20th Century

20th Century

Defined by a rise of nationalism, two world wars, clashing super powers, nuclear weapons and space exploration, the 20th Century is certainly not void of fascinating history. Enjoy our enormous library of documentaries on key events such as D-Day or the sinkng of the Titanic, interviews with leading experts such as Tom Holland, David Cannadine and fascinating podcasts on the history of warfare.

Share
20th Century
  • Endurance: Rediscovered

    It was one of the last great lost shipwrecks of history - Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance. But now, incredibly, it has been rediscovered - over a century after it sank beneath the ice in freezing Antarctic waters.

    Organised by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, the expedition to locate the...

  • Apollo 11: How Humans Reached the Moon

    By the late 1950s the superpowers of USA and Soviet had moved beyond attempting to dominate land, sea and air and now set their sights firmly on space. After the USSR succeeded in launching an unmanned satellite and sending a man into orbit first, the USA announced a massive spending programme in...

  • KGB: The Sword and the Shield

    1 season

    The KGB has influenced world events on numerous occasions before. Assassinations, coup d’états, theft of nuclear secrets and sexpionage are just standard trademarks for an organisation that still sends shivers down the spines of politicians and military figures the world over. It may have changed...

  • Queen Elizabeth II: A Life in History

    Queen Elizabeth II was born in a totally different world to today. Her life spanned decades of profound change, both in the United Kingdom and around the globe.

    In this special programme, Dan Snow and royal historian Prof. Kate Williams reflect on the early years of Elizabeth II’s remarkable l...

  • Korea: The Forgotten War in Colour

    1 season

    The story of the Korean War is told through powerful color imagery, dramatic musical score and sound-scape. In the first episode, the summer of 1950 sees the people of Korea trapped in the vice-like grip of the beginnings of the Cold War, as the two new superpowers of the postwar world flex their...

  • Uncovering the Enigma: Bletchley Park

    Bletchley Park is now internationally famous as the home of the code-breakers during World War Two. But the endeavours of Alan Turing, Dilly Knox and their colleagues were so top secret that we are only now beginning to learn how they really lived day-to-day in this magnificent house, where – beh...

  • Tanks of World War Two: With James Holland

    1 season

    Historian, broadcaster and World War Two expert James Holland investigates the most iconic armoured fighting vehicles of the Second World War.

  • A City At War: Chicago

    At the beginning of America's involvement in World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) called on the country to become "an arsenal of democracy" – to become producers of war materiel to help defeat the Axis powers – Germany, Japan and Italy. This is the story of how Chicago answered...

  • The Falklands: The Last British War

    1 season

    On the night of the 2nd April 1982, without warning, Argentina launched the invasion of the Falklands Islands. What followed was Britain’s last solo war: the last major conflict fought over British imperial territories, the last major conflict Britain fought by itself rather than as part of a coa...

  • The Untold Story of the Unknown Warrior

    The First World War was a conflict like nothing the World had ever known. More than 700,000 men mobilised in the UK would die during the conflict. Roughly 250,000 of those would have no known grave. The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior became a place where all those people who were denied a grave to v...

  • Shackleton: The Story of Endurance, 3-Part Series

    1 season

    This 3-part documentary celebrates an explorer who failed in everything he set out to do, but whose toughness, courage and leadership made him a legend: Sir Ernest Shackleton.

  • Uncovering the Band of Brothers

    1 season

    80 years ago, millions of American soldiers started arriving in Britain, a friendly invasion that was here to prepare for the liberation of Europe. Amongst them was Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment - that would become the famous Band of Brothers. Now, a team of volunteers, in...

  • 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...

  • Hitler: The Rise to Power

    In the 1930s Germany, one of the World's richest, most technologically-developed and culturally-sophisticated countries, was transformed into an extreme authoritarian state under its dictator Adolf Hitler. His unbridled ambition would plunge the World into a war bloodier and more destructive than...

  • Parliament's Greatest Speeches

    The Palace of Westminster is one of the world's most famous buildings: 'the mother of parliaments'. Since the days of Simon de Montfort parliaments having been meeting at this location in the heart of London. Though plagued by controversy and destruction over its long history the site's significa...

  • Race Science with Angela Saini

    Dan sat down with Angela Saini to talk about the history behind race and the history of interactions between civilisations.

  • 🎧 Goose Green: A Veteran Remembers

    John Geddes joined the Parachute Regiment as a teenager in the late 1970s. Within a couple of years he was plunged into the Falklands War and the bloodiest battle the British Army had fought since the Korean War. In this podcast John talks to Dan about his experience in the army, his memories of ...

  • D-Day 75
    1 season

    D-Day 75

    1 season

    6th June, 1944, the Allies embark on the liberation of Europe. Explore the events of Operation Overlord with our specially selected documentaries.

  • The Real Peaky Blinders

    19th century Birmingham was famous for its industrial might, but particular parts of it were also renowned for a more infamous reason: its gangs. Dan headed up to Birmingham to meet bestselling author and celebrity local historian Carl Chinn to learn the true history behind Birmingham's most noto...

  • Nuclear Armageddon with Julie McDowall

    Dan sat down with Julie McDowall to talk about Britain's plans in case of nuclear Armageddon during the Cold War. They also discuss the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl and its infamous legacy.

  • Secrets of Hitler's Island Fortress

    Guernsey and its neighbouring islands have a unique distinction which sets them apart from the rest of the British Isles. Together with the rest of the Channel Islands, they were the only part of the British Isles to fall to Nazi Germany in the Second World War. In this documentary, Dan Snow disc...

  • Niall Ferguson on Social Networks Throughout History

    Most history is hierarchical: it’s about popes, presidents and prime ministers. A very small section of society has wielded very great power. But what if that’s simply because they are responsible for creating the historical archives? What if we are missing out on understanding equally powerful b...

  • 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.

  • Inside Windsor Castle: The State Rooms

    Windsor Castle has a legendary connection to the British monarchy: the longest-serving royal palace in the whole of Europe. Ever since the days of William the Conqueror, the Castle has dominated this strategic point on the banks of the Thames, overlooking west London. Over the next 1,000 years ki...