Author Topic: What the original Crimean war was all about  (Read 905 times)

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SPQR

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What the original Crimean war was all about
« on: March 19, 2014, 03:28:03 AM »
ON MARCH 16th Crimeans voted in a deeply flawed referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The crisis on the peninsula has pitted Russia against America and the EU, in the worst diplomatic spat in Europe since the cold war. But it is not the first time that Crimea, on the edge of the Black Sea, has been contested by Russia and the West. On March 28th 1854—160 years ago this month—Britain, the superpower of the day, declared war on Russia. The resulting conflict was mainly fought in Crimea as British forces and their allies laid siege to the main Russian naval base in the Black Sea at Sebastopol. What was the original Crimean war all about?

It began against a backdrop of Russian expansionism as the Ottoman Empire declined. The spark was a religious dispute over who should be the guardian of the Ottoman Empire’s Christian minority, especially in the Holy Land: Orthodox Russia or Catholic France. Napoleon III sent his best ship, Charlemagne, to the Black Sea to defend France’s claim. That, together with aggressive diplomatic and financial inducements, sharpened the minds of Ottoman leaders, who declared in favour of France. Russia responded by invading the Ottoman-controlled territories of Moldavia and Wallachia (roughly, parts of modern day Moldova and Romania) and sinking the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Sinope in 1853. That inflamed public opinion in Britain and France, which feared that Russian domination in the Black Sea region would threaten their trade routes to India via Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean. After some diplomatic dithering, which misled Russia into believing that it could continue its aggression against the Ottomans without consequences, Britain and France declared war in March 1854. The Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont (which later became Italy) joined in the war against Russia the next year.


Although Britain and its allies eventually won the war in 1856, the conflict was disastrously planned and poorly executed. Invasion fleets from Britain and France set off ill-prepared; military planning was so bad that their commanders had not yet decided which part of the Black Sea they were heading for. When they landed in Crimea, military disasters followed, including the famous charge of the light brigade, in which vulnerable British cavalry attacked Russian artillery head-on during the Battle of Balaclava. Support services such as care for the wounded were disorganised. Four times as many British soldiers died of disease during the conflict as in combat. In the end, it took a year-long siege to take the naval base at Sebastopol.

Historians blame the mistakes that led to the war on a lack of strategic planning, in diplomatic or military terms, on the part of Britain and France. Similar accusations have been levied at the cautious steps taken so far by America and the EU. But although some commentators have attempted to draw comparisons between that conflict and the current crisis in the Crimea, this time it does not yet look as if things are going the same way. Modern America and 19th-century Britain, though the dominant superpowers of their days, are worlds apart in terms of diplomatic strategy. But few, even in the 1850s, would have thought Russia and the West would still be contesting the same small peninsula of land a century and a half later. If history does not repeat itself, it has a strange way of rhyming.
- See more at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/03/economist-explains-5#sthash.udqpdpBz.dpuf

Offline musiclady

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 10:51:18 AM »
Interesting read.

Pretty much all I knew about the Crimean War was "Cannons to the right of them!  Cannons to the left of them!"    ^-^
Character still matters.  It always matters.

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Offline Chieftain

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 11:30:37 AM »
The Crimea is one of the most heavily contested pieces of real estate on the planet.  There have been innumerable major and minor conflicts there for centuries.


Offline musiclady

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 11:40:17 AM »
The Crimea is one of the most heavily contested pieces of real estate on the planet.  There have been innumerable major and minor conflicts there for centuries.

Understandably so, due to its location and the incessant East/West rivalry.

But what makes Putin's invasion so egregious, is that under Ukraine control, Russia had what it needed in terms of access to the Black Sea, and a military presence in Crimea.

The only reason for this move (in my very humble opinion!) was a sheer show of power and a desire to control more land and expand empire.
Character still matters.  It always matters.

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Online truth_seeker

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 12:03:41 PM »
"Tell Vlad that I will be more flexible, after I'm re-elected."

Obama, thinking his talking skills will carry him through, as they have with gullible American voters.

But Putin ain't a gullible American voter.


Offline evadR²

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 01:38:42 PM »
"Tell Vlad that I will be more flexible, after I'm re-elected."

Obama, thinking his talking skills will carry him through, as they have with gullible American voters.

But Putin ain't a gullible American voter.
The Russian ex KGB thug is mopping the floor with the American novice community organizer.
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.

Offline NavyCanDo

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 02:29:10 PM »
I’m really not seeing how anything we or the EU does will prevent the Russian flag from flying over Crimea – short of full scale military confrontation.   Russia is not going to back down knowing they are winning the latest Cold War.  They won the first battle when Obama threw Eastern Europe under the bus by canceling Missile defenses in Poland that Russia Opposed.  Crimea is just another victory for them.   
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Offline evadR²

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 02:34:47 PM »
"..canceling Missile defenses in Poland that Russia Opposed."

Bring 'em back.

There's lots we can do but this brainless buffoon hasn't the balls to do it. 
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.

Offline NavyCanDo

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 02:46:48 PM »
"..canceling Missile defenses in Poland that Russia Opposed."

Bring 'em back.

There's lots we can do but this brainless buffoon hasn't the balls to do it.

Exactly what he should be doing. Canceling all those earlier arms agreements and stating that because Russia is once again proving to be an aggressive nation with intentions of expanding its borders, Poland and all of Eastern Europe must be protected and shielded from all aggressive actions. 
A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline Oceander

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 11:16:58 PM »
Understandably so, due to its location and the incessant East/West rivalry.

But what makes Putin's invasion so egregious, is that under Ukraine control, Russia had what it needed in terms of access to the Black Sea, and a military presence in Crimea.

The only reason for this move (in my very humble opinion!) was a sheer show of power and a desire to control more land and expand empire.

Actually, I saw something someone mentioned (sorry, I can't remember who or where) about Russia moving now to make sure it keeps its port facilities because the new leadership in Ukraine would be opposed to Russia - Russia had installed the corrupt fool they just got rid of - and Putin may have been worried that this was prelude to possibly losing that base.  Certainly if Putin was afraid that a newly pro-West Ukraine might invite NATO in, he might see the wisdom of taking Crimea as a means of having enough land mass around the base to properly protect it in case Ukraine/NATO tried to get rid of it.

SPQR

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 11:56:47 PM »
The Charge of the Light Brigade- October 25, 1854


Half a league, half a league,
   Half a league onward,
 All in the valley of Death,
   Rode the six hundred.
 'Forward, the Light Brigade!
 Charge for the guns' he said:
 Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

 'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
 Was there a man dismay'd?
 Not tho' the soldiers knew
   Some one had blunder'd:
 Theirs not to make reply,
 Theirs not to reason why,
 Theirs but to do and die:
 Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

 Cannon to right of them,
 Cannon to left of them,
 Cannon in front of them
   Volley'd and thunder'd;
 Storm'd at with shot and shell,
 Boldly they rode and well,
 Into the jaws of Death,
 Into the mouth of Hell
   Rode the six hundred.

 Flash'd all their sabres bare,
 Flash'd as they turned in air
 Sabring the gunners there,
 Charging an army while
   All the world wonder'd:
 Plunged in the battery-smoke
 Right thro' the line they broke;
 Cossack and Russian
 Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
 Shatter'd and sunder'd.
 Then they rode back, but not
 Not the six hundred.

 Cannon to right of them,
 Cannon to left of them,
 Cannon behind them
   Volley'd and thunder'd;
 Storm'd at with shot and shell,
 While horse and hero fell,
 They that had fought so well
 Came thro' the jaws of Death,
 Back from the mouth of Hell,
 All that was left of them,
   Left of six hundred.

 When can their glory fade?
 O the wild charge they made!
   All the world wonder'd.
 Honour the charge they made!
 Honour the Light Brigade,
   Noble six hundred!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 11:57:25 PM by SPQR »

Offline musiclady

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2014, 10:36:05 AM »
Actually, I saw something someone mentioned (sorry, I can't remember who or where) about Russia moving now to make sure it keeps its port facilities because the new leadership in Ukraine would be opposed to Russia - Russia had installed the corrupt fool they just got rid of - and Putin may have been worried that this was prelude to possibly losing that base.  Certainly if Putin was afraid that a newly pro-West Ukraine might invite NATO in, he might see the wisdom of taking Crimea as a means of having enough land mass around the base to properly protect it in case Ukraine/NATO tried to get rid of it.

I suppose it might have been preemptive for what he thought might be coming with a more pro-western government in Ukraine.

But wasn't the previous administration (Yushchenko's) pro-Western as well?  Why wouldn't Putin have been worried during his administration and do this now?  (Again, not well-versed in the subject, so apologies if I'm not remembering correctly).
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline musiclady

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2014, 10:38:16 AM »
The Charge of the Light Brigade- October 25, 1854


Half a league, half a league,
   Half a league onward,
 All in the valley of Death,
   Rode the six hundred.
 'Forward, the Light Brigade!
 Charge for the guns' he said:
 Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

 'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
 Was there a man dismay'd?
 Not tho' the soldiers knew
   Some one had blunder'd:
 Theirs not to make reply,
 Theirs not to reason why,
 Theirs but to do and die:
 Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

 Cannon to right of them,
 Cannon to left of them,
 Cannon in front of them
   Volley'd and thunder'd;
 Storm'd at with shot and shell,
 Boldly they rode and well,
 Into the jaws of Death,
 Into the mouth of Hell
   Rode the six hundred.
 

Years ago I saw a fascinating documentary about one of the survivors of the "Charge of the Light Brigade."   IIRC, there were actually quite a few who made it out alive and went back to England.
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline Oceander

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2014, 10:48:56 AM »
I suppose it might have been preemptive for what he thought might be coming with a more pro-western government in Ukraine.

But wasn't the previous administration (Yushchenko's) pro-Western as well?  Why wouldn't Putin have been worried during his administration and do this now?  (Again, not well-versed in the subject, so apologies if I'm not remembering correctly).

No, the previous guy wasn't particularly pro-West; he actually cut off a deal Ukraine was working with the West at Putin's behest (essentially).  I'm sure that he was happy as a clam to have Europeans and Americans dump money into Ukraine, provided that money didn't come with any governmental strings attached.

Offline musiclady

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2014, 11:02:15 AM »
No, the previous guy wasn't particularly pro-West; he actually cut off a deal Ukraine was working with the West at Putin's behest (essentially).  I'm sure that he was happy as a clam to have Europeans and Americans dump money into Ukraine, provided that money didn't come with any governmental strings attached.

Hmmmm..............I just remember that Yushchenko was elected as a result of the Orange Revolution, but didn't pay a significant amount of attention after that.   I thought he had sought after association with the West, rather than with Russia.  Maybe that was just at first, or just for show.
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline Oceander

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2014, 11:11:47 AM »
Hmmmm..............I just remember that Yushchenko was elected as a result of the Orange Revolution, but didn't pay a significant amount of attention after that.   I thought he had sought after association with the West, rather than with Russia.  Maybe that was just at first, or just for show.

Yushchenko was pro-West, but he was replaced by Yanukovych in 2010, and Yanukovych is/was not pro-West.

Offline musiclady

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2014, 11:53:56 AM »
Yushchenko was pro-West, but he was replaced by Yanukovych in 2010, and Yanukovych is/was not pro-West.

Right.  That was my point.

The conditions under which Putin is now taking over Crimea were present when Yushchenko was President.  My question was, why did Putin wait until now to take the territory over?  Why not between 2005-2010 when a pro-West gov't was in place?
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline Oceander

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2014, 12:11:41 PM »
Right.  That was my point.

The conditions under which Putin is now taking over Crimea were present when Yushchenko was President.  My question was, why did Putin wait until now to take the territory over?  Why not between 2005-2010 when a pro-West gov't was in place?

Who knows?  Speculatively:  he didn't have the wherewithal at that point in time; he may also have believed that installing a puppet would be sufficient and that he could bide his time until he got his puppet installed.  He may also have believed at the time that the West would have reacted very forcefully; Georgia was, in effect, a test run once he began to realize that Obama was a pusillanimous weakling and the Europeans no better.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 12:12:47 PM by Oceander »

Offline musiclady

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2014, 01:15:36 PM »
Who knows?  Speculatively:  he didn't have the wherewithal at that point in time; he may also have believed that installing a puppet would be sufficient and that he could bide his time until he got his puppet installed.  He may also have believed at the time that the West would have reacted very forcefully; Georgia was, in effect, a test run once he began to realize that Obama was a pusillanimous weakling and the Europeans no better.

Speculatively, it could be all of the above.

When his comrade was ousted by the people of Ukraine, and given that America has been weakened and will not respond in any meaningful way, he decided that now was the time to move.

Remember that Obama's response to Georgia was to ask both sides to be nice and get along.  That had to have some effect on who he would be dealing with after the election of 2008.  My guess is that plans were put in motion almost immediately to move on to Ukraine.
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

SPQR

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2014, 12:06:18 AM »
Years ago I saw a fascinating documentary about one of the survivors of the "Charge of the Light Brigade."   IIRC, there were actually quite a few who made it out alive and went back to England.

The worlds worst military action in history. They also made a movie about the battle

Offline evadR²

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Re: What the original Crimean war was all about
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2014, 12:56:07 AM »
"... given that America has been weakened and will not respond in any meaningful way, he decided that now was the time to move."

All the world's despots realize that fact.

These are very perilous times.
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.


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