25 October 1854 The Charge of the Light Brigade
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. Lord Raglan, the overall commander, had intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue a retreating Russian artillery battery near the front line, but due to a breakdown in communications in the chain of command, the sabre-armed Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault into a different artillery battery, one which had excellent fields of defensive fire.
Although they reached the battery and succeeded in scattering some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately, producing no decisive gains and very high British casualties.
It is best remembered as the subject of the poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, published just six weeks after the event.