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HISTORY CHANNEL (article first published : 2005-05-16)

The History Channel programme on DStv has a fascinating line-up for May.

Hitler’s Bunker (1 hour): Secret Nazi attempts to turn the tide of war as Berlin crumbled. Joseph Goebbel's diaries provide a fresh understanding of life inside Hitler's bunker in the final days of the Reich.

World in a Glass (3 hours): Alcohol has been a constant companion for man, from “Bouza” the beer invented by the ancient Egyptians, to the cybernet wine tastings of today where aficionados report to their fellow web-users around the world on the quality of the latest vintage. Drink has shaped history and in the fascinating series explores the role the alcohol has played since the first tipple 5000 years ago.

War in Colour: France is Free: A documentary that gathers colour archive images of the WWII from its beginning to its end, giving an emotion and a presence that B&W has denied viewers until now. France under German occupation; civilian daily life during this greatly troubled period; army exercises in North Africa and Great Britain to prepare the Liberation; the streets, the cafes where soldiers, GI's and citizens celebrate their victory; some celebrities, Hemingway to Clark Gable, passing by Edward G Robinson; the horrors of the war and the bodies discovered at Dachau: those are the shocking images that They Filmed the War in Colour: France is Free! shows for the first time!. Enriched with memories from some of the last remaining witnesses of the Liberation, these fragments uncovered from the 1940's finally provide a chance to view the war as millions of people had to live it: "In colour"!

Tales of the FBI: a four-part series that looks as some of the key point in the FBI’s history.

Engineering Disasters. This is a new one-hour series with about four episodes in May. Throughout history some of mankind's proudest moments have come at the hands of its engineers. In the ancient world the Colossus at Rhodes, the Pyramids of Egypt, and the Great Wall of China, and modern triumphs like the Hoover Dam, the Space Shuttle, and the Golden Gate Bridge, all have awe-inspiring power. But what happens when the engineers fail, when their calculations are wrong, when it all comes tumbling down? Throughout history it has meant disaster. Just as in the time of Hammurabi, who passed the first laws concerning inadequate construction, buildings collapse even today - much bigger buildings than Hammurabi ever dreamed of. In the modern world the stakes are higher – but engineers are just as human as they ever were. An engineering disaster involving a passenger jet can jeopardize hundreds of innocent people. And if a nuclear or chemical plant is involved, it can mean death for thousands. For the first time in history, engineers now have the power to wipe out entire cities, by mistake.




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