Crimean War

Battle of Kinburn
The Dévastation-class ironclad battery Lave, c. 1855 ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1855 Oct 17

Battle of Kinburn

Kinburn Peninsula, Mykolaiv Ob

The Battle of Kinburn, a combined land-naval engagement during the final stage of the Crimean War, took place on the tip of the Kinburn Peninsula on 17 October 1855. During the battle a combined fleet of vessels from the French Navy and the British Royal Navy bombarded Russian coastal fortifications after an Anglo-French ground force had besieged them. Three French ironclad batteries carried out the main attack, which saw the main Russian fortress destroyed in an action that lasted about three hours.

The battle, although strategically insignificant with little effect on the outcome of the war, is notable for the first use of modern ironclad warships in action. Although frequently hit, the French ships destroyed the Russian forts within three hours, suffering minimal casualties in the process. This battle convinced contemporary navies to design and build new major warships with armour plating; this instigated a naval arms race between France and Britain lasting over a decade.

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