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‘A disastrous affair’; the Franco-British attack on Petropavlovsk, 1854

  • I. R. Stone (a1) and R. J. Crampton (a1)

The battle of Petropavlovsk in August/September 1854 was a significant though little known victory for the Russians during the Crimean War. Petropavlovsk, i n Kamchatka, was attacked by a Franco-British naval force intending to destroy Russian ships within the harbour and to render the port unusable as a naval base. Allied plans were disrupted by the death ofthe commander in chief, the British Admiral Price, just before the action was joined. A bombardment on 31 August badly damaged the harbour defences and, if followed up, would probably have resulted in success. After a gap of three days, the allies mounted a landing in the rear of the town which was, after severefighting, repelled by the Russians. After this defeat, the squadron dispersed t o ports on the other side of the Pacific.

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Polar Record
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