The capture of Giurgiu by the Turks immediately threatened Bucharest in Wallachia with capture by the same Turkish army. On 26 July , Tsar Nicholas I, responding to an Austrian ultimatum, ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Principalities. Also, in late July , following up on the Russian retreat, the French staged an expedition against the Russian forces still in Dobruja, but this was a failure. By then, the Russian withdrawal was complete, except for the fortress towns of northern Dobruja, while their place in the Principalities was taken by the Austrians, as a neutral peacekeeping force.
The naval operations of the Crimean War commenced with the dispatch, in mid, of the French and British fleets to the Black Sea region, to support the Ottomans and to dissuade the Russians from encroachment. By June , both fleets were stationed at Besikas Bay , outside the Dardanelles. During this period, the Russian Black Sea Fleet was operating against Ottoman coastal traffic between Constantinople and the Caucasus ports, while the Ottoman fleet sought to protect this supply line. The clash came on 30 November when a Russian fleet attacked an Ottoman force in the harbour at Sinop , and destroyed it at the Battle of Sinop.
The battle outraged opinion in UK, which called for war. In response an Anglo-French fleet bombarded the port , causing much damage to the town.
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To show support for Turkey after the battle of Sinop, on 22 December , the Anglo-French squadron entered the Black Sea and the steamship HMS Retribution approached the Port of Sevastopol , the commander of which received an ultimatum not to allow any ships in the Black Sea. In June, the fleets transported the Allied expeditionary forces to Varna , in support of the Ottoman operations on the Danube; in September they again transported the armies, this time to the Crimea.
The Russian fleet during this time declined to engage the allies, preferring to maintain a " fleet in being "; this strategy failed when Sevastopol, the main port and where most of the Black Sea fleet was based, came under siege. The Russians were reduced to scuttling their warships as blockships , after stripping them of their guns and men to reinforce batteries on shore. During the siege, the Russians lost four or gun, three-decker ships of the line , twelve gun two-deckers and four gun frigates in the Black Sea, plus a large number of smaller vessels. During the rest of the campaign the allied fleets remained in control of the Black Sea, ensuring the various fronts were kept supplied.
In September they moved against Russian installations in the Dnieper estuary, attacking Kinburn in the first use of ironclad ships in naval warfare. The Russians evacuated Wallachia and Moldavia in late July With the evacuation of the Danubian Principalities, the immediate cause of war was withdrawn and the war might have ended at this time. The coalition government of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen fell on 30 January on a no-confidence vote as Parliament voted to appoint a committee to investigate mismanagement of the war.
French and British officers and engineers were sent on 20 July on HMS Fury , a wooden Bulldog-class paddle sloop, to survey the harbour of Sevastopol and the coast near it, managing to get close to the harbour mouth to inspect the formidable batteries.
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Returning, they reported that they believed there were 15,—20, troops encamped. The Crimean campaign opened in September Three hundred and sixty ships sailed in seven columns, each steamer towing two sailing ships.
This town and bay would provide a fall back position in case of disaster. The landing surprised the Russians, as they had expected a landing at Katcha ; the last-minute change proving that Russia had known the original campaign plan. There was no sign of the enemy and the invading troops all landed on 14 September It took another four days to land all the stores, equipment, horses and artillery. The landing took place north of Sevastopol, so the Russians had arrayed their army in expectation of a direct attack. The allies advanced and on the morning of 20 September came up to the River Alma and engaged the Russian army.
The position was strong, but after three hours,  : the allied frontal attack had driven the Russians out of their dug-in positions with losses of 6, men.
The Battle of the Alma resulted in 3, Allied losses. Failing to pursue the retreating forces was one of many strategic errors made during the war, and the Russians themselves noted that had the Allies pressed south that day they would have easily captured Sevastopol. Believing the northern approaches to the city too well defended, especially due to the presence of a large star fort and because Sevastopol was on the south side of the inlet from the sea that made the harbour , Sir John Burgoyne , the engineer advisor, recommended that the allies attack Sevastopol from the south.
The joint commanders, Raglan and St Arnaud , agreed. The Russians retreated into the city. The Allied army moved without problems to the south and the heavy artillery was brought ashore with batteries and connecting trenches built so that by 10 October some batteries were ready and by 17 October—when the bombardment commenced— guns were firing, 53 of them French.
The British bombardment worked better than that of the French, who had smaller-calibre guns. The fleet suffered high casualties during the day. The British wanted to attack that afternoon, but the French wanted to defer the attack. A postponement was agreed, but on the next day the French were still not ready. By 19 October the Russians had transferred some heavy guns to the southern defences and outgunned the allies.here
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Reinforcements for the Russians gave them the courage to send out probing attacks. The Allied lines, beginning to suffer from cholera as early as September, were stretched. The French, on the west had less to do than the British on the east with their siege lines and the large nine-mile open wing back to their supply base on the south coast. A large Russian assault on the allied supply base to the southeast at Balaclava was rebuffed on 25 October Commanding them was Sir Colin Campbell.
Rather than " form square ", the traditional method of repelling cavalry, Campbell took the risky decision to have his Highlanders form a single line, two men deep. Campbell had seen the effectiveness of the new Minie rifles , with which his troops were armed, at the Battle of Alma a month before, and he was confident his men could beat back the Russians. His tactics succeeded. Soon after, a Russian cavalry movement was countered by the Heavy Brigade , who charged and fought hand-to-hand until the Russians retreated.
This caused a more widespread Russian retreat, including a number of their artillery units. When the local commanders failed to take advantage of the retreat, Lord Raglan sent out orders to move up and attack some Russian guns located across the valley. Raglan could see these guns due to his position on the hill; when in the valley, this view was obstructed, leaving the wrong guns in sight. The local commanders ignored the demands, leading to the British aide-de-camp Captain Nolan personally delivering the quickly written and confusing order to attack the artillery.
When Lord Lucan questioned which guns the order referred to, the aide-de-camp pointed to the first Russian battery he could see and allegedly said "There is your enemy, there are your guns"—due to his obstructed view, these were the wrong ones. Lucan then passed the order to the Earl of Cardigan, resulting in the charge of the Light Brigade. In this charge, Cardigan formed up his unit and charged the length of the Valley of the Balaclava, under fire from Russian batteries in the hills. The charge of the Light Brigade caused casualties of the man unit. Although traditionally the charge of the Light Brigade was looked upon as a glorious but wasted sacrifice of good men and horses, recent historians say that the charge of the Light Brigade did succeed in at least some of its objectives.
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The charge of the Light Brigade so unnerved the Russian cavalry, which had been routed by the Heavy Brigade , that the Russians were set to full-scale flight. The shortage of men led to the failure of the British and French to follow up on the Battle of Balaclava, which led directly to a much bloodier battle—the Battle of Inkerman. On 5 November , the Russians attempted to raise the siege at Sevastopol with an attack against the allies, which resulted in another allied victory.
Winter weather and a deteriorating supply of troops and materiel on both sides led to a halt in ground operations. Sevastopol remained invested by the allies, while the allied armies were hemmed in by the Russian Army in the interior. A tramway was ordered. It arrived in January with a civilian engineering crew, but it was March before it was sufficiently advanced to be of any appreciable value. The pipe-and-cable-laying plough failed because of the hard frozen soil, but nevertheless 21 miles of cable were laid. The troops suffered greatly from cold and sickness, and the shortage of fuel led them to start dismantling their defensive Gabions and Fascines.
The Russians were defeated in the battle ,  : —22 leading to a change in their command. The strain of directing the war had taken its toll on the health of Tsar Nicholas.
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The Tsar, full of remorse for the disasters he had caused, caught pneumonia and died on 2 March. The Allies had had time to consider the problem, the French being brought around to agree that the key to the defence was the Malakoff. Several weeks of fighting resulted in little change in the front line, and the Mamelon remained in Russian hands. In April , the allies staged a second all-out bombardment, leading to an artillery duel with the Russian guns, but no ground assault followed. On 24 May , sixty ships containing 7, French, 5, Turkish and 3, British troops set off for a raid on the city of Kerch east of Sevastopol in an attempt to open another front on the Crimean peninsula and to cut off Russian supplies.
The landings were successful, but the force made little progress thereafter. Many more artillery pieces had arrived and had been dug into batteries. The first General assault of Sevastopol took place on June 18, There is a legend that the assault was scheduled for this date in favor of Napoleon III in the 40th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. This legend is not confirmed by historians. In June, a third bombardment was followed after two days by a successful attack on the Mamelon, but a follow-up assault on the Malakoff failed with heavy losses.
During this time the garrison commander, Admiral Nakhimov fell on 30 June ,  : and Raglan died on 28 June. The assault was beaten back with heavy casualties and it was an undoubted victory of Russia. It is worth mentioning that the Russian Siege of Sevastopol panorama depicts the moment of the assault of Sevastopol on June 18, In August, the Russians again made an attack towards the base at Balaclava, defended by the French, newly arrived Sardinian, and Ottoman troops. For months each side had been building forward rifle pits and defensive positions, which resulted in many skirmishes.
Artillery fire aimed to gain superiority over the enemy guns. The Russians failed to retake it and their defences collapsed. Meanwhile, the British captured the Great Redan, just south of the city of Sevastopol. The Russian side still recognizes only the loss of the position of the Malakhov Kurgan key points of defence , claiming that all other positions were retained. At this point, both sides were exhausted, and no further military operations were launched in the Crimea before the onset of winter. The main objective of the siege, the destruction of the Russian fleet and docks, took place over the winter.
On 28 February, multiple mines blew up the five docks, the canal, and three locks.