Certain phases of the Crimean War were theatrical in a quite specific sense. When, prior to a major assault on Sebastopol, the British cavalry was employed to keep at bay hundreds of civilian spectators bent on watching the advancing regiments in their colorful uniforms, combat assumed an aesthetic dimension akin to the performance of an opera. This theatrical complexion, it could be argued, was a rather old-fashioned component of the Crimean conflict, however, only quantitatively, not qualitatively different from the campaign practices in Louis XIV’s age when carriages loaded with queen, duchesses and mistresses followed the king to the battlefield to provide an admiring chorus for his heroic actions. Only select elite audiences were privileged enough to become eyewitnesses to the historical events in this way. The general population remained excluded for centuries, but in the Victorian period this changed. The middle and lower-classes still lacked the means to travel to theaters of war, but they became consumers of culture, they wanted to keep pace with the evolving historical events, and the London show business catered to their needs. The crowds assembled night after night during the Crimean War years at Surrey and Cremorne Gardens to cheer unending Russian defeats long before the Russians were actually and finally vanquished, participated in theatrically structured performances, too, but these were second-hand domestic recreations, ostensibly based on the large mass of “authentic” source materials channeled to the home-front by army leadership and press reporters, but spectacularly enhanced for commercial mass consumption. Even if performed almost simultaneously with the actual events, often by invalids just returned from the theater of war, these were mediated stage presentations, made possible by the availability of a group of professional eyewitnesses who formed, with their cameras and communication lines, a full-fledged apparatus of front-line observation. The verbal and pictorial reports of these lieutenants of the urban crowds, together with the art works and show attractions based on them, made the Crimean War the first media war in history.