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"Russian Infantry in column?" Topic

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Marulaz120 Feb 2021 7:20 a.m. PST

It has been my impression that Russian infantry in the Crimean war fought habitually in column. Is that correct?

And, I was wondering if any TMP posters could recommend any books on Crimean war battles, the more tactical detail the better.

I just finished Hell Riders and really enjoyed that.

Thanks in advance to any one who cares to comment.


JimDuncanUK20 Feb 2021 8:58 a.m. PST

That is my understanding too.

I don't have any suitable books to hand.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Feb 2021 9:50 a.m. PST

What most of us think of with the Crimean War is just the Russia-Britain-France theater. So that really only gives you three battles:

Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman.

Then there is the siege of Sevastapol.

I quite enjoyed Hugh Small's book on the war.

I have read very little about the battles on the other fronts.

bobspruster20 Feb 2021 10:05 a.m. PST

My understanding is that, yes, Russian doctrine at the time called for columnar infantry tactics. "The Crimean War" by Orlando Figes is an excellent read.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2021 11:57 a.m. PST

I am pretty certain that Russian infantry fought in column

While most people concentrate on the Crimean theatre, the war was also waged along the Danube, in the Caucasus and naval action in the Baltic – seriously undergamed in my view!

Marulaz120 Feb 2021 12:44 p.m. PST

Thank you very much everyone! I will try to get my hands on the books by Figes and Small. Maybe for once my impression was correct.


BillyNM20 Feb 2021 1:52 p.m. PST

Don't forget the battles of Little Inkerman and the Tchernaya in the Crimea. The former is often called a skirmish but the Russians committed 6,000 troops!

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2021 4:15 p.m. PST

For Kurudere, the battle that lost the Turks the campaign in the Caucasus, I recommend Allen & Muratoff:

This makes a fun wargame – now available on Tabletop Simulator!


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Marulaz120 Feb 2021 5:17 p.m. PST

BillyNM & ChrisBBB. Thank you very much!


Cuprum220 Feb 2021 9:20 p.m. PST

An interesting scenario could be the sea assault on Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka (Pacific theater of military operations):


Martin Rapier21 Feb 2021 1:18 a.m. PST

Yes, the Russians fought in column (but of course, Napoleonic style attack columns, so actually thick lines…).

So did the French, and the Ottomans

The British were a bit unusual in insisting on deploying in thin lines.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2021 1:35 a.m. PST

Another major engagement that rarely gets mentioned is Eupatoria. I've been meaning for ages to get round to writing a scenario for it. I'd be interested in a good source for that.


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Hungary 1848:

Marulaz121 Feb 2021 5:21 p.m. PST

Well, you guys have given me several books to search out. The one on the Hungarian revolution looks interesting too. And it appears the Russians did habitually fight in columns. Thank you all very much!

My local librarian already considers me a pest, I'm sure. Maybe I should recommend him for employee of the month.


ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2021 4:10 a.m. PST

Cheers, John. Here's a freebie for you and you won't need to bother your librarian: Atwell Lake, 'Narrative of the defence of Kars'. This gives you an overview of the whole Caucasus campaign.

As I've mentioned on TMP before, I used to be a Crimea sceptic. I thought there were too few battles to be bothered with, and those not very interesting: the Alma a dull frontal assault, Balaclava a tiny skirmish, Inkerman just a scuffle in the fog. But having had to create a Crimea mini-campaign for the "Bloody Big European Battles!" campaign volume for BBB, I found these to be some of the most exciting games we've had. The asymmetry of forces helps.

So I encourage you to learn more about the Crimean War, and I wish you good gaming from it!


Bloody Big BATTLES!
BBB on FB:

Hungary 1848:

Marulaz122 Feb 2021 8:19 a.m. PST

ChrisBBB2. I appreciate all this very much. I am now looking forward to some interesting reading!

Thank you! John

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