Experience of Warfare 1854- 29

Summary of Edexcel book.


Causes of the Crimean War 1854- 56

  • Power, Fear and Control
  • Britain needed Russia not to hold the Turkish Empire in order to keep trade routes.
  • Trade routes for Britain were being threatened in India by the Russian armys advance through Afghanistan. Also short overland routes were being threatened by the prospect of Russian control of the Eastern Med (black sea)
  • Russia wanted Ice Free ports
  • Nicholas II wanted the Turkish Empire as it was weak and likely to collapse
  • Early 1853 Menshikov (sent by Nicholas II) went to Constantinople his demands were rejected. To get what they wanted Russia threatened Turkey with invasion by Troops.
  • On 5th October 1853 the Turkish Sultan declared war on Russia as he expected Britain and France to help him. This had something to do with a dispute over who held the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Turkish Sultun sided with the Catholics, hence getting France and Britains alliance against Russia (orthodox christains).
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The War Reportage of Roger Fenton and William Russ

Roger Fenton (1819 ~ 1869)

  • Founded the Royal Photographic society in 1853
  • He photographed Queen Victorias family several times
  • Thomas Agnew and sons of Manchester wanted to produce an album of photo's of the crimean war. Roger Fenton was instructed not to take photographs of any battles or moving scenes.
  • His photographhs were used as an offset to the negativity of William Russells accounts for the Times
  • Technology didn't allow him to take pictures of moving objects, slightly limiting in a war!b

William Russell (1820 ~ 1907)

  • Corrospondent for the Times newspaper
  • He was the first proffessional journalist to cover a war. He didn't have permission to go to the crimea from the amry or the government.
  • He exposed appalling conditions and administrative incompetence.
  • Not all William Russels accounts can be seen to be 100% accurate and sources suggest that he wasn't present at many of the battles and he was very anti turk and french.
  • Did much to sway the publics opinion against the war and for reform.
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Significance of the 'Charge of the Light Brigade'

Battle of Balaclava, 25th October 1854

The Thin Red Line

  • The 93rd Highland regiment lend by commander Sir Colin Campbell halted the advances of the Russians by forming a long line, two men deep. Traditionally infantry form a square.
  • William Russell watched this attack and wrote that only a 'thin red streak tipped with a line of steal' stood between the Russian cavalry and the defenceless British Base of Balaclava.

The charge of the Light Brigade

  • Lord Raglan ordered Lord Lucan to stop the Russians moving captured cannons from the causeway Heights.
  • Lord Raglan gave a written order to captain Nolan, but the captains explantation and arm gesture gave the wrong impression to Lord Lucan, which ended in him ordering his cavalry into the wrong valley.
  • Lord Cardigan led his men into the valley and it is said that almost immediatly Nolan charged to the front to inform Cardigan of the blunder but he was killed by an artillery shell.
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Conditions under which the men fought in the Crime

Russian winter, January 1855

  • Only just enough food to keep the soldiers alive and they lacked suitable clothing and decent accomodation.
  • British soldiers were finding it hard to keep open the trenches in the cold weather.

There was a general lack of supplies during the war and there was poor medical support and a lot of overcrowding when being treated.

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Problems of supplying the troops


  • The track for the supplies to be taken up from the port was impassable when raining so during the winter this would have been harder.
  • London government had more foresight than the military commanders, from August they had been gathering supplies for the winter and in October sent ships to the Crimea carrying the necessary supplies.
  • Lord Cardigan was spending 4 to 5 days a week on his yacht, wasn't bothered about the situation, and wouldn't let the light brigade move to balaclava where the horses could be fed, or let any of the horses be killed unless they had a broken leg or incurable disease, this led to the death of many of the horses through slow starvation.
  • In November, the crimea was hit by a storm, british army were badly affected and many of the supplies arriving on the ships were lost including the ship 'prince' that was carrying all the warm clothes. Also 22 boats were made to ride off the storm outside of the harbour, they could of entered as there was room but the port authorities refused, this meant that many critical supllies failed to arrive on time.

As spring approached the problems improved and supplies began to arrive more frequently.

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Reaction to these problems in Britain


  • The British public sent money to the times newspaper so that more supplies could be sent to the Crimean, this formed the basis of The Times 'Crimea fund'
  • Queen Victoria was deeply concerned about the situation of the army, and had put her faith in Lord Raglan making sure the soldiers were kept ok.
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Medical services and supplies availble in the Crim

  • February 1853, the army medical department and the ordnance medical department joined together.
  • Doctor Smith and his small department has to create a war ready department from scratch.
  • Doctor Smith was wrongly told that the British force would consist of some 10,000 men. At this point he had no wagons to transport the wounded or stretcher bearers or doctors.
  • Colonel Tulloch solved the problem of stretcher bearers by making up his staff from army pensioners.
  • Lord Raglan coursed a major problem as he believed that the space on the boats was better used for troops rather than medical assistants, ended up with 4 doctors per 100 men.
  • Problems the same as with the supplies occured, many supplies were misplaced and when found unable to be used.
  • Main form of treatment was the amputation of limbs but had a 25% liklihood of death due to shock/infection.
  • The biggest problem for the medical services was the provision of clean water and sanitation, which led to lice infestation, typhus, typhoid, dysentery and cholera.
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Significance, in the Crimea and in Britain, of the

Florence Nightingale

  • She had 2 powerful friends (sidney herburt and his wife) who invited her to lead the staff at the scutari barrack hospital.
  • She was accompanied to the Crimea by a team of 38 nurses in novemeber 1854.
  • British public saw her as the 'angel of mercy'.
  • Her greatest achievement was raising nursing to a level of being a respectable proffession for women.
  • In 1860 she opened the Nightingale training school for nurses at St Thomas's Hospital in London.
  • Florence worked in hard conditions and with very limited supplies. There was a great lack of cleanliness that other staff didn't appear to find of any significance to the result of disease.
  • It is said that Florence put a great deal of care into looking after the troops and often went without sleep, other sources say that the state of the hospitals weren't as bad as she made out they were when she arrived.
  • Florence wrote letters of complaint about the staff that were sent to work with her, but she received no sympathy from there boss, it seems that Florence expected rather more than was possible to achieve.
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Significance, in the Crimea and in Britain, of the

Mary Seacole

  • Units from Jamaica were fighting in the Crimean war, this triggered her decision to travel to london with recommendations from Jamaican doctors to offer her services as a nurse. She was turned down so then made her own passage to the Crimean, and with a relative sent up a company called 'Seacole and Day' to purchase stores and provisions.
  • She learnt her nursing skills from her mother.
  • She set up a British Hotel close the front line in Balaclava where she provided food and provisions for troops. She also dealt with the wounded and dying on the battlefield.
  • Mary returned to England, bankrupt at the end of the war, where funds were raised by the public, soldiers and ex soldiers to support her, she then wrote a book and the royalties of this kept her in her old age.
  • She received great results from all the causulties she helped and wasn't really concerned with the danger she put herself in in many situations.
  • William Russel was an enthusiastic supporter of Mary Seacole.
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Reaction in Britain to the peace of Paris

  • On the 30th March 1856 the peace treaty was signed in Paris. It stated that Russia retained Sebastopol, the black sea was to remain neutral, the river danube was open to international shipping, the sultan declared he was prepared to improve the conditions of all christians within the ottoman empire.
  • Throughout the treaty Britain had wanted to hold out for tougher terms.
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Development of the nursing proffession

  • On 29th November 1855, Sidney Herbert decided to launch a national appeal for subscriptions to the 'Nightingale Fund'. His aim was to raise enough money to support her and his scheme to improve standards of female nursing.
  • Queen Victoria sent Florence Nightingale an inscribed diamond brooch and an invitation to visit when she returned to Britian.
  • Herbert wrote to Nightingale telling her of the money he had raised and the plans he had for her, she replied telling him that she would but she needed to finish the work that she was currently doing.
  • Mrs Sarah Wardroper, Matron of St Thomas's became the head of Florence Nightingales new school.
  • Nightingale didn't want much to do with the schemes after they were set up and used her health as an excuse not to participate in much of the running of her school of nursing.
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Changes to British institutions: the army

  • In February 1855, the governement ordered Sir John Mcneil and Colonel Alexander Tulloch to go out to the Crimea to investigate the mismanagment of supplies. They were to investigate how the supplies were obtained and sent out and to make further enquiry into the alleged delay in unshipping and distrabuting the clothing and other stores supplied for the use of the troops.
  • When the report was published, civillian mismangement was exposed as well as military negligence.

Cardwell army reforms 1870 ~71

  • A series of Acts were agreed in Parliament proposed by the secretary for wwar, Edward Cardwell. These included military departments being combined under one roof, the country was divided into local regiment districts ~ two battalion regiments one to serve and train at home and the other to serve overseas, the length of overseas service was halved to 6yrs, the purchase of comissions was abolished and soldiers could choose to spend time in reserves rather than in regular service.

Civil Service: In 1870 competitice examination replaced the traditional method of patronage as a way of entering the civil serive. The change improved efficiency and brainpower of the upper ranks.

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Attitudes of the British public and politicians to

Boer War:

  • It came about because the British government refused to remove troops from the boers borders, and was mainly to do with whether South Africa was to become part of the British Empire or part of a Dutch Republic.
  • The Dutch had seized the tip of South Africa in the 17th century, throughout the next 2 centuries dutch settlers moved in, fanning out northwards driving the native people away and had clashes with the black Bantu tribes.
  • Britain owned the cape and they were doing the as the dutch settlers.
  • First Boer war: Also known as the Trannsval war was a relatively brief conflict in which the boer settlers successfully resisted a British attempt to annex the trannsval and reestablish an independent republic.
  • New tensions arose following the discovery of gold deposits in the transval in 1886. The motive for the boer war was GOLD.
  • Britain after the discovery of gold in the Transval, Britain was worried that this could mean independance for them.
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Structure of the British Army in 1899

  • Its numbers had increased slightly and Cardwells reforms had made the army some what more effecient.
  • The British army was a remarkably small force with to govern the worlds largest empire.
  • Militia: 65,000 men which did 28 days training a year attached to one of the regular regiments.
  • A volunteer cavalry called 'yeomantry' whose main function other than socialising, was the maintenance of internal security.
  • 'Tommy' made up of men from working class backgrounds
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Summarry of repoters the Boer, Crimean and first w

  • Boer:
    • Rudyard Kipling
    • The stories in the Mail were tampered with to increase sales of the paper.
    • William Spencer Churchill, author for the morning post.
    • Lord Rosslyn, wrote for the Daily Mail
    • The papers were overwhemingly in favour of conflict
    • H.W massingham, the editor of the Chronicle was pro boer
    • E.T Cook and the Daily news supported the war as well.
  • Crimean:
    • Roger Fenton, Photographer, worked for T.Agnew and son, was told to take pictures of non moving scenes.
    • William Russell, war corrospondent for the Times, was very anti turk and french, wasn't present in the crimea during the 1855 winter
  • First World War:
    • Colonel Swinton, was to send info back from the front line, this would be vetted by kitchener and then published under the name 'Eyewitness'
    • Colonel Repington, corrospondent for the Times.
    • Haig had a distast for journalism
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