General-Adjutant Prince Menshikov’s report on the offensive operation by Lieutenant-General Liprandi’s force against the camp of the allies’ who are covering the road from Sevastopol to Balaklava.

Today, 13 (25 New Style) October [1854], our offensive operations began against the besiegers and were crowned with success. Lieutenant General Liprandi was given the task of using his division to attack the detached fortified enemy encampment covering the road from Sevastopol to Balaklava. He carried out this undertaking this morning in a brilliant manner. In our hands there are now 4 redoubts in which 11 guns were taken.

The main enemy redoubt, defended by Turks, was taken by storm by the Azov Infantry Regiment, which accomplished this in fine fashion under the personal leadership of their brigade commander, Major General Semyakin, and regimental commander, Colonel Krüdner, who distinguished himself in this affair.

English cavalry also fought our force. Under Lord Cardigan it attacked the Hussar Brigade of the 6th Light Cavalry Division with unusual impetuosity, but it suffered heavy losses after being taken in the flank by two double-squadrons [diviziony] of the Combined Reserve Lancer Regiment and repulsed by the canister crossfire of the artillery of the 12th and 16th Infantry Divisions, as well as rifle fire from the latter’s 1st Brigade. The 1st Brigade of the 16th Infantry Division, under the personal leadership of Major General Zhabokritskii, had been moved forward to bar the enemy from outflanking General Liprandi’s force. Simultaneously with the attack on our hussars, the English cavalry charged Don No. 3 Heavy Battery, in which several gunners were cut down.

It appears our infantry’s losses in killed and wounded in this affair do not exceed 300 men. Casualties in the cavalry and artillery, however, have not yet been reported and are only approximately known. The commander of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Nicholas Maksimilianovich’s Hussar Regiment, Major General Khaletskii, was wounded on his ear and hand by a saber.

It is difficult to reliably determine the enemy’s losses. (However, it is supposed that the English cavalry lost about 500 men.) We have about 60 English prisoners including 1 field-grade officer and 2 company-grade officers.

Of the 4 redoubts taken from the enemy, 2 will be torn down tonight and the other 2 will be further fortified so as to retain this position, from which it is possible to operate against the village of Kadykioi, through which passes the road leading from the enemy camp to Balaklava.

Today our fortress artillery in Sevastopol is not in any way inferior to the batteries of the besiegers, but about 40 huts and mud-walled shelters [mazanki] in the artillery cantonment [artilleriiskaya slobodka] were burned down by bombs and incendiary shells.

This preliminary report, with information I gathered on the spot, will be presented to Your Imperial Majesty by my adjutant, Captain-Lieutenant Baron Willebrant of the Guards Équipage, who was with Lieutenant General Liprandi.

In conclusion I have the pleasure to report that I allowed myself to use the Name of Your Imperial Majesty to thank all the troops on the spot, who laudably took part in today’s events.

(Published in Russkii Invalid No. 235, 1854, and Severnaya Pchela No. 236, 1854.)


Translated by Mark Conrad, 2002.