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 (1800-1915) Pre-WWI
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SonOfTheMightyEighth
Astoria NY USA
Posts: 6
Joined: 2022
Crimean War
1/1/2023 12:30:14 PM
I was wondering if other people realized that the Crimean War was the first war to be photographed. It was also the first war to feature war correspondents. It was also the first appearance of Florence Nightingale in a war setting. It was also the advent of knitted wool caps that covered the ears and neck, aptly called balaclavas after the battlefield. The war also launched the literary career of a young artillery officer defending Sevastopol, named Leo Tolstoy. After the Crimean War, the Czarist government was in desperate need of funds so the decided to sell a piece of Russian territory to the United States. This was Alaska and it’s rather interesting that Putin’ Russia is making wave about repatriation.
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 181
Joined: 2020
Crimean War
1/1/2023 7:46:32 PM

Group,


Also early use of railroads, but not first; electric telegraph; field hospitals, French and British armed with Minie Rifles.

None of these were ACW firsts.

yours,
Mike_C.
mikecmaps
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 742
Joined: 2005
Crimean War
1/1/2023 8:28:44 PM
For those interested in Logistics and its importance in war, The Crimean War is an excellent example of unpreparedness and mismanagement.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3076
Joined: 2010
Crimean War
1/2/2023 7:47:07 AM
Also present at the siege of Sevastopol was a young american officer as observer - George B. McClellan.

In his notes, he emphasized the prime necessity of being well prepared, supplied and trained before taking action.

He also noted the effectiveness of temporary thrown up defenses when backed up with artillery and disciplined troops.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5832
Joined: 2004
Crimean War
1/2/2023 12:46:08 PM
The amount of ordnance and the weight of munitions expended by the Franco British forces in the final phases of the siege of Sevastopol were monstrous by the standards of the time.

In the opening months, the Battle of Inkerman stands out as an especially terrible battle, with casualties on the Russian side that exceed anything in the American Civil War.

Editing : on reflection, the Crimean War speaks of Russian flesh and blood being profligately pitted against superior Western technology and firepower. A recurrent theme in modern history: would you agree ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 742
Joined: 2005
Crimean War
1/3/2023 12:29:24 AM
Diary accounts from junior British officers of the time also paint a tragic picture of poor uncaring leadership and outdated tactics.
Particularly galling as many senior officers did have somewhat extensive campaign experience.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5832
Joined: 2004
Crimean War
1/3/2023 4:56:38 AM
Indeed ! And how much more so was this lamentation emerging from their Russian counterparts, who saw their own rank and file suffer much greater loss of life ?

The fact that the serfs were emancipated after the Crimean War speaks volumes about another recurring theme in Russian history: the way that defeat in war impinged on social change, even to the point of revolution.

Crimean War, Russo Japanese War, and, of course, WW1 . Are we about to see another such episode ?

Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 742
Joined: 2005
Crimean War
1/3/2023 10:25:41 PM
We also had the Franco Prussian war, Opium Wars, many little conflicts in South America, Second Danish War all around this time and all seemingly to not learn from each others mistakes.
Many were horrifyingly high in casualties.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5832
Joined: 2004
Crimean War
1/5/2023 5:57:39 AM
When it comes to those horrifyingly high casualties, Wazza, I undertook some heavy lifting into the battle casualty figures of the Crimean War and turned up some surprising statistics.

The British recorded 2,755 killed in action and 1,847 died from wounds. The French counted 8,490 killed in action and 11,750 ( !) died from wounds. The figures for Turkish forces were 10,100 killed in action and 10,800 died from wounds. The Russian reports gave 30,600 killed in action and 42,000 died from wounds.

The British record is uniquely good in terms of wound mortality, although we have to ask ourselves whether this reflected a different assessment : might it be that the French were better able to evacuate their wounded more quickly, resulting in a much higher death rate among men who were already dying when they were brought in, whereas their British counterparts perished where they fell, and were counted as killed ?

I note that the British figures bear a very similar ratio to those of the American Civil War, when the Union armies recorded 67,058 killed in action and 43,012 died from wounds. We might reasonably assume that the Confederate rates were similar.

The disease deaths in the Crimea were staggering : non battle deaths were said to be 17,580 for the British, 75,375 for the French and 24,500 for the Turks, with an incredible figure of 374,000 attributed to the Russians. That last figure is suspect, to say the least. The Soviet demographer Urlanis , writing fifty years ago, argued that it was a gross exaggeration, with men who were sick being counted as dead, when many survived. All the same, the war took several hundred thousand lives.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 742
Joined: 2005
Crimean War
1/5/2023 7:59:41 PM
Phil,
thats a staggering figure for French deaths attributed to illness!
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5832
Joined: 2004
Crimean War
1/6/2023 1:43:14 AM
Quote:
Phil,
thats a staggering figure for French deaths attributed to illness!


Yes, Wazza, the squalour and hardships of everyday life were fatally amplified in war. Life was so cheap in those days, and for those who donned uniform the dangers of the battlefield were too often exceeded by the hazards of camp and hospital. Note that I stipulated “ non battle deaths “ : these were not exclusively victims of disease. Terrible accidents occurred too. I remember a family holiday I enjoyed in Corsica more than thirty years ago, and I was shocked to find an obscure French military cemetery in a cove on the coastline, where hundreds - maybe thousands- of soldiers were interred. They had drowned when a troopship had sunk en route to the Crimea. I cite this from memory, aware that I might be mistaken. I must research and check this.
It serves to illustrate my point though.

This preponderance of disease mortality notwithstanding, the intensity and bloodiness of the Crimean battles were harrowing. Inkerman was frightful, and for the French the storming of the Malakoff Redoubt in September 1855 was the deadliest episode of all.

The cheapness of human life was most apparent in the Russian forces, with superior allied firepower exacting a monstrous toll.

Again, this is topical as we get news from Ukraine.

Editing: I’m wondering whether those poor French soldiers who drowned off the Corsican coast were going to fight against the Austrians in the Italian Risorgimento battles of 1859.

Yes - just checked - memory serves me.
It was a transport ship taking troops to the Crimea in 1855, and it sank with all hands, more than six hundred lives lost. There’s a pyramid to commemorate the disaster, and a cemetery of sorts, with only the Captain having a marked grave. This was a war in an era which only honoured the dead of more exalted rank.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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