Recalcitrant Sevastopol

The heroic defense of Sevastopol became a key moment in the entire Crimean War. However, before considering the battle itself, you should understand the causes of this bloody clash, its premises and goals. Some scholars mistakenly believe that the war, which broke out in the mid-nineteenth century, was initiated by France, longing for revenge for defeat in the first quarter of the century. However, if we analyze in more detail historical background, it becomes clear that Britain was the most interested state, loudly declaring its selflessness and desire to defeat the brutal barbarism in the Black Sea. What can serve as evidence of such an assumption?

Recalcitrant Sevastopol

Hiding behind the need to ensure a safe path to one of their many colonies, India, the British were looking for ways to weaken Russia. Such behavior was dictated by fears, by the way, not unfounded, about the spread of Russian influence on the Ottoman Empire. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire, concluding an agreement under which Great Britain acquired the right to trade in its territory, caused stagnation of its own industry and turned into an economically dependent state. This territory has become a profitable market for British products, so the British had a great interest in maintaining their own influence and, reasonably, were afraid of the developing Russian bourgeoisie entering this region. In addition, the British were not impressed by the presence of Russia in the Baltic.

In schools, teachers unfortunately rarely cover the Palmerston program, which was compiled even before Turkey declared the war on the Russian Empire. In short, the main goal of Great Britain was the rejection of its Baltic territories from Russia, as well as Finland, the Aland Islands, the Crimea and the Caucasus. In addition, the Englishman in his design suggested some important geopolitical changes on the map of Europe.

France was also not a simple puppet and had its own interests in this military confrontation. Firstly, the new emperor Napoleon III was not recognized by Nicholas I, due to the fact that the Napoleon dynasty was removed from the succession to the throne as a result of the war. The new French emperor was offended by the deliberately erroneous appeal of the Russian monarch and was eager for revenge. In addition, in order to strengthen his precarious position on the throne, the French monarch had to get revenge for the defeat of his predecessor.

Thus, the war with Turkey was predetermined long before it began. The reason was the dispute about the keys to the Church of the Birth of Christ in the ancient city of Bethlehem.

The ground forces under the command of Menshikov gave battle to the British and French regiments on the way to Sevastopol by the river called Alma. However, the forces were unequal. The Russian army numbered thousands of 33 warriors, while the Allies landed about 64 thousands of people in Evpatoria. In addition, it was said in the battle and superiority in armament on the part of the allies. The firing range of rifled guns exceeded the capabilities of the Russian smoothbore 4-e times, so the melee for the commander Menshikov was inaccessible. Many military historians call the leadership style of the prince mediocre, because his decisions not only did not bring any improvements in the situation of Sevastopol, but even caused the Allied army significant losses.

The battle for Sevastopol began on October 5, 1854. The Allies attacked the city from the sea and dropped more than fifty thousand cannonballs onto the walls of the coastal city. In this battle, military admiral Kornilov was tragically killed. The brilliant military commander offered a very interesting option of defense. Aware of the small size and weakness of the Russian fleet and the ships defending Sevastopol, he invited them to engage in battle with the enemy’s ships and be sure to board the ship, while blowing up their own ships. Thus, Kornilov intended to inflict such damage on the Allied fleet, after which all further operations would be impossible. However, such a plan was rejected by Menshikov, having ordered the sinking of all the ships in Sevastopol, and the crew to be thrown to the defense of the fortress. Kornilov was forced to obey, but even having lost the opportunity to undermine the combat power of the enemy fleet, he organized an effective defense with night sorties, a mine war and the skillful use of serf artillery pieces. The sudden death on the Malakhov Kurgan deprived Sevastopol of a talented commander, which affected the further organization of the defense. Admiral Nakhimov, no less talented and beloved by soldiers, took Kornilov's place.

The defense lasted 349 days, during which the courage of not only the soldiers and sailors, but also the ordinary inhabitants of the city manifested itself. From the sea side the city was well fortified. The fortress possessed 610 tools and a powerful bastion, but from land, Sevastopol was vulnerable. This line included only 134 various-sized weapons. In addition, the northern part of the city was covered only by an eight-angled fort, at the disposal of which there were only 50 guns.

A significant role in the heroic resilience of the city played the dedication of its inhabitants, who actively participated in the construction of fortifications. For example, one of the batteries was called maiden, since it was erected exclusively by female hands.

Soldiers, heroes of defense

The first battle was fierce, it was fought not only from the sea, but also from land. However, despite the superiority, the enemy was unable to break the resistance and, moreover, suffered considerable losses, which were complemented by a storm raging on the Black Sea. The result of the first day was such that the Allies had to send several ships to Constantinople and abandon further shelling of Sevastopol from the sea. Batteries from land were also not suppressed, although the enemy had 10-ti multiple superiority in the number of guns. Russian artillerymen tried to shoot as often as possible, as a result of which the guns themselves almost exploded, but the attack was brilliantly repulsed. However, during the battle, the imperfection of military equipment and the lack of ammunition began to be felt. The left flank was seriously damaged by the British artillery, but the return fire did not stop. The Allied army, who had been waiting for an assault all day, was not able to fully implement it, all the allies were forced to retreat. The French and the British tried several times to attack the rebellious bastion, but even at night the Russian soldiers fought fiercely and repelled the attacks. A potent contribution to the defense was made by plying steamships with the proud names “Chersonese”, “Crimea” “Thunderer” and others. Missing ammunition supplemented the usual stones and the invincible will of the Russian soldiers, typical of the Slavs, which horrified the enemy. The losses among the Russian soldiers were enormous and amounted to about 1250 people, but then a long siege of the city began, which three powerful powers could not take in one day.

After the battle, the Russian soldiers made a truly amazing deed: they crawled out of hiding and tried to help the wounded. The Allies reacted differently to this action. If the French were approvingly silent and even waved to the brave ones, the British, despite the torment of their wounded, opened fire on them.

During the attack of the city, the Russian army reached 65-thousand and could enter into confrontation with the enemy. The military commanders proposed to act decisively and interrupt the material support of the troops besieging the city, but Prince Menshikov again showed caution and sent only one division to capture several redoubts. The detachment was too small, so even taking the redoubts and causing considerable losses to the English, he could not keep the occupied heights. Responsibility for the failure of October 13 military analysts fully lay on indecision and unbelief Menshikov.

October 20 again began shelling of fortresses. The planned assault on 6 in November was thwarted by the approach of two divisions, as a result of which the number of the Russian army was already 85 thousand and represented a serious threat to the allied forces. In addition, the city was not completely cut off from the world, it was connected with the Russian army by the Semfiropolsky direction.

On October 24, Menshikov decided to go on the offensive, but the leadership was so incompetent, and the provision was bad, that the Russian troops were forced to retreat again after a bloody clash. By the onset of winter, epidemics began in the Russian ranks. Menshikov’s inability to provide the soldiers with the necessary medicines, clothing, as well as normal food and even ammunition was again revealed. Only in February of the following year, the prince was finally replaced by Gorchakov, who already had experience in leading the Danube army.

At this time, the defenders of Sevastopol launched an active struggle with the enemy through night sorties. There were their heroes, especially bravely and skillfully causing damage to the enemy. Among the names are still known Dimchenko, Shevchenko, Zalivshin and many others.

Attempts to seize the heights from the Russian troops continued with alternate success. After the change of Menshikov, a new stage began in the confrontation for Sevostopol. The Russian army began to form an additional defensive line, complementing it with guns. The allies tried to occupy redoubts erected many times, but each time they faced with the dedication of the soldiers. In April, the enemy again began a heavy shelling of all guns around the city. The calculation was reduced to the incessant fire on the walls of recalcitrant Sevastopol during 3-x days. However, neither the first nor the second day, the intensity of the response fire did not subside. On the city the enemy fired about 168 thousands of shells, but in return received a little less than 88,5 thousands. The assault was postponed to mid-April, but the entire combat reserve of the fortress was spent. Sevastopol needed to restore ammunition.

In England and France, unsuccessful attempts to occupy Sevastopol aroused indignation, outrage, and even a storm of negative public emotions, which led to a change in military leadership, but attempts by the new command also remained unsuccessful. In May, the number of besiegers reached 200 thousands, against 70-ti thousand Russian soldiers, of whom only slightly more than half took a real part in the defense.

May 25 began shelling again, lasting 5 days. Despite the fact that the return fire from the walls of Sevastopol subsided this time, it was not possible to take the city again. Russian regiments made a significant contribution to the defense.

5 June bombing began again, causing destructive damage to the fortifications of the city. However, the Allied attack was again unsuccessful, as Russian soldiers preferred to die and even the wounded fought, but did not surrender. Damage repaired as soon as possible, thanks not only to the military, but also to local residents. Sevastopol showed incredible courage and valor. However, 30 June Russian forces suffered the most terrible loss - Admiral Nakhimov died from a mortal wound in the temple. A talented commander, thanks to the skill and courage of which this unruly and proud city held so long, left the world under the whistle of enemy bullets.

Gorchakov was indecisive and this time. On August 5, the enemy again began to fire, and on August 24, the sixth bombardment began. The forces of the besieged were exhausted, the soldiers died, but did not surrender. However, the outcome of the siege was already predetermined. 27 August almost completely destroying all fortifications and soldiers, the Allies occupied the southern part of the city. The Russian army concentrated on the North side and was ready for further battle. Residents went over to the side of the warring and offered no less resistance than the soldiers. The losses of the enemy were so high that the command, fearing for the loss of the successes already achieved, did not decide on a further offensive. The battle has entered a stage of temporary lull.

Peace negotiations began in 1856, and at the end of April a peace treaty was signed in Paris.

The events of Sevastopol showed the whole world how brave and selfless the Russian soldiers and inhabitants are. One recalcitrant city, three military powers possessing numerical superiority, as well as the best weapons, could not take for eleven months. It was a real shame for the European powers and the feat of the Russian people.
Death of Admirals (defense of Sevastopol)

A film about the heroic defense of Sevastopol in the Crimean War. During the defense of the city, a galaxy of prominent admirals MP was killed. Lazarev, V.A. Kornilov, V.I. Istomin, P.S. Nakhimov.

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  1. Tolia
    6 February 2012 09: 02
    Everyone who wanted to, everyone took it, and without a "Pyrrhic victory" ...
  2. Igor
    6 February 2012 10: 32
    A good article, for more such articles. Who will be in Sevastopol, be sure to go to the "Panorama" you will not regret it. Her photo is in the first picture in the article.
  3. Strabo
    6 February 2012 10: 54
    Magnificent, brilliantly repulsed attacks HOWEVER during the battle, the imperfection of military equipment and the lack of ammunition began to be felt. And it is always so in every war that Russia leads the courage of soldiers and the imperfection of equipment. It’s a pity, because in several centuries this phenomenon can already be eliminated. The article is good. I think the heroism of this city does not know a similar example in history.
  4. ZHORA
    6 February 2012 11: 01
    Only among the Russian soldiers was from the strength of 1 / 3.
    1. 0
      6 February 2012 11: 34
      Let me ask you, who were the other 2/3?
    2. +12
      6 February 2012 12: 49
      Quote: JORA
      Only among the Russian soldiers was from the strength of 1 / 3.

      During this period, the Russian army was formed on the basis of recruit service.
      recruitment extended to native Russian population. Only from the end of the XVIII century. it gradually spread to the Ukrainian and Belarusian population. Representatives of non-Slavic peoples (Tatars, Bashkirs, Kalmyks) served only as part of the irregular cavalry. Thus, the rank and file of the army and navy was distinguished by social, national and religious homogeneity, which gave it the character of a single organism, cultivated a sense of patriotism, commitment and love for the Fatherland, serving the common cause. Ultimately, all these features contributed to the maintenance of a higher morale in the Russian army than in the European armies of that period, which were built on a mercenary basis and constituted a conglomerate motley in terms of national, ethnic and religious composition, which could neither be trained nor conducted in battle otherwise than with the help of a stupefying, cruel drill. Shelves formed on the basis of fraternity
      therefore, they had the names Oryol, Kursk, Kozelsky, Nizhny Novgorod, etc.
      1. Tyumen
        6 February 2012 13: 01
        Nikolai’s words at the beginning of the war: * I now have a millionth army, I will mobilize, and I will have one and a half million, I will ask Russia, there will be two and a half - three million. *
        You are right.
    3. Kibb
      8 February 2012 17: 22
      What nonsense would you think before writing
  5. 755962
    6 February 2012 11: 07
    The Russian soldier, not spoiled by world backstage, thought first of all about his homeland and his land. Burdens and hardships were already elevated to the rank of necessary conditions of service. And feat and adherence, the main component of a soldier’s character, as a matter of course.
  6. +9
    6 February 2012 11: 10
    The allies at Sevastopol also had their "black pages". They also lost two of their commanders, first Marshal St. Arno, then the Englishman Lord Raglan. Piedmont responded to the help of the allies, sending 15000 soldiers, who almost all perished from cholera in the Crimea.
    By the way, the long siege of Sevastopol in India was perceived as a weakness of the British Empire, believing that the largest empire in the world could not break the defense of one city for a year. Perhaps this was an important factor that prompted the Indians to rebel (sepoy rebellion).
  7. Tyumen
    6 February 2012 11: 37
    * Cross of iron and blood *. So they called this medal * For the defense of Sevastopol *.

    As usual, it was a backstage victory of England. The British, laying at Sevastopol 22 thousand people, did not win a single major victory. The French fought well. But after the capture of Sevastopol, no one thought about the invasion of Ukraine, and further to Russia. Neither Napoleon nor Charles 12 inspired anymore. Marshal Pelissier generally stated that he could only move forward on the written orders of the emperor. But Napoleon3 achieved what he wanted, the throne was strengthened with the blood of 100 thousand French, the capture of Sevastopol was presented as revenge for 1812. And to shed blood further for the sake of strengthening England in the Middle East, Napoleon did not seduce. And no matter how Clarendon tried in Paris to turn the French away from the world, the Paris world was concluded. Without winning a single battle, the British forced Russia to abandon a good share of the four wars with Turkey (1768-1774, 1787-1791, 1806-1812, 1828-1829).

    PS, Not Menshikov, but Menshikov.
    1. +2
      6 February 2012 12: 24
      Quote: Tyumen 35
      Not having won a single battle, the British forced Russia to abandon a good share of the four wars with Turkey (1768-1774, 1787-1791, 1806-1812, 1828-1829).

      Well, in fact, Russia has not lost anything, only a fleet on the Black Sea. Prince Gorchakov, heading the Russian deep. mission in Paris, immediately made it clear that Russia will definitely not discuss any issues about indemnities and territorial claims.
      1. Tyumen
        6 February 2012 12: 52
        Quote: Prometey
        Russia has not lost anything, only a fleet on the Black Sea.

        Really? In addition to the fleet, Russia refused to patronize the Orthodox population of Turkey and lost Southern Bessarabia. Formally, Turkey also lost the right to the fleet, but they simply ferried ships to the Mediterranean Sea, from where they return - a few days' journey.
    2. Kibb
      8 February 2012 17: 13
      Not to diminish, not to add. Russia really suffered more political defeat than military. Despite the technical superiority of the allies, they did not achieve any special military successes. The defeat was more likely the result of a lack of political will on the part of the Nikolaev government and the tsar himself
  8. predator
    6 February 2012 12: 34
    one clarification, Kornilov and Nakhimov were admirals, not generals.
    excellent article! in general, all historical articles on this site are good, there is no bias.
  9. +2
    6 February 2012 14: 05
    The article is good, but the predator correctly noted about the admirals. You can’t write so casually about such things. The surname Nakhimov is automatically associated with the rank of admiral.

    By the way, I always watch the film "Attack of the Light Cavalry" with pleasure, about how my lords on horseback died during their blunt attack.
    1. 0
      6 February 2012 14: 33
      Corrected on admirals.
      1. Tyumen
        6 February 2012 16: 07
        In this battle, military general Kornilov was tragically killed.
        As it was, it is.
  10. +1
    6 February 2012 14: 49
    Well, nothing changes, and now they are democratizing those who are not dancing to their tune. but then less than 30 years have passed since RUSSIA took revenge on all the participants of this company !!!! and now? fellow
  11. +4
    6 February 2012 17: 36
    Half of the events directly in the city during the 1 defense were distorted !!!
    1) Nakhimov called general - this must be able to (described after the death of Kornilov)
    2) The flooding of the ships was not done by order of Menshikov, who was in Simferopol, but by the decision of the military council in Sevastopol, where the ship commanders and Kornilov and Nakhimov took part.
    3) As a result of the last assault, the French captured only Malakhov Kurgan, and not the south side of the city. The Russian troops and the population left the city (!!!) three days after the fall of the key to the defense (Malakhova Kurgan), and they moved to the north side of the bay in an organized manner, along the float bridge (the opponents were so exhausted that they didn’t interfere with leaving), and they left, taking with them everything that is possible and what is not possible was blown up. That is why only the batteries of that defense Konstantinovskaya and Mikhailovskaya (erroneously called ravelins) were preserved only on the North side, and there are no similar batteries on the South side because of their explosion before our troops left.
    On Primorsky Boulevard of Sevastopol on the territory of the KChF Water Station there is a memorial place indicating where this floating crossing to the other shore was built from.
    And V. Pikul in the "Battle of the Iron Chancellors" correctly wrote that in Russia at that time for the phrase: "The French (British) captured Sevastopl" could get hit in the face, because: "It was not the enemies who captured Sevastopol, but ours left it ! " Feel the difference.
  12. 0
    6 February 2012 18: 00
    Is it true that the legendary Admiral Nakhimov was Chechen by nationality? I read it somewhere, in some book, including a debriefing on Crimean flights.
    1. +3
      6 February 2012 20: 48
      probably a Chechen book, in the Tatar book he is probably a Tatar.)))
  13. Odesit
    6 February 2012 19: 51
    Good article!
    Sevastopol and Odessa - our pride and beauty!
    No where else so in the teeth did not give Hans as in our GREAT CITIES! THERE ARE BREST AND MOSCOW!
    And let the type "Zhora" carry a blizzard! We know what the heroism of the RUSSIAN SOLDIER is!
    To belittle the heroism of OUR SOLDIER - this means to be an idiot! About how we fought the whole world knows!
    By and large, in Europe there have always been only two warriors - RUSSIANS AND GERMANS, the rest so "just went out for a walk"!
    1. +1
      6 February 2012 20: 55
      Quote: Odess
      By and large, in Europe there have always been only two warriors - RUSSIANS AND GERMANS, the rest so "just went out for a walk"!

      And right up to Moscow they "walked" in 1812 ...
  14. ICT
    7 February 2012 00: 30
    Quote: JORA
    Only among the Russian soldiers was from the strength of 1 / 3.

    like at a meeting of the state. Mezulina's thoughts very lucidly explained (Zhirik and Zyuganov only sprinkled saliva) to "Mrs. Burataevoy" who are the Russians in the Russian Federation
  15. +2
    7 February 2012 00: 54
    Three times already been in Sevastopol, 2a times in the panorama, each time interesting, each time I feel pride!
    Last time was May 9th! A real holiday in the city and in the soul!)
  16. drossel81
    7 February 2012 08: 09
    The Russian Warrior is on the way !!!!!
  17. Kibb
    8 February 2012 17: 08
    The most interesting thing is that the fortress itself was never taken, and at other theaters they completely disgraced themselves. And indeed, after the flooding of the Black Sea Fleet, the entire siege of Sevastopol for the British turned into a military-political farce, i.e. became a "police action" of tempering the recalcitrant pure water, but it did not grow together - they had the wrong enemy.
  18. +5
    10 February 2012 22: 18
    27 of August ... the allies occupied the southern part of the city

    On 27 August, the Allies occupied Malakhov Kurgan, a key defense position. Therefore, it was decided to leave the southern part of the city and at night to cross the floating bridge and boats to the North side. When leaving, the defenders blew up batteries and powder cellars, the ships were flooded in an internal raid. The systematic withdrawal of the entire Russian army with artillery and rear in one night was a unique case in the history of wars. The army retained its combat effectiveness.
    The long-term Sevastopol defense was an example of the organization of active defense, based on the joint actions of the ground forces and the navy in the defense of the coastal fortress. An indicator of the high valor of the Russian troops was the absence of trophies from the enemy. In battles, the enemy was not given a single banner. For the entire campaign in field battles, only 6 guns were lost, while capturing the banner and 11 guns of the enemy. Russian soldiers demonstrated high moral and combat qualities that glorified our people throughout the world. Names V.A. Kornilova, P.S. Nakhimova, V.I. Istomina, S.A. Khruleva, E.I. Totleben, sailor P.M. Cats, doctor N.I. Pirogov and many other defenders of Sevastopol entered the military history of our country.
  19. 0
    23 May 2013 11: 04
    There is a version that Nakhimov was killed by a bullet from a sniper armed with an 1853 Enfield rifle with a 2x optical sight. While smoothbore guns were widespread on the battlefield, it was considered cowardice to "bow to bullets" - the accuracy of their fire at long distances was disgusting. So Nakhimov did not hide from the fire in positions, which was of great importance for maintaining the military spirit, but it was extremely risky given the superiority of the enemy's weapons. The further proliferation of rifled weapons taught those who value their lives as little as possible to stick out as little as possible and not flaunt walking to their full height under bullets unnecessarily.

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