Crimean War: gun battery at the siege of Sebastopol

Victorian illustration to download showing a gun battery at the siege of Sebastopol in 1855 – this is No 2 Sailors’ Battery. In the foreground a sailor sleeps propped up on a gun carriage that has tipped over in the mud/snow. Behind him are fortifications made of sandbags and two cannon manned by sailors. The weather is cold – all are wearing thick coats, hats, and scarves. During the siege (October 1854 to September 1855) Lord Raglan, the commander of the British troops, asked the Navy for assistance with land operations, and the Naval Brigade of 1020 officers and men was formed. Initially the sailors’ role was non-combatant, but as more and more soldiers were killed and wounded they were replaced by sailors.