In October 1854, the Grand Russian Army charged into the Balaklava harbor in the Crimean Peninsula. Opposing the Russian army were the combined forces of the U.K., France, and the Ottoman Empire. Expecting the Russian army’s attack, artillery units were deployed to four bastions using the geography of an access road to the harbor.
The Russian forces first attacked the four bastions, and the Ottoman Empire’s forces fled as soon as shells fell. The four bastions collapsed quickly and mercilessly with the lack of mutual support. The Scottish army in the second defense line defended well against the charging Russian cavalry. Seizing the moment, the British heavy cavalry charged at the Russian army. The outnumbering Russian cavalry tried to besiege the British from both sides. However, the British weren’t scared at all and went through the middle of the Russian cavalry. Then, the rest of the British cavalry charged at the Russian Army. The demoralized Russian cavalry ran away.
Even though the cavalry was gone, the main force, artillery, and reserve cavalry of Russia formed a strong line. Then, the 15th light cavalry of the U.K. advanced toward the Russian main force. The Russian artillery began to fire, and the British cavalry was caught in a crossfire. Even before the smoke of artillery was gone, the members of the British light cavalry were all killed.
There were many issues in the reckless charge of the British light cavalry, including the miswriting of an order and an error in the delivery of an order. Another contributing factor to their demise was the brute courage of Lieutenant Nolan who insisted on an all-out charging. He was the best cavalry expert who wrote books about training and tactics.
However, he was always overly confident of the capabilities of cavalries and his tactics. Such confidence and courage made him look attractive and committed in normal times. However, in an actual battle, he and his fellow soldiers and subordinates became the victim of shells as soon as the battle began. There are no scarier things at wars than ill-placed courage and conviction.