The Crimean War

AS History Unit 2

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  • Russophobia
  • Russia's empire expanding east
  • Britain worried about Indian influences
  • Russia wanted Turkish Empire and Black Sea exits
  • France's relationship with Russia poor due to dispute concerning Catholic and Orthodox Monks
  • Battle of Sinope Nov. 1853- Russia destroyed a Turkish fleet
  • Tsar ordered troops into Moldavia and Wallachia
  • 5th April 1854- Brit troops arrived
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How did the war begin?

  • By Mid May, C-in-C Lord Raglan ordered Anglo-French troops sail to Varna
  • Mid-June Russian troops retreating
  • War could have ended here as Russia no longer threat to Turks
  • Yet, Britain and France convinced they should take Sebastopol
  • War popular amongst public, wanted its continuation
  • 23rd June- Brit government ordered Lord Raglan to invade the Crimea
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Battle of Alma

  • 19th Sept.- Brit soldiers began to march towards Sebostapol
  • Russian Commander decided not to attack until allied forces reach River Alma
  • Russian troops had higher ground
  • French Commander and Raglan discussed strategy but language differences caused problems
  • Despite this, Allies successful
  • 6000 Russian casualties, 600 French, 2000 British
  • Road to Sebastopol now lay open
  • Allied Commanders decided to march around city to secure bases at Balaclava
  • This gave time for Russia to build up defences
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Battle of Balaclava

  • Russians tried to cut off British supply base at Balaclava
  • 25th October- Russian cavalry stopped by 93rd Highlanders
  • Campbell had oredered his men to stand in one line, two men deep (thin red line)
  • Russians then routed by Lucan's heavy cavalry brigade, driving them back
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Charge of the Light Brigade

  • Lord Ragaln ordered Lucan to stop Russians from removing captured cannons
  • Commanders confused by Nolan's explanation
  • Consequently, Light Brigade sent up wrong valley into hands of Russians
  • Resulted in approx 400 Brit deaths
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Battle of Inkerman

  •  5th Nov, Russians launched attack at Inkerman
  • Very confused battle
  • Litttle Command (the soldiers' battle)
  • Both sides suffered heavy casualties
  • Russian's driven off
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Russian Winter

  • Brit and France not prepared for conditions- worst Jan 1855
  • Lack of food, clothing and poor accomodation
  • Size of army gradually diminishing
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Impact of War Reports

  • Russel gave graphic discriptions
  • Undermined Government and military leaders such as Raglan
  • End of Nov. The Times launched campaign to bring military mismanagement to public attention
  • Campaing successful and following a vote of no confidence PM Aberdeen replaced by PM Palmerston
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Troops and their supplies

  • Brit army struggles to keep troops with sufficient supplies
  • Balaclava so small only few ships could dock at a time
  • Road from harbour to camp almost impassable
  • Horses stuggled with snow
  • Lack of shelter and transport
  • Lord Cardigan refused to let camp be moved closer to Balaclava- would be easier
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The Great Storm

  • Hit Russia in winter 1854-5
  • Britain saw its tents, hospitals and barracks be ripped apart and supplies destroyed
  • Many ships sank including Prince holding almost all clothing ordered
  • Ships holding horse fodder sank making transport more difficult
  • Harbour Master- Captain Chrissie blamed for not allowing more ships in when there was space
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Improvements by Spring

  • The Times Crimea fund helped raise finances some from Queen
  • Turkish labour employed for construction work
  • Railway completed from Balaclava
  • Transport borrowed from french and mules from spanish
  • Food provided by Malta and France
  • Sport organised in the camps
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  • Medics had difficulty providing clean water and sanitation
  • Caused diseases
  • Lead to lice, infection, dysentery and chloera in hospitals
  • Brits suffered 18,058 casualties during the war, approx 16,000 from disease
  • Winter 1854-5 1/3 of soldiers died
  • Men left in corridoors
  • Communication poor and supplies lost
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The Sanitary Commission

  • Sent out to assess conditions at Scutari
  • Made improvements leading to significant reduction in death rates
  • Discovered Scutari hospital was positioned above cesspool
  • Cesspool dug out and drained
  • Death rate reduced from 42 per 1000 in March 1855 to 2 per 1000 in June
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Peace of Paris

  • Following bad losses at the Battle of Redan, the French captured Fort Malakov forcing Russians to evacuate Sevastopol
  • Peace of Paris signed 30th March 1856

Treaty terms:

  • Black Sea neutralised
  • Russia forced to scrap Black Sea Fleet and demolish Sevastopol fortifications
  • Moldovia and Wallachia gained autonomy within Turkish Empire
  • River Danube made international waterway
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Cardwell Army Reforms

  • Gladestone made PM 1856
  • Military departments accumulated to become war office
  • Country divided into local districts with 2 battalions- one overseas
  • Overseas service cut from 12 to 6 years
  • Purchase of commissions abolished
  • C-in-C resonsible to S-F-W and parliament
  • Floggings of soldiers in peacetime forbidden
  • Soldiers can spend time in reserves as long as they train annually and available in emergencies
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Dale McNerlin


Well made :D

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