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Sebastopol, siege of

Sebastopol, siege of. The chief event of the Crimean War 1853–6. From 27 September 1854 British, French, and Turkish (and later Sardinian) armies maintained the siege of Sebastopol, the main Russian naval base in the Crimea. The town was never completely surrounded, being accessible from the north throughout. Not until 1855 were the allies strong enough to assault the town's chief bastions in earnest. The French captured the White Tower on 7 June 1855 but the British assault on the Redan on 17 June was a failure. In a joint attack on 8 September the British again failed to hold the Redan but the French captured the Malakov, the key to the town. The Russians evacuated Sebastopol that night, keeping it under fire. Although the allies destroyed the docks in January 1856 they never occupied the city, which was still disputed when the war ended.

Stephen Badsey

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