Secret Tunnel Warfare

In WW1 Allied troops tunneled under enemy lines to create the biggest explosion ever seen. Airing January 6, 2016 at 9 pm on PBS Aired January 6, 2016 on PBS

Program Description

During World War I, the Allies and Germans repeatedly struggled to break the hideous stalemate of trench warfare. In the winter of 1916, Allied engineers devised a massive surprise attack: over 1 million pounds of explosives hidden in secret tunnels driven under German lines. Building the tunnels was desperate work, with tunnelers at constant risk from flooding, cave-ins, and enemy digging teams. In June of 1917, the planted mines at Messines were simultaneously triggered, killing an estimated 10,000 German troops instantly. Now, archaeologists are revealing the extraordinary scale and risks of the Allied tunneling operations in one of the biggest excavations ever undertaken on the Western Front. “Secret Tunnel Warfare” opens a unique window on the frenzy of Allied mining activity that led up to the attack and its bitter aftermath.

Broadcast Credits

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
John Hayes Fisher
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
John Farren
EDITED BY
Rob Tinworth
John L. Wilkinson
CAMERA
John Vrilakas
Richard Ranken Tom Pridham Ian FT Young
NARRATED BY
Jay O. Sanders
SOUND RECORDIST
Simon Pinkerton
MUSIC
Audio Networks
ANIMATION
Compost Creative
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Sinead Casey
ONLINE EDITORS
Mike Curd
Rob Tinworth
COLORIST
Rob Tinworth
AUDIO MIX
Heart Punch Studio
RESEARCH
Alexandra Churchill
PRODUCTION COORDINATORS
David Lee
Emma McGrath
POST PRODUCTION MANAGER
Jennifer Burgis
ARCHIVE RESEARCH
Michael Dolan
HISTORICAL CONSULTANT
Paul Reed
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Arendsoog
In Flanders Fields Museum National Archives and Records Administration Regimental Museum of 9th/12th Lancers
SPECIAL THANKS
aDeDe The City of Messines Kate Straub Commonwealth War Graves Commission Hooge Crater Museum Memorial Museum Passchendaele, Zonnebeke The community of Kemmel Jamie Vans Ian Verrinder Timothy McCracken
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR
Spencer Gentry
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
RESEARCH
Diane Toomey
SENIOR SCIENCE RESEARCHER
Caitlin Rotman Saks
ASSOCIATE RESEARCHER
Shraddha Chakradhar
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
RIGHTS MANAGER
Lauren Miller
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
POST PRODUCTION EDITOR
Michael H. Amundson
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCER
Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Julia Cort
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

Produced by 360 Production for NOVA/WGBH in association with Channel 5

© 2012 360 Production.

All rights reserved

Secret Tunnel Warfare Additional Material ©2016 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

Original funding for this program was provided by Google, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Public Television Stations.

IMAGE:

Image credit (WWI tunnel, Chemin des Dames)
©Patrick Landmann/Science Photo Library/Corbis

Participants

Alexandra Churchill
Historical Researcher
Peter Doyle
Military Historian
Paul Reed
Military Historian
Major Alex Turner
Irish Guards
Johan Vandewalle
Military Expert
Simon Verdegem
Archaeologist
David Whithorn
Military Historian

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Full Program | 55:05

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