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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

The Complicated Legacy of F W de Klerk

11/28/2021
The result of his complicated legacy, the death of South Africa's last apartheid president, F W de Klerk, on November 11 2021 generated a flood of differing assessments. De Klerk wrote himself into the history of South Africa on February 2 1990, when he announced the unbanning of the African National Party (ANC) and other liberation movements, as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. While this set South Africa on the path of reform, De Klerk’s failure to break free of apartheid...

Duration:00:30:24

The Rise of the Praetorian Guard

11/26/2021
From Gladiator to Rome Total War to Star Wars, today the Praetorians are one of the most distinctive military units of Imperial Rome. It was their job to protect the Roman Emperor and his household, a task for which they hold a somewhat ‘chequered’ record (especially when we focus in on the Praetorian Prefects). But what do we know about this unit’s origins? How did this powerful force become protectors of the Emperor and his household? What other functions did they serve? And how did they...

Duration:01:08:05

The British Spy who Saved Jews from Hitler

11/25/2021
Thomas Kendrick was at the very centre of British Intelligence operations throughout the first half of the twentieth century. He combined a public face of an English gentleman whilst privately masterminding MI6's spy networks throughout Europe. Perhaps his finest hour came in the run-up to the Second World War when stationed in Vienna as a British passport officer he issued thousands of visas and passports to Austrian Jews enabling an estimated 10,000 people to escape the coming Holocaust....

Duration:00:29:24

From the Punjab to the Western Front

11/24/2021
Over a million Indian soldiers served during the First World War, but many of the records of the soldiers who fought valiantly for the Allied cause had been lost - hiding their stories from history. Until now. Discovered in a basement of a museum in Lahore, Pakistan, where they had been left unread for 97 years, these newly recovered documents have allowed historians to put the men of the Indian Army back into the story of the allied war effort. To explain the significance of the records...

Duration:00:26:34

The British Monarchy

11/23/2021
The British Monarchy is a thread that has run throughout the history of Britain but over the centuries it has been a constantly evolving institution. From the warrior kings of early England steeped in violence to the largely symbolic constitutional monarch of today, Tracy Borman helps Dan chart how the monarchy has changed and what roles it continues to play. They discuss the best and worst of British Monarchs, why women seem to be better suited for this gargantuan job, her personal...

Duration:00:38:01

The Assassination of JFK: Explained

11/22/2021
Everyone who was alive at the time remembers the day President John F. Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas on the 22 November 1963. On this anniversary Dan gives a moment-by-moment account of the day that shocked the world and speaks to Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post journalist and leading authority on the subject. They discuss the aftermath of the assassination and what the public was never told by the White House and the CIA. To this day, Jefferson is still fighting for the...

Duration:00:32:11

Greg Jenner: Ask a Historian

11/21/2021
When and why did we start keeping hamsters as pets? When was sign language first used in the UK? If you were planning a bank heist, which historical figures would you call on? These are just some of the burning historical questions that public historian and podcaster, Greg Jenner, is tackling in his new book, Ask A Historian: 50 Surprising Answers to Things You Always Wanted to Know.In this episode, Greg joins Dan to explain the motivations behind the book, how he sees the role of public...

Duration:00:39:41

Searching for the Lost of World War One

11/19/2021
At the end of the World War One, around one million citizens of the British Empire had been lost, and the whereabouts of about half of these was unknown. Families could be waiting weeks, months or years to hear whether their loved ones were imprisoned, wounded, missing or dead, if they heard at all. This was the task of the searchers. In the years following the war, these volunteer investigators conducted 5 million interviews, finding answers for around 400 thousand families. Robert...

Duration:00:38:54

The Magic Circle & Hoaxes in History

11/18/2021
Hoaxes and magic were widespread in 18th century Britain. From a woman who claimed to birth rabbits, to a man who said he’d climb into a bottle in front of a live audience, many of the claims sound laughably unbelievable to us today. But at the time, these sorts of hoaxes were widely influential, even drawing in celebrities of the day such as Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Swift. This episode, Dan is joined by joined by historian and magician, Ian Keable, who details some of the most...

Duration:00:31:30

When the World's Armies Came to Salisbury Plain

11/17/2021
During World War One, Britain and its empire mobilised soldiers on a hitherto unprecedented scale. That required a huge logistical effort to feed, equip, house and train them. No place reflects these efforts better than Salisbury Plains. Now mainly sleepy villages and farmland, these plains were once home to tens of thousands of men and women who descended on the camps to prepare for war. In this episode historian Margaret McKenzie, who spent the last 30 years studying the camps, takes Dan...

Duration:00:39:29

We Didn't Start the Fire: Dien Bien Phu

11/16/2021
This episode of the podcast comes from a show called ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ which is a modern history podcast inspired by the lyrics of the legend that is Billy Joel. In this episode, Dan chats with the wonderful Katie Puckrik and Tom Fordyce about the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which took place in 1954 in Vietnam. If any place on Earth symbolises the end of the European Empire, it’s here. If you want more of those episodes, go and look up the rest of the series right now. They’ve got...

Duration:00:42:30

Our Love Affair with History

11/15/2021
From the great battles such as Dunkirk, historical titans such Alexander the Great and historical oddities such as Henry VIII's enemas Dan speaks to author and historian Dominic Sandbrook about what it is that sparks a passion for history. They also discuss the challenges of writing and podcasting about history and Dominic's new series of books Adventures in Time which aim to bring the past alive for twenty-first century children, allowing them to discover the thrills and spills of history...

Duration:00:30:06

Stories of War with Max Hastings

11/14/2021
As the country remembers the sacrifice made by those men and women who have given their lives and health in serving the nation Dan is joined by Sir Max Hastings to examine the ever-changing face of warfare. His new book Soldiers: Great Stories of War and Peace examines not just the heroism of those who have fought wars over the centuries but also the suffering and squalor that conflict brings. Sir Max also reflects on his own experiences as a battlefield reporter in Vietnam and the...

Duration:00:38:21

How Catherine of Aragon Learnt to be Queen

11/12/2021
The Spanish infanta Catalina of Aragon was raised to be a Queen, betrothed at the age of three to the heir apparent of the English throne, Arthur Prince of Wales. Eight years after Arthur's death, she became the first of Henry VIII's six wives. Catalina's mother - Queen Isabella I of Castile - was the most influential person in her life. Witness at an early age the expulsion of Jews, the defeat of the Moors in Spain, and the triumphal return of Christopher Columbus, Catherine grew up to be...

Duration:01:03:44

WW1 and its Aftermath with Sebastian Faulks

11/11/2021
Sebastian Faulks is a novelist who really needs no introduction, perhaps most famous for his novel Birdsong, he has written powerfully and poignantly about the impact of war on the human spirit. In this episode of the podcast, he joins Dan to talk about his newest novel Snow Country. Set in Austria in the aftermath of the First World War the novel serves as a perfect starting place to discuss how wars are remembered by those who took part and those whose lives were shaped by them. They...

Duration:00:29:02

Did Immigration Really Cause the Fall of Rome?

11/10/2021
Boris Johnson recently stated that the fall of Rome was caused by 'uncontrolled migration' and the image of a mighty empire bought to its knees by hordes of barbarians from the east is certainly a powerful one. It is, however, not true and for many historians, even the idea of the "fall" of the empire is considered dubious. In the west, the empire dissolved into successor states that continued many elements of Roman bureaucracy and societal order. In the east, the empire became the Byzantine...

Duration:00:44:30

The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

11/9/2021
The Berlin Wall was an icon of the Cold War and a physical embodiment of the divide between East and West. Its rise and fall was a microcosm of the conflict and its fall marked the beginning of a new post-Cold War world. Today on the podcast Dan is joined by two eyewitnesses to the wall to hear first-hand its physical and psychological impact. First Dan speaks to Sir Robert Corbett. His military career was book-ended by the wall as his first command as a young officer in the Irish Guards...

Duration:00:59:14

Colonel Gaddafi and Libya

11/8/2021
Even after his overthrow and bloody death in 2011, Colonel Gaddafi still looms large over Libya but there is much more to the history of this important and often misunderstood country. It is the 16th largest country on Earth, its capital Tripoli is closer to London than Athens is and Britain's relationship with the country goes back to the 17th century and beyond. Over the centuries Libya has been an important trading partner and has been a battlefield across which Commonwealth forces...

Duration:00:36:02

Bar Kokhba: Hadrian's Worst Nightmare

11/7/2021
In AD132 began the bloody struggle over who would rule a nation. The clash of two ancient cultures was fought between two strong-willed leaders, Hadrian, the cosmopolitan ruler of the vast Roman Empire, and Shim’on, a Jewish military leader who some believed to be the ‘King Messiah’. During the ‘Second Jewish War’ – the highly motivated Jewish militia sorely tested the highly trained professional Roman army. The rebels withstood the Roman onslaught for three-and-a-half years (AD132–136) and...

Duration:00:43:24

The Gunpowder Plot

11/5/2021
On 5 November 1605, an audacious plan to decapitate the British state was foiled when Guy Fawkes and nearly a ton of gunpowder were discovered in an undercroft beneath the House of Lords. The plan was to blow up King James I and the majority of the nation's religious and political leadership during the State Opening of Parliament and incite a Catholic uprising across the country. It was hatched by a group of disillusioned Catholics, led by Robert Catesby, in a bid to end Catholic persecution...

Duration:00:47:14