In an event alternately described as one of the most heroic or disastrous episodes in British military history, Lord James Cardigan leads a charge of the Light Brigade cavalry against well-defended Russian artillery during the Crimean War. The British were winning the Battle of Balaclava when Cardigan received his order to attack the Russians. His cavalry gallantly charged down the valley and were decimated by the heavy Russian guns, suffering 40 percent casualties. It was later revealed that the order was the result of confusion and was not given intentionally. Lord Cardigan, who survived the battle, was hailed as a national hero in Britain.
– History.com Staff