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80 The Thin Red Line 1854

Sale price$260.00 NZD

Set 80 showcases the 93rd (Sutherland) Highlanders whose action at the battle of Balaclava earned the regiment the nickname "The Thin Red Line".

The set consists of an officer, four men and a piper. The officer and men are uniformed and equipped as prescribed in the dress regulations of that era. The piper's bonnet with eagle feather and pipes coloured ribbons were unique to the regiment.

On the morning of the Battle of Balaclava, Russian cavalry under Ryzhov were positioned in the North Valley when orders were received for hussar and cossack regiments to move "against the enemy camp".

As the Russian cavalry moved westward Sir Colin Campbell positioned his 550 93rd Highlanders and 100 invalids and men from other regiments on a knoll north of the village of Kadikoi, the object to maintain control of direct access to Balaclava.

Under fire from the Russian artillery the highlanders were withdrawn onto the rear slope of the knoll and out of sight to the oncoming cavalry.

Four squadrons of cavalry detached from the main Russian force and advanced toward the unseen 93rd, whereupon Campbell ordered his force back up to the top of the knoll where "the thin red line" of two ranks was formed.

There was no escape for the men of the 93rd and Campbell was heard to shout, "Remember there is no retreat from here, men! You must die where you stand!"

On seeing the highlanders rise above the knoll the Russians faltered and the 93rd fired a fierce volley. Clearly wounded and distressed the Russians wheeled left threatening to outflank the 93rd. Another volley was fired which forced Russians to retire in disorder.