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On rare occasions natural and human forces collide in a spectacular way to provoke disaster and change the world forever. These are history's Perfect Storms. In this series, we travel the world to investigate the biggest and most consequential disasters of all time. These events are the black swans of history: extremely rare and massively impactful. To understand why they occurred and what it was like to experience them first hand, you have to pick them apart piece by piece. Today, cable news networks provide exhaustive 360-degree coverage of natural and human disasters. They utilize on-the-ground investigation and scientific analysis; present dramatic storytelling about survivors and victims, heroes and villains; and employ powerful tools like 3D animation, field-testing, and satellite imagery. Perfect Storms will use these same high tech tools, dramatic storytelling, and investigation.A cyclone that stopped the Roman Army cold. A hurricane and "dragon twist" that wiped out major cities. A supervolcano that triggered the Dark Ages. These are history's perfect storms, forces of nature that impacted us in ways far beyond the physical havoc they wreaked. Join us as we investigate these catastrophes, why they occurred, and what it was like to experience them firsthand. Scientific analysis and historical documents bring them to life, revealing stories of survival, heroism, and devastation.

Genres: History
Station: Smithsonian Channel (CA)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Ended
Start: 2013-04-08

Perfect Storms Season 1 Air Dates

S01E01 - Americas Deadliest Disaster: Galveston Air Date: 08 April 2013 00:00 -

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1900. The island city of Galveston, Texas is on the verge of greatness. Nicknamed the New York of the South, it boasts the second most millionaires per capita of any city in the nation. Then, everything changes. On September 8th a massive Category 4 hurricane makes landfall. Warnings about the approaching storm have been ignored. When the only bridge to the mainland is wiped out, the cityʼs 37,000 inhabitants are trapped. The next morning, 8,000 – 10,000 are dead. It remains the deadliest natural disaster to ever strike the United States.

S01E02 - Dark Age Volcano: Ilopango Air Date: 15 April 2013 00:00 -

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536 AD. Somewhere in the world, a massive explosion occurs, sending billions of tons of dust and ash into the upper atmosphere. In the months that follow, global temperatures drop, crops fail, famine spreads and bubonic plague awakens. The impact is massive: the great empires of the ancient world wither or die and a new era emerges: the Dark Ages. To this day scientists still debate the origin of the explosion that changed the world. Did a meteorite or comet slam into the earth? Or was it a massive volcanic eruption? In 2012, our cameras were there for the discovery of incredible new evidence that could identify the culprit and solve the riddle behind one of the greatest mysteries of all time.

S01E03 - Fire Twister: Tokyo Air Date: 22 April 2013 00:00 -

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September 1, 1923. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan. The shockwaves devastate Tokyo, Yokohama and surrounding areas. In the rubble, thousands of fires break out and are quickly whipped into a firestorm, aided by strong winds from a typhoon lurking offshore. In a downtown open space where earthquake survivors had taken refuge, the firestorm triggers an extremely rare "dragon twister" - a tornado filled with burning debris - which kills an astounding 38,000 in just 15 minutes. Known as the Great Kanto Earthquake, this disaster remains the deadliest in Japanese history, killing between 120,000 to 140,000 people. In the political and social chaos that follows, Japan is set on a new militaristic path towards the Second World War.

S01E04 - The Lost Legions: Germany Air Date: 29 April 2013 00:00 -

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9 A.D. Three Roman Legions are ambushed and wiped out in a remote German forest during a massive thunderstorm. The severed head of Roman General Varus is sent back to Rome in a box and the Roman attempt to bring Germania into the Empire is stopped dead in its tracks. The battle helps create the boundary between Latin and Germanic Europe that exists to this day.

S01E05 - God's Wrath: Lisbon Air Date: 06 May 2013 00:00 -

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An earthquake in 1755 off the coast of Portugal destroys most of the city of Lisbon and impacts thinking during the Age of Enlightenment.

1755. A powerful earthquake shakes the city of Lisbon for an astonishing 5-6 minutes. Survivors climb out of the rubble and flee to the riverbank only to be engulfed by a massive tsunami. Then the fires start. The city burns for eight days. Tens of thousands die and Portugal is crippled as an imperial power; but out of the rubble new ideas and scientific study take route. Helping to usher in a new age, The Enlightenment.

S01E06 - Hitlers Frozen Army: Moscow Air Date: 13 May 2013 00:00 -

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Rival dictators Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin strive for victory at any cost as German and Russian soldiers clash on the Eastern Front in October 1941.

1941. Two gargantuan armies collide on battlefields west of Moscow. Calling the shots are two dictators. For the Nazis: Adolf Hitler. For the Soviets: Joseph Stalin. Both men ignore the advice of generals and insist on victory at any cost. Caught in the middle: an astonishing seven million soldiers. It is the largest battle in human history and perhaps the most consequential. By mid-October, the Soviets are on the verge of collapse, but when "General Mud" and "General Cold" arrive a few weeks later, the Nazi advance is stopped dead in its tracks.

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