Chalke Valley History Hit

Dunkirk - James Holland

James looks at one of the most iconic moments in Britain’s history. He examines the background to the German attack on the West in May 1940, challenging many of our ...

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Günter Halm was an anti-tank gunner who served in North Africa under Rommel and later in Normandy, and received his Knight’s Cross for destroying nine British tanks at Alamein in July 1942. He was awarded his medal by Field Marshal Rommel in person. www.cvhf.org.uk

German WWII Veteran - Günter Halm

The fifteenth century saw the crown change hands seven times as the great Plantagenet families fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. Dan Jones breathes life into some of the greatest heroes and villains in English history, who tore themselves apart and enabled the Tudors to snatch the throne. www.cvhf.org.uk

The Plantagenets: Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty - Dan Jones

James Heneage is a founder of the Chalke Valley History Festival and was founder of the Ottakar’s chain of bookshops which was sold to Waterstones in 2006. He is a former Chairman of the Cheltenham Literary Festival and a Booker Prize judge. www.cvhf.org.uk

Rani Lakshmibai Of Jhansi, India's Joan Of Arc - James Heneage

Michael Wood tells the incredible story of King Alfred’s Battle for Wessex. After defeat at Chippenham, Alfred’s kingdom was reduced to a postage stamp of marshland in Somerset, yet he survived and built his army again, leading them to victory at Ethandun. It is unquestionably one of the great moments in English history. www.cvhf.org.uk

King Alfred - Michael Wood

20 Tsars and Tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition are the subject of Simon Sebag Montefiore's gripping talk in this episode. He dips into the secret world of imperial power, murder and revolution to tell the story of the triumph and tragedy of an Empire that still defines Russia today. www.cvhf.org.uk

The Romanovs - Simon Sebag Montefiore

Melvyn Bragg paints a colourful portrait of the 1381 violent uprising, the biggest armed rebellion against Church and State in English history. www.cvhf.org.uk

The Peasants’ Revolt - Melvyn Bragg

In this talk, best-selling author Robert Harris turns to one of the key scandals in French history, the Dreyfus Affair. Discussing this infamous miscarriage of justice that rocked France in the years before the first world war, he brings new insights to this world of secret service dealings, cover-ups and betrayal… www.cvhf.org.uk

The Dreyfus Affair - Robert Harris

In this talk, best-selling author of Wild Swans, Jung Chang gave a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern china and an intimate portrait of the most important woman in Chinese history. One of the emperor’s concubines, she launched a palace coup to become the Empress Dowager Cixi, the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population who overcame huge obstacles to bring a medieval empire into the modern age. www.cvhf.org.uk

Jung Chang - Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

We had the privilege of having a complete 7-man crew who made up the different roles on a Lancaster bomber during the Second World War at Chalke Valley History Festival in 2015. George ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, Jo Lancaster, Frank Tilley, Hal Gardner, John de Hoop, Dave Fellowes, Steve Bethell were in discussion with Paul Beaver. It was the chance to hear what it was like to fly over Nazi-occupied Europe, whether pilot, bomb- aimer, navigator, flight engineer, tail-gunner, radio operator or mid-upper gunner – and from men whose combined experience amounted to over 150 operations. www.cvhf.org.uk

The Bomber Crew

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Tank 100 with World of Tanks and The Tank Museum

Tanks 100

Somme 100 with The Royal British Legion

Somme 100

Timeline Nelson with The National Maritime Museum

Nelson