The Charge of the Light Brigade Quotes by Alfred Tennyson
Everything you need to know about The Charge of the Light Brigade
Poem of the week: The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson
British commander Lord Raglan had intended to send the Light Brigade to prevent the Russians from removing captured guns from overrun Turkish positions, a task for which the light cavalry were well-suited. However, there was miscommunication in the chain of command, and the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire. The Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, but they were forced to retreat immediately, and the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains. The events were the subject of Alfred, Lord Tennyson 's narrative poem " The Charge of the Light Brigade " , published just six weeks after the event. Its lines emphasise the valour of the cavalry in bravely carrying out their orders, regardless of the nearly inevitable outcome. Responsibility for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the order was vague and Louis Edward Nolan delivered the written orders with some verbal interpretation, then died in the first minute of the assault. The charge was made by the Light Brigade of the British cavalry, which consisted of the 4th and 13th Light Dragoons , 17th Lancers , and the 8th and 11th Hussars , under the command of Major General James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan.
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John Addison - The Charge of the Light Brigade
The Charge of the Light Brigade is one of the most notorious fiascos in British military history. But who should shoulder the blame for this suicidal assault on Russian guns? Saul David considers the evidence The loss of these redoubts had left the British supply port of Balaklava, situated below the south valley, at the mercy of the Russians. Peering through his naval telescope — specially modified so he could use it with his one remaining hand he had lost his right arm at Waterloo — Raglan could see the Russians bringing forward horses and lasso tackle to remove the British pounder naval guns that had been sited in the earthworks.
The charge against Russian forces was part of the Battle of Balaclava, a conflict making up a much larger series of events known as the Crimean War. The order for the cavalry charge proved catastrophic for the British cavalrymen: a disastrous mistake riddled with misinformation and miscommunication. The calamitous charge was to be remembered for both its bravery and tragedy. The Crimean War was a conflict which broke out in October between the Russians on one side and an alliance of British, French, Ottoman and Sardinian troops on the other. During the following year the Battle of Balaklava took place, beginning in September when Allied troops arrived in Crimea. The focal point of this confrontation was the important strategic naval base of Sevastopol.
Once enormously popular and much-memorised, this week's poem, Alfred Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade, was also vilified, according to JB Steane , as "horrid rubbish". It's a verdict Steane himself tentatively commends "I think there might be something in it. So how does it look from ? Great poem, good poem, bad poem, good bad poem? It's certainly the kind of poem people love or hate for anything-but-literary reasons. The subject is an emotive one, centred on the timelessly appealing stereotype of heroic ordinary soldier versus incompetent high command a theme which continued to grip the imagination of the poets of the first world war.