Battle of Eupatoria
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|Battle of Eupatoria|
|Part of the Crimean War|
The charge of the French cavalry during the battle of Eupatoria, by Adolphe Yvon
| Ottoman Empire
|Commanders and leaders|
| Omar Pasha
|30,000-strong Ottoman garrison (4 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry regiment and around 100 pieces of artillery)
3 French cavalry regiment and a horse artillery battery
At sea: 4 British steamers of the line, 1 Ottoman and 1 French steam frigates.
|Between 20,000 and 30,000 (36 infantry battalions in 4 divisions, 6 cavalry regiments and 108 pieces of artillery)|
|Casualties and losses|
|415 killed or wounded||2,500 killed
The Battle of Eupatoria (Russian: Штурм Евпатории (Storm of Eupatoria), Turkish: Gözleve Muharebesi) was the most important military engagement of the Crimean War on the Crimean theatre in 1855 outside Sevastopol.
Ottoman forces were being transferred from the Danube front to the Crimean port of Eupatoria and the town was being fortified. Upon direct orders from the Tsar who feared a wide-scale Ottoman offensive on the Russian flank, a Russian expeditionary force was formed under General Stepan Khrulev aiming to storm the base with a force variously estimated between 20,000 and 30,000.
Khrulev hoped to take the Ottoman garrison by surprise on 17 February 1855. His intention failed to materialise, as both the Ottoman garrison and the Allied fleet anticipated the attack.
The Russian artillery and infantry attacks were countered by heavy Allied artillery fire. Failing to make progress after three hours and suffering mounting casualties, Khrulev ordered a retreat.
This reverse led to the dismissal of the Russian Commander-in-Chief Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov and probably hastened the death of Nicholas I of Russia, who died several weeks after the battle.
As for the battle's strategic importance, it confirmed that allied total command of the sea would ensure that the threat to the Russian flank would remain for the duration of hostilities. For the allies, possession of Eupatoria meant that the total investment of Sevastopol remained a viable option. For the Russians, they could not afford to commit unlimited resources from their vast army to the Crimea, for fear of a lightning allied thrust from Eupatoria closing the neck of the peninsula at Perekop.
For the Ottomans, their Army had regained its self-esteem and to some extent its reputation; most French and British realised this, although others including the high command would stubbornly refuse to make further use of their fighting abilities in the Crimean theatre.
- Blake, R.L.V. ffrench, The Crimean War (Sphere Books; London: 1973)
- Barham, John, Bono, Johnny Turk! (Article in Suite101 [clarification needed])