2nd Edition

The Crimean War British Grand Strategy against Russia, 1853–56

By Andrew Lambert Copyright 2011
    400 Pages
    by Routledge

    396 Pages
    by Routledge

    In contrast to every other book about the conflict Andrew Lambert's ground-breaking study The Crimean War: British Grand Strategy against Russia, 1853-1856 is neither an operational history of the armies in the Crimea, nor a study of the diplomacy of the conflict. The core concern is with grand strategy, the development and implementation of national policy and strategy. The key concepts are strategic, derived from the works of Carl von Clausewitz and Sir Julian Corbett, and the main focus is on naval, not military operations. This original approach rejected the 'Continentalist' orthodoxy that dominated contemporary writing about the history of war, reflecting an era when British security policy was dominated by Inner German Frontier, the British Army of the Rhine and Air Force Germany. Originally published in 1990 the book appeared just as the Cold War ended; the strategic landscape for Britain began shifting away from the continent, and new commitments were emerging that heralded a return to maritime strategy, as adumbrated in the defence policy papers of the 1990s. With a new introduction that contextualises the 1990 text and situates it in the developing historiography of the Crimean War the new edition makes this essential book available to a new generation of scholars.

    Contents: Introduction to the 2011 Edition; Introduction to the 1990 Edition: A Crimean War?; Great Britain and Russia, 1815-53; The crisis in the East; National strategy and naval policy; The strategic balance; Sinope; Preparing for war; War aims and strategy; The Danube front; The grand raid; The siege; The Russian response; The Baltic campaign; Bomarsund; Politics and strategy; The Black Sea theatre, January-April 1855; Kertch; The turning point; After Sevastapol; Return to the Baltic; Sweaborg; The limits of power; The great armament; A limited peace; British strategy and the war; Bibliography; Index.


    Professor Andrew Lambert, King's College London, UK

    'Professor Lambert's important book remains required reading to understand the true nature of the rather mis-named "Crimean War" and the key importance of its maritime dimensions to the successful outcome.' Eric Grove, University of Salford, UK 'The story is a classic account of how not to organise high command in war, and ought to be a text book in every staff college.' Nicholas A.M. Rodger, All Souls College, Oxford, UK 'The first edition of this book revolutionized the way we think about the Crimean War. Andrew Lambert showed then and reinforces the point now that the title this conflict has come to be known by is a misnomer. He argues that the real centre of gravity was not the Black Sea at all, but the Baltic and the potential vulnerability of St Petersburg to allied naval attack. That was what swung Russian opinion, not Florence Nightingale, not the charge of the Light Brigade, not even the fall of Sebastopol. In giving us this classic example of how often the maritime contribution to military operations, so central to the successful conduct of "the British Way of War", can be blotted out by the media's focus on the guns and flags of land battle, Andrew Lambert does us a real service both for a better understanding of the past - and of the future too.' Geoff Till, King's College London, UK 'This is an important work for several reasons. Not only does it throw fresh light on the Crimean War, but it also reveals the limitations of British power even at the height of its greatness... An important book for anyone interested in how superpowers can fail to understand the limitations of their power.' New York Military Affairs Symposium Review 'As a general history of naval operations during the war this remains the best available... This is a valuable book which deserves a place in every naval historian’s library...' International Journal of Maritime History