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The Crimean War at Sea: The Naval Campaigns Against Russia 1854-56 [Hardcover]

Peter Duckers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

21 April 2011
Too often historical writing on the Russian War of 1854-56 focuses narrowly on the land campaign fought in the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea. The wider war waged at sea by the British and French navies against the Russians is ignored. The allied navies aimed to strike at Russian interests anywhere in the world where naval force could be brought to bear and as a result campaigns were waged in the Baltic, the Black Sea, the White Sea, on the Russian Pacific coast and in the Sea of Azoff. Yet it is the land campaign in the Crimea that shapes our understanding of events. In this graphic and original study, Peter Duckers seeks to set the record straight. He shows how these neglected naval campaigns were remarkably successful, in contrast to the wretched failures that beset the British army on land. Allied warships ranged across Russian waters sinking shipping, disrupting trade, raiding ports, bombarding fortresses, destroying vast quantities of stores and shelling coastal towns. The scale and intensity of the naval operations embarked upon during the war are astonishing, and little appreciated, and this new book offers the first overall survey of them.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Maritime (21 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848842678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848842670
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 532,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If like me your knowledge of the naval aspects of the Crimean war is rather scant, I promise this book will be a revelation to you. If on the other hand your knowledge is more expansive you will instead revel in the detail that this book offers.
First off the title of this book, as Mr Duckers comments himself in the foreword, is a little mis-leading since from the outset of the war with Russia the Allies instituted a policy of harassing Russia and her economic trade wherever and whenever they were able.
After outlining the background to the war with Russia and describing the opposing fleets, the book then divides into several discreet chapters describing the naval campaigns in the Baltic, the White Sea, the Pacific and of course in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azoff. He also covers the actions of the naval brigade during the land campaign in the Crimea.
Mr Duckers writing style is clear and accessible, and his opinions measured and backed up with supporting facts. There are also a smattering of quotations from contemporary first hand accounts, including from the then midshipman George Tryon.
Make no mistake, there is no stirring Trafalgaresque fleet engagement to describe here, though as the author points out there was very real potential for this, and indeed expectation from the British public. Rather there are a series of coastal bombardments, blockade and small ship actions as the allies attempt to winkle out elements of the Russian fleet from their often heavily fortified naval bases. You do however get a real sense of the problems facing the commanders and the reasoning involved in fighting a naval campaign during the era of transition from sail to steam and the kind of re-adjustments and extemporisations the commanders on the spot had to make.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hiden War 4 Feb 2013
By Luiz Antonio A Machado - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
These operations, at least the main ones, didn't happen exactly in Crimea. It's a fascinating account of a obscure part of the terrible war, which confronted Russia against France, Britain, Turkey and Piemonte (Italia didn' t exist then). Very interesting !
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Obscure Campaign for Hardcore Military History Addicts 21 Dec 2012
By Dr Y - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you looking for obscure military history books, here's one for your list. I mean the Crimean War is not much of a hot topic even by itself, but zero in on the naval campaign - - - which even the most hard core enthusiast might find little to salivate a lot about - - - and you're charging into the Valley of Remote. This can lead your lancer into some rather tough, downright dull reading. However, if you want to add to your collection of some pretty cool, extremely early photos when the camera was in its infancy, catch some of the full frontal shots in this book. And parts of the text do satisfy the demand for some shell shock. It's not a long half a league, but you won't be galloping at top speed through this one.
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