By Alan Farmer
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The government finally sent out Colonel MacMurdo with independent purchasing powers to form a much-needed transport corps. It was a costly undertaking and when he sent in his requisitions, Sir Charles Trevelyan, Secretary to the Treasury, replied saying, ‘Colonel MacMurdo must limit his expenditure’, to which MacMurdo replied, ‘When Sir Charles Trevelyan limits the war I will limit my expenditure’. The medical situation As more and more men went down with cholera, scurvy, gangrene, typhus, typhoid, frostbite and dysentery, the medical situation became dire.
It brought Palmerston to his ﬁrst premiership. It established the reputation of Florence Nightingale. It was also the ﬁrst ‘modern’ media war, typiﬁed by The Times correspondent William Russell. His reports caught the attention of the public and played a large part in bringing down Aberdeen’s government in 1855. The war also led to calls for greater efﬁciency in military and government management. However, reforms were late in coming and limited in practice. This chapter will consider the impact of the war on Britain by considering the following themes: • • • • Political developments Financing the war Social change Military reform Key dates 1852 Aberdeen became Prime Minister 1855 Palmerston became Prime Minister 1856 Introduction of the Victoria Cross 1857–8 Indian Mutiny 1865 Death of Palmerston 1869–72 Cardwell’s military reforms 50 | The Experience of Warfare in Britain 1 | Political Developments The political situation in the 1850s was somewhat confused.
He was not a very great general, she thought, ‘but he was a very good man’. The 63-year-old Sir James Simpson, who had little recent military experience, replaced him. ) On 16 August 1855, the new Russian commander Gorchakov (who had replaced Menshikov in February) launched a major attack across the Chernya river. The 60,000-strong Russian army was decisively defeated by French and Piedmontese troops. This was the Russians’ last effort to break the allied siege. On 8 September, French forces captured the Malakhov (losing 7500 casualties in the process).