Forgotten War Stories

Forgotten War Stories

Between World War II and the Iraq War, Britain and its allies were embroiled in a number of serious conflicts around the world. The details, losses and controversies surrounding these wars are now largely forgotten by the public. This insightful history documentary series investigates the forgotten battles of the Suez, Bosnian, Korean, Gulf War and other brutal conflicts.

Watch Forgotten War Stories and more acclaimed documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.

Forgotten War Stories on BBC Select

Episode 1: Suez
When Egyptian President Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, Britain was ready to fight.

When new Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, Britain and France were outraged. The two European powerhouses had been running this lucrative waterway for decades and were reluctant to give it up without a fight. In a clandestine plot, Britain and France planned an invasion to take back control of the canal. But once the UN intervened, they left empty handed.

Episode 2: Bosnia
When Yugoslavia broke up in 1992 a fight for nationalism and cultural identity led to war.

When Yugoslavia broke up in 1992 following the end of the Cold War, the most uncivil of civil wars raged. A fight for nationalism and cultural identity led to a complex and horrific conflict, as this fascinating history documentary reveals. Many European nations were embroiled in a battle that tore families apart, displaced millions, led to enormous casualties and provoked accusations of genocide.

Episode 3: The Gulf War
After invading Kuwait, Iraq was hit by international anger and Operation Desert Storm.

When Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait in August 1990, the world reacted with condemnation. Operation Desert Storm was launched, and a war was waged by coalition forces from 35 nations across the world. This conflict became one of the first to be televised live across the globe but has faded from memory. This is the forgotten story of those who fought to drive Saddam Hussein’s army back to Baghdad.

Episode 4: The Korean War
After North Korean forces invaded the South, a battle for cold war supremacy broke out.

After the Communist North Korean forces invaded the South, a battle for Cold War supremacy broke out in the far east. It was a harsh and brutal conflict that claimed over four million lives and inflicted incredible cruelty on the Korean people. As this insightful documentary reveals, the consequences of the conflict are still being felt in a divided Korea today.

Episode 6: Malayan Emergency
In 1948 a state of emergency was declared in Malaya after a communist insurgency began.

In June of 1948, a state of emergency was declared in Malaya after a communist insurgency led to the brutal murder of three rubber planters. For over a decade, a guerrilla war was fought against the British Empire, in the pursuit of independence and communist control. The conflict would eventually lead to independence and the birth of a new country, Malaysia.

Episode 7: Mau
Mau Uprising When British rulers implemented harsh reforms in Kenya, the Mau Mau uprising was born.

When British rulers implemented harsh economic and social reforms in 1950s Kenya, the Mau Mau uprising was born. In a radical reaction to colonial rule, a group of freedom fighters attempted to oust the Brits from their country by using guerrilla warfare. The British reaction led to torture, death, and subjugation, which was hidden away from the history books for half a century.

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