Sweaborg and Another Baltic Campaign, 1855

  • Andrew C. Rath


As Allied warships withdrew from the Baltic in December 1854 ahead of rapidly forming winter ice, it became apparent that additional campaigns would be necessary once spring arrived in 1855. By the time the first British warships steamed into the Baltic in April 1855, however, the political structure of Britain had changed dramatically. France’s ambassador in London prior to May 1855, Alexandre Colonna Walewski, had noted in January 1854 that “the chances of a change in the English Cabinet would be greater” if the Crimean War became “prolonged.”1 Nicholas I deemed this “great overhaul in Ministry” from Aberdeen to Palmerston “hardly for the better,” but died in March 1855 before witnessing its consequences.2 The new Czar, Alexander II, and British prime minister, Palmerston, were undeniably different leaders than their predecessors. Yet they initially made few changes to either of their respective countries’ strategies. The Russian Empire once again prepared to defend its coastlines, while Britain continued to assemble a powerful fleet to campaign against them with French assistance. Sir James Graham would no longer directly lead these efforts after tendering his resignation to Palmerston on February 22, 1855, but nevertheless managed to indelibly shape the Allies’ ensuing campaign in the Baltic.


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© Andrew C. Rath 2015

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  • Andrew C. Rath

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