Charge of the Light Brigade

okamido

Forum Staff
Jun 2009
29,885
land of Califia
October 25th, 1854

On this day, 155 years ago between 607- 673 men of the 4th and 13th light dragoons, 17th lancers, and 8th and 11th hussars, under the command of Major General, the Earl of Cardigan, met their fate at the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. A question to pose is whether this charge was a supreme example of a breakdown in intelligence and communication, or possibly some form of personal grudge between Cardigan and his commanding officer Lt. General the Earl of Lucan, known for a strong dislike of one another.

bonus, the poem by A.T. :
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Alfred, Lord Tennyson


1.
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.
2.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
3.
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.
4.
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.
5.
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.
6.When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.
Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,
J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870
 

okamido

Forum Staff
Jun 2009
29,885
land of Califia
My father always quotes," Into the valley of death, rode the six hundred", everytime he has to do something he didn't want to. I have actually caught myself doing the same thing with my son now. I also have very fond views of the Errol Flynn movie from my youth, even if it is considered corny by today's standards
.
 

Edratman

Forum Staff
Feb 2009
6,708
Eastern PA
I like the poem and I also like the Errol Flynn movie. I agree with okamido that the movie has not held up to the test of time, it was on TV in the last year and it was faily dreadful, but I still like the "charge" scene, as unrealistic as it is.

There was a very dull remake of the movie about a decade ago. I turned it off after about 1/2 hour.
 
Jul 2008
1,271
My father always quotes," Into the valley of death, rode the six hundred", everytime he has to do something he didn't want to. I have actually caught myself doing the same thing with my son now. I also have very fond views of the Errol Flynn movie from my youth, even if it is considered corny by today's standards
.
I am glad that I'm not the only one to use that quote
 
Oct 2009
831
Ontario, Canada
The 1968 version is by far the best.
I agree, I like that film very much. Great cast, some humourous moments, some serious, fantastic climax.

Also, Iron Maiden's The Trooper.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uq6Ax-zzkQ"]YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.[/ame]
 

okamido

Forum Staff
Jun 2009
29,885
land of Califia
I believe their might have been something to Lucan's decision to stop the Heavy Brigade at the last moment and leave Cardigan's men to it.
 

Toltec

Ad Honorem
Apr 2008
7,923
Hyperborea
The Russians were thoroughly underwhelmed by the charge and simply reported it as drunk British cavalry charging an artillery battery in their dispatches. On the other hand they described the charge of the Heavy Brigade as one of the greatest charges of all time. Funny how the British saw it differently.