The Crimean War is famous for four key engagements - Inkerman, Alma, Balaclava and the siege of Sebastopol. All typified the incompetence of the British High Command redeemed by the indomitable courage of the British soldier. 'C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre', remarked the French general Bosquet as the Light Brigade suicidally charged the Russian guns at Balaclava. Unlike recent histories, which have drawn largely on well-worn published accounts, this book is based on unpublished material, from single letters by barely literate private soldiers to the voluminous correspondence of commander-in-chief Lord Raglan. The whole experience of fighting in the Crimea is captured here: the thrill of combat, the men's impressions of their allies - French, Turkish and Sardinian, the horrors of their first winter in the Crimea, the scandalously inadequate medical arrangements and the impact made by Florence Nightingale. Written by a leading authority in this field, The National Army Museum Book of the Real Crimean War is a colourful, fresh account of one of nineteenth century's most famous conflicts.