The Crimean War saw the combined forces of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire engage the Russian Empire in its Black Sea territories around the Crimean peninsula. The background to the hostilities revolved around the threat of Russian expansion southwards into the territories of the weakening Ottoman Empire, which would pose a direct threat to Britain’s maritime interests in the Mediterranean. Additionally there was conflict over the rights of the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches, supported by France and Russia respectively, to represent the Christian population of the Ottoman Empire and its holy sites. When Russia entered the Ottoman Danubian provinces in July 1853 the situation deteriorated. The Ottomans declared war on Russia on 4 October 1853 with Britain and France joining on 28 March 1854. Alongside numerous naval engagements, the allies landed troops on the Crimea in September 1854, besieging Sevastopol for a year before Russia eventually sued for peace on 30 March 1856.
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