Young brothers Laust and Peter both become enamored with the new estate manager's daughter; dark political forces coalesce in Copenhagen.
Bishop Monrad stirs popular opinion for war with Prussia as Laust and Peter report for duty in the Danish army.
Monrad's new constitution sparks a declaration of war; Laust and Peter meet their comrades in arms.
Peter and Laust reach the Dannevirke and encounter an unwelcome acquaintance from back home.
Laust and Peter are split up as the retreating Danes are hunted by Prussian troops.
Inge and Sofia try to find Laust and Peter but encounter Didrich instead.
The Danes are outnumbered as the enemy forces make their final assault.
After defeat, the survivors return home to rebuild their shattered lives.