The Crimean War, John Sweetman

The Crimean War, John Sweetman


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The Crimean War, John Sweetman

The Crimean War, John Sweetman

A very good example of an Osprey book. Sweetman's Crimean War would make a perfect introduction to the war. The book covers the causes of the war and the motives of the main combatants but concentrates (over half of the book) on a narrative account of the war.

This book is well illustrated in the normal Osprey style, including a series of good (if mislabeled) maps.

The only real flaw in this book is that it concentrates on the British view of the war, but in a book of this size it would be hard to cover all four viewpoints (French, Russian, Turkish and British) in any detail.

Author: John Sweetman
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 96
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2001


Crimean War Hardcover – 17 January 2001

While this isn't the best 'Essential Histories' I've come across, it is far from the worst. Adequate descriptions of the key battles on the Crimean peninsula and thought-provoking insights into the causes and effects of the war make for an interesting read.

The Crimean War is one of the more obscure major wars involving European nations at the height of their power. This conflict between the Allies (Britain, France, and Turkey) and Russia was the result of Western European reaction to Russian aggression in the Black Sea, which threatened Constantinople and trade routes to India. While the war ended in a sort of stalemate, the Allies were successful in maintaining the status quo of the region and halting the expansion of Russian power (for a time). Major historical figures and events came out of the Crimean War, including the Charge of the Light Brigade and Florence Nightingale (both of which are covered adequately in this volume). Perhaps most significantly, this war resulted in the reorganization and increased efficiency of the British military, after the horrors and wastefulness of the war effort were reported by front line newsmen (the first in history).

There are a couple of minor complaints I have about this volume. First, I was disappointed in the maps for each of the major battles. They were placed 4-5 pages away from the text describing the battles and contained no references with which to position them in relation to Sevastopol, making for a rather confusing read. Additionally, the entire book is told from a primarily British perspective, glaringly not mentioning the fact that the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy (WAR AND PEACE) was involved as an officer in the Battle of Chernaya and the defence of Sevastopol.

Overall, an adequate portrayal of this little-known (but interesting) war.

Sandhurst historian John Sweetman provides a useful summarized history of the Crimean War in Osprey's Essential Histories #2. Although the author provides a primarily British perspective on the war, this volume is well-written and is useful for readers who desire a quick summary of the war's key moments, with some added insight and analysis. This is a good, if conventional, effort.

Opening sections in the volume describe the theater of war, the opposing forces and how the war began. While short, these introductory sections include the key facts needed to set the stage. The description of the actual war covers about 47 pages. The two sections, `portrait of a soldier' and `portrait of a civilian', although well-written and interesting are marred by a flaw that has afflicted much of the Essential History series, namely overt British chauvinism (of the three volumes on WW1, all focus on British individuals). The authors picks Captain Nolan of `charge of the Light Brigade' fame as his model soldier, which is unfortunate since this is a very controversial individual who has been picked apart by generations of historians. The two civilians portrayed are both British wives. After reading this volume, the reader may have a difficult time remembering that British forces comprised only about 15% of the Allied troops in the Crimea or that there were Russians in the war, too. The author missed a great chance to include a Russian viewpoint from none other than Leo Tolstoy, who was serving with the garrison in Sebastopol. The denouement of the war is covered rather hastily in a few pages and the reader will come away with the impression that the Allies gained nothing from their `victory,' but in fact, the Russian Black Sea Fleet was all but disbanded for a generation and the Russians were forced to raze all the fortifications in the Crimea. By demilitarizing the Crimea for a 20-year period, Russian pressure on Turkey was eased, thus avoiding a wider war at that time.

This volume also includes seven maps (Turkey and the Crimea area of operations the Battle of the Alma the Battle of Balaklava the Battle of Inkerman Battle of Chernaya Sevastopol, June 1855). The bibliography is very weak, with only seven references provided (including one by the author). Despite the fact that the French carried the brunt of the war effort, not one French source is listed in the bibliography. The photographs and illustrations are a bit bland and almost totally represent the Allied viewpoint.

Overall, the main problem with this volume is its Anglo-centrism, with too much focus on the small British forces at the expense of the other participants. While the author details British problems with medical and transport services, he fails to note that the Russian army had considerable logistic problems of its own. Aside from noting the poor command abilities of several of the Russian senior generals, the Russian army is virtually overlooked. Nor do the French get much better treatment, despite the fact that their army performed fairly well (for once) in the Crimea. I wanted to like this volume, since it is always intriguing to read about controversial battles such as Balaklava, but I couldn't escape the fact that the author was leading the reader down the well-worn grooves of Crimean War historiography that British historians have imposed upon us for over a century. It's time to get out of that groove and look at more than just the `thin red line' and look at the experiences of all the participating sides.


Crimean War Hardcover – 17 January 2001

While this isn't the best 'Essential Histories' I've come across, it is far from the worst. Adequate descriptions of the key battles on the Crimean peninsula and thought-provoking insights into the causes and effects of the war make for an interesting read.

The Crimean War is one of the more obscure major wars involving European nations at the height of their power. This conflict between the Allies (Britain, France, and Turkey) and Russia was the result of Western European reaction to Russian aggression in the Black Sea, which threatened Constantinople and trade routes to India. While the war ended in a sort of stalemate, the Allies were successful in maintaining the status quo of the region and halting the expansion of Russian power (for a time). Major historical figures and events came out of the Crimean War, including the Charge of the Light Brigade and Florence Nightingale (both of which are covered adequately in this volume). Perhaps most significantly, this war resulted in the reorganization and increased efficiency of the British military, after the horrors and wastefulness of the war effort were reported by front line newsmen (the first in history).

There are a couple of minor complaints I have about this volume. First, I was disappointed in the maps for each of the major battles. They were placed 4-5 pages away from the text describing the battles and contained no references with which to position them in relation to Sevastopol, making for a rather confusing read. Additionally, the entire book is told from a primarily British perspective, glaringly not mentioning the fact that the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy (WAR AND PEACE) was involved as an officer in the Battle of Chernaya and the defence of Sevastopol.

Overall, an adequate portrayal of this little-known (but interesting) war.

Sandhurst historian John Sweetman provides a useful summarized history of the Crimean War in Osprey's Essential Histories #2. Although the author provides a primarily British perspective on the war, this volume is well-written and is useful for readers who desire a quick summary of the war's key moments, with some added insight and analysis. This is a good, if conventional, effort.

Opening sections in the volume describe the theater of war, the opposing forces and how the war began. While short, these introductory sections include the key facts needed to set the stage. The description of the actual war covers about 47 pages. The two sections, `portrait of a soldier' and `portrait of a civilian', although well-written and interesting are marred by a flaw that has afflicted much of the Essential History series, namely overt British chauvinism (of the three volumes on WW1, all focus on British individuals). The authors picks Captain Nolan of `charge of the Light Brigade' fame as his model soldier, which is unfortunate since this is a very controversial individual who has been picked apart by generations of historians. The two civilians portrayed are both British wives. After reading this volume, the reader may have a difficult time remembering that British forces comprised only about 15% of the Allied troops in the Crimea or that there were Russians in the war, too. The author missed a great chance to include a Russian viewpoint from none other than Leo Tolstoy, who was serving with the garrison in Sebastopol. The denouement of the war is covered rather hastily in a few pages and the reader will come away with the impression that the Allies gained nothing from their `victory,' but in fact, the Russian Black Sea Fleet was all but disbanded for a generation and the Russians were forced to raze all the fortifications in the Crimea. By demilitarizing the Crimea for a 20-year period, Russian pressure on Turkey was eased, thus avoiding a wider war at that time.

This volume also includes seven maps (Turkey and the Crimea area of operations the Battle of the Alma the Battle of Balaklava the Battle of Inkerman Battle of Chernaya Sevastopol, June 1855). The bibliography is very weak, with only seven references provided (including one by the author). Despite the fact that the French carried the brunt of the war effort, not one French source is listed in the bibliography. The photographs and illustrations are a bit bland and almost totally represent the Allied viewpoint.

Overall, the main problem with this volume is its Anglo-centrism, with too much focus on the small British forces at the expense of the other participants. While the author details British problems with medical and transport services, he fails to note that the Russian army had considerable logistic problems of its own. Aside from noting the poor command abilities of several of the Russian senior generals, the Russian army is virtually overlooked. Nor do the French get much better treatment, despite the fact that their army performed fairly well (for once) in the Crimea. I wanted to like this volume, since it is always intriguing to read about controversial battles such as Balaklava, but I couldn't escape the fact that the author was leading the reader down the well-worn grooves of Crimean War historiography that British historians have imposed upon us for over a century. It's time to get out of that groove and look at more than just the `thin red line' and look at the experiences of all the participating sides.


Essential Histories: The Crimean War

The bitter war between Russia and Turkey is recorded here. It details the gallant yet suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade and relates the reports made by the first war correspondant, William Russell. It also deals with the heroism of Florence Nightingale.

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            The Crimean War: 1854-1856 Paperback – Illustrated, 19 January 2001

            John Sweetman does a nice job of condensing this war down to its essential elements. This is no easy feat and he should be commended for a job well done. As with all books in the "Essential Histories" series, this one is no different. It is ninety-two pages long and contains numerous drawings of significant battlefield events. Regarding the various commanders, the author provides sufficient detail so that the reader clearly understands their specific level of participation in the war. The section on the fighting is done in a chronological order. Thus, the chapters flow in a logical progression.

            The main weakness of this book can be found in the maps. This weakness, however, is minimal at best. Several of the battle maps are improperly located within the book. For example, the map of the Battle of Balaclava is located a few pages ahead of that specific narrative. The map of the Battle of Inkerman is placed amidst the text of the Battle of Balaclava. The result is that the reader must go back several pages to locate the map that pertains to the applicable battle. Also, the book would have benefited from a mid level map of the area around Sevastopol. The battles of Balaclava, Inkerman, and Chernaya all occur in the same general area. Each of the battle maps have one of two geographic features that are also located in the other battle maps. Unfortunately, there is no mid level map that displays all three battles in relation to the city of Sevastopol.

            The book provides information on two interesting people. First, the author made an excellent selection of Captain Nolan as the focus of the chapter on "Portrait of a Soldier." Captain Nolan participated in the charge of the Light Brigade the most famous action of the entire war. His focus on Captain Nolan provides another viewpoint of this part of the Battle of Balaclava. The second person is Florence Nightingale. Although she is discussed, the author does not spend much time on her activities. Historically speaking, she was probably the most famous person to come out of this conflict.

            The author's end of war analysis appears to be very insightful. He discusses how this war illuminated the deteriorating state of the Ottoman Empire. Many of the newly independent states could not peacefully co-exist. In some small way, this conflict may have laid the groundwork for World War I. The biggest winner of the war was the British Army. This conflict pointed out the shortcomings of the British medical and logistical services. Sorely needed reforms were implemented because of the suffering endured by the British servicemen. Bottom line: this is a well-written book that covers all the important aspects of the war. The reader should not be disappointed.


            The Crimean War, John Sweetman - History

            This bitter war between Russia and Turkey, aided by Britain and France, was the setting for the stuff of legends. This book details the gallant yet suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade, now immortalised in film: in the words of Tennyson, 'Into the Valley of Death rode the Six Hundred'. It relates the reports made by the first real war correspondant, William Russell of the London Times - reports which served only to highlight the army's problems - and memorialises the heroic deeds of Florence Nightingale, who struggled to save young men from the most formidable enemy in the Crimean War: not the Russians, but cholera.
            e-Book Download The Crimean War: 1854-1856 (Essential Histories) by John Sweetman pdf

            Author: John Sweetman
            Pages: 96
            ISBN: 978-1841761862
            Format: PDF
            File size: 10.48 Mb
            Download The Crimean War: 1854-1856 (Essential Histories) PDF Kindle ipad
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            While this isn't the best 'Essential Histories' I've come across, it is far from the worst. Adequate descriptions of the key battles on the Crimean peninsula and thought-provoking insights into the causes and effects of the war make for an interesting read.

            The Crimean War is one of the more obscure major wars involving European nations at the height of their power. This conflict between the Allies (Britain, France, and Turkey) and Russia was the result of Western European reaction to Russian aggression in the Black Sea, which threatened Constantinople and trade routes to India. While the war ended in a sort of stalemate, the Allies were successful in maintaining the status quo of the region and halting the expansion of Russian power (for a time). Major historical figures and events came out of the Crimean War, including the Charge of the Light Brigade and Florence Nightingale (both of which are covered adequately in this volume). Perhaps most significantly, this war resulted in the reorganization and increased efficiency of the British military, after the horrors and wastefulness of the war effort were reported by front line newsmen (the first in history).

            There are a couple of minor complaints I have about this volume. First, I was disappointed in the maps for each of the major battles. They were placed 4-5 pages away from the text describing the battles and contained no references with which to position them in relation to Sevastopol, making for a rather confusing read. Additionally, the entire book is told from a primarily British perspective, glaringly not mentioning the fact that the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy (WAR AND PEACE) was involved as an officer in the Battle of Chernaya and the defence of Sevastopol.

            Overall, an adequate portrayal of this little-known (but interesting) war.


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