Segments in this Video

Crimean War Accounts (03:57)


Hear casualty descriptions and view early Russian film footage of veterans. This series will tell their story through letters, journals, paintings and photographs that exposed the British public to combat reality for the first time.

Sinope Offensive (03:58)

Learn the political pretext for the Tzar's movement across the Danube territory. After Turkish ships were destroyed by the Russian Navy, Britain and France sent vessels into the Black Sea.

Crimean War Begins (02:07)

Britain and France formed an alliance and declared war on Russia in March 1854; hear a Glasgow army recruit's account. They planned to attack Sevastopol and destroy Russia's naval power.

Crimean War Culture Shock (02:51)

British and French armies went to defend Constantinople—viewing Muslim allies as racially inferior. A British officer's wife describes the Turkish capital and the Scutari Barracks.

Battle of Bomarsund (03:50)

Learn how the British Armada took the Russian stronghold and hear a clergyman's description of casualties. The British public was disappointed that they hadn't taken St. Petersburg.

Crimean War Images (02:34)

Learn how Omar Pasha led the Ottomans against Russian invaders along the Danube. View photographs of Turkish and Russians soldiers taken by Carol Szathmari.

Siege of Silistra (01:29)

Hear Leo Tolstoy's account of Russian troops attacking the Turkish fort—experiences that later contributed to "War and Peace."

Silistra Siege Outcome (03:40)

The allies left for Varna to relieve the Ottoman fortress. British journalists described French military superiority; Austria's intervention forced Russia to retreat back across the Danube.

Cholera in the Crimean War (02:59)

Contaminated water caused an outbreak in allied camps in Varna. Hear British and French accounts of soldiers suffering; 10,000 were lost to disease.

Black Sea Campaign (03:03)

Learn how British and French armies disembarked at Calamity Bay as they prepared to attack Sevastopol.

Battle of Alma (07:02)

Learn details of the British and French victory over Russian forces at the Alma River. Hear firsthand accounts from both sides.

Bypassing Sevastopol (03:06)

British and French troops marched around Sevastopol to gather fortifications at Balaklava—a disastrous decision. The Russian Navy sank ships to block an allied assault on the city.

Siege of Sevastopol (03:12)

The British army landed in Balaklava and the French in Kamiesh to prepare a siege—allowing the Russians time to call reinforcements. Hear accounts of the battle.

Battle of Balaklava (05:34)

Learn how Russian troops attacked British forces at the Valley of Death to cut off their supply base for the Siege of Sevastopol.

Credits: The Reason Why: The Crimean War (00:52)

Credits: The Reason Why: The Crimean War

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The Reason Why: The Crimean War

Part of the Series : The Crimean War
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The Crimean War (October 1853–February 1856) was part of a long-running contest between major European powers for influence over the declining Ottoman Empire's territories. Considered one of the first “modern” wars, written reports and photographs kept the British public informed of the day-to-day battlefield realities for the first time. This series uses firsthand British, French, and Russian accounts to describe the military and logistical incompetence, combat events, and disease characterizing the conflict. Part one covers the war’s beginning; the Battles of Bomarsund, Alma, and Balaklava; and the Sieges of Silistra and Sebastopol. (50 minutes)

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL55269

ISBN: 978-0-81609-791-3

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.