Battle of the Alma

2nd Rifle Brigade leading the Light Division across the river at the Battle of the Alma on September 20, 1854 during the Crimean War
2nd Rifle Brigade leading the Light Division across the river at the Battle of the Alma on September 20, 1854 during the Crimean War

Historical Context

The Crimean War was a complex conflict that had its roots in the long-term decline of the Ottoman Empire, which had become known as the "sick man of Europe." The alliance of France, Britain and the Ottomans fought against Russia as they did not want the latter gaining from the Ottoman decline.

The war commenced in October 1853 but it would not be until September 1854 that the Allies landed in Crimea. Shortly after their landing they engaged the Russians at the Battle of the Alma and inflicted a defeat. The Russians would later counterattack at the Battle of Balaclava (where the famous Charge of the Light Brigade took place).

Eventually the Russians would admit defeat in Crimea. It was the catalyst for them to begin widespread reforms in all aspects of their military and society in order to keep pace with the rapidly developing European nations.

Painting Info


Artist: Louis Johns
Location painted: West Coast of the Crimea, Ukraine

Source: British Battles

Related Events

  • 1854-09-20 Battle of the Alma: first major battle of Crimean War. British and French alliance defeat the Russians

Historical Paintings