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Russia in the Post-Napoleonic World

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  Quote HaloChanter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Russia in the Post-Napoleonic World
    Posted: 15-Oct-2007 at 16:49
Hey folks,
 
Just to let you know (I hope no one minds me "tooting" my own horn here) but I've just submitted an article on AllEmpires Magazine. It'll be a two-part piece on the Russian Empire in the post-Napoleonic World. Russia has remained a behemoth in European history, and no less spectacular than its rise to Communist Empire in the twentieth century was its Imperial power in the nineteenth century. After the Napoleonic Wars Russia was regarded as the continental power, and headed the Unholy Alliance, maintaining the supremacy of the Eastern Despots against the liberal and social convulsions of the West that had done so much damage during the Napoleonic era.
 
But when Russia crossed the line in attempting to dispose of the Ottoman Empire as it saw fit, it was swiftly crushed in the Crimean War 1853-56 by an alliance of France, Great Britain, Turkey and Sardinia-Pedimont. Not only were huge weaknesses revealed in the structure of Russia's power, but its undisputed power in the first half of the nineteenth century had ensured diplomatic isolation, and one by one of its neighbours became belligerent - except the faithful Prussia.
In 1856, exhausted and defeated, Russia signed the Peace of Paris and instantly became a second rate Power.
 
The first part I have submitted deals with these themes, especially the specific causes of Russia's defeat during the Crimean War. The second part will focus on the consequences for Russia that the Peace of Paris brought, and its efforts to regain its status as a Great Power once again.

These pieces formed part of research I had conducted while an undergraduate student at my University, and has since remained a deep interest of mine. I hope therefore that you enjoy them as well, and perhaps in this thread we can get a good discussion going on Imperial Russia during the nineteenth century.
 
 
Thanks very much. So, Imperial Russia in the nineteenth century, anybody?
Kind regards,

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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2007 at 21:50
I don't think the defeat in Crimean war was so devastating for Russia.
 
First of all, the allies suffered very heavy casualties, according to some sources, even more heavy than Russians. And their victory was anything but not "swift"
 
Secondly, Russia complitely liquidated all the negative consequences of Crimean war relatively dast, without any kind of sound opposition from the former enemies, which shows that it wasn't the second rate power.
 
Russia remained first rate power very well until Russo-Japanese war, which actually ruined its image much more than Crimean war, the effects of which are usually exaggerated.
 
Besides, the defeat in Crimean war happened not due to the internal "weakness" of Russia, but only due to some huge miscalculation of the foreign policy of Nicholas I.
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  Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2007 at 23:39
Originally posted by Sarmat12

I don't think the defeat in Crimean war was so devastating for Russia.
 
It was, of course quite devastating for Russian Empire. It has lost in all expansionist ambitions at the time, together with the heavy casualties in army and navy added up.
 
Russia repaired its losses for sure, but it took up long years.
 
 
Russia remained first rate power very well until Russo-Japanese war, which actually ruined its image much more than Crimean war, the effects of which are usually exaggerated.
 
After late 18th century, Russia was always a first rate power in Europe...The effects of the Crimean War was nullified in 1870s, where Russian expansionism came back into life.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 02:55
Originally posted by Kapikulu

Originally posted by Sarmat12

I don't think the defeat in Crimean war was so devastating for Russia.
 
It was, of course quite devastating for Russian Empire. It has lost in all expansionist ambitions at the time, together with the heavy casualties in army and navy added up.
 
Russia repaired its losses for sure, but it took up long years.
 
 
As I have already said, the same devastating casualties were suffered by England and France. Below I quote the list of the casualties of all the warring parties from different sources. Just compare the numbers and see that the casualties for both opponents i.e. Russia and Allies are roughly the same.
 
Also bare in mind that the Russian army in Crimea at that time was the weakest of all it had at the moment.
 
The best armies were in the northern Caucasus and along the western border of the Russian empire.
 
Russia couldn't move the main forces to the Crimean theater, because of the threat of possible Austrian invasion. This threat become possible only due to the miscalculation of Nicholas I who put too much trust in Austria in vain.
 
Also bare in mind that Sevastopol, that costed the allies so many casualties, wasn't even a land fortress, but had been hastily transformed into such by the energetic Russian commanders, the garrison  of Sevastopol mainly consisted of sailors and not infantry men trained for the regular warfare, yet this relatively weak forces succesfully repelled several allied attacks.
 
Yes, allies were succesful in Sevastopol, however, they were repelled on all the other theaters i.e. Baltic, White Sea and Pacific Ocean. Combine Anglo-French attack on the Russian fort Petrapavlosk-Kamchatsk on Kamchatka penninsula on Pacific ended in a serious defeat of the allies (this chapter of the war for some reasons it's not very famous).
 
Also in Analolia Russian forces were succesful and captured the strong Turkish fortress Kars (it was actually the last battle of the war, if I'm correct).
 
Now, compare the initial goals of the allies and the their final achievements.
 
Initial goals of allies (by lord Palmerston) were:
 
Aland island and Finnland should be returned to Sweden
 
Russian Baltic possessions go to Prussia
 
Polish state should be restored as a barrier between Russia and Germany
 
Crimea and Caucasus should be returned to Turkey
 
So, what were the final results of the war?
 
Russia returns Kars to Turkey, Allies return Sevastopol and other captured Crimean cities to RUssia
 
Black is sea is declared neutral; Turkey and Russia are prohibited to have military fleets and war bases in the Black Sea region.
 
The commercial navigation on Danube is declared free
 
A tiny piece of Russian territory near Danube is transferred to Moldova
 
Russia is deprived of the protectorate over the christians of the Ottoman empire.
 
Russia obliges not to fortificate Aland islands.
 
Indeed, Russia was weakened to some extent but initial plans of the allies were totally ruined as well.
 
Already, in 1871 Russia liquidated the prohibition to have miltary fleet in Black Sea, which was actually the most worst consequence of the war for Russia.
 
Also bare in mind that after the war Russians still continued their slow advanc in Central Asia. So, although the Ottoman Empire was saved, Russian expansionism definetely wasn't complitely halted.
 
Casualties:
 
 
 
15
    1. Crimean War (1854-56)
    2. Bodart:
      • Russia: 40,000 KIA + 60,000 disease = 100,000
      • France: 20,240 KIA + 75,375 dis. = 95,615
      • Turkey: ca. 35,000 dead
      • UK: 4,602 KIA + 17,580 dis. = 22,182
      • Piedmont: 28 KIA + 2,166 dis. = 2,194
      • [TOTAL: 277,173]
    • The Crimean War (Essential Histories, No 2) by John Sweetman
      • UK
        • KIA: 2,755
        • Died of wounds: 2,019
        • Died of disease: 16,323
        • Total: 21,097
      • France
        • KIA: 10,240
        • Died of wounds: 20,000
        • Died of disease: 75,000
        • [Total: 105,240]
      • Sardinia: 2,050 (all causes)
      • Turkey: unkn.
      • Russia: 110,000+
      • TOTAL: Paul de la Gorce est. >300,000 "may not be far wrong"
    • 1911 Britannica
      • Battle deaths:
        • Allies: 70,000
        • Russians: 128,700
        • TOTAL: 198,700
      • Dead from all causes
        • Allies: 252,600 (including 5,000 English)
        • Russians: 256,000
        • TOTAL: 508,000
    • Urlanis
      • K. in Battle: 53,000
      • Military. Killed and died: 309,000
    • Singer, COWP:
      • Russia: 100,000
      • France: 95,000
      • Turkey: 45,000
      • UK: 22,000
      • Sardinia: 2,200
      • TOTAL: 264,200
    • Eckhardt: 264,000 military
    • MEDIAN: Of the six estimates, the median falls between 277,000 and 300,000


  • Edited by Sarmat12 - 16-Oct-2007 at 05:08
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      Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 05:20
    Dear HaloChanter,
     
    I've read your article. And I have to say that I complitely disagree with this assesment.  You seem just to repeat the sources which actually repeat some "Soviet history sciense" dogmas about the inherent inferiority of the Nicholas I Russia.
     
    Yes, the West was definetely more progressive, it was one of the reasons of Russia's defeat. But it definetely wasn't so easy as you described it in your article.
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      Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 05:28
    Let me first just say my knowledge of the crimean war is just plain poor.  About as good as my grasp of vietnamese history.
     
    That being the case I found your article quite interesting.  The points you make seem logical and you back them up with sources.  So, I give you my compliments on it.  A welcome addition to the assemblage of articles we already have.
     
    As an aside if you are up to it, you should open a thread or two on the Crimean war.  I would expect a good deal of responses; you should get at least one member (agehm *Sarmat12*) to respond anyway.Cheeky
    "War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann

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      Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 05:51
    Don't you find my point about the same degree of devastion in the Allies' casualties, after you reviewed some numbers I posted below.
     
    I back them with some sources BTW Smile
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      Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 06:00
    Yes, certainly, I don't disagree with what you have said.  It certainly seems to be the case that the allies suffered high casualties.  Just a "tongue in cheek" comment as gcle2003 might say.Embarrassed
     
    I only mentioned you specifically in the last part because you held a different view than HaloChanter. 


    Edited by Justinian - 16-Oct-2007 at 06:03
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      Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 07:04
    Smile
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      Quote HaloChanter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 08:09
    Thank you Justinian! Very kind.
    Hello Sarmat, thanks for jumping in. The sources were quite varied, and as academic historians of East and West, old and modern, they all took different view points (I try to take "both" sides of the line when writing).
     
    For example, to say that Russia's defeat was due to Nicholas I's foreign policy, and not the internal weakness of Russia, is to ignore the overwhelming evidence.
     
    Are you to suggest that it didn't matter that Russia had absolutely no railway south of Moscow, and it often took months to transport troops to the front 1,600km away, with supplies being sent by bullock cart, whereas the allies could reinforce their armies within 3 weeks?
    Logisitcs and communications are overwhelming factors in warfare, never more so than in modern warfare. The balance was far in Britain and France's favour, as the Tsar's chief ministers commented in my article.
     
    Furthermore, the system of autocratic government left the provinces chronically short of administration and denied the full resources of state to the war effort. Serfdom, the Tsar's power, meant that he was reluctant to draft troops and had very little real-term manpower to rely on, the reserves of which were - as you have quite rightly suggested - pinned down protecting idle borders due to the Tsar's past foreign policy. But also because no effective militia or conscription was available instead.
     
    The supremacy of the rifle over the musket was very much a deciding factor in almost all the set-piece battles, espcially Alma. The Russian army had changed not a wink from the previous forty-years while Britain and France had introduced new arms, tactics and methods that gave them a huge advantage - as is shown in the article (sorry, I hate repeating that).
     
    The defeat in the Crimean definately left Russia a second rate power. She withdrew from active expansion for over twenty years in Europe, and as my second article will show next month, everybody - including the Tsar - acknowledged the defeat as severely weakening Russia. It instead focused on expansion in the East, and left Europe and the Ottoman Empire alone until the Glorious Reforms of Alexander II had sorted out Russia's internal problems (abolishment of serfdom, increase in industry and technology, etc, all problems, as I stated in the article, that contributed to Russia's defeat), foreign policy had been realigned (Prussian relationship and expansion) army had been strengthened and the time was finally right (1871, when the world was distracted by France's defeat). Only then did Russia step back on to the stage as a Great Power - but even then she was put "back in place" by the European concert (and Disraeli's jingoism).
     
    Thanks - must dash to work. Enjoyed talking with you!
     
    Kind regards,

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      Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 17:58
    Firstly, consider the fact. That Russia actually didn't move any substantial reinforcements because it was threated on other fronts. As I said earlier, Russia miscalculated possible role of Austria and instead of sending western armies to Crimea, it had to hold them on the Western border.
     
    Without this threat, Russia would move the reinforcements to Crimea and the Allies would be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of fresh Russian troops.
     
    Russia couldn't do that.
     
    Besides, railroads didn't play any important role in this war at all. Did allies used the railroad to supply their troops or what?
     
    Secondly it's not correct to assume that Allies were overwhelmingly armed with rifles. The bulk of the Allies-French army was mostly armed with muskets. Yes, it's true, only some of the French troops were armed with rifles, but not the whole army. The majority of troops were armed with muskets. Turkish and Piemont armies were also only armed with Muskets.
     
    Russian army also had special units armed with rifles, but majority, like the French army were armed with muskets.
     
    Yes, British army was armed with rifles, but unlike French, British army didn't pay the decisive role in the war.
     
    So, the role of rifle is also greatly exagerrated in this conflict.
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      Quote Desperado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 20:43
    Originally posted by HaloChanter

    The defeat in the Crimean definately left Russia a second rate power.

    I can not agree with that. The WW1 and WW2 left Germany a second rate power. But that can't be said about XIXth century Russia. The Crimean war just slowed temporally Russian expansion south for 2 decades, nothing else. The Russian empire remained the continental titan which could deal with all of its oponents one on one until the begining of the XXth century.
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      Quote HaloChanter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2007 at 21:31
    Sorry, but the evidence and sources prove otherwise.
     
    The French minie Rifle was at the forefront of both allied armies at the outbreak of the Crimean War, so much so that Rifles were appearing in French and British native colonial regiments in their respective empires by mid-century (and the minie-rifle appearing as early as the 40's in French coloian regiments).
    It was far from standard in the British army yet, but Infantry of the Line (those in the front of the action) were issued with the rifle which was employed to great extent and carnage during the Crimean War.
    Similarly, almost all light battatlions in the French army had been issued with the minie rifle, as had most of the Line infantry by the mid-century.
     
    There wasn't more than a handful of Rifles in the entire 800,000 strong Russian army, large regiments of which were still weilding flintlocks from the Napoleonic War. As shown in the article, prior practice and experience was almost non-existent, supply and ammunition stocks during the war were chronically dire and in very great demand. Russian guns were often silent within minutes of opening fire due to lack of shells.
     
    The Russian army was so poorly equipped that it often failed, and only overcame tribal resistance in the Caucasus, after some decades.
     
    Furthermore, in a country of some 50 millions, Russia's poor diplomacy should not have stopped it from injecting hundreds of thousands of more troops in to the Crimea had the system of serfdom not been in place across the Empire at the time, the authorities fearing a multitude of Serfs gaining their political freedom. That is why 200,000 troops were pinned down uselessly across the Baltic and Galician frontiers. Well, that and the fact that the Russian economy could not supply its armies with enough arms and ammunition to draft more troops in to the Crimea.
     
    It is telling, as the article shows, that within the year the Army of the Crimea was all but out of action.
     
    but unlike French, British army didn't pay the decisive role in the war.
     
    - In regards to British performance, it was substantial in the Crimean War. Allied victory at the Battle of Alma was significantly a British effort, perhaps the map gives some indication showing lines of advancement:
     
     
     
     
    Although problems of sanitation and the confusion of beurecratic administration (causing stocks of supplies to sit at harbour rather than filter out to the troops) took a subsequent toll on the British Army after Alma, as the siege of Sebastopol drew to a close, the British were once again the dominant partners of the Allied war effort and was increasing numbers and armaments at a rate unseen, while the Russian state was nearing bankruptcy and collapse.
     
    Besides, railroads didn't play any important role in this war at all. Did allies used the railroad to supply their troops or what?
     
    - The lack of railroads played a VERY important role in the war. Having no railroad south of Moscow meant that supplies and communications had to travel by bullock, 1,600km's away in often impassable weather and conditions. As the article shows, it could sometimes take up to a year, but more on average several months. The allies could ship supplies and reinforcements within 3 weeks. The internal lack of industry and infrastructure meant that Russia, compared to France and Britain, was at a serious disadvantage.
     
    Again, the evidence, contemporary opinion and sources contradict the idea that diplomacy alone doomed the Russian war effort. It was a contribution, but it was not the biggest, least of all was it the only one.
     
    Thanks again!
    Kind regards,

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      Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2007 at 04:47
    Your sources are wrong.
     
    French army was mainly equipped with muskets during the Crimean war.
     
    Next time I will give proper references for that.
     
    British involvenment wasn't crucial at all, and the dirty job was done by French, British forces usually quite often were overwhelmed by Russians and then begged for French help.
     
    The war was conducted so badly from the allied side, the "Crimean war" is still the synonim of the terrible military command and high losses in the Western historical science.
     
    Russia simply wasn't able to move any substantial reinforcements because of the THREAT OF THE INVASION OF AUSTRIA.
     
    There was no source to take reinforcements from. All the troops were busy. Simply is that. Railroads have nothing to do with that.
     
    What if Russia had railroads in the South? What difference does it make if there is no troops to transport?
     
    I don't know why I have to repeat this point 3 times. Is it that still unclear?
     
     
    Russia lost because of the Nicholas miscalculations and bad commanders, who could crash all the allied army just after the landing.  Though, the Allied commanders were equally stupid and did many miscalculations as well.
     
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      Quote HaloChanter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2007 at 07:49
    I don't know why I have to repeat this point 3 times. Is it that still unclear?
     
    - Well, there's no need to be rude. The reason you keep repeating yourself is because you cite no sources, and attempt to argue your point simply by saying "you are wrong, I am right".
     
    Next time I will give proper references for that.
     
    - I'm waiting.
     
    Thanks!
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      Quote Desperado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2007 at 10:31
    "The French Campaign of 1859
    by Dr. Patrick Marder

    Despite its possibilities and perspectives, the practical heritage of the Crimean War for the French Army was a meager one. The Historique of the artillery service admitted openly in 1858 that "the fusil d'infanterie [the smoothbore musket] has rendered little or no service "; which is quite a strong statement when one remembers that this weapon equipped 83% of French forces in the Crimea.[1] Essentially then, an overwhelming proportion of French infantry—the men of the line regiments—made little direct military contribution to combat, surrendering the decisive battle role to the elite forces of the Zouaves, Turcos, Chasseurs, equipped with rifled arms and fighting in the light infantry order.
    ...
    [1]. Historique du Service de l'Artillerie, Paris, 1858, p. 535. "

    Military History Online


    Furthermore, in a country of some 50 millions, Russia's poor diplomacy should not have stopped it from injecting hundreds of thousands of more troops in to the Crimea had the system of serfdom not been in place across the Empire at the time, the authorities fearing a multitude of Serfs gaining their political freedom. That is why 200,000 troops were pinned down uselessly across the Baltic and Galician frontiers.

    The russian troops concentration on the Baltic front was not due to "fearing a multitude of Serfs gaining their political freedom", but because it was close to the Russian capital.


    Edited by Desperado - 17-Oct-2007 at 10:58
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      Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2007 at 13:53

    For Imperial Russia, loss of some hundred thousand men isnt so bad due to overwhelming numerical superiority of Russian armies. However, I would say that Russians did suffer from Crimean War. Though the cloudy fear of Russia terrorized and made psychological impact on Europe, Crimean War proved that Russian military can be beaten just like when Napoleon was forced to retreat from Russian armies. As well, Russian victory in Crimean War would have made huge impact towards Imperial Russia. Popularity of Tsar would boost up, Imperial Russia can improve their economic by controlling strategic areas, and now can literally push their way into declining Ottoman Turks and beyond. Once Russians secure and defend the Dardenelle and route to modern day Turkey, Imperial Russia can conquer Turkey, and much of Northern Middle East and maybe even have enough luxery to build huge fleet to check the British Royal Navy. Just imagine Imperial Russia absorbing Ottoman Empire. Its not a pleasant thought to any powers around the world.

    Originally posted by Sarmat12

    British involvenment wasn't crucial at all, and the dirty job was done by French, British forces usually quite often were overwhelmed by Russians and then begged for French help.

    Even though it was indeed French and Turks who contributed huge support in numbers, I feel that British aid did made huge difference in Crimean War. British Royal Navy ensured that no Russians could use bodies of water as an advantage in war. Plus, the British bombardment in Stevastopol and later nearly conquering it caused huge stocks of weapons and supplies to be trapped in besieged fortress, along with thousands of Russian soldiers. British fleets ensured that reasonable logistic supply lines are secured, something Russians always lacked in almost any wars. Recall WWII. Should we say Britain made huge importan contribution to victory as Russians did merely because there were more Russians? Number is not everthing. It helps, but only to limited degree. Eastern front in WWI is a classical example of this.

    Originally posted by Sarmat12

    French army was mainly equipped with muskets during the Crimean war.

     

    Next time I will give proper references for that.

    Until near the Franco-Prussian war, French armies were not equipped heavily with rifles. In fact, the infamous Chassepot rifles that became standard issue in French military did not take place until 1866 and Crimean War ended in 1856. Theres ten years gap, people. It is possible that French may had different rifles, but either they were still crude as muskets since bayonet charge and close combats were quite common. (Or is it because they were simply so many Russians?)

    I guess reference could really save the day, Sarmat12. Do post it, if you can.

    It is true that Russians did not possess huge numerical superiority as we may believe. (Some already pointed out this) But Russians did enjoy the numerical advantage because most of the infantry (Number-wise wait, is that even a word?) in the grand alliance were Turks, and they often were inferior even against Russian soldiers. France was the shield and the armor of the alliance, helping out the dying Turks by halting the Russian advance and pushing the shield towards Russia as Britain spearheaded the crucial areas, such as Sevastopol.

    Originally posted by Sarmat12

     

    The war was conducted so badly from the allied side, the "Crimean war" is still the synonim of the terrible military command and high losses in the Western historical science.

     

    I know its off-topic, but I felt the word Crimean quite fluffy, like whip cream on mocha. Sleepy

     

     

    Originally posted by Sarmat12

    Russia simply wasn't able to move any substantial reinforcements because of the THREAT OF THE INVASION OF AUSTRIA.

     

    To some degree, yes. Austrians were not in shape to support or stab Imperial Russia. It is true that Austrians did invaded some Russian land, it was negligible to the overall scheme of war. Besides, Austrians are not going to bash through Russia. They will be checked by Germans. And remember, they were also occupied with political stability. Main issue for Austrians is not expansion. They needed to maintain order in their own land, nevermind getting involve with war against Russia or anyone else for that matter.

    Austria-Hungary Empire was in similar position as Italy in WWI. They wont act unless it is clear that Russians are so beaten up that Austrians could hope to get something out of it without suffering fair loss of men and money.

     

    Originally posted by Sarmat12

    There was no source to take reinforcements from. All the troops were busy. Simply is that. Railroads have nothing to do with that.

     

    What if Russia had railroads in the South? What difference does it make if there is no troops to transport?

     

    I don't know why I have to repeat this point 3 times. Is it that still unclear?

     

     

    There was no Trans-Siberian Railway operating in Crimean war.LOL I wont say no chance, since there were still fair number of reserves that could have been used.

    Sarmat12, for future reference you should try to post your articles in different languages. Clearly, people are still unclear. Wink

     

         
       
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      Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2007 at 14:47
    Depends what you mean by 'second-rate' power, I guess. I think part of HaloChanter's point is that from 1815-56 Russia was viewed as the land superpower, as Britain was viewed as the superpower at sea. During that period they dominated in much the same way as the Soviet Union and the US did in the nineteen-fifties and sixties.
     
    In that period there were in the popular imagination only two first-rate powers therefore: Britain and Russia. The Crimean War dented both their images: however Russia PR-wise suffered more because it was a land war (their speciality) not a naval one. So yes, I do think that Russia slipped a notch as a result of the war, whereas no-one took very seriously Britain's poor performance.
     
    That is not of course to say that it did not remain a considerable power. In fact its actual power probably wasn't affected much, just its image.
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      Quote HaloChanter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2007 at 15:15
    Well, power is considerably relative. The Tsarist authority was so closely bound with military prestige, that had Nicholas not died, it is doutbful whether he would have had a smooth ride afterwards. Alexander II had to implement reforms for the monarchy to survive. Well, as history shows us, his failure to implement them seriously led to his assassination in 1881, and ultimately the struggle of his successors was one of public agitation against the failure of the regime.
     
    It is to ignore all evidence and contemporary opinion to suggest that Russia's failure in the Crimean War and up to the revolution was not a reflection of its own internal weaknesses.
     
    Well, the mere fact that the succeeding regime of Alexander II implemented the Great Reforms (in industry, economics, technology, law and government, the areas I have suggested contributed to the defeat of Russia) from the end of the war until the 1860's is proof that it was believed these were the reasons for Russia's failure.
     
    We were defeated not by the external forces of the Western alliance but by our own internal weakness. - this was the voice of a Slavophile, of all people, in the days after the Peace of Paris (see: Hosking's "Russia and the Russians", and Fletcher & Ischenko's monumentous "The Crimean War - A Clash of Empires").
     
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      Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2007 at 15:37
    Originally posted by gcle2003

    ...whereas no-one took very seriously Britain's poor performance.
     
     
    Meh. Almost everyone messed up in Crimean War. Poor communication, inability to attack in teamwork occured in practically every nations. World should have learned from this mistake, but no... thousands of fallen soldiers are not enough to reform the military. France paid the consquence for their ignorance, when well armed French troops faced bitter defeat against Germans in Franco-Prussian War.
     
    Originally posted by gcle2003

    That is not of course to say that it did not remain a considerable power. In fact its actual power probably wasn't affected much, just its image.
     
     
    As I have said before, I think Russian military was hugely affected. I think the biggest mistakes made by some Tsars is that they need to be absolutely serious about it. Russo-Japanese War, entering WWI, Crimean War... Look at aggressive British naval actions to maintain sea supremacy. Tsars, when in situations like in war, need to have iron-grip like Stalin and use all means necessary to win the war. Are Russians being beaten in Crimean War? Bring the reserves from Russia. Use unemployed and expandable people to reinforce the war effort. Tsars always are indecesive. Kingdom of Romance have plenty of stories about how powerful armies lost the war they should have won due to incapable leaders.
         
       
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