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Chart Toppers

Chart Toppers

A varied selection of some of our most popular Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Age of Revolution and 20th Century documentaries from the last few years.

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Chart Toppers
  • In Search of the Great Viking Army

    In 865 AD, England was invaded by the Great Heathen Army. The Great Viking Army, as it was also known, was made up of a coalition of Scandinavian warriors mainly from Denmark and, legend has it, four of the five sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, including Halfdan Ragnarsson, Ivar the Boneless, Bjorn Irone...

  • The Christmas Truce

    On Christmas Eve 1914 many sectors of the Western Front in France and Belgium fell silent. Troops from all sides put down their weapons and sang carols, exchanged gifts and buried their dead in No Man's Land. The following day the truce continued in many, but not all areas, and troops gathered in...

  • Life and Death in Medieval London

    Medieval historian Dr Eleanor Janega takes us on a whistle-stop tour across London, visiting some key historical sites and shining a light on the various communities of medieval London.

  • The First Britons

    If the words British history conjure up images of Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Boudica, Mary Seacole, The Beatles and the Blitz, you’re squinting at a small spec of the history of humanity of these Isles. Even if you go back to the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, or even further to the Iron Age ...

  • Bismarck: The Definitive Account

    1 season

    A definitive account of the hunt for and sinking of the flagship of the German Kriegsmarine, Bismarck. Featuring Andrew Choong, curator at the National Maritime Museum, naval historian Nick Hewitt and Angus Konstam, author of 'Hunt the Bismarck'. Presented by Dan Snow.

  • Going Medieval

    4 videos

    Life in the Medieval period looked like lots of different things to lots of different people. Your place in society could dictate everything. From what food you ate, where you could go, how educated you were and even how long you were likely to live for. Across this series, discover what life was...

  • D-Day: Secrets of the Solent

    On 6 June 1944, Allied forces undertook the largest air, land and sea invasion in history. On D-Day, more than 150,000 allied troops stormed five assault beaches in Normandy, attempting to break through Hitler's Atlantic Wall. ⁠

    Whilst the remnants of the D-Day landings can be seen all around No...

  • The Silent Fight: Poland's Underground Resistance

    After the country's occupation in 1939, the people of Poland were brutally oppressed by the Nazi SS and Geheime Staatspolizei. Yet, they never gave up the fight. Throughout the Second World War, a Polish Underground State was established - the largest underground resistance movement in all of occ...

  • Rise Of Napoleon

    He was the man who would define the start of the 19th century. He has more documented victories than any other battlefield commanders in history. From a relatively humble background, he rose to become master of Europe. This is the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Featuring historians Dr Michael Rowe, ...

  • The Ninth: Mystery of the Lost Legion

    1 season

    It is one of the great mysteries of ancient Mediterranean history. In the 2nd century AD, Rome’s 9th Legion – Legio IX Hispana – vanished from the historical record. Immortalised through Rosemary Sutcliff’s famous novel The Eagle of the Ninth, the question of what happened to this ‘Lost Legion’ h...

  • Debunking the Myths of the Titanic

    At noon on 10 April 1912, crowds gathered at Southampton to watch the maiden voyage of the World's largest ship RMS Titanic. A sleek, modern luxurious liner that was offering a safe and fast crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Titanic was said to be invincible. She cruised down Southampton waters on ...

  • Ancient Britain with Ray Mears: Flint and Footprints

    Britain is an island where history is well and truly part of the landscape and an island where human feet have walked for a million years. We are constantly making groundbreaking archaeological discoveries that are helping us to better understand the way in which our distant ancestors lived.

    Joi...

  • Barbarossa: The Lost Diaries

    1 season

    On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany launched ‘Operation Barbarossa’, the attack of the Soviet Union, the largest invasion in military history. In June 2019, twelve dusty notebooks and a wealth of loose paperwork were discovered in Germany; the diaries of Oberleutnant Wilhelm Sander, a young officer in ...

  • Hogarth: Into the Streets of Georgian London

    Born in London at the turn of the 18th Century, William Hogarth became one of the most iconic English painters, printmakers, pictorial satirists, social critics, and editorial cartoonists of his generation.

    Often dubbed the mirror of 18th Century London, Hogarth's most notable works include, A ...

  • The Air War: The Escalation of Allied Bombing

    During the Second World War a storm of fire and steel was unleashed. Not just on front line troops, but on enemy society itself. All sides in the Second World War believed that aerial bombardment could decisively affect the strategic outcome of the conflict. But did the unprecedented onslaught fr...

  • Total Victory: The Battle of Trafalgar

    Victory was total. An enemy fleet obliterated. The course of a great war determined. A hero struck down and a legend born. In October 1805 the British Royal Navy defeated the combined battle fleets of the French and Spanish empires 20 miles northwest of a promontory of rock and sand in southern S...

  • Rebellion in the North: The Harrying of the North

    In the winter of 1069–70, William the Conqueror waged a series of military campaigns to subjugate northern England, where the presence of the last Wessex claimant, Edgar Atheling, had encouraged Anglo-Danish rebellions.

    In Part 1 of this three part series, Daniel Gray explores the context behind...

  • Pinches of Salt and Gold: Uncovering Mansa Musa's Story

    Documentary telling the story of Mansa Musa, the famous 14th century ruler of Mali, renowned for his great wealth. Featuring Professor Amira Bennison, Boubacar Diallo, Hadrien Collet, Mauro Nobili and Madina Thiam.

  • Alexander the Great: The Greatest Heist in History

    It remains one of the most successful and significant thefts in history. In late 321 BC, a carefully-constructed plot was put into operation that would spark years of bloody conflict between rival warlords. The target of the operation was Alexander the Great’s elaborate funeral carriage (designed...

  • Life and Death in Nelson's Navy

    200 years ago, Britain's Royal Navy was the most technologically advanced and supremely efficient force in the history of naval warfare.

    But what was it like to live and work on board these ships? What did the men eat? How did the ships sail? What were the weapons they used?

    In this documentar...

  • 1066: The Year of Conquest

    1066 - one of the most famous years in English history. In a succession crisis like no other three warlords separated by hundreds of miles and savage seas vied for control of the English throne in a series of bloody battle. From Harald Hardrada's crowning victory at Fulford to the renowned Battle...

  • Ghost Ships: Forgotten Wrecks of the River Dart

    In 2013, a survey around the UK identified 199 different assemblages of hulks, remains of craft. These included paddle ships, ferries, steamboats, sail ships, submarines and fishing boats.

    All around the UK, in rivers and streams, and in the mud on the side of riverbeds are the remains of our m...

  • The Worst Journey in the World: The Arctic Convoys

    In August 1941, the Allies launched Operation Dervish. This was the first of the Arctic Convoys, ships which sailed from the United Kingdom, Iceland and North America, and brought essential supplies to the Soviet Union.

    After the successful launch of Operation Barbarossa, the USSR was in despe...

  • Hans Holbein the Younger: Painting the Tudor Court

    In this fascinating documentary, historian Dr Nicola Tallis and author Franny Moyle dissect and unravel the meaning behind the famous paintings of the Tudor Court depicted by the renowned artist, Hans Holbein the Younger.

    Born in Ausburg in 1497, Holbein worked as a painter and printmaker in Ba...