The second Cabinet print of January 1856 deals with the naval campaign, excluding the work of the Naval Brigade ashore throughout the siege of Sevastopol.
While the latter operation dominated the theatre Vice Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons’ fleet maintained an effective blockade of the Russian coast, secured the vital logistics lifeline that fed armed and equipped the armies and conducted coastal attacks. The latter culminated in the key strategic move of the season when British, French and Turkish troops, with powerful Anglo-French naval support captured Kerch and opened the Sea of Azov. This allowed a small force of British gunboats to cut the main Russian logistics link across the Azov into the Crimea, effectively ending the siege.
After the fall of Sevastopol in September an allied fleet and army captured the key Russian fortress of Kinburn, an action that witnessed the first use of armoured warships. The Black Sea prints were introduced by Captain Alfred Dewar of the Naval Historical Section.