The First Modern War

While in university I took a second in conflict management…..war as obscene as it is has always fascinated me…..what possesses man to commit such carnage and how does it end……

While World War One created the world as we know it today…..but was it the first modern war?

So, what was the first modern war?

Some say the Crimean War was the first.

The Crimean War (1853-1856) stemmed from Russia’s threat to multiple European interests with its pressure of Turkey. After demanding Russian evacuation of the Danubian Principalities, British and French forces laid siege to the city of Sevastopol in 1854. The campaign lasted for a full year, with the Battle of Balaclava and its “Charge of the Light Brigade” among its famous skirmishes. Facing mounting losses and increased resistance from Austria, Russia agreed to the terms of the 1856 Treaty of Paris. Remembered in part for Florence Nightingale’s work for the wounded, the Crimean War reshaped Europe’s power structure.

The Crimean War was a result of Russian pressure on Turkey; this threatened British commercial and strategic interests in the Middle East and India. France, having provoked the crisis for prestige purposes, used the war to cement an alliance with Britain and to reassert its military power.

Anglo-French forces secured Istanbul before attacking Russia in the Black Sea, the Baltic, the Arctic, and the Pacific, supported by a maritime blockade. In September 1854 the allies landed in the Crimea, planning to destroy Sevastopol and the Russian Fleet in six weeks before withdrawing to Turkey. After victory on the River Alma, they hesitated; the Russians then reinforced the city and attacked the allied flank at the battles of Balaklava and the Inkerman. After a terrible winter, the allies cut Russian logistics by occupying the Sea of Azov; then, using superior sea-based logistics, they forced the Russians out of Sevastopol, which fell on September 8–9, 1855.

https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/crimean-war

Now that you have the simple definition of the war…the whys and wheres…..

But what made it to be considered as the first modern war?

In 1854, British industrialist Henry Bessemer met Napoleon III. Bessemer had designed a new type of artillery shell, and after the French generals had shown little interest in the product, the inventor decided to pitch the idea to the Emperor himself.

Napoleon had taken the French throne by coup three years earlier. In the mould of his uncle, the first great Bonaparte, the new Emperor was determined to restore France’s influence both in Europe and the colonies. Only the previous year, he had sent troops to fight the Russians in the Crimea. Napoleon III liked Bessemer’s idea of a longer, heavier shell cut with spiral grooves that would make the shell spin and as a result more accurately target enemy positions. This, he believed, was the sort of technology that would help him release France from the shackles imposed by the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Peace Treaty that had brought an end to the Napoleonic Wars. There was, however, one slight problem with Bessemer’s invention.

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2013/10/crimea-the-first-modern-war/

Now you know.

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2 thoughts on “The First Modern War

  1. Despite the academic conclusions, much of the Crimean War was fought in the same way that they had fought Napoleon up to 1815. Regiments of troops in red coats marching uphill into cannon and rifle fire, hoping that bravery and weight of numbers would gain victory.
    I think you have to say WW1 was the first truly modern war. Use of aircraft, improved communications, gas and chemical weapons, extensive naval engagements, submarine warfare, and all on a global scale.
    Yet they still sent regiments of men walking slowly into cannon and rifle fire, so they hadn’t learned that much.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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