'The Charge of Scarlett's 300 or Heavy Brigade at Balaclava 25th October 1854'
Reproduction of a watercolour after Stanley Berkeley, 1890 (c), published by S Hildesheimer and Co, 1894 (c).
During the Crimean War (1854-1856) Russian forces mounted an attack on the British position at Balaklava. A large body of some 3,000 Russian cavalry threatened the road to the harbour of Balaklava itself.
The British Heavy Brigade consisted of 10 squadrons of heavy cavalry, commanded by Major-General (later General) The Honourable (later Sir) James Yorke Scarlett. Seeing the Russian horsemen halted, and thus vulnerable to attack, Scarlett immediately charged uphill with three of his squadrons, being successively reinforced by the remaining seven squadrons of his brigade. Reeling from this series of attacks, the Russian cavalry retired in disorder a few minutes later.
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National Army Museum, Study collection
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