The Crimean war was fought between Russia and the alliance of Turkey, Sardinia, France and Britain. The war began towards late 1853. However, France got involved only in 1854. The war ended in February of the year 1856.
Why Did it Happen?
The main cause of the war can be pinpointed to Russia expanding its empire in the Danube region, now known as Romania. The regions were then under the control of Turkey. This made Turkey wage a war against Russia in the year 1853. Britain too joined the war against Russia, being fearful of Russian expansion into British India via Afghanistan. Part of the reason Russia was pushing its empirical domains were the religious tensions. Russia didn’t like the fact that major Christian holy sites, like Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and others were under the Turkish reign.
Where was the Battleground?
The war was fought on the Black Sea and Crimean Peninsula. There were three main battles during the war. There was the battle of the Alma (began on September 20, 1854), the battle of Balaclava (began on October 24) and a huge attack at the Inkerman by Russians (began in November).
Both Britain and France planned to attack the Russian naval base. The city of Lama was besieged by the French, British, and Sardinian troops after the first battle. Prior to attacking Russia in the Pacific, the Baltic, and the Black Sea, the Anglo-French forces took control of Istanbul. Allies in September 1854 came to Crimea with a goal to ravage the Russian Fleet and Sevastopol within 6 weeks and then move back to Turkey. They became victorious in Alma battle. The Russian forces later got a better grip on the situation and reinforced the city. They attacked the allied forces at the battles of Inkerman and Balaclava in October and November to push the troops back. However, the efforts weren’t effective and the siege continued until September of the year 1855. In the winter, the allies occupied the Sea of Azov and thus cut the logistics of Russians. They were successful in moving Russians out of Sevastopol.
In 1854, the allies captured the Bomarsund’s Åland fortress. In 1855, they destroyed the Helsinki dockyard, Sveaborg. Around 200,000 Russian troops were detained in the Baltic. With mortar vessels, steam gunboats, and armored warships, British prepared to ravage St. Petersburg and Kronstadt in 1856. Troops of both France and Britain tried to penetrate into Russian position, and it was trench warfare. The casualties were large in number, reaching over 2,00,000 deaths from both sides.
How Did it End?
In September of the year 1855, French troops made Russia evacuate after its key Malakhov bastion got captured. Russia lost over 500,000 troops to malnutrition, disease, and exposure. The economy was in trouble and the industries were incapable of producing weapons. Russia was forced to raise the white flag. Soon peace talks were in place. On March 30, 1856, the Treaty of Paris got signed.