Europe 1854: Siege of Sevastopol
The Allies decided to destroy Russian power in the Black Sea by capturing the key naval base of Sevastopol, on the Crimean peninsula. While they were en route, Austria succeeded in pressuring Russia to withdraw from Moldavia and Wallachia. This could have ended the war, but the Allies sailed on to besiege Sevastopol and punish the Russians nonetheless.
20 Apr 1854 Austro-Prussian Alliance▲
When the Crimean War broke out, the Russians hoped that the Austrians, who had been rescued by Russia during the Hungarian revolution of 1848–9, would join them or at least stay neutral. Austria instead declined Russian overtures—as well as those of Britain and France—and opted to conclude a defensive alliance with Prussia in April 1854. Despite officially marking Austria and Prussia as neutral in the war, this treaty favored the allies by also calling for the Russian withdrawal from the Danubian Principalities.
26 May 1854 Allies occupy Piraeus▲
The French Empire and Great Britain occupied Piraeus to enforce Greek neutrality in Crimean War.
13–16 Aug 1854 Battle of Bomarsund▲
After entering the Baltic Sea, naval forces from the United Kingdom and the French Empire, supported by troops and artillery who had landed on the island, opened fire on the Russian fortress of Bomarsund on Sund (one of the Aland Islands). Following several days of facing bombardment by land and sea, the 2,000 remaining Russian defenders agreed to surrender. The Allies then demolished the fortress, remaining in occupation of the island until mid-September.
22 Aug–6 Sep 1854 Austrian occupation of Danubian Principalities▲
By May 1854 the Austrian Empire had built up a force of 280,000 troops on its eastern frontier, persuading Russia to end its offensive in the Balkans. The following month the Austrians issued an ultimatum to the Russians, demanding that they withdraw from the Danubian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. The Russians complied in July, allowing an Austrian peacekeeping force to occupy the principalities on behalf of the Ottoman Empire in August and September.
14 Sep 1854 Landing at Calamita Bay▲
The Anglo-French expeditionary force landed at Calamita Bay, southeast of Eupatoria and 56km north of Sevastopol, in Crimea, Russian Empire. Although disorganised and weakened by cholera and dysentery, lack of Russian opposition to these landings allowed the Allies to form a beachhead of 6 km inland. On 19 September the two armies headed south, defeating the Russians at Alma the following day.
17 Oct 1854 Siege of Sevastopol▲
Having landed in the Crimea in September 1854, the Allies advanced southeast to attack the important Russian naval base of Sevastopol from the south, erroneously believing that the northern approaches of the city were too well defended. Here the British established port facilities at Balaclava and the French at Kamiesch, allowing them to unload heavy artillery and build connecting trenches. On 17 October, with the batteries ready and Sevastopol encircled, the Allies commenced their siege of the city by bombarding it from land and sea.