EVERY WEDNESDAY World Events

Discover the real story behind the rise and fall of empires, from historic to holy. Witness the seismic events that created shockwaves spanning continents and centuries.

WEDNESDAY ON STORY

March 6, 2024

All times Eastern
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8:00A

4:00P

12:00A

How the Nazis Lost the War

Strange Bedfellows

As World War II loomed, Germany needed Allies - or at least short term sham friendships. Their choice was limited to an international pariah to the East in Russia, a likeminded fascist predator in Italy and a hyper militaristic Japan. But all of these relationships were doomed from the start and Germany’s choice of strange bedfellows would come back to haunt them, and they would ultimately pay a high price for those decisions.

9:00A

5:00P

1:00A

How the Nazis Lost the War

Wonder(less) Weapons

As Germany became overstretched during WWII, Hitler and Goebels promoted Wonder Weapons (Wunderwaffe) as the path to victory. Bigger ships, bigger guns, massive tanks, rockets and jet engines were all on Hitler’s agenda. Size mattered to Hitler. In his mind, imposing and indestructible, these mind-blowing machines were destined to carry Germany to a world-crushing victory. A natural product of Aryan ingenuity unmatched in history. In the end these wonder weapons did achieve a critical and lasting legacy but not the glorious version Hitler had been counting on. Instead, they became a by-word for false hope, unrealistic expectation, and wasted money

10:00A

6:00P

2:00A

How the Nazis Lost the War

Drugs, Delusion and Demise

This episode examines what part Hitler’s almost daily injection of opioids and methamphetamine played in his murderous regime. Did his heavy drug use fuel an already delusional personality? It’s also possible Hitler caught a neurological disease in the trenches in World War I that left some patients with what doctors described as ‘instant psychopath’ and symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. There’s no doubt these factors contributed to his increasingly erratic military decisions during the war affecting millions of lives as he blundered his way through disastrous campaigns. His megalomania and his increasingly unstable personality proved to be one of the Allies' greatest weapons and ultimately led to the destruction of Germany.

11:00A

7:00P

3:00A

How the Nazis Lost the War

The Bitchy Inner Circle

The Nazi leadership was ambitious, ruthless, and cutthroat. The biggest names in the Nazi Germany hierarchy appeared to be working together, but behind the scenes it was a different story. Nepotism, corruption, and fear were rife. Hitler led a dysfunctional government, and his leadership style was divide & rule. He was forever pitting one man against the other, favoring one individual one week, then someone else the next until no one knew where they stood and no one trusted anyone. Loyalty in a fascist state gets you much further than competence, and in the Third Reich it ultimately led to its complete destruction.

12:00P

8:00P

4:00A

How the Nazis Lost the War

The Enemy Within

Hitler’s messianic belief that the German people were the master race ruled the Nazi party’s thinking when it came to war strategy. They did not see it as a distraction but rather fundamentally linked to the war effort. The mass extermination of the Jewish people would be carried out in the chaos of war. But how the Nazis managed ‘the Jewish problem,’ as they referred to it, would contribute to Germany’s downfall. 42,500 camps were established by the Nazis, each requiring enormous administrative and material resources. Those murdered were potentially a huge labour resource which the Nazis desperately required for the military effort. The Nazis obsession with fighting this second ideological war would ultimately undermine its ability to win WWII and led to the deaths of millions.

1:00P

9:00P

5:00A

How the Nazis Lost the War

Military Blunders

Early victories in WWII gave Hitler a delusional over-confidence, but when the mistakes started they came thick and fast. In the end, hubris and self-interest led to ultimate defeat at the hands of the allies. Hitler and Goering had opportunities to defeat the British at Dunkirk and in the Battle of Britain. They hesitated and blundered, and it left Hitler with a problem he could never solve. He then turned to the east to a campaign in the Soviet Union that was flawed from the start and suffered from Hitler’s micromanagement and delusion. His strategies were often just a series of wild gambles taken on the run. For nearly a decade, Hitler rolled the dice right across Europe – and in the end, the house won.

2:00P

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6:00A

Story Feature

Third Reich: The Rise

A unique perspective on the rise of Nazi Germany and how millions of people were so vulnerable to fascism, told through rare and never-before-seen amateur films shot by the Germans who were there.