The wider context of military nursing in the Crimean War
in Beyond Nightingale
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This chapter discusses the nature of the Crimean War, a war which incorporated much of the old eighteenth-century style of warfare, especially on the Russian side, but on the allied side saw the beginnings of twentieth-century industrialized total war. It demonstrates why this put the Russians, whose agrarian economy was based on serf labor, at an exponentially greater disadvantage, placing added burdens on the Russian nurses. In the Russian and Ottoman empires there had been little social change since the Napoleonic Wars, but the industrial revolution had produced significant changes in Britain, France, and Piedmont-Sardinia. At the same time, in these three countries a humanitarian movement was developing, and the populations were more literate and better able to put pressure on their governments, thus politicizing diplomacy and war service. The chapter explains the very major differences between military and civilian patients. It also includes an outline of the war as seen by a veteran soldier, and details the status of medicine and nursing in the 1850s.

Beyond Nightingale

Nursing on the Crimean War battlefields


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