Captured Russian Drum
The Highlanders’ Museum
This bronze-coloured drum was captured from the Russian Army by the 79th Regiment at the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War. In this war, the Russians were fighting against four major European powers in response to Tsar Nicolas I’s expansionist policies in Europe.
Drums have been used in war for many centuries. Soldiers marched into battle to the sound of the drums, and the drumbeat was used to load and re-load weapons in sync. Military bands, including the drums, were also key to raising morale and inspiring troops.
The Crimean War, fought between October 1853 and February 1856, saw high numbers of fatalities. It is estimated that up to a million Russians died; however, it is known that many of these lost their lives through disease and due to poor living conditions.
The Crimean War is regarded as the first war to be played out through the media, with eye-witness reports featuring in newspapers across Europe, detailing military successes as well as blunders.