Balaklava, Battle of
(Oct. 25, 1854) Indecisive military engagement of the Crimean War. The Russians sought to capture the Black Sea supply port of Balaklava, which was controlled by the British, French, and Turks. The Russians occupied positions on the heights above a nearby valley. To disrupt the Russian troop movements, Baron Raglan gave an ambiguous order for Lord Cardigan's Light Brigade to attack. Instead of leading his cavalry against the Russian guns on the heights, Cardigan swept down the valley after the retreating Russian cavalry. The battle ended with the loss of 40% of the Light Brigade and inspired the 1855 poem Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
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