A Brief History of the Crimean War, Paperback

A Brief History of the Crimean War Paperback

Part of the Brief Histories series

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9781845294205



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The Crimean War is a confusing introduction to this episode. It is written in a consciously un-linear manner, so that parts of the outcome of the war are described at many points throughout the text. The book is explicitly not a military history, but the narrative suffers from a lack of maps which makes the action difficult to follow. Finally, the edition I read contains numerous typos and some small errors which were very distracting.That said, the book is very strong when it comes to its stated goals of providing in-depth descriptions of the personalities most responsible for bringing about the Crimean war. The prose itself is well composed -- I had no trouble completing the book in a few days. I just wish it had a better structure.

Also by Alexis S. Troubetzkoy