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Its conscripted rank and file (many of whom were convicted prisoners) suffered worse conditions of service than their British counterparts. Most Russian officers were from the landowning class and many took their professional military duties lightly. The Turkish army On paper, the Turkish army was 700,000 strong. In reality, it was probably only half that strength. Turkish forces were poorly led, poorly equipped, poorly trained and poorly supplied. The Royal Navy While the Royal Navy had been greatly reduced in size after 1815, it had kept up with new developments, not least the coming of steam and iron ships.

Ch e Wo ro nzo vR The march to Sevastopol from Alma. Balaclava oad To Yalta rna ya 28 | The Experience of Warfare in Britain St Arnaud proposed that the French forces attack on the right next to the sea. Protected by the guns of the fleet, they would scale the West Cliff and roll up the Russian left flank while British troops advanced against the Russian centre and right flank. Raglan listened with his customary politeness to St Arnaud’s impassioned arguments. Privately he considered the French commander had underestimated Russian strength but not wishing to cause an unseemly altercation, he assured St Arnaud that he could rely on the ‘vigorous co-operation’ of the British army.

Fearing and facing attacks on a number of fronts, Russia failed to concentrate its military effort in the Crimea. Instead it tried to protect all possible points of attack, including stationing many troops on the Austrian border to guard against a 100,000-strong Austrian army of ‘observation’. On 9 April 1855, the allies began a second great bombardment of Sevastopol. Five hundred and twenty allied guns poured 165,000 rounds into the town. The bombardment continued for 10 days. The Russians sustained heavy casualties – 6131, compared with 1587 French and 263 British casualties – but maintained their defences.

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Access to History. The Experience of Warfare in Britain: Crimea, Boer and the First World War... by Alan Farmer


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