Crimea War 1854 - 56

Notes on required knowledge on the Crimean War for the sources paper on the Edexcel exam board

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Causes of the war:
It was about control and power
Russian empire was increasing and threatening the dominance of the
British Empire, in particular British interests in India.
Their route to India, involved cutting through the Black Sea and action
was believed to be necessary when Tsar of Russia: Nicola I: wanted to
carve up the Turkish Empire. He also stated that he needed to protect
the interests of the Greek orthodoc Christians in the Turkish Empire.
French soldiers were billetd, and then British, where they moved to
Constinantinpole and then to Scutari.
A lot of support: tax was increased: and Lord Ralglan was ordered to
invade the Crimea.
Conditions under which the men fought
Horrific winters: 1855.
Lacked clothes and decent accomadation, tents had frozen and many
Significance of the charge of the Light Brigade
Battle of Alma: September 1854: Cholera took its toll on many of the
Fr/Br troops, if the allies were defeated it would be the end of the
Crimean adventure, if the allies won it would open advance on
Sebastopol: whole object of the campaign: they won.
Battle of Balaclava: October 1854:
i. The Thin Red Line: not traditional, formed a long line, which
Russell described from the hills as a `thin red streak'.
ii. The charge of the Light Brigade: Lord Raglan (given command
of British troops despite his lack of experience) ordered Lord
Lucan (cavalry commander), to stop the Russians however due to
confusion amongst the commanders verbal explanation and
gestures, Lucan sent the Light Brigade up the wrong valley:
harsh battle and many died.
The war reportage of Roger Fenton and William Russell
Roger Fenton: Photogapher, who Queen Victoria was very fond of.
He was instructed not to photograph the horrors of the war (dead
bodies), and the techonology did not allow him to anyway. In addition,
he was using his photos primarily to gain a profit and his target
audiences were soldiers and their families.
Arrived in Balaclava in 1855 and took about 400 photos.
He exhibited them later on and was very popular.
William Russell: Worked as a correspondent for `The Times'.
He was the first professional journalist to cover a war and went with
He helped Florence Nightingale receive more women

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His frankness shocked Victorian England and influenced many against
the war and in favour of reform.
Talked about the military mismanagement & administrative
incompetance and contrasted to the romantic heroism.
It undermined the government and destroyed the reputation of Lord
Raglan (Commander-in-chief) shattering patroitism.
However... bias? He was anti-Turk and anti-French, and was absent
during the harsh Crimean winter.…read more

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She was accompanied with a team of 38 nurses (selected with diiferent
religious backgrounds to keep a balance).
She was later praised an honoured by the public for improving
conditions and they saw her as a `angel of mercy'.
She helped call for the `Sanitary commission'.
In later life, she set up the `Nightingale Training School', and also printed
a book.
Came from a wealthy background, but became a nurse off her own back.…read more

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Queen Victoria sent her a diamond brooch, she now had enough money
to train nurses fit for employment
Some believe however, that she wanted little to do with it and it was
Herbert that forced her from resigning.…read more


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