Alfred Tennyson's The Charge Of The Light Brigade

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Following a quarter of a century of war, Europe saw a period of peace from 1815 to 1853. Due to the impact of the industrial revolution, this peacetime saw great changes in the nature of warfare. Mass production and improved technology and communications were at the heart of industrialisation. More broadly, industrialisation had also created a more urban and organised society, able to support population growth. These changes stimulated a large increase in the destructiveness, power potential and size of military forces. Perhaps the greatest advancement in military capability arose from the revolution in transport and communications, founded upon the development of the steam engine in the early nineteenth century that powered rail transport. The train transportation of troops and supplies meant that by the 1840s, armies were no longer restricted by previous time and space constraints. War was now a…show more content…
It signified a shift away from the limitations of 18th century wars; technological advancements inevitably resulted in military power conferred by industrialisation superseding traditional means, therefore causing far greater casualties. The war was characterised by poor leadership, with the legend of Napoleonic tactics rendering both sides blind to the power of modern weaponry, and poor communication. The consequences of both these factors are relevant to Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, which reflects on a poorly organised charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, “Forward, the Light Brigade!”/ Was there a man dismayed?/ Not though the soldier knew /Someone had blundered. /Theirs not to make reply, /Theirs not to reason why, /Theirs but to do and die. /Into the valley of Death /Rode the six
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