through the extraordinary story of its art. Our guide through this turbulent decade is the constantly surprising Dr Richard Clay, an art historian who has spent his life decoding the symbols of power and...
Posted in: History
Bandit Country
An old documentary by BBC's series Panorama from 1976 on the troubles in Northern Ireland. At the time the IRA were still continuing their "Long War" strategy so Panorama decided to head to South Armagh, a predominantly Catholic area along the border to report on how the British army were getting...
Posted in: History, War
Inside the Holocaust
This is a gripping hour and a half special by the History Channel on the horrors of the Holocaust, starting off with the early days of persecution found in Nazi Germany right up until the final acts of extermination itself. The History Channel visits many of the archives found in Eastern Europe and the US in an attempt to accurately tell the story of those that were faced with theft and death through a collection of artifacts and rarely seen...
Posted in: History
A Short History of Ireland
Ireland, a fertile land upon which no Roman centurions ever trod, the most westerly outpost of Europe is a land of waring clans and ancient culture for centuries under English rule, a nation of divided loyalties where some still struggle for independence while their neighbors stay loyal to the British crown. This is a land of resilient people, a land of poets and artists, politicians and entrepreneurs, farmers and...
Posted in: History, War
Churchill’s First World War
On becoming Prime Minister in 1940, Winston Churchill said that all his past life had been preparation for a moment of destiny, but no chapter had prepared him more than the First World War. In 1914 he had felt the same call of destiny and glory but would experience humiliation and disgrace. In early 1916 he was an infantry officer serving in the trenches, where his battle to clear his name and regain war command began. The story of his fall and rise can be told largely in his own words, for Churchill confided...
Posted in: History, War
PQ17 An Arctic Convoy Disaster
Man has fought wars in many terrible places over the centuries, but never has he fought in a place as terrible as this, this is the place where the men who ran the second world war arctic convoys went to work, among not only the German, submarines and planes but nature at her most brutal. One hundred mile an hour winds, mountainous waves, Icebergs and temperatures down to minus 60 degrees celsius. It was a terrible place to live and a terrible place to die. Throughout the second world war their where many arctic...