The Crimean War brought destruction to Russia’s Black Sea peninsula, but, like Napoleon’s invasion fifty years earlier, the war also became a central event in Russia’s national history. In his The Origins of the Crimean War (1994), David Goldfrank introduced readers to the complex diplomatic wrangling that led to the Crimean War. This article seeks to explain how and why the Crimean War (or “first great defense”) rivals only World War II (the “second great defense”) in the Sevastopol’s urban biography. Because of the work of writers, filmmakers, sculptors, and architects who during and after World War II began to link the “first great defense” with the second and used images similar to Lev Tolstoy’s a century earlier, Sevastopol retains its close connection to its pre-Revolutionary military history. Even in the Soviet period Sevastopol’s urban biography relied less on the Bolshevik Revolution and Civil War than it did on the Crimean War because of the narrative reframing during the 1940s.
Qualls, Karl D., "The Crimean War’s Long Shadow: Urban Biography and the Reconstruction of Sevastopol after World War II" (2014). Dickinson College Faculty Publications. Paper 7.