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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing new insight to the Crimean War.
Having read books, old and modern,and contemporary manuscripts covering the Crimean War, I can honestly say that this book by Hugh Small is the most refreshing and thought provoking facility I have read for many years.
Many works from the earliest times after the war and onwards, are simply recycled official documents and news reports. This book whilst obviously...
Published on 9 Mar 2008 by Keith Smith

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Abit dry
Slow start, but plenty of facts & figures. But a good reference book that can be used for an overall view
Published 14 months ago by Jay


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing new insight to the Crimean War., 9 Mar 2008
By 
Keith Smith "wolvesman" (Oxfordshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having read books, old and modern,and contemporary manuscripts covering the Crimean War, I can honestly say that this book by Hugh Small is the most refreshing and thought provoking facility I have read for many years.
Many works from the earliest times after the war and onwards, are simply recycled official documents and news reports. This book whilst obviously drawing on original documents, gives many alternative views on causes and effects.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hope this sets a precedent for other history authors, 11 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Crimean War (Kindle Edition)
I didn't know much about the Crimean war before reading this book. I knew of the Charge of the Light Brigade from Tennyson's poem and the story of Florence Nightingale but little else. I just wanted to know more about it. So it was purely by accident that I stumbled across this book which attempts to tell history in a different way.

The general premise of the author is that too many historical accounts have been written with the purpose of aggrandising certain well-known establishment figures and that facts have been ignored and straightforward lies have been told. The author claims to have read many unpublished letters and documents of the period and attempts to tell what really happened. I find the account very believable as it fits with human nature and current practice of modern politicians. It makes me wonder about all of other history books I have read. A most interesting book and I would certainly welcome attempts by other authors to do the same for other episodes of history.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Crimean War . . . by Hugh Small, 26 July 2011
In his second book, "The Crimean War: Queen Victoria's War with the Russian Tsars", Hugh Small takes another look at the conventional wisdom about the Crimean War and, once again, turns it on its ear. Mr. Small, whose "Florence Nightingale: Avenging Angel" established him as a recognised authority on Miss Nightingale, shows a breadth and depth of knowledge on the Crimean War which is truly impressive. Through reference to a number of obscure but authentic documents, Mr. Small makes a compelling case for looking at the entire war in a whole new way; he provides new perspectives on the 'generally accepted' tactical alternatives which predominate other histories and provides some very original analyses of command decisions. Once you have read his book you will never look at the battle of the Alma or the Charge of the Light Brigade in the same way. The book, which is a surprisingly easy and enjoyable read, is destined to become a classic on the Crimean War!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A war Britain didn't win, unavailable at a school near you., 20 Aug 2014
By 
F. R. Jack (Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Crimean War (Kindle Edition)
I was led to this chronologically as it were after reading William Dalrymple's excellent "Return of a King" on Britain's first Afghan war. This book, on the Crimean, is also eerily like "Back to the Future". There is a theme in the history untaught at school! Not knowing much about the Crimean war, I was impressed by Hugo Small's approach. When openly declaring controversial views he liberally quotes both official and contemporary personal documents in support and left me with the impression he has a refreshingly broad, direct and unfooled insight into this particular history. The evidence for some of his "controversies" seems pretty irrefutable (e.g. Cardigan's and his friends' excuses vs official instructions to him). I am going to re-read Lytton Strachey's "Eminent Victorians", another great read, to revisit his harsher thoughts on Florence Nightingale. It is a cracking read in any event and like so much "history" is repeating itself here and now. Again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new view on a not so well-known war, 10 Dec 2014
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A nice exposition on how NOT to run a war. Small uses contemporary sources to show just how badly the British & French Generals in the Field disregarded both explicit orders from Home and their (considerable) tactical advantages in weaponry and their soldiers' skills to conduct an ill-conceived and vainglorious campaign that failed to achieve anything of substance. There's a lot of 'management-speak' that takes military leadership and translates it into the business world. (Think of Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War'). This book could be used as a management training manual by simply working through the Allies' mistakes and deciding what not to do instead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting account from an author who is not afraid ..., 23 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Crimean War (Kindle Edition)
An interesting account from an author who is not afraid to assess and criticise the appalling leadership of the Allied armies in this now distant war. It is shameful how breeding and background was more important than military skill to reach positions of authority in the Victorian British and French armies. This book illustrates the dire consequences. Very readable for the non-specialist.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Abit dry, 10 Oct 2013
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Slow start, but plenty of facts & figures. But a good reference book that can be used for an overall view
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5.0 out of 5 stars Take a deep breath and ..., 6 Aug 2013
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here we go:

Britain did not stumble not the Crimean War, it entered for sound strategic and economic reasons;
the Charge of the Light Brigade may have started in error but was a triumphant victory with far fewer casualties than you thought;
Florence Nightingale never nursed anyone, and after the war admitted that she got her priorities wrong in the location and administration of hospitals for casualties at a cost of hundreds of lives;
The Allies managed to ignore their strengths - superior cavalry and the Minier rifle - and play their own weaknesses to the enemy's strengths.

Ok. You can breath now. This book is right, and most of what you thought you knew about this miserable conflict is wrong.

The author has gone back to the original sources. He shows how the established myths of the war were developed by works based on biased contemporary accounts, and that successive "histories" simply drew on the preceding histories and rehashed (and occasionally exaggerated) them.

Citing authoritative contemporary sources, he draws a very different picture. It was still a bungled disaster, but it was a very different bungled disaster from that we had been led to believe.

The writing style is compelling and light. Overall a thoroughly good and enlightening read which I strongly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading if you have an interest in the development of Europe, 25 May 2013
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Detailed yet easy to understand. The book provides an excellent window into the future development of Europe, and the events which give rise to problems to be encountered both militarily and politically. The book also reveals the impact this conflict had even to the present day on relations between countries within Europe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, 13 May 2013
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This book was just what I wanted, easy to read and full of facts and information about the Crimean War. I can recommend this to others who are looking for something similar.
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The Crimean War by Hugh Small
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