12 episodes

Almost History. Always incredible. What if ... ? Almost History tells the amazing true stories behind the aborted missions, cancelled plans, utopian dreams, failed revolutions and hubristic designs that didn't quite make it from the drawing board to change the real world. Rescued from the footnotes, archives and passing references, each episode explores what almost happened and explains why it didn't.

Almost History Ian Chapman-Curry

    • History
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

Almost History. Always incredible. What if ... ? Almost History tells the amazing true stories behind the aborted missions, cancelled plans, utopian dreams, failed revolutions and hubristic designs that didn't quite make it from the drawing board to change the real world. Rescued from the footnotes, archives and passing references, each episode explores what almost happened and explains why it didn't.

    AH 12 Opening the iron curtain - the DDR's day of dissent

    AH 12 Opening the iron curtain - the DDR's day of dissent

    It’s the summer of 1953, and, across East Germany, angry people take to the streets. 
    This isn’t a polite street protest. 
    This is a furious, red flag ripping, police beating, office burning rampage. 
    The crowds demand: 
    - better living conditions; 
    - the reunification of Germany; and 
    - free elections. 
    Instead, they would get: 
     - Trabants; 
     - the Berlin Wall; and 
     - another 35 years of hardline Communist government. 
    Could the 17 June 1953 uprising have ever been successful at bringing down Soviet-dominated eastern Europe? 
    Or were the people’s protests doomed to fail before they even started? 


    Do you like the podcast?
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    1. Search for Vaguely Interesting History on the Podcast app. 
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    Music credits 
    The theme music is Newsroom by Riot. 
    The other music featured in this episode was Cylinder Seven and The Life and Death of a Certain K. Zabriskie, Patriarch, both by Chris Zabriskie and Sunset by Kai Engel. All tracks are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

    • 19 min
    AH 11 Operation Unthinkable - Churchill's plan to attack Russia and start a Third World War

    AH 11 Operation Unthinkable - Churchill's plan to attack Russia and start a Third World War

    According to Field Marshal Montgomery, rule number one on the first page of the book of war is ‘do not march on Moscow’.
    In April 1945, Winston Churchill ordered the British Chiefs of Staff to rip up the rule book and plan for an attack on their wartime ally, Russia.

    It was audacious, inconceivable and incredibly risky.

    So, fittingly, it was codenamed Operation Unthinkable.

    Just how close did we come to launching the Third World War in 1945?

    Do you like the podcast?

    Please rate or review the podcast and share it with friends. On iTunes, this takes a couple of steps but it is the best way to help me reach a wider audience.

    1. Search for Vaguely Interesting History on the Podcast app.

    2. Tap the podcast artwork under the Podcasts heading (the red and white logo).

    3. Tap reviews and leave a star rating or, even better, add a review as well!

    Music credits

    The theme music is Newsroom by Riot.

    The other music featured in this episode was Cylinder Seven and The Life and Death of a Certain K. Zabriskie, Patriarch, both by Chris Zabriskie and Sunset by Kai Engel. All tracks are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

    • 23 min
    AH 10 Louis of England - history’s forgotten King of England

    AH 10 Louis of England - history’s forgotten King of England

    In August of 1216, the King of Scotland rode down the entire length of England to pay homage to a new English king at Dover.

    The Scottish monarch bent his knee to a warrior prince who was the pride and hope of his dynasty.


    His name was Louis and he was the eldest son of the King of France.

    Louis is overlooked in most lists of English monarchs. But he was, at this point in time, in control of two-thirds of the country and had the support of the majority of its barons.


    At Lincoln, he had a chance to win a great victory and secure his claim to the throne.


    This is a rich story with a cast that includes a septuagenarian warrior, a fighting monk, a nine-year old boy king and a fearsome Châtelaine who defied a whole army.


    But most of all, it is about a battle that could have gone either way.


    Do you like the podcast?



    Please rate or review the podcast and share it with friends. On iTunes, this takes a couple of steps but it is the best way to help me reach a wider audience.



    1. Search for Vaguely Interesting History on the Podcast app.

    2. Tap the podcast artwork under the Podcasts heading (the red and white logo).

    3. Tap reviews and leave a star rating or, even better, add a review as well!



    Music credits



    The theme music is Newsroom by Riot.



    The other music featured in this episode was Oecumene Sleep and Realness by Kai Engel, Everybodys Got Problems That Aren't Mine by Chris Zabriskie and Fog and Waves by Sergey Cheremisinov. They are all licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

    • 23 min
    AH 09 Princess Mary Tudor's flight to freedom

    AH 09 Princess Mary Tudor's flight to freedom

    In the summer of 1550, Princess Mary, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII, was packing her belongings and preparing to flee her home.


    Her Tudor brother was the figurehead for an increasingly Protestant regime. Mary clung to her mother's Catholicism.



    She feared for her life and, as the pressure on her to conform grew, she turned to her powerful relatives abroad.



    She could be safe again, but they could only protect her if she left England.



    Do you like the podcast?



    Please rate or review the podcast and share it with friends. On iTunes, this takes a couple of steps but it is the best way to help me reach a wider audience.



    1. Search for Vaguely Interesting History on the Podcast app.

    2. Tap the podcast artwork under the Podcasts heading (the red and white logo).

    3. Tap reviews and leave a star rating or, even better, add a review as well!



    Music credits



    The theme music is Newsroom by Riot.



    The other music featured in this episode was July by Kai Engel and Virtutes Instrumenti by Kevin Macleod. Both are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

    • 21 min
    AH 08 Cancelling Christmas and the Plum Pudding Riots

    AH 08 Cancelling Christmas and the Plum Pudding Riots

    In 1647, the new puritan government tried to cancel Christmas.


    People in Canterbury protested in a peculiarly English way, with a destructive game of football followed by a mass brawl.



    The city’s Plum Pudding Riots led to a royalist revolt throughout Kent and the second round of the Civil War.



    With Parliamentary armies fighting in Wales and Scotland, could this have marked a revival in fortunes for the beleaguered King Charles the First?



    Do you like the podcast?



    Please rate or review the podcast and share it with friends. On iTunes, this takes a couple of steps but it is the best way to help me reach a wider audience.



    1. Search for Vaguely Interesting History on the Podcast app.

    2. Tap the podcast artwork under the Podcasts heading (the red and white logo).

    3. Tap reviews and leave a star rating or, even better, add a review as well!



    Music credits



    The theme music is Newsroom by Riot.



    The other music featured in this episode was Air Hockey Saloon by Chris Zabriskie (http://chriszabriskie.com) and Sacred Motion by staRpauSe (http://starpause.flavors.me/). Both are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

    • 12 min
    AH 07 The Prince of Poyais - settling in the country that never was

    AH 07 The Prince of Poyais - settling in the country that never was

    In 1822, Gregor MacGregor committed what The Economist newspaper has called the ‘biggest fraud in history’ and ‘the greatest confidence trick of all time’.


    Investors, many of them Scottish, put forward vast sums towards creating a colony in central America. They were told it was a sure bet, a land of milk and honey - another paradise on the isthmus.



    Sounds familiar? If you listened last week, you might think that once bitten, Scots would be twice shy.



    Instead, bonds for Gregor MacGregor’s Principality of Poyais were oversubscribed and colonists easy to find. They would all profit from this rich and fertile land that was larger than Wales and ripe for settlement.



    The only problem was that Poyais didn’t exist.

    Do you like the podcast?



    Please rate or review the podcast and share it with friends. On iTunes, this takes a couple of steps but it is the best way to help me reach a wider audience.



    1. Search for Vaguely Interesting History on the Podcast app.

    2. Tap the podcast artwork under the Podcasts heading (the red and white logo).

    3. Tap reviews and leave a star rating or, even better, add a review as well!



    Music credits



    The theme music is Newsroom by Riot.



    The other music featured in this episode was High School Snaps by Broke For Free (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Broke_For_Free/Slam_Funk/Broke_For_Free_-_Slam_Funk_-_06_High_School_Snaps) and Behind Your Window by Kai Engel (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/Idea/Kai_Engel_-_Idea_-_04_Behind_Your_Window). Both are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Hisbufffan ,

Excellent! Fun and erudite history podcast

What if? All of those moment when our world could have been very different. Well researched and beautifully narrated. If you enjoy history with a twist, give it a go.

Tanz362 ,

What if ... ?

Great history podcast!

Chapperz 89 ,

A great slice of history

Short and punchy slices of counterfactual history. Really interesting and entertaining. Recommended.

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