A British party of Lieutenant Francis Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier, and canteen assistant Tommy Brown, boarded the slowly-sinking submarine after it had been damaged by depth charges and retrieved the Enigma codebooks and all the current settings for the U-boat network.

Due to miscommunication and a lack of clear orders Lord Cardigan led the Light Brigade, a cavalry unit consisting of approximately 670 horsemen, in a frontal assault against a fortified Russian artillery position at the end of the valley.