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Into the Valley of Death (Hardback)

The Light Cavalry at Balaclava

Crimean War Victorian Era Military 19th Century

By Nick Thomas
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 376
Illustrations: 16 black and white
ISBN: 9781526722928
Published: 30th April 2021


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Into the Valley of Death tells the thrilling story of the Charge of the Light Brigade in the words of the men who fought during the most heroic and yet futile engagement of the modern era.

By drawing on key evidence the author has not only provided a clear narrative of the events leading up to the 25th October 1854, but has painted a vivid picture of the Charge itself. No punches are pulled and the carnage which ensued is clear for all to read, dispelling the romantic myth of ‘death or glory’ fostered by the Victorians.

This work tells the blood and guts story of a desperate charge by 673 men in the face of what seemed insurmountable odds. It reveals the trauma endured by the rank and file who witnessed all around them men and horses cut to pieces while endeavoring to ride through walls of flying iron and lead, and not knowing if the next second would be their last.

Yet in the midst of this horror and devastation, the author takes time to give an overview of the battle itself and puts on the hats of some of the commanders involved, looking at not only what they did, but also at how a terrible disaster could so easily have been turned into the greatest single victory of its time.

Could such an apparently mad-cap charge have succeeded? Did sufficient men arrive at the guns to successfully capture them? Were there troops and close support that could have been utilized to drastically change the course of events? Could a simple stalling tactic have allowed these resources to have been fully exploited? All of these questions are answered.

This work truly lifts the lid on the events of over 150 years ago and through the words of the survivors allows the reader to assign the responsibility for the Charge having taken place and for the consequent loss of the Light Brigade.

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 Nick Thomas

About Nick Thomas

Nick Thomas is a former archaeologist and finds expert with a number of published reports to his name. He currently works as Collections Officer responsible for three museums, their settings and historical collections, having been the first manager of the Stafford Castle Museum and Visitor Centre, with which he has a 40-year association. Nick has contributed over 300 history articles to the local press and a number of journals, while finding time to work on many of the excavations in his home town. His previous biographies include RAF Top Gun: The Story of Battle of Britain Ace Teddy Donaldson, CB, CBE, DSO, AFC; Ben Bennions, DFC: Battle of Britain Fighter Ace; Kenneth ‘Hawkeye’ Lee, DFC: Battle of Britain and Desert Air Force Ace; Hurricane Squadron AceThe Story of Air Commodore Peter Brothers, CBE, DSO, DFCSniper of the Skies: The Story of George ‘Screwball’ Beurling, DSO,DFC, DFM*; and Their Finest Hour: Stories of the Men Who Won the Battle of Britain, all published by Pen and Sword.

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