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by author "Stewart Binns" in All Categories
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Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
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1941: almost four million Nazi troops marched on Moscow, with a brutal scorched-earth tactic that saw millions of Soviet citizens massacred. A level of brutality only paralleled after the Soviet's triumphed at Stalingrad and took mindless revenge as they marched back into Berlin. Beginning with Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, to the appalling circumstances of the Fall of Berlin in April 1945 and told from the perspective of the people of Russia and Eastern Europe, Barbarossa is a heartrending story of tragedy, suffering and heroism.
King Henry II reigns over a vast empire, but he is aging, and his ambitious sons are restless. Henry’s third son, Richard of Aquitaine, is developing a fearsome reputation as a ruthless warrior and he earns the name Richard Lionheart for his bravery and brutality on the battlefield. After the deaths of his brothers, Richard’s impatience to take the throne leads him to form an alliance with France. And so, Richard begins his bloody quest to return the Holy Land to Christian rule.
1066 – Senlac Ridge, England. William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, defeats Harold Godwinson, King Harold II of England, in what will become known as the Battle of Hastings. But England will not be conquered easily, the Anglo-Saxons will not submit meekly to Norman rule. Although his heroic deeds will nearly be lost to legend, one man unites the resistance. His name is Hereward of Bourne. His honour, bravery and skill at arms will change the future of England.
1072: England is firmly under the heel of its new Norman rulers. The few survivors of the English resistance look to Edgar the Atheling to overthrow William the Conqueror. Years of intrigue and vicious civil war follow and in the face of chaos and death, Edgar and his allies form a secret brotherhood, pledging to fight for justice and freedom. But soon they are called to fight for an even greater cause: the plight of the Holy Land.
January, 1981. Jim Dowd and Maureen O'Brien, special forces soldiers, enter a bitterly divided Belfast on an undercover mission to infiltrate one of the city's most dangerous Catholic neighbourhoods and help change the course of a war that nobody is winning. The Ardoyne is a perilous world, where a hint of their true identities would prove fatal. But it is also full of courage and loyalty. Jim admires this community - and feels guilt at their deception.
The Western Front is a wasteland of barbed wire, shell craters and mud-filled trenches. Winston Churchill, searching for a solution to the stalemate, commits the Allies to a disastrous Gallipoli campaign. As men on both sides die in droves, miners and mill-workers work tirelessly for the war effort while families confront the broken bodies of returning soldiers. Nurses, soldiers, politicians, factory-workers and children - all are torn apart by war, and for husbands and sons, mothers and wives, the old way of life is vanishing.
June 1914. The beginning of another long, prosperous summer for Britain. But beneath the clear skies, the chill wind of social discontent swirls around this sceptred isle. Shots ring out in a distant European land - the assassination of a foreign aristocrat. From that moment the entire world is propelled into a conflict unlike any seen before. This is the story of five British communities, their circumstances very different, but who will all share in the tragedy that is to come.
Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, has lived through Henry II’s reign and has witnessed the terrifying civil war between Henry II’s mother, the Empress Matilda, and her cousin, Stephen; a time so traumatic that it becomes known as the Anarchy. The greatest letter writer of the 12th Century, Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, gives an intimate account of one of England’s most troubled eras. Central to his account is the life of a knight he first met over 50 years earlier, Harold of Hereford.