The year is 1855, and the port of Sebastopol is still under siege by the Allies, the Russians putting up a vigorous defence. Sgt Jack Crossman and his hardy band of brothers carry out discreet British operations in and around the troubled city. Russian sharpshooters mysteriously disappear as Crossman and his men chip away at the enemy's morale. But these foxhunts serve merely as a warm-up to the major British attack on the Redan, the fortification guarding Sebastopol, which, when it does come, is ill planned and ill advised. A terrible climax ensues, with Crossman forced to bear witness to the wholesale massacre of his fellow soldiers.