I’m getting close to the end of Orlando Figes’s The Crimean War: A History (see this post), and I was thinking of posting about the words for items of clothing related to the war; fortunately Sashura, aka Alexander Anichkin, saved me the trouble with Crimean words in English at his blog Tetradki. Besides the trio of balaclava, raglan, and cardigan that I had planned to write about, he also briefly discusses some other words and phrases. A couple of clarifications: the reason Lord Raglan would have wanted “a type of clothing that has sleeves without seams on the shoulders” is that he had had an arm amputated after Waterloo (he was well past his prime by the time of the Crimean War), and Russell did not actually write the phrase “thin red line” — he wrote “[The Russians] dash on towards that thin red streak topped with a line of steel,” and vox populi compressed it into the more memorable wording that has become a cliche.
Addendum. I might as well add this here, since it’s related to the Crimean War and isn’t worth a post on its own: before the Allied troops were shipped to the Crimea, they were pushing the Russians out of Wallachia (part of modern Romania and then under Ottoman sovereignty); the main camp was at the port of Varna, but it was overcrowded and unhealthy and there was a cholera epidemic, so many troops were moved out of town, some to a place variously called (in English-language sources) Alladyn, Aladyn, Aladdin, Aledyn, and probably other forms as well. I, of course, wanted to know where this was. Poring over maps suggested to me that it had to be what is now the Bulgarian town of Strashimirovo (Страшимирово); that Bulgarian Wikipedia article gives its old name as Голям Алъдан (Golyam Alъdan), which was suggestive, and I finally googled up a Bulgarian webpage which confirmed it: “Aladyn – Голям Аладън (дн. с. Страшимирово, Област Варна, Община Белослав).” So I’m leaving the information here to save other curious readers of history some trouble: Alladyn is modern Strashimirovo. As to whether Wikipedia’s Алъдан is a mistake for Аладън or just a variant form, I leave it to Bulgarian readers to figure out.