Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - into Battle

Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - into Battle

Article excerpt

The charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo: you'll know it from the Risk board game. Hundreds of soldiers on lustrous white horses, manes billowing as they gallop straight at the viewer. A magnificent sight, but the stuff of nonsense: the horses probably weren't all greys and they definitely weren't turned out as if for Ascot.

This is one fact to emerge from War Horse: Factor Fiction? , the exhibition now showing at the National Army Museum in Chelsea (until August). Other myths a re dispelled. Contrary to popular opinion, the history of British cavalry is not one of heroic failure . Even the bloodiest charge s succeeded in their military aims. To adapt Tennyson, the Light Brigade did and died in the valley of death .

Above all, the show explains that cavalry were not the only war horses. …

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