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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Wrote Admiral Bruat in his report


[Illustration: BALAKLAVA--"OUT OF THE MOUTH OF HELL--" Painted by Elizabeth Thompson (Lady Butler) Copyright. By permission of Henry Graves & Co., Ltd., London]

[Sidenote: The defense of Kars]

With the fall of Sebastopol the war may be said to have ended. A brilliant chapter which had little effect on the Crimean campaign, partly because it occurred after the fall of Sebastopol, partly because it concerned chiefly the Armenians, was the long defence of Kars by Colonel Williams and Wassif Pasha against an overwhelming Russian army under General Muraviev. Williams sturdily held his ground, bravely repulsed a violent attack in which the Russians lost over 5,000 men, and surrendered on November 27, with all the honors of war, only when starvation stared his little garrison in the face.

[Sidenote: First ironclads before Kinburn]

[Sidenote: Success of first trial]

Hostilities still continued for a time in the Crimea. The allied fleet was sent to bombard various sea forts. The most important of these naval operations from a historical standpoint was the expedition against Kinburn, for here it was that the modern ironclad was first tried. On September 5, 1854, Napoleon had ordered the construction of five armored floating batteries, which embodied the results obtained in the tests of plating made before

the War Ministry's representatives at Vincennes. The ships were of 1,400 tons displacement, were armed with eighteen 50-pounder smoothbores, and protected by four inches of iron armor. They were the prototypes of the later ironclads. Not without some misgivings three of these batteries were sent to the Crimea to join the allied fleet under Admirals Lyons and Bruat. The English squadron consisted of six line-of-battle ships, seventeen frigates and sloops, ten gunboats, six mortar-boats and ten transports. The French fleet, besides the three armored batteries mentioned, included four line-of-battle ships, three corvettes, four despatch boats, twelve gun boats and five mortar-boats. The combined fleets prepared to attack the Russian works at Kinburn. On October 18, the bombardment began. The ironclads steamed up to within 800 yards of the main fort; the other ships took up positions at distances varying from 1,200 to 2,800 yards. Without appreciable effect the Russian 32-pound and 18-pound shot and shell dropped into the sea from the iron plating of the French ships. Whatever injury was sustained was caused by the entrance of shot and splinters through the portholes. Unable to withstand the well-directed fire of their invulnerable enemy, the Russians hoisted the white flag, after having lost 45 killed and 130 wounded. The allies lost but two killed and had but forty-five wounded--all on board the armored ships. "Everything may be expected of these formidable engines of war," wrote Admiral Bruat in his report. The Black Sea was the cradle of the modern ironclad.


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