Battle of Inkerman, battle of Crimean War, fought on November 5, 1854. The battle was the second Russian attempt to end the siege of Sevastopol’ by the combined British, French, and Ottoman armies. After losing the Battle of Balaklava, the Russian army received heavy reinforcements and outnumbered the allies. The Russians attacked the British flank at dawn through dense fog. Although the Russians at first achieved surprise, their attack faltered through poor battlefield coordination caused by imprecise instructions, failure to construct a pontoon bridge, and poor maps.
The terrain, a series of ravines leading up to the British position, allowed a thin British cordon to hold the Russian advance until reinforcements arrived. The Russians aimed a 40-gun battery at the British position, but failed to consolidate their gains. British commander Lord Fitzroy James Raglan called for French assistance and two heavy guns. Russian diversionary attacks on the nearby French corps were unsuccessful and French general Pierre Bosquet succeeded in reinforcing the British. Raglan’s two guns ended the Russian battery and, deprived of this vital support, the Russian infantry retreated. By early afternoon the Russians were in full, but orderly, retreat. The French commander in chief, General Canrobert, declined Raglan’s request to pursue them. Of the 55,000 Russian soldiers engaged in the battle, 12,000 were killed, wounded, or captured. British losses included 635 killed and 2000 wounded; the French, 175 killed and 1600 wounded. Although heavily outnumbered, the allied troops won the Battle of Inkerman because they possessed superior fighting power, largely because their accurate Minie rifles were unmatched by Russian muskets.
Roman fortification ruins, Inkerman