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The Crimean War, which took place from 1853 to 1856, was primarily fought over a combination of religious, territorial, and political issues. On the 25th of October, 1854, 600 men rode into what is now known as the Valley of Death. 

The Battle of Balaclava was a conflict that pitted British, French, and Ottoman forces against the Russian Empire. 

But it seems to me that it was the direct opposite of the successful Charge of the Light Horsemen at Beersheba. 

On land, the league is most commonly defined as three miles (4.83 km), although the length of a mile could vary from place to place as well as depending on the era. At sea, a league is three nautical miles (3.452 miles; 5.556 kilometres).

One of the primary causes of the Crimean War was the dispute over the holy places in Jerusalem. These holy places, including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, were of great significance to Christians, particularly the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Ottoman Empire, which controlled Jerusalem at the time, was seen as a protector of Christian rights, and the dispute escalated when France and Russia both sought to be recognised as the protector of Christian interests in the Ottoman Empire.

The major powers involved in the Crimean War, including Russia, the Ottoman Empire, France, and the United Kingdom, had territorial ambitions. Russia, under Tsar Nicholas I, sought to expand its influence and control in the Black Sea region, particularly in the territories of Moldavia and Wallachia (present-day Romania), which were part of the Ottoman Empire.

the charge of the light brigade form 4 2015 pdf 4 1024

The major European powers were also concerned about maintaining the balance of power. They worried that Russia's expansion in the region could upset this balance, leading to increased tensions and potential conflicts.

Nationalist sentiment and public opinion played a role in pushing for war. In France and the United Kingdom, public support for the Ottoman Empire was driven by anti-Russian and pro-Ottoman sentiment.

The conflict was marked by several significant battles, including the Siege of Sevastopol, the Battle of Balaclava (famous for the Charge of the Light Brigade), and the Battle of Inkerman. The war ultimately ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1856, which brought about a resolution to the various issues in dispute. The treaty reaffirmed the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, recognised the rights of Christian subjects in the Ottoman Empire, and demilitarised the Black Sea to limit Russian naval power.

The Light Brigade was a British cavalry unit, primarily composed of the 4th and 13th Light Dragoons, 17th Lancers, and 8th and 11th Hussars. Commanded by Major General James Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, this brigade was ordered to charge a heavily fortified Russian position at the end of a valley in Balaclava. However, due to poor communication and ambiguous orders, they ended up attacking the wrong target.

Charge of Light Brigade Pic

Thanks to Flysa for this image

Despite the confusion, the Light Brigade valiantly obeyed their orders, spurred on by their unwavering commitment to duty and honor. They charged headlong into a withering storm of artillery and rifle fire, making their way through the "Valley of Death" as immortalised by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his famous poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade." It was a desperate, suicidal charge, but the men carried it out with unflinching courage.

The brigade's courage was awe-inspiring. For just a few brief moments, the Light Brigade broke through the Russian lines, causing chaos and disruption in the enemy's ranks. The charge, however, was a costly endeavour. Of the roughly 670 men who took part in the charge, around 118 were killed, and more than 100 were wounded. Such was the ferocity of the engagement that Lord Cardigan himself was miraculously untouched.

Names like Florence Nightingale emerged from these tragic times. 

lady with lamp

Thanks again to Flysa for this image

Back in 1820, Florence Nightingale was born into British aristocratic family in the city of Florence, Italy. Hence her name. Her parents were open-minded and encouraged her to think for herself. I suppose these days we would call it " critical thinking. " 

By the age of 30, she had developed an interest in helping the sick and the poor. 

As she matured into a young woman, she felt compelled to leave her privileged life and head to the battlefields of Crimea and pursue what we now know is the gift of nursing. 

Nightingale arrived in Scutari early in November 1854. Her team found that poor care for wounded soldiers was being delivered by overworked medical staff in the face of official indifference. 

"The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm." ~ Florence Nightingale

Nightingale believed that the death rates were due to poor nutrition, lack of supplies, stale air, and overworking of the soldiers. After she returned to Britain and began collecting evidence before the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army, she came to believe that most of the soldiers at the hospital were killed by poor living conditions. 

As our governments charge headlong into war ( again ) to fight for control over territory ( again ) and political control ( again ) we  are seeing commonsense  and compassion fly out of sight (again ) in pursuit of wild fantasies about changing the course of history. 

Well, guess what? 

Most of us just want to be more like Florence Nightingale and stick to basics. 

And there is nothing wrong with that. 

Our governments charge like morons into battle from the safety of their bunkers in Canberra or Washington and expect our troops to charge into battle for a cause that few believe in and even fewer understand. 

When things go bugger up, they charge our soldiers with war crimes and they sit behind their entitled shields of parliamentary privilege and forget the loss of life, and the loss of horsepower, and don pretty hats to go to the Melbourne Cup. 

I don't know what is going on in the Middle East right now. I wish I did.  I don't know why our governments are so unable to make decisions anymore without deferring to social media for an opinion poll.

What I do know is this. 

The Middle East has been a hotbed of " he said, she said, we said, they said " for millennia. 

And it isn't about to change. 

After all, it isn't about bedpans and fresh air, is it? We learned that from Covid. 

It is all about politics. And no matter how many charge in the Crimea, the Battle of Beersheba or the battle for Australia, politics always finds some poor mugs to charge into battle for a political cause. 

That is the problem. 

To demonstrate the futility of war, just as the German and Japanese aggressors in World War II are now the good guys on the world stage, the Crimea is back under the control of Russia.” Flysa

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