2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Light Brigade Compendium,
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This review is from: Hell Riders: The Truth About the Charge of the Light Brigade (Paperback)
You have to approach this book as three in one. An interesting thesis based on a very lucid account of the Charge of the Light Brigade. A miscellany of comment, anecdotes, both main poems on the charge and some tittle-tattle, a resource of eye-witness accounts from obscure contemporary publication. It's like Terry Brighton wrote a short book and his publishers insisted on it being lengthened. I would give the short book 4 stars for its sheer readability. It does not get bogged down in the minutae of who did what, whilst very accurately conveying - who did what!
I found the 'myth busting' section the least necessary. I have a limited background in the Crimean War and I felt able to make conclusions on these myths with ease every time I have come across them in the past. Incidentally, I agreed with Brighton on every one, except who was 'responsible' for the charge. He neglects the obvious. The one in charge is the one responsible as a default. This was Lord Raglan. It is Raglan who gave one of the least useful orders he ever gave, in a long personal history of poor orders. It is Raglan who shouted at Nolan very similar words to what Nolan actually said to Lucan. He's my candidate for the blame. Just because Lucan and Cardigan were such horrible people and Raglan was by all accounts a nice man, it dosn't shift the reality of his incompetence.
I did like the extra anecdotes though - like the fact that twice as many turned up to the first memorial dinner cliaming to be participants in the Charge of the Light Brigade as actually set out on the real charge in the first place!