Siege of Ironforge
|This article's name is unofficial.|
|Previous: Rescue of Zul'jin|
|Concurrent: Most of the Second War|
|Next: Siege of Blackrock Spire|
|Siege of Ironforge|
|Conflict: Second War|
|Date: 6 ADP (a few months)|
|Place: Ironforge, Khaz Modan|
|Outcome: Decisive Ironforge victory as Alliance forces lift the siege; Ironforge joins the Alliance|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
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Immediately prior to the Second War, Orgrim Doomhammer rallied the Horde to begin expanding from conquered Stormwind. The first phase of his plan was an attack on Khaz Modan, aimed at gaining access to metals and fuel that could be used for building a fleet of ships. Doomhammer achieved this goal quickly, crushing a number of Bronzebeard dwarven armies and citadels in the process. He then constructed a fleet of transports, using it to sail most of his warriors to the southern coast of Lordaeron and begin a campaign against the humans. Kilrogg Deadeye and his Bleeding Hollow Clan were left behind to complete the conquest of Khaz Modan and consolidate the orcs' control over the Ironforge Mountains.
The dwarves of Ironforge had received missives from the Alliance of Lordaeron when the Alliance was being formed, but the Horde's invasion cut off their communications to this new Alliance as well as their Wildhammer cousins at Aerie Peak. As the orcs conquered nearby dwarven citadels, however, the survivors from these citadels fled to Ironforge and bolstered the capital's defenders. Ironforge soon became the only dwarven stronghold in Khaz Modan that had not fallen, but Kilrogg's Bleeding Hollow were unable to crack it. Each assault ended with the deaths of many good orc warriors, with little gains to show for it.
Breaking the siege
The Bleeding Hollow continued to batter the gates of Ironforge and the rocks around it for months, as the rest of the Horde fought against the Alliance across continental Lordaeron. Doomhammer eventually withdrew from his own siege against Capital City and retreated to Khaz Modan, hoping to regroup with Kilrogg's forces before marching north again. The warchief assumed that Khaz Modan had long been conquered, and he was surprised to learn that this was not the case.
Kilrogg advised Doomhammer that it would be imprudent to abandon the siege now, as it was keeping the Bronzebeard nation contained. If the dwarves were allowed to leave Ironforge, Kilrogg argued, they would fall upon the Horde and force it to fight two armies instead of just one. Doomhammer conceded, ordering Kilrogg to keep as many warriors as he needed to hold the dwarves in Ironforge and harry the approaching humans, while the rest joined the bulk of the Horde in their march to Blackrock Spire. He hoped that Kilrogg would later be able to complete the siege and attack the Alliance from behind as they pursued the Horde.
The Alliance did not pass Ironforge by, however. On the recommendation of Turalyon, the Supreme Commander Anduin Lothar led an assault against the Bleeding Hollow orcs and caught them off guard, as they were still focused on attacking the city gates. An entire row of orcs was mowed down before they could turn to face the Alliance. As the Alliance pressed their attack, Ironforge's heavy doors opened with a supporting attack from the besieged dwarves. The two armies quickly cut down the orcs between them.
The role of the Alliance in liberating Ironforge and Khaz Modan during the Second War strengthened relations between dwarves and humans; King Magni Bronzebeard's gratitude kept his people in the Alliance during times when it was beginning to splinter.
Likewise, the siege's length kept the Bleeding Hollow Clan away from most of the Second War's campaigns. This may have contributed to them remaining a viable fighting force during the Invasion of Draenor.