Historic Battles

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  • The Crusaders' Last Battle for the Holy Land

    Roger Crowley is the author of the new book, Accursed Tower: The Crusaders' Last Battle for the Holy Land. The city of Acre, powerfully fortified and richly provisioned, was the last crusader stronghold. When it fell in 1291, two hundred years of Christian crusading in the Holy Land came to a blo...

  • Ottomans Versus Christians: Battle for the Mediterranean

    1 season

    Julian Davidson looks at the colossal warfare that seized the Mediterranean in the 16th century. A struggle for men's souls between the rapidly rising Muslim Ottoman Empire in the east and a fractious alliance of Christian superpowers.

  • Battle of Hastings: The English Camp

    Dan Snow visits the Saxon camp at the Battle of Hastings reenactment where the Anglo Saxons are preparing for battle.

  • Arnhem: Battle for the Bridges

    Operation Market Garden was the Allied operation to end the Second World War by Christmas 1944. The brainchild of Bernard Montgomery, it involved the combined use of airborne and armoured divisions carving a path through the Netherlands, securing several vital bridges, bypassing the formidable Si...

  • The Battle of Okinawa

    On 1 April 1945, as the Second World War in Europe was reaching its end, one of the bloodiest battles in the whole conflict commenced on a small island south of mainland Japan. It was the Battle of Okinawa. Saul David comes on the show to provide a fascinating run down of this truly horrific battle.

  • Finding the Lost Battlefield of Brunanburh

    The Battle of Brunanburh was one of the bloodiest and biggest battles of early medieval history. Fought 1100 years ago, Athelstan - the king of the English - opposed a coalition of Irish, Scots, Northumbrians and Vikings and won a decisive victory. The enemy shield wall was penetrated. Their troo...

  • 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...

  • The Making of Wellington: The Battle of Vimeiro

    On 21st of August 1808, the 39-year-old Sir Arthur Wellesley (later to become the Duke of Wellington) stood at the head of an Anglo-Portuguese army numbering approximately 14,000.

    His army was positioned on the blind side of a slope, awaiting the advance of a French Army under General Jean-Ando...

  • The Battle of Britain

    In June 1940 Nazi Germany overran France and forced the British army to evacuate at Dunkirk. Severely lacking in military equipment, Britain and her empire now stood alone against Adolf Hitler's forces. Nevertheless Winston Churchill, Britain's new prime minister, refused to come to peace terms, ...

  • St Helena: Napoleon's Last Battlefield

    Napoleon was one of the most significant soldiers and statesmen in world history. And his last years spent on the remote island of St Helena only adds to the fascination of his story.

    Dan Snow visits the key sites on St Helena, linked to Napoleon's stay on this island. St Helena has been COVID ...

  • 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...

  • Edgehill: A Fight of Spite and Spleen

    When Charles I acceded to the throne in 1625, there was every reason to hope his reign would be as peaceful and prosperous as any. But by 1642, after almost two decades of religious aggravation and personal ‘tyranny’, tensions reached boiling point. The chance for peaceful resolution and diplomat...

  • The Causes of the Wars of the Roses

    The Wars of the Roses were one of the bloodiest periods in English history. After 30 years of conflict between the royal houses of Lancaster and York, the nobility was shattered, and the Plantagenet dynasty was ended. But what caused this long period of internecine violence? It's a story of such ...

  • The Traces of War

    1 season

    Dr James Rogers, Assistant Professor of War Studies, is fascinated by these remains and exactly what they can tell us about not just the changing nature of war through time - but the stories of the people who lived through those events.

  • The Battle of China

    Why We Fight is a series of seven propaganda films, produced by the US Army Signals Corps, under the direction of Frank Capra, between 1942 and 1945. The films were intended to be shown to US troops before they departed overseas. The mission of the films was two-fold: to provide an informative ov...

  • The Battle of Russia

    Why We Fight is a series of seven propaganda films, produced by the US Army Signals Corps, under the direction of Frank Capra, between 1942 and 1945. The films were intended to be shown to US troops before they departed overseas. The mission of the films was two-fold: to provide an informative ov...

  • Imphal and Kohima: Britain's Greatest Battle

    The Battles of Imphal and Kohima was a crucial turning point in the attempted Japanese invasion of India during World War Two. By October 1942 Singapore, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Burma had all fallen to the Japanese; the Imperial army looked unbeatable. Yet it was then, when morale was at its lowe...

  • The Battle for North America

    On 13 September 1759, on the Plains of Abraham near the city of Quebec, an outnumbered British army fought a battle that would change the history of the world: the Battle of Quebec. For the past three years, Britain and France were locked in a bitter struggle for dominance in the Seven Years War:...

  • D-Day - 24 Hours in Normandy

    At 07.37 on 6th June 1944, the ramps of the landing craft carrying the men of A and D companies 6th battalion Green Howards went down, and the men stormed up the beaches.

    It was D-Day.

    Now Dr James Rogers is going to put D-Day under the microscope, following in the footsteps of the men of the ...

  • The Battle of Britain

    1 season

    Using unseen footage from the production of The Battle of Britain (1969), this series tells the real story of the Battle of Britain in 1940, between the RAF and the German Luftwaffe.