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

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

CHAPTER 7
The Fall of Sebastopol

After the failed attack of 18 June and the death of
Raglan, Pelissier dominated the Allied forces. Not only
was the French fighting strength greatly superior,
allowing him the final word in every council of war,
but Simpson, Raglan's reluctant successor as British
commander, was too timid to defy him. The Allies
returned to the long-term French strategy: bombarding
Sebastopol with mortars and guns to drive the Russians
from the south of the city before launching a further
attack on the Malakoff, the key to their defences. As
before, they inflicted little damage on the fortifications
but within the city casualties mounted and hundreds
died daily, their sufferings increased by the shortage of
medicine and food after the break in the supply lines.

Determined to end this, and alarmed by the build-up
of Allied forces, the Tsar intervened, insisting on an
immediate all-out assault on the Allies before the Russian
field army, already suffering from lack of ammunition
and forage, finally disintegrated. Additional French
and British troops had arrived throughout the summer
months, augmented by a contingent of 15,000 Sardinians
(see p. 295, note 26). Against the advice of all his
commanders, the Tsar demanded an attack on the
well-fortified French and Sardinian positions on the
Fedoukine heights. The battle at the Tchernaya river on
16 August was a massacre and destroyed the Russian
army (see p. 301, note 20). At once, plans were made
to evacuate the south of Sebastopol and work commenced
on a bridge of boats across the harbour (see p. 225,
Monday 20th).

-200-

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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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