I came across this in the "Background section" of Wikipedia article Battle of Sinop.

Fighting at sea between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire had been going on for weeks, and the Ottomans had sent several squadrons into the Black Sea to patrol. One of these squadrons, under Osman Pasha, ended up at Sinope, joining the frigate Kaid Zafer which had been part of an earlier patrol, and being joined by the steam frigate Taif from a smaller squadron. The Ottomans had wanted to send ships of the line to Sinope, but the British ambassador in Constantinople, Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, had objected to this plan, and only frigates were sent.

I have a couple of related questions about this. How could a nation "object" to another nation's war strategy? And why did the Ottomans comply? This seemed to be a bad move, because at the Battle of Sinop, these frigates got annihilated by Russian ships (which included 6 ships-of-the-line).

And why did Britain object to this? Britain would enter the war later on the Ottomans' side, so why the heck did they object when their future allies tried their best to win the war?

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    This isn't a complete answer, but Britain wanted an excuse to enter the war. – American Luke Nov 30 '13 at 1:31
  • Among modern historical fiction I like "Turkish Gambit" from Erast Fandorin series by Akunin. There's an excellent Russian language movie based on that book too, you can probably find it with subtitles. The premise of this book that in order to justify British and French joining the war Turks needed to portray Russians as the aggressors. So turks played what's called "a gambit" in chess: they deliberately lost a battle here and there so that Russians would advance into the heart of Turkey, approach Dardanel Straight, and threaten British commerce. – Michael Nov 30 '13 at 17:08
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    and Turkey just agreed to getting their ships and men decimated? – Louis Rhys Nov 30 '13 at 17:45
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    @Michael Historical fiction is not a very good source. Have you got a real source? – Felix Goldberg Nov 30 '13 at 20:49
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    The frigates were according to Wikipedia on patrol. There were therefore not sent there deliberatly to have a battle, and the reason there were no ships-of-the-line could easily be that they were thought to be of better use somewhere else. For example in the defense of Constantinople. – Lennart Regebro Dec 1 '13 at 6:00

According to the link in the question: "This attack provided France and the United Kingdom with the justification for declaring war on Russia in early 1854 in support of the Ottoman Empire."

Basically, the British ambassador wanted the Turks to lose the battle so that Britain would have an excuse for getting into the war.

At the time, Russia was far stronger than Turkey. Meaning that without British (and French) intervention, the Turks would lose the war, even if they won the battle.

Therefore the Turks "went along" with their allies, because losing the battle would be preferable to losing the war.

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