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Re: Malakoff 1855

That's a really fun diorama. Lots of action. I'm glad to see the Russian casualty figure represented at the front of his group.

It's a sleeper. When you get to see the closeups of the fine painting skill and details on the French Zouaves it really shows a lot of hard work.

Thanks for sharing Michael Robert!

Re: Re: Malakoff 1855

Hi there. Many thanks for yor interest.
I know Russian and Turks were each others' most faithful enemies, but I wanted to get things straight - the most heavy burden of this war was carried by the French! And all this because Napoleon III wnted to reestablish French military pluck lost since Waterloo.
In England a real Crimean cult exists, but in France to day th whle affair seems tobe forgotten. Places called Malakoff exist - exampl in Paris, but I doubt many people remember a Crimean war - they would more likely think it to be a Russian cake
Anyway, I am still working on such dios. It is very interesting. My thanks go to Strelets who have raised my interest in this war... and of course I hope there will be some more French sets, too (by the way I love the new English sets)

Re: Re: Re: Malakoff 1855

Dear Michael,

you are right, although the main burden of the war was carried by the French, the war itself is by far more well known in England then in France. That's why the choice which sets to make first was quite obvious. Until now we aren't sure whether it makes sence to make further French sets at all. Now that we've almost finished with the Balaclava and started expanding into the Ikerman and Alma battles French sets are becoming increasingly nesessary but we don't know if they will sell well and how many sets we'll have to make because of this.

Best regards,


Re: Re: Re: Re: Malakoff 1855

Hello Streltsi,
actually, I have my personal interpretation why the Crimean war is not in French collective memory. In fact, it was extremely populr at the time because the objective to reestablish France as a great power was reached. The many American Zouave units demonstrate that this popularity was not limited to France only. The mythos of Zouaves worked well until WWI. However, the same "Go to war" mentality or in British english "Djingoism" led to the catastrophe of 1872. Read the Zola novel "Le Debacle" - gives a good feel of the time and how it is to have the disillusion. In the end the bilan of Napoleon III was not one to enter public memory for long - supplanted by Verdun and others.
All this time the Brits sat on their isle - only to have their disillusion at the Cap 50 years later (well remembered by some beautiful Streles sets!!).

To come back to your initial purpose - French sets wll sell well when they have the same quality as the recent English ones. Even Turk sets sell well
Garrison made an excellent statement to make a set of French siege artillery. You have the opportunity of typical French characters - the cantinière and the Guard troops with the original Bear skin caps.

Other than Crimea such troops ae interesting for the conquest of North Africa and aspects of the wars of Italian unification (Magenta - OK, the uniforms were not strictly identical, the French changed fashion to often)

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Malakoff 1855

Hi,Michael: No forget the Mexican Adventure of Napoleon III.I think was available for a diorama.The Strelest Boers are prety nice Juarez's troops. I make used some mounted boers like Villa's bodyguards,you can see in a old contribution of Hat ETS.
Merci beaucoup monsieur.

Malakoff 1855 and 1856

Dear Michael

A very lively diorama with lots of very good ideas for using Strelets' models in an appropriate setting.

Paris has quite a lot of commemorative place names including the Pont d'Alma* ,Boulevard de Sebastopol and the Metro station of the same name with the street entrance being one of the beautiful Hector Guimard original ones. The authorities obviously wanted the French (and others) to remember the glory but there was another side.

The huge French losses through disease(approx 40,000 dead) in the second winter,1855/56, in the Crimean War are hardly mentioned yet the disaster was on a greater scale ( one fifth to one tenth of the respective forces) than with the British the previous winter 1854/5. The British lost 15,724 dead to disease in total. The unfortunate truth was these French deaths, like the British ones were due to incompetence and negligence and for the ordinary French soldier the war ended on a sour note.
In contrast the British had learned their lessons and were better prepared for the second winter so the ordinary soldier had time to put the assault on the Redan and their privations behind when peace was in the offing and feel a little more jubilant.
I have not seen any statistics of Russians or Turks who died as a result of disease in the Crimean War. The Russian casualty lists (usually include wounded) vary from 500,000 to 800,000 many of whom were lost on the long march to the Crimea so technically not in the Crimea but non combat deaths. The Turkish troops were also short of food so their non combat losses would have been at least a fifth of their troop force and they were often required to carry the dead or diseased so infection rates would have been high.


* most knowledgeable Brits would associate this with the Pont d'Alma tunnel and Lady Diana not the battle of the Alma.

Re: Malakoff 1855 and 1856

My Aunt Alma is from Via Reggio.

Re: Malakoff 1855 and 1856

Dear David,

I fully agree with you. Most of my knowledge of the Crimean war actually stems from the book "CRIMEA" by Trevor Royle - quite good reading and gives good feel of the time. The non-combat victims, in particular the French in the second winter, after all the dramatic fighting!!, must have been appalling.

The Crimean war has so many aspects. It was a war fought by generals with linear Napoleonic tactics in mind. However, the new rifles, French, English and Cossack sharphooters became increasingly important in changing traditional battle schemes. In the beginning - beautiful Napoleonic style uniforms (Hugh has mentioned the English cavalry, I add the Chasseus d'Afrique), in the end pure convenience clothing. The trenches!, Todtleben's moving trenches. The first war photo stories. Influence of public opinion on battle tactics and war strategy. Nervous politicians and kings at the other end of telegraph lines.
Then the whole affair is very interesting in today's geopolitical context - OK no politics on the forum.
Finally, a fully futile affair. No decisive outcome - just some slight alterations in influence.
In medieval times they used to joust - same outcome with much reduced casualties.
Many good reasons to make dios and play around.
Hey Streltsi, give us more of this good stuff.

Re: Malakoff 1855

There are a number of reasons why the war has quite the place in the national conscience that is does in Britain, and while there was a bit of Victorian jingoism, I don't believe it was/is a major factor.

Firstly, any jingoism there was, will be that common factor in British wars - making a mess of the first half and then pulling it together once the chips are down, a reasonable excuse for a bit of celebration.

Secondly there is the whole 'Lady and the Lamp' thing going on with Florence Nightingale (and increasingly - the black 'Florence' - Mary Seacole), which was about the birth of modern military medicine, care of the common soldiery etc...

Third, the 'Charge'

And a lesser forth, in some peoples eyes; British Cavalry uniforms reached their zenith around this time.

To which you can add the fact that like the ACW, it was a war with a lot of new technology to be met and dealt with, giving it great interest from a historians point of view.

Also, among a certain generation the film of the 'Charge', complete with it's incongruities and 'Hippy' sentiments, went some way toward re-invigorating that memory, not to mention the Flashman follow-on!!!!

Re: Re: Malakoff 1855

Hows it going Hugh Dude. I watched the Charge of the Light Brigade on British TV recently and it got me inspired! Those dudes sure kicked ass! Great film, great uniforms and great battles

Hank - Alma and Florence

Dear Hank

Florence Nightingale was named after Florence the place of her birth and Florence became very popular as a British girl's name after the Crimean War.
Alma was already a Hebrew and Italian girl's name not very popular in Britain but after the Crimean war more so.
The name Florence had a resurgence with the BBC children's TV "Magic Roundabout" in the 60s/70s as Florence was one of the characters. A UK woman now in her 30s called Florence rather than being named after Florence Nightingale is more likely to be named as a tribute to that little animated figure called Florence .


Re: Hank - Alma and Florence

professori ,may i add thatI think you find the River Alma in Crimea,the battle fame ,was named by the earlier occupying Genoese(see many fortresses etc ) after a Contessa called ..Alma.

a telegraphed war

Dear Hugh

Fifth- the news was fresh thanks to the telegraph. William Russell's dispatches are well known and these arrived pretty soon after the event. The effect they had is again well documented. The British public became involved with immediacy of this otherwise distant war.

One of the Strelets Heavy Brigade figures could easily double as William Russell if you minus the sword.