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Dan Snow's History Hit

History Podcasts

History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet! Featuring reports from the weird and wonderful places around the world where history has been made and interviews with some of the best historians writing today. Dan also covers some of the major anniversaries as they pass by and explores the deep history behind today's headlines - giving you the context to understand what is going on today.

History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet! Featuring reports from the weird and wonderful places around the world where history has been made and interviews with some of the best historians writing today. Dan also covers some of the major anniversaries as they pass by and explores the deep history behind today's headlines - giving you the context to understand what is going on today.

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Description:

History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet! Featuring reports from the weird and wonderful places around the world where history has been made and interviews with some of the best historians writing today. Dan also covers some of the major anniversaries as they pass by and explores the deep history behind today's headlines - giving you the context to understand what is going on today.

Language:

English


Episodes

Tank Standoff at Checkpoint Charlie

10/27/2021
For 16 hours between the 27 to 28 October 1961, the world held its breath as Soviet and US tanks faced each other down at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and came very close to turning the Cold War hot. However, one of the most dramatic and dangerous showdowns of the cold war has been largely overshadowed by the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later which saw the two superpowers go head to head once more. To discuss how it was that tanks came to be deployed ready for battle at one of the most...

Duration:00:27:16

Richard III vs Henry VII

10/26/2021
We all think we know the story of Richard III and Henry VII, or do we? Richard III is often portrayed as a child-murdering usurper whose reign was brought to a bloody end by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth. It was a grudge match to decide who would become King of England, but how true is this story really? In this episode, we'll find out as we ask the big questions about Richard III and Henry VII. Did Richard kill the princes in the tower? Were the motives of Henry's supporters' honest...

Duration:00:38:23

Sharpe is Back! Bernard Cornwell

10/25/2021
Watch out loyal servants of Napoleon, Sharpe is back! In this episode, Dan sits down with legendary author Bernard Cornwell to discuss the return of his most famous and loved character. Dan asks Bernard all the big questions and discovers how Sharpe originated from adversity, where his love of the Napoleonic period came from, what he thought of the TV adaptation and what else lies in store for his venerable hero. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:24:33

Tuskegee Airmen: A WW2 Pilot's Story

10/24/2021
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in American military history. They faced discrimination and segregation at home but in the skies of Europe, they became one of the most successful and feared fighter units as they escorted bombers on raids in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Germany. As Dan discovers in this episode just becoming a Tuskegee Airmen was a dangerous business and several pilots were killed on training exercises in the USA. Two...

Duration:00:47:07

Britain's Overlooked Hero: From the Trenches to the Blitz

10/22/2021
Serving on the front lines of the First World War, the homefront of the Second World War and as a community leader throughout his life, George Arthur Roberts was a truly inspirational figure. Yet, his amazing story is little known. After the outbreak of the First World War broke out he travelled from Trinidad to the UK and eventually joined the Middlesex Regiment. He saw considerable action at the Battle of Loos, the Dardanelles campaign and the Somme where his wounds forced him out of the...

Duration:00:21:16

The Battle of Trafalgar

10/21/2021
On 21 October 1805, A British fleet commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson met the combined might of the French and Spanish fleets off the coast of Spain. Outnumbered, Nelson used innovative tactics to break up the allied fleet and ensure success but at great cost to his men and of course himself. It was a truly crushing defeat for the Franco-Spanish forces though. With the majority of their ships destroyed or captured it confirmed Britain's naval supremacy for decades to come. In this...

Duration:01:07:52

How Brutish Were Our Ancestors?

10/20/2021
Was life for our ancient ancestors brutish and short or did they exist as noble savages free and living in harmony with nature and each other? Many of our assumptions about ancient societies stem from renaissance theories about how society should be organized and what civilisation is. Dan is joined by David Wengrow, Professor of Comparative Archaeology at University College London and co-author of The Dawn of Everything to challenge some of these assumptions and show that they were founded...

Duration:00:44:09

How Alcohol Built the British Empire

10/19/2021
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the British Empire expanded across the globe an almost ubiquitous but often underappreciated commodity went with it; alcohol. The distillation, sale and drinking of booze played an essential role in trade, seafaring and colonial societies. But for many indigenous communities this came at a terrible price as, previously unfamiliar, distilled spirits wreaked havoc on their communities and reinforced the racial ideologies that legitimised...

Duration:00:32:50

Dresden Survivor: Remembering Victor Gregg

10/18/2021
On 12 October 2021 World War Two veteran Victor Gregg passed away peacefully in his sleep just before his 102 birthday. He was part of a unique generation that with the passing of the years is sadly disappearing all too fast. Victor joined the army in 1937 and served and India and Palestine before the war. During the Second World War, he fought in the Western Desert before joining the Parachute Regiment. He was taken prisoner as the Allies retreated during the Battle of Arnhem, and was taken...

Duration:00:24:52

Operation Barbarossa: The Lost Diaries

10/17/2021
Operation Barbarossa saw a clash of arms between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union of unprecedented scale and savagery, but what was it really like to serve on the front lines of the Eastern Front? The historian Rob Schäfer has given History Hit exclusive access to the diaries of Lt. Friedrich Sander, a Panzer officer and one of the 3 million German troops involved in Operation Barbarossa. The diaries are brutal in their honesty openly describing the atrocities Sander was involved in and his...

Duration:00:29:24

The Haitian Revolution

10/15/2021
In 1791 the slaves of the French colony of Sant-Domingue rose up against their colonial masters and after a long and bloody struggle, defeated them to found the state of Haiti. Led by charismatic leaders such as Toussaint Louverture it was the only example of a successful slave revolution and the state that was founded was one free of slavery. It was a conflict that sucked in several competing empires and was defining moment in the history of the Atlantic World. Marlene Daut, Professor of...

Duration:00:35:05

The Battle of Hastings

10/14/2021
On 14 October 1066 the armies of William, the Duke of Normandy, and the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson clashed near Hastings in one of the most famous battles in history and one that would decide the fate of the English throne. We all know the outcome but how and why did the battle take place? To answer this question Dan returns with another explainer episode to put the battle in its proper context and explain how William was able to defeat Harold on that bloody day in 1066 to become...

Duration:00:58:26

Lady Jane Grey

10/13/2021
On a cold February morning in 1554, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for high treason. Named as King Edward VI as his successor, Queen Jane had reigned for just 13 tumultuous days before being imprisoned in the Tower, condemned and executed. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to author and historian Nicola Tallis who reveals the moving, human story of an intelligent, independent and courageous young woman, forced onto the English throne by the great power...

Duration:00:52:15

Maurice Hilleman: Vaccine Creator

10/12/2021
Dr Maurice Hilleman was a leading American microbiologist who specialised in vaccinology and immunology. He discovered nine vaccines that are routinely recommended for children today, rendering formerly devastating diseases practically forgotten. Considered by many to be the father of modern vaccines, Hilleman was directly involved in the development of most of the vaccines available today, including those for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, Japanese...

Duration:00:21:56

Jack the Ripper Retold

10/11/2021
In 1888 a series of brutal killings took place in Whitechapel, London which might be the most famous unsolved murders of all time. The case and the killer attracted a worldwide media frenzy like never before and the perpetrator nicknamed Jack the Ripper has gone down in infamy. But an obsession to identify the killer both then and now has meant that the victims of these terrible crimes have been largely forgotten. Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary...

Duration:00:27:41

Operation Jubilee: Disaster at Dieppe

10/10/2021
In August 1942 the Allies launched a daring raid across the Channel to capture the port town of Dieppe and hold it for 24 hours. It ended in disaster and death with nearly two-thirds of the attackers killed, wounded or captured. In the aftermath, commanders were quick to try and justify the carnage claiming that the raid was necessary to learn lessons in advance of future large scale amphibious operations in Europe and to show the Soviets that the Western Allies were serious about opening a...

Duration:00:27:55

Gangsters, Pimps & Prostitutes: London's West End

10/8/2021
London's West End attracts people from across the world to its many theatres, restaurants and famous nightlife but how did this centre of pleasure come to be? Originally on the fringe of London from its very inception, it was the playground of the rich seeking to let their hair down. Many of these entertainments were far from wholesome though with freakshows, drink, drugs and sex rife amongst its theatres, music halls and clubs. There have been many attempts to control this hedonism most of...

Duration:00:27:45

Al Qaeda

10/7/2021
Their attacks of 11 September 2001 sparked a War on Terror which echoes loudly to this day, but where did Al Qaeda come from, how did their ideologies form and what role do they play in the world today? For this episode of the Warfare podcast, James spoke to Dr Afzal Ashraf, an expert in Al Qaeda's ideology and violent religious extremism. Dr Ashraf spent over 30 years in the UK Armed Forces as a senior officer and is a Senior Government Advisor. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and...

Duration:00:46:48

Britain and the Slave Trade

10/6/2021
Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Britain was a key player in the transportation of millions of enslaved Africans to the colonies. Their labour in often brutal conditions was a vital component in enriching Britain and turning it into a global superpower. The business of slavery did not just make plantation owners and other elites wealthy though, in fact, its reach touched every aspect and stratum of British society. From the money to found schools, to welsh cloth makers,...

Duration:00:25:24

The Winter of Discontent

10/5/2021
In the bitter winter of 1978-1979 petrol ran short, panic buying was rife, rubbish piled up in the streets and bodies went unburied as a wave of industrial action swept the UK; but what lessons might be learned as we face our own shortages of food and fuel? The disruption was in fact relatively short-lived but the Winter of Discontent has left a deep imprint on British social and political culture which we can still feel today. Historian Alwyn Turner joins the podcast to explain what caused...

Duration:00:29:38