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The Bombardment of Sebastopol, 1856

Photo credit: The Royal Hospital Chelsea

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The Siege of Sebastopol was a major battle during the Crimean War, from September 1854 until September 1855. Tolstoy's early book 'The Sebastopol Sketches' (1855–1856) detailed it in a mixture of reportage and short fiction. The Russians, realising the siege would not be lifted by a battle in the field, moved their troops into the city to aid the defenders. Towards the end of November the weather broke and brought a storm ruining the Allies' camps and supply lines. Men and horses became sick and starved in the atrocious conditions. On 24th August 1855 the Allies started a severe bombardment, firing 150,000 rounds into the fortress, causing 2,000 to 3,000 casualties daily. Then 60,000 Allied troops began the last assault. The Russian defensive positions became untenable.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea





oil on canvas


H 30 x W 69 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by C. J. Moss of Oxford, 1907

Work type



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The Royal Hospital Chelsea

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