57 episodes

History Hit's How and Why History is a lively and accessible introduction to history. Historians and writers explore the big questions about history's most significant events and personalities, from the ancient world to recent times.

How and Why History History Hit Network

    • History
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

History Hit's How and Why History is a lively and accessible introduction to history. Historians and writers explore the big questions about history's most significant events and personalities, from the ancient world to recent times.

    World Wars: The Siege of Leningrad

    World Wars: The Siege of Leningrad

    In 1941, Nazi Germany turned on its former ally, the Soviet Union. One of the strategic objectives of this operation, Barbarossa, was to conquer Leningrad. To discuss the German turn on the Soviet Union and perhaps the most brutal siege of the Second World War, James Rogers is joined by Chris Bellamy, author of Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War. Chris is Professor Emeritus of Maritime Security at the University of Greenwich and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Maritime Crime and Security.
     
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    • 35 min
    The United Nations at 75

    The United Nations at 75

    In the aftermath of the Second World War, 850 delegates from 50 nations gathered in San Fransisco, determined to establish an organization which would preserve peace and help build a better world.  Over the last 75 years, the UN has committed itself to maintaining international peace and security, and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. But how did the UN come about? How effective has it been in maintaining peace in the world? And where might it have failed? 


    Rob Weinberg asks the big questions about this important development in global affairs with the leading analyst of UN history and politics Professor Thomas Weiss of the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. 
     
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    • 29 min
    Historical Fiction: Nazi Collaborator or Victim? - Finding Klara

    Historical Fiction: Nazi Collaborator or Victim? - Finding Klara

    In the aftermath of World War Two, Clara – once a Nazi icon and heiress to the Falkenberg Iron Works – finds herself on the run, accused of complicity in her father’s war crimes. When she returns to her hometown of Essen, Clara finds everything she once knew in ruins. To survive, Clara must hide who she is and face up to the truth of what she has done. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Malin Hay talks to author Anika Scott about her debut novel, an intense portrayal of what it means for ordinary people to be on the losing side of a war.
     
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    • 30 min
    The Battle of Britain

    The Battle of Britain

    In a moment of great danger to national survival, the Royal Air Force defended the United Kingdom against large scale attacks by the Luftwaffe. So how did the Battle of Britain play out? What was Germany’s objective? And how important was it to the direction of the Second World War? To answer the big questions about this seminal moment in British history, Charlie Mills talks to Dr. Mario Draper at the University of Kent
     
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    • 22 min
    The Ancients: Alexander the Great Through Persian Eyes

    The Ancients: Alexander the Great Through Persian Eyes

    Conqueror. Destroyer. Convert. Legendary king. It's fair to say that Alexander the Great's relationship with ancient Persia was complicated. Despite conquering the Persian Empire, Alexander admired and adopted many aspects of Persian culture. Despite sacking the prestigious Persian centre of Persepolis, he honoured the great Persian king Cyrus and married a Persian princess. Alexander may have conquered the Persian Empire, but ultimately this conqueror became a willing 'captive' of Persian culture.


    Alexander was extraordinary - one of the most written about figures in history. But what did the ancient Iranians think of him?


    I was delighted to be joined by Professor Ali Ansari in this podcast to chat through the complicated history of Alexander the Great in the Persian narrative. A once-hated figure, overtime he was adopted into Iranian legend. This was a fascinating chat. Alexander Romance, Immortals, Persepolis, Persians, Parthians – it has it all.


    Some definitions from the pod:


    The Alexander Romance - a legendary account of the life and exploits of Alexander the Great that remained popular into medieval times. Various versions exist (Greek, Syrian, Armenian, French, Jewish, Persian and more).


    Zoroastrianism - the central religion of the Persian Empire (e.g. the Zoroastrian priests at Persepolis).


    The Seleucids - one of the Successor kingdoms that emerged in the aftermath of Alexander the Great's death. Named after its founder, Seleucus / Seleukos. Controlled Persia for over 100 years.


    The Parthians - an Iranian / Hellenistic culture that ruled ancient Persia after the Seleucids. They remain the longest single dynasty to have ruled Iran (c.500 years).


    The Immortals - the 10,000 strong guard of the Persian Achaemenid King.
     
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    • 34 min
    World Wars: Stalin's Danish Mystery

    World Wars: Stalin's Danish Mystery

    In the spring of 1945, the Allies liberated territory from German occupation. Whilst the British emancipated most of Denmark, Stalin’s Soviet forces occupied the small island of Bornholm. After 11 months the Soviet forces withdrew with little fanfare. Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Professor of International Security at Loughborough University, spoke to James Rogers about her research into the Soviet occupation of Bornholm, and its mysterious end.
     
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    • 22 min

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