We’re delighted to be able to release the latest in Crimean War range – the 17th Lancers. The reason for this delight is mostly because we love these new models, sculpted as they are by Paul Hicks, but also because we will have a lot more time on our hands rather than be fielding a constant stream of emails about when these new sculpts will be available to buy!
Under the command of the controversial figure of Major-General Lord Cardigan, the 17th formed part of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. Despite seeing action on several occasions it will always be for their ill-fated charge at the Battle of Balaklava on 25th October that they will be etched into the annals of military history. Indeed the poet Tennyson captured the charge in his poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade.
The reasons for their all but suicidal charge on the Russian guns at Balaklava are subject to much conjecture. No matter the reason for this astonishing maneouvre, Lord Cardigan ordered his Light Brigade forwards to execute the orders with the 17th Lancers and the 13th Light Dragoons leading the Brigade through a firestorm of Russian artillery fire, musketry and cavalry
Lord Cardigan then ordered his Light Brigade to began the advance at a trot, with the 17th and 13th Light Dragoons leading the Brigade, heading into a maelstrom of Russian artillery, infantry and massed cavalry. Suffering appalling casualties as they did so, the Lancers and their brothers in the Light Brigade’s other regiments continued towards their objective, finally breaking into a full charge, led by their commander Captain William Morris.
Smashing through the Russian artillery and right into the enemy cavalry, they forced the Russian horse back. Despite their initial success they were not sufficiently supported and had to unengage and withdraw back to their starting positions. They once again suffered greatly from punishing Russian cannon and musket fire as well as attacks by enemy horse.
The Light Brigade suffered 188 killed and 127 wounded of their original 673 men and over 350 horses lost. The Lancers suffered heavily with only 38 being able to make roll call the following morning of the 147 that made the charge.
Despite the undoubted mistakes that led to the ill-advised charge, the renown of British Cavalry was greatly enhanced – so much so that for the remainder of the Crimean War Russian cavalry would refuse to face them in the field.
After the inception of the Victoria Cross (VC) in 1856, three members of the 17th Lancers were to receive the award for acts of gallantry in the charge: Troop Sergeant-Major John Berryman, Sergeant-Major Charles Wooden, and Sergeant John Farrell.
You can now add this famous regiment to your Crimean War army. We have the miniatures available in several ways – check them out in our webstore here.
Although providing shock tactics the Lancers cannot win the day alone – these brave British redcoats are the backbone of the army and provide an ideal anvil for the cavalry hammer to smash the enemy upon!
And if one is looking for a gentleman officer to command such a fine body of men then one should look no further than this fine fellow sat atop his splendid steed…