'Who was to blame for The Charge of The Light Brigade?'

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            History                                        Mr Stoneman                                Anya Cagnetta 12B

              ‘Who was to blame for ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’?

  The Charge of the Light Brigade during the Balaclava War has been classed by many historians as an unmitigated disaster. Due to the incompetence of the men in charge, one of the most poorly executed military attacks in history occurred. It is without a doubt, easy to say that Lord Raglan was to blame for ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. He was the Commander in Chief and as such held overall responsibility for the charge.

  The men involved in that fateful day were: Lord Raglan (Commander in Chief); Lord Lucan (in charge of the cavalry); Lord Cardigan (in charge of the Light Brigade); Captain Nolan (the staff officer who delivered the message). As Commander in Chief, Lord Raglan was completely responsible for the order sent to attack the Russian guns. From his position on the Sapoune Heights, he had an excellent vantage point of the surrounding valley. He could clearly see that there were several sets of cannons armed by the Russians, positioned on three sides. Raglan could see that the Russians were wanting to remove the guns from the Turkish redoubts on the causeway heights. He issued the order ‘‘to advance rapidly to the front - follow the enemy and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns’’. Lord Raglan, not thinking beyond his own position, failed to recognise that he was the only one with the advantage of that view. He chose Captain Nolan to deliver the message to Lord Lucan who was situated in the valley below. Lucan read the contents of the letter in some dismay as he was prevented, by the lie of the land, from seeing which guns Raglan was referring to. Historical reports have revealed that all Lord Lucan could see was a Russian battery that was firing at the British lines. Raglan was known for giving very ambiguous and vague orders, often confusing the men who were to obey. To his downfall, he foolishly believed his orders were straight forward and to the point, not recognising they fell short of an adequate explanation. It was this shortcoming that caused the entire breakdown of communication amongst the leaders.

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  Lord Raglan caused chaos by sending such an unclear order to Lord Lucan. Lucan read it with grave misgiving announcing the attack would be ‘’useless’’. Nolan replied that the cavalry should attack immediately, causing Lucan to exclaim: ‘‘Attack, sir! Attack what! What guns, sir? Where and what to do?’’.Due to Lucan’s confusion over the order, it was arrogantly re-explained by Captain Nolan whose contemptuous hand gestures were incorrectly interpreted as the direction for the attack. Lucan realising this order was ridiculous rode over to Cardigan and ordered him to lead the attack toward the main Russian army. Cardigan wary ...

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