Almost History

Almost History
Almost History. Always incredible. What if … ?Every other Thursday, Almost History tells the amazing true stories behind the aborted missions, cancelled plans, utopian dreams and hubristic designs that didn’t quite make it from the drawing board to t?

12 Opening the iron curtain - the DDR’s day of dissent
Jul 12, 2018 • 19 min
What if a violent uprising had toppled East Germany’s communist government in 1953?
11 Operation Unthinkable - Churchill’s plan to attack Russia and start a Third World War
Jun 15, 2017 • 23 min
According to Field Marshal Montgomery, rule number one on the first page of the book of war is ‘do not march on Moscow’. In April 1945, Winston Churchill ordered the British Chiefs of Staff to rip up the rule book and plan for an attack on their wa…
10 Louis of England - history’s forgotten King of England
Jun 1, 2017 • 23 min
In August of 1216, the King of Scotland rode down the entire length of England to pay homage to a new English king at Dover. The Scottish monarch bent his knee to a warrior prince who was the pride and hope of his dynasty. His name was …
09 Princess Mary Tudor’s flight to freedom
May 18, 2017 • 21 min
In the summer of 1550, Princess Mary, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII, was packing her belongings and preparing to flee her home. Her Tudor brother was the figurehead for an increasingly Protestant regime. Mary clung to her mother’s Catholic…
08 Cancelling Christmas and the Plum Pudding Riots
May 11, 2017 • 12 min
In 1647, the new puritan government tried to cancel Christmas. People in Canterbury protested in a peculiarly English way, with a destructive game of football followed by a mass brawl. The city’s Plum Pudding Riots led to a royalist…
07 The Prince of Poyais - settling in the country that never was
May 5, 2017 • 22 min
In 1822, Gregor MacGregor committed what The Economist newspaper has called the ‘biggest fraud in history’ and ‘the greatest confidence trick of all time’. Investors, many of them Scottish, put forward vast sums towards creating a colony in ce…
06 A wonderful paradise on the Isthmus of Panama
Apr 27, 2017 • 18 min
Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Scotland sank a huge chunk of its national wealth into an audacious scheme to colonise central America. become a more equal partner with England under the Stuart crown. The colony was to straddle th…
05 Roosevelt’s third term and the voice from the sewers
Apr 21, 2017 • 17 min
In the first half of 1940 only one question mattered in American politics. Would Franklin D. Roosevelt break with tradition and run for a third term as President of the United States? The New York Times proclaimed it as ‘the all-absorbing political rid…
04 The British Hindenberg disaster and the demise of Imperial Airships
Apr 13, 2017 • 22 min
Imperial Airships would bring the far flung peoples of the British Empire closer together than ever before. Every day, blimps would slip their masts near London carrying passengers and freight bound for Montreal, Cairo, Karachi, Singapore and Sydney. …
03 Hitler’s dreams to unify his empire with a monstrous railway
Apr 7, 2017 • 16 min
In 1941, Adolf Hitler issued orders to Nazi Germany’s railway officials. He wanted them to develop a new type of railway. It was to be bigger, far bigger, than anything that had ever been seen. Trains the height and width of a suburb…
02 Draining the swamp -Garibaldi’s plan to diver Rome’s river
Apr 6, 2017 • 13 min
In 1875, Rome came close to losing its river. In that year, the liberator of Italy, General Giuseppe Garibaldi, visited and announced plans to clean up the Eternal City. His main target was the River Tiber. Garibaldi would solve problems f…
01 Achtung! Achtung! Dystopian adventures with Nazi TV
Apr 6, 2017 • 15 min
What if … … Nazi Germany had been able to roll out the television equivalent of its inescapable radio network? Everywhere you turn, you see the unmistakable face of Adolf Hitler. His voice echoes in your head, broadcast from a tho…