Book Review – ‘The Crimean War in Imperial Context, 1854–1856’ by Nicholas Tracy
The publisher of this study asserts that this is ‘the only book to consider expertly translated sources in eight languages that examine the conflict’s maritime history in areas ranging from South America to Scandinavia . Until now, accounts of Britain’s and France’s naval campaigns against Tsarist Russia in the Baltic, White Sea, and Pacific have remained fragmented, minimized, or thinly-referenced. This book considers each campaign from an imperial perspective extending from South America to Finland’. This ambitious undertaking is encompassed in 202 pages of closely printed text with 66 pages of references to 29 archive collections in the United States, Britain, Russia, Canada, France, Finland and New Zealand, and to many important secondary sources. Rath’s achievement enables Anglophones to see over the hill and follow the war from a Russian perspective as well as the more familiar British and French ones. He provides an extensive account of Russian war plans, and of the ultimate recognition by Tsar Alexander I that an Austrian offer of mediation had to be accepted.
Rath’s work is also important in describing the campaigns in the Baltic, Arctic, and Pacific …