Balaclavas


Some credit Sherman’s march through the South as the earliest example of Industrial Total War. Down to burn Atlanta, East to raze Savannah, and North to squeeze Lee like paste from the tube towards Grant. Deny supplies; end production; hasten ends; all in the context of a war fought as much for competing economic models as it ever was for notions of equality or human rights. We prefer The Crimean War, however. From beneath the pudding-skin guise of defending the Holy Lands, a completely pre-Industrial pretext for conflict, Rail, Telegraph and Nursing are taken from quiet halls of theory to dirty hills of hell. Trenches are first dug for men to kill from and die in; artillery is fired to where the eyes cannot sea; musket balls are given points and barrels are rifled. Scientific enhancement of the tools of violence trips and tumbles down an ever steeper gravel path and not for a century will the restraint not to use it catch up and clutch the collar of the white coat right before the precipice. In music, in literature, in film, and in military theory, one action in particular from this war between Imperial Russia and the armies of France, England and the United Kingdom comes down to us through the subsequent volumes of conflict, fog, spoils and victory – The Charge of the Light Brigade. Dragoons, Lancers and Hussars all, under the charge of the Lord Cardigan, hasten into a valley to deny retreating Russians of their heavy guns and during the mile gallop many hasten the den...

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