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Podcast Dan Snow's HISTORY HIT
Podcast Dan Snow's HISTORY HIT



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  • Britain's Overlooked Hero: From the Trenches to the Blitz
    Serving on the front lines of the First World War, the homefront of the Second World War and as a community leader throughout his life, George Arthur Roberts was a truly inspirational figure. Yet, his amazing story is little known. After the outbreak of the First World War broke out he travelled from Trinidad to the UK and eventually joined the Middlesex Regiment. He saw considerable action at the Battle of Loos, the Dardanelles campaign and the Somme where his wounds forced him out of the war. A man of considerable bravery and a keen cricketer George was known for picking up and throwing enemy grenades back into their trenches. Too old to fight in the Second World War he became a firefighter serving in Southwark, London. In 1944 he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work in the fire service and the community. That community work was equally impressive as whilst in the fire service he founded the Discussion and Education groups of the fire service. He was also one of the founder members of the League of Coloured Peoples, an influential civil rights organisation that looked after Britain's black community.To say that he is an inspirational figure is an understatement and joining dan to talk about his extraordinary life Dan is joined by his great-granddaughter, Samantha Harding. She and Dan discuss the events of George's life, Samantha's own story of discovery as she uncovered his life and the vital legacy that figures such as George can have today.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • The Battle of Trafalgar
    On 21 October 1805, A British fleet commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson met the combined might of the French and Spanish fleets off the coast of Spain. Outnumbered, Nelson used innovative tactics to break up the allied fleet and ensure success but at great cost to his men and of course himself. It was a truly crushing defeat for the Franco-Spanish forces though. With the majority of their ships destroyed or captured it confirmed Britain's naval supremacy for decades to come. In this dramatic telling of one of the most famous battles in naval history, Dan brings to life the men, the commanders, the ships, and the tactics that enabled the British fleet to emerge as victors.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • How Brutish Were Our Ancestors?
    Was life for our ancient ancestors brutish and short or did they exist as noble savages free and living in harmony with nature and each other? Many of our assumptions about ancient societies stem from renaissance theories about how society should be organized and what civilisation is. Dan is joined by David Wengrow, Professor of Comparative Archaeology at University College London and co-author of The Dawn of Everything to challenge some of these assumptions and show that they were founded on critiques of European society. David shines a light on the great variety of ancient civilisations, the different models of society they offer and how that might influence us today.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • How Alcohol Built the British Empire
    During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the British Empire expanded across the globe an almost ubiquitous but often underappreciated commodity went with it; alcohol. The distillation, sale and drinking of booze played an essential role in trade, seafaring and colonial societies. But for many indigenous communities this came at a terrible price as, previously unfamiliar, distilled spirits wreaked havoc on their communities and reinforced the racial ideologies that legitimised imperialism. It is a more complicated story than this though and for some indigenous communities, alcohol was not ruinous instead becoming a vital source of income that enabled them to survive and in some instances flourish. For this episode, Dan is joined by Dr Deborah Toner, Associate Professor of History at the University of Leicester and author of Alcohol in the Age of Industry, Empire, and War, to uncover the central role that alcohol played in creating the British Empire.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • Dresden Survivor: Remembering Victor Gregg
    On 12 October 2021 World War Two veteran Victor Gregg passed away peacefully in his sleep just before his 102 birthday. He was part of a unique generation that with the passing of the years is sadly disappearing all too fast. Victor joined the army in 1937 and served and India and Palestine before the war. During the Second World War, he fought in the Western Desert before joining the Parachute Regiment. He was taken prisoner as the Allies retreated during the Battle of Arnhem, and was taken as a POW to Dresden, where he was alive during the Dresden firebombing. In this episode, we pay tribute to him by replaying the last interview at the time of his 100th birthday. He spoke to Dan about what he learned over his extraordinary life, his wartime experiences, and the profound impact they had upon how he saw the world.You can also watch Out of the Inferno: Surviving Dresden, where on the 73rd anniversary of the firebombing of Dresden, Dan accompanied Victor, as he returned to the city for a historic meeting with Irene Uhlendorf, who was just 4 years old on the night of the bombing. Together they are able to talk about the horrors of that night and the effect that it has had on the rest of their lives.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

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