Line Of Fire is history with a difference. The great battlefields of war are presented in a unique animated environment providing new insights into military history’s most compelling events. Each powerful episode combines informative graphics with atmospheric recreations and archive footage to analyse every facet of famous battles from the ancient period to modern times. Series also features authoritative comment by leading military historians from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
A Cromwell Production in association with The History Channel UK
Part 1: The Battle of Edgehill 1642
After months of rising tension, The English Civil War finally exploded into life on the slopes of Edgehill on October 23rd 1642. It was to be a confused and bitter business, marked by the foolishness of Prince Rupert and the Royalist cavalry, who left the field at a crucial stage of the battle. As darkness fell, nearly 3000 men lay dead and the die was cast; the English Civil War would be no short and decisive affair.
Part 2: The Battle of Naseby
The Battle of Naseby on the 14th of June 1645 all but decided the outcome of the English Civil War. As the sun set on the dramatic day, the Oxford field army of King Charles I had been comprehensively beaten and completely destroyed. The King had shown considerable personal courage during the battle, however, his cause was not helped by Prince Rupert’s infamous attack on the baggage train which meant that the day was lost before he could return to the field.
Part 3: The Battle of Bannockburn
In a mighty attempt to crush the Scots, King Edward II placed himself at the head of the invasion of Scotland. In their desperate hour of need came Scotland’s greatest medieval king, Robert, known simply as “The Bruce”. The two forces would meet at a small stream within sight of Stirling Castle – the Bannockburn. The thunderous battle fought there would decide the fate of a nation.
Part 4: The Battle of Marston Moor
The Battle of Marston Moor on July 2nd 1644 was one of the most important of the entire English Civil War. It was here that a force of some 27,000 Parlamentarian and Scottish troops routed an army of just 18,000 Royalists. Crucially the Royalist stronghold of York was lost and King Charles’ cause in the north virtually collapsed. It was a defeat from which the King would never recover.
Part 5: Viking! the Norse Raiders
During the long years of the Dark Ages, the sight which signalled fear and terror for the inhabitants of coastal Britain was the first glimpse of an unfamiliar sail on the horizon. The sighting of the famous long ships heralded the arrival of Viking raiders; the harbingers of death and destruction.
Part 6: The Battle of Hastings
The great battle fought near the English seaside town of Hastings on October 14th 1066 was perhaps the most significant in England’s history. The great victory won that day by Duke William of Normandy over Harold II of England was to shape forever the destiny of a nation. For at the end of a day of furious battle, the sun set not only on the dead and wounded who littered Senlac Hill, but also on the entire Anglo-Saxon way of life.
Part 7: Caesar: Conqueror of Gaul
In 58 BC, Julius Caesar pushed north from Rome into unruly lands of the barbarians. Less than eight years later, the empire extended all the way to the Atlantic, and Roman Legions were making incursions into Britain. The key to Caesar’s victory lay not in the superiority of the Roman war machine but in his mastery of strategy, tactics, discipline, and military engineering. According to Plutarch, Caesar’s campaign resulted in 800 conquered cities, 300 subdued tribes, a million slaves, and 3-million dead on the battlefield–all this, not to mention becoming First Man in Rome.
Part 8: The Roman Conquests of Britain
In 55 BC, the ambitious Julius Caesar, Emperor of Rome, turned envious eyes towards the mysterious Isle called Britain. Within a few short years, the mighty Roman war machine had tamed the Celtic tribal society and transformed it into a province of the Roman Empire. This is the story of the dark years of ancient Britain when the well-disciplined Roman Legions faced the fury of the united Celtic peoples of Britain.
Part 9: The Conquests of Alexander
The Macedonian king Alexander was one of the history’s greatest military commanders, a reputation that was earned by a series of victories at famous battles such as Granicus, Issus and Gaugemala. This episode explains how those battles were won and how Alexander wrote his name into the pages of military history.
Part 10: Hannibal’s Great Triumph
The tactics used by Hannibal at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC are still used by military historians to teach and illustrate the ‘ring of steel’, the double envelopment manoeuvre. A number of classical and military historians examine this battle in detail and place it in the context of imperial conflict between Rome and Carthage.
Part 11: The Spartan Wars
How the Persian army underestimated the might of Greek forces at Marathon in 490 BC, but how did the victors achieve their aim?
Part 12: Disaster for Athens
This episode looks at the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and the decisive siege and downfall of Athens in 404 BC.