When Roger Fenton was sent to photograph the Crimean War in 1855, he was equipped with two assistants, a photographic van, seven hundred glass plates, and six large chests of equipment and personal effects. Britain had declared war against Russia the year before and sent in 28,000 troops. The greatest threat to life, however, came, not from the enemy, but from infected water and insanitary conditions. Fenton captures the narrow harbour at Balaklava, clogged with ships that would have discharged their cargoes of men, ordnance, and supplies. In the foreground is the railway built by the British to move it all to the front. The benign appearance of this image belies what would have been the pervading stench of decay and decomposition.