Crimean War Timeline 1853-1856

Crimean WarThis timeline details the main events of the Crimean War

For the first time The Times newspaper sent a journalist to the region to obtain first-hand news of events. This meant that the successes and failures of the war were reported for all to read.


1853 (February)
Stratford Canning was appointed British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.
1853 (2nd March)
Sergeyevich Menshikov was sent to Constantinople (Istanbul) seeking redress from the Turks over the deaths of a number of Orthodox monks, killed during riots in Bethlehem.
1853 (April)
After hearing of the Russian case for redress from the Ottoman Empire, Stratford Canning travelled to Constantinople. The British and French were concerned that Russia would use the case to gain influence in the Holy Land and hamper trading routes. He advised the Turks not to make agreement with Russia.
1853 (21st May)
Sergeyevich Menshikov left Constantinople without a deal.
1853 (June)
Russian troops were sent to Moldavia and Wallachia (Moldova and Romania), which were Ottoman lands.
1853 (June)
The British and French were alarmed by the Russian move. They wanted to prevent Russian access to the Mediterranean Sea and sent ships to the Dardanelles.
1853 (23rd September)
The British ships moved to Constantinople (Istanbul).
1853 (4th October)
Turkey formally declared war on Russia.
1853 (16th October)
Turkey mounted an offensive against Russia.
1853 (30th November)
Battle of Sinope
The Russian navy destroyed a number of Turkish ships.
1854 (3rd January)
The French and British ships moved to the Black Sea.
1854 (28th March)
Britain and France declared war on Russia.
1854 (June)
The Allied forces moved to Varna to be ready for any Russian move south.
1854 (7th September)
British troops, commanded by Lord Fitzroy Somerset Raglan, and French troops, commanded by Maréchal Jacques Leroy de Saint-Arnaud, left the port of Varna bound for the Crimea. They believed the key to winning the war was to take the strategic city of Sevastopol.
1854 (14th September)
Allied forces landed in the Crimea at Calamitia Bay and began the march south towards Sevastopol.
1854 (20th September)
Battle of the Alma
The Allies encountered Russian troops led by Prince Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov, near the River Alma and attacked. The Russians were forced to retreat.
1854 (17th October)
Siege of Sevastopol
The city of Sevastopol was bombarded by the allied navy and placed under siege.
1854 (18th October)
Siege of Sevastopol
The British established their operations base at Balaclava while the French set up at Kamiesch Bay.
1854 (25th October)
Battle of Balaclava
The Russians had taken several Turkish redoubts and were advancing towards Balaclava when they came across a British force commanded by Major-General Colin Campbell. The British Heavy Cavalry Brigade charged the Russians and drove them back. Lord Raglan, commander of the Light Brigade, sent a message requesting the Light Brigade to stop the Russians removing guns. Raglan was referring to guns from the Turkish redoubts but Lord Cardigan, leader of the Light Brigade thought he meant the Russian guns at the end of the valley. He therefore led the British regiment in a charge along the valley unaware that Russian forces were stationed along the route. 250 men from the regiment were killed.
1854 (November)
Florence Nightingale and a team of nurses were sent to the Crimea to help care for British soldiers in the military hospital. Nightingale noticed that a large number of soldiers died in a dirty part of the ward. After the wards were scrubbed and cleaned the death rate reduced.
1854 (5th November)
The Battle of Inkerman
The Russians made a surprise attack on the British at Inkerman. The British were supported by French reinforcements and pushed the Russians back.
1854 (14th November)
The weather turned hostile and a storm swept through the region. The Allied camp outside Sevastopol was destroyed leaving troops with no shelter from the elements. Ships carrying warm clothing, medical supplies and food for men and horses were destroyed in the storm.
1854 (late)
Mary Seacole, daughter of a Jamaican mother and a Scottish Army Officer, volunteered to nurse in the Crimea. After being rejected by the War Office and Florence Nightingale she travelled to the region independently. Once in the Crimea she made remedies from herbs and plants and sold them to the soldiers in the field.
1854 (December)
The loss of vital supplies in the November storm created severe hardship. The men weakened from lack of food and adequate winter clothing and horses died. Lack of clean drinking water soon led to an outbreak of cholera. There were no medical facilities in the Crimea, rather sick or injured men were transported to Scutari, a region of Constantinople.
1855 (30th January)
Lord Aberdeen, British Prime Minister, resigned over the investigation into the failings made by those in charge of the Crimean War.
1855 (6th February)
Henry Temple, Viscount Palmerston, took over as Prime Minister of a minority government after George Gordon, Lord Aberdeen resigned.
1855 (17th February)
The Battle of Eupatoria
A Russian force led by General Khrulev made a surprise attack on the Ottoman garrison at Eupatoria. However, they were pushed back by the Allies.
1855 (March)
Dr John Sutherland, Dr H Gavin and Robert Rawlinson were sent to Scutari to report on the sanitary conditions in the hospital. Afterwards they travelled to the Crimea to report on the health of the army.
1855 (9th April)
Bombardment of Sevastopol
The Allies made a second bombardment of city but the city did not fall.
1855 (18th April)
Siege of Sevastopol
The Allies made another attempt to take Sebastapol by storming the Redan. They were unsuccessful.
1855 (16th August)
The Battle of Chernaya
Tsar Alexander II ordered Russian forces to attack the Allies and end the siege of Sevastopol. The mission was unsuccessful and the Russians were forced to retreat.
1855 (8th September)
Siege of Sevastopol
The French managed to take the Malakoff Fort, a key part of the defence of Sevastapol.
1855 (9th September)
Siege of Sevastapol
The Russians evacuated Sevastopol allowing the allies to take control of the strategic city.
1855 (October)
The Russian base, Kinburn, was taken by the Allies.
1855 (late October)
Austria, Prussia and Sweden were all threatening to join the Allies. Russia had to accept defeat.
1856 (30th March)
Treaty of Paris
This formally ended the Crimean War. Russia was forced to return all former Ottoman lands they had taken. Russia was granted Sevastopol, Balaklava, Kamish, Eupatoria, Kerch, Jenikale, Kinburn but had to sign a clause to not establish any military post in the Black Sea.


Published Mar 09 2021 @ 3:15 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2021). Crimean War 1853 – 1856

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