Talk:Battle of Inkerman

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Victoria Cross[edit]

At least one VC was won during the battle, should it be included in the article? Hugh Rowlands Mei (talk) 00:01, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Old talk[edit]

Is it Inkerman or Inkermann? - Zoe

Which side were the Brits on? or were they free agents in this one? -- Smerdis of Tlön 15:49, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)~

For the entire war, there was an alliance of France, Britain, and the Ottomans fighting against the Russians. The Dark 15:54, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Plea for a rewrite[edit]

This article is in dire need of attention. Currently almost all of it is a direct quote from McClellan and suffers because of it. Are there any Crimean War buffs out there who could rewrite this into a more readable form? Lisiate 04:31, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I could rewrite this article, weaving in McClellan's obversviations with that of other sources. I have read a lot about Inkerman over the years and studied maps of the encounter as well. I do not however want to offend the article's original author...I would want that person's permission before rewriting. Who wrote it? One objection I have to the current article is that it calls the outcome a "decisive" Allied victory. Inkerman did not have a decisive ending. After being rebuffed by the Allies, the Russians withdrew back into Sevastapol, roughed up, but not decisively beaten. Another issue I have with it is that it doesn't mention that a second Russian army, 30,000 troops strong, was lined up at a 90 degree angle relative to the original Russian line, almost hemming in the Allies between them. But for some bizarre reason the Russian commander didn't order this second army to just watched the affair passively. Kenmore 02:03, 15 October 2006 (UTC)kenmore
I agree with you, it was a allied victory, but not a decisive one. I will change it to allied victory. Carl Logan 20:05, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Something else that would have benefited this article: a discussion of the weapons used by each side, and how the more modern Allied weaponry tilted the outcome of the combat in their favor. My understanding is that that in the Crimean War, the Russians were still using the same models of muskets they had been equiped with in the Napoleonic Wars, while the Allies were using the latest generation of rifles. Only 4% of the Russian army was equipped with such modern rifles. The Allies, then, were able to more than compensate for their inferior numbers at Inkerman by making effective use of their superior firearms. Even at close quarters, the British and French rifles gave them an advantage over the Russians. The same holds true of the artillery in this battle. Russia's outdated cannon couldn't shoot as far or with as heavy a payload as could the cannon of the Allies. Kenmore 05:23, 17 October 2006 (UTC)kenmore

I agree with this estimate. By the way, I would like to have a third opinion concerning this. --Ghirla -трёп- 15:14, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree partly, it wasn't just the weapons but the Russian doctrine, which is best summed up by Suvorov: "The bullet is a fool, the bayonet is a fine chap." This worked in previous wars and against less technological advanced enemies, but by the Crimean war it was outdated. Carl Logan 18:42, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

The tactics used by the Russians in the Crimean War were the same used by all European armies during the Napoleonic Wars two generations earlier: large scale attacks by dense columns of infantry. I think the Russians attacked at Inkerman in this fashion because their only hope of success (i.e., of compensating for inferior weaponry) was to overwhelm the Allies with superior numbers of troops.
The Russians almost won at Inkerman. Had the Russians been better led and organized, their initial three-pronged attack on the Allied line would have been better conducted, and at the right moment, their large field army – held in reserve – would have intervened to end the affair.
But the operation was bungled…superior numbers in the end did not compensate for inferior weapons.
By the Crimean War, there were no more Suvorovs, Kutusovs, Barclays, or Bagrations leading the Russians. The fine Russian generals of 1812 were relics of history and nothing more. Their successors such as Gorchakov and Menshikov were mediocrities.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Russian artillery was regarded as either the best in Europe or the equal of the best guns fielded by other European armies. This is indisputable. By the 1850s, though, those same cannon could not shoot as far as the rifles used by the French and English.
Why did the Russian army stagnate in the 40 years between the Napoleonic Wars and the Crimean War? I don’t know for certain, but my impression is that the government of Nicholas I bungled the ongoing financing and modernization of the Russian army between 1825 and the 1850s. They did a poor job administratively.
I’ve read that as early as the 1840s the Russian government knew its army was being antiquated by the advances in weaponry and tactics devised in Western Europe. But for some reason the Russian government could not organize or finance the modernization of its army in time to meet the challenges of the next great European war.
Another reason for the Russian army’s descent into decrepitude was the personality of its overall commander: Field Marshal Paskevich. For most of Nicholas I’s reign Paskevich had full control over Russian military affairs…and he did not do a good job.

Kenmore 19:15, 17 October 2006 (UTC)kenmore

Is it just me or does this seem slightly biased towrds the russian side? The British role in the battle is hardly mentioned.

Will 10:57 August 11 (UTC)

I agree and have therefore re-written the article, and provided references. Thanks. - Trip (Trip Johnson (talk) 00:53, 18 August 2009 (UTC))
At last! Deserves thanks from all. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:28, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Hehe, no problem and you're welcome =] It still requires a bit of work, bit of cleaning up, but hey, it's a start. Happy reading. (Trip Johnson (talk) 14:37, 18 August 2009 (UTC))

Trip: the Inkerman rewrite is excellent. Well done. I am wondering, however, if the article would be better if it mentioned some of the difficulties experienced by the Russians in this battle. For one, the initial Russian infantry attack was hopelessly bungled because -- under conditions of fog and due to confusion among commanders -- the two attacking columns slammed into each other as they advanced on the British. The result is that the Russian infantry was literally a disorganized, unmanageable mob as it conducted its assault. This disorganization on the Russian side is a key reason why the attack failed. A second issue that may be worth mentioning is the quality of the Russian artillery at Inkerman: it was next to useless. The Russian field pieces were so outdated that they lacked the firing range to make a serious impact on the enemy. Thus, Russian gunners were easily picked off by British snipers, whose rifles had longer shooting range than a typical Russian cannon. A final issue is that of the 42,000 Russian troops present, many of them belonged to a field corps which merely observed the action from afar, and did not actually participate in the fighting. Some historians, in fact, believe that if Menshikov had only committed this field corps to the fray, then the British position would have been overrun and the war ended. Kenmore (talk) 18:21, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

This sentence in the Aftermath section seems clumsy:

"Despite being severely outnumbered, the allied troops held their ground, becoming a marvel of each regiment's tradition and tenacity."

The problem is with "becoming a marvel of." Does the author mean "at that time," in which case maybe it should say ""...ground, due to each regiment's..." ; or does the author mean "afterwards" in which case maybe it should say, "...ground, contributing to each regiment's..." Actually, it might be better if the last phrase was just deleted. Thomas R. Fasulo (talk) 02:05, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

There seem to be a few discrepancies between the French language version of this article, and the British version. Whilst the British language version seems to overlook the French contribution on a number of occasions during the battle, and largely ignores the French sector of the battlefield, the French language version of the article does the same in reverse. As this was an allied effort, so the article could make use of French sources as well, and vice versa. Respectfully, Bas de Groot - the Netherlands — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:32, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

News account by New York times of the battle[edit]


Did the Russians lose any field guns at Inkerman? Not likely.[edit]

Someone wrote that Russian losses included 100 artillery pieces (info box). This is an error. 100 guns lost is an astoundingly high number. Generally, if only a handful of cannon switched hands during these battles, that was regarded as a significent amount. Where did the editor get the figure of 100 guns lost? In the accounts of Inkerman that I've read, the Russians successfully withdrew cannon from the field. Also, there was no Allied pursuit of the withdrawing Russians. Thus, that the Russians could have lost anymore than a small handful of cannon is very doubtful. Kenmore (talk) 21:22, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Correction: the Russians successfully withdrew their field guns[edit]

After doing some research, I was able to ascertain that the Russians, in fact, did not lose any guns when withdrawing from Inkerman. The 100 guns supposedly lost by the Russians at Shell Hill were actually withdrawn from the field. According to Kinglake and Royle, Dannenberg's artillery batteries on Shell Hill were first subjected to heavy fire from two British 18-pounders. At this point, Dannenberg ordered the withdrawal of his forces. The Russians withdrew their batteries from Shell Hill piecemeal, leaving two smaller batteries to resist the British artillery. These remaining Russian guns covered the Russian army's retreat. Later, General Raglan ordered the British artillery to stop bombarding Shell Hill, in order to encourage the remaining Russian batteries to fold their rear guard activity and withdraw. Upon the departure of these last Russian artillery crews, the British and French occupied Shell Hill.

Contrary to what the article previously said, Shell Hill was never stormed by British and French infantry, and Russian cannon were never captured.

Here is the link to Kinglake's very detailed account of the battle. Page 445 and the pages preceding and following it describe the Russian withdrawal, and the final activity at Shell Hill:

Another reliable source is Trevor Royle's Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854-1856, 2000, Palgrave Macmillan. Page 289 describes the final Russian withdrawal from Shell Hill.

Of the numerous sources I checked regarding Russian artillery at Shell Hill, only one mentions that the Russians lost their guns to an Allied infantry attack (see this link). No doubt the author's claim is erroneous. I would like to know where this information originated.

Again, for a 19th century army to lose 100 cannon in a single battle would be a catastrophe, rendering the result of the engagement decisive in favor of the victor. Ordinance losses of this magnitude were rare in battle. Certainly it did not happen at Inkerman. Kenmore (talk) 04:51, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

  • Ensured that the article is: within project scope, tagged for task forces, and assessed for class.
  • This article would benefit from: expansion, sections (Prelude, The battle, Aftermath), in-text citations. --Rosiestep (talk) 19:45, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


"The courage of Cathcart and his men had the unexpected effect of encouraging other British units to charge the Russians. This gave the Russian army an opportunity to gain a crest on the ridge."
These two sentences appear in the 'Fourth Division in action' section. I do think it could be explained more clearly, as at the moment I get the impression that the Russians took the opportunity to gain a crest after being charged by the British; not what was orginally intended, I reckon.
RASAM (talk) 20:13, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

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