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History Channel Documentaries

Season 2012 2012

  • 2012-04-01T04:00:00Z on History
  • 60 mins
  • 1 day, 5 hours, 0 mins
  • United States
  • Documentary

The History Channel is a satellite and cable TV channel, devoted mainly to historical events and persons. Programming covers a wide array of periods and topics, while similar topics are often organized into themed weeks or daily marathons. Subjects include military history, medieval history, the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, modern engineering, and historical biographies.

37 episodes

2012x01 Falklands Combat Medics

  • Season Premiere

    2012-04-01T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

Former medics at Ajax Bay reveal their life-saving work during the war in the Falklands. Despite amputating limbs with penknifes and operating by torch light, no one died on their watch.

2012x02 The Plague

  • no air date — 60 mins

It began like the common cold. Then came fever, baseball-sized black swellings on the neck, and coughing up blood. Few infected lived more than two days. In the three years since it first struck in 1437, almost half of Europe's population died within three years. The Plague visits the rat-infested holds of the ships that brought death and disease, witness the terror that swept through towns, and walks with religious flagellants. Follow a princess as she travels into the center of the plague, a doctor who struggles to understand what is happening, and a Jewish merchant caught up in violent attacks. Hear the actual words of the victims, taken from diaries and journals. From the Pope's palace to the humble huts of medieval peasants, watch as people live and die in the unforgiving grip of fear and death, and wonder how we would act if such a terrible event happened today. In this documentary we address all these questions, shedding light on one of the most infamous moments of the Middle Ages.

2012x03 Apocalypse Island

  • 2010-01-03T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

Dr. Jeff Salz embarks on an amazing journey of discovery about the Mayans. Along the way, Dr. Salz and his team reveal the lessons from the Mayan Story about change and transformation...

2012x04 Nazi Titanic

  • 2012-04-14T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

In one of World War II’s most bizarre episodes, the Nazi propaganda machine attempted to produce an epic film recreating Titanic’s demise. This special brings you the little-known story of the Third Reich’s would-be blockbuster.

Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on 14 April 2012, Heroes of the Titanic is a poignant story of self-sacrifice by the Titanic’s engineers, stokers and firemen in the face of impending death. This historical drama focuses on the self-sacrifice and bravery of the ship's engineers, stokers and firemen. This documentary drama special also seeks to answer the question of what happened in the engine and boiler rooms after the collision.

2012x06 Titanic 100: Mystery Solved

  • 2012-04-15T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

In April 2012, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, HISTORY™ seeks to answer the questions surrounding this infamous disaster once and for all. In a major, exclusive underwater expedition, HISTORY™ partners with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and RMS Titanic, Inc. to conduct the most extensive exploration and imaging of Titanic's wreck site ever undertaken. CGI will illustrate what happened structurally to the ship, minute by minute, after it's fatal collision with an iceberg.

2012x07 Secret Access: Superpower

  • 2012-03-01T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

From breakthrough technologies to never before seen weapons and defense systems, Secret Access: Superpower is an all-access pass to America's military might, featuring the most modern weapons taking on the age old challenges of terrorism, war, bomb threats, close combat, the deepest missions of sea and death-defying airborne fights. Hosted by actor/director and military enthusiast, Peter Berg, along with Peter Singer, the noted defense expert and NY Times best-selling author, this two-hour special leads viewers down the war path of America's most remarkable munitions of past and present in an exciting and surprise-filled journey behind the scenes of the world's last remaining superpower.

2012x08 Lost Magic Decoded

  • 2012-10-18T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

Master illusionist Steve Cohen tracks down, decodes, and resurrects some of the most thrilling and terrifying magic effects ever witnessed. Magic has a secret history, and it takes an insider like Cohen to gain access to the ancient incantations, secret sorcery, and mysterious contraptions that have shocked audiences for centuries. Can their secrets somehow be rediscovered? And can they thrill and shock today's audiences like they once did? Explore the mysteries of how these legendary effects were influenced by their times, and even how the illusions themselves changed the course of history. Steve Cohen discovers that there is much more to magic than meets the eye, and he becomes drawn closer and closer to taking the same sometimes death-defying risks that conjurors have been taking for the sake of an illusion since magic began, over a thousand years ago.

2012x09 Building the Titanic

  • no air date — 60 mins

Building the Titanic In the 19th century, workers transformed the coast in Belfast to create the world's biggest shipyard, later the site of Titanic's construction. This luxury liner was unparalleled in size and scope and required a massive infrastructure to complete the job. Take a look as historians uncover the process behind building Titanic.

2012x10 The Godfather Legacy

  • 2012-07-24T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 1972, an offer was made that the world could not refuse... For more than four decade the unforgettable saga of the Corleone crime family has touched millions of lives. From their origins in a pulp fiction novel by author Mario Puzo, the Corleones inspired one of the most important and enduring films in history. Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece The Godfather not only broke box office records, it actually infiltrated American consciousness. Narrated by actor Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), this special looks at how this groundbreaking 1972 film and its two sequels transcended Hollywood, transformed the American psyche and even influenced real-life organised crime. Historians, scholars, law enforcement agents and real-world Mafiosi explain how these powerful on-screen mobsters, with their moral ambiguity and relatable human flaws, resonated with audiences and impacted upon popular culture. Featuring interviews with screenwriter/director Coppola and stars of the trilogy including Al Pacino (Michael Corleone), James Caan (Sonny Corleone), Joe Mantegna (Joey Zasa) and Talia Shire (Connie Corleone), this feature-length documentary also includes an abundance of memorable scenes from the award-winning blockbuster films.

2012x11 UFOs: The Secret History

  • 2012-07-29T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

This documentary uses CGI technology and witness testimony to examine the UFO phenomenon from the earliest sightings and possible government cover-ups to present day testimonials. UFOs: The Secret History journeys into the unknown and ultimately asks the question: what is out there?

2012x15 How Playboy Changed the World

  • 2012-10-02T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

A look at how Playboy magazine has influenced cultures and social conventions around the world.

2012x16 Countdown To Apocalypse

  • 2012-11-30T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

By now we've all heard the prophecies about December 21, 2012. Whether it comes from the Mayan calendar or the wrath of Revelations, several cultures and traditions believe the world will end on that date. As the time approaches, H2 introduces the origins and traditions behind the impending end of the world From purchasing underground shelters and securing "bug-out" rooms, to preaching the message of God's divine fury many people all over the world are preparing themselves for the end. Each episode will take you through the history of the prophecies, and people's plans of protection and redemption. Modern scientists will also dissect the potential apocalyptic threats to see if there’s any fact behind these premonitions. As ancient prophecy and modern science collide, Countdown to Apocalypse begs the question, "are you prepared?"

2012x17 Caligula: 1400 Days of Terror

  • 2012-10-09T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

They say he was insane. The stories of his cruelty and depravity are countless. He was one of the most feared and powerful men of the ancient world. He was Caligula, Emperor of Rome. He killed on a whim and it was said that to be in his presence was playing with your life. But almost everything known about Caligula comes from only two original sources, and they both had reasons to twist the truth. Now using the latest archaeological evidence, including identifying the possible location of his tomb, this special reveals the true story of the Emperor they called the Viper of Rome: Caligula.

The Mafia, a network of organized-crime groups based in Italy and America, evolved over centuries in Sicily, an island ruled until the mid-19th century by a long line of foreign invaders. Sicilians banded together in groups to protect themselves and carry out their own justice. In Sicily, the term “mafioso,” or Mafia member, initially had no criminal connotations and was used to refer to a person who was suspicious of central authority. By the 19th century, some of these groups emerged as private armies, or “mafie,” who extorted protection money from landowners and eventually became the violent criminal organization known today as the Sicilian Mafia. The American Mafia, which rose to power in the 1920s, is a separate entity from the Mafia in Italy, although they share such traditions as omerta, a code of conduct and loyalty.

2012x19 WW II From Space

  • 2012-12-07T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

U.K. indie production banner October Films has made a two hour special detailing the story of America's war from the vantage point of space for History. Using a variety of VFX techniques, World War II from Space will present major moments from the war including Pearl Harbor, D-Day and Hiroshima in ways they have never been seen before. In doing so, it brings all the visual conventions and imagery of modern war reporting to WWII. The program makers aim to give viewers a fresh interpretation of the war.

Travel back to the blistering sands of the Holy Land, into the onion-domed chapels of Eastern Orthodox churches and onto the pages of the Koran. Unearth the trail of chapters that were left out of the ultimate version of the Scriptures. Included in the Koran is "The Life of Adam and Eve," a detailed account of the creation story written before Jesus was born. The incestuous account of "The Book of Jubilees" was included in the Orthodox Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls. "The Book of Enoch," an ancient bestseller, relates the story of the man said in Genesis to have walked with God and been assumed directly into heaven. This fascinating collection offers a fresh perspective on the figures at the foundation of faith.

2012x21 The Nazi Gospels

  • 2012-12-30T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

The Nazi Gospels explores the roots of Nazi ideology, and how the Third Reich used twisted versions of history and religion to bolster its power and help drive Germany towards war and genocide. The story begins in 19th Century occult societies, where what will become the central tenet of Nazism is developed: belief in an ancient Aryan Master Race, born to rule lesser races, especially the ‘subhuman’ Jews. In the aftermath of Germany’s defeat in World War I this racist ideology passes into the Nazi party, being fostered by Heinrich Himmler, leader of the Nazi’s elite troopers, the SS. Himmler dreams of a Germany turned away from Christian doctrines of love and peace, and establishes spooky Wewelsburg Castle as an SS Pagan Vatican, designing pagan rituals for his men to take part in. He establishes an Ancient History Department for the SS which conducts bizarre and ambitious archaeological quests… to Tibet, supposed homeland of ancient Aryans, and to southern France in search of the Holy Grail. These eccentric efforts may seem a sideshow next to Adolf Hitler’s dream of conquering a thousand-year empire for Germany. But the film shows how the Nazi belief in the Aryan Master Race characterised World War II as a war between the Aryan Germans and the ‘lesser races’, for example the Russian Slavs and especially the Jews… a belief which reached its most terrible consequence in the Holocaust. The same SS men caught up in these bizarre, cult-like obsessions of ancient Aryans with magical powers, of Pagan Gods and the Holy Grail, were also those who directed genocide. Illustrated with unnerving drama and readings of original Nazi texts, as well as little-seen archive, The Nazi Gospels shows how racist myth-making and false history was used to underpin the greatest crime in history.

2012x23 Sunken History

  • no air date — 60 mins

The shipwreck of Mahdia was found by Greek sponge fishermen off the coast of Tunisia in June 1907. The shipwreck near the modern town of Mahdia is dated about the 80s BC, or even later. In a series of underwater campaigns a large number of items were recovered and placed on display at the Muse National du Bardo, Tunis. The greater parts of the sculptures were salvaged between 1907 and 1913 by French archaeologist Alfred Merlin, at that time Director of Antiquities in the Protectorate of Tunisia. Further survey work on the site was done by a team led by Mensun Bound, but unfortunately no further excavations have been possible.

2012x24 Dieppe Uncovered

  • 2012-08-19T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

This stunning new documentary reveals findings from never-before-seen and recently declassified documents that will revolutionize the way Canadians understand their role in the Battle of Dieppe, giving meaning to an event that has, until now, been viewed as a futile failure.

2012x26 Hitler's Island Madness

  • 2012-11-12T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

As soon as Hitler's forces occupied the Channel Islands he ordered a series of fortifications to defend the only British territory he ever conquered. The problem was he never stopped, pouring men, concrete and weapons into the Islands until his officers began to refer to his "inselwahn" his island madness and the Channel Islands had become the most fortified place - on earth. By 1944 the Channel Islands had taken in over 8% of the concrete destined for the Atlantic Wall and had more guns than 600 miles of Normandy Coast. Of the German commanders only Rommel understood the implications for the invasion they all knew was coming.

It starts with a spark, but some ideas catch fire and in the process change the world. Necessity is the mother of invention — from darkness, man found light (the candle) and from even the farthest distances we can still find each other (the telephone). But some inventions have transformed our lives far beyond our homes (the steam engine), our planet (the telescope), and our wildest dreams (the Internet). This countdown highlights how human ingenuity comes in all shapes and sizes. Some were born from the humblest means (the hammer) while others push the limits of what was ever believed possible (the airplane). But regardless of the ratio of inspiration to perspiration, each invention to make the cut was destined to change our lives forever.

2012x28 The Glencoe Massacre

  • 2012-03-28T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

Examining one of the most emotive yet misunderstood events in Scottish history. Despite popular belief, the massacre of Glencoe was not a typical clash between two highland clans.

2012x29 The Celtic Legacy

  • 2012-01-15T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

“The Celtic Legacy”, deals with the Celtic culture in Galicia, in Northern Spain.

2012x30 The Teacher Who Defied Hitler

  • 2012-01-15T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

1934. Berlin. The Nazi party is on the rise, and so are violent acts against Jews. Anti-Semitism has become a state doctrine and racism has replaced education, profoundly affecting the most vulnerable members of the Jewish community: the children. But one woman dared to stand up to hatred and to Adolf Hitler's totalitarian regime. Witness the story of Leonore Goldschmidt, a fired teacher who found a loophole in Nazi law and opened the Goldschmidt School, a sanctuary for hundreds of Jewish youths, an oasis in the heart of hell.

2012x31 Queen Elizabeth's Lost Guns

  • 2012-06-15T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

A mile off the coast of the channel island of Alderney lies a shipwreck that could rewrite English naval history. Presenter Saul David joins a team of divers and experts as they attempt to find and raise the ship's four-hundred-year-old cannons. By recasting and firing them, they hope to demonstrate how Elizabeth I became the mother of British naval dominance.

The Book of Revelation, the most terrifying and controversial book of the Bible, was written by an exiled prophet almost two thousand years ago. The final chapters of the New Testament describe mankind's violent end of days - a seven-year period of unparalleled death and destruction. Jesus breaks seven seals that unleash three waves of devastation - natural and man-made, from the sky and from deep within the earth. The Antichrist will rise. Pestilence, famine, war, and natural disasters will purge humanity before Jesus returns for the final battle between good and evil. But who is the Antichrist? Who will survive God's wrath? And when will this apocalypse happen?

This is a report regarding history and influence of freemasonry in Portugal's since it's foundation until nowadays

2012x34 How the Earth Made Man

  • 2012-10-11T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

Quirks of the human body and mind are examined in search of clues to the origin of mankind.

2012x35 Going Medieval

  • 2012-02-20T05:00:00Z — 60 mins

Diving deep into the life and times of the Middle Ages, historian and weapons expert Mike Loades hosts the two-hour H2 special, Going Medieval, delivering fun-filled facts such as how to keep a knight's armor shiny using sand, vinegar and urine. Loades battles the myths vs. the realities of work and home during this extraordinary time.

2012x36 Curse of the Axe

  • 2012-07-09T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

Curse of the Axe tells the story of a recent archaeological discovery that will fundamentally change viewers' understanding of North American life before the arrival of the Europeans. A team of world-renowned archaeologists has unearthed the largest and most complex Huron First Nations village ever found. The village, which they dub 'Mantle', contains 90 longhouses surrounded by a high, defensive three-row wooden wall, or "palisade" that required the Hurons to cut down 60,000 trees - using only stone axes! Beyond the walls the Huron cultivated 80 square kilometers of cornfields (larger than present-day Metropolitan Toronto) - enough to feed its thousands of inhabitants. But the revelations – and the mysteries - do not end with the village itself. Compounding the mystery of this remarkable discovery is a second, shocking discovery. During the excavation, a mysterious metal object is found, buried with great care and respect. It is made of iron – a material totally alien to the Huron. The object is believed to be some kind of blade, perhaps once part of an axe. But the stunning discovery raised more questions than it answered. How did a piece of European iron get to Mantle almost 100 years before the arrival of the first Europeans in this part of the world? Where did it come from? And why did the people of Mantle bury it?

She’s beautiful, intelligent, gifted, and one of TV’s most unique and successful “food” personalities. But, the life Nigella had imagined for herself as a child is far from the story that unfolded. Her father was the most prominent politician in Margaret Thatcher’s government and her brother, the editor of one of Britain’s leading Newspapers. Her life, though, remained stuck in the shadows. Crippled by shyness and devastated by the untimely death from cancer of her mother, sister and finally her husband, Nigella was determined to recreate herself as a self-confident modern woman. Today, the Domestic Goddess has been voted one of the most beautiful women on earth cementing her fame, to be known around the world by just one name, Nigella. Biography Documentary hosted by Tom Streihorst.

2012x38 Titanic: 100 Years in 3D

  • 2012-08-14T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

The 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic...a new look in 3-D

2012x39 The Definitive Guide To The Mob

  • 2012-07-31T04:00:00Z — 60 mins

What is life really like in the American mafia? How do you get in, get made and make money? And what happens when you get in too deep? THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE MOB answers all of these questions and more by turning to the ultimate authority: former Colombo family captain Michael Franzese. Michael grew up in this world, following in the footsteps of his father, Colombo family underboss Sonny Franzese, and he earned more money for the organization than anyone since Al Capone. Michael also did what no made man has ever done before or since: he publicly quit La Cosa Nostra -- without going into witness protection -- and lived to tell the tale. This fast- paced, two-hour special takes viewers on a step-by-step journey through the world's most famous criminal organization as lived by one of its most notorious members. You'll find out exactly how the mob works -- and wonder how Michael Franzese is still alive.

2012x40 What's the Earth Worth

  • no air date — 60 mins

From timber to cattle and from water to oil to gold, we'll take the ultimate inventory of all the natural resources that the Earth has to offer to uncover the absolute value of the planet. With informative CGI sequences, this Special will calculate the quantity of each resource - how much we've used through human history and how much is left - and put a price tag on all commodities in their raw state, before man has added value through design or manufacture. In the process we'll get a macro view of history by examining how prices and demand for certain resources have changed over time as new technologies make new materials valuable while rendering others useless.

2012x41 Burning Down Paris!

  • no air date — 60 mins

General Dietrich von Choltitz is chiefly remembered for his role as the last commander of Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, when he disobeyed Chancellor Adolf Hitler's orders to level the city, but instead surrendered it to Free French forces.He was hailed in many contemporary accounts as the "Saviour of Paris" for not allowing it to be destroyed.