What led to the Crimean War


Although costly and terrible, the Crimean War fought from 1853 to 1856 was at the same time a colorful, visually fascinating war, whose aesthetic appeal on the threshold of modernity was not only captured by traditional genres of art in aristocratic palaces, but also by new visual media such as photography, lithography and press illustration in broad strata of the population, which until then had hardly been involved in visual culture, was carried. Nevertheless, the conflict that fought in the Middle East over 150 years ago in Central Europe has left little traces of memory. Russia was the country that, with the occupation of the northwest region of the ailing Ottoman Empire (today's Romania and Bulgaria), triggered the hostilities that soon involved numerous states. England and France worried about their Mediterranean interests, formed an alliance with the Sultan Abdülmecid I (1823–1861) and sent an expeditionary army to Varna on the Black Sea. Tsar Nicholas I (1796–1855) then withdrew his troops, but the thirst for revenge of the bourgeois press in England, borne by a social Russophobia, drove Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and her government into a war they did not want. Napoleon III (1808–1873), on the other hand, saw a campaign against Russia as an opportunity to give France back the European great power it had lost in 1815.

After waiting at the mouth of the Danube, the Anglo-French expedition corps of around 58,000 men was sent to the Crimean peninsula in September 1854 with the task of capturing the Russian naval port of Sevastopol, blowing up the docks and then clearing the long-term untenable Crimea . The maneuver should only take a few days. Despite spectacular victories in initial field battles, the Allies were embroiled in a protracted siege war in the Crimea, in which the opposing armies fought fruitlessly throughout the winter. Almost the entire British army was killed in these months - not from enemy fire, but from hunger, cold and cholera, as the English lords, although they sat excellently on horseback, had little understanding of supply organization and had taken no medical precautions worth mentioning. Only with the return of warm weather and the increase in the French army to 130,000 soldiers did the tide turn in favor of the Allies. In total, it would take a year and at least 300,000 deaths before the limited war goal of taking Sevastopol with the bloody assault of September 8, 1855 was achieved. In total, the Crimean War claimed almost 800,000 lives.1

Nonetheless, it would be of little interest today if it weren't for the first "modern" war in history using precision rifles, steamships, and chloroform. Generals were already telegraphing their orders into the trenches, and ammunition was arriving at the front by rail. In British historiography, which has long specialized in epic battle depictions, these modern elements received only belated and marginal consideration, not to mention the war aspects that have to do with aesthetic means. What is meant is the mass of optical signals and images that gave the Crimean War a visually unique character in the eyes of contemporaries. By focusing on written sources, historians have long ignored the visual legacy of the Crimean War - it did not appear to belong to the primary layer of historical action and realities, but to be an afterthought and cosmetic trimmings. A thorough inspection of these image sources shows, however, that the aesthetics are a functional Was a component of the war and was therefore a decisive factor for the historical end result. In many ways this aestheticization of the war is the most modern aspect of the Crimean campaign.2

But what is meant by "image sources" needs to be specified. In the early modern period, history painting, increasingly supported by the more widely dispersed printmaking in the form of single sheets or occasional newspaper supplements, was responsible for the visual communication of historical events and was mainly aimed at exclusive circles of dignitaries. Eyewitnesses were not expected here, and so historical pictures lagged behind the events depicted by years and decades. So they did not intervene in the historical process, but had a subsequent commemorative function. The increasing acceleration of historical processes, however, undermined the relevance of the genre, and in the course of the 19th century history painting was replaced by photo reportage, even if traditional forms of historical representation survived marginally. In any case, the emergence of press coverage marks a deep cut in the modalities of communicating and thus producing history. Instead of the slow rhythms of past centuries determined by agriculture and feudal rule, technology and industry now dictated the pace of history and enabled the virtual simultaneity of event and mediation. Adjusting the distribution of picture news to this pace initially caused difficulties, but with the help of new means of transport (railroad) and printing techniques (wood engraving), weekly newspapers like the were made from 1842 onwards Illustrated London Newswho have favourited Parisians L'Illustration and the people of Leipzig Illustrated newspaper as well as the daily press since the 1880s, the visual information has been made available to a broad bourgeois public. As a result, various "low-brow" genres of verbal and visual communication separated from high literature and art.

At the same time, new demands on factual correctness and authenticity emerged. The outspoken princely propaganda of yore was opposed in the bourgeois press by an apparatus of reporting that was bound by impartial norms of objectivity, no matter how ideological it was in practice. And while the ceiling paintings of Versailles were only visible to an exclusive circle of courtiers and ambassadors, the press coverage sought to open up participation in the historical process to the entire nation. It goes without saying that these new modalities of historical mediation (simultaneity, authenticity, public participation) changed the structure of historical events themselves. Reports reported not of completed, but ongoing, contemporary intervention open processes. Ultimately, the photo report also led you, so to speak cosmetic Imperative in the story. From now on, those who acted historically had to consider how their actions would be perceived by the public as an illustration on the newspaper page, and that made the careful staging of some events for the purpose of media processing inevitable.3

Communication modernity first developed in western Europe and North America; Therefore, the following explanations are limited to the visual communication of the Crimean War in England and France, which were closely allied, but developed very different "visual cultures". Within the weak central state structures in England the nobility and bourgeoisie had "come to terms", that is, confirmed their respective spheres of interest, whereby the settlement of conflicts was left to the parliament and the judiciary. In the context of the resulting legal battles, an impartial press emerged in the course of the 18th century, committed to enforceable standards of fact rather than fiction and evidence rather than defamation. Despite all the tensions between the social groups, the newspapers strengthened civil coexistence in this way, and they could function as capitalist private companies even without state censorship.4 In the Crimean War, this led to extensive coverage, some of which was critical of the government, in a broad spectrum of the press. France, on the other hand, was a tightly organized central state; In a series of revolutions, various social groups had conquered and lost the central apparatus of coercion and administration. The respective ruler ruled with repressive means, including press censorship, and since the art business was also organized centrally, the academic salon exhibitions and the state purchase of huge historical pictures formed the cornerstones of French visual culture. The picture report only played a subordinate role here because of the state censorship, the underdeveloped press entrepreneurship and the centrality of official painting.5

New visual media

The press illustration

As early as the summer of 1854 the English press sent several reporters and one so-called Special artist to the east, but militarily little happened at first, and transport problems prevented journalistic efficiency. But when the conflict shifted to the Crimea in September, there were large-scale troop movements and open field battles, which were easily observed by photo and text reporters and reported back home with patriotic enthusiasm - here is an authentic eyewitness sketch of the quickly legendary Charge of the Light Brigadewho have favourited Constantin Guys (1802-1892) to the Illustrated London News sent. Cavalry battles at the front and colorful folk hustle and bustle in the stage initially brought the report to life without contradicting government reports or contrasting significantly with the spring tide of colorful, fictional painted and lithographed battle depictions that soon flooded the market. In the catastrophic winter months when the British Army perished in the trenches near Sevastopol - not from enemy fire, but from hunger and cold - painting and graphics failed completely. Just one or the other Special artist reported further and began to play a critical role that was as unrivaled as it was unprecedented with shocking picture news. The overthrow of the British government in January 1855 was the result of one of them London Times initiated press campaign to which the Illustrated London News contributed several drastic sketches of freezing troops in the trenches and a leg amputee invalid in a military hospital. Reports made the plight of the British Crimean Army a public event - against traditional historiography, it should be emphasized that reportage images do not passively reflect independently given processes, but are actively involved in the production of history.

The fact that the photo press ranks among the historically acting powers can also be measured by the fact that their attack on the same pictorial level at the home press front was answered with defensive measures by the official side: Queen Victoria decided soon after the intervention of the Illustrated London News to a series of visits to military hospitals made known by press photos across the country. The decimation of the British army in front of Sevastopol, denounced as a scandal in the liberal newspapers, was pushed into the background by these high-profile appearances by the Queen. The nation came to appreciate that the soldiers had bled for the throne and altar, and that made an important contribution to defusing the government crisis, which was at times threatening. Polyphonically competing pictorial use of this kind, which allowed social opponents to carry out their political differences in downright pictorial battles, was a historical novelty.

For her crime reports she relied Illustrated London News mainly on the former French cavalry officer Constantin Guys, who made a name for himself in Paris with brilliant sketches of city life from the flaneur's perspective, enthusiastically commented on by Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867). The Illustrated London News expected, however, that he would act as a factual reporter instead of "historien des mœurs" - the English press was not concerned with subjective impressions, but with impartial, incontestable photo documents.6 This is complemented by many drawings thrown feverishly in the heat of the moment, which prove Guys' personal presence and eyewitnesses. With the signature "Taken on the spot", Guys certified the historical authenticity of a sketch depicting the wounded, cigar smoking General François Certain de Canrobert (1809–1895) [] at the Battle of Inkerman: It was these reportage drawings and not the photographs of Roger Fenton (1819–1869) that suggested the historically new image quality of art and fiction-free factuality. When the winter of 1854/1855, which was extremely costly for the British army, finally set in, the experienced cavalryman and reporter Guys was the only artist resp. Special artist to be found at the front, where he, among other things, the emergency transports of British wounded to the supply port of Balaklava captured as an endless torrent of suffering in picture reports that should shake the home audience. One of the very concrete military effects of this extraordinary reporting performance, which was not limited to mere mirroring of the events, is the fact that the English army survived the second winter of the war with significantly improved equipment and without major losses.

Despite censorship, there were factually well-founded photo reports in France, such as Henri Durand-Bragers (1814–1879) work for L'Illustration shows. As a naval officer he was mainly concerned with enemy reconnaissance; his drawings of Russian coastal installations and the trench warfare around Sevastopol were commissioned by the military, but were partly passed on to the photo press along with anecdotal descriptions of camp life. There is hardly any doubt about the objectivity of his quasi-secret service depictions of the front, but they also reveal the limitations of purely factual image reporting, because as a visual source of the multi-layered reality of the war they are surprisingly inefficient - in the amount of technical and topographical details important social war aspects become undetectable.7

In France, factual reporting was not yet naturalized as a journalistic genre, which is why Durand-Brager made it clear several times that he did not see himself as "historien des mœurs" and did not make artistic claims: "What I do belongs to history, not fantasy ".8 Of course, this did not prevent his photo reports from obscuring more than revealing more, especially in the second winter of the war of 1855/1856. At that time, the conquered Sevastopol only had to be held until the foreseeable conclusion of peace, but since the French army, which had meanwhile grown to a six-figure team, lived cramped in damp and unsanitary underground shelters, the conditions were catastrophic and Durand-Brager provided plenty of material for startling reports à la Guys could have given, but if he made any effort in that direction, they were blocked by the censors. It is very ironic that at the same time as the great cholera and typhus epidemic in the French camp, the L'Illustration allowed neither word nor image, now a series of humorous contributions under the title "Types et physionomies de l'armée d'Orient" appeared. It reveals a certain affinity to the contemporary genre of the military novel, which was officially promoted to improve the military reputation that has sunk since Waterloo.9

The photograph

The Crimean War is the first major war event to be photographed, but strictly speaking, the camera was not yet a reporting tool in 1854/1855. Since the exposure time was about ten seconds, she could not record the events themselves, but only their material relics and group photos of the actors that were subsequently created. Despite the credible claim to work with greater truthfulness than pen and brush, photography also proved to be just as infinitely manipulable and, despite its supposedly democratic-egalitarian character, also showed an astonishing affinity for government-loyal reporting.

When Roger Fenton, Queen Victoria's personal photographer, appeared in the Crimea with royal letters of recommendation in March 1855, he was pursuing two highly traditional goals outside of the press context, to which painters and engravers of military subjects had always devoted themselves.10 Firstly, he wanted to record a topographical overview of the theater of war, starting with a few photos in the crowded confines of the supply port of Balaklava and ending with the British encampment outside Sevastopol. This also includes the mortar battery, which was often used by tourists for a safe view of the besieged city, because it was far behind the trenches and out of reach of the Russian artillery. His second and clearly more important purpose of the excursion was the creation of a series of portraits of the British General Staff in front of Sevastopol, and this General Staff lived very comfortably in the feudal manner, far from the front.Only one unnamed private was admitted to this illustrious gallery to display the British marching uniform. If Fenton had the officers to Photographed at the end of the war, they would hardly look any different, and it can be proven that around a tenth of his Crimean portraits were in fact subsequently taken in London. Portraying was the core of Fenton's Crimean mission: the wealthy art dealer and publisher Thomas Agnew (1794–1871) in Manchester financed the trip in order to "translate" the resulting likeness of Thomas Jones Barker (1815–1882) into a profitable painting allow.

With his clumsy darkroom wagon, which required six artillery horses to move in the Crimean swamp, Fenton could not think of going into the trenches from the outset. That would have been dangerous too, because there was shooting and death there. Once, however, he seems to have photographed a genuine event of military importance alongside countless portraits and landscapes untouched by current events, albeit far off the beaten track. War council of the three Allied commanders on the morning of the capture of the Mamelon fortress claims the caption with all clarity - but it is deceptive. Granted, there was a military council to plan the storm on the opposing bastion, but it took place three days beforehand with the participation of 17 officers, mainly artillerymen and engineers - this, incidentally, also an indication of the "modernity" of the Crimean War.11 Fenton's recording proves that the three army chiefs also met once in a small group, but according to his correspondence it is 24 hours at a time in front to date the attack; that is, they made themselves available to the royal body photographer briefly for media "window dressing" and were willingly let him group them into a "council of war". One can assume, however, that they turned back to their real military problems as quickly as possible. After all, they cooperated with the camera during a critical phase of the campaign; that provides a good example of the one already mentioned cosmetic An imperative that even commanders in chief could not avoid in the middle of a war.

It is very likely that Fenton came to Crimea with a list of all members of the General Staff and tried his best to illustrate it completely. The resulting series of portraits was sold at the very high price of 63 pounds sterling, which was only affordable for wealthy buyers - probably mainly to the families of the staff officers depicted. These families were not in the least interested in the death and wounding of their loved ones; this explains why scenes of this type were categorically not recorded by Fenton, however many of them he had seen.

Running out of negatives and developing health problems, Fenton left the war theater in July 1855, two months before the fall of Sevastopol. It was left to the team of photographers James Robertson (1813–1888) and Felice Beato (1825–1907) to document the end of the war. They used pre-fabricated dry plates which, unlike Fenton's wet collodion negatives, were free from the disadvantage of having to be coated and developed on site. Even before the city was conquered, with constant cannonades, Robertson and Beato were able to patrol the Allied trenches and batteries and record various aspects of the siege life without exposing themselves to great personal danger. Their permanent base was Istanbul, no more than two days by ship from the Crimea, so they had no difficulty in returning to the front shortly after the September 8 victory. During this visit and some later excursions (perhaps taken by Beato alone) they were able to capture an impressive series of images of the conquered Russian fortress belt and the city lying in ruins. The British officers scrambled for the triggers, which show that the dead had already been removed, while the chaos of the shot-up positions was still "fresh" to light. The photographs are the traces of the material relics of war, these relics in turn are the traces of bloody battles; So here we are twofold decoupled from the war itself; but insofar as it is traces instead of around Representations acts, the war is more present in it than in the greatest history painting.12

References to what both Fentons, Beatos and Robertson's photos systematically omit, namely the human losses of the Crimean campaign, can be found where they are least expected, namely in a royal portrait album of British corporals and NCOs. In the winter of 1854/1855, when the siege of Sevastopol went badly and the Aberdeen Cabinet overthrown, Queen Victoria took measures to stabilize the system, such as the aforementioned visits to the military hospitals with the criminally valid. Each individual was introduced to her and not only asked about their war experiences and cheered up with friendly words, but also photographed by Joseph Cundall (1818–1895). Although a few of these recordings made it to the press and were reproduced by wood engraving, they were essentially due to the personal interest that the queen showed in her soldiers up to the most basic private. Sir Charles Beaumont Phipps (1801–1866), her secretary, put together an entire album from it, which explains each photo with precise handwritten notes about regiment affiliation, combat participation and type of wounding and which Victoria leafed through over and over again for decades. In the Queen's emotionally charged letters, these invalids figure as "my nearest and dearest", thus more or less family members, and yet the distance and sobriety of the pictures she has ordered are striking. What is to be made of the pointed manner with which cripples are displayed here, in addition to the leg prosthesis donated by Viktoria? This certainly has less to do with the wishes and interests of the portrayed than with the quasi-anthropological curiosity with which Viktoria looked at these socially different people despite all the emotional exuberance. The fact that two of the three invalids did not lose their legs to Russian fire but to frostbite in the trenches indicates a shocking military failure. On the other hand, the fact that they live in a room well supplied with blankets would be a comforting sign if peripheral details did not point to an artificial arrangement in the barracks yard. In an earlier series of photos, Cundall had not disguised the inhospitable place; the glossing over measures in the present admission should be understood as a response to the complaints that Queen Victoria had lodged with the hospital management against the poor accommodation of the veterans. In any case, Cundall's portrait group ultimately does not reflect a family perspective, but a class perspective: in the existing social order, it was Victoria who possessed power and subjectivity and could subordinate others to her gaze, a gaze that observed as well as created social difference.13

In France, too, the Crimean War was documented photographically, but due to a lack of entrepreneurial initiative, this was done belatedly and on a purely individual basis. Durand-Brager, who returned to Sevastopol at the beginning of November 1855 with the amateur photographer Bernard Lassimonne (1787–1877), should be mentioned here again. Under the painter's guidance, Lassimonne made 48 topographical recordings, which were then marketed with little success. Charles Langlois (1789–1870) and Léon Méhédin (1828–1905) formed another team of painters / photographers, but they proceeded differently. Langlois had become a military painter through a career as an officer and owned a profitable panorama building on the Champs Elysées. For the project to execute a large round picture of the fall of Sevastopol, he could get the support of Napoleon III. win. The Langlois government financed an excursion to Crimea in order to ensure that the painting was respectable through the painter's eyewitnesses. There he wanted to help his memory with the camera, but since he did not have the necessary technical skills, he made do with taking the young photographer Méhédin on the trip with him from his own resources, in order to reinforce himself with topographical details and portraits of the panorama intended officers to be able to do his great painting work. In particular, a fourteen-part photographic panorama from the Malakoff bastion should have been of great use for Langlois' (lost) Sevastopol panorama. Temporarily unusable as a reporting instrument for the press, in England and France around the middle of the century, photography made itself useful primarily as an assistant to art.14

The abdication of history painting

The British military painters looked envious of France, where the state spent millions buying battle paintings. In England, on the other hand, military subjects were mainly desired by entrepreneurs, including Agnew, who hired a well-known painter to depict scenes of the Crimean War - in order to sell engraved copies of them, which brought in much higher profits than the paintings themselves. Thomas Barkers Allied generals in front of Sevastopol can stand for the whole series of war subjects that Agnew commissioned. The picture was painted under the greatest time pressure within eleven months and engraved so that it was up-to-date and could be offered before the end of the war. The canvas groups no less than 70 prominent officers in front of Sevastopol's bastions, so that it can be classified less as an event picture than as a visual catalog of dignitaries. The high art that resides in academies has sunk here to an intermediate station in the commercial marketing of modern graphic media. In principle, this is little more than a painterly preparation of the Fenton photos that Agnew had commissioned as a collection of pictorial material for Barker, and this painterly version was not an end in itself, but was only intended as a template for the production and distribution of one Serve engraving reproduction in large editions. It worked out as the sale of the sting made a profit of £ 10,000. The formerly autonomous, pacemaking art genre of history painting became completely dependent on photography and graphics. In addition, of course, she still lived on in aristocratic palaces, but without any noteworthy social resonance. James Thomas Brudenell, Earl of Cardigan (1797–1868), the leader of the celebrated attack of the Light Brigade, for example, hung a large-format portrait of the fashion painter Alfred F. de Prades (1840–1895) in his salon, which he daredevil at the head of his Troops represented - after he had got himself into talk by a premature withdrawal from the battle. Ultimately, however, it was not the jewelry of the feudal residence that decided his reputation, but the press report.15

In France, on the other hand, the state used academic painting as a kind of journalistic auxiliary agency that had to serve changing political priorities. A state exhibition and purchase system put the artists on a government course and also made the rigorous mimetic programming of the image production the norm in order to guarantee the smooth transport of the desired image messages. Optimal fidelity to nature and costumes, official awards for the works, and above all the scientification of history painting through study of history and archives, eyewitnesses and the like ensured a high degree of credibility for the resulting works and their state-mythological messages. One is faced with the paradox that academic painting, with its strict mimetic attention to detail, delivered, so to speak, painted photographs of events, which nevertheless could never be anything other than governmental constructions. In the salons from 1855 to 1861 there were around a hundred Crimean subjects to be admired, which the state bought for almost a million francs.16

In short, history painting was a matter of state of the first order in Paris; Adolphe Yvon's (1817–1893) painting is paradigmatic for this The capture of the Malakoff bastion, that is, the key Russian position, with the fall of which the Crimean War was lost for Russia. Yvon's order for the immense canvas came from the emperor himself, who approved a princely fee of 20,000 francs and probably also ensured that the naval minister transported the painter to the Crimea on a frigate with a crew of 300 so that the picture project could also be personal Could call an eyewitness. The army also apparently helped with the "loan" of soldiers, weapons and uniforms, and as one critic noted, battle painters like Yvon also had to adhere strictly to army bulletins. The somewhat scientifically enforceable compulsion to objectivity, which was thus exerted on history painting, led to complications in the symbolic economy of the genre. For example, it now became inevitable to reduce the traditional hierarchical divide between generals and corporals, whose positions on the screen were no longer determined by social eminence, but by perspective rules and positively guaranteed actions in the actual course of the battle. Yvon therefore opted for a paratactically organized painting that, instead of hierarchical-pyramidal condensed composition patterns and obviously based on the organizational principle of panorama pictures, unfolds a large number of episodes and figures from edge to edge. Ultimately, his canvas could therefore claim greater documentary value than the reportage sketch, which shortly after the fall of the Malakoff Tower in L'Illustration had appeared - Durand-Brager had put it on paper at home in Paris on the basis of the first, as yet completely imprecise telegraphic messages and otherwise only based on his local knowledge. In conclusion, it can be said that history painting reached its limits with its submission to the objectivity constraints of the positivist epoch: its social usefulness once lay in its function as a myth machine, but the myth transport was developed under the dictates of army bulletins and in the hopeless competition with the press illustration more and more difficult. For the sake of topicality, Yvon had his colossal painting measuring 54 square meters in one Tour de force completed in nine months. It was soon no longer worth the effort, and towards the end of the century, history painting disappeared from contemporary French art.17

New media: metropolitan show business

At the extreme end of the visual media spectrum, in a transition zone to three-dimensional, more or less theatrical show performances without high art status, one finally encounters popular mass attractions, whose spectacular character overshadows everything that the traditional depictions of war on canvas and paper had to offer. Historically this went show business back to the era of the French Revolution, in which the rise of the bourgeoisie led to such a massive expansion of art consumption that traditional cabinet painting was hopelessly behind the quantitative demand. Entrepreneurially gifted painters recognized the opportunity that lay in the production of popular giant screens such as panoramas and dioramas, which merged into the three-dimensional in the foreground, were supplemented by performances by groups of actors and, like cinemas, offered entertainment by the hour for an entrance fee.

In addition to the changing Crimean subjects in Robert Burford's (1791–1861) Panorama, London's most captivating Crimean War entertainment consisted of the mock battles that were staged every night over colossal mock-ups of the fortifications of Sevastopol in Surrey Zoological Gardens or Astley's Amphitheater. Long before it really happened, the conquest of Sevastopol could be enjoyed here as a permanent spectacle. Actual and staged war theater also became indistinguishable from the fact that criminals were willing to sign up for a small fee at the Surrey Zoo to portray themselves every evening.18 Nonchalant dandies and elegant ladies in crinolines could also be entertained during the day by museum preparations of the war, e.g. James Wyld's (1812–1887) relief panorama of the siege of Sevastopol, which also allowed Russian booty rifles to be inspected.

In contrast to London, the Parisian entertainment sphere was not yet fully organized in a big capitalist way. The show business in particular, it has not yet enjoyed permanent institutionalization; Nevertheless, it celebrated some short-term war-related successes. The siege of Silistria in the introductory Danube phase of the Crimean campaign was, for example, turned into a popular spectacle at a summer festival on the Marsfeld in August 1854 with a backdrop of one and a half kilometers and entire battalions of combatants, which, according to a contemporary press comment, "conscientiously" continued to the bitter end massacred ". The panorama genre also had a hard time in Paris, but thanks to the support of Napoleon III. Langlois was able to open his already mentioned panorama of the storming of Sevastopol in 1860, and despite the delay, it turned out to be a crowd puller for five years.19

It is noteworthy that that too show business did not escape the compulsion to identify oneself as "authentic", as evidenced by the colossal siege model in Surrey Gardens, which was made by the painter George Danson (1799–1881) from maps, drawings and eyewitness accounts with quasi-scientific reliability.20 Panorama painters acted in a similar way and often used photos of the theaters of war. In spite of all the sensationalistic presentation, that was also the practice show business the gesture of factual objectivity; there was obviously no other way to achieve optimal audience acceptance.

But Paris and London were not only filled with spectacular ones Topreparations of the Crimean events through art and show business; metropolitan audiences were also able to attend countless planning, testing and training events, through which the military events were detailed in frontprogrammed. Before the start of the Crimean campaign, for example, a mine was detonated in Chatham near London for experimental purposes; she was applauded by the curious crowd with the same enthusiasm that would later be typical of Allied soldiers when they cheered the grenade hits in besieged Sevastopol. In general terms, one can conclude that the design of the story had passed into the hands of those who had the means to try out and repeat desired scenarios. This fits Jean Baudrillard's (1929–2007) thesis that today "the real is made from miniature units, matrices, databases and general staff models - and that the real like these can be reproduced infinitely often."21 The Prehistory this postmodern findings begin with the Crimean War.