By Andrew C. Rath
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Extra resources for The Crimean War in Imperial Context, 1854-1856
96 Consensus regarding the larger fortresses was more difficult to reach. The ensuing chapters’ discussion of the Allies’ 1854 Baltic campaign outlines a multitude of conflicting opinions involved in contemplating assaults on Sweaborg and Cronstadt. It took a change of year and of prime minister in Britain before the Anglo-French fleet would bombard Sweaborg and begin constructing a flotilla to threaten Cronstadt. ” 97 CH A P T ER 2 The White Sea, Finmark, and Russian Strategy Lord Palmerston’s February 1855 elevation to the prime ministership also impacted strategy north of the Baltic, in the White Sea.
Allied war planning for the Pacific was a collection of responses to widely dispersed imperatives. British forces were ordered to defend an expansive array of imperial and commercial interests, but were given few specific instructions concerning how this should be 18 The Crimean War in Imperial Context, 1854–1856 accomplished. Aside from the aforementioned circular requiring him to protect the interest of British subjects and commerce, cooperate with French forces, and exercise caution when approaching Russian warships,19 Price received task-oriented communications in early 1854 from Britain’s Admiralty.
Although some of these economic achievements were due to the efforts of Britain’s Royal Navy, it was much more difficult to celebrate the initial military feats of those same fleets during the war. 65 Graham had Walker’s offices moved to a more central location so that the surveyor and his skilled technical team would be more accessible,66 and was only just beginning to shape Britain’s initial participation in the Crimean War. As first lord of the Admiralty, Graham exercised a preponderant influence over Britain’s maritime war planning thanks to divisions within Lord Aberdeen’s coalition cabinet.
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