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Correct the Crimean peninsular is not in the Balkans! However, it is less well known that the Crimean War actually started in the Balkans. Particularly in the UK where almost every town has streets named after the famous Crimean battles of Alma, Inkerman and of course Balaclava, most people would not know that the British army first landed in the Balkans in what became known as the Varna interlude.

The causes of the war were very firmly in the Balkans. The Russian occupation of Wallachia and Moldavia (modern Romania) led to Turkey declaring war supported by Britain and France. The Ottoman and Russian armies first faced each other across the Danube and British and French forces joined them at the Black Sea port of Varna. The Russian siege of Silistra formed the focus of the campaign until the Russians withdrew on 22 June in the face of mounting pressure from other European states including Austria and Prussia. The campaign then shifted to the Crimea.

This section deals with the Russian Army of the Crimean War 1854-56.

The Russian army in 1854 was a huge force of 1,365,786 men dispersed over a massive geographical area. The regular army included the Imperial Guard, Grenadier Corps, six infantry corps and two cavalry corps.

Russian line infantry wearing the forage cap.

More Russian line wearing the spiked helmet.

and finally the Jagers.

The artillery.


and of course the Cossacks.

All the above are 15mm figures from Minifigs.

Further information

Cox & Lenton               

 Crimean War Organisation & Uniforms                     

 Raider 1988

Jelavich, B                     

 Russia's Balkan Entanglements: 1806-1914                

 Cambridge 1991

Jelavich, B                     

 Russia & the Formation of the Romanian State1821-78  

 Cambridge 1984

Thomas, Robert Russian Army of the Crimean War Osprey 1991
Seaton, Albert Crimean War - A Russian Chronicle Batsford 1977
Wilkinson-Latham Uniforms and Weapons of the Crimean War Batsford 1977
Royle, Trevor Crimea Abacus 1999


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Last modified: 01/23/12