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A Brief History of the Crimean War (Brief Histories)


A Brief History of the Crimean War (Brief Histories)

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    Available in PDF Format | A Brief History of the Crimean War (Brief Histories).pdf | English
    Alexis Troubetzkoy(Author)
In September 1854, the armies of Britain, France and Turkey invaded Russia. In the months that followed over half a million soldiers fell. They died from bullet wounds and shrapnel, cholera and disease, starvation and freezing. The Crimean War was a medieval conflict fought in a modern age. But what is rarely appreciated, and what this historical examination shows, is that this extraordinary and costly struggle was fought not only in the Crimea, but also along the Danube, in the Arctic Ocean, in the Baltic and Pacific. Few wars in history reveal greater confusion of purpose or have had richer unintended consequences. Much has been written about this most senseless of wars and this new history does not aim to cover old ground. Instead, it traces the war's causes and sketches a vivid picture of the age which made it possible, up until the moment of the Allies' departure for the Crimea. Woven together with developments in diplomacy, trade and nationalistic expression are descriptions of the Russian, Turkish and British armies and the principals of the drama - Napoleon III, Marshal St Arnaud, Lord Raglan, the great Russian engineer Todleban, Florence Nightingale, Nicholas I and his magnificently terrible Russian empire.

"'The war and its causes was a colossal comedy of errors in which at every moment the question was asked, "Who is being swindled here?'" Frederick Engels Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. - 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', Alfred Lord Tennyson"

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Book details

  • PDF | 352 pages
  • Alexis Troubetzkoy(Author)
  • Robinson; UK ed. edition (9 Nov. 2006)
  • English
  • 9
  • History
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Review Text

  • By Neil Lennon on 12 October 2012

    I have read several books in the Brief History series and have found them to be an excellent way of gaining an understanding of the major issues of a particular aspect of history without having to wade through some enormous tome. Unfortunately though I found the Brief History of the Crimean War to be a dissapointing effort all round.The author starts by stating that he has no wish to repeat the same details covered in other books - but surely this is the point of the Brief History series ? Instead he has focused on the causes of the Crimean War to the point that you are half way through the book before the war even begins. Entire chapters are spent describing events which happen long before the outbreak of the war and are only vaguely related to the final declaration of war.The actual history of the war in the Crimea is covered very briefly in only a couple of chapters. There are very limited descriptions of the major battles of Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman. In fact Inkerman, the bloodiest battle of the war with 17,500 casualties is not described at all except with the comment "to describe with precision the in's and out's of the fighting is a challenge for any historian". Well, he could at least have tried !Instead a lot more time is spent focusing on side shows such as the naval campaign in the Baltic. Although this was an aspect of the war I was previously unaware of it was hardly decisive and no where near as important as the events in the Crimea.Famous episodes such as the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Thin Red Line and the work of Florence Nightingale are briefly referred to but no more. It is also dissapointing to note that no effort is made to discuss the consequences of the war and its legacy in pre WWI politics.Added to this very selective version of history is a writing style that is frustrating and hard to follow. Topics are referred to in passing but never followed up and the general arguement seems to be "yes, it was a very confusing war so go figure". I also found it particularly irritating that the subject of many paragraphs would be left to the very last line rather than stated up front, as in "that then was the lot of the British soldier" or "such was the case for the French government". The style and structure was so awkward at times that I found myself wondering whether or not English was the authors first language.In all then this was the least impressive of the Brief History books that I have read. It does give a brief idea of the history of the Crimean War but it is unfocused and as such would have been better off independent of the series.

  • By A. Tomlinson on 29 July 2010

    In this excellent book Alexis Troubetzkoy, gives a 1st rate account of the Crimean War.In a remarkable build up assessment he shows how easily international accords are made, and just as easily broken, starting with Tsar Nicholas 1 visit to London in 1844, where a gentlemens agreement was put in place for a grand alliance, and to 10 years later when it fell apart for no really good reason.The tragedy of the Crimean war was that it could so easily have been avoided, and therefore obviously many thousands of lives saved.This is a great book, enthralling, and at a very good price. Also it should be mentioned the famous charge of the light brigade took place during this war, it is of course noted, but further noted is the less well known charge of a French brigade shortly afterwards, which enabled the remnants of the British light cavalry to to retreat with far less casualties than otherwise.The writer should, i think, be highly commended for this. Well done sir.A Brief History of the Crimean War (Brief Histories)

  • By Luis Mansilla on 28 December 2011

    Yes, this book dedicate half of its pages to explain the causes of this war, which was more an arm wrestle between imperial forces, though on a very strategic location for British purposes of the time. And so, this not very known war it is characterized by the great lost of lives that were the usual of every battle, battles that were fought by pure courage and heroism, using a great deal of artillery -that obliged the soldiers to even dodge cannonballs- and charging the enemy position with cavalry and of course, hand to hand with bayonet. The aftermath of every battle was a sad, shocking experience, certainly it was too much bloodshed that could have been spared, easy to say now, but seems that it was a time when some mediocre empires sought for some objetives by any means ... Oh, those Russians! A good reading considering I was searching for a book with not much detail.

  • By Guest on 19 August 2016

    Now I have a rough idea on what caused this un-necessary war.Human life is dispensable and it is still the same 160 odd yrs later.We never learnt.

  • By spencersings on 30 December 2011

    this item arrived in good time before I went on my hols to the Crimea and proved interesting reading, to add to the background on my trip. Thanks

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