What is the "blunder" in the last line? Who do you think has blundered?

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"The Charge of the Light Brigade ," Tennyson's iconic poem memorializing a suicidal British cavalry assault at the Battle of Balaclava, which occurred during the Crimean War, does refer to a "blunder." However, this acknowledgement of a tragic error occurs not in the last line of the poem, but...

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"The Charge of the Light Brigade," Tennyson's iconic poem memorializing a suicidal British cavalry assault at the Battle of Balaclava, which occurred during the Crimean War, does refer to a "blunder." However, this acknowledgement of a tragic error occurs not in the last line of the poem, but in the the fourth line of the second stanza.

Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.

Indeed, more than one British officer had "blundered," and it has taken historians some time to accurately recreate this disastrous chain of events. Lord Raglan, the commanding officer of British forces in Crimea, intended to have the light cavalry pursue Russian troops on the heights, just south of the famed "valley of death," to prevent them from withdrawing British naval artillery pieces they had captured.

He sent an order to this effect to the Earl of Lucan, the commander of the British cavalry, which was delivered by a Captain Louis Edward Norton. However, when the Earl of Lucan asked Captain Norton to explain which artillery Lord Raglan was referring to, Norton, with a wide sweep of his arm, indicated not the guns on the southern heights but also the much heavier artillery at the far end of the valley, which was supported by twenty battalions of Russian troops.

Thus, it was into these "jaws of death" that Lord Cardigan led the "noble six hundred." Captain Norton, who eagerly joined in the attack, was one of the first British soldiers to be killed.

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