742 episodes

History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet! Featuring reports from the weird and wonderful places around the world where history has been made and interviews with some of the best historians writing today. Dan also covers some of the major anniversaries as they pass by and explores the deep history behind today's headlines - giving you the context to understand what is going on today.

Dan Snow's History Hit History Hit Network

    • History
    • 4.7 • 2.3K Ratings

History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet! Featuring reports from the weird and wonderful places around the world where history has been made and interviews with some of the best historians writing today. Dan also covers some of the major anniversaries as they pass by and explores the deep history behind today's headlines - giving you the context to understand what is going on today.

    The Frontiers of Science & History with A.C. Grayling

    The Frontiers of Science & History with A.C. Grayling

    A. C. Grayling is one of the foremost minds of his generation and his new book explores some of the biggest questions that face humanity. What do we know, how do we know it and what is left to find out? In this wide-ranging conversation, he and Dan attempt to tackle some of these important questions. They discuss the incredible progress humanity has made in the last century, how history informs and helps us understand our world and how much there is still to learn about our ancient past and beyond.
     
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    • 26 min
    Henry VIII's Break with Rome

    Henry VIII's Break with Rome

    King Henry VIII was deeply religious and started out as a staunch supporter of the Pope and the Roman Catholic church. But everything changed when Henry's need to produce a male successor led to his wanting to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. In this first of an occasional series of Explainer podcasts, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb offers everything you ever wanted to know about one of the most famous and far-reaching episodes in British history.
     
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    • 30 min
    Hunting Stolen Nazi Art

    Hunting Stolen Nazi Art

    As the Nazi war machine rampaged across Europe it did not just take territory and resources from its conquests but also many thousands of pieces of art and other antiquities. Stolen from both galleries and individual victims of Nazi crimes allied troops discovered hidden caches of priceless artworks throughout Europe. As the war had proceeded it had been recognised that these cultural treasures needed protection from the fighting and where necessary rescuing and returning to their rightful owners. This job fell the men and women of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA) often known as "Monuments Men". Around 400 strong this team of dedicated art historians and museum staff risked their lives on the frontlines in order to save some of the world's most precious cultural heritage. 


    To help tell the story of these brave men and women Dan is joined by Robert Edsel founder of the Monuments Men Foundation. Robert guides us through the formation of the MFAA, its role during and after the war and the ongoing going work by his foundation to continue their legacy and reunite works of art that remain missing with their rightful owners.


    In the second half of the podcast, Dan speaks to Eric 'Randy' Schoenberg an American lawyer and genealogist, based in Los Angeles, California, specializing in legal cases related to the recovery of looted or stolen artworks, particularly those by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. Randy successfully sued the Austrian government on behalf of his client Maria Altmann and reclaiming five Gustav Klimt paintings that had been taken during the war. He talks about how he came to specialize in this aspect of the law, the case itself and the impact the return of the paintings had on both Maria's family and him. 
     
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    • 44 min
    The Battle of Britain

    The Battle of Britain

    15 September marks Battle of Britain Day when the Luftwaffe sought a final decisive final battle over the skies of Britain with the RAF. In a day of costly fighting, nearly 60 German aircraft were shot down and over 100 aircrew lost. From this point onwards the Luftwaffe, unable to sustain such heavy casualties, would only attack at night and it became clear to German High Command that air superiority over Britain was out of reach. Two days later Hitler indefinitely postponed Operation Sealion the planned invasion of the British Isles effectively ending the invasion threat. To mark this anniversary we have gone back into our archive and dug out a very special podcast with Wing Commander Thomas Neil. Tom, who sadly passed away in 2018, was one of the few to whom so many owed so much, and he talks to Dan about his experiences in the Battle of Britain.
     
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    • 1 hr 55 min
    The Last Hanging in Cardiff Prison

    The Last Hanging in Cardiff Prison

    In September 1952 Mahmood Hussein Mattan became the last to be hanged at Cardiff Prison, but Mahmood had in fact been framed by the police and 45 years later his conviction was quashed. Mahmood had been a merchant seaman who had ended up settling in Cardiff and marrying a Welsh woman called Laura Williams. They lived in the Tiger Bay district of Cardiff and had three children but in 1950 had separated. Mahmood had had a number of encounters with the police and had committed some minor offences such as small thefts. His vocal distrust of the police had made him unpopular with the local force though and when Lily Volpert, a Cardiff shopkeeper, was found murdered and her shop robbed they quickly turned to Mahmood. Despite a lack of any firm evidence linking him to the crime, he became the prime suspect. Poorly represented in court and facing a hostile jury he was convicted in July 1952 and sentenced to be hanged. The sentence was carried out three months later, but the case never truly went away. His family kept the fight alive for 45 years until 1998 when his case was the first to be reviewed by the newly created Criminal Cases Review Commission. His conviction was quickly quashed and his families fight for justice was finally over.


    To discuss Mahmood's case author Nadifa Mohamed joins Dan for this episode of the podcast. Her novel The Fortune Men, which has been longlisted for the Booker Prize, is based on the case and she immersed herself in the case, Mahmoud's life and the history of Cardiff's multicultural Tiger Bay area to bring this story of injustice to life.
     
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    • 27 min
    Viking Legend: Ragnar Lothbrok

    Viking Legend: Ragnar Lothbrok

    Ragnor Lothbrook is a legendary Viking figure who straddled the line between myth and reality. His adventures and deeds appear in the Viking sagas, but there is little hard evidence for his existence and according to the different sagas he dies on multiple different occasions and in a variety of grisly ways. His sons including Ivar the Boneless, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Björn Ironside, Ubbe and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye are undoubtedly real historical figures and themselves lived extraordinary lives. Was Ragnar really their father though or were these men trying to harness the power of legend by claiming descent from this great figure? To help explore that question Dan is joined by historian and author Justin Pollard. Amongst many other exciting projects, Justin was the historical advisor on the hit show Vikings which brought the story of Ragnar Lothbrok into the popular consciousness. Just and Dan discuss what evidence there is for the existence of Ragnar Lothbrok, the lives of his sons and how he goes about creating historical drama.
     
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    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
2.3K Ratings

2.3K Ratings

Rhines84 ,

This one’s a banger!

Great pod! I listen all the time. Enthralling content.

Kristopher X. ,

Too many to list.

I’ve listened & been enthralled by all of the the 16 various episodes on various topics. As I have a Master’s from Harvard I’m extremely selective regarding my podcasts & or reading. Yours is excellent, well worth my time.

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Sick of the political opinions of a man so far removed from what is happening in America. Sounds like someone regurgitating what’s been spoon feeding to him through CNN…

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