The Crimean War: 1854-1856 (Essential Histories)
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This bitter war between Russia and Turkey, aided by Britain and France, was the setting for the stuff of legends. This book details the gallant yet suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade, now immortalised in film: in the words of Tennyson, 'Into the Valley of Death rode the Six Hundred'. It relates the reports made by the first real war correspondant, William Russell of the London Times - reports which served only to highlight the army's problems - and memorialises the heroic deeds of Florence Nightingale, who struggled to save young men from the most formidable enemy in the Crimean War: not the Russians, but cholera.
Paris determined that Russia must be taught a lesson and deterred from ever again threatening the Balkans or the Straits. A. W. Kinglake, author of a detailed account of the war, would allege that the decision to invade the Crimea was taken by a sleepy Cabinet on 28 June. In reality, the 31 venture had been discussed in political circles since at least December 1853 and widely aired in the press during the three months following. A variety of military figures (including Captain J. R. Drummond
(approximately 2,500yds [2,285m]) he placed the four battalions of the Brest and Belostok regiments, with the Tarutin regiment in reserve. Supported by two field batteries of artillery, the Borodin regiment held Telegraph Height, with the Moskov regiment (sent by Khomutov from eastern Crimea) in reserve. These units west of the post road were evidently under Kiriakov, but in retrospect confusion appears to have fighting 39 occurred over direction of the Borodin regiment, administratively part
among the troops mounted, and towards the Gun batteries in action. Heavy mortars and siege artillery fire on the Russians before Sevastopol. The Woronzov metalled road from Yalta is extreme left, the Malakov defence work far right, Sevastopol Bay and harbour entrance in the distance. 48 Essential Histories • The Crimean War Sevastopol from the trenches. The extreme right of the allied line. Note the extent of the naval port and the position of anchored Russian ships, able to fire on to the
George Brown against Kertch at the mouth of the Sea of Azov on 3 May. However, extension of the telegraph to the Crimea had its drawbacks for field commanders. Politicians could quickly interfere with operations, and this was now painfully underlined. After repeated messages 67 from Paris, the following day the French contingent was ordered back to Sevastopol and the enterprise collapsed. Fifteen days later, now in command, Pélissier galvanised the French into clearing the Russians from the
broken heart on 2 March 1855 following Russian failure to recapture Eupatoria. (Ann Ronan Picture Library) serpent,' his foreign minister observed. Nicholas I's price for moral and diplomatic support, without firing a shot or in any way actively intervening, was Turkish agreement to close the Straits to foreign warships on Russia's request. Not for nine years could Britain engineer the expulsion of the Egyptians from Syria and fashion a new agreement whereby the Straits would be closed to all