Hell Riders: The True Story of the Charge of the Light Brigade [NOOK Book]

Overview


On the 150th anniversary of the world's most famous cavalry charge comes a revisionist retelling of the battle based on firsthand accounts from the soldiers who fought there

In October 1854, with the Crimean War just under way and British and French troops pushing the tsar's forces back from the Black Sea, seven hundred intrepid English horsemen charged a mile and a half into the most heavily fortified Russian position in the Crimea in ...
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Hell Riders: The True Story of the Charge of the Light Brigade

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Overview


On the 150th anniversary of the world's most famous cavalry charge comes a revisionist retelling of the battle based on firsthand accounts from the soldiers who fought there

In October 1854, with the Crimean War just under way and British and French troops pushing the tsar's forces back from the Black Sea, seven hundred intrepid English horsemen charged a mile and a half into the most heavily fortified Russian position in the Crimea in Ukraine. In the seven minutes it took the cavalry to cross this distance, more than five hundred of them were killed. Celebrated in poetry and legend, the charge of the Light Brigade has stood for a century and a half as a pure example of military dash and daring. Until now, historical accounts of this cavalry charge have relied upon politically motivated press reports and diaries kept by the aristocratic British generals who commanded the action.

In Hell Riders, noted historian and Crimean War expert Terry Brighton looks, for the first time, to the journals recorded by survivors-the soldiers who did the fighting. His riveting firsthand narrative reveals the tragically inept leadership on the part of the British commander in chief, Lord Raglan, whose orders for the charge were poorly communicated and misinterpreted, and an unfathomable indifference on the part of British officers to the men who survived the battle and were left to tend their wounds and bury the dead in the freezing cold. While the charge overran the Russians, it gained nothing and the war continued for another two years. In finally capturing the truth behind the charge of the Light Brigade, Brighton offers a stirring portrait of incredible bravery in the service of a misguided endeavor.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even for the British, knowledge of the Charge of the Light Brigade begins and ends with Tennyson's poem-and it's debatable how many Americans could even tell you which war the battle took place in. Brighton, a curator at the British museum devoted to the regiment that led the charge, deftly explains the circumstances leading to the 1854-1856 Crimean War and the Light Brigade's misbegotten confrontation with Russian artillery at Balaklava, outlining the difficulties the soldiers faced in the weeks leading up to the fateful battle. A minute-by-minute account dealing with the battle itself builds tension through effective crosscutting of passages from eyewitness accounts by several survivors along with the author's own thoughtful analysis. Later sections address nagging controversies, such as whether the brigade's commander abandoned his troops mid-fight, while Brighton does his best to pin down just how many soldiers rode into the valley of death and concludes that, despite the heavy losses, the brigade did not lose at Balaklava. His story is an example to all popular historians of how to combine a gripping yarn with deep insight into the social and cultural forces driving the action. Agent, Carl Brandt. (Nov. 2) Forecast: Military history buffs may recognize the 150th anniversary of the Charge on October 25, but acceptance among a broader American audience seems unlikely. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466859678
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/10/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 236,603
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author


Terry Brighton is the curator of the Queen's Royal Lancers Museum, the direct descendants of the 17th Lancers who led the charge of the Light Brigade. He is a member of the Crimean War Research Society and an authority on the Crimean War. He lives in England.

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Table of Contents

1 The invasion of the Crimea
1 The bear hunt : the Light Brigade prepares for war 3
2 The ruling asses : their lordships Lucan and Cardigan take command 18
3 Journey into hell : three trials en route to the Crimea 31
4 The invasion of the Crimea : from Kalamita Bay to Balaklava 46
5 Reconnaissance and the Cossacks : the secret intelligence that could have saved the Light Brigade 63
2 The charge of the Light Brigade
6 Towards the valley of death : the Russian attack, the thin red line and the heavy brigade 81
7 The charge : seven minutes into hell with the Light Brigade 105
8 Behind the guns : the Light Brigade pursues the Russian cavalry 142
9 The return : the survivors fight their way back 170
10 Experience and observation : death in the valley and glory on the heights 189
3 The last of the Light Brigade
11 The miserable remains : the Light Brigade in winter 205
12 After the Crimea 1. : from the battlefield to the workhouse 223
13 After the Crimea 2. : from the facts to the legend 229
4 Investigating the charge
14 Finding fault : did Captain Nolan - or one of their lordships Raglan, Lucan and Cardigan - lose the Light Brigade? 239
15 The Balaklava bugle controversy : did Henry Joy or Billy Brittain - or no one at all - sound the charge of the Light Brigade? 262
16 Lord Cardigan's retreat : did Cardigan desert the Light Brigade at the Russian guns? 278
17 Not the six hundred : counting them out and counting them in 290
18 Death or glory? : did the charge succeed or fail? 295
19 The truth about Scutari : was Florence Nightingale - or Mary Seacole - the true nursing heroine of the Light Brigade? 303
20 Light Brigade scandals : murder, suicide and the Victoria Cross 316
App. 1 Researching the Light Brigade : did your ancestor ride in the charge? 331
App. 2 Roll of the Light Brigade : an alphabetical list of officers and men 336
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