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War run by amateurs

Lets not forget that many officers at this time were men from the aristocracy who saw the army as a good career, but would think twice about actually taking any gambles for glory - that might get you killed or even spoil the uniform. Having effected a sort of charge the commander may feel that was sufficient and retired before anyone (i.e. him) got hurt. This applies to ALL armies then. For every brave and dedicated officer there was one who just happened to be the second son and second sons went into the army, like it or not.

Re: Re: Re: Fraternization in the Crimean War , a major cover up.

Hi Hank,

interesting statement. The only fault is, that there was no Russian cavalry brigade. It was only this single regiment of Hussars with some Cossacks at this moment


pst...Look behind the Hussars ...

That was 19 Russian Cavalry squadrons closing in support of the Hussar screen coming along the Causeway heights.Touchez mon ami.Hank

Re: pst...Look behind the Hussars ...

He,he - it seems a quiet interesting subject:-)

This 19 squadrons had another problem in the British heavy brigade to deal with. No time for the infantry.


Re: Re: pst...Look behind the Hussars ...

Over the years the British have downplayed the role of the French in the Crimea, but I feel that some of the posts have gone to far in the other direction and downplayed the role of the British. The British took a lesser role in the Crimean theatre in the later stages of the war due losses from disease in the winter of 1854-55. They did not have enough trained men to reinforce their army and were forced to take a secondary role to the French for the remainder of the conflict. At Balaclava the 93rd Highlanders were charged by around 400 Russian cavalry. The Highlanders fired a first volley at 600 yards, which had little effect and a second at 150 yards which caused the Russians to withdrew. The Highlanders were isolated from the rest of the British force and that is why there actions were noted. Of course we all know that the end of the war came about as result of the British bombardment of the Russian dockyards at Sweaborg, and the threat of action against St Petersburg as a result!

Re: Re: Re: pst...Look behind the Hussars ...

Hi Hamish,

what we wanted to show is that most history is written from a personal point of few. We have this few in every nations history. For example our 6th army was surronded in Stalingrad, because the Russians broke through the Roumanian lines (Sorry Radu). Germans would have beaten the attack off

Don't forget that not only the British navy was in
the Northern sea! The French had a lot of troops there too.

The French stormed the Malakov while the British were repulsed at the Redan.

I just want to say, I want to take history serios and not only belief one source. And I hope for good translations of other countries campaign reports.

The most important for me would be a Spanish account for the Peninsular war or a Turkish one for the Crimean war. Does anybody know some books of this sort?


Re: Re: Re: Re: pst...Look behind the Hussars ...

I agree Uwe. The Crimea involved a coalition of forces, none of which can take all the credit for victory. I agree that all sources should be studied to provide a balanced picture of History. Waterloo is a battle for which the British took all the credit for many years and it is only recently that it has been acknowledged as an allied victory.

Stalingrad - excellent example for different views on history

It is a fact that 6th army was surrounded due to breaking the romanian front, after the biggest soviet artillery barrage the eastern front had yet seen and a most powerful armoured attack. However, before the attack, the romanian high command had repeatedly appealed to OKW & OKH, informing about the soviet amoured build-up and the inadequacies of the romanian anti-tank defenses, but the measures taken were too little, too late (a strategic reserve of 1 german & 1 romanian armoured divisions). During and after the soviet attack, so many romanian soldiers died where they stood, after T-34s & KV-1s speeded through their lines, attacking in depth and leaving the following infantry to round-up the survivors. Few surrounded pockets of resistance could not change anything, and the consequent rout of the rest of the army found no help in german motorized columns, who instead of taking out as many romanians as they could, to have them fight another day, chose to flee alone. An action for which I found only praise in all sources - Mannstein's memories included, was the self-sacrificial attack of the 1st romanian armoured division, charging in their obsolete Pz-38(t) modern soviet armour, being completely wiped out as a result. For romanians, Stalingrad was no less a catstophy, than for the germans. The result of Stalingrad: commitment of the romanian army to the "crusade against bolshevism" and the trust in the german commitment to the alliance began to fade.

So, my point is that similar to quarrels between individuals, views on history need both sides to be listened to. The truth is always in the middle, and you can't hope for an objective view, without considering all sides. Since I brought him up, Mannstein was undoubtedly one of the best german generals, if not the best. But reading his memories is a bit annoying, view shared by many millitary historians. You get the feeling of reading the memories of the God of War reincarnated, who never could have made any mistake.
However, in his analyzis of the romanian troops, he is sharper and more objective than any romanian source. His critique of the romanian officer corps holds more truth and is deeper than any comunist historian's attack on the officer class he hated ideologically.

Re: Stalingrad - excellent example for different views on history

I knew you would give me such a kind of answer