William Russell was the most famous war correspondent of all time – and his pioneering despatches from the Crimea to his newspaper, The Times, were hugely influential both in the way the war was seen and fought, and in the future of war reporting more generally. Here Russell’s painfully honest reports are reproduced in full so that modern readers can judge for themselves just how ground-breaking they were. With hard-hitting searching candour, Russell describes the chaotic sailing of the Crimean expeditionary force; the battles of the Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman and the Siege of Sebastopol. He saw for himself the tragedy of the Charge of the Light Brigade and the equally bloody storming of the Malakoff and Redan redoubts. For the first time a sheltered public at home were exposed to war’s bloody horror. His despatches brought Russell instant and lasting fame, but had a positive impact in that the indignation they aroused pressurised the Government into vastly improving the lot of the soldiers they sent abroad to fight and die. They also inspired Florence Nightingale to lead her 38 volunteer nurses to the Crimea, beginning modern nursing.
Despatches from the Crimea
William Russell’s searing war reports from the Crimea pioneered modern war reporting, sped much needed army reforms, and inspired Florence Nightingale to begin modern nursing there. This is then both a historical document and a fine piece of war writing which still steams with the indignation of Russell’s outrage.
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