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10 BIGGEST WAR SIEGES IN HISTORY

Siege is a long-lasting blockade of some city (or a fortress) with the goal to take it by military force, either with starving its population and military. Siege started by surrounding the city (fortress) and cutting all forms of supply, after which the military attacks started with the help of siege forces or bombardment.

First information on sieges of cities dates back to old days. As a proof to that there are many fortresses in the Middle East that were built by local people for one fundamental reason, to defend against aggressors. These buildings quickly proved themselves as a great means during sieges of cities. On the other side siege forces came up with new ways and methods in order to break the defense of the enemy. Their basic task was to break the defenders mentally and physically during month and year long sieges, to cut them off from food supply, water, ammunition and force them to surrender.

In ancient but in recent history there are a lot of such examples, and which 10 war sieges deserved by their importance and size to be on this list, find out here…

10SIEGE OF TYRE – 332 BC

Macedonian with 40.000 troops VS Tyre with 40.000 troops
Alexander the Great breached this fortress city with 220 strong fleets. He crucified 2.000 Tyrians, slaughtered another 6.000 and sold 30.000 into slavery.

09BATTLE OF THE ALAMO 1836

Republic of Texas with 189 troops VS Mexico with 1.800 troops
Iconic in American history, this siege only lasted 13 days. It resulted in the death of all the Texan defenders, but at great cost to the Mexicans.

08SIEGE OF SARAJEVO 1992 – 1996

Bosnia and Herzegovina, NATO with 70.000 troops VS Republic Srpska with 18.000 troops
Siege of Sarajevo is the longest siege of a capital city in modern military warfare, lasting 46 months. Ended by NATO intervention, but not before 10.000 people died.

07SIEGE OF OSTEND 1601 - 1604

Dutch Republic England with 50.000 troops VS Spain with 80.000 troops
An English and Dutch army defends a castle against Spain in the longest and bloodiest battle of 80 year war. After a long carnival of death, the fort ultimately surrendered.

06BATTLE OF XIANGYANG 1268 – 1273

Mongol Yuan Dynasty troops with 100.000 troops VS Song Dynasty with 80.000+200.000 citizen
The Mongols besieged the fortified cities of Fancheng and Xiangyang for six years. The Mongols used trebuchets, hurling 75kg (165lbs) stones to conquer the fortresses.

05SIEGE OF LENINGRAD 1941 – 1944

Soviet Union VS Germany, Finland and Italy
This 872 day siege claimed an estimated 641.000 lives. 200.000 died in two months due to starvation and cold – some resorted to cannibalism to survive.

04SIEGE OF CANDIA 1648 – 1669

Ottoman Empire with 60.000 troops VS Republic of Venice with 10.000 + 12.000 citizen
The knights of Malta were besieged after attacking an Ottoman convoy. They surrendered 21 years later, after relentless sorties and artillery barrages.

03BATTLE OF ALESIA 52 BC

Roman Republic with 60.000 troops VS Gallic Tribes with 200.000 troops
Julius Caesar laid siege to a Gaul fort, but was them surrounded and besieged himself by Gaul reinforcements. He routed the extra Gaul s and enslaved the fort.

02SIEGE OF JERUSALEM 70 AD

Roman Empire with 70.000 troops VS Jewish with 60.000 troops
Emperor Titus led his legions into a 7 month siege. Historians have estimated that around 1.000.000 Jews died in the siege, with 90.000 being enslaved.

01SIEFE OF TENOCHTITLAN 1521

Spanish Empire with 200.000 troops VS Aztec Empire with 300.000 troops
Herman Cortes laid siege to the capital of the Aztec Empire. The fall of the city, partly due to smallpox outbreaks, marked the end of the Aztec civilization.
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