The Crimean War’s First Shots in the Baltic, 1854

  • Andrew C. Rath


Several months prior to the Crimean War’s outbreak, British foreign secretary Lord Clarendon straightforwardly concluded that, “in the event of war between this Country and Russia, the Baltic must become a theatre of active operations.”1 In fact, the entire Crimean conflict was precisely timed to facilitate a British plan to cripple the Russian warships they thought were still anchored off Revel (Tallinn), Estonia.2 Allied efforts against Russia’s Black Sea stronghold at Sevastopol, on the other hand, was designed as a grand raid and not a protracted siege: in Clarendon’s words, “one blow in the Baltic was worth two in the Black Sea.”3 Planning for that blow commenced long before the war’s outbreak,4 and fused with concerns that Russian warships would slip undetected into the North Sea and attack British and French coastlines.5


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© Andrew C. Rath 2015

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  • Andrew C. Rath

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