By Greg Allwood in Forces Network News.
As British military cock-ups go, it has to be the most famous – or, rather, infamous – one there is.
To be sure, there are a number of solid competitors for ‘worst military blunder’ amongst the annals of British history. Isandlwana, the Raid on the Medway and the first day of the Somme are perhaps all worthy contenders.
Yet, as much as the death roster of some other disasters may have eclipsed it, the Charge of the Light Brigade on October 25, 1854, must still come out top for most of us. There’s just something particularly obtuse about galloping at full pelt along a narrow valley crested by Russian guns – into “the jaws of Death”, as Tennyson put it.
But that isn’t exactly what happened.
To begin with, it was not some narrow valley flanked by towering cliffs upon which sat battery after battery of enemy cannons.
Rather, the valley traversed by the Light Brigade was about two miles wide and three long.
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