This is a very interesting book that manages to be both a serious history of the Crimean War and a guide book to help those on holiday to find their way around the old battlefields and points of interest. The illustrations, mostly in full colour, provide a level of illustration not achieved before in this subject – Highly Recommended.
NAME: The Crimean War, Then & Now FILE: R2643 AUTHOR: David R Jones PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline BINDING: hard back PAGES: 390 PRICE: £35.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: French Army, British Army, Russian Army, Russian expansion, Franco-British Alliance, Crimea, Black Sea, siege warfare, logistics ISBN: 1-84832-491-X IMAGE: B2643.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y8no95cm LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This is a very interesting book that manages to be both a serious history of the Crimean War and a guide book to help those on holiday to find their way around the old battlefields and points of interest. The illustrations, mostly in full colour, provide a level of illustration not achieved before in this subject – Highly Recommended. The Crimean War is interesting and important because it shows how Russia has always gone through a series of cycles of expansion and contraction. It does not matter much who the Russian leader is at any time, only his relative strength and also the relative strength of those opposing any acts of expansion. In many respects, the Crimean War holds strong similarity to the more recent annexation of Ukrainian territory by Putin's Russia. Putin's desire to expand Russian influence in a new Cold War has combined with the inept political pygmies of the European Union who talk big but have nothing much behind them. By talking up their own ambitions to absorb the Ukraine, they encouraged Putin to make what amounted to a pre-emptive strike that has cost the Ukraine an important part of their territory with the prospect of further Russian aggression at some future date. In the Nineteenth Century, Russia was looking to expand again and to turn the Black Sea into a Russian lake. The British and the French were worried by this, fearing that it could be a continuing expansion at their expense. Like the EU, in a later miscalculation over Crimea, the British and French were not prepared or able to mount an adequate expedition and sustain it to victory, expelling Russia from the Crimea. Their approach simply encouraged the Russians further than they appear to have planned. It also created fault lines that contributed to WWI. There were two critical weaknesses in the Franco-British Alliance. The first was that the two countries had a thousand years experience of being opponents and no experience of combining their two armies effectively against a common perceived enemy, beyond the 17thC Battle of Sole Bay which did not go well for the Franco- British Fleet when it was caught by the much smaller Dutch Fleet of the United Provinces. The second Crimean weakness was that they had to send a fleet with troop transports through the narrow Bospherus with a less than friendly nation holding both banks. Once into the Black Sea and they were without friendly ports and potentially vulnerable to any Russian warships. There were other lesser by important weaknesses. Both armies were structured much as they had been for Centuries, with command being more a matter of social rank and money than military merit. That further reduced the chances of operating together effectively. Then they faced the challenges of keeping their armies supplied in the field with only a single port available for the purpose. Just to make matters more difficult, Balaclava faced the strong possibly of being cut off from the armies once they had landed and deployed. Today, the Charge of the Light Brigade and the nursing advances of Florence Nightingale are all that most Britons will know of the conflict, and even those memories are becoming rare. Many will even have difficulty in knowing where in the world the Crimea is which maybe is little change from the time when the war was underway. The author has made many trips to the Crimea and built a unique photographic library of the Crimean battlefields as they look today. As a result he has been able to lay his photographs against the illustrations draw at the time of the war. This is an absorbing book