During the Battle
of Balaklava, at the time of the Crimean War
, an amazing feat of cavalry
fighting occurred. General
Scarlett was leading a section of the Heavy Cavalry Brigade along the foot of a hill known as the Causeway heights. Suddenly, the top of the hill was filled with a massive force of Russian
cavalry. They began to march down the hill towards Scarlett and then stopped.
Undismayed, Scarlett ordered his men to wheel
. He then addressed their ranks
in view of the enemy before turning and giving the order
. Scarlett had only 300 men of the Scots Greys and Inniskilling Dragoons with him when he charged, yet he was attacking 3,000 Russians.
were heavy cavalry, big men on big horses
and the sheer momentum of their charge carried them deep into the enemy formation
To those watching it seemed as though Scarlett and his 300 had disappeared
. Far from discouraged by this sight the 4th and 5th Dragoons
drew their sabres
and galloped to help. In their turn they plunged into the Russian mass
, hacking away with their sabres.
The combined attacks of the heavy cavalry were too much for the Russians. Assaulted from different directions and ridden through, their formation was destroyed. They fell back, leaving the exhausted
British cavalry in command of the hill