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The Anglo-Boer War 

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A number of factors led to the  Anglo-Boer War including British imperialism and republicanism, the discovery of gold, tension between the uitlanders in Johannesburg (mainly English speaking) and Boers in Pretoria. The First Anglo-Boer War in 1881 led to defeat for the British but they wanted to control South Africa and unify the region under British rule. 

 

But the Orange Free State and the Transvaal maintained their desire for independence. The Boer republics were therefor a threat to the British Empire. 

After a series of negotiations, war was declared by the Transvaal and Free State Republics after an ultimatum to the British expired on 10th October 1899.  

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The Battle of Stalingrad

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The utter devastation and destruction wrought by this moment in history, where the 6th German Army under the direction of an increasingly out of touch Führer were sent to a city that became a graveyard for about two million people.

Stalingrad is now a legal term meaning to wear down opposition lawyers by presenting any argument by any means possible and to stall in the face of overwhelming odds. I guess that’s what General Paulus and his men were doing at the end of this most significant battle in history.

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Plane Crash Diaries

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Commercial aviation accidents began in the early 1920s, as soon as the first aircraft carrying passengers began to ply their trade. 

I am a pilot and an aviation analyst and the sector has fascinated me since I was a boy. 

Each of the accidents covered in this podcast series had an important impact on aviation safety which grew over the decades. From the first crash of a dirigible over Chicago to the Boeing Max8 crashes of 2018 and 2019, we have learned a great deal from each of these catastrophes. Hopefully, we will never repeat the same mistakes but it is very imporant to keep the pressure on aviation authorities around the world who are trying to balance two aspects. Firstly, safety. Secondly, aviation business pressure. 

Sometimes safety is flouted to make a profit.

History of South Africa

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A history podcast that takes the audience on a deep journey beginning with the pre-history of the region then follows the chronology of development in Southern Africa.

The highlights of the series are the first hunter-gatherers who arrived in the period known as the paleolithic or stone age. Then the Sotho people migrated to the south of Africa arriving in periods starting in the early AD period. The Nguni arrivals from west Africa and their lifestyles are becoming clearer thanks to the work of archaeologists. 

The Arabs, Indians and Chinese had a major influence on southern Africa before the arrival of Europeans in the 15th Century. From here on we have more written accounts. 

The region has witnessed a constant movement of people over thousands of years and the podcast seeks to make sense of this human urgency. The first people of the world are linked to South Africa which means - in a way - my home is the home of all of humanity. 

South African Border Wars

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Namibia and Angola have an extremely violent history and both countries were riven by colonial action over hundreds of years. Angola was a source of slaves for the Americas and South West Africa was colonised by Germany and experienced what we now call ethnic cleansing in the late 19th Century. 

The Herero and Ovambo people in particular suffered under various colonial governments. However it was really only after the First World War that South Africa became involved having been ceded the territory as part of League of Nations mandate following the Treaty of Versailles which ended the Great War. 

As political awareness grew in the region wars broke out in the Congo and Angola between the European colonisers and local people. This spread to South West Africa through the armed actions of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia or PLAN.

 

That led to an increased presence by the SA Police but they did not have much chance against PLAN. Eventually the SA Defence Force took over. Thousands of South Africas, Namibians and Angolans died in the battles and firefights that followed. They weren't alone. Also dead were dozens of Cubans and Russians who had been sent to Africa to oppose the South Africans who had American support.