Today in European history: the Battle of Sinop (1853)

Apart from the Charge of the Light Brigade (the actual charge, but also the poem), the Crimean War (1853-1856) is best known as the first “modern” war, in that it was during the Crimean War when later military staples like rail, telegraphs, trenches, and rifled firearms and artillery first got tested on a major battlefield. Oh, and it also led to the development of modern professional nursing, triage, and anesthetics, but who’s counting? The 1853 Battle of Sinop is perhaps most noteworthy for the way it helped pioneer another development in military technology, although it’s also important in that it was the war’s first major battle, and in that Russia’s victory in this battle ironically paved the way for it to eventually lose the war.

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3 thoughts on “Today in European history: the Battle of Sinop (1853)

  1. The middle decades of the nineteenth century brought a revolution in military technology. From today’s perspective we consider it all prelude to the First World War. At the time it was tregarded as akin to science fiction (another emerging concept!). The potential, to a world conditioned by Napoleonic experience, seemed miraculous. The issue affected all wars of the day from the Crimean to the US Civil war to the New Zealand wars and beyond.

    1. Matthew, thanks for this! I consider the Crimean War as a precursor to the American Civil War from a military tech perspective, but my knowledge of the New Zealand wars is embarrassingly slim. I think I may need to check out your book!

      1. Thank you! Yes, the NZ Wars paralleled the US Civil War very closely in terms of fortification technology and scale of battlefield, along with the tactics therein – and for good reason. We didn’t have the locomotive/logistic support, but the introduction of the Enfield rifle and ogival bullet here matched the way the US battlefields expanded on the back of technology. (If you want my “NZ Wars”, it’s also available on Amazon. It’s the third book I’ve written on the NZ Wars – and the slimmest – but a good quick intro. My “Two Peoples, One Land”, which was my more scholarly one, is out of print and I’m yet to find a way of republishing it).

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