The Reason Why by Cecil Woodham-Smith (Paperback, 1971)

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This history is a war story of astonishing courage and honor, of stupidity, of blood, death, agony -- and waste. Nothing in British campaign history has ever equaled the tragic farce that was the charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War's Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854. In this fascinating study, Cecil Woodham-Smith shows that responsibility for the fatal mismanagement of the affair rested with the Earls of Cardigan and Lucan, brothers-in-law and sworn enemies for more than thirty years. In revealing the combination of pride and obstinacy that was to prove so fatal, Woodham-Smith gives us a picture of a vanished world, in which heroism and military glory guaranteed an immortality impossible in a more cynical age.
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