Crimea: The Last Crusade

TitleCrimea: The Last Crusade
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsFiges, Orlando
Number of Pages575
PublisherAllen Lane

"This book brings to light the terrible conflict that dominated the mid 19th century, the Crimean War; a war that 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. The iconic moments of the war-the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Siege of Sebastapol, the impact of Florence Nightingale-are all here but there is also a rich sense of the Crimea itself and the culture that was destroyed by the fighting. 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."--Publisher.

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