The Crimean War

The Crimean War (1853-1856), fought by Britain, France, and the Ottoman Turks against Russia, took place in an era during which the major European powers were in heavy competition over trade and territory as they sought to build their empires.

Political Considerations

The Crimean War (1853-1856), fought by Britain, France, and the Ottoman Turks against Russia, took place in an era during which the major European powers were in heavy competition over trade and territory as they sought to build their empires. This quest served to spur the technological innovations that would alter the shape of warfare in the nineteenth century. The invention of the Telegraph;Crimean Wartelegraph meant, for instance, that field commanders were in close contact with government officials throughout military campaigns and that information about the campaigns could reach civilians on the home front much more quickly. The building of Railroads;Crimean Warrailroads meant that people and freight could be carried over large distances at faster speeds than ever before and that much land transport was no longer affected by the vagaries of weather. The invention of steam-powered Ships and shipbuilding;steam-powered[steam powered]Steam-powered ships[steam powered ships]ships similarly revolutionized naval warfare. The nineteenth century also saw early experiments with chemical Chemical weapons;Crimean Warwarfare and the development of Mines;Crimean Warmines designed to affect shipping. Individual weaponry changed quite dramatically as well, as long-range Rifles;Crimean Warrifles made muskets and bayonets obsolete. The most successful European powers were the ones that adopted new technologies, the fastest of which left others struggling to modernize their industries and armies.Crimean War (1853-1856)Russia;Crimean WarFrance;Crimean WarGreat Britain;Crimean WarCrimean War (1853-1856)Russia;Crimean WarOttoman Empire;Crimean WarFrance;Crimean WarGreat Britain;Crimean War

Military Achievement

The Crimean War was sparked by rivalries between the great European powers. Russia had long coveted access to the Mediterranean Sea through the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, both of which remained in Turkish hands in the 1850’s. Because Russia, France, and Britain were competing for trade with the Ottoman Empire, any Russian expansion into the Mediterranean could threaten the interests of Britain and France as well as the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire itself. The relationship between Britain and Russia was further complicated by each country’s rival desires for influence in India and the Middle East. France was willing to block Russian expansion into Turkish territory but had its own interest in territorial expansion at the expense of the Turks in Egypt and other parts of North Africa.

In July, 1853, Russian soldiers marched into the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, then under Turkish control, and continued to advance east toward the Danube River. In early October, Turkey declared war on Russia and sent its armies toward the Danube and the Caucasus Mountains. During the winter of 1853-1854, France and Britain watched from the sidelines; their only action was to send some troops to stations in the Mediterranean. However, at the end of March, 1854, the Crimean War officially began when Britain and France declared war on Russia. The major military goal of the Allied forces was to invade the Crimean Peninsula and eventually to capture the Russian naval base at Sevastopol. Once that fortress finally fell in 1855, the war’s major fighting ended and peace negotiations soon began.

Weapons, Uniforms, and Armor

During Armor;Crimean WarUniforms;Crimean Warthe Crimean War, the British and the French used much more modern weaponry than did either the Turks or the Russians. Every French infantryman was armed with a new Minié Minié rifle[Minie rifle]Rifles;Crimean WarMuskets;Crimean Warrifle. Although some British regiments still used the Brown Brown Bess (musket)Bess, a brown-stocked, 12-pound, .753-caliber Flintlocksflintlock musket with a range of only 100 yards, the vast majority of British soldiers were equipped with the American-made 1852 Enfield Enfield riflesrifle. An improved version of the Minié rifle, the Enfield rifle used a .577-caliber bullet with a range of 1,600 yards. It was deadly accurate at 800 yards. The Allied rifles could be loaded twice as quickly as could muskets. Allied cavalrymen were armed with sabers, steel-tipped lances, and carbines. Colt revolvers were also given to British cavalry soldiers but were seldom used, because they had a short range and were difficult to manage on horseback.

Major Sites in the Crimean War, 1853-1856

By contrast, only 6,000 Russian infantrymen were equipped with modern rifles; the remainder went into battle armed with Smoothbore weaponssmoothbore muskets. Turkish infantry also used the now-outdated smoothbore muskets. Turkish cavalry soldiers were issued short sabers and carbines that did not always work properly. The Turkish Cavalry;Ottomancavalry also tended to be poorly equipped with horses that were too small and old to compete with those of the other Allied armies. In addition, the saddles used by the Turks were often in poor condition and their spurs were rusty. The irregular cavalry, known as the Bashi-Bazouks[Bashi Bazouks]Bashi-Bazouks, used any weapon possible, including bamboo spears. The Russian Cavalry;Russiancavalry also tended to have smaller mounts, and its mobility was hampered because these smaller animals were expected to carry heavier packs than those borne by the horses of the other armies.

A cartoon by John Leech decries the wretched conditions British soldiers faced in the Crimea. One soldier says to the other, “Well, Jack! Here’s good news from home. We’re to have a medal,” and the other replies, “That’s very kind. Maybe one of these days we’ll have a coat to stick it on!”

The armies that fought in the Crimean War were clearly unconcerned with camouflaging themselves from the enemy, wearing a variety of colorful uniforms and headgear. For instance, Sardinians (Crimean War)Sardinian riflemen wore light blue overcoats, blue turtleneck tunics, dark blue pants tucked into black leather boots, and wide-brimmed black hats with black rooster feathers. Other Sardinian troops were outfitted in green. Green was also used by the African-Egyptian troops from the Sudan who were part of the Turkish force. In this case, they wore bright green jackets and white trousers. Because the Turks did not have standardized uniforms, some of their other troops wore dark blue uniforms, gray woolen socks, and sheepskin sandals. Members of the Turkish irregular cavalry wore whatever they liked. The uniforms of the French and British troops were more standardized. French officers wore all blue, whereas the soldiers wore blue tunics, red trousers, and red caps. The ZouavesZouaves–elite French infantry troops who were originally Algerian tribesmen but now mostly European in ethnic origin–used the same color scheme, but their trousers were baggy and their red caps were so floppy that they resembled nightcaps. The British infantry was equipped with scarlet tunics and white leather cross-belts. Trousers were dark blue for the majority of the troops. The exceptions were the Scottish highland regiments, who wore kilts, and the light cavalry of James Thomas Brudenell, James Thomas, seventh earl of CardiganBrudenell, James Thomas, seventh earl of CardiganBrudenell, the seventh earl of Cardigan (1797-1868), who wore cherry-colored trousers. The artillery forces wore blue uniforms. All soldiers wore Stocks (collars)stocks: tight leather collars that kept their heads erect. The headgear varied greatly among the British forces. Both brass and leather Helmets;Crimean Warhelmets were worn, as were black bearskin hats called Busbiesbusbies. Russian soldiers sported gray greatcoats over green or blue jackets and blue pants with a red stripe down the side. They also wore leather cross-belts and leather boots. Russian soldiers were all issued white linen undergarments in addition to the rest of their uniforms. Three types of Headgear;Crimean Warheadgear were used by the Russian army during the Crimean War: a black leather helmet with a brass spike on top; a tall shako, a stiff hat with a high crown and a plume; and a flat, visorless forage cap.

Typically, the soldiers who fought during the Crimean War were issued only one uniform, which was to be worn in all weather and on all occasions. It was intended that soldiers would receive a new uniform each year but would keep their greatcoats for a longer period of time. For instance, British soldiers were given a new greatcoat once every three years. Supply routes to the Crimea were poorly organized, however, and at one point, a freak winter storm destroyed some of the ships carrying new uniforms to the Allied forces. Many soldiers ultimately had to scavenge for their uniforms. Only the Russian soldiers seem to have carried extra shirts, socks, trousers, and leather boots with extra soles in their knapsacks. Muslim members of the Turkish army each carried a prayer rug as part of their equipment.

The Crimean War featured the heaviest Artillery;Crimean Warartillery bombardments the world had seen to that point. Soldiers were able to fire 200-pound explosive shells over a distance of several miles. These massive shells were specifically designed to destroy heavy fortifications. Smaller 32- or 68-pound shells could, similarly, be launched over great distances. Some Cannons;Crimean WarExplosives;Crimean Warcannonballs were made from solid iron so they would smash through anything in their path. Other balls were purposely heated so they would start fires on impact. Most shells, however, were explosive and timed to explode either in the air or just after impact. Some shells hurled only the metal from their casings, whereas others contained other, smaller shells or grenades to cause a chain of explosions.

The Turkish military Engineers;Turkishengineers proved to be the best in battle. Their artillery was excellent and accurate, and their soldiers were equipped with modern British cannons. The British Royal Horse Artillery was equipped with the same 6-pound cannons, but the British troops were less well trained in this area than were the Turks. The heavier siege guns of the British were not as good as those of the French or Russians. During the Crimean War, the Russian army proved particularly innovative in this area and pioneered the use of rockets, horse-drawn artillery, and heavy siege guns.

Mines Mines;Crimean Warwere used by both the French and the Russians during the Siege of Sevastopol, Siege of (1854-1855)Sevastopol. The French tried to put mines under the defenses of the city, but their mines had conventional fuses that sometimes went out before detonating. The Russians were more successful. They would tunnel under the French tunnels and set off mines that detonated electronically.

The Crimean War involved naval Naval power;Crimean Warpower as well as artillery and mines. At the time, Great Britain;navyNavies;BritishBritain had the world’s best navy, with more total ships, more steam-powered ships, and better long-range guns than any other power. The French France;navyNavies;Frenchnavy was weaker than that of the British but was stronger than those of the Russians and Turks. In total, the British and French fielded a combined eight triple-decked battleships, twenty-two double-decked battleships, seven frigates, thirty paddle-driven warships, and several hundred troop transports. By comparison, the Turkish Navies;Turkishnavy had only six, severely outgunned battleships in the Black Sea and almost no steam-powered ships. Similarly, the Russian Navies;RussianRussia;navynavy had yet to convert its ships to steam power, and its naval forces are best remembered during the Crimean War for the role they played in the defense of Sevastopol, sinking six ships to block the entrance to the city’s harbor and then removing the guns from their ships for use on land.

Military Organization

The Armies;Crimean Wararmies that fought the Crimean War were similar in structure but different in composition. Each army had infantry and cavalry divisions. The Cavalry;Crimean Warcavalry was usually split between light and heavy brigades with the heavy brigades featuring larger men and horses. The Russian Cossack Cossacks;Crimean Warunits and the Turkish Bashi-Bazouks served as irregular cavalry. The French also had a group of elite infantrymen, called the Zouaves.

Russia relied on an army of Serfs;Russian in Crimean Warserfs. The recruits were chosen by their owners or by village councils and saw their twenty-five-year terms as death sentences. Few of these soldiers were literate, and they received no further education during their time in the army; thus, they had little incentive to fight. For infringements of discipline, the Russian troops were subject to physical punishments such as punching or flogging. Soldiers typically formed Artels“artels,” groups of ten men who shared food and supplies and looked after one another. These were not official army groupings but functioned similarly to the artels, or craftsmen’s and workers’ cooperatives, formed in Russia.

One-sixth of officers came from the Officers;nobilityNobility as officersnobility, and promotion was often based on family connections and wealth rather than on merit. Since the czar was the ultimate commander, he made decisions about promotion and could intervene in any aspect of the running of the armed forces. The remaining officers were Junkers (Russian officers)“junkers,” the sons of petty nobles who had not succeeded in secondary school and could find no career other than the armed forces. The junkers served in the ranks for six years before earning their commissions. Corruption in the Russian armyCorruption was widespread in the Russian army, and the officers frequently stole money allocated for arms and supplies. Russian officers who wanted to evade the dangers of battle could buy medical certificates asserting they were wounded and no longer capable of active service.

The vast majority of British troops were volunteers: Only 1 percent were criminals and vagrants being punished by the legal system. Wages were a shilling a day. Infantryman signed on for a ten-year period, whereas cavalryman served twelve-year terms. Ireland;Crimean WarIrishmen had flocked to the British army during the Great Potato Irish Potato Famine (1845)Potato Famine (1845)Famine of 1845; by the time of the Crimean War, fully one-third of the British troops were Irish. Although the British also hired Mercenaries;Crimean Warmercenaries from parts of Germany, Sardinia, Switzerland, and the United States, these men were sent home before seeing action in the Crimean War. Almost all of the officers in the British army came from society’s elite. One-third were from titled or landed families, and the rest came from families associated with the so-called gentlemen’s professions, such as the clergy and the law. British officers tended to be well educated but had little formal military training. Since both commissions and promotions were sold, the wealthy dominated the higher ranks of the armed forces, and British officers could sell their commissions and go home whenever they wished.

The French army emphasized merit rather than birthright. Few officers were from the nobility. Instead, they had to earn their promotions and to live on their military salaries. Consequently, they had more sympathy and understanding for the men under their command. Whereas British officers spent little time with their soldiers, French officers would more frequently share the living and dining quarters of their men. French soldiers were Drafts;Crimean Warconscripted by lottery for six-year terms, and during their service they were given rudimentary education in hygiene, history, and the meaning of morale and military spirit. They were not subject to flogging or other forms of corporal punishment.

After a series of defeats in the eighteenth century, the Turks began to reform their army along French and Russian lines. By the start of the Crimean War, these reforms had seen some success: Junior officers were literate and had received some military training. However, they were resented by many senior officers who remained illiterate. Corruption affected the Turkish army’s ability to supply itself, because officers often siphoned off money allocated for provisions in order to pay the bribes needed for promotions. The Turkish force was multinational in its composition: Some officers were Hungarians, Italians, and Poles who had fled their homelands, and the infantry had come from all over the empire.Desertion in Crimean WarDesertion was a problem among the infantry, because conscripted peasants from Armenia, Tunisia, Romania, and Egypt felt little loyalty to the Ottoman Empire that had conquered their homelands. Even if the troops did remain with the army, they fought with little enthusiasm.

An engraving depicting the famous Charge of the Light Brigade, at the Battle of Balaklava (1854).

(The Granger Collection, New York)

Women and Women;Crimean WarChildren;Crimean Warchildren were also part of the Crimean War. All sides had female Nurses in the Crimean Warnurses, and children served as buglers and drummers. Roughly 10 percent of the Allied soldiers were legally married and, according to regulations, four wives per company of one hundred men were allowed to go with the troops in order to cook and do the laundry. Wives who already had children were not eligible to accompany the army. The wives frequently served as nurses in field hospitals as well. In the field they carried all of their belongings on their backs and, if they were widowed in the course of a campaign, they were left to fend for themselves by sleeping in ditches or dugouts. Because widows’ pensions did not exist at the time, it was difficult for widows to return to their native countries. However, it was also economically challenging for a wife to remain in her native country while her husband left to fight overseas. Governments and armies made no provisions for the economic survival of women and children left behind, so women were sometimes forced to rely upon their needlework skills, prostitution, or charity. It was not unheard of for women to stow away on troop ships, or even to commit suicide, after their husbands’ departure for the Crimea. The wives of Allied officers seldom accompanied their husbands, although a handful of aristocratic women did visit the Crimea in the summer to offer social amusements to the commanding officers. The wives of Russian soldiers remained behind in their native villages. Few Russian officers’ wives chose to join their husbands during the war.

Doctrine, Strategy, and Tactics

In most armies at the time of the Crimean War, there was a clear division between the Officers;Crimean Warofficers and the enlisted Enlisted men, Crimean Warmen. The officers tended to be aristocrats who were schooled from childhood about honor and glory. There was a sense among many officers that there was no glory in a death other than in combat and that cowardice meant certain disgrace. The quest for Glory, quest forglory led to several actions during the war that can only be labeled military follies, the most stunning example being the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade Charge of the Light Brigade (1854)(1854), commemorated in a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Alfred, LordTennyson, Alfred, LordTennyson (1809-1892). Rank-and-file troops often had a perspective on the war that was different from that of their commanders and were motivated by appeals to national pride, regimental pride, or a sense of competition between regiments.

In the 1850’s army officers were not typically trained to think about supplies or to plan ahead. This lack of emphasis on strategic Strategic planningplanning meant that the Allied armies entered the Crimean War without any knowledge of battlefield terrain. The commanders were also ignorant of the local climate and the size of the forces they would face. For instance, the British commander Fitzroy James Henry Somerset, Fitzroy James Henry, Baron RaglanSomerset, Fitzroy James Henry, Baron RaglanSomerset, the Baron Raglan (1788-1855), assumed that fresh water supplies and horses would be available. The British took neither Medical care;Crimean Warmedical supplies nor their hospital wagons with them during the invasion of the Crimea and, in fact, made no provisions at all to care for wounded soldiers. The supply base built by the British was at Balaklava, at times more than 9 miles from the front lines. The only way to the base was along a dirt road that ran uphill and became a river of mud when it rained. The situation was made worse by the lack of pack animals; all supplies had to be carried to the front by the soldiers themselves. Only at the end of April, 1855, was a rail link completed between the British supply base at Balaklava and the front.

The British were not alone in these oversights, however; the Turks had little transport to speak of and had made an agreement with the British to supply them. Because the Turks did not organize their own supply trains and the British were not in a position to fulfill the agreement, Turkish soldiers were forced to live off the land. The French were closer to their supply base and were accompanied by Viviandières (women provisioners)viviandières, young women who acted as provisioners for the French troops. Because the French had brought pack animals to use for the transportation of material, they transported food and ammunition for all of the Allied armies. The situation was equally bad for the Russian soldiers. Their officers frequently stole the funds allocated to purchase food, and supply conveys were often delayed by poor weather.

The officers who served during the Crimean War were no better at planning battles than they were at organizing their forces. Despite the creation of a Turkish military academy in 1834, many senior Turkish officers remained illiterate. British officers received little formal military Military education;nineteenth centurytraining, and the vast majority had not studied maps, topography, or military tactics. Moreover, in peacetime these officers spent little time with their regiments and preferred to leave the day-to-day management to their sergeants. Similarly, Russian officers were not required to have any formal knowledge of military tactics. Only the French officers received a solid military training at several military academies. They were expected to study map reading, tactics, fortification, and topography. Their grasp of the material was tested through regular examinations and regiment inspections, but the training of the French officers was nullified once the campaign in the Crimea began. British senior officers did not get along well with the French commanders, who tended to come from less distinguished and less wealthy families. Because the Allies needed to coordinate their forces in battle, it was imperative for the commanders to agree on a strategy. However, as the war began the Allies could agree upon no coordinated plan. Joint command quickly broke down amid personal rivalries between the commanders. The lack of coordination was most evident during the Siege of Sevastopol, Siege of (1854-1855)Sevastopol. The original plan was for the Allied armies to attack the city from the north, destroy the city’s docks, and sink the Russian fleet. However, this plan was eventually abandoned in favor of a joint British and French attack from the south. The Turks took no direct part in the Siege of Sevastopol. A strong assault as soon as the British forces were in place would most likely have succeeded in taking the city, but the French commanders insisted on waiting for the arrival of their siege guns before the engagement began. In the end, the Allies camped nearby and waited for almost a month before firing any weapons at the city’s defenders. The reprieve gave the general in charge of Sevastopol’s defenses time to build a series of fortifications and await reinforcements. By the time the British and French commanders agreed to attack the city, it was virtually impregnable. It ultimately took almost a year for the Allies to take Sevastopol.

The Crimean War saw two distinct types of warfare: land battles and sieges. The tactics used by the armies varied depending on the situation and on their national traditions. During land battles, the British infantry would advance in a line, unhurriedly and silently, toward the enemy fire. In contrast, the French commanders encouraged individual initiative and had trained their troops in athletics, hand-to-hand combat, and mountain climbing. French soldiers rushed to the attack as quickly as possible, in part because their officers believed they would retreat otherwise. Both the French and the Russians would scream and shout as they advanced. The Russian army’s main infantry tactic was to have the troops advance in densely packed columns at the same time as the enemy approached and to fire at the enemy as the Russians advanced. The troops were told that aiming was not important, and few of the bullets found their mark, because target practice was not part of a Russian soldier’s normal training. After using their Firearms;Crimean Warfirearms, the Russians would then charge with their Bayonets;Crimean Warbayonets. The types of advances used by all of the armies in the Crimean War actually made it easier for the enemy to kill the advancing soldiers. Troops were often under fire for more than a mile before they engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand Hand-to-hand combat[hand to hand combat];Crimean Warcombat. Moreover, in their brightly colored uniforms, soldiers could be seen so far away that advances lacked any element of surprise. Joint maneuvers also proved difficult during the war. No army would agree to deviate from its tactics in order to better synchronize an attack. Instead, for instance, the British soldiers were told to maintain the discipline of their advance and not to try to match the pace set by the French. Commanders, often within the same army, proved reluctant to communicate with one another during a battle.

Should an infantryman survive the initial advance and meet the enemy, hand-to-hand combat would begin. All types of weapons would be used: bayonets, swords, stones, even feet and teeth for kicking and biting. Rifle butts frequently served as clubs. All troops were trained to rely on their bayonets more than any other weapon.

British troops at the Battle of Balaklava in 1854.

(P. F. Collier and Son)

The Cavalry;Crimean Warcavalries were also part of land battles during the Crimean War. Both the British and the French successfully used cavalry charges against the enemy. They benefited because Russian infantrymen were not instructed on how to defend themselves against enemy cavalry charges. In contrast, Russian dragoons would ride into battle but fought on foot, and the regular Russian cavalry did not demonstrate the iron discipline needed for a successful charge. Things were even more difficult for the Turks; the Bashi-Bazouks[Bashi Bazouks]Bashi-Bazouks, although clearly the most superb of the Turkish horsemen, refused to fight against regular cavalry and had to be used to terrorize enemy civilians instead.

The final assault by the allied forces at Sevastopol in 1855.

(F. R. Niglutsch)

Infantry advances and cavalry charges continued to be used during the Siege of Sevastopol but were supplemented with several other tactics as well. Before the soldiers would attack, the Allied armies would pound the city with heavy artillery bombardments and try to tunnel under the Russian fortifications. New long-range rifles meant that Sharpshootingsharpshooting emerged as an effective tactic during the Crimean War. Under the cover of darkness, a sniper would crawl toward the enemy lines and dig a foxhole. Then he would wait until daylight revealed a target. Other nighttime activities developed during the Siege of Sevastopol, in which the Russians engaged in nighttime raids on enemy Trench warfare;Crimean Wartrenches in order to kill sleeping soldiers and capture prisoners who could supply them with information. Indeed, all sides relied on spies to obtain information about the enemy. Suspected spies, however, would be shot if they were captured.

Contemporary Sources

A variety of contemporary sources are available to readers who wish to know more about the Crimean War. British newspaper Media;coverage of the Crimean War[Crimean]War correspondents;Crimean Warcorrespondents accompanied the British army and telegraphed their stories to London, where the items would be published without Censorship;Crimean Warcensorship. The Times had a circulation of 40,000 copies per issue at the time of the Crimean War. The French were also accompanied by correspondents, but their stories were subject to strict Censorship;Crimean War censorship and, consequently, are not as accurate as those that appeared in British newspapers.

Many participants in the Crimean War wrote accounts of their experiences both immediately after the war and for many years following it. Some of the English-language memoirs and diaries include those of George Higginson, Seventy-one Years of a Guardsman’s Life (1916); John Richard Hume, Reminiscences of the Crimean Campaign with the Fifty-fifth Regiment (1894); Frederick Robinson, Diary of the Crimean War (1856); and Humphry Sandwith, A Narrative of the Siege of Kars (1856). Many Russian, Sardinian, and French soldiers also wrote memoirs, but their works have not been translated into English. Due to the low literacy rate among the Turkish troops, few of their firsthand accounts exist. All of the memoirs reflect the age in which they were written, conveying the attitudes, beliefs, and prejudices of the 1850’s and omitting certain elements that a modern reader would expect from accounts of contemporary warfare. For instance, because it was not fashionable to discuss emotions, particularly those experienced during battle, the authors describing their Crimean War experiences rarely discuss topics such as combat fatigue.

In addition to the various memoirs, there were travel accounts written by people with firsthand views of the Crimean War. These books were not necessarily written by regular soldiers or even by military personnel. Among the most useful is George Palmer Evelyn’s A Diary of the Crimea (1954), which describes the role he played as a British mercenary in the Crimean War. Evelyn’s account is particularly informative about the layout of the battlefields. Sir Henry Clifford’s Henry Clifford, VC: His Letters and Sketches from the Crimea (1956) provides another firsthand account of the war, focusing on the period from September 18, 1854, to April 18, 1856. George B. McClellan’s The Armies of Europe Comprising Descriptions in Detail of the Military Systems of England, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sardinia: Adapting Their Advantages to All Arms of the United States Service and Embodying the Report of Observations in Europe During the Crimean War, As Military Commissioner from the United States Government, 1855-1856 (1861) provides a great deal of information about the organizations of the armies of most combatants in the Crimean War. Drawings and charts illustrate the information.

Letters Home from the Crimea (1999) is a collection of letters by Temple Goodman, a cavalryman who saw action in the Battle of Balaclava as well as the Siege of Sevastopol. Other published collections of letters include “Little Hodge”: Being Extracts from the Diaries and Letters of Lt.-Colonel Edward Cooper Hodge Written During the Crimean War, 1854-1856 (1971), written by Edward Cooper Hodge and edited by George Paget, the marquess of Anglesey; Letters from the Army in the Crimea, Written During the Years 1854, 1855, and 1856 (1857), by Sir Anthony Coningham Sterling; Life, Letters, and Diaries of Lieutenant-General Sir Gerald Graham with Portraits, Plans, and His Principal Despatches (1901), by R. H. Vetch; and Crimean Diary and Letters of Lieutentant-General Sir Charles Ash Windham, K.C.B., with Observations upon his Services During the Indian Mutiny (1897), by Sir C. A. Windham.

Finally, special mention should be made of Leo Tolstoy’s (1828-1910) fictional account of the Siege of Sevastopol, entitled Sevastopolskiy rasskazy (1855-1856; Sebastopol, 1887), as well as his published diaries covering the years of the Crimean War. As a young man, Tolstoy, LeoTolstoy, Leo Tolstoy served as an artillery officer during the war and was stationed in Sevastopol at the time of the siege. His work is more readily available than many of the other primary sources discussed above and provides a Russian view of the war.Crimean War (1853-1856)Russia;Crimean WarOttoman Empire;Crimean WarFrance;Crimean WarGreat Britain;Crimean War

Books and Articles

  • Almond, Ian. “The Crimean War, 1853-6: Muslims on All Sides.” In Two Faiths, One Banner: When Muslims Marched with Christians Across Europe’s Battlegrounds. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009.
  • Baumgart, Winfried. The Crimean War, 1853-1856. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Curtiss, J. S. The Russian Army Under Nicholas I, 1825-1855. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1965.
  • Edgerton, R. Death or Glory: The Legacy of the Crimean War. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999.
  • Fletcher, Ian, and Natalia Ishchenko. The Crimean War: A Clash of Empires. Staplehurst, Kent, England: Spellmount, 2004.
  • Fuller, W. C., Jr. Strategy and Power in Russia, 1600-1914. New York: Free Press, 1992.
  • Grainger, John D. The First Pacific War: Britain and Russia, 1854-1856. Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell Press, 2008.
  • Griffith, P. Military Thought in the French Army, 1815-51. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1989.
  • Harris, Stephen. British Military Intelligence in the Crimean War, 1854-1856. London: Frank Cass, 1999.
  • Lambert, A. D. The Crimean War: The British Grand Strategy, 1853-56. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1990.
  • Small, Hugh. The Crimean War: Queen Victoria’s War with the Russian Tsars. Stroud, Gloucestershire, England: Tempus, 2007.
  • Sweetman, John. Balaclava, 1854: The Charge of the Light Brigade. Botley, Oxford, England: Osprey, 1990. Reprint. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2005.
  • _______. The Crimean War. Botley, Oxford, England: Osprey, 2001.
  • Thomas, R., and R. Scollins. The Russian Army of the Crimean War, 1854-56. Botley, Oxford, England: Osprey, 1991.
  • Troubetzkoy, Alexis S. A Brief History of the Crimean War: The Causes and Consequences of a Medieval Conflict Fought in a Modern Age. New York: Carroll and Graf, 2006.

Films and Other Media

  • Balaclava, 1854. Documentary. Cromwell Productions, 1996.
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade. Feature film. Warner Bros., 1936.
  • Combat Camera. Documentary. A&E Home Video, 1992.
  • The Crimean War: A Clash of Empires. Documentary. Direct Cinema Limited, 1996.
  • Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War. Filmstrip. Multi-Media Productions, 1980.
  • Trumpets and Typewriters: A History of War Reporting. Documentary. ABC, 1983.

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