History is New Zealand's only television channel purely dedicated to history, bringing the power and passion of the past to life. It not only satisfies New Zealand's ever-growing demand for historical programming - it stimulates our curiosity to know more about our world.
History has exclusive access to a vast library of the world's best historical and factual programming offering a high standard of quality in both production value and research - not just from every corner, but about every corner of the world.
Take a trip to France to discover the construction secrets to some of its most legendary megastructures. See how Napoléon the 1st instigated many constructions that are anchored in the Parisian landscape. The Arc de Triomphe, the Vendôme Column, the Palais de la Bourse, the church of La Madeleine, the building of bridges and piercing of canals…
There’s a reason they called it theoretical physics. No one really knew for sure what would happen when we split the atom. At Los Alamos, the famous scientist Enrico Fermi jokingly suggested a bet: the bomb would ignite the atmosphere – and end all life on earth. Not everyone thought it was funny. The sky did not catch fire, but the mushroom cloud over the New Mexico desert that day cast a long shadow. It began an explosive era of secrecy and fear that we still live with today. ATOMIC AGE DECLASSIFIED tells the untold stories of a time that brought us to the edge of human possibility – and the verge of total annihilation – more times than we ever knew.
Active Measures chronicles the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladimir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to The White House. With democracy hanging in the balance, Active Measures is essential viewing. Unravelling the true depth and scope of ‘the Russia story’ as we have come to know it, this film is a jarring reminder that some conspiracies hide in plain sight.
By 1944, as the Reich was crumbling, Hitler gave detailed orders for the destruction of Paris. He wanted the monuments and all the bridges mined and the city reduced to a "pile of rubble". General von Choltitz, the last Nazi commander in charge of Paris, famously claimed he saved the City of Light. But what really happened?
Myths die hard, and the history of the 20th century is no exception to this rule. Even today, we hold popular beliefs that we take for Evangelical truths. Thus, we believe that Hiroshima caused Japan to surrender, that the Marshall Plan saved Europe, that Adolf Hitler was a military genius, or that Mao Zedong was a necessary evil for China’s modernization. Of course, these judgments contain some truth; but, too broad-stroked to be accurate, they contradict the historical reality by denying its complexity. What if the truth was slightly different? Through an exploration of great national or international myths, this full archive documentary collection revisits the key moments of the 20th century with a new perspective in order to provide a new, smarter and more subtle interpretation, bringing elements to light that have been forgotten or sometimes overshadowed.
When President Kennedy challenged NASA to reach for the moon in 1961, it had all of fifteen minutes of space flight experience. By 1969, Neil Armstrong’s famous boot print was in the moons dust. In between are extraordinary tales of politics, engineering, ego, tragedy, and triumph. They are told by key astronauts, historians, Smithsonian experts, and one-of-a kind artefacts. We reveal how the missions started, right through to the test runs of Apollo 1 to 6, what it was like getting to and exploring the moon with Apollo missions 7 to 16 and how Apollo 17 greatly contributed to the understanding of the Moon’s geological history as well as advancing many areas of new technology. This six part series sheds new light on one of the most compelling chapters of the American storybook: Project Apollo.
The world is peppered with examples of incredible engineering projects and buildings designed to make life easier for those that used them, amaze those that came to see them – and make money for those that ordered, designed and built them. They were the stuff of dreams. Often, as we’ll see in these shows, on occasion enormous engineering problems had to me resolved, obstacles overcome and new innovations employed just to get them built in the first place. Alas, a great number of these remarkable structures have now been abandoned, cast aside like enormous expensive out-of-date toys, never to be used in the ways for which they were intended. Some fell prey to political arguments and financial problems or were perhaps unable to defy the passing years, the pace of new technologies or the vagaries of fads and fashion. Others failed because they were simply monstrous testimonies to the vanity, greed and sheer stupidity of the people that built them.
This four-hour mini-series tells the story of one of the most popular and influential forms of entertainment in history. Drawing upon a vast and rich visual archive, The Circus follows the rise and fall of the gigantic, traveling tented railroad circus, recounting the era when Circus Day could shut down a town, and circus stars were among the most famous people in the world. For many, the circus embodied the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular. Through the intertwined stories of several of the most innovative and influential impresarios of the late nineteenth century, this series reveals the circus was a uniquely American entertainment created by a rapidly expanding and industrializing nation; that it embraced and was made possible by Western imperialism; that its history was shaped by a tension between its unconventional entertainments and prevailing standards of respectability; and that its promise for ordinary people was the possibility for personal reinvention.
The planet’s greatest concentration of WW2 shipwrecks lie in a remote lagoon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And outside the diving community, nobody seems to have heard of it! Throughout the Second World War, the lagoon was the principal base for the Japanese fleet – a mid-ocean fortress they believed to be impenetrable. But then came Operation Hailstone, a massive airstrike which changed the course of the Pacific War. Over two days in 1944, American aircraft sunk around 40 Japanese ships and destroyed hundreds of warplanes. This was the American payback for the attack on Pearl Harbour.
Michael Portillo returns to America to continue his railroad adventures. Over the course of the series, Michael travels the largest rail network in the world using his 1879 Appleton’s General Guide to help him to understand the America of today. Series two sees Michael make two epic journeys. Beginning in St Louis, Missouri, the Gateway to the West, he travels more than 1,200 miles to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. In his second journey, he follows the Mississippi river from the Twin Cities of the northern state of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St Paul, to Memphis, Tennessee, in the Deep South.
Historically Australia has punched well above its weight on the world stage of timely innovations, scientific breakthroughs, and brilliant new technologies. Led by Matt Parkinson and a team of expert hosts, each episode uncovers the surprising stories behind four ingenious inventions, and shines the spotlight of history on a fresh line-up of Australian heroes; thinkers, tinkerers and titans of industry - our remarkable inventors. Some improved daily life, while others achieved the extraordinary!
This compelling eight-part series takes you to the heart of iconic moments in the history of warfare: the D-Day landings, the ill-fated airborne operation at Arnhem, the German counterattack at the Battle of the Bulge and the dash for one of the last bridges standing across the Rhine at Remagen. WWII — Battles for Europe tells the grand narrative through eye-witness veteran testimony from men who served under fire on the front line — some many times over. Each episode conveys the reality of the fast-moving, life or death nature of the key battles in the defeat of Nazi Germany in the West. Meticulously researched and authoritative, the series portrays the reality of warfare, how everything from weather and terrain to supply and communications, combat stress, unit morale and unexpected enemy action can turn the tide of battle.
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