October 8th, 2015
After a dizzying rise to power, the 35 year old Napoleon Bonaparte faced his downfall in the summer of 1805 when first Russia and then Austria allied themselves with Britain to destroy the French Empire. A fourth great power, the kingdom of Prussia, waited in the wings for Napoleon to falter and would then join the alliance too. Deciding not to wait while his enemies slowly mobilized, Napoleon and his Grande Armee, encamped for nearly two years at Boulogne waiting to invade England, broke camp and marched east. This is the story of how Napoleon defeated his enemies, winning his greatest military triumph at Austerlitz and broke the alliance in just four months time on December 2, 1805. This campaign, culminating in this famous battle, is the supreme accomplishment of the greatest
military mind of his age and, perhaps, of any age.
April 26th, 2015
This is the introductory episode to the series and describes the Battle of Tannenberg that occurred in the opening months of the First World War. With most of its army concentrated in France and Belgium, the German master plan for fighting a two front war called for only a small field army to delay and contain an anticipated Russian invasion of Prussia while the western allies were quickly defeated. The stakes could not have been higher as the German high command watched with growing dread the appearance of two massive Russian armies on their eastern frontier only two weeks after Germany's declaration of war; much sooner and in much greater numbers than had been expected. This is the story of one of the most improbable and impressive military victories of all time that, had it gone the other way, would have resulted in the occupation of Berlin and defeat of imperial Germany at the beginning of a war that would devastate the continent.