Dan Snow's History Hit

Dan Snow's History Hit

History Hit
History
654 episodes
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.
  • On 22 June 1941 Hitler unleashed Operation Barbarossa the biggest military operation in human history. More than 3 million men of the Axis poured into the Soviet Union beginning a conflict, that even within the context of the Second World War, was unprecedented in both its scale and savagery. Operat...
    Play43m 50s
  • From the Neolithic period to the early 18th century Crannogs were a feature of Scottish, Welsh and Irish lakes and estuaries enabling a unique way of life. These unusual dwellings consisted of an artificial island constructed over and in the water. The Scottish Crannog Cente on Loch Tay had a wonder...
    Play21m 14s
  • The 1960s and early 1970s saw civil unrest and violence in the United States on a scale not seen since the civil war between black residents and the police but was this simply rioting or a revolution? Dan is joined by Elizabeth Hinton associate professor of history, African American studies, and law...
    Play23m 26s
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to the news headlines when the rosary she carried to her execution in 1587, was recently stolen from Arundel Castle. It's the latest chapter in the enduring story of this highly romanticised figure. Mary reigned over Scotland for just over 24 years between December 1...
    Play50m 6s
  • 206 years ago today, 60,000 men were slaughtered in the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon Bonaparte's French army was finally defeated by an almighty coalition of troops from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau, led by the Duke of Wellington, and the Prussian army under the...
    Play42m 49s
  • Winston Churchill's daughters Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary are often overshadowed by their father's extraordinary fame but they also lived fascinating lives and were often present at many of the seismic moments of history. Their lives were far from easy though. Marigold died at the age of two, Di...
    Play23m 24s
  • For many people sending a postcard is an enjoyable part of any seaside trip but rather than just being a novelty they were once a vital form of communication and often the quickest way to contact your friends and relatives. Dan is joined by Chris Taft and Georgina Tomlinson from the postal museum wh...
    Play20m 46s
  • The Anglo-Saxon period is vital for the formation of England and the UK as we know it but is a difficult era to fully understand. The departure of the Romans left a power vacuum that was filled by warlords with violence, foreign invasion, occupation and religious strife being endemic. But out of thi...
    Play36m 8s
  • After the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666 London was on its knees with its population decimated and the heart of the city burnt out, but from the ashes, it would rise phoenix-like to become one of the world's dominant economic and cultural centres. Dan is joined by author L...
    Play30m 39s
  • Gordon Brown stood at the pinnacle of UK politics for 13 years first as Chancellor of the Exchequer and the as Prime Minister but it is as a private citizen that he now seeks to set out and help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. In this episode, Dan speaks to Gordon Brown about his t...
    Play28m 22s
  • England holds the slightly unwanted title for the most appearances in the Euros without ever reaching a final, so why the excitement when it comes back around every four years? Football journalist and podcaster Tom Fordyce joins Dan to chat about the history of the Euros, memorable moments, and wh...
    Play27m 51s
  • Alexander the Great is one of the most famous generals and empire builders in history, but the story of his death is almost as remarkable as his life. Tristan Hughes host of the History Hit podcast The Ancients, and Alexander the Great superfan, joins Dan to tell the almost unbelievable tale of what...
    Play31m 54s
  • The Mary Rose, a Tudor warship in Henry VIII's navy, sank in the Solent on 19 July 1545 with the loss of most of her 415 strong crew. Recent developments in marine archaeology have enabled researchers to bring to light fascinating new evidence about the diversity of the crew. Dr Alex Hildred, the he...
    Play20m 16s
  • The two Dans are back. And this time, they're talking all things crusades. In this rerun episode, Dan Jones provides his namesake host with a thrilling background to the series of holy wars that have come to define Medieval Europe. 
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    Play49m 56s
  • The Second World War is often depicted as a straight battle between good and evil but it was perhaps less straightforward than that. Whilst the Nazi regime was undoubtedly barbarous and deserved its fate the consequences of victory were not always the positive they are portrayed to be. Indeed for mu...
    Play35m 49s
  • The superpower rivalry of the Cold War had many different fronts, space, the rice paddy fields of south-east Asia and even the operating theatre. The desire to push the envelope of human ingenuity led Dr Robert J. White to conduct a series of successful head transplants on monkies during the 1970s w...
    Play22m 12s
  • D-Day on 6 June 1944 saw the largest amphibious landing in history take place as more than 150,000 allied troops stormed five assault beaches in Normandy, attempting to break through Hitler's Atlantic Wall. ⁠One of the unsung heroes of that operation were the landing craft and their crews. Without w...
    Play30m 26s
  • It was the scandal that shook the British political world to its core leading to ministerial resignations and helping to bring down a prime minister and cause the defeat of the Conservative party at the next general election. When John Profumo resigned as Minister for War after being exposed lying t...
    Play19m 17s
  • The Renaissance was a time of radical change in Europe with an explosion in the production of art, new methods of waging war, Europeans discovering the new world, the printing press and religious strife with reformation. At the centre of all this tumult was Italy which was made up of competing princ...
    Play27m 58s
  • The D-Day landings of June 6 1944 were the largest amphibious landing in the history of warfare, and are famed as a major turning point towards Allied victory. But they weren’t without planning and practice. In late April 1944, the Allies launched one of their trial runs, Exercise Tiger, off Slapton...
    Play41m 9s
  • When we think of investment banking we think of high-risk trades, profit at any cost and big bonuses but there is an institution that sees it differently; Brown Brothers Harriman. Brown Brothers was founded in 1818 and is one of the oldest banks in the US. It has maintained its cautious ethos ever s...
    Play30m 20s
  • In this episode taken from our back catalogue Professor Paul Cartledge the concept which is the foundation stone of our political culture: democracy. Paul Cartledge is Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus University of Cambridge and author of many books, including, Democracy: A Life. 
 See a...
    Play47m 36s
  • On May 31 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, was torn apart by one of the worst instances of racialised violence in American history. In a period of great racial tension, the white population in Tulsa went on a rampage through the black neighbourhoods in the city killing innocent people, looting African-American...
    Play30m 57s
  • On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake at the age of 19. It is safe to say that few teenagers have had as big an impact on Anglo-French history as Joan of Arc. Joining the podcast to talk about this remarkable figure is the author and historian Juliet Barker making her podcast debut! S...
    Play35m 18s
  • The conflict between Israeli's and Palestinians is one that inflames strong emotions and opinions on all sides, but can a solution be found or is it an intractable one? In this episode of our series examing the Israel-Palestine struggle from different points of view, Dan is joined by historian Benny...
    Play24m 53s
  • The legions of Rome were the nucleus of Rome’s military might for centuries. From campaigning in northern Scotland to the Persian Gulf, these devastating battalions extended and cemented Roman power. Yet of these legions there was one whose end is shrouded in mystery: the Ninth Legion. So what might...
    Play39m 41s
  • In May 1941 Nazi Germany's most powerful warship and pride of the Kriegsmarine the Bismarck slipped out of harbour and made its way to hunt Allied merchant shipping in the Atlantic. Operation Rheinubung would be its first and last mission. Alerted to her presence and desperate to protect its Atlanti...
    Play46m 18s
  • Born in Lyme Regis in 1799, Mary Anning was a pioneering palaeontologist and fossil collector whose story continues to inspire so many scientists to this day. The Jurassic Coast on the south coast of England is one of the richest locations for fossil hunting in the UK, if not in the world. During th...
    Play19m 26s
  • In May 1941, the Royal Navy pursued Nazi Germany's largest battleship, the Bismarck, in the greatest chase story in the history of naval warfare. Bismarck represented the single most important threat to the Royal Navy and the vital Atlantic convoys they sought to protect; her armoured protection had...
    Play46m 32s
  • Sir Jeremy Greenstock served as a diplomat from the 1960s to the well into the 21st century and is someone who has been in the room when some of the most momentous events of recent history have occurred. He served in British embassies all over the world, he was UK ambassador to the United Nations be...
    Play52m 11s
  • Martin Luther is one of the most extraordinary and consequential men of the last 500 years but was also a man keenly aware of his image and went to considerable efforts to craft how the world saw him. This affected how he was viewed both in his own life and centuries later in ours. Dan is joined by...
    Play29m 41s
  • Eurovision is an annual extravaganza of European music and culture but what is its history and what role does it play? To help explore this subject Dan is joined by two men steeped in Eurviosion; TV and podcast critic Scotty Byran and Radio 1 DJ and Eurovision commentator Scott Mills. They describe...
    Play26m 52s
  • As part of our season of programmes looking at the Arab-Israeli conflict Lord Daniel Finklestein joins the podcast to discuss his perspective as a member of the Jewish diaspora. Daniel is a journalist and member of the House of Lords and in this episode, he shares with Dan his family's history befor...
    Play20m 47s
  • On the morning of May 20, 1932, 34-year-old Earhart set off from Newfoundland, Canada in her bid to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. 15 hours later she landed in terrible weather in Northern Ireland having completed this momentous feat. In this archive episode, Dan is joi...
    Play18m 16s
  • In the first of two special podcasts, from our sibling podcast Not Just the Tudors, to mark the 485th anniversary of Anne Boleyn's death, Suzannah Lipscomb is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the enduring fascination with Anne's life and demise. Exploring the different perceptions of Anne a...
    Play51m 28s
  • Dan is joined by the wonderful Cat Jarman who, along with Matt Lewis, will be presenting History Hit's brand new podcast Gone Medieval. They discuss the medieval period, the new podcast, Dan and Cat's recent road trip and the exciting new Viking site that has been discovered. Plus there is a sample...
    Play22m 49s
  • The Western Front in the First World War is a story of aristocratic generals sending ordinary men over the top to their deaths in futile frontal attacks against entrenched positions. Or is it? In this episode, Dan interviews the brilliant historian Nick Lloyd, author of The Western Front who tells a...
    Play29m 40s
  • History is essential to understanding the world around us and this couldn't be more true than in the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The recent flare-up of violence in Israel-Palestine has shown that without knowing the history stretching back thousands of years it is impossible to make sense...
    Play34m 45s
  • Malcolm Gladwell has sold millions of books and more recently become a podcasting titan and he joins Dan to talk about his most recent project The Bomber Mafia. The Bomber Mafia is about a group of military officers who came up with and transformed the concept of strategic bombing during the Second...
    Play18m 22s
  • Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 British troops in Basra were confronted with a chaotic situation as looting and rioting took hold of the city and society collapsed. As the British soldiers attempted to deal with this situation, for which they were neither trained nor equipp...
    Play30m 34s
  • A suave secret agent and fictional character turned household name and multi-billion dollar franchise: we all know James Bond. But what about the man behind him? In this episode, from. our sibling podcast Warfare hear about the people and places that inspired Ian Fleming as he wrote the stories of 0...
    Play29m 33s
  • Being a working mother is now an entirely normal part of life but this was certainly not always the case and was often seen as a social ill in the past. Helen McCarthy, author of Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood, joins Dan to help chart how the role of women in the workforce has changed...
    Play21m 11s
  • Ken Burns and Lynn Novick are two of the most talented and inspiring history filmmakers on earth. Their works include the seminal The Civil War, Baseball and The Vietnam War all of which have been rightly celebrated around the world. Their latest project examines the life and work of Ernest Hemingwa...
    Play33m 59s
  • In this archive episode, Dan talks to Adam Zamoyski, a historian who has written a biography of Napoleon, about the early life and rise to power of one of the most remarkable men in history. 
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    Play39m 12s
  • On the 9 May 1671, Thomas Blood led his co-conspirators in a daring bid to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Through a combination of trickery, guile and violence he was able to make off with Charles II's crown and some of the most important treasures in the kingdom. To help tell this...
    Play30m 33s
  • Betty Webb was heavily involved with the work going on at Bletchley Park. While she was not part of the code-breaking team, her work was invaluable to the success of Bletchley, and Dan talks to her about her life and wartime experiences. 
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    Play30m 23s
  • On 7 May 1915, the ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland with more than half the passengers and crew being killed. Some of those lost were Americans and the sinking hardened opinion in the United States against Germany and marked the beginning of the process...
    Play23m 55s
  • We know all about the battles of the Roman Empire: the opposing sides, their weapons and incentives. But if history is written by the winners, what happened if you lost? In this episode, Dr Jo Ball, battlefield archaeologist at the University of Liverpool, helps to fill in this gap. Jo takes us thro...
    Play39m 46s
  • Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston was a duchess who attracted scandal, a duchess who divided opinion, a duchess who refused to give up agency or accept her place in 18th century society and she was loathed and loved in equal measure. Maid of honour to Augusta, Princess of Wales, for over 20 y...
    Play25m 10s
  • How much can a burial really tell us about our ancient past? Professor Alice Roberts is today's guest and, as her new book Ancestors demonstrates, old bones can speak to us across the centuries. Using new ancient DNA analysis techniques archaeologists are now able to uncover an unprecedented level o...
    Play28m 28s
  • Getting to the moon was no easy feat, no matter how confident Kennedy may have sounded in his famous 1961 speech. NASA built a team from the ground up, and there were plenty of moments where it seemed as if they weren't going to make it. Fong tells stories of just how close they came, and how risky...
    Play30m 27s