Mrs. Duberly's War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6

By Frances Isabella Duberly; Christine Kelly | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Embarkation and
Encampment at Varna

The French and British armies arrived at Varna in early
June and set up camp in the countryside around the town,
ready to aid the Turks besieged at Silistria, seventy miles
away (see map, p. 20). After invading Wallachia (modern
Rumania), the Russians had concentrated their attack on
Silistria in an attempt to cross the Danube, march into
Bulgaria and advance on Constantinople. In the event
no troops were sent by the Allies (apart from two young
British officers), and it looked as though the fortress
would fall despite the Turks' determined stand against
increasingly overwhelming odds. But the siege ended
abruptly when the Austrians, who had earlier declared
their neutrality, issued an ultimatum to the Tsar on 18
June: either he withdrew his army from the principalities
north of the Danube or Austria would support Turkey.
Four days later the Russians withdrew. Meanwhile the
Austrians agreed to occupy the principalities for the
duration of the war.

The French and the British now faced a dilemma—
whether to return home, or to attack Sebastopol and
destroy the Russian Black Sea fleet and the dockyard in
which it was based. Both governments were keen to
attack, envisaging a short, sharp engagement, but the
commanders in the field, with little information as to the
strength or disposition of the Russian forces and defences
in the Crimea, were less certain of a swift conclusion to
the campaign. Raglan reluctantly agreed to move after
receiving a strongly worded dispatch from Newcastle in

-17-

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Mrs. Duberly's War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Maps and Illustrations ix
  • Notes on Endpapers x
  • Chapter 1 - The Voyage 1
  • Chapter 2 - Embarkation and Encampment at Varna 17
  • Chapter 3 - The Expedition to the Crimea 54
  • Chapter 4 - Balaklava October-November 1854 75
  • Chapter 5 - Balaklava December 1854– March 1855 113
  • Chapter 6 - The Camp 154
  • Chapter 7 - The Fall of Sebastopol 200
  • Notes and Commentary 263
  • Biographical Notes 307
  • Appendix I - How the War Began 327
  • Appendix 2 - The Battle of Balaklava 334
  • Books Referred to and Further Reading 343
  • Acknowledgements 345
  • Index 347
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