The Crimean War represented the breaking point in tensions that had been building across Europe for some time. As part of the Holy Alliance with Prussia and Austria, Russia had assisted Austria in putting down the Hungarian revolution and was intent on engaging the Ottoman Empire without interference. Britain’s interests in the Mediterranean went directly against this aspiration. Russia then entered the territories of Wallachia and Moldavia, which were effectively Ottoman vassals, in June 1853, sinking Ottoman ships in harbour at the Battle of Sinope on 30 November. Britain and France soon entered the war, sending naval forces into the Black Sea in 1854 and, although the Russians had now withdrawn from Wallachia and Moldavia, domestic political pressure perpetuated the conflict. A lengthy siege of Sevastopol by allied ground forces landing on the Crimean Peninsula occurred in 1854–55. Secondary engagements occurred in Georgia with later allied naval raids on Russia’s northern ports.
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