Japanese Naval Alliance I

Lead: In 1902, Great Britain ended a century of splendid isolation and cut a deal with Japan.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For nearly a century the oceans of the world were dominated by the British Navy. It was technologically superior to any other and was backed by an industrial economy that overshadowed all others until the late 1800s when other nations such as Germany, France, Russia and the United States began to catch up. The power of this naval machine was so overwhelming that Britain was permitted a freedom of action unequaled as it established and maintained the largest empire in the modern era. By 1900 this power was under challenge. The greatest threat to British interests at this time was in the Far East. The Chinese Empire was set to rot. Various European powers were nibbling around the edge of that Eastern giant. It could hardly handle its own internal affairs much less resist pressure from the modern states of the West. The weakness of the Chinese meant that Britain had to protect her trading interests there against the infringement of other powers. Russia was expanding into areas of special British interest along Russia's borders: Manchuria in northern China, northern India, and Persia. Germany, France and the United States were increasing their navies which threatened Britain's link with her colonies.

 

American Revolution: The Sugar Act II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In 1764, after the French and Indian War, to pay for 10,000 troops stationed on the American frontier, Parliament passed The Sugar Act. It was the first experiment in colonial taxation that was to eventually drag Britain and its North American colonies into conflict. The Sugar Act was really an import tax on molasses, the key ingredient in the colonial manufacture of rum. Molasses came from West Indies sugar plantations. America rum makers could get molasses much more cheaply from French, Dutch or Spanish islands than British-owned islands.

American Revolution: The Sugar Act I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: At the end of the Seven Years’ War or French and Indian War in 1763, one of the last decisions of the British ministry of Lord Bute which had negotiated the peace, was to establish a standing army in America. Considering that the third rail of English politics in that era had been intense opposition to standing armies, Parliament inflicted one on the colonies with relative ease and no significant opposition. King George III was enthusiastic because many leaders of the British Army sat in Parliament and formed a powerful block of support for royal policies in that body. He also saw it as a make-work policy for thousands of soldiers who would soon be mustered out and unemployed at the end of the war if they didn’t have something to do.

Crash of the Hindenburg III

Lead: Expanded to huge dimensions and filled with highly flammable hydrogen gas, German airships became an important element of Hitler’s propaganda machine.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 one of the most important champions of the German Airship was Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. The Fuhrer himself was not impressed and refused to set foot in a dirigible, feeling them a creation contrary to nature. Without Goebbel’s enthusiasm the Zeppelin program would probably have died since the construction of a large airship was as costly as that of a heavy battleship.

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Crash of the Hindenburg II

Lead: Used as bombers during World War I, giant German lighter-than-air ships called Zeppelins were turned to commercial uses in the 1920s and 1930s.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: If one wanted to travel between continents in the early 1900s, there was one choice. You had to go by ship. While the dream of flight had been realized first by balloons and then by the Wright Brothers’ airplane, aircraft engines were not strong, efficient, or safe enough to lift cargo and passengers over long distances. For just over two short decades from World War I to the eve of World War II, the dirigible seemed to be the solution to fast intercontinental travel.

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Narvik – II

Lead:  In the Spring of 1940 the town of Narvik on the northwest coast of Norway was the scene of one of the first naval battles of World War II.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The combination of geography and strategic importance conspired to prevent Norway from maintaining its neutrality in the early months of World War II. Germany needed the Swedish iron ore that was shipped through Narvik during the winter months. When it became apparent that Britain was going to intervene, Hitler ordered the invasion of Norway.

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Narvik – Part I

Lead:  High on the shoulders of the Scandinavian land mass is the small sub-arctic town of Narvik, Norway. In the early days of World War II, Narvik was a strategic target of the British and the Germans.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the spring of 1940, Norway had hoped to preserve its neutrality, but it was soon apparent that geography would bring that dream to grief. The coast of Norway was too important for the Germans to let it fall into allied hands. Much of German iron ore came from mines in northern Sweden. During most of the year the ore was shipped through the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea, but in winter the Gulf froze and the ore was sent overland to the port of Narvik on the Atlantic coast of Norway and from there through the Leads, a narrow waterway between the mainland and a series of barrier island just off the coast.

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American Revolution: Inept British Colonial Policy III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: After more than a century of benign neglect by Britain, the colonies and the mother country discovered they viewed the world from two distinct increasingly disconnected perspectives. The colonies were established as a clearly subordinate part of the British economic system which was known as mercantilism. The colonies grew raw materials, goods were transported in both directions in British ships, all of which was designed to benefit the people and economy of England.

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