All About History

Time traveller’s handbook

Crimean Peninsula, 1853-56


Everything you need to know to get ahead during the Crimean War

The Ottoman Empire, once a dominant force in the East, is in decline. Sensing an opportunit­y for expansion, the ambitious tsar of Russia, Nicholas I, has set his gaze on the jewel of Constantin­ople and eastern expansion. With the city, Russia would have unparallel­ed access to foreign trade routes and a strong port for its budding navy.

A diplomatic incident in Jerusalem gave Russia an excuse to declare war on the Ottomans. Concerned with how the tsar’s growing power would impact them, Britain and France issued an ultimatum once it became clear the Ottomans could not successful­ly fend off the attack.

The European powers’ threats were ignored and a hastily thrown together expedition­ary force was mobilised to take the fight to the Russians, targeting their navy base at Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula.


Although Florence Nightingal­e and her army of nurses are working tirelessly at the Scutari Barracks, your best bet for survival is to be sent to the Renkioi Hospital, about 500 kilometres away from Crimea. A prefabrica­ted building designed by the brilliant Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the facility is located outside of the malaria zone, making it much safer for patients already suffering from war wounds or disease. With a logical design and proper sanitation methods, the hospital, although never reaching capacity, will see over

1,000 patients but only 50 deaths

— a staggering achievemen­t when compared to installati­ons on the peninsula.

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