The determination of the German forces to keep on fighting in the face of defeat had disastrous consequences. After the Allied landings in the summer of 1944, the Wehrmacht was on the defensive on all fronts. It was clear to the German generals interned at Trent Park that Germany would soon lose the war. In mid-1944, Gerhard Graf von Schwerin chose to use common sense instead of blindly obeying Hitler's orders. He decided to surrender the city of Aachen to the US army to avoid bloodshed. Other commanders such as Field Marshal Ferdinand Schorner kept on pushing their soldiers to give their all. Despite being outnumbered by the Soviet forces, Schorner forced his soldiers to hold out in Sworbe, a 200 square kilometre peninsula on the coast of Estonia. Thousands of soldiers died. Yet Schorner's attitude and the urging by Hitler and Goebbels to hold out were accepted by a large number of young soldiers. By April 1944, the Ruhr pocket was completely surrounded, yet Field Marshal Model refused to surrender, so that 1.2 million German soldiers and a large number of Allied soldiers died between January and May 1945.
Category:History Duration:52:00 Series: The Wehrmacht
The theory of Némesis, a star that orbits the Sun and causes catastrophic events is explored. Nemesis is a hypothetical red dwarf or brown dwarf, originally postulated in 1984 to be orbiting the Sun at a distance of about 95,000 AU (1.5 light-years) somewhat beyond the Oort cloud, to explain a perceived cycle of mass extinctions in the geological record, which seem to occur more often at intervals of 26 million years.
Category:Science Duration:44:00 Series: The Universe
Sagan reflects on the future of humanity and the question of 'who speaks for Earth?' when meeting extraterrestrials. He discusses the very different meetings of the Tlingit people and explorer Jean-François de La Perouse with the destruction of the Aztecs by Spanish conquistadors, the looming threat of nuclear warfare, and the threats shown by destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypatia. The episode ends with an overview of the beginning of the universe, the evolution of life, and the accomplishments of humanity and makes a plea to mankind to cherish life and continue its journey in the cosmos. The Cosmos Update notes the preliminary reconnaissance of planets with spacecraft, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, and measures towards the reduction of nuclear weapons.
Category:Culture Duration:01:00:00 Series: Cosmos
This episode looks at the battle for Moscow and considers why more civilians died in this war than any other in history.
Category:History Duration:48:00 Series: War of the Century
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