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The Crimean War: Queen Victoria's War with the Russian Tsars


The Crimean War: Queen Victoria's War with the Russian Tsars

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    Available in PDF Format | The Crimean War: Queen Victoria's War with the Russian Tsars.pdf | English
    Hugh Small(Author)
In the winter of 1854, Britain, France, and Turkey, with Europe-widesupport, invaded Russia and besieged the fortress of Sebastopol in theCrimea. It was the most destructive conflict of the century, with totalfatalities comparable to those of the American Civil War. Hugh Small,whose biography of Florence Nightingale first exposed the truth abouther wartime hospital, now shows how the history of the Crimean War wasmanipulated to conceal Britain’s – and Europe’s – failure.Only sincethe collapse of the Soviet Union has it become clear how much was atstake in the Crimea. The failure of Britain’s politicians to controltheir generals led to the collapse of the peacekeeping arrangements ofthe ‘Concert of Europe’ – a sort of early UN Security Council. Russianexpansion continued unchecked, leading to the divisions seen today inthe Ukraine and the Caucasus. Small is equally revealing about thebattles. His carefully-researched account of the famous Charge of theLight Brigade overturns the standard account that it was a blunder bysenior officers. It was the ordinary cavalrymen who insisted on it – asthe Commander-in-Chief admitted in Parliament at the time.

'One of the most original and thought-provoking books on the Crimean War to date ... He has shaken the foundations of "accepted knowledge" on the war ... Particularly intriguing are his tactical alternatives and analyses of the repercussions of various command decisions.' - Lawrence W. Crider, Editor. -- Journal of the Crimean War Research Society, January 2008

3.3 (10001)
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Book details

  • PDF | 240 pages
  • Hugh Small(Author)
  • Tempus Publishing Ltd (1 Mar. 2014)
  • English
  • 8
  • History
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Review Text

  • By TurtleDove on 11 August 2013

    I didn't know much about the Crimean war before reading this book. I knew of the Charge of the Light Brigade from Tennyson's poem and the story of Florence Nightingale but little else. I just wanted to know more about it. So it was purely by accident that I stumbled across this book which attempts to tell history in a different way.The general premise of the author is that too many historical accounts have been written with the purpose of aggrandising certain well-known establishment figures and that facts have been ignored and straightforward lies have been told. The author claims to have read many unpublished letters and documents of the period and attempts to tell what really happened. I find the account very believable as it fits with human nature and current practice of modern politicians. It makes me wonder about all of other history books I have read. A most interesting book and I would certainly welcome attempts by other authors to do the same for other episodes of history.

  • By Artefact on 6 August 2013

    here we go:Britain did not stumble into the Crimean War, it entered for sound strategic and economic reasons;the Charge of the Light Brigade may have started in error but was a triumphant victory with far fewer casualties than you thought;Florence Nightingale never nursed anyone, and after the war admitted that she got her priorities wrong in the location and administration of hospitals for casualties at a cost of hundreds of lives;The Allies managed to ignore their strengths - superior cavalry and the Minier rifle - and played their own weaknesses against the enemy's strengths.Ok. You can breath now. This book is right, and most of what you thought you knew about this miserable conflict is wrong.The author has gone back to the original sources. He shows how the established myths of the war were developed by works based on biased contemporary accounts, and that successive "histories" simply drew on the preceding histories and rehashed (and occasionally exaggerated) them.Citing authoritative contemporary sources, he draws a very different picture. It was still a bungled disaster, but it was a very different bungled disaster from that we had been led to believe.The writing style is compelling and light. Overall a thoroughly good and enlightening read which I strongly recommend.

  • By Zog on 16 September 2015

    I knew quite a lot about the Crimean War before I read this book. I am now none the wiser.

  • By Guest on 26 July 2011

    In his second book, "The Crimean War: Queen Victoria's War with the Russian Tsars", Hugh Small takes another look at the conventional wisdom about the Crimean War and, once again, turns it on its ear. Mr. Small, whose "Florence Nightingale: Avenging Angel" established him as a recognised authority on Miss Nightingale, shows a breadth and depth of knowledge on the Crimean War which is truly impressive. Through reference to a number of obscure but authentic documents, Mr. Small makes a compelling case for looking at the entire war in a whole new way; he provides new perspectives on the 'generally accepted' tactical alternatives which predominate other histories and provides some very original analyses of command decisions. Once you have read his book you will never look at the battle of the Alma or the Charge of the Light Brigade in the same way. The book, which is a surprisingly easy and enjoyable read, is destined to become a classic on the Crimean War!like flagFlorence Nightingale: Avenging Angel

  • By Keith Smith on 9 March 2008

    Having read books, old and modern,and contemporary manuscripts covering the Crimean War, I can honestly say that this book by Hugh Small is the most refreshing and thought provoking facility I have read for many years.Many works from the earliest times after the war and onwards, are simply recycled official documents and news reports. This book whilst obviously drawing on original documents, gives many alternative views on causes and effects.

  • By D on 20 August 2012

    A different take on this conflict with new (I presume) insights in to the war and the apparently massive cover ups that afflicted the previous accounts. Did not quite hit the mark on the battles which were rather dry in their accounts - covering the reasons why they succeeded or failed rather than the actions of the men fighting them. Did capture the horrors of disease and hardship between battles.

  • By Dolomede on 23 December 2014

    An interesting account from an author who is not afraid to assess and criticise the appalling leadership of the Allied armies in this now distant war. It is shameful how breeding and background was more important than military skill to reach positions of authority in the Victorian British and French armies. This book illustrates the dire consequences. Very readable for the non-specialist.

  • By F. R. Jack on 20 August 2014

    I was led to this chronologically as it were after reading William Dalrymple's excellent "Return of a King" on Britain's first Afghan war. This book, on the Crimean, is also eerily like "Back to the Future". There is a theme in the history untaught at school! Not knowing much about the Crimean war, I was impressed by Hugo Small's approach. When openly declaring controversial views he liberally quotes both official and contemporary personal documents in support and left me with the impression he has a refreshingly broad, direct and unfooled insight into this particular history. The evidence for some of his "controversies" seems pretty irrefutable (e.g. Cardigan's and his friends' excuses vs official instructions to him). I am going to re-read Lytton Strachey's "Eminent Victorians", another great read, to revisit his harsher thoughts on Florence Nightingale. It is a cracking read in any event and like so much "history" is repeating itself here and now. Again.

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