Crimean War

Battle of the Chernaya
La battaglia della Cernaia, Gerolamo Induno. ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1855 Aug 16

Battle of the Chernaya

Chyornaya, Moscow Oblast, Russ

The battle was planned as an offensive by the Russians with the aim of forcing the Allied forces (French, British, Piedmontese, and Ottoman) to retreat and abandon their siege of Sevastopol. Tsar Alexander II had ordered his commander in chief in the Crimea, Prince Michael Gorchakov to attack the besieging forces before they were reinforced further. The Tsar hoped that by gaining a victory, he could force a more favorable resolution to the conflict. Gorchakov didn’t think that an attack would be successful but believed the greatest chance of success to be near the French and Piedmontese positions on the Chyornaya River. The Tsar ordered the hesitating Gorchakov to hold a war council to plan the attack. The attack was planned for the morning of August 16 in the hope to surprise the French and Piedmontese as they had just celebrated the Feast day of the Emperor (France) and Assumption Day (Piedmontese). The Russians hoped that because of these feasts the enemy would be tired and less attentive to the Russians. The battle ended in a Russian retreat and a victory for the French, Piedmontese and Turks. As a result of the slaughter that took place at the battle, the Russian soldiers had lost their trust in the Russian commanders and it was now only a question of time before the Russian army would be forced to surrender Sevastopol.

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