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Interior of the Redan Bastion at Sevastopol

The Redan Bastion was an integral part of the Russian defences of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. Many British lives were lost in two attempts to capture the strongpoint in 1855. After Sevastopol was abandoned by the Russians on the night of 8-9 September 1855 following the fall of the Malakhov Bastion to the French, the photographer James Robertson and his assistant Felice Beato were among the first to enter the Redan to document its interior.

Three of their images, which are all called Interior of the Redan in photographic collections, show the same area of outer defence wall. One (see top right) is the same location as the raised area on the far right of a panorama made-up of two other images (see below). All show the devastation behind the bastion’s gabion-reinforced, earth perimeter wall caused by artillery bombardments. Guns are visible  behind  their embrasures, one on the left of the panorama still with an hanging rope mantelet that protected the gunners from British rifle fire.

The foreground details and the background views of the British lines on the Right Attack before Sevastopol in the photographs enabled the exact position on the Redan’s wall where they were taken to be identified on a contemporary plan of the bastion. This area of the plan is shown below with arrows ‘1’ and ‘2’ indicating the directions of the camera taking the two-image panorama (see above) and arrow ‘3’ indicating the direction of the camera taking the third image (see top right). 'PM' on the plan stands for 'powder magazine', the entrance of one being seen on the far left of the panorama. The straight lines emanating from gun positions and crossing over the curving perimeter wall and ditch indicate the direction of the gun fire. Note that the line of fire of the gun next to the head of arrow '3' on the plan below is at right angles to the gun positioned to its upper right. This can be clearly seen on Robertson/Beato's image (see top right).

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