Azov campaignTaganrog, Russia
In early 1855, the allied Anglo-French commanders decided to send an Anglo-French naval squadron into the Azov Sea to undermine Russian communications and supplies to besieged Sevastopol. On 12 May 1855, Anglo-French warships entered the Kerch Strait and destroyed the coast battery of the Kamishevaya Bay. Once through the Kerch Strait, British and French warships struck at every vestige of Russian power along the coast of the Sea of Azov. Except for Rostov and Azov, no town, depot, building or fortification was immune from attack, and Russian naval power ceased to exist almost overnight. This Allied campaign led to a significant reduction in supplies flowing to the besieged Russian troops at Sevastopol.
On 21 May 1855, the gunboats and armed steamers attacked the seaport of Taganrog, the most important hub near Rostov on Don. The vast amounts of food, especially bread, wheat, barley and rye. that were amassed in the city after the outbreak of war were prevented from being exported.
The Governor of Taganrog, Yegor Tolstoy, and Lieutenant-General Ivan Krasnov refused an allied ultimatum by responding, "Russians never surrender their cities". The Anglo-French squadron bombarded Taganrog for more than six hours and landed 300 troops near the Old Stairway in the centre of Taganrog, but they were thrown back by Don Cossacks and a volunteer corps.
In July 1855, the allied squadron tried to go past Taganrog to Rostov-on-Don by entering the River Don through the Mius River. On 12 July 1855 HMS Jasper grounded near Taganrog thanks to a fisherman who moved buoys into shallow water. The Cossacks captured the gunboat with all of its guns and blew it up. The third siege attempt was made 19–31 August 1855, but the city was already fortified, and the squadron could not approach close enough for landing operations. The allied fleet left the Gulf of Taganrog on 2 September 1855, with minor military operations along the Azov Sea coast continuing until late 1855.