Crimean War 1853-1856 Franz Roubaud. Detail of his panoramic painting The Siege of Sevastopol (1904).
Taking sides…. <ul><li>Empire of Russia </li></ul><ul><li>Allies: Britain, France, Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire </li></ul><ul><li>war concerned issues over the balance of power in Europe and ‘authority’ in the Holy Land (under the control of the declining Ottoman Empire) </li></ul><ul><li>most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula with military operations also taking place in western Turkey and the Baltic Sea region </li></ul>
Causes of Crimean War <ul><li>balance of power and religion </li></ul><ul><li>part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire </li></ul><ul><li>after the French coup d’état of 1851, Louis-Napoleon had his ambassador to the Ottoman Empire force the Ottomans to recognize France as the sovereign ‘authority’ in the Holy Land </li></ul><ul><li>Russia disputed this newest change in ‘authority’ in the Holy Land </li></ul>
TELEGRAPH MAP 1854 : These two maps show the extent of the electric telegraph throughout Europe in 1854, just before the start of the Crimean War between Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia, and Russia. In contrast with the effective electrical coverage of England (as opposed to Wales, Scotland and Ireland), France, Prussia, Bavaria, Austria (as opposed to Hungary, in the east of their empire) and Savoy in north Italy, are the bare, unwired territories of Spain, and the Russian and Ottoman empires. Source: Distant Writing [website] http://distantwriting.co.uk/telegraphmap.aspx
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte of France (L) and Tsar Nicolas I of Russia (R)
Battle of Balaclava October 25, 1854 Army camp at Balaklava in the Crimean War, 1855. Photo: James Robertson (1813-1888) & Felice Beato (1833 or 1834 - c.1907).
Allied march to Sevastopol. Crimean War, September 1854 . Based on map in R. L. V. Ffrench Blake's The Crimean War
Cornet Henry John Wilkin, 11 th Hussars, full-length portrait, wearing uniform, seated on a horse, a bell tent in the background. <ul><li>The Battle of Balaclava was part of the Anglo-French-Turkish campaign to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia's principal naval base on the Black Sea. </li></ul>
The Charge of the Light Brigade <ul><li>The charge was made by the Light Brigade of the British cavalry, consisting of the 4th and 13 th Light Dragoons , 17 th Lancers , and the 8th and 11 th Hussars , under the command of Major General the Earl of Cardigan . </li></ul><ul><li>Together with the Heavy Brigade comprising the 4 th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards , the 5 th Dragoon Guards , the 6 th Inniskill Dragoons and the Scots Greys , commanded by Major General James Yorke Scarlett , himself a past Commanding Officer of the 5th Dragoon Guards , the two units were the main British cavalry force at the battle. </li></ul>Lance-Sergeant Joseph Malone of E Troop, 13 th Light Dragoons was awarded the Victory Cross after being wounded during the charge. (From a painting by Henry Payne)
Overall command of the cavalry resided with Lieutenant General the Earl of Lucan. In the British parliamentary inquest following the battle, Lucan was blamed by Raglan for misinterpreting his orders and commanding Cardigan to charge. George Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan
Cardigan and Lucan were brothers-in-law with a passionate dislike for one another The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava by William Simpson, 1855. From Simpson's The Seat of War in the East, second series.
The British Army Commander in the Crimea was General, Lord Raglan. FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Roger Fenton Crimean War Photographs. "Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front, follow the enemy, and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Horse artillery may accompany. French cavalry is on your left. Immediate."
Alexander Sergeevich Menshikov (1787—1869) Russian general by Franz Krüger (1850) St.Petersburg, The Hermitage <ul><li>Raglan in fact wished the cavalry to prevent the Russians taking away the naval guns from the redoubts that they had captured on the reverse side of the Causeway Heights, along the hill forming the left side of the valley ( from the point of view of the cavalry ). </li></ul><ul><li>Raglan could see what was happening from his high vantage-point on the west of the valley, but Lucan and the cavalry were unaware of what was going on owing to the lay of the land where they were drawn up. </li></ul>Raglan’s Opponent: Alexander Menshikov, Russian commander-in-chief in the Crimea
Captain Louis Edward Nolan (1818-1854): Aid-de-camp to Brigadier-General Airey . <ul><li>The order was drafted by Brigadier-General Richard Airey, 1 st Baron Airey, Quartermaster General to Lord Raglan, and was carried by Captain Louis Edward Nolan, who added the further oral instruction that the cavalry </li></ul><ul><li>was to attack immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>When Lucan asked to which guns he was referring, </li></ul><ul><li>Nolan is said to have </li></ul><ul><li>indicated, by a wide sweep </li></ul><ul><li>of his arm, not the Causeway redoubts but the mass of Russian guns in a redoubt </li></ul><ul><li>at the end of the valley, </li></ul><ul><li>around a mile away. </li></ul><ul><li>His reasons for the misdirection is unclear, </li></ul><ul><li>as he was killed in the </li></ul><ul><li>ensuing battle </li></ul>
Louis Edward Nolan (1818–1854) <ul><li>Nolan was a British Army officer, an expert on cavalry tactics best known for his controversial role in launching the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade. He was the first casualty of that engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>Did Nolan resent the rigid nineteenth-century class distinctions made between ordinary rank-and-file British army officers and titled officers who were commissioned according to social order and stature as opposed to merit? </li></ul>
Charge of the Light Brigade. Painting by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1855)
<ul><li>In response to the order, Lucan instructed Cardigan to lead 673 (some sources state 661; another 607) cavalry men straight into the valley between the Fedyukhin Heights and the Causeway Heights, famously dubbed the "Valley of Death" by the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. </li></ul>Here is a view of Canrobert's hill and the Sapun Gor and Causeway heights from further east — the direction from which the initial Russian advance came. Source: The Victorian Web [website] http://www.victorianweb.org/history/crimea/bala2.html#1
The brigade was not completely destroyed, but did suffer terribly, with 118 men killed, 127 wounded. Survivors: Officers and men of the 13th Light Dragoons, British Army, Crimea. Rostrum photograph of Roger Fenton original print (1855), uncropped and without color correction . Library of Congress
“ It is magnificent, but it is not war…it is madness” <ul><li>After regrouping, only 195 men were still with horses. </li></ul><ul><li>The futility of the action and its reckless bravery prompted the French Marshal Pierre Bosquet to state: </li></ul><ul><li>"C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre." ("It is magnificent, but it is not war.") </li></ul><ul><li>He continued, in a rarely quoted phrase: "C'est de la folie"- “It is madness.” </li></ul>Pierre-François-Joseph Bosquet (1855) Photo by Roger Fenton
Casualty return for the period including Balaklava This is the casualty return for the period that includes the Battle of Balaklava. Casualty figures for the Charge of the Light Brigade total 110 killed, 130 wounded and 58 captured, a loss of some 40% of the brigade's strength. National Archives, United Kingdom. Catalogue reference: WO 1/369 f. 685 (22-26 Oct 1854) <ul><li>In addition to the 278 casualties ( > 41.3%) , 335 horses were also killed </li></ul><ul><li>in action, or obliged afterwards to be destroyed from wounds. </li></ul><ul><li>It has since been established that the Russians captured many prisoners; the exact number is not yet known. </li></ul>
The "Valley of Death" in which the Charge of the Light Brigade was fought (2005) . The charge of the Light Brigade continues to be studied by modern military historians and students as an example of what can go wrong when accurate military intelligence is lacking and orders are unclear.