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.

20th Century
  • The Room Where It Happened: Cuban Missile Crisis

    In this first episode of 'The Room Where It Happened', History Hit invites three experts to deconstruct the thoughts and feelings of the key players at the heart of this crucial historic moment - each taking the perspective of one of the main protagonists: Khrushchev, Kennedy and Castro.


  • The Forgotten Battle of World War I

    This documentary sees military historian Alex Churchill travelling through Germany and the Belgian battlefields, retracing the opening weeks of the First World War - a blood battle that took place before the trenches, barbed wire and gas we typically think of when we think "First World War" - ins...

  • Osama Bin Laden - Up Close and Personal

    In 2011, US-troops killed the leader of Al-Qaeda and recovered documents and hard drives. This material is now available and offers a new perspective on Osama Bin Laden. This documentary analyses Osama Bin Laden's private correspondence and uses "graphic novel"-elements to recount how he spent th...

  • Meet the Veterans

    1 season

  • Ten Days to Victory

    1 season

    Ten characters, ten dramatic stories, ten extraordinary days, all leading to one historic event: the end of the greatest war the world has ever known. Combining large-scale reconstructions with traditional documentary storytelling to evoke the climactic last moments of the Second World War.

  • Battle of Britain: Three Days that Saved the Nation

    1 season

    July 10th 1940 is officially the start of the Battle of Britain. To mark that summer of aerial warfare, History Hit is showing this special documentary series.

    With Hitler determined to bring Britain to its knees, Nazi bombers unleashed a campaign of terror. From north to south, the skies were...

  • 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...

  • Ireland: War and Revolution

    Between 1919 and 1921, Ireland played host to a long and bloody guerrilla conflict between British state forces and Irish republican guerrillas, in the form of Irish Volunteers or the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The conflict would completely transform the political landscape in Ireland.

    In this...

  • 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...

  • Emmeline Pankhurst: The Making of a Militant

    This documentary takes a rare look at Emmeline Pankhurst’s personal story.
    Emmeline Pankhurst led an army of women onto the streets of Britain – the likes of which has never been seen before or since. Fearsome, fearless and ready to fight to the death for her political beliefs she is remembered a...

  • My Neighbour Hitler

    From 1929 to 1939, Edgar Feuchtwanger lived across the street from Adolf Hitler in a bourgeois building in Munich, Germany. From his bedroom, the young Jewish boy had a view of the Führer across the avenue on the second floor. A schoolboy in Munich at the time, Edgar witnessed the rise of Nazism ...

  • A Stitch in Time

    1 season

    Presented by fashion historian, Amber Butchart, and featuring a raft of talented historical clothiers, this living history series not only offers a fascinating glimpse into the wardrobes of history’s most prominent figures, but also the wider societies and cultures in which they lived.

  • Benjamin Ferencz: The Nuremberg Prosecutor

    Brilliant Lawer, at only 27 years old, Benjamin Ferencz was the youngest prosecutor in charge of the sentencing nazi criminals in Nuremberg on 1946. Relentless fighter for peace he never stopped trying to make the world a more human place, always governed by the spirit of the law.
    After the war a...

  • A Very Animated Cold War

    From 1945 to 1989, after the capitulation of Nazi Germany, two rival ideologies, communism and capitalism, faced each other in a merciless battle.

    On one side of the Iron Curtain and on the other, throughout the Cold War, the USSR and the United States sought to shape children’s imaginations thr...

  • The Trial of Adolf Eichmann

    The Eichmann trial marks a real turning point in the emergence of the memory of the genocide of the Jews, in Israel, Germany and the United States. It is the first major transnational narrative that constructs the genocide of the Jews as a distinct event in the Second World War. It was intended a...

  • Memories of D-Day

    June 6th 1944. Operation Overlord begins. Discover D-Day through the photographic eyes of the British Soldiers. In this film the memories of Peter Norris, Harry Oakes, John Aldred and Peter Handford of their photographic activity during D-Day are recollected and allow us to better understand the ...

  • Inside Britain's Secret Nuclear Bunker

    In the wake of the Second World War, Britain moved to cement itself as one of the world's main nuclear powers. The erection of a series of nuclear bunkers followed across the UK, tasked with protecting a fortunate few against any devastating nuclear attack. Sarah Agha explores Britain's secret nu...

  • The Greatest Air Race and the Heroes the World Forgot

    The Greatest Air Race is the story of how Sir Ross Smith and his three-man crew became the first aviators to cross the planet. It’s a feat that remains largely overlooked in the history of flight.
    The Greatest Air Race is presented and narrated by astronaut Andy Thomas as he embarks on a trans-co...

  • The 1900 Island

    1 season

    Set on the wild west coast of Anglesey, in a time of hand to mouth existence - four families face the harsh realities of one of the toughest ways to make a living in 1900 Britain.
    A new living history series follows the fortunes of four modern day families as they head back over 100 years to the ...

  • 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...

  • Elizabeth and Margaret: Love and Loyalty

    1 season

    No one can fault the Queen’s commitment to duty. Her sister Margaret, however, is seen as the royal rebel, whose partying lifestyle caused embarrassment and scandal.

    But this couldn’t be further from the truth. For the first time, Elizabeth & Margaret: Love and Loyalty reveals how Margaret sacri...

  • Titanic's Tragic Twin: The Britannic Disaster

    This documentary explores the sinking of the Britannic during the First World War, examining how she ultimately came to suffer the same fate as her sister ship, the Titanic.

    Titanic had a twin sister, Britannic, which despite being bigger and better built, sank to the bottom three times faster t...

  • 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.