The 1854 war between Russia and Britain – with its French and Turkish allies – is known as the Crimean War from the location of its chief campaign. But it is often forgotten that there was fighting in the northern Baltic Sea between British and Russian Naval forces. This book is a full account of that ‘sideshow’, based on the papers of the Senior British Naval officer, Vice-Admiral Sir C. Napier (not to be confused with his more famous military namesake Gen. Sir Charles Napier). There is a good reason for the oblivion that has befallen the Baltic campaign – it was a total and unmitigated failure, (apart from the capture of some unfortunate Finns who subsequently died of fever in Lewes jail!) The pupose of this book is to exonerate Admiral Napier, commander of the Baltic expedition, from blame for the failure, which the author, G. Butler Earp, lays squarely at the doors of the Lords of the Admiralty for sending Napier with an inadequate, run-down fleet and for refusing to give him the necessary means ( mortars and gunboats) to reduce the Russian ports and forts which he was expected to silence. Earp forcefully defends Napier from charges of incompetence and near-cowardice, and equally forcefully attacks the Admiraly for ‘cheeseparing’ and injustice. It is a story of military versus political needs which has echoes to this day.
HISTORY OF THE BALTIC CAMPAIGN OF 1854, FROM DOCUMENTS AND OTHER MATERIALS FURNISHED BY VICE-ADMIRAL SIR C. NAPIER
A full history of the Crimean War’s ‘forgotten’ sideshow in the Baltic, based on the papers of the British Commander, Admiral Napier, which exonerates him from charges of incompetence.
Edited by G. Butler Earp
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2005 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1856). SB. xlvi + 622pp .