Share

cover art for Dan's History Heroes: Britain's Greatest Soldier, Part 1

Dan Snow's History Hit

Dan's History Heroes: Britain's Greatest Soldier, Part 1

Ep. 1459

This is the story of Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Britain's most extraordinary soldier. The one-handed, one-eyed, walking stick-wielding war hero fought in the Second Boer War, The First World War and the Second World War. He was wounded countless times, awarded prestigious medals for gallantry, and made into a figure of legend. Away from the battlefield the eccentric veteran rubbed shoulders with kings and emperors, and worked with some of the most important world leaders of the 20th century.


To tell this astonishing tale, Dan weaves his storytelling with the words of Carton De Wiart himself, read by Dan's father, Peter Snow. In this first episode, we follow the aspiring young officer from his baptism by fire in South Africa to the trenches of the Western Front.


Written and produced by Dan Snow, and edited by Dougal Patmore.


Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code DANSNOW - sign up at https://historyhit.com/subscription/.


We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.


You can take part in our listener survey here.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • 1475. Britain's Secret Atomic Tests in Australia

    42:17
    During the 1950s, in the remote expanses of Australia's outback, the British government conducted a series of clandestine nuclear tests. These were the early years of the Cold War, and Britain was determined to expand its atomic capabilities and shore up its great power status. But these tests came at a harrowing cost to Aboriginal communities and site personnel, who were not sufficiently protected from the deadly nuclear fallout. The full extent of the harm done by these detonations is still not known.We're joined by Elizabeth Tynan, author of 'The Secrets of Emu Field: Britain’s Forgotten Atomic Tests in Australia'. She explains the reasons for these tests, the damage they did, and what they tell us about the peculiar bonds of colonialism.Produced by James Hickmann and edited by Dougal Patmore.For more episodes on the history of nuclear weapons:Oppenheimer - https://shows.acast.com/dansnowshistoryhit/episodes/oppenheimerHow to Prepare for Nuclear War - https://shows.acast.com/dansnowshistoryhit/episodes/how-to-prepare-for-nuclear-warThe Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb - https://shows.acast.com/dansnowshistoryhit/episodes/the-decision-to-use-the-atomic-bombEnjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1474. Was Scott's Antarctic Expedition Sabotaged?

    44:38
    In the winter of 1911, Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his party set out into the frozen heart of Antarctica. Battling blizzards and treacherous terrain, they were determined to be the first people to reach the South Pole. But when they arrived in early 1912, they discovered that a Norwegian team had beaten them to it. As if that weren't enough, their return journey turned into a tragedy, with Scott and his men dying just 11 miles from a supply depot that would have been their salvation.Their deaths are usually attributed to Scott's failures in planning and leadership or simple bad luck. But based on rediscovered documents, journalist and writer Harrison Christian points to other, more sinister causes - betrayal, sabotage, and a bubbling animosity that pitted the expedition's two most senior members against one another.Harrison's book is called 'Terra Nova: Ambition, jealousy and simmering rivalry in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration'.Produced by James Hickmann and edited by Dougal Patmore.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1473. Communism in America

    52:22
    The history of the United States' relationship with communism is one littered with fear and persecution. So where did the American Communist Party come from? How powerful has it been in the last century? And where is it now?In this episode of American History Hit, Don is joined by Dr. Vernon Pederson, Professor at the American University of Sharjah and President of the Historians of American Communism.Produced and edited by Sophie Gee. The senior Producer was Charlotte Long.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1472. Emperor Heraclius: Rome vs Persia

    32:09
    Emperor Heraclius took the Byzantine Empire from its lowest ebb to its greatest heights. After years of turmoil at the hands of invading Persian armies, Heraclius led lightning counter-offensives that swept into Mesopotamia and devastated the Sassanid Empire. His battlefield exploits became the stuff of legend, but his success was not to last - in the Arabian Peninsula, a new religion was on the rise that would mark the end of one era and the beginning of another.Jonathan Harris, Professor of the History of Byzantium at Royal Holloway, explains how Heraclius reinstated the empire as a regional superpower, and why the rise of the Arab Muslims brought it all tumbling down.Produced by Mariana Des Forges and James Hickmann and edited by Max Carrey.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1471. P.T. Barnum: The Real 'Greatest Showman'

    29:22
    P.T. Barnum is remembered as a pioneering entertainer and a master of marketing. His elaborate hoaxes shocked, thrilled and conned his audiences in equal measure, all in the pursuit of fortune. But beneath the pomp and pageantry, Barnum's success was built on trafficking curiosities to hungry audiences, regardless of how ethical it was.To tell us all about the ambiguous life of P.T. Barnum, we're joined by Benjamin Reiss, author of The Showman and the Slave: Race, Death, and Memory in Barnum’s America.Produced by Mariana Des Forges and James Hickmann. Edited by Max Carrey with additional editing by Dougal Patmore.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1470. A Short History of Pirates

    25:48
    Swashbuckling, murder and robbery on the high seas! We're bringing back the fan-favourite episode on Dr Rebecca Simon's 'Pirate Queens: The Lives of Anne Bonny & Mary Read' from our archive.She takes Dan through a dramatic history of piracy in the Caribbean and the Atlantic World. She tells the extraordinary stories of pirates Anne Bonny, and Mary Read as well as captains Blackbeard, Jack Rackham and the notoriously sadistic Charles Vane. She also gives Dan the lowdown on pirate treasure.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1469. The Inside Story of the Brexit Referendum

    35:35
    On the eve of the 2024 General Election, we're joined by Tim Shipman, chief political commentator at The Sunday Times, to hear about how things really work in Westminster.Tim draws on his first-hand experience to explain the tumultuous last decade of British politics. How are crucial decisions made in the halls of government? Who can we trust when we get wildly differing accounts of the same event? And why exactly did Brexit turn out the way that it did?Tim's latest book and the final instalment of his Brexit quartet, 'Out', is available now.Produced by Mariana Des Forges and James Hickmann, and edited by Dougal Patmore.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1468. How did Brexit Happen? A History

    44:37
    On the eve of the 2024 General Election, we're tackling one of the UK's most divisive topics; Brexit.The 2016 referendum on EU membership split voters in two, creating two entrenched camps - Brexiteers and Remainers - whose differences show no signs of abating 8 years later. To better understand this political hot potato, we're charting Britain's relationship with the EU from the 1950s all the way up to the present day.Dan is joined by Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London. Tim explains why Britain first pursued closer integration with Europe, and how various factors saw the Brexit movement eventually gain traction.Produced by Mariana Des Forges and James Hickmann, and edited by Dougal Patmore.Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.
  • 1467. How WWI Started

    54:25
    110 years ago today, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was struck down by an assassin's bullet. His death triggered one of the most destructive wars in human history, a conflict that set the stage for the 20th century.With the help of historian Sue Woolmans, Dan gives a minute-by-minute account of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and the beginning of the First World War.Written and produced by Dan Snow, and edited by Dougal Patmore.For more episodes on the origins of World War One:The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand - https://shows.acast.com/dansnowshistoryhit/episodes/the-assassination-of-franz-ferdinandHow WW1 Began - https://shows.acast.com/dansnowshistoryhit/episodes/howwwibeganEnjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Sign up HERE for 50% off for 3 months using code ‘DANSNOW’.We'd love to hear from you - what do you want to hear an episode on? You can email the podcast at ds.hh@historyhit.com.You can take part in our listener survey here.