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Commanding the Light Brigade

I am appalled that anyone at Swarthmore would consider his ideal job to be commander of the Charge of the Light Brigade (Q+A” with Ed Fuller, Oct. Bulletin). I do not oppose just wars conducted by able leaders—after all, I was at George School and Swarthmore during the debacle of Adolf Hitler. But I was in Balaklava in mid-October for geological and historical field work, and I can assure readers that the famous charge was the result of an incompetent general giving an unintelligible order that was carried out stupidly. The result was incredible loss of life and the loss of field artillery the charge was intended to protect. The only commendable outcome was that for the remainder of the Crimean War, Russian cavalry refused to attack British cavalry. Your librarian should read something more reliable than Tennyson.

William Halliday ’46
Nashville, Tenn.

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