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Jem Duducu

Jem Duducu
Jem Duducu is an historian and the founder of the hugely popular @HistoryGems . He is soon to publish his next history book.

The Story of the Nazi Super Cows

This may sound like an internet hoax but it isn’t. In January of 2015, farmer Derek Gow from Devon had to put down seven of his rare breed Heck cows. The reason for their demise? The cows were so aggressive they had tried on multiple occasions to attack him and his farm hands (and this is a breed with large …

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World War One: Breaking the trench stalemate

As the commemorations of World War One grind on, there’s a pattern that seems to have been ignored by almost all media and historians. Curious? Then read on… One of the fears of Germany prior to the war was potentially becoming surrounded by hostile nations. So Germany was constantly looking for diplomatic ways to ease this pressure. This resulted in …

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The Nazi “super weapon” so dangerous the Nazis never used it

New chemical compounds are discovered or created regularly, some are created where the properties can already be guessed at, others are complete surprises, in 1930 a new compound was discovered by Ruff and Krug in Germany. It was very volatile so was ignored until a few years later interest was rekindled by Nazi scientists at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. It …

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The Bloody History of Chocolate

Delicious chocolate has a far stranger history than you may at first think biting into its brown creamyness. Chocolate is derived from Theobroma cacao seeds, better known as cocoa beans, which are indigenous to South America. The very earliest discovery of chocolate being processed for human consumption comes from drinking cups that have been dated to around 1,750 BC. These cups were …

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The Romans Couldn’t Decide on Their Origins

We are often told how “civilised” and how much better the Romans were than the surrounding barbarians (the word barbarian comes from the Roman era, the Romans couldn’t understand these languages and thought they were just saying “bar, bar” all the time so barbarian means some who says bar all the time). However the Romans weren’t always as smart as …

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How many times did Rasputin die?

Rasputin is one of those rare historical figures who lives on more as a myth than a man. The photos of him are genuinely eerie and there’s no denying his power as an adviser in Tsar Nicholas II’s court. He was associated with spirtual healing and the occult. However a calmer view of him reveals a man who was like …

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The greatest general you’ve never heard of…

Not a lot of attention (beyond Greece) is given to the Byzantine empire, this is in part because after a brief flourish after the end of the Roman Empire in the West the tale of this civilisation is one of constant, steady decline. However while Western Europe was mired in many wars of invasion after the collapse of the Roman …

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John ‘Mad Jack’ Mytton – The epic story of an English eccentric

You know those outrageous stories of rich British aristocrats behaving in a very odd manner? Well John “Mad Jack” Mytton is the very pinnacle. What you are about to read will sound made up, but Mytton’s biographer, Charles James Apperley, assures us the modern reader that he told Mytton’s exploits without exaggeration. In general mental heathcare was rudimentary in the …

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