Kırım Savaşı
CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı


Kırım Savaşı

  Crimean War 1853-56

Crimean War

Crimean War 1853-56 (W)

Date 16 October 1853 – 30 March 1856 (2 years, 5 months, 14 days)
Result Allied victory; Treaty of Paris

Ottoman Empire

French Empire
British Empire

Caucasus Imamate

Russian Empire

Kurdish rebels
Commanders and leaders
Total: 603,132
OTTOMAN 165,000
FRENCH E. 309,268
BRITISH E. 107,864
Total: 889,000
888,000 mobilised
324,478 deployed
GREECE 1,000 Greek legion
Casualties and losses
TOTAL 223,513 dead

OTTOMAN E. 45,400
10,100 killed in action
10,800 died of wounds
24,500 died of disease

FRENCH E: 135,485
8,490 killed in action;
11,750 died of wounds;
75,375 died of disease
39,870 wounded

BRITISH E. 40,462
2,755 killed in action
1,847 died of wounds
17,580 died of disease
18,280 wounded

28 killed in action
2,138 died of disease
TOTAL 143,000 dead

25,000 killed in action
16,000 died of wounds
89,000 died from disease
80,000 wounded
Naval Operations

Crimean War — Battle sites and key locations in the Crimean War.

The Crimean War (French: Guerre de Crimée; Russian: Кры́мская война́, romanized: Krymskaya voyna or Russian: Восто́чная война́, romanized: Vostochnaya voyna, lit. 'Eastern War'; Turkish: Kırım Savaşı; Italian: Guerra di Crimea) was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a “greater confusion of purpose,” yet they led to a war noted for its “notoriously incompetent international butchery.”

While the churches worked out their differences and came to an agreement, Nicholas I of Russia and the French Emperor Napoleon III refused to back down. Nicholas issued an ultimatum that the Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Empire be placed under his protection. Britain attempted to mediate and arranged a compromise that Nicholas agreed to. When the Ottomans demanded changes, Nicholas refused and prepared for war. Having obtained promises of support from France and Britain, the Ottomans declared war on Russia in October 1853.

The war started in the Balkans in July 1853, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities[9] (now part of Romania), which were under Ottoman suzerainty, then began to cross the Danube. Led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the fort town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege, and a Turkish attempt to reinforce the garrison was destroyed by a Russian fleet at Sinop. Fearing an Ottoman collapse, France and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli. They then moved north to Varna in June 1854, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. Aside from a minor skirmish at Köstence (today Constanța), there was little for the allies to do.

Frustrated by the wasted effort, and with demands for action from their citizens, the allied force decided to attack Russia’s main naval base in the Black Sea at Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula. After extended preparations, the forces landed on the peninsula in September 1854 and marched their way to a point south of Sevastopol after the successful Battle of the Alma. The Russians counterattacked on 25 October in what became the Battle of Balaclava and were repulsed, but at the cost of seriously depleting the British Army forces. A second counterattack, at Inkerman, ended in stalemate. The front settled into a siege and led to brutal conditions for troops on both sides. Smaller military actions took place in the Baltic, the Caucasus, the White Sea, and the North Pacific.

Sevastopol fell after eleven months, and neutral countries began to join the Allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued, Russia sued for peace in March 1856. France and Britain welcomed this development, as the conflict was growing unpopular at home. The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856, ended the war. It forbade Russia from basing warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became largely independent. Christians there were granted a degree of official equality, and the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute.

The Crimean War was one of the first conflicts in which the military used modern technologies such as explosive naval shells, railways, and telegraphs. The war was one of the first to be documented extensively in written reports and photographs. As the legend of the “Charge of the Light Brigade” demonstrates, the war quickly became an iconic symbol of logistical, medical and tactical failures and mismanagement. The reaction in Britain was a demand for professionalisation, most famously achieved by Florence Nightingale, who gained worldwide attention for pioneering modern nursing while treating the wounded.

The Crimean War proved to be the moment of truth for Russia. The humiliation forced Russia's educated elites to identify the Empire’s problems and to recognize the need for fundamental reforms. They saw rapid modernization of the country as the sole way of it remaining a European power. Historians have studied the role of the Crimean War as a catalyst for the reforms of Russia's social institutions, including serfdom, justice, local self-government, education, and military service, which eventually led to the Russian Revolution and the civil war. More recently, scholars have also turned their attention to the impact of the Crimean War on the development of Russian nationalistic discourse.


Anniversary Tribute Ceremony, honouring the French soldiers who died in the Crimean War, in Constantinople (Instanbul), Frontpage of French newspaper Le Petit Parisien, September 6, 1908 , Private Collection.

Detail of Franz Roubaud's panoramic painting The Siege of Sevastopol (1904).


Crimean War (B)

Crimean War 1853-56 (B)

  • October 4, 1853 - February 1, 1856
  • A dispute between Russia and France over the privileges of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in the holy places in Palestine
  • Demands by Russia to exercise power over the Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman sultan
  • The destruction of a Turkish squadron at the seaport of Sinope in the Black Sea by a Russian fleet, which brought British and French fleets into the area to protect Turkish transports and ultimately brought those two countries into the conflict
  • The loss of Russian support for Austria since the latter country had supported Great Britain and France in the conflict, which contributed to Austrian defeats in 1859 and 1866 that, in turn, led to the unification of Italy and of Germany
  • Revolutionary new treatments of wounded soldiers spearheaded by British nurse Florence Nightingale that paved the way for later developments in battlefield medicine
  • The deaths of over 500,000 people, a disproportionate number of which were caused by disease
  • The realization of new Russian emperor Alexander II that his country needed to overcome its backwardness in order to compete with other European countries, beginning a modernization movement there

Crimean War — Battle sites and key locations in the Crimean War.

CrimeanSiege of Sevastopol — British forces firing upon Sevastopol, Russia; lithograph, 1855. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Crimean War, (October 1853–February 1856), war fought mainly on the Crimean Peninsula between the Russians and the British, French, and Ottoman Turkish, with support from January 1855 by the army of Sardinia-Piedmont. The war arose from the conflict of great powers in the Middle East and was more directly caused by Russian demands to exercise protection over the Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman sultan. Another major factor was the dispute between Russia and France over the privileges of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in the holy places in Palestine.

Supported by Britain, the Turks took a firm stand against the Russians, who occupied the Danubian principalities (modern Romania) on the Russo-Turkish border in July 1853. The British fleet was ordered to Constantinople (Istanbul) on September 23. On October 4 the Turks declared war on Russia and in the same month opened an offensive against the Russians in the Danubian principalities. After the Russian Black Sea fleet destroyed a Turkish squadron at Sinope, on the Turkish side of the Black Sea, the British and French fleets entered the Black Sea on January 3, 1854, to protect Turkish transports. On March 28 Britain and France declared war on Russia. To satisfy Austria and avoid having that country also enter the war, Russia evacuated the Danubian principalities. Austria occupied them in August 1854.

In September 1854 the allies landed troops in Russian Crimea, on the north shore of the Black Sea, and began a yearlong siege of the Russian fortress of Sevastopol. Major engagements were fought at the Alma River on September 20, at Balaklava on October 25 (commemorated in “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson), and at Inkerman on November 5. On January 26, 1855, Sardinia-Piedmont entered the war and sent 10,000 troops. Finally, on September 11, 1855, three days after a successful French assault on the Malakhov, a major strongpoint in the Russian defenses, the Russians blew up the forts, sank the ships, and evacuated Sevastopol. Secondary operations of the war were conducted in the Caucasus and in the Baltic Sea.

After Austria threatened to join the allies, Russia accepted preliminary peace terms on February 1, 1856. The Congress of Paris worked out the final settlement from February 25 to March 30. The resulting Treaty of Paris, signed on March 30, 1856, guaranteed the integrity of Ottoman Turkey and obliged Russia to surrender southern Bessarabia, at the mouth of the Danube. The Black Sea was neutralized, and the Danube River was opened to the shipping of all nations.

The Crimean War was managed and commanded very poorly on both sides. Disease accounted for a disproportionate number of the approximately 250,000 casualties lost by each side, and, when news of the deplorable conditions at the front reached the British public, nurse Mary Seacole petitioned the War Office for passage to Crimea. When she was refused, Seacole financed the trip to Balaklava herself and established the British Hotel, an officer’s club and convalescent home that she used as a base to treat the sick and wounded on the battlefield. Improvements made to the field hospital at Üsküdar by British nurse Florence Nightingale revolutionized the treatment of wounded soldiers and paved the way for later developments in battlefield medicine.

The war did not settle the relations of the powers in eastern Europe. It did awaken the new Russian emperor Alexander II (who succeeded Nicholas I in March 1855) to the need to overcome Russia’s backwardness in order to compete successfully with the other European powers. A further result of the war was that Austria, having sided with Great Britain and France, lost the support of Russia in central European affairs. Austria became dependent on Britain and France, which failed to support that country, leading to the Austrian defeats in 1859 and 1866 that, in turn, led to the unification of Italy and of Germany.


Crimean War
Encampment of the Horse Artillery, photograph taken by Roger Fenton during the Crimean War, 1855.

Crimean War
British soldiers leaving for the Crimean War, February 1854.

Battle of Balaklava
The charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava, Crimean War, October 25, 1854.

Nightingale, Florence; Barrack Hospital
Florence Nightingale at the Barrack Hospital in Scutari (Üsküdar), writing letters for wounded soldiers of the Crimean War, 1855.


📹 30th March 1856 — The Crimean War officially ends with the Treaty of Paris (VİDEO)

📹 30th March 1856 — The Crimean War officially ends with the Treaty of Paris (LINK)

Against a background of declining Ottoman power, Britain and France later joined the war to stop Russia gaining dominance around the Black Sea.

Having raged for two and a half years, with fighting mostly taking place around the Crimean Peninsula, the “notoriously incompetent international butchery” ended when Russia accepted preliminary peace terms after Austria mobilised with the opposing forces. The subsequent peace conference in Paris featured Russia on one side of the table and the alliance of Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia-Piedmont on the other.

The treaty guaranteed the independence and territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire, and sought to achieve that with the ‘neutralisation’ of the Black Sea. This denied military access to the waters and also restricted Russia and Turkey from building military fortifications on the coast. Furthermore, the Treaty of Paris restored the territory that each nation controlled to that which had existed before the war, while Russia was forced to abandon its attempts to protect the Ottoman Empire’s Christian subjects.

In reality the treaty only returned temporary stability to Europe. The Ottoman Empire failed to reform and so continued to crumble as nationalist sentiment grew. The larger ‘Eastern Question’ itself remained unsettled and, in 1877, Russia and the Ottoman Empire again went to war.


  The “Eastern Question”

The Eastern Question

The Eastern Question (W)

As the Ottoman Empire steadily weakened during the 19th century, Russia stood poised to take advantage by expanding south. In the 1850s, the British and the French, who were allied with the Ottoman Empire, were determined not to allow this to happen. A. J. P. Taylor argues that the war resulted not from aggression but from the interacting fears of the major players:

“In some sense the Crimean war was predestined and had deep-seated causes. Neither Nicholas I nor Napoleon III nor the British government could retreat in the conflict for prestige once it was launched. Nicholas needed a subservient Turkey for the sake of Russian security; Napoleon needed success for the sake of his domestic position; the British government needed an independent Turkey for the security of the Eastern Mediterranean ... Mutual fear, not mutual aggression, caused the Crimean war.” ( A.J.P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe: 1848-1918 (1954) pp. 60-61.)

Weakening of the Ottoman Empire in 1820-1840s

In the early 1800s, the Ottoman Empire suffered a number of setbacks which challenged the existence of the country. The Serbian Revolution in 1804 resulted in the self-liberation of the first Balkan Christian nation under the Ottoman Empire. The Greek War of Independence, which began in early 1821, provided further evidence of the internal and military weakness of the Ottoman Empire, and the commission of atrocities by Ottoman military forces (see Chios massacre) also undermined the Ottomans. The disbandment of the centuries-old Janissary corps by Sultan Mahmud II on 15 June 1826 (Auspicious Incident) helped the Ottoman Empire in the longer term, but in the short term it deprived the country of its existing standing army. In 1828, the allied Anglo-Franco-Russian fleet destroyed almost all the Ottoman naval forces during the Battle of Navarino. In 1830, Greece became an independent state after 10 years of war and the Russo-Turkish War (1828-29). According to the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople, Russian and Western European commercial ships were authorized to freely pass through the Black Sea straits, Serbia received autonomy, and the Danubian Principalities (Moldavia and Wallachia) became territories under Russian protection.

France took the opportunity to occupy Algeria in 1830. In 1831 Muhammad Ali of Egypt, who was the most powerful vassal of the Ottoman Empire, claimed independence. Ottoman forces were defeated in a number of battles, and the Egyptians were ready to capture Constantinople, which forced Sultan Mahmud II to seek Russian military aid. A Russian army of 10,000 landed on the Bosphorus shores in 1833 and helped to prevent the capture of Constantinople. As a result, the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi was signed, benefiting Russia greatly. It provided for a military alliance between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, if one of them were to be attacked, and a secret additional clause allowed the Ottomans to opt out of sending troops but to close the Straits to foreign warships if Russia was under threat.

In 1838 the situation was similar to 1831. Muhammad Ali of Egypt was not happy about his lack of control and power in Syria, and he resumed military action. The Ottoman Army lost to the Egyptians at the Battle of Nezib on 24 June 1839. The Ottoman Empire was saved by Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia, who signed a convention in London on 15 July 1840 granting Muhammad Ali and his descendants the right to inherit power in Egypt in exchange for removal of Egyptian armed forces from Syria and Lebanon. Moreover, Muhammad Ali had to admit a formal dependence to the Ottoman sultan. After Muhammad Ali refused to obey the requirements of the London convention, the allied Anglo-Austrian fleet blockaded the Nile Delta, bombarded Beirut and captured Acre. Muhammad Ali accepted the conditions of the London convention in 1840.

On 13 July 1841, after the expiry of the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, the London Straits Convention was signed under pressure from European countries. The new treaty deprived Russia of its right to block warships from passing into the Black Sea in case of war. Thus the way to the Black Sea was open for British and French warships in case of a possible Russo-Ottoman conflict.

It must be said that this fact confirms the statements of Russian historians about the absence of aggressive plans of Russia. Russian historian writes: "The signing of the documents was the result of deliberate decisions: instead of bilateral (none of the great powers recognized this Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi), the new Treaty of London was obligatory for all, it closed the Bosphorus and Dardanelles." (Vinogradov V.N. Lord Palmerston in European diplomacy. New and recent history. 2006.No. 5.)

Assistance from Western European powers had twice saved the Ottoman Empire from destruction, but the Ottomans had now lost their independence in external policy. Britain and France desired more than any other states to preserve the integrity of the Ottoman Empire because they did not want to see Russia gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea. Austria had fears for the same reasons. The travel writer Charles Boileau Elliott wrote about the conflicts and relationships between the Ottoman government, Russia, and the Tatars in his diary Travels In The Three Great Empires of Austria, Russia, and Turkey (1838). Even back during this time there was significant dispute about which governments should control the destiny of the Crimean Peninsula.

Russian expansionism

Russia, as a member of the Holy Alliance, had operated as the “police of Europe, ” maintaining the balance of power that had been established in the Treaty of Vienna in 1815. Russia had assisted Austria's efforts in suppressing the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and expected gratitude; it wanted a free hand in settling its problems with the Ottoman Empire, the “sick man of Europe.” Britain could not tolerate Russian dominance of Ottoman affairs, as that would challenge its domination of the eastern Mediterranean.

Starting with Peter the Great, after centuries of Ottoman northward expansion and Crimean-Nogai raids, Russia had been expanding southwards across the sparsely populated "Wild Fields" toward the warm water ports of the Black Sea, which did not freeze over like the handful of ports it controlled in the north. The goal was to promote year-round trade and a year-round navy. Pursuit of this goal brought the emerging Russian state into conflict with the Ukrainian Cossacks and then with the Tatars of the Crimean Khanate and Circassians. When Russia conquered these groups and gained possession of their territories, the Ottoman Empire lost its buffer zone against Russian expansion, and Russia and the Ottoman Empire came into direct conflict. The conflict with the Ottoman Empire also presented a religious issue of importance, as Russia saw itself as the protector of Orthodox Christians, many of whom lived under Ottoman control and were treated as second-class citizens.

Britain's immediate fear was Russian expansion at the expense of the Ottoman Empire, which Britain desired to preserve. The British were also concerned that Russia might make advances toward British India, or move toward Scandinavia or Western Europe. The Royal Navy also wanted to forestall the threat of a powerful Russian navy. Taylor says that from the British perspective:

“The Crimean war was fought for the sake of Europe rather than for the Eastern question; it was fought against Russia, not in favour of Turkey ... The British fought Russia out of resentment and supposed that her defeat would strengthen the European Balance of Power.” (A.J.P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe: 1848–1918 (1954) p. 61.)

Because of "British commercial and strategic interests in the Middle East and India",[23] the British joined the French, "cement[ing] an alliance with Britain and ... reassert[ing] its military power".[23]

British historian Orlando Figes wrote that Mikhail Pogodin, professor of history at Moscow University, "had been asked by Nicholas to give his thoughts on Russia’s policy towards the Slavs in the war against Turkey. His answer was a detailed survey of Russia’s relations with the European powers which was filled with grievances against the West. The memorandum clearly struck a chord with Nicholas, who shared Pogodin’s sense that Russia’s role as the protector of the Orthodox had not been recognized or understood and that Russia was unfairly treated by the West. Nicholas especially approved of the following passage" (Figes, Orlando (2011). The Crimean War: A History. Henry Holt and Company. p. 134. ISBN 978-1429997249).

“France takes Algeria from Turkey, and almost every year England annexes another Indian principality: none of this disturbs the balance of power; but when Russia occupies Moldavia and Wallachia, albeit only temporarily, that disturbs the balance of power. France occupies Rome and stays there several years during peacetime: that is nothing; but Russia only thinks of occupying Constantinople, and the peace of Europe is threatened. The English declare war on the Chinese, who have, it seems, offended them: no one has the right to intervene; but Russia is obliged to ask Europe for permission if it quarrels with its neighbor. England threatens Greece to support the false claims of a miserable Jew and burns its fleet: that is a lawful action; but Russia demands a treaty to protect millions of Christians, and that is deemed to strengthen its position in the East at the expense of the balance of power. We can expect nothing from the West but blind hatred and malice... (comment in the margin by Nicholas I: ‘This is the whole point’).”

— Mikhail Pogodin's memorandum to Nicholas I, 1853


It is often said that Russia was militarily weak, technologically backward and administratively incompetent. Despite its grand ambitions toward the south, it had not built its railway network in that direction, and communications were poor. The bureaucracy was riddled with graft, corruption and inefficiency and was unprepared for war. Its navy was weak and technologically backward; its army, although very large, suffered from colonels who pocketed their men's pay, from poor morale, and from a technological deficit relative to Britain and France. By the war's end, the profound weaknesses of the Russian armed forces were readily apparent, and the Russian leadership was determined to reform it.

Immediate causes of the war

The French emperor Napoleon III’s ambition to restore the grandeur of France initiated the immediate chain of events leading to France and Britain declaring war on Russia on 27 and 28 March 1854, respectively. He pursued Roman Catholic support by asserting France’s “sovereign authority” over the Christian population of Palestine, to the detriment of Russia (the sponsor of Eastern Orthodoxy). To achieve this, in May 1851, Napoleon appointed the Marquis Charles de La Valette (a zealous leading member of the Catholic "clerical party") as his ambassador to the Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire.

Russia disputed this attempted change in authority. Referencing two previous treaties (one from 1757, and the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca from 1774), the Ottomans reversed their earlier decision, renouncing the French treaty, and declaring that Russia was the protector of the Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire.

Napoleon III responded with a show of force, sending the ship of the line Charlemagne to the Black Sea, thereby violating the London Straits Convention. This gunboat diplomacy show of force, together with money, induced the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I to accept a new treaty, confirming France and the Roman Catholic Church's supreme authority over Catholic holy places, including the Church of the Nativity, previously held by the Greek Orthodox Church.

Tsar Nicholas I then deployed his 4th and 5th army corps along the River Danube in Wallachia, as a direct threat to the Ottoman lands south of the river. He had Count Karl Nesselrode, his foreign minister, undertake talks with the Ottomans. Nesselrode confided to Sir George Hamilton Seymour, the British ambassador in Saint Petersburg:

“[The dispute over the holy places] had assumed a new character — that the acts of injustice towards the Greek church which it had been desired to prevent had been perpetrated and consequently that now the object must be to find a remedy for these wrongs. The success of French negotiations at Constantinople was to be ascribed solely to intrigue and violence—violence which had been supposed to be the ultima ratio of kings, being, it had been seen, the means which the present ruler of France was in the habit of employing in the first instance.(Royle, Trevor (2000). Crimea: The Great Crimean War, 1854–1856. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-6416-8).

As conflict emerged over the issue of the holy places, Nicholas I and Nesselrode began a diplomatic offensive, which they hoped would prevent either British or French interference in any conflict between Russia and the Ottomans, as well as to prevent an anti-Russian alliance of the two.

Nicholas began courting Britain by means of conversations with the British ambassador, George Hamilton Seymour, in January and February 1853. Nicholas insisted that he no longer wished to expand Imperial Russia but that he had an obligation to the Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire. The Tsar next dispatched a highly abrasive diplomat, Prince Menshikov, on a special mission to the Ottoman Sublime Porte in February 1853. By previous treaties, the sultan was committed "to protect the (Eastern Orthodox) Christian religion and its churches". Menshikov demanded a Russian protectorate over all 12 million Orthodox Christians in the Empire, with control of the Orthodox Church's hierarchy. A compromise was reached regarding Orthodox access to the Holy Land, but the Sultan, strongly supported by the British ambassador, rejected the more sweeping demands.

The British and French sent in naval task forces to support the Ottomans, as Russia prepared to seize the Danubian Principalities.


First hostilities

In February 1853, the British government of Lord Aberdeen, the prime minister, re-appointed Stratford Canning as British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Having resigned the ambassadorship in January, he had been replaced by Colonel Rose as chargé d'affaires. Lord Stratford then turned around and sailed back to Constantinople, arriving there on 5 April 1853. There he convinced the Sultan to reject the Russian treaty proposal, as compromising the independence of the Turks. The Leader of the Opposition in the British House of Commons, Benjamin Disraeli, blamed Aberdeen and Stratford's actions for making war inevitable, thus starting the process which forced the Aberdeen government to resign in January 1855, over the war.

Shortly after he learned of the failure of Menshikov's diplomacy toward the end of June 1853, the Tsar sent armies under the commands of Field Marshal Ivan Paskevich and General Mikhail Gorchakov across the River Pruth into the Ottoman-controlled Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Fewer than half of the 80,000 Russian soldiers who crossed the Pruth in 1853 survived. By far, most of the deaths would result from sickness rather than action, for the Russian army still suffered from medical services that ranged from bad to none.

Russia had obtained recognition from the Ottoman Empire of the Tsar's role as special guardian of the Orthodox Christians in Moldavia and Wallachia. Now Russia used the Sultan's failure to resolve the issue of the protection of the Christian sites in the Holy Land as a pretext for Russian occupation of these Danubian provinces. Nicholas believed that the European powers, especially Austria, would not object strongly to the annexation of a few neighbouring Ottoman provinces, especially considering that Russia had assisted Austria's efforts in suppressing the 1848 Hungarian Revolution in 1849.

In July 1853, the Tsar sent his troops into the Danubian Principalities. The United Kingdom, hoping to maintain the Ottoman Empire as a bulwark against the expansion of Russian power in Asia, sent a fleet to the Dardanelles, where it joined another fleet sent by France.

Sultan Abdulmecid I declared war on Russia and proceeded to the attack, his armies moving on the Russian Army near the Danube later that month. Russia and the Ottoman Empire massed forces on two main fronts, the Caucasus and the Danube. Ottoman leader Omar Pasha managed to achieve some victories on the Danubian front. In the Caucasus, the Ottomans were able to stand ground with the help of Chechen Muslims led by Imam Shami.

Battle of Sinop

The European powers continued to pursue diplomatic avenues. The representatives of the four neutral Great Powers (the United Kingdom, France, Austria and Prussia) met in Vienna, where they drafted a note that they hoped would be acceptable to both the Russians and the Ottomans. The peace terms arrived at by the four powers at the Vienna Conference (1853) were delivered to the Russians by the Austrian Foreign Minister Count Karl von Buol on 5 December 1853. The note met with the approval of Nicholas I, but Abdülmecid I rejected the proposal, feeling that the document's poor phrasing left it open to many different interpretations. The United Kingdom, France and Austria united in proposing amendments to mollify the Sultan, but the court of St. Petersburg ignored their suggestions. The United Kingdom and France then set aside the idea of continuing negotiations, but Austria and Prussia did not believe that the rejection of the proposed amendments justified the abandonment of the diplomatic process.

On 23 November, the Russian convoy of 3 battle ships discovered the Ottoman fleet harbored in Sinop harbor. Along with the additional 5 battle ships, in the Battle of Sinop on 30 November 1853, they destroyed a patrol squadron of 11 Ottoman battle ships while they were anchored in port under defense of the onshore artillery garrison. The United Kingdom and French press shaped the public opinion to demand the war. Both used Sinop as the casus belli ("act of war") for declaring war against Russia. On 28 March 1854, after Russia ignored an Anglo-French ultimatum to withdraw from the Danubian Principalities, the UK and France declared war.


Britain was concerned about Russian activity and Sir John Burgoyne, senior advisor to Lord Aberdeen, urged that the Dardanelles should be occupied and works of sufficient strength built to block any Russian move to capture Constantinople and gain access to the Mediterranean Sea. The Corps of Royal Engineers sent men to the Dardanelles, while Burgoyne went to Paris, meeting the British Ambassador and the French Emperor. Lord Cowley wrote on 8 February to Burgoyne, "Your visit to Paris has produced a visible change in the Emperor's views, and he is making every preparation for a land expedition in case the last attempt at negotiation should break down."

Burgoyne and his team of engineers inspected and surveyed the Dardanelles area in February, and were fired on by Russian riflemen when they went to Varna. A team of sappers arrived in March, and major building works commenced on a seven-mile line of defence designed to block the Gallipoli peninsula. French sappers were working on one half of the line, which was finished in May.

Peace attempts

Nicholas felt that, because of Russian assistance in suppressing the Hungarian revolution of 1848, Austria would side with him, or at the very least remain neutral. Austria, however, felt threatened by the Russian troops in the Balkans. On 27 February 1854, the United Kingdom and France demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from the principalities. Austria supported them, and, though it did not declare war on Russia, it refused to guarantee its neutrality. Russia's rejection of the ultimatum proved to be the justification used by Britain and France to enter the war.

Russia soon withdrew its troops from the Danubian principalities, which were then occupied by Austria for the duration of the war.[37] This removed the original grounds for war, but the UK and France continued with hostilities. Determined to address the Eastern Question by putting an end to the Russian threat to the Ottoman Empire, the allies in August 1854 proposed the "Four Points" for ending the conflict, in addition to the Russian withdrawal:

  • Russia was to give up its protectorate over the Danubian Principalities;
  • The Danube was to be opened up to foreign commerce;
  • The Straits Convention of 1841, which allowed only Ottoman and Russian warships in the Black Sea, was to be revised;
  • Russia was to abandon any claim granting it the right to interfere in Ottoman affairs on behalf of Orthodox Christians.

These points (particularly the third) would require clarification through negotiation, but Russia refused to negotiate. The allies including Austria therefore agreed that Britain and France should take further military action to prevent further Russian aggression against the Ottoman Empire. Britain and France agreed on the invasion of the Crimean peninsula as the first step.




“Crimean War - Huts And Warm Clothing For The Army,” William Simpson.

“Crimean War First Shot of the War, 6 April (1854),” Richard Henry Nibbs.

“Crimean War, Sir William Ramsay Fairfax (1831–1902), 2nd Bt, of Maxton, as a Colonel in the Crimean War.”

Greek volunteers in Sevastopol, 1854 (Greek battalion during the siege of Sevastopol).

Bombardment of Bomarsund during the Crimean War, after William Simpson.

A tinted lithograph by William Simpson illustrating conditions of the sick and injured in Balaklava.



📹 Crimean War Part 1 — Animated History (VİDEO)

📹 Crimean War Part 1 — Animated History (LINK)


📹 ottoman crimean war --1 Scene from Charge of light brigade (1936) (VİDEO)

📹 Scene from Charge of light brigade (1936) (1) (LINK)


The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. Lord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to prevent the Russians from removing captured guns from overrun Turkish positions, a task well-suited to light cavalry.

However, there was miscommunication in the chain of command, and the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire. They reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, but they were forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.

The events are best remembered as the subject of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's narrative poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1854), published just six weeks after the event. Its lines emphasise the valour of the cavalry in bravely carrying out their orders, regardless of the obvious outcome. Blame for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the original order itself was vague, and the officer who delivered the written orders with some verbal interpretation died in the first minute of the assault.

The Battle of Balaclava, fought on 25 October 1854 during the Crimean War, was part of Siege of Sevastopol to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia's principal naval base on the Black Sea.



📹 Scene from Charge of light brigade (2) (1936) (VİDEO)

📹 Scene from Charge of light brigade (2) (1936) (LINK)


📹 Scene from Charge of light brigade (1936) (3) (VİDEO)

📹 Scene from Charge of light brigade (1936) (3) (LINK)



📹 Charge of the Light Brigade | Animated History (VİDEO)

📹 Charge of the Light Brigade | Animated History (LINK)


📹 Crimean war — Крымская война (Battle of Balaclava — Балаклавская битва) 1853 (VİDEO)

📹 Crimean war — Крымская война (Battle of Balaclava — Балаклавская битва) 1853 (LINK)

Movie: Charge of the Light Brigade (1968).


📹 France in Crimean War (Battle of Malakoff) (8 Eylül 1855) (VİDEO)

📹 France in Crimean War (Battle of Malakoff) 8 Eylül 1855 (LINK)

The Battle of Malakoff was a major battle during the Crimean War, fought between French forces against Russia on 8 September 1855 as a part of the Siege of Sevastopol. The French army under General MacMahon successfully stormed the Malakoff redoubt, whereas a simultaneous British attack on the Redan to the south of the Malakoff was repulsed. In one of the war's defining moments, the French zouave, Eugène Libaut raised the French flag on the top of the Russian redoubt. The Battle of Malakoff resulted in the fall of Sevastopol on 9 September, bringing the 11-month siege to an end. After the Defeat of Russian Forces and subsequent fall of Sevastpol, Russian Empire sued for peace with the allies in 30 March 1856.




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