Category “History”

Titanic Birth of a Legend

A dramatised documentary which follows the lives of the men who designed and built Titanic and her sister ship Olympic at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, showing the violence, political drama and financial pressures that affected those who worked on her. Eight men, the Guarantee Group, were privileged to be chosen to travel on her maiden voyage. All of them were killed when she sank after striking an...

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The Truth of Troy

It’s one of the greatest stories ever told. The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. In May this year a Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom will be launched in Britain. But is there any reality to the myth? Horizon has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has never before spoken at this length. He has made amazing discoveries – how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle...

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A History of Syria

Robin Barnwell, who directed and produced 'A History of Syria with Dan Snow', explains the challenges of filiming amid the conflict, and describes the spirit of the Syrian people he met. The Syrian Airlines jet performed an alarming dive on its nighttime approach into Damascus airport in an attempt to avoid any hostile fire. The exterior lights on the aircraft were switched off to make it less visible to any rebel fighters attempting to shoot the plane down. Syrian army artillery rounds were flying through the air, thudding into residential suburbs not far from the airport. Once we'd...

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Archimede’s Secret

This is the story of a book that could have changed the history of the World. To the untrained eye, it is nothing more than a small and unassuming Byzantine prayer book, yet it sold at Christies for over $2m. For faintly visible beneath the prayers on its pages are other, unique, writings - words that have been lost for nearly two thousand years. The text is the only record of work by one of the world's greatest minds - the ancient Greek, Archimedes - a mathematical genius centuries ahead of his time. Hidden for a millennium in a middle eastern library, it has been written over, broken up,...

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Bloody Friday

Bloody Friday is the name given to the bombings by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Belfast on 21 July 1972. Twenty-two bombs exploded in the space of eighty minutes, killing nine people (including two British soldiers) and injuring 130. The majority of these were car bombs, driven to their detonation sites that same day. The bombings were partly a response to the breakdown of talks between the IRA and the British government. Since the beginning of its campaign in 1969, the IRA had carried out a concerted bombing campaign against economic, military and political targets...

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Prophets of Doom

Today’s world has troubles unique to its time in history, from the global financial crisis to technological meltdowns to full scale, computerized global war. Observing the convergence of such events, contemporary prophets have begun to emerge from obscurity to suggest that these conditions might be signs of the demise of the modern world. These men are historians as well, using all manner of information and patterns from the past to provide context for where we are going. Their predictions interpret the current state of affairs in our world as evidence that the America we know may...

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Abraham Lincoln

In August of 1862, Abraham Lincoln was pressed with a very controversial issue facing the United States. As commander in chief, he had to weigh the policy of slavery. Lincoln's main focus was to restore the Union. He was personally against slavery, but it had no effect on his views. (Lincoln's response letter to Horace Greeley) Lincoln wanted to save the Union at all costs. In the letter response to Horace Greeley, Lincoln stated that he did not agree with those who would not save the Union unless they could save slavery at the same time. His stated object was to save the Union, not to...

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La Marquise de Tournay

During the 2008 season of Odyssey Marine Exploration's Atlas Shipwreck Survey Project in the western English Channel, the Odyssey Explorer located a significant and previously unknown shipwreck . Initial investigation of site MUN-T1M33c-1 using the Remotely-Operated Vehicle Zeus revealed a spread of over 20 cannon and several masses of amorphous, linear iron concretions. During the initial survey the ship's bell was located lying on its side just west of the wreck nucleus. The artifact was recovered and sent for conservation to the York Archaeological Trust. Initial conservation exposed...

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The Waffen SS

Founded in 1925, the Schutzstaffel, German for “Protective Echelon,” initially served as Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguards, and later became one of the most powerful and feared organizations in all of Nazi Germany. Heinrich Himmler, a fervent anti-Semite like Hitler, became head of the Schutzstaffel (SS), in 1929 and expanded the group’s role and size. Recruits, who had to prove none of their ancestors were Jewish, received military training and were also taught they were the elite not only of the Nazi Party but of all humankind. By the start of World War II,...

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