The Importance Of Technology And Other Factors In The Allied Victory In The Crimean War

1541 words - 6 pages

This essay will look at all the factors
and then ascertain the effect each had on the outcome of the
Crimean war. To make this easier I have categorised the factors in to
leadership and organisation, battlefield tactics, strategy and
technology.

The allied leadership in the Crimean war was weak and held
surprisingly little commanding power over many aspects of the war.
Lord Raglan, an old, inexperienced and cautious man, was the commander
of the British troops. He had only acquired the position on grounds of
seniority and was not the strongest of commanders. Added to the fact
that Raglan was a fairly weak commander was the astonishingly low
level of control he had over the war effort as a whole: the artillery,
transport and naval aspects of the war all being under the control of
other commanders. Raglan's weak and over cautious leadership did cause
problems in the war, as often Raglan took too long to make decisions,
giving the Russians time to fortify positions and regroup troops. A
prime example of this cautiousness is the situation after the battle
of Alma, where the allied troops waited too long to follow on the
attack to Sebastopol, giving the Russians time to prepare for an
assault. However, the appalling organisation of the structure of
leadership seemed to have had far more detrimental effect on the war
effort than Raglans weak leadership. Indeed, the ill co-ordination
generated by the split command of the navy and army meant that the war
effort was constantly short of supplies, soldiers took to knitting
their own clothing in the winter of 1854 because they were so ill
equipped for the harsh weather. This problem of supply shortage caused
difficulties throughout the war, slowing down the efforts of the
troops and leaving many malnourished and diseased. Due to the weakness
of the leadership I would put it fairly low on the list of factors
which contributed to the eventual allied victory.

The allied battlefield tactics employed in the Crimean war were,
surprisingly effective and appropriate, given the weakness of the
leadership. The British infantrymen advanced in two deep lines, thus
maximising the firepower of the new Enfield rifle which they were
armed with. These tactics worked very well against the Russian
infantry who had not changed there battlefield tactics for many years,
they were still relying on the force of numbers in a dense,
Napoleonic, column style attack to overwhelm their opponents. The
British infantry tactics used the increased range and rate of fire of
the new rifles to cut down the leading ranks of the Russian columns
long before they could engage them hand to hand. This demoralised and
weakened the Russians before they even got close to the enemy. At the
battle of Alma the British were outnumbered and in a state of
disarray, but on Kourgane...

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