Unforgettable stories of siege warfare are told in this gripping series showcasing the most dramatic land stands in human history.
S01:E01 - Alesia 52BC: Fighting Caesar's Legions
As resistance to the Roman invasion of Northern Europe collapsed, the Gallic warrior Vercingetorix marshaled 100,000 troops against the formidable and ruthless Roman legions led by Julius Caesar. The extraordinary siege works constructed by the Romans not only kept Vercingetorix's army penned in but also managed to keep an enormous Gallic relief army out.
S01:E02 - Ciudad Rodrigo 1812: Breaching the Walls
The bloody Peninsular War, which lasted from 1807 to 1814 saw the great British commanders consistently defeat the best French generals in Napoleon’s armies in a series of famous pitched battles. But here at Cuidad Rodrigo, there was a very different type of fight — the bloody business of siege warfare — where civilians and soldiers share the same conditions and privations.
S01:E03 - Petersburg 1864: Battle of the Crater
Fought during the American Civil War, Petersburg should never have been under siege at all. Union forces should have seized the town in June 1864, but through a mixture of confusion and incompetence they failed to do so, and a grueling year-long siege followed. Before the attack was over, 4500 Union soldiers were killed or wounded.
S01:E04 - Verdun 1916: The Mill on the Meuse
The fanatical French defense of the three forts cost hundreds of thousands of lives and was in part the reason the battle of the Somme was fought during the same year. Toward the end of the battle almost 700,000 French and German troops had been killed or wounded, earning the siege’s chilling nick-name “The Mincer.”
S01:E05 - Leningrad 1941: The 900 Days
The grim, powerful story of the “Hero City” that lost one million of its citizens as it steadfastly withstood a 900-day German siege. Like Stalingrad, Leningrad’s refusal to buckle became a symbol of Russian resistance during Hitler’s ferocious “Barbarossa” campaign.
S01:E06 - Newark 1643 - 1646
During the long and bitter English Civil War, the town of Newark in Nottinghamshire, England was the gateway to the North of England and was the site of three separate sieges. After three years of bombardment, Newark surrendered to the Parliamentary forces on the explicit orders of King Charles I, who had himself already surrendered and was soon to be beheaded.