Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > War and Military History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

War and Military History War and Military History Forum - Warfare, Tactics, and Military Technology over the centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old November 8th, 2012, 06:11 AM   #51

Naomasa298's Avatar
Bog of the Year
 
Joined: Apr 2010
From: T'Republic of Yorkshire
Posts: 20,855

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
(b) Raglan didn't even pick out Nolan in the first place, but Nolan put himself forward for the task after Raglan had given the message to another aide-de-camp. Raglan's order lacked precision, but if Captain Leslie had taken the order to Lucan, it is likely enough that he would have told Lucan that the guns in question were on the Causeway Heights, and disaster would never have come about.
I'd just like to bring something up here - both David and Thomas say that Raglan gave the order to Nolan, who was Airey's ADC. Thomas says that Airey was about to give the order to one of Raglan's ADCs, a Major Calthorpe, when Raglan called out for Nolan instead, as he was one of the finest riders in the army.

But as you say, there's no way Raglan could have foreseen how Nolan would act.
Naomasa298 is online now  
Remove Ads
Old November 8th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #52

Linschoten's Avatar
nonpareil
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: Wessex
Posts: 9,734
Blog Entries: 11

There seem to be have been conflicting accounts on this point, going back to different sources.
Linschoten is offline  
Old November 8th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #53

Naomasa298's Avatar
Bog of the Year
 
Joined: Apr 2010
From: T'Republic of Yorkshire
Posts: 20,855

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
There seem to be have been conflicting accounts on this point, going back to different sources.
Yup.

What do you think to the idea that Morris may have been trying to protect his fellow officers by making no comment on the events of the charge?
Naomasa298 is online now  
Old November 8th, 2012, 07:41 AM   #54

Linschoten's Avatar
nonpareil
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: Wessex
Posts: 9,734
Blog Entries: 11

I don't know really; if Nolan had told him that they were meant do be heading for the guns on the heights, do you think that he would have had any reason to hold that back? If Nolan had told him that they were meant to be heading down the valley, he might have had reason to hold that back, I suppose, because it would have meant that Nolan had been directly responsible for the whole disaster.
Linschoten is offline  
Old November 9th, 2012, 07:56 AM   #55

Naomasa298's Avatar
Bog of the Year
 
Joined: Apr 2010
From: T'Republic of Yorkshire
Posts: 20,855

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
I don't know really; if Nolan had told him that they were meant do be heading for the guns on the heights, do you think that he would have had any reason to hold that back? If Nolan had told him that they were meant to be heading down the valley, he might have had reason to hold that back, I suppose, because it would have meant that Nolan had been directly responsible for the whole disaster.
A thought occurred to me last night - if Nolan had told Morris that they were meant to be heading towards the heights, then the onus would have been on Morris to tell Cardigan that fact after Nolan was killed. That could have been an incentive for him to keep quiet about it.
Naomasa298 is online now  
Old November 9th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #56

Linschoten's Avatar
nonpareil
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: Wessex
Posts: 9,734
Blog Entries: 11

Yes, that's a point. I suppose the only thing that we can properly say is that no conclusion can be drawn either way from what Morris said or failed to say.

It seems to me that the disaster would have been averted (a) if Raglan had specified in his final written order that the attack was to be directed toward the Heights (though he is open to some excuse because he had in fact specified that already in the preceding order) and (b) if Nolan had made clear to Lucan that the attack should be directed toward the Heights (and his failure to do so can't really be excused).

What an extraordinary collection of people these were! And what extraordinary behaviour from them on that day!
Linschoten is offline  
Old November 9th, 2012, 03:22 PM   #57

viking's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Apr 2011
From: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 1,461

In general I agree although I would include Lucan because he did not ask for clarification.
I believe it is impossible to come to a definite conclusion. I like to make an approach through original documents if possible or at least through other historians who cite their sources, but what are we faced with here. Boiled down we have Raglan's order.
It's useless to place ourselves in the thinking of these men because some of their concepts of honour, duty and status which were paramount to them are almost alien to us and these are thing that drove them. As you rightly say, an extraordinary collection of people. A fiction author would think twice before assembling them as one cast.
Fist the scene at Raglan's headquarters. Raglan dictates the order. Reasonable enough as he has only one arm. Why was it Airey did not draw attention to the omission? The message is passed to Leslie. Nolan enters the picture and says as the best horseman he should take it. Has strong element of pass the parcel. Couple of questions here. Nolan was know to be on bad terms with both Lucan and Cardigan so why was he on the staff as a messenger in the first place? It was obvious that at some time in the campaign he would have to convey a message. Not an ideal situation.
I'll skip the exchange at the front, we hae covered that in some detail here, and move to the aftermath.
If you wanted to muddy the waters you could do no better than introduce William Russell. As war correspondent he sends the story back to England with predictable results best summed up by Tennyson "SOMEONE had blundered". The result is inevitable with claim and counter claim. Passing the buck becomes the norm
Obviously little or nothing recorded at the scene and so memory comes into play. How much that memory is influenced by self serving, loyalty and even Russell's account is the problem we face now.
An interesting exercise but like Jack the Ripper, unsolvable.
viking is offline  
Old November 10th, 2012, 01:18 AM   #58

Naomasa298's Avatar
Bog of the Year
 
Joined: Apr 2010
From: T'Republic of Yorkshire
Posts: 20,855

Nolan does seem to have been a most extraordinarily impertinent character. Not only did he consider his superiors (Cardigan and Lucan) the two biggest idiots to have ever plagued the British army, but if he did intercede and take the letter when it was entrusted to someone else (although as I pointed out, there's some disagreement about this), then that was extremely presumptive of him.

The way he spoke to Lucan, and then later rode out in front of the charge with his sabre drawn (he was apparently killed around 100 yards ahead of the column, so may not have been trying to correct the direction) could have laid him open to a charge of insubordination, had he survived. It's astonishing that his superiors tolerated that sort of behaviour from a mere captain.
Naomasa298 is online now  
Old November 10th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #59

Linschoten's Avatar
nonpareil
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: Wessex
Posts: 9,734
Blog Entries: 11

Cardigan at least must have been one of the biggest idiots ever to plague the British army! Trevor Howard's portrayal of him is hardly a caricature, his behaviour during during his previous career is quite unbelievable.

I'm not sure about Nolan's actions during the advance. He did turn back and shout something, and I can imagine someone waving a sword if trying to people's attention in such circumstances. It occurred to me that if he was trying to warn them about passing down the valley, it doesn't necessarily mean that he hadn't misinterpreted Raglan's intentions earlier; he could have come to realize afterwards that he had got it wrong.

Last edited by Linschoten; November 10th, 2012 at 11:39 AM.
Linschoten is offline  
Old November 10th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #60

Naomasa298's Avatar
Bog of the Year
 
Joined: Apr 2010
From: T'Republic of Yorkshire
Posts: 20,855

Odd thing is, Cardigan didn't seem to know that Nolan had been killed until after the charge. There must have been quite a lot of noise and mayhem around them. He knew Nolan had been hit, as he remarked to Scarlett afterwards, "Imagine him screaming like a woman when he was hit!"

Scarlett replied "Say no more, sir. I have just ridden over Captain Nolan's dead body."
Naomasa298 is online now  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > War and Military History

Tags
brigade, charge, death, light, ride


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Take a ride in the world's only flying B-29! diddyriddick War and Military History 3 October 13th, 2011 07:02 AM
The Charge of the Heavy Brigade Naomasa298 War and Military History 9 September 6th, 2011 11:33 AM
Charge of the Light Brigade okamido European History 55 May 30th, 2011 01:51 PM
The ride of the Valkyries (or famous deaths) philhellene General History 40 December 7th, 2010 02:38 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.