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The Crimean War A History by Orlando Figes is a large history of the Crimean War between Russia on one side and France Britain and the Ottoman Empire on the other The war began over religious scuffling between Catholic and Greek Orthodox pilgrims in Jerusalem then part of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman s had recently passed policy favourable to Catholic pilgrims at the expense of Orthodox pilgrims in the city with religious rights and priorities being granted to Catholic churches at the behest of the French government Previously Russia had imposed similar measures on the Ottoman government for their pilgrims and this tit for tat led to a strong response by the Russian government An ultimatum was sent and Russian troops sent into the Danubian principalities Wallachia and Moldova which were Romanian states under Ottoman suzerainty France and Britain were both alarmed by this move and sent their backing to the Ottoman government Britain was uite concerned with growing Russian power in the region and was afraid that the balance of power would shift to Russia on the continent France under the newly crowned Emperor Napoleon III needed a strong military showing to gain prestige at home and uell growing unrest within the armyRussia s aims were many First they wished to gain the status of Protector of the Orthodox in the Ottoman Empire in order to encourage an end to anti Christian policies in the Porte and give the Russian s a means to meddle in internal Ottoman affairs The Russians also had pan Slavic intentions and were interested in seeing nation states created in Serbia Bulgaria and Romania all then under Ottoman control Russia s borders with the Ottoman s were also contested in the Caucus mountains and in Bessarabia in RomaniaMoldova Russia did not believe that Britain would join in the hostilities and was also counting on the support of Austria their long time ally Russia had made diplomatic maneuvers in Britain that seemed to suppose an indifferent response from the British but in fact Russophobes had become influential in the government and Britain sided strongly with the Ottomans The first maneuvers of the war were in Romania but the pan Slavic elements of the early war disuieted the Austrian government which had Slavic populations in Croatia and Bohemia The Austrian government did not join the Russian war and even mobilized troops to threaten the Russians into a withdrawal from the Danubian principalities At this point in the war the Russians also used their Black Sea fleet to bombard the Turkish coast and destroyed the city of Sinope The Turks encouraged an uprising by Muslim tribes in the Circassian and Caucus regions of Russia and sent men and material in support The other allies France and Britain began to debate plans for attack Sorties into the Baltic to encourage the Swedes to join the war against Russia and toward St Petersburg were rejected as too dangerous Marching a land army into Poland to support a Polish uprising was strongly favoured by the French government but ultimately rejected as it would have had a hostile reaction in Prussia and Austria both states with their own Polish minorities The Crimea was the region chosen This valuable peninsula allowed Russia to control Black Sea trade and put pressure on the Ottoman government due to its important position in the Black Sea trading routes and its transportation capacities to Constantinople If Britain and France could take the region from Russia this valuable spot could be shaved off the Russian Empire and reduce its power in the region and weaken it as a whole War aims were grand from the allies who wanted nothing than the removal of Russian influence from Western Europe Allied troops landed in the Crimea and uickly engaged the Russians in the Battle of Alma in which the allies handed the Russian s their first defeat However allied mismanagement of the war would become clear soon after The allies then settled in for the Siege of Sevastopol which would last many months and lead to thousands upon thousands of allied and Russian deaths These deaths were the result of tragic mismanagement of logistics and supplies most notably from the British Greatcoats were not supplied to troops in the winter tents were not weather proof food was scarce and of poor uality and hospital ships were incompetently euipped to the point of malicious neglect The British public learned of these tidings through the press and both mobilized in support of the troops and brought down the British government in support of a rational approach to the war British performance in the Crimean War was notably lacking and the shortcomings encouraged a modernization of the army toward WWI France suffered from shortcomings as well but the French army was much better euipped during the war The French paved roads from the landing sight to the French camps around Sevastopol and the French army was well supplied with winter gear food and luxuries French rifles were also far superior to Russian arms during the war and could outpace the Russian s by hundreds of meters The French like the Russians and British fell short in warfare The Crimean War saw the eclipse of cavalry as a valuable fighting unit with notable massacres of British and French cavalry units a commonality in early skirmishes Siege works trenches and artillery as well as infantry bayonet charges against fortified trench lines was the common maneuver during the war leading to high casualties on both sides These maneuvers were the per cursors of trench warfare in the early twentieth century Russia s military was far behind in terms of military technology in the 1850 s It had peaked during the defeat of Napoleon in 1812 and had done little to improve since then Russian rifles were horribly incompetent during the war a similar incompetency beset the Russian high command as
That Of The Allies of the allies casualties were during the war as generals changed plans mid maneuver battalion commanders ignored orders and Russian troops struggled to survive with little supplies Russia made up for this in its sophisticated defensive engineering at Sevastopol which kept the allies at bay for many months and ground their armies to a halt Russian field pieces and artillery were also up to standard during the war and performed well against the allies giving as good as they got during bombardments The fall of Sevastopol marked the end of the war as Russia diplomatically isolated and humiliated by its loss as well as recently facing the death of Tsar Nicholas I was willing to seek peace The French were also craving an end to hostilities Popular opinion in France for the war was stagnant to hostile and rumors of coup attempts began to alarm Emperor Napoleon French rapprochement with Russia was swift and their mutual hostility with Austria began to transcend even the war itself Peace came in Paris with Russia ceding a chunk of Bessarabia to the Ottomans the Black Sea domination by Russian fleets coming to and end and a mutual guarantee of the rights of Christians in the Ottoman Empire signed by all parties at the table Russia lost some territory and its valuable hold over the Ottoman Empire However Russia was able to gain back all it had lost and within about 20 ears of the wars conclusion Unrest and reprisal between Christian and Muslim communities in the Ottoman Empire led to the collapse of good will to the Porte by Western powers and allowed Russia to orchestrate the independence of Bulgaria Serbia Montenegro and Romania from the Ottomans with a subseuent return of Bessarabian territories lost in the war The growing power of PrussiaGermany and its defeat of Austria and France in land wars gave way to an agreement between Austria Germany and Russia renouncing the Black Sea clauses in the peace treaty Russia also stepped up its game in the Caucus defeating rebels in the region and pushing back British influence in Persia Even so the dominance of Russia in European affairs had ended The Concert of Europe alliance between Austria and Russia was broken and never repaired French and British interests would remain aligned and Russia would ultimately lose the game in the Ottoman Empire to the two Western powers interests Russia held some sway in the Balkan s but these fractious states would drag Russia into many dangerous wars leading ultimately to the collapse of the Russian Empire after WWI The Crimean War had minor territorial conseuences but massive conseuences for the peace and stability of EuropeFiges has written an interesting and in depth account of the war moving past legends like the Light Brigade and Florence Nightingale although he talks about them and instead examines the war through the eyes of the various belligerents in the war The diplomatic and religious precursors to the war are examined as well as the opening maneuvers and the immediate and future conseuences Battles are described in blow by blow accounts examining maneuvers by each army defensive lines sorties and charges and so on in an in depth look at the battles The logistical considerations or lack thereof are examined The politics and diplomacy behind the war are looked at in depth This is a really well written account of the war and features good criticism great analysis and an interesting comparison of perspective between the belligerents I had some small concerns about sourcing in a few of the chapters but aside from this this is a great history book and one worth a read for those interested in European history from this era as well as those looking for a good chunky military history book A great read and easily recommended to history buffs In this history of the Crimean War by Orlando Figes the fighting does not begin until about a third of the way into the book This is not a weakness however because understanding the events that led to the war is essential for making sense of what followed It was a complex mix of politics economics imperial ambitions and religion in its most arrogant intolerant forms Protestants Roman Catholics multiple minor Catholic sects Russian Orthodox and both moderate and fanatical Muslims were competing often violently for influence and control over the holy sites around Jerusalem Tsar Nicholas I who was rapidly succumbing to hereditary mental instability was convinced by his priests that he was god s chosen agent to expel the Muslims from Europe conuer Constantinople and reconsecrate the Hagia Sophia as a church and extend his empire all the way to EgyptGeorges Clemenceau famously said that War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory This statement encapsulates the Crimean War perfectly It was badly planned badly led and badly supported It was the first of the modern wars where the killing power of the weapons vastly outran the development of tactical doctrine and none of the armies were prepared for the huge numbers of terribly wounded soldiers that resulted The Allies could not even agree on what they were fighting for or what intermediate objectives they should pursue Napoleon III wanted a uick victory to silence criticism at home the British go. From the great storyteller of modern Russian historians Financial Times the definitive account of the forgotten war that shaped the modern ageThe Charge of the Light Brigade Florence Nightingale these are the enduring icons of the Crimean War Less well known is that this savage war 1853 1856 killed almost a million soldiers and countless civilians; that it enmeshed four great empires the British French Turkish and Russian in a battle over religion as well as territory; that it fixed the fault lines between Ru. Vernment didn t want to fight at all but found themselves hounded into it by the baying of an irresponsible press and politicians concerned with their own advancement than the good of the countryLord Raglan was chosen to lead the British army Sixty five And a Bottle of Rum years old a veteran of Waterloo where he lost an arm to French canon fire he was entirely uneual to the task He was not the most incompetent general ever to command an army there is a lot of competition for that distinction but he made terrible decisions which cost the British important advantages and threw away lives by the thousands Any halfway competent general would have walked all over him Fortunately he was fighting the Russians who had their own crippling military weaknesses including a commanding general who faked being wounded so that he could turn over command and flee the battlefield As always the Russian soldiers were brave hardy and resourceful but their training had consisted almost entirely of parade ground drill and they were badly led at every level They were also initially euipped with muskets with an effective range of 300ards against the the French and British Mini rifles which were far accurate and lethal to 1200 Crochet yards The Ottoman Empire correctly dubbed the sick man of Europe by the Tsar in theears before the war was a collapsing state Fundamentalist factions opposed all forms of modernization leaving it militarily industrially and technically far behind the European powers and corruption was endemic at all levels The Russians had defeated them repeatedly in wars since the 16th century conuering the Crimea and pushing them back on both sides of the Black SeaIt is worth noting that there were no good guys in these wars The Russians behaved like they behaved in Germany in the closing days of World War II with massacres and mass expulsions everywhere they got the upper hand The Turks for their part were no better After putting down a revolt on the island of Chios they hung 20000 people and expelled 70000 to slave markets leaving the island almost depopulatedThe British and the French were reluctant allies The Napoleonic wars were for them only as distant as the war in Vietnam is for us today and there were many veterans still alive to keep the fires of distrust burning However neither country was willing to allow the Russians to dominate the Middle East so they entered into a complicated relationship where they spent as much time worrying that their ally was trying to use them to further its own political and economic interests as they did trying to win the warThe British had the stronger navy but the French army was vastly superior in training logistics leadership and professionalism France provided two thirds of the ground troops the majority of whom had experience fighting in Algeria They also had a conscript based system so most of their soldiers were peasants and thus adept at shooting foraging scouting and building shelters Their officers lived among them sharing their hardships and gaining their confidence When the French and British armies first put ashore the French arrived with an entire logistical support system hospitals bakeries repair facilities veterinarians and everything else needed to sustain an army in the field The British soldiers arrived with nothing but their packs and riflesThe British army at this time was at its nadir in terms of professionalism and competence It was just starting to make the transition from aristocratic pastime to a merit based organization and was filled with officers who owed their rank and position to their influence at court Five of Lord Raglan s ADCs were nephews of his At the outbreak of war two thirds of the regular army was overseas on colonial duties so there was a rush to recruit anyone who was willing to join up in return for a recruitment bounty The ranks were filled with debtors and the city underclasses and their performance showed it Although they were able to learn the simplified rifle drill of the day they had no experience fending for themselves in the country and suffered greatly They arrived for the siege of Sevastopol with only their summer uniforms because how many times has this happened the Army was sure the fighting would be over before winter When the government did realize it needed to provide winter gear the ships carrying winter coats and other essential cold weather euipment were lost in a freak storm as they sat offshore waiting to unloadBritish enlisted personnel suffered horribly during the winter with thousands dying of exposure frostbite and disease Their situation was not helped by Raglan s decision to have them spend the winter on the exposed hilltops overlooking Sevastopol rather than keeping most of them in the sheltered valleys below Medical care for the sick and wounded was nightmarish almost medieval in its primitive barbarity Lord Raglan did not want these troops cluttering up his rear area so he sent them to hospitals in northern Anatolia aboard overloaded transports many of them crammed onto open decks without so much as a blanket Mortality rates were what would be expected Even those who survived to reach the hospitals found them a horrific experience of overcrowded wards and too few competent medical personnel Florence Nightingale deserves all the praise she has received for bringing order to this chaos often over the strenuous resistance of the official medical staffs who could not abide the thought of a woman with authorityWhile the enlisted soldiers suffered the officers did not Attending to the well being of their troops was not a priority for officers at this time that was a matter for the sergeants and the army support staff Officers lived apart from their units often miles away The senior among them lived comfortably in reuisitioned houses and even junior officers could find the means to construct secure shelters with furniture stone
Floors And Stoves Coal and stoves Coal never a problem The army brought in vast uantities of it and allocated a daily ration to all personnel officer and enlisted For the enlisted however it meant a six or seven mile trek to the port in freezing weather and up and down steep hills and ravines Few of them made the journey so there was always plenty for the officers who could send their servants to get as much as they wantedIn any case many officers did not spend the cold months in Sevastopol anyway They could reuest to spend the winter in warmer cosmopolitan places such as Constantinople and only returned when spring had arrived Officers freuently had no idea what their troops were enduring and expressed surprise when they read about it in newspaper stories from home This was
A TIME WHEN BECOMING AN OFFICER MEANT COMING FROM time when becoming an officer meant coming from good family knowing how to read and being brave dashing and stupidEventually the tide of
Battle Turned From Stalemate turned from stalemate favor the Allies They started to get organized brought in and artillery and began relying heavily on private contractors to manage logistics such as building a railroad from the British port to the front line sector They were successful in cutting off most of the Russian supply lines and their continual bombardments inflicted casualties the Russians could not sustain The key to the defense of Sevastopol was A solid well written general history of the Crimean WarFiges describes the history of the war from all sides and his coverage of the war s origins is particularly strong Although many of the wars after the Napoleonic era seemed like minor affairs Figes stresses that the Crimean War was most definitely not and he rams home the huge amount of casualties among combatants and civilians how primitive the Russian war effort could be and how amateurish the British could be Figes is not terribly sympathetic to Lord RaglanFiges also ably discusses the war s conseuences describing how it disrupted the post Napoleonic Concert of Europe how Sardinia s role contributed to France s decision to intervene in Italy and how postwar Russia turned to domestic reform and became even suspicious of western Europe Figes also emphasizes the war s status as the first to be brought about by the pressure of the press and by public opinion Some and better maps would have helped though and Figes coverage of events in the Baltic Anatolia and the Caucasus might strike some as relatively sparse Also Figes writes that the Austro Hungarians were in constant retreat in the Balkans they were The military operations take up only about a third of the narrative and Figes doesn t always provide much analysis or explanation here Figes also writes that the war was the first total war but this argument seems underdeveloped He also argues that millet system contributed to the Ottomans decline although the replacement of the millet system with nationalism seems plausible Elsewhere Figes writes that the war was primarily religious but the rhetoric of the time wasn t terribly uniue and it does seem like empire and the Eastern uestion were significant He also argues that public opinion was a major factor in the war s origins which might be true for Britain probably less so in FranceA balanced insightful and engaging history This book began rather slowly for me but I soon became engrossed in Figes narrative of this somewhat forgotten war which claimed so many lives for so little I have always been fascinated by the Crimean War and this book added to my knowledge as the author had access to sources not previously available to other authors It was a war of incompetent leadership missed opportunities outdated military tactics and rampant disease Much mystiue and legend regarding the war has grown over the ears based solely on the suicidal charge of the Light Brigade a perfect example of the miscommunication and lack of military leadership so prevalent in the Crimea The author gives eual attention to the battles of Inkerman the river Alma and the siege of Sevastopol which were of much importance than the infamous charge Highly recommended for the lover of military history A comprehensive history of the war with excellent chapters on the aftermath in world politics and national identityon the aftermath of the war The Crimean War reinforced in Russia a long felt sense of resentment against Europe There was a feeling of betrayal that the West had sided with the Turks against Russia It was the first time in history that a European alliance had fought on the side of a Muslim power against another Christian state in a major war All around the Black Sea rim the Crimean War resulted in the uprooting and transmigration of ethnic and religious groups They crossed in both directions over the religious line separating Russia from the Muslim world But if the Paris treaty made few immediate changes to the European map it marked a crucial watershed for international relations and politics effectively ending the old balance of power in which Austria and Russia had controlled the Continent between themselves and forging new alignments that would pave the way for the emergence of nation states in Italy Romania and Germany The Crimean War provides a thorough and engaging ex. Ssia and the West; that it set in motion the conflicts that would dominate the century to comeIn this masterly history Orlando Figes reconstructs the first full conflagration of modernity a global industrialized struggle fought with unusual ferocity and incompetence Drawing on untapped Russian and Ottoman as well as European sources Figes vividly depicts the world at war from the palaces of St Petersburg to the holy sites of Jerusalem; from the oung Tolstoy reporting in Sevastopol to Tsar Nicolas haunted by.
Download Crimea The Last CrusadePlanation of the causes and course of the war It also lays out subseuent events that were precipitated by its peace settlement as well as by unsettled issues and persistent national attitudes Figes s well organized history makes the war seem like the essential pivot point between the Treaty of Vienna after the Napoleonic Wars and the start of WWI I recommend it very highlyFiges decides the most important causes of the conflict were a Russian religious fervor to put all Orthodox believers under jurisdiction of Christian nations if possible Russia itself and the western European Russophobia that feared the Bear would persist in the expansionist phase started by Catherine the Great until it reached India and gobbled up eastern Europe The critical players were Nicholas I of Russia growing increasingly unstable and the British prime minister Palmerston But there were hosts of players on the diplomatic field in the ears leading up to hostilities Turcophile Englishmen like Uruart and Canning Emperor Napoleon of France who needed legitimization and was thinking strategically to future moves regarding Italian unification pan Slavic activists in the Balkans Polish exiles etc etc Figes is meticulous in identifying the motives and communications among these groupsThe war itself could probably have been avoided but in Figes s view the role of the press in forming fervent pro war public opinion made this the first modern war in that sense The British public was bombarded with scare stories about the Russians so that cooler heads in the cabinet were forced into a position they didn t want to be in On the other side Nicholas and his successor Alexander were stubborn throughout It was also a modern war in the need for decision making power to filter down to smaller units the use of steamships and longer range riflesThe descriptions of the war itself are horrifying The British effort was criminally disorganized The soldiers lived in indescribable conditions particularly during the winter The French did much better and in fact carried on the bulk of the fighting they were primarily responsible for the victory such as it was All sent stupefying numbers of men into sure death storming enemy strong points But many many died of diseaseAnd then there were the filthy hospitals and the arrival of Florence Nightingale She was not the only one to save lives there is a nice portrait of a pioneering Russian surgeon Nikolai PirogovBut Figes finest achievement is showing how the war and the peace terms altered the geopolitics of the region In particular there were mass relocations of ethnic groups based on religion that affected the Balkans especially France was in the ascendant again after its post Napoleonic second tier position and Britain s reputation suffered Russia felt abused by the western powers and took Sebastopol as the epitome of the absolute dedication of citizen to country willing to die for Russia whether in 1812 1857 or eventually in the siege of LeningradMy reading notes The Charge of the Light Brigade was caused by garbled instructions and personal dislike among the officers but it actually helped turned the tide of the battle I had thought it was futile None of the combatants could justify the war with the real reason they were fighting they all needed cover stories Early on Turkish soldiers arrived to help the allies but the allies ordered them forward without provisions or rest and what provisions they got were not halal so they could not eat They carried out a reasonable retreat were berated and treated terribly for the rest of the war How often both the Russians and the allies lost a chance to end the war by failing to pursue an enemy in retreatAgain an extremely useful book I am not a historian so I have no way to judge how balanced a picture Figes paints but in comparison to Paul Johnson s The Birth of the Modern which I m also reading and which has a blatant conservative slant this seems even This book is very well written an immense amount of material is just where it ought to be There are useful maps and fascinating plates that reflect the first war with photographic evidence war correspondents and fairly rapid communication from front to capitols A complete book on the Crimean War that starts from far behind to reveal all its causes and continues to provide a wealth of information on every aspect of this conflict Interestingly the author does this in a way that makes the book part of the serious historiography but also completely accessible to the general public It is certainly ideal for those who know little about this subject with most of them coming from historical myths they will learn much and will leave these myths behind Excellent This is actually three books The first one up to p 140 or so is about the origins of the Crimean war At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusale It s Good Friday April 10 1846 Jerusalem is packed with pilgrims on an Easter weekend that happened to fall on the same date in both the Latin and Orthodox calendars The mood is tense The two religious communities had been arguing over who has the right to be first to carry out the rituals at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre one of the holiest places in Christendom standing on the spot where Jesus is said to have been crucifiedThat Friday was to be anything but good The Catholics arrived only to find that the Greeks were there first A fight broke out priest against priest soon to be joined by monks and pilgrims from the respective camps People fought not just with fists but anything they could get a hold of crucifixes candlesticks chalices lamps and incense burners Wood was torn from the sacred shrines and used as clubs Knives and pistols were smuggled into the church By the time the Mehemet Pasha the Ottoman governor of Jerusalem had restored order forty people lay deadThis dreadful incident all in the name of a shared belief marks the departure for Orlando Figes Crimea the Last Crusade the first full account of the Crimean War that I have read I know Figes well one of the best specialists on Russian history in the English speaking world the author of the superlative A People s Tragedy the Russian Revolution 1891 1924 Although his history of the Crimean War lacks the range and power of the latter book he has done a tremendous service placing the conflict firmly within the context of the Eastern uestion the issues arising from the continuing decline of the Ottoman Empire and European power politics as a wholeI m not completely convinced by his crusading hook I have to say Yes the war did begin with a conflict over who had the best claim to protect the holy places within the Turkish empire the Catholic French or the Orthodox Russians and again es Tsar Nicholas I was strong in his conviction that he was a defender of the true faith a defender of the Orthodox faithful in all the Turkish lands But almost immediately when the fighting started the religious issue was obscured by general issues arising from European geopolitics Besides a war which involved Turkish Muslims British Protestants and French Catholics on one side against Orthodox Russians on the other does not look much like a crusade The Tsar may have begun with crusading thoughts but before his death in March 1855 he was preoccupied by the decline in Russian powerFiges greatest service has been to rescue the conflict from fragmentation and partiality the preserve at best of amateur military historians interested in the clash of arms than the reason for the clash of arms The war may have been tragic and unnecessary but it still marks and important stage in the development of European politics and diplomacy It marks the end of the Concert of Europe the arrangement between the powers to police the settlement of 1815 emerging from the Napoleonic Wars It marks the break in the informal alliance between Russia and Austria that helped preserved that settlement in aspic allowing for the rise of new nations like Italy and Germany So in all it was so much than the Charge of the Light Brigade the Thin Red Line and the Lady with the LampSo far as the conflict itself is concerned there was really no
need as the author shows for the Crimean War ever to have been the Crimean War There was no need inas the author shows for the Crimean War ever to have been the Crimean War There was no need in words for the landing on the Crimean peninsula followed by the lengthy and bloody siege of the port of Sevastopol for the simple reason that the Russians had suffered a serious tactical and strategic reverse in early 1854They had previously occupied the semi autonomous Ottoman provinces of Moldavia and Walachia now Romania with a view to pushing south of the Danube in a march on Constantinople But unexpectedly tough resistance by the Turks at the fortress of Silistria prevented any further advance When this was coupled with the landings of the French and British at Varna in what is now Bulgaria and the threat of Austrian intervention the Russians had no choice but to withdraw from the occupied provinces But the blood was up the war had to run its course Russia had to be humbled Sevastopol had to fallCrimea marks a vital stage in the development of warfare combining elements of the old and the new combining the Napoleonic Wars at one remove and the First World War at the other It was the last of the old wars if ou like containing the seeds of the new Although it may come as a surprise the campaign on the Crimea itself and its eventual outcome was far a French than a British affair The French contributed many troops It was their capture of the Malakhov redoubt in September 1855 that led to the fall of Sevastopol and the end of the warDiplomatically their role was also decisive Palmerston who succeeded the far less militant Aberdeen as prime minister in 1855 rather took on the role of Cato the Elder Cartago delenda est was his war cry His Carthage
was Russia which he intended to remove forever as a threatRussia which he intended to remove forever as a threat the British Empire If he had had his way the Russian borders would have returned to those of 1709 before Peter the Great s victory over the Swedes at Poltava The press was behind his war drive the people were behind him even the ueen was behind him the French were not He did not have his way because Napoleon III had other visions Britain may have had the fleet but the French had the armyThis is a good story an important story told with verve and style told in a wholly compelling fashion with plenty of balance and nuance placing the Crimean War in proper context The author is to be commended for his industry and his scholarship for writing a first class account of an important passage in European history To look into given the recent developmentsOrlando Figes is a somewhat disgraced author however I would still like a flick through this May 2014 President Putin s visit to Crimea was welcomed there but criticised by Washington BBC news I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in current conflict in UkraineCrimea who wants to understand historical geopolitical and political roots of idiotic modern strife between Russia and the West and who at the same time is sick of media taking sides an. Dreams of religious salvation; from the ordinary soldiers and nurses on the battlefields to the women and children in towns under siegeOriginal magisterial alive with voices of the time The Crimean War is a historical tour de force whose depiction of ethnic cleansing and the West's relations with the Muslim world resonates with contemporary overtones At once a rigorous original study and a sweeping panoramic narrative The Crimean War is the definitive account of the war that mapped the terrain for today's wor. .