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House of History: the Podcast
11 minutes | 4 days ago
The Legendary Dambusters Raid: Operation Chastise (Germany, 1943)
The May 1943 secret operation by Britain's Bomber Command to destroy several German dams located in its industrial heartland, the Ruhr Area, was a groundbreaking mission. Not just because of the risk involved, but because a new weapon would be used for the first time: the so-called 'Bouncing Bomb'.
10 minutes | 6 days ago
The only U.S. Pilot to defect to the Waffen-SS during WW2... in October 1944
During the Second World War there were multiple people from Allied countries that deserted to the Axis powers. Actually, there are too many to name them all. Some of them ended up working propaganda jobs, and the ‘American-Germans that travelled to Germany to defend the Reich’ was of course immortalised by the (fictional) scene in Band of Brothers. But all these people generally deserted before there was a full-fledged war between the United States and Germany. Let alone when it became obvious that Germany was going to lose the war. Well, not Martin James Monti. Playing a bit of bluff he ended up in German-held territory in Europe, joined the SS propaganda unit and even fought on the German side. But what makes the case perhaps even more strange is that all this happened in late October 1944, when it was evident to nearly everyone that Germany would lose the war.
15 minutes | 9 days ago
The Secret "Mannerheim-tape" of Hitler's Normal Voice
Oddly enough although many speeches given by Adolf Hitler have been preserved, there is no audio footage of his normal conversational voice. Well, except one tape, recorded in secret by a Finnish sound engineer and released to the public only decades after the war ended. Article with transcripts: https://houseofhistory.co/2020/11/29/the-only-secret-recording-with-hitlers-normal-voice/ Video with transcripts: https://youtu.be/WE6mnPmztoQ
12 minutes | 11 days ago
The Real Finnish Soldier of 3 Armies: Lauri Allan Törni
Lauri Törni was a warrior. There's no way around it. Taking up arms in 1939 against the Soviet Union invading his Finland, he ended up fighting alongside the German Waffen-SS during the final days of the Second World War. After the war he fled to the United States, where he joined the U.S. Army Special Forces. He met his end the way he lived: on deployment in Vietnam, fighting against communism.
12 minutes | 13 days ago
The coup that nearly ended the Weimar Republic before it began (March, 1920)
After the German Empire lost the First World War and the Kaiser abdicated, the newly established Weimar Republic lingered in an incredibly unstable and chaotic situation. Both the far left and far right rejected parliamentary democracy. One of the most infamous events must have been the Kapp Putsch. During the night of March 12 1920, an elite paramilitary unit entered Berlin. It aimed to overthrow the democratically elected government and install an autocratic military regime. Surprisingly enough, these paramilitary troops enjoyed support from the actual army and a considerable number of civil servants. For a moment, it looked like the young Weimar Republic already came to an end, before it really had begun. Image source: By Bundesarchiv, Bild 119-1983-0007 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5415957
14 minutes | 16 days ago
The Father in Law of Europe: King Christian IX of Denmark (1818-1906)
It is well known that European royal families tend to marry among each other to either maintain or expand their power-base. Yet the Danish King Christian IX managed to take it to a whole new level. Disregarding a lousy start of his reign, namely losing a war and nearly half of Denmark's territory, the marriage politics of his children made up for it all. His children married into incredibly powerful royal houses in Europe, and often times had children of their own that in their turn too married into prominent royalty. Because of his cunning marriage politics, King Christian IX of Denmark is remembered as the ‘father in law of Europe’, and rightfully so, might I add.
12 minutes | 18 days ago
When the Wehrmacht and U.S. Army Teamed up Against the Waffen-SS: Battle of Castle Itter
The last days of the Second World War were incredibly chaotic. To nearly every German soldier it became clear the war had been lost, both in the Wehrmacht and even among some ideological diehard Waffen-SS. Europe was filled with large groups of refugees, displaced persons and bands of soldiers that either were looking for another front to fight at or tried to reach the western allied powers before the Soviets caught them. A very curious event happened during this chaotic time: in Tyrol, Austria, a centuries-old castle housed prominent French political prisoners. When a fanatical SS division attempted to take the castle, a German Wehrmacht unit ended up fighting side-by-side with a United States army unit to defend these prisoners. It was the only time during the entire war that the Germans and Americans fought side-by-side, and it is often described as the ‘strangest battle of the entire war.'
16 minutes | 20 days ago
Germany's Last Kaiser: Wilhelm II's Life in Exile after his Abdication
Germany's Last Kaiser Wilhelm II lived for another 23 years after he abdicated and was forced into exile following Germany's defeat during the First World War. He lived in exile in the Netherlands and passed away only in June 1941. To give you an idea: that is well after Hitler had been in power, and two years after the Second World War broke out. Knowing this, it begs the inevitable question: what was the life of the Last German Kaiser like, in exile, with all those turbulent changes going on in the Empire he once ruled?
10 minutes | 23 days ago
The Abduction and Murder of a Dutch Millionaire that Shocked the Netherlands
It was the early morning on the 9th of September 1987. A 45-year-old unemployed engineer drives a stolen Fiat from his home to Bloemendaal, a town 35 minutes away known for its villas. After all, Bloemendaal is the wealthiest place in the Netherlands. He wears a fake moustache, glasses and a beret. His coat is draped over a sawed-off gun that rests on his lap. When he reaches his destination, one of the villas in Bloemendaal, he parks his car on a nearby parking lot and takes up a position near the entrance of the estate. His target, Gerrit Jan Heijn own this villa. Nobody realises it yet, but one of the longest, most shocking and sensational abductions and murders in the history of the Netherlands is about to commence.
13 minutes | 25 days ago
The First Tanks in History and the Race to Develop them during the First World War
There were some surprisingly decent-looking tank designs before the First World War broke out. Yet because there wasn't any direct necessity for these expensive machines, real development didn't start until the war had already progressed. Both the British and French developed several models of tanks during the last years of the First World War, in the hopes of breaking the stagnant trench warfare on the Western front.
13 minutes | a month ago
The Greatest Deception of the U.S. Civil War (1863)
When the Confederacy captured the Ironclad USS Indianola during the American Civil War, the Union's Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter thought up a ruse to make sure it wouldn't be salvaged and used against them.
16 minutes | a month ago
The Spectacular Capture of Fortress Eben-Emael (Belgium, 1940)
The Belgian fortress Eben-Emael was considered impenetrable, with its heavy defences and a 1200 strong garrison. Yet on May 10th 1940, with the invasion of Belgium, the Netherlands and France, it merely took several dozen German paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger) to capture the fort.
13 minutes | a month ago
The Mysterious Disappearance of Amelia Earhart (1937)
Amelia Earhart was the first woman that successfully completed an intercontinental solo-flight. She established many speed- and distance records and the world still sees her as a pioneer in aviation. She disappeared during a flight over the Pacific Ocean. Official investigations concluded she died in a plane crash over the ocean, a simple crash-and-sink. Yet, the disappearance has been shrouded in mystery and has been fruitful ground for theories about her actual whereabouts.
17 minutes | a month ago
Hunting Bormann: Life and Mysterious Disappearance of the Most Senior Nazi Official
Martin Bormann was one of the highest-ranking members of Nazi Germany. He disappeared during the final days of the Second World War, amidst the Battle of Berlin. What happened to him? In this video Bormann's life, career and expansion of power are discussed. It also gives a very detailed account of his disappearance after World War 2 and the subsequent manhunt that lasted for decades. House of History on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/HouseofHistory Consider supporting HoH: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HouseofHistory Leave a tip: https://www.paypal.me/HouseofHistory Check out my blog: https://www.houseofhistory.co My Twitter: https://twitter.com/Oscar_HoH
16 minutes | a month ago
Is the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass incident finally solved?
In 1959 in the Soviet Union, a group of 10 explorers decided to set out on a challenging hiking expedition in a freezing and mountainous area of Russia. When the expedition group fails to touch base after several weeks, a rescue mission is set up to try and find them. When the mission finally discovers what happened to the explorers, they are horrified. Although the weather reached sub-zero degrees, the members of the expedition were found, far apart in a secluded forest, near entirely unclothed, with severe internal fractures and no obvious cause of death...
9 minutes | a month ago
The Sad Life and Crazy Anatomy of Spain's King Charles II
Charles II was born into one of Europe's most powerful families. After his father's death he became King of Spain at the age of 4, with his mother doubling as his regent. Yet his life certainly wasn't over roses. King Charles II was nicknamed 'the Bewitched' and suffered from a long list of physical deformities as a direct result of the Habsburg's... lack of 'diversity' in marriage. House of History on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/HouseofHistory Consider supporting HoH: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HouseofHistory Leave a tip: https://www.paypal.me/HouseofHistory Check out my blog: https://www.houseofhistory.co My Twitter: https://twitter.com/Oscar_HoH
21 minutes | a month ago
The Mysterious Case Surrounding Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia (1901-?)
One of the greatest mysteries of both Imperial Russia and the subsequent Soviet Union was the disappearance of Tsar Nicholas II's youngest daughter, Anastasia. Following the execution of the imperial Romanov family, rumours quickly spread around Europe... Anastasia may have survived the execution. House of History on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/HouseofHistory
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