The historic Crimean War, so named as most of the fighting took place on the Crimean Peninsula, was waged in 1853-1856. It began when Russia's Czar Nicolas I, claiming to be protecting Orthodox Christians, took advantage of a demonstrably weak Ottoman-Turkish empire and invaded the principalities of Moldavia and Walachia in July 1853. In October the Ottoman-Turks retaliated by declaring war on Russia. Austria was concerned over its economic lifeline, the Danube River, which flowed through and terminated in the occupied provinces. Britain was concerned over its trades routes through Turkey into India. France simply wanted revenge for its sound defeat at the hands of the Russians in 1812. It wasn't long before they were drawn into the Russo-Turkish conflict.
The war fighting raged for several years, and contained the famous "Charge of the Light Brigade" which ended the Battle of Balaclava on October 24,1854. Over the winter of 1854-55 the allied French, British and Turkish forces were joined by the Italian kingdom of Sardinia, who wanted British and French support in expelling Austria from Italy.
The Treaty of Paris, signed March 30, 1856, ended the war. Among other terms of the treaty, Russia was forbidden to sail a fleet on the Black Sea, the Turks had to promise better treatment for their Christian subjects, and the territory at the mouth of the Danube was returned to Turkey. The war was the first to employ armored warships, submarine mines, intercontinental telegraph and war photography. It also gave rise to the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest award for military valor.
An overwhelming majority of casualties in the war died from disease and poor medical care. Florence Nightingale rose to prominence when her efforts to treat the sick and wounded resulted in a scientific approach to nursing, later encompassed in the nursing school she founded a few years after the war.
In the Nextian Universe, the Crimean War never ended. Though active fighting has only occurred during 7 of the 131 years of the war, those 7 years were incredibly bloody, costing untold lives. Both Thursday and Landen are veterans of the war, and Thursday's brother, Anton, was one of those lost on the battlefields during the Charge of the Light Armored Brigade.