Good morning, now on to World War II and an episode from the series World War II in Numbers. This is an episode about the Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa. The run time for this episode is 45:02.
Britain evacuated thousands of troops from Dunkirk and was now squarely the target of the enemy. Adolf Hitler was planning a full-scale invasion of Britain. Once the British were defeated, he would turn his eyes to Russia. However, his plans hinged on the Germans achieving air superiority. Unfortunately for Hitler, the Brits had other plans for the battle of the air. How did the Royal Air Force manage to defeat the German Air Force in the skies?
World War II introduced another new area of warfare: the air. Before World War II, an army had to have control of the seas and the land. With this new mode of warfare, the enemy had to conquer the air as well. Hitler planned Operation Sea Lion which would help the Germans invade Britain by sea, land, and air. The Luftwaffe commander boasts that he would control the skies over Britain in four days.
The Germans had over 900 airplanes at their disposal and the British only had over 500. Goering believes that he has the numbers to conquer British skies and would be able to replace all airplanes that would be lost in the battle of the skies. In addition to battling in the skies, the Luftwaffe needed to clear the seas of the British Navy. The German Air Force has done their work. All they needed to do was conquer the skies…
However, the battle for the skies is delayed. Why? Hitler believes that Churchill will surrender and gives him time to surrender. However, the British government refuses to surrender. This gives the Royal Air Force time to train up new pilots, build new planes, and repair other aircraft. The British also had another advantage: radar. Radar stations were built all over Britain and provided an early warning system for the British.
When the first attack is launched, the Germans Air Force is stunned when they lose so many planes on the day. German intelligence believes that the British have lost over 700 planes, however in reality the British Royal Air Force has lost over 300. Britain’s combat plane production is keeping up with the losses. The Germans do not even know it. The British public turned out in force to help build up the Royal Air Force.
However, on clear days, the German air force continues to pound the British Air Fields. These losses demoralize the Air Force. Phase two of the invasion plan starts and the Germans have one target: London. The London docks are the first Nazi target. More than 30,000 tons of bombs are dropped on British soil over a period of eight months.
However, the British public remains unbowed and defiant. They cleaned up their streets and pressed on. Goering continues to send the planes. On September 15th there was a 19-hour battle over the skies and there are heavy German losses. This convinces Goering that the battle for the skies of Britain was not going to be worth it in the end. As a result, Hitler has his eyes on another target: Russia and Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine would provide the resources and space for Hitler. Once the German army conquers Russia and Ukraine then the British would have to sue for peace. Hitler sees the Russians as a paper tiger and should be easy to conquer. The war in Finland gave Hitler the confidence that the Germans could invade Russia with little resistance. The Russians had lost over 1,000,000 soldiers in that campaign. Moscow was going to fall in three months and Hitler put all his eggs in the basket of conquering the Soviet Union. How fast would Russia fall to the blitzkrieg? Would Hitler succeed in conquering Russia and Ukraine? Tune into the rest of the episode to find out.
Hopefully, one day Lucy Worsley’s Blitz Spirit will be posted on Timeline because the first half of this episode would pair very nicely with that section of the episode. It could have been a better episode if they would have split the Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa into two separate episodes. Operation Barbarossa was well done and could carry an episode on its own.
Good morning, we are working through World War I and World War II documentaries for November. Last time we finished up the Great War by the Numbers, and this time we will focus on the tanks of World War I. This is part of the series of the Greatest Tank Battles. The run time for this documentary is 44:11.
World War I was the first war where tanks were introduced in warfare. It was the British that introduced the first tanks. The British were determined to end the stalemate of trench water. The Germans did not know what happen. However, they caught up with lethal fire and then with their tanks. How did the first tanks develop? Would they put a stop to trench warfare? This documentary explores the history of the tank and the greatest battles they participated in.
In 1916, the tank made its debut. The Great War is a stalemate and the Western Front is covered with trenches. The Great War heavily featured the infantry until the trenches. There had to be a way to break the stalemate. The British launched a top-secret project the tank, a mobile killing machine. Mobile weapons had been around since Hannibal and his elephants and Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing now was the time to make them a reality.
The British trick the Germans into believing that they are developing a water carrier, however, what they are developing is a revolution in warfare. The first tanks were armed with guns, thin armor plates, and tracks. The Mark 1 Heavy Tank was introduced to the world in January 1916. It can handle the trenches however it requires a large crew. It first went into action on the Somme and was meant to end the battle and the stalemate.
The tanks made their debut in Dellville Woods, a stretch of land a few miles north of the main battle of the Somme. For the first time in warfare, tanks will lead the attack. The tanks start their attack in the predawn darkness and press forward to the battle line. Unfortunately, one tank breaks down and another gets stuck. One tank, nicknamed “Daredevil” continues and becomes the first tank to fire a shot.
Although eventually, all three tanks go down, the infantry can press forward. The next day, more tanks join the battle ahead of the infantry. Their job was to crush the barbed wire and launch a major artillery barrage. Unfortunately, the majority of the tanks break down or stall. Despite this initial setback the tanks press forward. However, there is a danger upheld: a German operation balloon. If the balloon sees them, they could call in an artillery barrage. The balloon is shot down and the British tanks press on.
The Germans are shocked by the metal monsters coming at them. They had no idea that the tank was in development. They fired at the tanks but they could not get stop them. The tanks went over the trench and were able to cross it easily. At the end of the day, the tank showed that they have a place in modern warfare. The British commanders order more tanks, and the public rejoices at the good news. The tank had helped turn the battle of the Somme. What else could this weapon do? How will the tank continue to develop? Will the Germans be able to stop the tanks? Or will they be able to develop their own tanks? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
The animations were excellent and you could tell what the early tanks looked like. The initial designs were funny with the wheels on the back of the tank. It was interesting to see how the element of surprise was necessary for the tank. The tactics that the Germans used to try to stop the tank were all a game of catch up too. To me when I was studying World War I the tank was glossed over and this documentary went into more detail on the tank and how it impacted the Great War and future wars after that. This would be a good series for an independent student who has an interest in military history as well as a good one to show during the World War I section of class.
Good morning, it took two years, but I am now officially done with the Great War in Numbers for our World War I and World War II theme for November. I am pretty sure that I did this out of order. This is episode five in the series and the run time for this episode is 45:03.
The casualties keep mounting and more will continue to die. It is 1916 and the German army is devastated. The German economy was collapsing. The Germans could not endure such severe losses. They would have to come up with another way to win the war and win the war as quickly as possible. A pair of German generals tried to come up with a plan.
The British and French industries are outproducing the Germans when it comes to munitions. The generals suggest conscripting workers, mainly the old and the young. Their target is the people whom they had conquered. Prisoners of war and locals are used as slaves to build railroads and make munitions. 180,000 Belgian men are forced to work in munition plants and work in horrendous conditions. Many of these men would die. Even with an unwilling supply of laborers, the Germans still struggle.
The Hindenburg line is born and it was five fortified zones running from the North Sea south. There were hidden machine gun nests, barbed wire, and underground tunnels. It would be a colossal task to build. After the Hindenburg Line was finished and they ravage the countryside in a coordinated retreat back to the line. The locals were terrorized by the retreat and were taken to German-held territory to work in the slave camps.
In 1917, the German defenses are ready to be tested and the French generals are looking forward to cracking the German defenses. They are confident that they can win in light of their victory in Verdun. One million French soldiers are recruited for the battle, while the British plan on distracting the Germans. They plan on meeting together and then driving the Germans back to the German border. However, there were French officers that had their doubts.
The British launched their attack first and they would use an effective weapon against the barbed wire. Their goal was to capture the high ground. The Canadian Corps was tasked with capturing the high ground and were known as the best shock troops of the war. They follow the bombarding guns. This would have been dangerous because of potential friendly fire accidents. The Germans were shocked by the Canadians and the barrage. It was the first major Allied success in eighteen months. However, it comes at a high cost.
The Generals are pleased with the success, but the soldiers were unimpressed. The Hindenburg Line will be a scene of great slaughter. The main assault was eighteen miles south, the French begin their assault. However, the French Generals are overconfident. They do not know about the Hindenburg Line. Even the French guns do not put a dent in the German lines. The French are cut down and on the first day, 40,000 French soldiers are killed. Over the next eighteen days over 180,000 French soldiers are killed. The survivors are left shocked and disillusioned with their leaders. The French general is sacked, however, this is not enough. The French soldiers are plotting mutiny.
Anti-war sentiment spreads through the French lines. There was one song that was on the lips of the soldiers and there was a bounty on the soldier who wrote the song. However, the French soldiers refused to be the snitch. The rebellion continues to spread. Thousands of French soldiers refuse to fight and there are other acts of rebellion. Tune into the rest of this episode to discover more about the fates of the soldiers who engaged in Rebellion.
Woah, the story of the French soldiers rebelling was fascinating and is one of history’s unknown stories. It makes me think of the Father Brown series on PBS and how Flambeau’s father was killed during World War I for an act of cowardice. I also enjoyed the talk about how the soldiers used humor to keep morale up. In the end, this was another interesting look at the Great War and should be a series to show to the history class.
Good morning, we are working through World War I and World War II documentaries for November. This time we are looking at an episode from the Series the Great War in Numbers. In this episode, what was the impact of World War I on the home front? Were the nations really prepared for the war? The run time for this episode is 45:13 and is episode four in the series.
At the end of 1916, the families on the home front understood the horrors and hardships of war. The state started to exert control over people’s lives. Families and communities are torn apart and ordinary people are finding their voice. Deference for the higher classes was being swept away. At the start of the war, the British army was small and there was no conscription. The British recruit volunteers and these volunteers are willing to defend the empire.
The Officers are recruited from private schools. They are young and often have less life experience than working-class soldiers. They had better food and more money for uniforms. The elite has an interest in defending and maintaining the war. For every three officers, there are ninety-seven soldiers under their command.
In the meantime, the British government is aggressively recruiting soldiers. The pressure was enormous on the men to go to the front. The recruits believe that the war will be short and would like to have a sense of adventure. It could be considered an escape from a hard job. Men are encouraged to sign up. There were so many men that signed up for the volunteer centers are overwhelmed.
However, as the war progressed the early enthusiasm started to wane. New recruits were often ill-treated and married men worried about supporting their families. Even the British government finally conceded that conscription would be needed. In Europe, conscription was practiced. The Germans has mass conscription before the Great War and they were able to call up soldiers quickly.
The men were gone, and the women stepped into the gap. There were new opportunities for women. Before the war, women worked in unskilled jobs while many of the jobs were handled by men. That would soon change. The suffragettes in Britain suspended their campaign for the vote and choose instead to campaign for the right to serve. Women soon found themselves working in government munitions factories and other industries to support the war effort. Eighty percent of munitions were produced by women. Unfortunately, safety standards slipped during this time and women would suffer ill health or be killed. In America, women who had husbands fighting, worked on the gas masks because it was thought that they would take extra care.
State regulations started to expand and the state was going to intervene in other people’s lives. Breweries were nationalized because the drink was a threat to productivity. Excessive drinking could prevent targets in the factories from being met. In 1914 vodka sales were suspended in Russia. Freedom of movement was also curtailed and other activities were forbidden as well. Feeding the birds was illegal. You could not whistle for a taxi or have a bonfire. Newspaper stories were often suppressed. Only positive news of the war was presented. Private letters were censored. In Germany, censorship was overseen by the military. France will introduce censorship in the newspapers as well.
However, the reality of war could not be hidden from the people and the people started turning against the war. The British would spend a great deal to finance the war. Industries scrambled to find supplies to continue with the fighting. Church bells were taken down to melt down to make bullets. Women were encouraged to dump their corsets and wear bras. In fact, so many women switched to bras that all the steel in the corsets was enough to build two battleships. Money poured into the American markets in order to purchase munitions to keep the war going. What were the other numbers behind the Great War? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
This was another fascinating look at the numbers behind World War I. The numbers are still mind-boggling. This would be another episode to consider showing during the World War I section in a history class.
Good morning, we are working through World War I and World War II documentaries for November. This time we are looking at an episode from the Series the Great War in Numbers. The run time for this episode is 45:13 and is episode two in the series.
Around 25,000 miles of trenches were cut into the land during World War I which is enough to encircle the planet. This war had unleashed terrifying new weapons and the only way to shelter from these new weapons was to dig trenches. The soldiers were issued rifles however, the British had found ways to improve their rifles. These would have been unleashed on unsuspecting German soldiers. The new British could carry ten rounds whereas the German guns could only carry five rounds. The British soldiers could fire more frequently.
The Germans were shocked by the firing power. At least 3,000 German students were killed in battle. However, the German generals kept feeding their soldiers into the battle. Over 80,000 men were sacrificed against the British onslaught. 54,000 British soldiers are killed in battle. Both sides are exhausted and need shelter from each other. Both sides dig in and build trenches, thousands and thousands of miles of trenches. Trenches are the only way soldiers can protect themselves. However, it was impossible to not find a body that had died in battle while digging trenches.
The British Trenches were horrible and were continuously flooded. When they flooded, bodies often floated along. Water often was waist deep. Disease and infection went through the trenches. Over 3,000,000 soldiers died as a result of the disease. Lice also went through the trenches, and getting rid of those lice was often a full-time job. The German trenches were well built because they planned on staying around for the long haul. The Trenches stretched from the English Channel to the Swiss Border.
Additionally, the barbed wire became a weapon of wire. Those who climbed over the barbed wire would be shot. It became a terrifying prospect to be caught in the barbed wire. Over 3,000,000 tons of barbed wire were produced. The British army turned to airplanes to try to spy on the German lines. Airplanes were used to photograph the German lines and the British Air Corps did their job really well. Over 80,000 photographs were produced in the initial reconnaissance mission and the British proved that airplanes were a valuable tool during the war. At the start of 1913, the British only had 193 planes and would need to produce more airplanes during the war.
Additional to spying, the airplane would be used in air battles. Now the airplane would be used as a weapon of war. The British Spy planes would now be shot out of the sky by the German fighter planes. The British Air Corps lost sixty planes per month and British pilots had an eleven-day life expectancy.
Back on the ground, the British were shelling the Germans and smashing German lines. However, the British were unable to use another weapon of war: communications. The art of communication has not kept up with other technological advances. This would lead to devastating consequences for the British army. The telephone was used by the Generals to communicate with the troops on the front line. How would communications change during the war? What other numbers were involved in the Great War? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
This series really shows the impact of industrialization on World War I and why it was called the Great War. The numbers still continue to amaze historians and will amaze the student. I had to stop the episode at a few different points to make sure I got the numbers down as well as to verify that Guy Walters was not the same person as Time Team’s Guy de la Bédoyère. In my opinion, I thought the pair looked alike. Andy Robershaw’s commentary was very good as well and I looked forward to listening to what artifacts he brought out as well as his commentary on those artifacts. Overall this continues to be fantastic and this episode was particularly good, so it would be a good episode to show in a history classroom.
This deep wreck mystery comes from World War II and will continue our theme of World War I and World War II documentaries for November. In this episode, we cover RMS Queen Mary’s ramming of HMS Curacoa, a light cruiser that was escorting Queen Mary. The run time for this episode is 51:53.
It is the height of World War II and the RMS Queen Mary has been converted into a troop ship. She is carrying US Troops to Europe to fight in the war. When she gets to the Irish Coast, she is met by the escort ships that will escort her through the Irish Seas. Unfortunately, Queen Mary rams one of her escort ships the Curacoa. The light cruiser sinks in six minutes and only ninety-nine sailors survived the shipwreck. What happened to cause this ramming? What will the wreck divers discover about the ramming? Who is to blame for this tragedy?
It is October 2, 1942, and Queen Mary is racing toward Scotland. On her decks are thousands of American troops heading to Europe to fight in the war. The Queen Mary had been transformed from a luxury liner to a speedy troop transport. It would have been a crowded ride for the Americans who were on board. The Queen Mary is a particular target and Hitler puts a bounty on her for anyone who can sink her. However, the Queen Mary can reach a top speed of 20 knots, preventing the U-boats from reaching her to sink her. Royal Navy ships are sent to protect the Queen Mary as well.
Fifty miles off the north coast of Ireland, divers are going to work on solving the mystery of the ramming. The Curacoa wreck is being battered by the sea and will take her secret with her if the divers do not dive and survey the wreck. They scan the wreck to find her and once they find the Curacoa they scan her. One part of the wreck is crushed. Is the liner to blame for the loss of the Curacoa? The divers look to find out.
Once the Queen Mary reaches the Irish Sea and her escorts, they are encountering rough seas. Queen Mary has a zig-zag course. However, the escorts are having a tough go of keeping up with her due to the rough seas. The Curacoa is trying to keep close to its charge and due to the slowness of the cruiser, she steers ahead in a straight line. The Curacoa alerts the Queen Mary to the Curacoa’s position and changes course to try to keep close. However, the Curacoa is steering dangerously close to the Queen Mary. The watchman on the Queen Mary is concerned, but the captain assures him that the Curacoa will stay out of their way.
However, this belief is shattered when Queen Mary rams the Curacoa. The Curacoa is sliced in half. There was a bang on both ships. The men on the Curacoa scrambled to get off their rapidly sinking ship. The Curacoa’s crew is ordered to abandon the ship. It is chaos on board the Curacoa and it takes six minutes for the light cruiser to sink. The Queen Mary has to move on otherwise she could be a target for u-boats in the area.
The soldiers on the Queen Mary looked on in shock at what happened. However, there was one soldier that had a camera. Soldiers were not allowed to bring a camera with them but this one soldier did and he took a picture of the sinking Curacoa. It was funny to hear this soldier sheepishly admit that he had the camera in the first place.
The divers arrive at the wreck and Eric Gove looks over the footage. It seems that Queen Mary was trying to avoid hitting Curacoa but managed to ram the ship instead. It was nice to see Eric Gove in this documentary. Why did the ramming happen? The divers will have to keep exploring the wreck. Will the Curacoa wreck reveal its secrets? Who is to blame for the Curacoa sinking? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
Overall this was a good episode and the recreations were excellent as well. The survivor’s stories were a special touch to this episode as well and it was great to see Eric Gove once again. I would put this on an independent study student’s list as well as a potential documentary to show to a history class.
This deep wreck mystery comes from World War II. It was a ship that my cousin Raymond was on when it sank. He survived the ship sinking by jumping onto a British destroyer that came alongside the ship. So I am happy to do this deep water wreck episode. The run time for this documentary is 50:43.
An allied troop ship lies in ruins. It is here that nearly 800 American soldiers lost their lives. It is evidence of a forgotten tragedy. Secrecy and mystery surround this shipwreck. It sunk on Christmas Eve bringing over troops to France. Why did so many men die in this wreck? What were the mistakes that were made that delayed the rescue of these men? A new dive on the wreck reveals new details about the sinking. What went so horribly wrong on this wreck?
It is Christmas Eve and 1944, the Leopoldville is making its way to France to drop off American troops in France. However, the ship is torpedoed and sinks. Delays in communications mean more men will die. It is the worse tragedy to befall an American infantry division. How could this tragedy take place in such a busy port? Could more men have been saved?
A new dive team is exploring the wreck to look for answers as to why so many soldiers died. However, it is a tricky wreck to dive correctly. There are many currents that can sweep a diver off the wreck. Additionally, the visibility is horrendous. As a result of time and the currents, Leopoldville is coming apart and collapsing. It is a race against time to document Leopoldville. Even with the 3d modeling of the ship, it is still a risky dive.
The first dive will allow them to orientate themselves on the ship. It takes time and skill to not only work out where they are but to navigate the wreck. It is a shipwreck that is lying on its side, and “all the floors are now the walls.” The Leopoldville was a luxury passenger ship it was a cruise ship between Antwerp and Africa. However, her career was interrupted by World War II and she was converted to a troop ship.
She was delivering troops that would take part in the Battle of the Bulge. She is to take the troops from England to Cherbourg France. Many of the passengers were young and found themselves rushed onto the ship on Christmas Eve. They would not be returned to England for the foreseeable future. It is here that the documentary interviews survivors of the wreck. They talk about the rush to pack up and go to France. They had thirty minutes to pack up.
In the rush of getting everyone to France, nobody was really keeping track of the soldiers that were supposed to be on the Leopoldville. Despite this, the Leopoldville begins settling sail. There is another troopship coming with and there are combat ships escorting the Leopoldville. Throughout the war, she was able to take troops from England to France without a problem. However that changed, the submarines had snorkels which would allow them to stay underwater for long periods of time. U-486 is on the prow and she is able to hunt ships down at periscope depts. The Leopoldville enters her sights on Christmas Eve and the u-boat fires.
A torpedo strikes the ship on the starboard side. Many soldiers were knocked out of their hammocks. Water poured into the ship. It was chaos for the soldiers. It was here that the survivors of the Leopoldville talk about their experiences. Rescue would be over two hours away. So what happened? Why was Leopoldville so vulnerable? Why was the rescue of the soldiers delayed? How many more lives could have been saved? What will the divers learn about Leopoldville?
The survivors’ experiences were harrowing and I liked hearing about their experiences. It was interesting to listen to the story of how the destroyer rescued the soldiers and the recreation showed me how my cousin managed to survive. It was also sad to realize that the soldiers were never given instructions on how to safely evacuate from the ship. Overall this was a fascinating look at one of the more forgotten stories of World War II and would be something to consider showing to a history class or for independent study students.
Good morning, today we are going to explore the mystery of deep shipwrecks. Is ship was carrying mules back from America to England. Why did it sink? The run time for this episode is 49:31.
The year is June 1915. The SS Armenian is carrying 1400 mules for the battlefields of Europe. A U-boat spots the ship and fires. Twenty-nine Americans are killed and the mules are sent to the bottom of the sea. Americans already outraged by the Lusitania sinking are made even angrier. The sinking of this ship would cause a second international incident between Germany and the United States. Now a team of divers plans to locate the wreck of the ship off Cornwall. Will these divers be successful?
The wreck supposedly lies off the coast of Cornwall among other shipwrecks. Some shipwrecks have been identified, others have not. The SS Armenian flew under the White Star flag, the same flag that the Titanic flew under. However, unlike the Titanic, the SS Armenian’s location remains unknown. This baffles explorers, who over the years, have tried to find the wreck. Over the years surveyors have crisscrossed the area pointing out shipwrecks that could be the SS Armenian. None of these surveys have been proven right. Now, with the latest technology, a group of scientists plans on going down to a potential site to perhaps identify the SS Armenian.
Innes McCartney, a historian, is diving on these wrecks in hopes of identifying the SS Armenian. There have been many shipwrecks identified as the SS Armenian, but none have stood the scrutiny. McCartney is leading a dive team to one potential site. This one site had reports of scattered bones. These bones could have been the remains of the mules that went down with the ship. When he arrives at the site, he notes that the bow is upright, with its anchors still in the ship. There are holes in the ship and the dive team continues to explore the ship. However, due to the depths, they are only allowed fifteen minutes at a time on the ship.
The SS Armenian was built for the Leland line before being rented by the White Star Line. Her primary job was to transport cattle. She was built by Harland and Wolff Shipyards. McCartney calls her a beautiful ship. On her final voyage, she set sail from Virginia. She has a load of mules destined for the battlefields of France. However, a German U-boat spies the ship near the entrance of the Bristol Channel. The U-boat is spotted, so the SS Armenian’s captain flees from the scene to avoid capture. The U-boat fires and chases the boat. The SS Armenian finally puts out the white flag the ship is abandoned. The U-boat allows the survivors to flee into the lifeboats and finishes the SS Armenian off. Some of the mule handlers decide to stay with their animals and go down with the ship. This would be the last time the SS Armenian is seen. Or is it?
McCartney continues his exploration of the wreck and finds bones. Initially thought of as human, he realizes these bones are too big to be human. Perhaps this is the Armenian. They bring up several bones to help identify the wreck. If these bones can be identified as animal, and particularly mule bones then historians and scientists are closer to identifying the SS Armenian. Do these bones belong to the mules that were on the SS Armenian? What about the second potential wreck? Will the SS Armenian ever be found? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
Wow, this is a terrific look at a virtually unknown history story. I was both sad and outraged that the mules could not have been saved. It also speaks to the persistence of Innes and his divers to try to find and identify this wreck. Innes McCartney was very good to listen to because he is very knowledgeable and it is nice to hear Eric Grove again. The discussion on the United States in World War I was also interesting and it leaves you wondering what would have happened if the United States got into the war after the SS Armenian sinking. This could be a good documentary for independent study students and could potentially be shown in a high school history class.
Today, deep sea divers are going to investigate the British battleship “HMS Audacious.” It was declared unsinkable and went into battle during World War I. She struck a mine and the men onboard her fought to keep her alive. It was a secondary, mysterious explosion that sent her down to the bottom of the Irish Sea. The wreck lies 14 miles off the tip of Ireland. So what caused this second explosion that sent her to the bottom? The run time for this documentary is 50:05.
For decades an unknown shipwreck lies on the bottom unseen. It is only in the last few years that the ship was seen and named. It was called the HMS Audacious and it is one of the largest, most complete battleships coming from World War I. It is October 1914 and the scene is the North Atlantic. The war is four months old and the British believe that the Irish Sea is safe. However, suddenly the HMS Audacious is struck and sinks deep into the Irish Sea.
A team of technical divers is now on the scene of the shipwreck. The wreck is a diver’s dream. It is the last remaining super dreadnaught and has been completely untouched over the years. Innes McCartney leads the expedition to the wreck. It was one of the most powerfully built ships and was the only super dreadnaught lost during World War I. Even though she was big, it took years to locate her. Everyone had survived her sinking so is not classified as a war grave. She sits on the bottom as to how she went down. Her wreck lies in pieces, what could have such damage to the ship?
Back in World War I, battleships were the most technologically advanced machines. With the power of the battleship, a nation could rule the seas. The late Eric Grove talks about the history of the battleship in the battle for naval supremacy. If you had a bigger battlefleet you could control the seas. Germany and Great Britain are engaged in a race to build a more and more powerful battleship. There is a clear arms race going on in the lead-up to World War I.
The British developed the super dreadnaught battleship. It is 600 feet long, 90 feet wide, and 23,000 tons. The top speed is 21 knots. The super dreadnaught had twelve-inch armor and ten thirteen-and-a-half-inch guns. It would have been a sight to see at sea. The battleship was to beat the enemy ship into submission. When the Audacious was launched she was declared unsinkable. These words would haunt the British public.
Innes visits the USS Texas to compare the specs on the wreck at the bottom. It is the sole survivor above land that is considered a super dreadnaught. It is the same age as the Audacious and is similar to the layout. The USS Texas could have been built in the United States and both battleships would have been complicated to build.
However, the Audacious did not sink in battle. It was sent to the bottom of the sea by a mine. How is that possible? The divers look at the area of maximum damage. The turret is upside down and is torn apart. The size of the ship is a challenge for the divers as they can only cover so much area on one dive. The ship is slowly collapsing under her own weight. Despite this, there is evidence of a massive explosion that tore her apart. Once the dives are completed, the next step is to perform a sonar scan of the ship.
How could an unsinkable ship fall victim to a simple mind? What will the scans reveal of the ship? Will the historians solve the mystery as to why she sank? What were the origins of the second explosion? Tune into the rest of the episode to find out more.
First, it was very nice to see Eric Grove once again presenting his knowledge of battleships. He is always interesting to listen to. Second, it was very interesting to watch this mystery unfold. This would be an interesting to show to a science class because of the application of the scientific method to solve the mystery.
Good morning, today is our last day of Thirty-One Days of the Time Team. Today, I am throwing it back to the last series of the Time Team to air on Television series twenty. It has been fun going through these episodes of the Time Team. I am officially done with series one, two, three, and thirteen, hopefully, more episodes will be posted from the series four. Anyway, the Time Team is at Horseshoe Hall and the run time for this episode is 47:06.
Oakham Castle is famous for the Horseshoe Hall and it is the best-preserved building from the 12th Century. It hosted knights and kings. The are plenty of lumps and bumps for the Time Team to explore to further the story of the castle. Oakham is the center of trading routes, the heart of the agricultural center of Britain, and was a target for invasion. What will the Time Team discover about this site?
Tony introduces the dig with Neil Holbrook, John Gater, and Phil Harding. Not many remains of the castle except for a surviving grand hall. This grand hall would have been surrounded by earthworks and there would have been a tower nearby. Gater talks about the geophysics results he got. He warns that they may find the services such as gas, electricity, and water. Tony warns the team not to get drowned or electrocuted on this dig.
Trench one goes in and the Time Team is already trying to avoid an electricity cable. Tony tours the great hall and sees that there are three hundred and fifty horseshoes on the wall. It is here that Tony learns the history of the castle from Marc Morris. It was built by the Ferrers family and the horseshoes may have been the result of a play on the name Ferrers meaning farriers who worked on horseshoes. The man who built the castle was a favorite of Richard the Lionheart. They would have fought together side by side during the Crusades.
The status of the man and closeness to the crown would mean that the castle would have been grand. Stewart Ainsworth and Richard Morriss look over the grounds to visualize what the castle grounds would have looked like. What else would have surrounded the hall? There would have been workshops, stables, and other quarters around the site. Stewart will march around and learn what he can from the ground.
Hopefully, Stewart will have better luck than Phil and John in trench one. Unfortunately for the pair, there is clay in the ground which has thrown off the geophysics results. The Time Team will have to rely on Stewart’s work. Trench two goes in over a potential castle outbuilding, which Tony believes is a garden feature. Despite this, Uncle Phil has discovered bits of the wall in fact this wall lines up with the great hall. Tony catches up with Matt as he goes over the demolition ruble that was found on the site. The demolition rubble consists of tiles.
In Trench two, there is more wall only there is a door in the wall. Did this door lead into the stables or was this a people’s door? At the end of the day one, John has more geophysics results and alongside the building, there seems to a series of structures. Perhaps this is where the lord and lady of the manor stayed.
Day two kicks off with trench three going in. In the meantime trench three is producing a wall. However, this wall is not in alignment with the geophysics results. It looks like it may have been a separate building from the great hall. This wall confuses the Time Team. In the meantime, the finds keep coming and including a horseshoe. It seems to hint that there was a kitchen off the great hall. What will the Time Team continue to learn about Oakham Castle? Will they find more horseshoes on-site? Will John finally get some clear geophysics results? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out!
Overall, this was a good episode, because, despite the setbacks with geophysics, the Time Team continued to plug along in making discoveries to further the history of the site. The discovery of the horseshoe was fantastic and really fitting for this site. This would be a good episode to add to your list for the medieval period in history class.
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