May 19th, 2011
Episode 136 of 552 episodes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer's Last Stand.In 1876 a dispute between the American federal government and Native Americans over land rights led to an armed conflict now known as the Great Sioux War. An expeditionary federal force was sent out to coerce the Native Americans into reservations, and away from the gold reserves recently discovered in their traditional homelands.One of the officers in this expeditionary force was a Civil War hero, George Custer. While en route to his arranged rendezvous, Custer unexpectedly encountered a large group of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. Disobeying orders, he decided to attack. Barely half an hour later, he and all 200 of his men lay dead. Custer's Last Stand has become one of the most famous and closely studied military engagements in American history.With:Kathleen BurkProfessor of Modern and Contemporary History at University College, LondonAdam SmithSenior Lecturer in American History at University College LondonSaul DavidProfessor of War Studies at the University of Buckingham.Producer: Thomas Morris.