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by Orlando Figes

eBook Crimea: The Last Crusade download ISBN: 0141013508
Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st Edition edition (June 1, 2011)
Language: English
Pages: 550
ePub: 1471 kb
Fb2: 1575 kb
Rating: 4.5
Other formats: mobi mbr lrf lrf
Category: History
Subcategory: Russia

Orlando Figes's study of the Crimean war is assured.

Orlando Figes's study of the Crimean war is assured. But even he is unable to explain the point of the battle, says Angus Macqueen. I can only report that this fine writer and ambitious historian is back doing what he does best – telling us things about Russia and the world that we did not know, and proving that they are important to our understanding of the world today.

Crimea: The Last Crusade reimagines this extraordinary war, in which the stakes could not have been higher. It was both a recognizable modern conflict - the first to be extensively photographed, the first to employ the telegraph, the first 'newspaper war' - and a traditional one, with illiterate soldiers, amateur officers and huge casualties caused by disease

Orlando Figes' Crimea is a powerful history of the Crimean War, the conflict that dominated the nineteenth century. The Crimean War one of the fiercest battles in Russia's history.

Orlando Figes' Crimea is a powerful history of the Crimean War, the conflict that dominated the nineteenth century.

Crimea: The Last Crusade is a book by Orlando Figes. Figes argued that the Crimean War was the first truly modern war and that the Siege of Sevastopol was a precursor of trench warfare. In the United States the book has been published under the title The Crimean War: A History.

Crimea: The Last Crusade. Orlando Figes’ major new book reimagines this extraordinary war, in which the stakes could not have been higher and which was fought with a terrible mixture of ferocity and incompetence

Crimea: The Last Crusade. Orlando Figes’ major new book reimagines this extraordinary war, in which the stakes could not have been higher and which was fought with a terrible mixture of ferocity and incompetence. It was both a recognisably modern conflict - the first to be extensively photographed, the first to employ the telegraph, the first ‘newspaper war’ - and a traditional one, with illiterate soldiers, amateur officers and huge casualties caused by disease. 596 Pages · 2010 · 1. 7 MB · 370 Downloads ·English. I tried to make sense of the Four Books, until love arrived, and it all became a single syllable. Book · October 2010 with 58 Reads. Cite this publication. Birkbeck, University of London.

Figes calmly guides us through the diplomatic wrangles over which church – Catholic or Orthodox – should guard the . The game failed and the lumbering giants engaged one another, for want of another battlefield, in the Crimea.

Figes calmly guides us through the diplomatic wrangles over which church – Catholic or Orthodox – should guard the holiest shrines of Christianity. He shows how it was a proxy conflict for which power – France or Russia – should inherit the legacy of the dying Ottoman Empire, and how it was given urgency by a spiritual awakening in Russia and by French Emperor Napoleon III's desperation to regain the glory France had known under his uncle.

Read an overview of Orlando Figes' book Crimea: The Last Crusade here . Orlando Figes' reimagines this extraordinary war, in which the stakes could not have been higher and which was fought with a terrible mixture of ferocity and incompetence.

Read an overview of Orlando Figes' book Crimea: The Last Crusade here: .

The terrible conflict that dominated the mid 19th century, the Crimean War killed at least 800,000 men and pitted Russia against a formidable coalition of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire. It was a war for territory, provoked by fear that if the Ottoman Empire were to collapse then Russia could control a huge swathe of land from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf. But it was also a war of religion, driven by a fervent, populist and ever more ferocious belief by the Tsar and his ministers that it was Russia's task to rule all Orthodox Christians and control the Holy Land. Orlando Figes' major new book reimagines this extraordinary war, in which the stakes could not have been higher and which was fought with a terrible mixture of ferocity and incompetence. It was both a recognisably modern conflict - the first to be extensively photographed, the first to employ the telegraph, the first 'newspaper war' - and a traditional one, with illiterate soldiers, amateur officers and huge casualties caused by disease. Drawing on a huge range of fascinating sources, Figes also gives the lived experience of the war, from that of the ordinary British soldier in his snow-filled trench, to the haunted, gloomy, narrow figure of Tsar Nicholas himself as he vows to take on the whole world in his hunt for religious salvation.
Comments: (7)
Ricep
I have a bias toward Orlando Figes as a historian. I find his work well researched, tremendously well written, compelling and insightful. Figes narrative of the Crimean War (1854-1856) is powerful and flows smoothly from one chapter to the next, pulling the read along with it from beginning to end. It is filled with interesting details. I was thrilled, for example, to see a significant number of pages devoted to Russian Surgeon Nikolai Pirogov, one of the founding fathers of modern and military surgery. Although Figes gets some of the important details on Pirogov's innovations wrong, he nonetheless brings to life a brilliant and important figure all but forgotten in the United States (but not by Europe or Russia). This is a tremendously good read that should be picked up by everyone interested in developments between America, Europe, Russia, and Ukraine. In light of recent Russian actions in Ukraine and southeast Europe, it is understandable why the West sided with Turkey, a Muslim nation, against Russia, a Christian nation, in both the Crimean War and the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). One suspects an all out Russian war against Ukraine and Turkey will find the United States and Europe siding once again against Russia.
Impala Frozen
Sevastapol, headquarters of the Soviet (and later Russian Federation) Back Sea Fleet was the site of a siege which extended from 1854-1855. It was conducted by Great Britain and France and was a major action in the Crimean War. Another siege was conducted by clashing empires, this one from 1941-1942. The Nazi onslaught was lead by Heer General Dietrich von Choltitz. In both events, massive artillery barrages (in the latter case, aided by a mortar, KARL, which delivered 2.5 ton shells over a 4 mile range) demolished the city and killed or displaced thousands. Therefore, it's not hard to imagine Russian emotional and geopolitical ties to the Crimean peninsula, in general, and the port of Sevastopol, in specific. Thus, it isn't too surprising, given political unrest in Ukraine earlier this year and ongoing NATO/EU expansion into the Russian border regions, that an attempt to redress "grievances" involving the city and surrounding areas would be forthcoming. It was. Now, Crimea has been "returned" from Ukraine to Russia, reversing a 1954 move by Khrushchev "giving" the region to Ukraine and "settling" long-standing disputes.

The Crimean War, occurred between October, 1853 – February, 1856. It was a manufactured conflict between Tsarist Russia and an alliance of France, Britain, Sardinia and to a lesser extent, the Ottoman Empire (on whose behalf the allies were ostensibly engaged). A posture of "armed neutrality" by the Austrian Empire aided the allies. In short, this was not a simple bilateral conflict between disputing neighbors (Russia and The Sublime Porte). If not a world war, it was not a mere regional dispute.

Various pretexts for intervention in Crimea were invoked: altruistic ideals (by the Russians, on behalf of "oppressed" co-religionists under the Ottomans), empire building (by the Tsar), rank opportunism, "containment" (France, Britain) and extra-territorial ambitions (France) were prominent. Much of this is standard operating procedure (then and now). What was to this point unique, was the prominence given to public influence on wartime policy. That was catalyzed by telegraph-informed newspapers. Correspondents provided prompt, on-the-spot reports and grisly battlefield photography.

The war was transformative. It involved population exchanges (amounting to extensive ethnic cleansing), incitement of nascent nationalist movements and religious pandering. It set the stage for further conflicts in the Balkans and (Figes alleges via the Congress of Berlin) to WW-I. In short, the war changed the international order in ways that are playing out in the present time.

Figes provides substantial and important background detail. These background segments occupy nearly the first third of the book. The story begins in a petty but bloody dispute in Jerusalem between religious factions. Tsar Nicholas I quickly established himself the "special guardian" of the Orthodox Christians. Nicholas' move was not strictly cynical nor merely opportunistic: he genuinely believed in his self-imposed mission. He also genuinely believed he was divinely anointed to rule Russia. Napoleon III had his own self-interested and realpolitik motives. Great Britain's Palmerston had war aims were often fluid and frequently differed from public pronouncements on the "Four Points" program (see p. 195, p. 401). The Ottoman Empire, the "sick man of Europe" was the carrion others were hoping to pick over for their own advantage.

The middle section, on the military aspects of the conflict, were lucid and detailed, particularly the sections dealing with the commanders. They were oftentimes inept, sometimes incompetent, occasionally astute, sometimes brilliant. The misery of the soldiers, experiencing disease, adverse operating conditions and miserable sanitation was substantial, accounting for a significant percentage of all casualties. French logistical skills were a major advantage; British bungling in this area contributed mightily to the suffering of their soldiers. The Russians (true right up to and through WW-II) were poorly served by their state. They were inadequately armed, poorly trained, lacked discipline and skilled commanders and were criminally deprived of adequate material support. Still, they were brave, loyal and ferocious fighters.

The concluding section of the book provided context. The pan-Slavic movement (pps 456, 459) saw its genesis in this war and its influence has been evident through the conflicts in the remnants of Yugoslavia in the 1990s (not to mention WW-I). Ethnic cleansing (a feature of many, many wars), had staggering dimensions. Figes claims "...that three-quarters of the Muslim population had been forced to emigrate....around 1.2 million Muslims were expelled from the Caucasus in the decade following the Crimear war..." (p. 425) and Christians settled in their place. Islamism (Islamic fundamentalism) was a surprising feature of the war and the usual mixed motives were invoked by the allies in support of various ghazis or proto-mujahideens (such as the Shamil movement, p. 337). The implications of all this are obvious.

Henry Ford reputedly remarked that, "History is bunk". Perhaps so but, if true, there is a distinct trail of such bunkum leading from the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854 to the Charge of the Putin Brigade in Crimea in 2014. To best contextualize the most recent events; to distinguish between simple false claims; gross fabrications; moldy historical claims; ideology; religion; ethnic pandering; and simple "power politics", Figes' book presents both a comprehensive exposition and a useful perspective on current events.
Malak
Figes' The Crimean War: A History thoroughly explores previously untouched primary sources that reveal what most people consider an embarrassing episode in human self-destruction best remembered for the activities of Florence Nightingale. What Figes has unearthed is critical to understanding seemingly incomprehensible issues of the world today. For example, why would two brothers from a country unfamiliar to most Americans explode pressure-cooker bombs at a foot race the chief purpose of which is to raise awareness of need and money for charities? At the second anniversary of this horrendous event, Figes’ book also reveals as relevant the expansionist goals of Russia’s present-day leader, Vladimir Putin. Well written and engaging do not begin to cover what this book offers readers who sense that events today are anything but random and arbitrary, but don't know where to look for the deep roots.

Given the Cold War, to how many readers would it seem obvious that, as the French, British, and Sardinians marshaled their forces in 1853 to push back Russia at the start of the Crimean War, the United States, especially the Southern states, were siding with Russia? As pressure for the abolition of slavery mounted, American plantation owners were looking for anything to support the South’s status quo, and the idea of Russian serfdom provided moral support -- until Alexander II emancipated the serfs in 1861. Ten years earlier, both the U.S. and Russia had been in the process of driving off non-Christian tribes to colonize areas with “real” Americans and Russians, resulting in mass destitution, displacement, and genocide of native peoples who in both cases had lived in those places for centuries, if not millennia. Fast-forward to two years after the end of the U.S. Civil War, and the Russian-American friendship had become heated enough that Russia eagerly sold Alaska to the U.S., handing off containment of British expansion in the Pacific, launched from Britain’s ports in western Canada, to the Americans.

Above all, in Figes' history, the reader can see that, from Catherine the Great on, the Russian empire identified itself with and employed the moral weight of Greek and Byzantine civilization in its zealous expansion. The Soviet Union continued this momentum by “internationalizing” its ideology and creating Soviet Socialist Republics. Then, In Russia’s newest incarnation, President Vladimir Putin picks up the torch, and the specter of Nicholas I and the Crimean War light the way to securing Sochi in the Caucasus from Muslim extremists for the recent Winter Olympics, and a year later, Putin time-travels back to Catherine the Great to annex Crimea.

Figes' history becomes even more enlightening when read together with Tolstoy's extensively researched, personally experienced historical novel Hadji Murat (as translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky). This is set in 1851, two years before the Crimean War began, and traces the Russian campaign to dislodge Muslim Chechens and Avars from the Caucasus Mountains, the motherland of the Tsarnaev brothers. The central figure, an Avar chieftain and a Muslim, thinks he can save lives and a way of life by going over to the Russians. The reasons why this is impossible turn out to be mindless and banal, in the way that the greatest evils always are. The combined effect of Figes' history and Tolstoy's novel, both written entirely without irony, is to expose roots of resentment that seem otherwise inexplicable on this day in which the 119th Boston Marathon was run triumphantly – but in conditions of the utmost security.