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During the Battle of Balaklava, at the time of the Crimean War, an amazing feat of cavalry fighting occurred. General Scarlett was leading a section of the Heavy Cavalry Brigade along the foot of a hill known as the Causeway heights. Suddenly, the top of the hill was filled with a massive force of Russian cavalry. They began to march down the hill towards Scarlett and then stopped.

Undismayed, Scarlett ordered his men to wheel. He then addressed their ranks in view of the enemy before turning and giving the order to charge. Scarlett had only 300 men of the Scots Greys and Inniskilling Dragoons with him when he charged, yet he was attacking 3,000 Russians.

The British were heavy cavalry, big men on big horses and the sheer momentum of their charge carried them deep into the enemy formation.

To those watching it seemed as though Scarlett and his 300 had disappeared. Far from discouraged by this sight the 4th and 5th Dragoons drew their sabres and galloped to help. In their turn they plunged into the Russian mass, hacking away with their sabres.

The combined attacks of the heavy cavalry were too much for the Russians. Assaulted from different directions and ridden through, their formation was destroyed. They fell back, leaving the exhausted British cavalry in command of the hill.

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