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The Charge of the Light Brigade

image: The Charge of the Light Brigade was an ill-advised cavalry charge which occurred during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 during the Crimean War.

Place: On the southern Crimean coast in the Ukraine.

Combatants: British, French and Turkish troops against the Imperial Russian Army.

What happened?

The brigade, consisting of 600 soldiers on horseback, rode to their death. They were obeying a command to charge the enemy forces that had been seizing their guns.

Not a single soldier was discouraged or distressed by the command to charge forward, even though all the soldiers realized that their commander had made a terrible mistake. The role of the soldier is to obey so they followed orders and charged

The 600 soldiers were assaulted by the shots of shells of canons in front and on both sides of them. Still, they rode courageously forward toward their own deaths

Poem

The Charge of the Light Brigade” poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson tells the story.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;

Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade ?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

 

Also on this day......

25 October 1881 : Picasso Pablo

Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, was born on this day in Malaga, Spain.

25 October: St Crispin's Day

Saint Crispin and Crispiniansus are the twin saints of shoemakers.

 

 


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