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 medieval 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 Retreat from Mons
The small British Expeditionary Force, moving up into Belgium on the left flank of the French 5th Army, met with the full weight of the German 1st Army advancing towards Paris under the Schlieffen Plan. A short but intense fire fight where the British caused heavy casualties to the thick masses of the enemy infantry was followed by a British withdrawal out of the canal salient. This manoeuvre was made more urgent by news that the French Army on the right flank was in retreat.
Part 2: Cambrai 1917
At Cambrai in November 1917, a tank force of over three hundred tanks punched a hole four miles deep into the German lines in the space of a single morning, an advance comparable in size to that made at Passchendale in four months. But the Germans counterattacked and the result of the battle was a virtual draw, with the front lines shifting slightly. However the battle of Cambrai marked a major turning point in the course of the war – and military history as a whole. The era of trench warfare was coming to an end and technology was beginning to reign supreme on the battlefields of Europe.
Part 3: Gallipoli
The story of the ill-starred Allied campaign in the Dardanelles, that was supposed to knock Turkey out of World War One. It was the brain-child of Winston Churchill, who convinced Allied High Command that an attack at Gallipoli would also open up vital supply lines to Russia and establish a third front against Austria-Hungary . Gallipoli has become a by-word for the bravery and sacrifice of the ANZACS – the Australian and New Zealand troops who fought and died during the ten month campaign that saw an estimated 36,000 Commonwealth troops lose their lives before the ignominious Allied withdrawal in January 1916. It was not only Turkish shot and shell at infamous places such Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay that claimed so many lives, but also those other traditional hidden enemies of the soldier – sickness and disease.
Part 4: The Somme 1916
July 1st 1916 was the blackest day in the history of the British Army when a combination of bad planning and German bullets sent Kitchener’s Army to their doom. An army that had taken two years to make took only a day to destroy.
Part 5: The Battle of Gettysburg
The battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the American Civil War; at the end of three days of ferocious fighting, all hopes of overall victory for the Confederacy had disappeared. But the Union triumph came at a terrible price, for their losses all but matched those of the Confederates. Names such as The Peach Orchard, Little Round Top and Cemetary Ridge wrote themselves large in American folklore… the dreadful bloodshed of the 1st to 3rd of July 1863 has never been forgotten.
Part 6: Balaclava 1854
The battle of Balaclava, aka The Charge of the Light Brigade, was the famous engagement during the Crimean War in which a Russian commander attempted to lift the siege of Sevastopol by attacking with 25,000 troops.
Part 7: The Battle of Waterloo
Experience the Battle of Waterloo from Napoleon’s position and discover what Wellington was able to see from his point of view on the ridge.
Part 8: The Battle of Borodino 1812
The Battle of Borodino, fought on September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties. It was a pivotal point in the campaign, as it was the last offensive action fought by Napoleon in Russia.
Part 9: The Battle of Trafalgar 1805
Nelson’s celebrated signal opened the Battle of Trafalgar, the most famous engagement of the age of sail. Tragically, he would not live to enjoy his crowning glory. Cut down by a French sniper at the very moment of triumph, his greatest victory was also destined to be his memorial, for his fleet ended forever the Emperor Napoleon’s dream of an invasion of of England.
Part 10: The Battle of Austerlitz
As the famous sun of Austerlitz rose through the pale mist on the morning of December 2nd 1805, the stage was set for one of the most decisive battles of the Napoleonic era. By evening, the combined armies of Austria and Russia would be utterly destroyed. It was to be Napoleon’s greatest victory, achieved by a commander at the very peak of his powers.
Part 11: The Battle of Agincourt
Outnumbered by six to one and weakened by sickness and disease, the English army at Agincourt should have been no match for their confident French enemy. But the day would be won by sheer pluck and the fearsome English longbow.
Part 12: The Battle of Culloden
On 16 April 1746, on Drummossie Moor overlooking Inverness, a well supplied Hanoverian army led by the Duke of Cumberland annihilated the much smaller army of Lord John Murray and the leader he mistrusted, Prince Charles Edward Stuart. It was Bonnie Prince Charlie’s final assault on the English, and the bloodiest of all the Jacobite battles. It was also the last battle fought on British soil.
Part 13: The Third Crusade
Proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII, the Third Crusade set out to reclaim Jerusalem from Saladin, the sultan of Egypt and Syria, who had seized it after the battle of Hittin in 1187. Led by the three great leaders of western Christendom Richard I, Frederick I and Philip II, the Crusaders left home with high hopes and expectations. Their hopes, however, would be dashed and expectations would largely go unmet. Frederick drowned before even reaching the Holy Land and as a consequence the German effort fell apart. Tensions between the English and the French saw Philip return home early. The siege of Acre was brought to a successful conclusion in 1191 and there was a morale-boosting victory over Saladin’s armies at Arsuf during the same year, but by the time domestic problems forced Richard to return home 1192, Jerusalem was still in Muslim hands.