The Russian/Terrible Winter 1854/55 (Crimean War)

Revisions cards for the Russian Winter

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  • Created by: Rachel
  • Created on: 08-04-09 08:56


  • Sir James Filder, commisseriat, was only told in November that the army would be wintering in the Crimea- didn't have time to make necessary preparations
  • Lord Raglan had complacently assumed that they would be wintering Sebastopol
  • The weather was terrible, and the bad road from the port to the army camps was made almost impassable
  • Supplies were already minimal before the storm- there was only ever enough for day-to-day use
  • The harbour was small and could only allow a certain number of ships in at once
  • Poor organisation and communication between departments providing supplies, equipment etc led to confusion.
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The Storm

  • The government had made preparations for the winter, and sent ships with supplies over in october 1854
  • There was a huge storm, and thousands of supplies and pieces of equipment were lost
  • The harbour was awash with cargo
  • Captain Christies refused to allow any more ships into the harbour despite the fact there was room- leading to the loss of more supplies at sea
  • Men in their tents were lashed by gale force winds and freezing temperatures made life hell
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The effects on the men

  • 1/3 of the British army died- most of which were in hospitals
  • Tents, clothing and food froze
  • Disease and malnutrition common
  • Men had to weather gale force winds in their tents
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The Reaction in Britain

From November 1853, the Times hadbeen reporting the truth about the Crimea back to the public, spearheaded by Russell's reports.

  • Sir Robert Peel sent £200 to the times to buy comforts for the troops. This bean the "Crimean Fund", which eventually rose to a total of £7,000
  • The winter challenged public complacency
  • The Queen raised concerns over the welfare of her men- Lord Raglan assured her that everything that oculd possible be done to ensure their comfrot was being done. slightly untrue??

By spring, the administrative mess had started to reduce and supplies and organisation had improved.

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