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Lord Cardigan’s cavalry charge on 25 October 1854 at the battle of Balaclava "into the valley of death" is surely one of the most famous actions in military history. Is there anything new to say about it in print? Yes there is, because most publications have concentrated on commanding officers Lucan, Cardigan, and the fatal actions of Nolan. But there were 670 men in the charge and by collating the evidence from the many eyewitnesses James Bancroft offers a new and more accurate appraisal of events. Cardigan’s description of the action was quoted at length in the House of Commons: "… with the batteries vomiting forth upon us shells and shot, round and grape, with one battery on our right flank and another on the left … when we came to within a distance of fifty yards from the mouths of the artillery which had been hurling destruction upon us, we were, in fact, surrounded and encircled by a blaze of fire." One question of course—which the author, who has been studying the subject for many years, addresses—is how anyone survived. James Bancroft is well known to Crimean War enthusiasts and they are waiting for this book.


James W. Bancroft is the author of more than 100 books and articles, including Rorke's Drift and The Rorke's Drift Men. He has his own military history database and his own mailing lists for Crimean War enthusiasts. He also launched a new military history quarterly in January 2011.