Crimea: The Last Crusade
Allen Lane, 2010 - 575 psl.
The Crimean War dominated the mid 19th century, killed at least 800,000 men and pitted Russia against a formidable coalition of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire. It was a war for territory, provoked by fear that if the Ottoman Empire were to collapse then Russia could control a huge swathe of land from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf. But it was also a war of religion, driven by a fervent, populist and ever more ferocious belief by the Tsar and his ministers that this was a crusade, the fulfilment of Russia's task to rule all Orthodox Christians and control the Holy Land. And it was a war based on hatreds and hypocrisy, specifically the overwhelming Russophobia that swept much of Europe.
Orlando Figes' major new book reimagines this extraordinary war, in which the stakes could not have been higher. It was both a recognisably modern conflict - the first to be extensively photographed, the first to employ the telegraph, the first 'newspaper war' - and a traditional one, with illiterate soldiers, amateur officers and huge casualties caused by disease.
The iconic moments of the war - the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Siege of Sebastopol, the impact of Florence Nightingale - are all here, but there is also a rich sense of the entire region and of the many nationalities caught up in the fighting. The conflict engulfed the Danube principalities, the Baltic and the Caucasus as well as the Crimea, with the British creating vast if ultimately delusive plans for the partition of much of Russia. Drawing on a huge range of fascinating, often untapped sources, Figes also gives the lived experience of the war, from that of the ordinary British soldier in his snow-filled trench, to the haunted, gloomy, narrow figure of Tsar Nicholas himself, as he vows to take on the whole world in his hunt for religious salvation.
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Review: Crimea: The Last CrusadeVartotojo apžvalga - Sophie - Goodreads
This is a fantastic book. History as I think it should be written. It contained enough strategy to tell the story and enough individual stories from soldiers on all sides (though mostly English and Russian) to make it come alive. Skaityti visą apžvalgą