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The Most Incredible Sieges of All Time

Updated October 13, 2018 6.1k votes 1.1k voters 76.5k views49 items
These are the most epic sieges in history, ranked by history buffs worldwide. Anyone can vote on this list of sieges, making it a collaborative list. So what do you think are the greatest sieges of all time? Make sure to add your own battles to these rankings if you see anything missing. Some of these famous battles are thousands of years old, but still remembered ... not for glory, but for the story they tell of humanities' epic struggles against itself.
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  • Sieges of Constantinople1
    448
    107
  • Siege of Leningrad2
    396
    125

    Siege of Leningrad

    Saint Petersburg, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
  • Siege of Vienna3
    254
    99

    Siege of Vienna

    Vienna, Holy Roman Empire
  • Siege of Troy (Trojan War)4
    122
    20

    Siege of Troy (Trojan War)

    9 year siege of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks). 

    The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably through Homer's Iliad. The Iliad relates a part of the last year of the siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war's heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.

    The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy.

    The ancient Greeks treated the Trojan War as an historical event which had taken place in the 13th or 12th century BC, and believed that Troy was located in modern-day Turkey near the Dardanelles. As of the mid-19th century, both the war and the city were widely believed to be non-historical. In 1868, however, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was at Hissarlik and Schliemann took over Calvert's excavations on property belonging to Calvert; this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War is an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may simply mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age. Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII.

  • Sack of Jerusalem5
    246
    57
  • Siege of Kőszeg6
    99
    26

    Siege of Kőszeg

    In 1532, the Croatian hero Nikola Jurišić successfully defended the small Hungarian town Kőszeg with only 750 men against a Turkish army of over 100.000 soldiers.

  • Siege of Malta7
    209
    98
  • Battle of Penfui8
    85
    20

    Battle of Penfui

    Great victory of the Dutch Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie against the Portuguese in 1749. The Portuguese led an army of 50.000 Topasses, Timores and Portuguese against a handful Dutch, who were allied with only some hundred natives. The Dutch defended their fortress and with their very small army of allied natives they began an counter-attack and defeated the dozen times bigger army of the Portuguese and their allies. That epic battle turned the tide in the struggle for Timor in favor of the Dutch.

  • Siege of Stalingrad9
    102
    14

    Siege of Stalingrad

  • Masada10
    246
    105
  • Battle of the Alamo11
    321
    143

    Battle of the Alamo

    San Antonio
  • Siege of Antwerp12
    146
    47
  • Siege of Eger13
    76
    21

    In 1552, the Hungarian hero István Dobó defend the small Hungarian town Eger with only 2.100 (among them were women and children) against an overwhelming Ottoman army of 150.000 men.

  • Siege of Calais14
    129
    65

    Siege of Calais

    France, Calais
  • Battle of Alesia15
    163
    77
  • Siege of Tobruk16
    165
    51

    Siege of Tobruk

    Tobruk, Italian Libya
  • Siege of Tyre17
    137
    88

    Siege of Tyre

    Phoenicia, Tyre
  • Battle of Beijing18
    89
    74
  • Siege of Boston19
    142
    66
  • Siege of Breda20
    101
    60
  • First Siege of Zaragoza21
    94
    59
  • Siege of Madrid22
    92
    63
  • Siege of Leiden23
    73
    72

    Siege of Leiden

    Holland, Leiden
  • Battle of Xiangyang24
    82
    62
  • SEIGE of KHE SANH25
    237
    83

    SEIGE of KHE SANH

    5,000 MARINES & SPECIAL FORCES SURROUNDED BY 40,000 NORTH VIETNAMESE REGULAR TROOPS, SOMETIMES OVER A THOUSAND INCOMING LONG RANGE ARTILLERY SHELLS IN ONE DAY. SEMPER FI.