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Subject: D'OH!...Anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade... rss

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Steve Arthur
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Oh dear..perhaps the sorriest episode in the whole collection of sorry episodes that make up the Crimean War,a war characterised from the very begining by acts of incredible bravery and fortitude by the common soldiers on both sides only to have them cheapened by the miserable incompetance and squalid blunderings of their various leaders both poltical and military...any comments or any lessons there for contempory times?
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Wendell
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
Oh dear..perhaps the sorriest episode in the whole collection of sorry episodes that make up the Crimean War,a war characterised from the very begining by acts of incredible bravery and fortitude by the common soldiers on both sides only to have them cheapened by the miserable incompetance and squalid blunderings of their various leaders both poltical and military...any comments or any lessons there for contempory times?


My only comment is to find the Flashman book (forget which one it was) that had Harry Flashman in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Possibly the funniest single thing I have ever read. I was in tears laughing at the description of drunken Harry farting his way to the front of the charge...
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Greg Sager
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wifwendell wrote:
Atraxrobustus wrote:
Oh dear..perhaps the sorriest episode in the whole collection of sorry episodes that make up the Crimean War,a war characterised from the very begining by acts of incredible bravery and fortitude by the common soldiers on both sides only to have them cheapened by the miserable incompetance and squalid blunderings of their various leaders both poltical and military...any comments or any lessons there for contempory times?


My only comment is to find the Flashman book (forget which one it was) that had Harry Flashman in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Possibly the funniest single thing I have ever read. I was in tears laughing at the description of drunken Harry farting his way to the front of the charge...


Flashman at the Charge
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Ethan McKinney
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It's an excellent example of command and control problems prior to the widespread use of topographic maps (and telephone/wireless helps as well).

The commander of the British forces (name escapes me) couldn't see all of the Russian defenses from his position. With his line of sight, and information, the order made perfect sense. Unfortunately, the commander of the Light Brigade had an entirely different view and wasn't even sure where he was supposed to attack. But, orders is orders ...

"C'est Magnifique, Mais Ce N'est Pas la Guerre"
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David Heldt
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Two panzer jocks in the South Seas hoping that soon they'll get lei'd--
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Terrible battle; great cultural event--

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Lucius Cornelius
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Despite the famous poem, less than 200 out of 600+ actually died.
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Jon
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I liked the movies set during the war. I saw the 1968 "Charge of the Light Brigade" when I was a kid and actually only remembered the cartoon at the beginning of it. Then I saw it as an adult and thought it was kind of well done. Bit slow in parts ("Come on...get to the charge already...we all know you're going to do it, so just do it..."). A bit like watching "Titanic" or "Sling Blade".

Within the last year I saw an older Florence Nightingale movie that I thought had Olivia deHavilland in it, but I think I am confusing it with the old "Charge of the Light Brigade" from the 1930's.

Good book: "The Destruction of Lord Raglan" by Christopher Hibbert which is an overview of the whole war. I would say it is his best book as I find his work hit or miss.

Great poem though!
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Jim Owczarski
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Honor the 600, says I.

My preferred book on the subject is simply known as "The Charge" and I think has become normative on the matter.

Personally, I find the whole Cardigan story riveting. I mean, here's this guy, basically a bit of a screwhead, who spends most of the encampment at the siege of Sevastapol living in his personal yacht moored nearby. Arrogant, belligerent, and not overly-bright, yet, when Nolan brings the order, he GOES. Charges the guns (even as Nolan is essentially vaporised), gets all the way TO and PAST the guns, realizes they can neither take the guns nor do much of anything else, and just turns around and heads for home, with barely a scratch.

And they name a sweater after him.

"And let your children's children, re-echo it with pride..."

Best,

Jim
"Cyrano"
:/7)

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William Barnett-Lewis
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elbmc1969 wrote:

"C'est Magnifique, Mais Ce N'est Pas la Guerre"


Ah, but don't forget the rest of the quote - "C'est de la follie."

That gives the rest of the truth of that sad assed day.
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Doug Adams
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wifwendell wrote:
My only comment is to find the Flashman book (forget which one it was) that had Harry Flashman in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Possibly the funniest single thing I have ever read. I was in tears laughing at the description of drunken Harry farting his way to the front of the charge...


It's a great book, covering everything from shady pool in London to the Russian invasion of the Indus, with Crimea along the way. (But Flashy wasn't drunk during the charge, but he was a bit windy). Scarlett charging uphill with the heavies was a treat as well.
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Steve Arthur
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The best book I've read on the charge itself is Cecil Woodham-Smith's 'The Reason Why'(first published in 1953) which deals not only with the charge but also with what was probably it's immediate cause,that is the personal animosity between Lord Lucan and the Earl of Cardigan a mutual hatred and contempt that went back decades...
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Andy Daglish
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
any comments or any lessons there for contempory times?


the Charge of the Light Brigade was successful.
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Andy Daglish
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
The best book I've read on the charge itself is Cecil Woodham-Smith's 'The Reason Why'(first published in 1953) which deals not only with the charge but also with what was probably it's immediate cause,that is the personal animosity between Lord Lucan and the Earl of Cardigan a mutual hatred and contempt that went back decades...


The book is remarkable for what it leaves out, but I suppose it is a study of officers and what the authorities found most useful in the senior men of political significance, which was despisal of public opinion. Publish and be damned.

Since Cardigan took the surprising step of questioning the verbal order of his loathed superior, and for Lucan reluctantly to confirm it by invoking Raglan, it seems their personal relationship didn't get in the way of their military responsibilities.
 
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Wendell
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dougadamsau wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
My only comment is to find the Flashman book (forget which one it was) that had Harry Flashman in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Possibly the funniest single thing I have ever read. I was in tears laughing at the description of drunken Harry farting his way to the front of the charge...


It's a great book, covering everything from shady pool in London to the Russian invasion of the Indus, with Crimea along the way. (But Flashy wasn't drunk during the charge, but he was a bit windy). Scarlett charging uphill with the heavies was a treat as well.


I realized I wrote "drunk" - the accurate term would be "hung over on cheap Russian booze"!
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