Episode 1 The Darkness Descends – Lenin dies and leaves behind a power struggle for the leadership of the Soviet empire. He also leaves a testament – a fatal warning against Stalin’s ambition. Nevertheless, Stalin rises to power and begins his war against the Soviet people an assault on the peasantry and mysterious assassination of political rivals and on the eve of the war with Germany, his disastrous purge of the Red Army.
Episode 2 The Night before Midnight – Hitler becomes ever more aggressive. In Spain, Fascism and Communism face each other for the first time, while the purges in the Soviet Union reach a crescendo. In foreign affairs, Stalin plans the most astounding about – face of the century. Hitler and Stalin become allies, and they invade and partition Poland between them.
Episode 3 The Goths Ride East – The Germans invade the Soviet Union, leading to chaos and confusion as the Red Army falls back. Stalin, paralyzed by the shock, retreats to his dacha. Minsk, Kiev, and Smolensk fall. Stalin returns from hiding and signs the infamous Order 270, branding captured Soviet officers as traitors and committing their wives to forced labor. With the first snows, the Wehrmacht arrives at the gates of Moscow.
Episode 4 Between Life and Death – The Germans are at the gates of Moscow. The winter closes in and starvation claims thousands of lives in the besieged city of Leningrad. The Red Army counterattacks on the Moscow front.
Episode 5 The Fight from Within – During the war in the occupied Soviet Union, many oppressed Soviet citizens welcome Hitler, but their enthusiasm is short lived as they discover his plans. The Partisan resistance begins without Stalin’s support. Then, as he begins to accept the Partisans, he provides them with supplies.
Episode 6 The Cauldron Boils – The Wehrmacht thrusts south toward the oil fields of the Caucasus. On pain of death, Stalin specifically prohibits any retreat on the battlefield. The formation of the infamous Penal Battalions starts and the battle for Stalingrad begins.
Episode 7 The Citadel – During the spring stalemate, all eyes turn to Kursk. Soviet war production, now moved out of the reach of German bombers, increases dramatically. The Germans prepare to meet the Red Army on the plains of Kursk. This is the greatest tank battle in the history of warfare.
Episode 8 False Dawn – 1944 is the year of victories. After a 900 – day siege, the Soviets finally liberate Leningrad. The Red Army pushes westward and beings to retake the territories occupied by the Germans for so long. Once again Stalin has plans for the people who suffer under the occupation.
Episode 9 The Fall of the Swastika – Germany is now on the brink of defeat. As the Red Army approaches Berlin, Hitler mobilizes both young and old to defend the doomed city. With the fall of Berlin and the death of his old enemy. Stalin turns once again tot he control of his own people.
Episode 10 The Cult of Personality – Russians praise Stalin for the victory he alone claims. As old age creeps up on him, Stalin’s obsessive paranoia continues and he further persecutes his people. The threat of the atomic bomb block his plans for territorial expansion. The Cold War prevails. In 1953, Stalin dies.