616 episodes

The world’s most popular history podcast, with Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook.

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    • History
    • 4.7 • 5.4K Ratings

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The world’s most popular history podcast, with Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook.

Join The Rest Is History Club (www.restishistorypod.com) for ad-free listening to the full archive, weekly bonus episodes, live streamed shows and access to an exclusive chatroom community.

Here are some of our favourite episodes to get you started:

WATERGATE/NIXON apple.co/3JrVl5h


ALEXANDER THE GREAT apple.co/3Q4FaNk


HARDCORE HISTORY'S DAN CARLIN apple.co/3vqkGa3


PUTIN & RUSSIA apple.co/3zMtLfX

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Custer's Last Stand: The Final Showdown (Part 8)

    Custer's Last Stand: The Final Showdown (Part 8)

    What happened between the moment that George A. Custer dispatched a trumpeter with his famous final plea for back-up, and the gruesome discovery of his forces at the Little Bighorn? Certainly, the morning of the 26th of June 1876 found the overwhelmed Major Reno and what remained of his men, along with Captain Benteen, gathered atop a hill, bloody, dehydrated, surrounding by putrefying corpses, and mystified as to the whereabouts of Custer. And the nightmarish ordeal of Reno's clash with the Lakota and their allies was not yet over. Gunfire, carbines and the whiz of arrows echoed in the distance, while below them fearsome Lakota warriors were unnervingly draped in the bloodied jackets and hats of Custer’s 7th Cavalry. Finally, at 3pm, the vast encampment of Lakota began moving off, and at dawn the next day they glimpsed a dust cloud in the distance: reinforcements at last. What they saw upon finally descending the hill, was a scene of such horror, that it would resound through the ages…

    Join Dominic and Tom as they describe, moment by moment, the events of George Custer’s electrifying last stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and its aftermath. What really happened, and what became of Custer, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull? Above all, who was to blame for the events of that shocking day?


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    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor

    Custer's Last Stand: The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Part 7)

    Custer's Last Stand: The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Part 7)

    “You and I are going home today, and by a trail that is strange to us both…”
    The Battle of The Little Bighorn is one of the totemic moments of American frontier history. However, it is also mysterious, with the exact events of that blood-soaked day difficult to trace. On the 22nd of June, George Custer marched out with vague orders to drive the vast gathering of the Lakota and their allies, under the leadership of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, towards General Terry’s force, advancing from the South. Custer, keen as ever for a charge, was hoping to score a considerable defeat over the Native Americans in time for the 4th of July centenary. Then, on the evening of the 24th of June, Crow scouts reported that the Lakota’s trail had been found, and Custer launched into action. Marching his men through the night, they arrived at the encampment the following morning, shocked to discover a camp of thousands. At 3pm, the first force attacked, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in all its horror and gore, had begun…

    Join Dominic and Tom they explore one of America’s most mythologised battles, separating fact from fiction, as they build up to George Custer’s last stand.



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    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor

    Custer's Last Stand: The Charge of the 7th Cavalry (Part 6)

    Custer's Last Stand: The Charge of the 7th Cavalry (Part 6)

    The U.S. was cast into a spiralling panic following the economic depression of 1873, and waves of paramilitary violence swept through the south as the debates surrounding Reconstruction swirled on. Amidst this uncertainty, the government, under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant and his chief advisors, began drawing up a cold blooded plan to strike into the heart of Montana and settle the issue of the Plains Indians once and for all. Meanwhile, the drumbeats of war were sounding amongst the newly united Lakota and Cheyenne themselves, spearheaded by their war chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, as the pressures of white settlers and the railroads increased. Their numbers swelled in the wake of a failed winter campaign lead by General Crook, as swarms of refugees accumulated into Sitting Bull's village - the largest assembly of Lakota ever seen on the Plains. The stage seemed set for a mighty reckoning in the summer of 1876, as the Federal government geared up for another assault. Much to his delight George Custer, spared from the brink of disaster by his reckless impetuosity, was recruited to the 7th Cavalry marching on one of the armies closing in on the Lakota encampment near the Little Bighorn River…the Battle of the Rosebud that followed would see a six hour struggle of monumental violence.

    Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss the events and battles that lead up to the Battle of the Little Bighorn; Grant’s eccentric generals, and Custer’s impulsive escapades in the build up to the final evening of his life…


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    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Custer's Last Stand: Death in the Black Hills (Part 5)

    Custer's Last Stand: Death in the Black Hills (Part 5)

    In the wake of the barbaric Washita River massacre, George Custer found himself drifting; addicted to gambling, at odds with his wife, and failing in his efforts to take advantage of the American gold rush in New York. Finally, Custer was sent to Kentucky to suppress the terrible post war fighting there, but again found himself alienated from many of his companions by his controversial views on Reconstruction. Restless and dissatisfied, the chance for danger and action finally came Custer’s way, thanks to the ambitions of the Northern Pacific Railway. With plans to build it right across Lakota territory, the venture was intended to and would fatally threaten their way of life, by spelling the death of the bison. With this threat on the horizon, the mighty Lakota war leaders, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse lead violent raids against the survey party sent to prospect the land, hampering and halting their efforts. So it was that in 1873 another expedition was sent, and with it went George Custer, bringing him into contact for the first time with the two mighty warriors who would shape his destiny. A fearful, bloody game of cat and mouse would ensue, culminating in an epic confrontation…

    Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss the evolution of Custer’s career leading up to his first legendary encounter with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, the incremental creep of the Northern Pacific Railway, and the U.S. Government’s secret plan to defeat the Lakota Sioux, once and for all.  




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    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor
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    • 58 min
    RIHC: Medieval Battles, the Pyramids, and the Industrial Revolution

    RIHC: Medieval Battles, the Pyramids, and the Industrial Revolution

    Which medieval battle would Tom and Dominic like to go back in time and watch from a hot air balloon? Were the Egyptian pyramids built by slaves? What factors contributed to the Industrial Revolution, and was it inevitable? What would have happened on the frontier if President Lincoln had never been assassinated? And, why are some significant historical characters remembered, while others of note are not?

    Join Dominic and Tom for this week’s bonus episode, as they answer some fascinating historical questions.



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    @TheRestHistory
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    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor

    Custer vs. Crazy Horse: Rise of Sitting Bull (Part 4)

    Custer vs. Crazy Horse: Rise of Sitting Bull (Part 4)

    "What would you do if your home was attacked? You would stand up like a brave man and defend it. That is our story." 
    Following the bloody Fetterman Fight, which saw the Lakota warlord Crazy Horse and his warriors ambush and massacre American troops, the American public was left stunned, its government and civilian population hungry for revenge. In the wake of this a new treaty was signed, further restricting the Lakota Sioux’s freedoms, but nevertheless signed by their political leader, Red Cloud. Still, many would not be constrained to reservations, and instead sought war. Chief amongst them was Sitting Bull, a legendary, mythologised figure of the Great American Plains and the Wild West - the embodiment of a vanished age. Born into the Lakota Sioux, and a world of shifting allegiances, violent initiation rituals, and intransigent spiritualities, as a young man Sitting Bull’s herculean destiny was sung to him by an eagle. The career that followed in his war against the U.S. government would exceed even the greatest of epics. By 1860 he was paramount leader of the Sioux Nation, when news reached him of the imminent arrival of a survey party, lead by none other than George Armstrong Custer…

    Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss Sitting Bull’s rise, his extraordinary upbringing, and his stand against the increasing encroachment of railroads into his homelands.



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    *The Rest Is History LIVE in 2024*
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    Buy your tickets here: therestishistory.com

    Twitter:
    @TheRestHistory
    @holland_tom
    @dcsandbrook

    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
5.4K Ratings

5.4K Ratings

EducateCA ,

Loved the Custer & Sitting Bull Series

Loved the detail of their lives, relationships and personal quirks. Excellent rapport between the host with deep research wrapped in a great big storytelling now!

MusashiG ,

Tom Holland is Brilliant!

And Dominic too. I learn something new each episode.

Noah Mulgrew ,

Most Complete History Podcast

Wonderful banter, well researched and thoughtful content.

Genuinely worth the continued listen 😊

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