You are on page 1of 13

1.

The Crimean War


1.1. The causes and course of the war 1.2. The impact of war reporting Fenton and Russell 1.3. Depictions and remembrance of the war 1.4. Medical and nursing provision in the Crimean War 1.5. Disorganisation and inefficiency in the British Army 1.6. Medical, army and civil service reform

1.1.
Context:

The causes and course of the war

VS.

A) Fighting between the Russians and the Ottomans started in the southern Danube region of Europe in 1853. B) Britain and France got involved in 1854 after the Russians sunk the Ottoman fleet in the Black Sea at Sinope. C) The British and French fought the Russians in the Crimea, a region of Russia on the Black Sea.

Causes:
Was expanding rapidly - both Britain and France felt threatened by this Wanted control of the mediterranean to have access to the world's seas and trade Wanted ice free ports Tsar Nicholas I wanted to "carve up" the Ottoman Empire, taking most of, if not all, of it for Russia saw the Ottoman Empire as weak and likely to collapse Also wanted to "protect the interests" of Greek Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire - it was predominantly Islamic Felt threatened by Russia's expansion: Felt that their interests in India were threatened by the Russian advance through Afghanistan Were afraid of losing their short, overland trade route to India if the Russians gained control of the med: therefore, wanted to prevent the collapse of the Ottoman Empire/Russia taking control of the black sea

Russian Empire

Britain Ottoman Empire

The Sultan refused the demands of Prince Menshikov The Sultan also refused the comprimise drawn up by Austria to resolve conflict The Sultan declared war on Russia assuming British and French aid

France

There was a dispute over who held the keys to the Church of the Holy Speulchre French backed the Catholic monks, Russians wanted the orthodox christians to hold the power French also afraid of Russian expansionism Eventually the Sultan chose the catholics, which aligned the French and British against the Russians France was desperate for military glory and revenge for its defeat at the hands of Russia in 1812

Russophobia and fear of Russian expansion

Religious dispute

The Crimean War

Invasion and protection of Trade routes

The main events of the Crimean War: Date


30 Nov 1853 14 Sep 1854

Event
The Battle of Sinope The start of the invasion of the Crimea The Battle of Alma The start of the Siege of Sevastopol The Battle of Balaclava The Thin Red Line

Details
Russia sank Ottoman ships at Sinope in the Black Sea 60,000 British and French troops arrived backed by a small Ottoman contingent: the key target was the Russian naval base of Sevastopol The British and French defeated Russian forces at the Alma River near Sevastopol The first British and French bombardment of the city started on 17th October Desperate to break the siege, the Russians advanced on the British supply base at Balaclava with 25K men During the Battle of Balaclava, the 93rd Highlanders held the line against a larger force of advancing Russians A controversial British attack on Russian forces by the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava An unsuccessful Russian attack on British forces near Sevastopol A storm near Balaclava devastated British supplies British troops faces problems of inadequate supplies and shelter The Russians evacuated Sevastopol, the British and French finally attained their target British, French and Ottoman victory Russian regained the land that had been occupied, the Black Sea was neutralised

20 Sep 1854 24 Sep 1854 24-25 Oct 1854 24 Oct 1854

25 Oct 1854 5 Nov 1854 14 Nov 1854 Jan-Mar 1855 9 Sep 1855 29 Feb 1856 30 Mar 1856

The Charge of the Light Brigade The Battle of Inkerman The Great Storm A harsh winter in the Crimea The end of the siege of Sevastopol Armistice in the Crimea The Treaty of Paris

1.2.

The impact of war reporting Fenton and Russell

A) The Crimean War was the first war in which newspapers deployed war reporters as eyewitnesses on the ground. B) War reporting had an enormous impact on Britain: new technology such as the telegraph meant that reports could reach Britain rapidly.

William Howard Russell and The Times:


A) The Times was a very influential newspaper and had the largest circulation in Europe: during the war its circulation rose from 42,500 to 58,500. B) William Howard Russell, a reporter for the newspaper, was sent to the Crimea. He didn't have permission to go to the Crimea from the Army or the government. In his reports he: a. b. c. d. Showed sympathy for the situation of ordinary soldiers Frequently attacked what he saw as incompetence by the army hierarchy Criticised army medical facilities Criticised poor living conditions of British soldiers

C) Following Russells reports on problems with medical supplies in the Crimea, The Times established a Crimea fund in October 1854 to raise money to send supplies to the Crimea. Over 7,000 was raised. D) Russells reports provide valuable information about the conduct of the Crimean War. Not all of his reports are entirely reliable, however: a. After 25 November, 1854, Russell was part of a deliberate campaign ordered by The Times editor, John Delane, to undermine and attack Lord Raglan, Commander-inChief of the British Army. b. Russell did not witness all of the events he described in the Crimea in the winter of 1854-55 as he spent the winter in Constantinople and relied on unnamed informants. c. He was notoriously anti-Turk and anti-French, which could have warped some of his reporting to favour the Britishs involvement.

The impact of the press political crisis: December 1854-January 1855:


A) Following an editorial in The Times accusing the leadership of the British Army of incompetence and nepotism, a political crisis was triggered. B) The House of Commons voted by a two-thirds majority to establish a committee to investigate the British Army and the work of the government departments in charge of the war effort. C) Consequently the Prime Minister, Lord Aberdeen, resigned and was replaced by Lord Palmerston.

Roger Fenton and early photography:


A) Fentons photographs depict military camps, ordinary soldiers and their lives and the aftermath of battles. B) His images are notable for their unpretentious and un-heroic depiction of soldiers. C) From October 1855 his photographs were exhibited in London and the around the country. D) Fentons images have certain limitations as evidence because he was instructed to take no photographs of dead bodies. E) Also, many of his images were staged and he was not able to take pictures of moving people or objects.

The impact of the reporters:


A) War reporters and war photographers engaged the British public in the conflict to an unprecedented event: the public were particularly concerned about the conditions experienced by ordinary soldiers. B) Russells reports and The Times campaign created pressure to reform the officer class and organisation of the army: after the Crimean War, reforms in these areas were made. C) The Times campaign also created a political crisis which demonstrated the power of the press and public opinion.

1.3.

Depictions and remembrance of the war

A) Remembered as having brave, heroic soldiers badly led by blundering aristocratic officers. B) Events such as the Thin Red Line and The Charge of the Light Brigade became very famous, being painted extensively.

The Thin Red Line


A) Early on in the Battle of Balaclava, Russian soldiers advanced on the British line. B) Organised in an unusual formation of two rows, the 93rd Highlanders stopped the Russians by firing volleys of musket shots. C) Watching from the hills above, William Howard Russell memorably depicted the soldiers as a Thin Red Line. D) The soldiers of the Thin Red Line have been remembered as a symbol of determination and heroism of the British soldier.

Lord Raglan

Commander-in-Chief of the British Army during the Crimean War. He died in the Crimea in June 1855 Commander of the Cavalry Division which included the Heavy Brigade and the Light Brigade Commander of the Light Brigade

The Earl of Lucan (Lord Lucan) The Earl of Cardigan (Lord Cardigan)
The Charge of the Light Brigade

A) Lord Raglan issued a hurried and poorly explained order to Lord Lucan to charge at the Russian guns. B) Lord Raglan intended Lucan to focus on retaking British guns that the Russians had taken on Causeway Heights. C) His orders were vague, however, and Captain Nolan was not able to clarify the order properly to Lucan. D) Lucan charged and mistakenly led the Brigade down a valley where they were surrounded by Russian forces that attacked from high ground. E) The event has gone down as a disastrous military blunder as well as an example of heroism: a. 113/661 killed, 134/661 wounded, 45/661 imprisoned b. Russian statistic similar c. Only saved from complete destruction by French charge

d. Russells accounts depicted it as a tragedy and example of incompetency of aristocratic officers e. Tennysons poem reinforced it as an example of British heroism of soldiers

1.4.

Medical and nursing provision during the Crimean War

Medical provision during the Crimean War


A) Major hospitals were based at Scutari, near Constantinople. B) 6,000 men could be treated there. C) Provision was inadequate because only 4/100 medical assistants. D) Provision of medical supplies inefficient. E) Lacked washing facilities. F) Disease significant problem. G) 1,761/18,085 British died in action rest disease/wounds. H) Poor sanitation and poor hygiene led to: a. b. c. d. I) Typhus Typhoid Dysentery Cholera

Anaesthesia was infrequently used and no treatment available for septicaemia.

The role of Florence Nightingale


A) Arrived at Scutari in November 1854 accompanied by 38 nurses. B) Collected information to analyse mortality rates and introduced improvements to: a. b. c. d. Water supply Organisation Cleanliness Food

C) She bought supplies using the Crimea Fund independently from military authorities. D) In the 19th C., she was idolised a Lady with the Lamp/ministering angel. E) In the 20th C., Historians questioned her reputation and she was criticised for the treatment of her nurses and for not doing more to improve sanitation at Scutari.

The role of the Sanitary Commission


A) Mortality rates remained high (52% admitted to Scutari in Feb 1855 died). B) Lord Padmore ordered a Sanitary Commission to try to improve the rates.

C) The Commission arrived in March 1855 and identified key problems with ventilation and sanitation. D) They recognised what Nightingale had not, that the entire sanitation system was inadequate and ordered structural works to rectify this. E) Mortality rates dropped after this and were as low as 5.2% in May 1855. F) They also moved on to improve sanitary conditions in Balaclava.

The role of Mary Seacole


A) Travelled to Crimea independently after British officials rejected her. B) Seacole and Day established a British Hotel where soldiers found respite and shelter and supply provisions to the soldiers on the frontline. C) Had some medical knowledge and nursed soldiers. D) She wrote about her experiences in The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (1857). E) She was very popular and famous in her day, but has been eclipsed until recently by Nightingale.

1.5.

Disorganisation and inefficiency in the British Army

Problems with supply and transportation


A) Medical supplies such as bandages or anaesthesia at Scutari were inadequate. B) Shortage of wagons to transport the wounded to hospital and it took until 1855 to get four hospital ships up and running. C) Inadequate housing for soldiers. They camped in tents during the Great Storm of 14 Nov 1854 and the cold winter of Jan-March 1855, lacking sufficient winter clothing. D) During the Great Storm, Resolute and Prince sank carrying ammunition, winter clothing and hay for horses. E) Supplies did not reach the Crimea and they were not distributed in time often unusable when they did arrive, such as medical supplies. Hay was left in the docks of Balaclava while horses starved.

Problems with organisation


A) Problems with supply due to overlapping structures in the Army and lack of co-ordination and accountability. B) 11 different departments of the Army, with Govt responsible for supply and welfare: including Secretary State for War and the Colonies; he Secretary-at-War; the Commander-inChief and the Quarter-Master General.

Problems with leadership


A) Dominated by aristocratic elite. B) Officers obtain jobs by purchase of commission rather than merit. C) This system came under attack in the failure of supplies in the winter of 1854-55 and the disaster of The Charge or the Light Brigade. D) The top of the Army was also seen as nepotistic: five of Raglans aide-de-camp were his nephews.

Army leadership and reputations


A) Reputations of senior members of the Army were ruined by campaigns such led by The Times.

Lord Cardigan

Initially perceived as a hero as he charged ahead of his troops at TCOTLB He was late accused of deserting the Brigade And incompetence in distributing provisions in Balaclava He unsuccessfully sued an author who said he performed badly in the Charge

Lord Lucan

Received mostt blame for TCOTLB, accused of implementing and order which was obviously senseless or failing to get proper clarification for it

Lord Raglan

Died in the Crimea in June 1855, was held responsibile for many of teh problems with leadership and organisation during the Crimean campaign

1.6.

Medical, army and civil service reform

The impact of the Crimean War on nursing


A) Nightingales work and status helped to establish nursing as a respectable profession for women. B) Nightingales Notes on Nursing (1860) widely read and translated. C) Nightingales name was used to raise funds to establish nurse training: 45K by 1859. D) St Thomas Hospital established training school for 10 nurses in 1860. E) Nightingale used her statistical work on mortality rates to illustrate the need of sanitary reform in all hospitals. In 1857, a Royal Commission on the Health of the Army set up.

Army Reforms
A) The Victoria Cross established in 1856: a. 111 Crimean War soldiers awarded the cross in 1857 b. It embodied the new, more meritocratic approach to the British Army as any rank could receive it. B) 1855, Sir John McNeill and Col. Alexander Tulloch went to the Crimea to investigate the provision and distribution of supplies. The exposed civilian and military mismanagement. C) Partly as a result of the McNeill-Tulloch report, Lord Cardwell, War Minister 1868-71, introduced a set of army reforms.

The country was divided into local regimental districts and each area had two batallions. One stayed at home to train, one to be sent overseas

Purchase of Commission abolished: promotion now through merit

The Cardwell Army Reforms 1870-71


The Commanderin-Chief was made responsible to Secretary of War, and through him, Parliament

Conditions for ordinary soldiers improved: overseas service reduced from 12 years to 6, pay increased and glogging abolished in peacetime

Structure of army was simplified and united under one office: the War Office

D) These reforms were a serious attack on inefficiency and aristocratic privileged in the army. E) They had limitations, however: a. b. c. d. Entrenched interests in the army resisted these reforms No General Staff engaged into military planning Artillery not modernised 35K reserve forces not adequate for fighting a European war

Civil Service reform


A) The move to meritocracy extended to the Civil Service. B) In Gladstones administration, 1869-74, all departments apart from Foreign Office recruited using competitive examination.