Crimean War 1854

The Crimean War was fought by an alliance of Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia against Russia on the grounds of the strategic importance of a region and over religious differences. France, Russia and Britain were all competing for influence in the Middle East, particularly with Turkey. Also control of access to religious sites in the Holy Land had been a cause of tension between Catholic France and Orthodox Russia for a number of years. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. While the churches eventually worked out their differences and came to an agreement, Nicholas I of Russia and the French Emperor Napoleon III refused to back down. Tsar Nicholas took the opportunity to mobilise the Russian army against Turkey, which at this point was beginning to lose its grip on its empire. The British and French, for their part, were concerned about Russian expansion in the region and the potential threat to their trade routes.

Source:National Archives

Allies Russian empire
strength - 200,000
KIA - 3000
DOW - 2000
DOD - 17000

Ottoman Empire
strength - 300,000
Dead - 150,000

strength - 18,000
Dead - 2000

strength - 400,000
KIA - 10,000
DOW - 20,000
DOD - 60,000
strength - 700,000
Dead - 400,000
KIA - 150,000
DOW - 80,000
KIA - killed in action
DOW - died of wounds
DOD - died of disease
Numbers are Approximate


The Crimean War was managed and commanded very poorly on both sides with disease accounting for a approximately two thirds of the losses on both sides. when news of the reports of the conditions at the front reached home, nurse Mary Seacole financed a trip to Balaklava herself where she setup the British Hotel, an officer’s club and convalescent home that she used as a base to treat the sick and wounded on the battlefield. Florence Nightingale became a national heroine, although her work was essentially hospital management she made Improvements to the field hospital at Üsküdar revolutionizing the treatment of wounded soldiers and paved the way for later developments in battlefield medicine.

Boldon Combatants
PrivateJames Edward QuickA bible/Prayer book was Sold at auction, The book belonged to James Edward Quick Boldon County Durham and was incribed by Florence Nightingale in Scutari Hospital 1855
© IWM (Q 71083)

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