By hipster historian, Dan von Dan
Once again, it’s Dan von Dan with the New Hipster Historical Review. Not that any of you deserve my valuable opinions. Today I am going to waste my time enlightening the masses about the Battle of Balaclava. Now, in terms of pointless reasons for fighting a war to start with, the Crimean War has some pretty good indie cred. Not many wars have been essentially fought over whether a church roof gets a dome or a point.
More of you, however, may be familiar with the battle under the guise of blundering military disasters. The Charge of the Light Brigade took place at Balaclava when some British officers couldn’t pull their heads out of their asses long enough that charging directly at cannons is not exactly a genius move. Frontal charges were cool, back before the invention of gunpowder. Besides that, I was into military blunders back when Hannibal attacked the Romans at Lake Trasimene. It takes great skill to screw up on both sides.
Of course, nobody would even know about this battle if it wasn’t for Tennyson’s poem. Though, I was into poetry back when a guy named Homer was writing The Illiad. Furthermore, where does Alfred Lord Tennyson get off writing poems about his own side’s tactical fuck-ups? You know what we call that these days? Treason. Who does Tennyson think he is, some dirty socialist anti-war protestor. Such anti-war propaganda was cool when it was Jane Fonda in Vietnam; at least she had the good sense actually to be an American. You know who writes poems about crushing defeats, the winning side and by winning side, I mean the side doing the defeating. Plus, this was back before the Russians sold out and started beating their enemies in the winter by torching everything in sight.
The real mistake the Brits made was ignoring the first rule of French warfare, ally with the Americans. The French army was great back when it was commanded by the Duke of Normandy. Of course, I was into Cardigans when they were a sweater, not a commanding general of the British forces.
As far as battles go, I’m sadly going to have to rate this battle as about as hip as a small woodland mammal’s pelvis. Now, had the Russians been right in suspecting that the British commanders were drunk off their asses, I’d be inclined to bump the rating up to a Brontosaurus’s hip, but sadly drunken battlefield shenanigans are few and far between. At the very least, they could have slapped a couple soldiers like Patton, now there was one hip dude.