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 Battle of Gingindlovu.

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Dave

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PostSubject: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:33 pm

Does anyone know what regiments were present at the Does anyone know what regiments were present at the Battle of Gingindlovu. Lord Chelmsford I believe was in command. So what gave the British the advantage over the Zulus was it just the superior firepower. John Dunn was present at this Battle was it down to him that the British had a better understanding of the Zulu Tactics? I think it was at this Battle that Dunn could see that the British troops had not adjusted their sights and were firing way to low. Also most of the British Troops were raw, and that on a number of occasions tried to run when they saw the Zulu’s approaching.

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90th

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PostSubject: battle of Gingindlovu 2/4/79   Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:57 pm

hi dave .
Here are the units that took part at GINGINDLOVU.
2 / 3RD FOOT
91 ST FOOT
99 TH FOOT
NAVAL BRIG H.M.S. SHAH
4TH BATT N.N.C
57 TH FOOT
3/ 60TH FOOT The commanding officer BRVT LT-COL NORTHEY was killed.
NAVAL BRIG H.M.S. BOADICEA
5TH BATT N.N.C
2ND SQDN MTD INF.
NO 2 TROOP NATAL HORSE
NATAL VLTR GUIDES.
NATAL NATIVE HORSE .
JOHN DUNN'S NATIVE FOOT SCOUTS.

This information from " THEY FELL LIKE STONES " by JOHN YOUNG.
CHEERS 90TH.

This time CHELMSFORD took no chances , the force was laagered. N0 mention of troops attempting to flee
But Northey"s new troops seemed a bit nervy , Northey was wounded in the shoulder , had the bullet removed
went back to his men to cheer them on , then suffered a haemorrage and bled to death.


Last edited by 90th on Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:14 pm

At daybreak on 2 April 1879, the morning sun revealed a muddy and sodden ground and a heavy mist. Chelmsford could not move his wagons until the ground dried out, and so sent out the Natal Native Contingent to provoke the Zulus into an attack while he held a strong position. Once the mist lifted, the left horn of the impi was seen advancing eastwards over the river towards the British laager before disappearing into tall grass. A long burst of fire from one of the Gatling guns saw the warriors disappear into the long grass. When the left horn re-emerged it had joined the rest of the impi and the left horn, chest and right horn were advancing over Umisi Hill. The whole charging buffalo formation came in at a run on the three sides of the laager. This was the scenario Chelmsford had planned for, at a range of between 300 and 400 yards (300 to 400 m), the British infantry opened fire, supported by the Gatling guns and rockets. Zulu marksmen caused a few casualties within the laager, but the defenders kept the Zulus at bay and Chelmsford's defence was working. Though the Zulu regiments made persistent rushes to get within stabbing range, their charges lacked the drive and spirit that had pushed them forward at the Battle of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. After 20 minutes, the Zulu impi began to crumble away. Seeing this, Chelmsford ordered pursuit by the mounted troops and the native contingent. Large numbers of Zulu warriors were killed in this chase. By 07:30, the Zulus had fled and the grim task of killing Zulu wounded was undertaken.

Around the laager itself, 700 Zulu bodies were counted and 300 more were killed in the mounted chase of the retreating warriors. The British took eleven dead, including a Lieutenant-Colonel, and 48 wounded.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:29 pm

The 60th Rifles, one of the newly arrived regiments, received the first attack of this battle and it has to be said that the young soldiers of the 60th found the ordeal difficult to deal with. It took solid leadership from the battalion’s officers to keep the line steady and firing. It helped that the Gating guns at the ends of the line spat death at a rate of knots. Constant gunfire and the support of the Gating guns meant the Zulu charge faltered and instead of the full frontal hit on the square the Zulus were forced around to the west flank of the square, where the attack was renewed against the 99th Regiment. In the face of the heavy weapons fire from the two sides of the square the Zulu “chest” assault failed.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:39 pm

INYEZANE, GINGINDLOVU AND THE RELIEF OF ESHOWE
The forgotten battlefields of the Zulu War, 1879
by Ken Gillings

The Battle of Gingindlovu and the Relief of Eshowe 2/3 April 1879

Following the disaster at Isandlwana, plans were gradually evolved for a second invasion of Zululand from the lower drift of the Tugela River. Colonial units were reorganized and in some cases revived. With much difficulty, oxen and wagons were gradually obtained to replace those lost up to that date and Lord Chelmsford even managed to secure the alliance of John Dunn, the famous trader often referred to in this period of our history. His official title in his new role was to be Chief of Intelligence.
Several weeks passed while Lord Chelmsford prepared for the second invasion; and during this period he set about his task of preparing for this with ruthless precision, hampered by an obstinate and reluctant Natal Government, whose European subjects viewed his policy of re-arming the Natal Natives, their ranks reinforced by men of the Natal Native Contingent, with total disapproval. Meanwhile, Col Pearson, whom it will be recalled was besieged in Eshowe, patiently awaited the advance of the relief column, keeping his men occupied by strengthening the fortifications which surrounded the Mission Station at Kwa Mondi and executing the occasional raid on nearby kraals. It was not long before dysentery began to take its toll on the men within the confines of the fort and by the end of March, the food position had become critical and the draft oxen had begun to replace the slaughter cattle as a primary source of food. However, by this time the relief Column had already crossed the Tugela and was nearing Wombane ridge, and it is at this point that it is necessary to return to the activities of Lord Chelmsford.
By mid-March, Lord Chelmsford's preparations for the proposed relief of Eshowe had virtually been completed and he took personal command of this column which once again made Fort Pearson its base. By the 28th March all the troops and impedimenta had been transferred across the flooded Tugela River where Fort Tenedos was similarly used as a headquarters whilst the men were encamped in the area north of the precincts of the fort.

At this stage it is necessary to consider the make-up of this formidable force which consisted of two Divisions, an Advance and a Rear Division. The former was commanded by Lt Col T.A. Law of the Royal Artillery and consisted of two companies of 'the Buffs', five companies of the 99th Regt, and the entire 91st Regt, and, in addition, 350 men of the Naval Brigade.
The Rear Division was commanded by Lt Col W.L. Pemberton of the 3rd Battalion, 60th Rifles. Under him were the 57th Regt, six companies of his own 3rd/6Oth Rifles (commanded by Lt Col F.V. Northey, about whom more will be related later in this account) 190 sailors, and a company of the Royal Marine Light Infantry. In addition, the remnants of the Natal Native Contingent had been regrouped and posted to what was now referred to as the 4th and 5th Battalions, N.N.C. The Artillery for the invasion consisted of two 9-pr guns, two 24-pound rocket tubes, and two Gatling guns. Finally, Maj Percy Barrow commanded some 70 Mounted Infantry (which included a newly established Unit called the Natal Volunteer Guides, commanded by Capt Friend Addison) 130 Natal Natives, and 150 blacks supplied by John Dunn.

Chelmsford's new force totalled over 3300 whites and almost 2300 blacks. In view of the lessons learnt at Isandlwana, stringent measures were taken to ensure that such a debacle did not re-occur; ammunition was more evenly distributed throughout the column and strict laagering instructions were given for implementation when the column halted on overnight stops, with both out- and inlying pickets posted in strength around the camp.
With Chelmsford was an unbelievably long convoy of wagons and animals which stretched out his column to well over five kilometres! However, on the march this occasionally became more than 16 km, usually as a result of the column becoming held up at the numerous drifts which it encountered en route. This situation alone could have presented serious problems for Chelmsford had his adversaries been more tactically minded, for one need only observe the old drifts over the Inyoni and Amatikulu Rivers to appreciate the problems that were encountered when, in most cases, only one wagon at a time could cross the flooded rivers.

The march began at 06h00 on 29th March and the column made slow and steady progress, encountering the problems referred to.
The Amatikulu River was crossed by the Advance Division which then proceeded for approximately 2,5 km past the drift (which can still be seenjust to the left of the present bridge over the Amatikulu) and established a camp, to await the arrival of the Rear Division. The crossing had taken the column almost an entire day to complete and the distance between bivouacs was only approximately 3,5 km.

On the 1st April, Capt W.C.F. Molyneaux rode out of the camp, accompanied by John Dunn, to select a laager site for that night. They chose one on a slight rise near the south bank of the Inyezane River and close by the burnt out Gingindlovu military kraal. A certain amount of uncertainty about the exact locality of the site of this kraal has existed for many years but a great deal of recent research has established almost without doubt that it is situated on the farm Kia-Ora, belonging to Mr M. Kramer. The laager site has been almost bisected by the present road from Gingindhlovu to Eshowe and was a few metres east of the small military cemetery. Towards evening, the wagons had completed the laager and the men settled down to a wet, miserable night.

Maj. Barrow's scouts had reported the presence of Zulus in the vicinity of the Umisa ridge, a long feature which stretches in the shape of a half moon from the Amatikulu River in the West, to Umisa Hill, which is at beacon 153, above Overdene Estates. In addition, Col Pearson heliographed Chelmsford from Eshowe advising him that he could clearly observe a Zulu Impi approaching the Inyezane Valley. On the night of the 1st, Dunn and Capt Molyneaux rode out in the direction of the Inyezane River to check the presence of any Zulus across the stream and they later reported that a large number of Zulu camp fires were burning, indicating the presence of a large impi. It was generally expected that the Zulus would attack the following day.
Even as the camp stood to at first light on the 2nd April, the outlying pickets galloped in to announce an imminent attack by the Zulus. A heavy mist shrouded the surrounding countryside making visibility difficult. However, it was not even necessary to position the men, for they had all been primed for the attack and had taken up their posts as follows:

North (front) face- 60th Rifles
Right flank face - 57th Regiment
Left flank face - 99th Regiment and 'the Buffs'
Rear face - 91st Regiment

Each angle was manned by the Naval Brigade, Bluejackets from HMS Boadicea and Marines. The Gatling from Boadicea was mounted in the North-eastern corner and the two rocket tubes under Lt Kerr were positioned on the North-west corner, whereas the two 9-pr guns under Lt Kingscote covered the South-west. The second Gatling and two more rocket tubes covered the South-eastern approach and these were under Commander Brackenbury.

At 05h45, the outlying pickets of the 60th and 99th Regiment galloped in to herald the arrival of the Zulus. By 06h00, the attack had commenced on the north front where the Zulus had first been observed. They were commanded by Somapo and Dabulamanzi, who had been given strict instructions by Cetshwayo to prevent the relief column from linking up with Col Pearson in Eshowe. They were about to discover to their cost the effect of their disregard of these orders!

The Impi was first observed as the mist began to lift. Even before the impi crossed the Inyezane River, it had begun to split up into the traditional Zulu horn-formation, with the two horns running ahead of the chest or loins. As the impi drew opposite the laager, it entered the water and splashed across, the right wing and loins split up again and trotted over the Umisa Hill to the west. Having split up, it became clear that the column was facing no less than six Zulu Regiments, as well as a reserve, the former totalling over 10 000 and the reserve in excess of 2000. Most were warriors who had fought at Isandlwana, the regiments being the Uve, in Gobamakhosi, umCijo, umHlanga, uMbonambi, and the head-ringed uThulwana. The Gatling from HMS Boadicea rattled off the first shots at a range of 1000 metres, and the Zulus dropped into the long grass and reappeared some 300 metres from the shelter trench, at which range fire was brought to bear on them in volleys. This checked their advance to some extent, and prompted Lord Chelmsford to order Maj Barrow to make a somewhat premature charge with his mounted infantry, in an attempt to check the advance of the Zulu left horn. The Zulus were quick to realize that Barrow was uncomfortably far from the laager and threatened to cut him off in the rear. Chelmsford ordered him back to the safety of the laager but the men had to fight their way in.

Despite fearless determination, the Zulus were unable to advance to within more than 20 metres of the laager and this only by launching wave after wave of attacks. Despite the fact that the British were so well entrenched, they suffered some serious casualties. Lt Col Northey being hit in the shoulder, and although the naval surgeon managed to extract the bullet, at the time it was not realized that the slug had severed an artery, putting him out of the fight and resulting in his death some days later. Capt Barrow and Lt Col Crealock were also slightly wounded and Lt Courtenay and Capt Molyneux had their horses shot from under them.

Once the Zulus had realized that the Gatling had checked any further advance from the North, they turned their attention to the West (left face) of the laager and it was during this attack that Lt G.C.J. Johnson of the 99th Regt was killed. At the same time another attack developed from the direction of Umisa Hill, in the rear. Throughout the attack, the Zulus kept up a withering fire from behind the cover of bushes or long grass.

At this stage, Chelmsford ordered Maj Barrow to attack once again with his mounted infantry. They had been engaged in clearing the front face of the laager from the outside and accordingly redirected their attention to the impi's right flank. It was probably this manoeuvre that finally broke the Zulus' determination, coupled with the fact that they realized that they were unable to penetrate the laager from the rear, which they had thought poorly defended. On the appearance of Barrow's men, the Zulus broke and started their retreat, hotly pursued by the Mounted Infantry and the Natal Native Contingent.

The pursuit was continued for several kilometres, resulting in the flight becoming a rout. The reserve impi on Umisa Hill joined the general exodus and by 07h30 the Zulus had all but disappeared. Many of the fleeing warriors were sabred by the Mounted Infantry and whilst Chelmsford claims that they were highly successful, D.R. Morris mentions in 'The Washing of the Spears' that many of the blows were successfully parried by the warriors' rawhide shields.

The Zulus lost heavily. Over 470 bodies were buried initially and more than 200 were subsequently found. The Gatling gun and artillery in particular took a heavy toll; in addition, scores were wounded, many to die in solitude later. Hundreds of Martini Henry rifles were recovered, most of which bore the stamp of the 24th Regiment on their butts; grim reminders of the disaster at Isandlwana some nine weeks earlier. The British lost two officers and 11 other ranks killed and about 50 wounded, and the dead were buried close to the laager where they lie to this day.
Those still besieged in Eshowe who had not fallen ill with fever, including Col Pearson, observed much of the battle of Gingindlovu from vantage points overlooking the coastal plain below. Most of the Zulus who had participated in the siege had joined the impis engaged in action. Once it had become clear that the Zulus had been routed, Pearson flashed his congratulations to Chelmsford by heliograph, the latter politely acknowledging and informing Pearson that he anticipated arriving in Eshowe the following day.

Early on the 3rd, a flying column left the camp at Gingindlovu and proceeded along the track to Eshowe, leaving the rest of the invasion force to prepare to advance along a route closer to the coast. Col Pearson rode out to meet them and the column trickled in to the fort at Kwa Mondi, the first regiment to enter being the 91st Highlanders and the last man arriving at about midnight: Eshowe had finally been relieved after a siege that had lasted some 10 weeks. The Eshowe garrison left the fort and proceeded to Fort Pearson, by which time an additional two officers and two other ranks had died of fever.

Lord Chelmsford followed Pearson out of Eshowe some 24 hours later and reached Gingindlovu on the 7th April. Here, the command of the column was handed to Col Pemberton who established a new advance base approximately 8 km from Gingindlovu, overlooking the Inyezane River, which was named Fort Chelmsford.

Of the battlefield today, little remains. Mr Kramer has excavated numerous relics, and apart from the small military cemetery, there is very little evidence of the trenches or their whereabouts apart from the occasional cartridge case which is exposed by the elements. A small granite cross alongside the road at the turnoff to Kia Ora is the sole reminder of this short, sharp, but important battle.
Bibliography

· Morris D.R. The Washing of the Spears, London Jonathan Cape, 1965.
· Burns, C.T. The Last Zulu King, London Longmans, 1963.
· Trench & Co., 1883 (re-print T.W. Griggs & Co 1975)
· Lugg, H.C. Historic Natal and Zululand, Pietermaritzburg Shuter & Shooter, 1949.
· Bourquin S. (comp) The Zulu War of 1879 as reported in 'The Graphic' Durban 1965.
· Bourquin S. and Johnston, T.M. (comps) The Zulu War of 1879 as reported in 'The Illustrated London News' Durban 1971.
· Milford, Bertram. Through the Zulu countries, London Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1883.
· Russell, Robert. Natal, the land and its story, Pietermaritzhurg P. Davis & Sons, 1903.
· Discussions with Mr M. Kramer of Kia Ora, Gingindlovu and

Authors' personal research in the field.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:49 pm

Is this from our Forum Member Ken Gillings. ???
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:59 pm

I wonder why the Zulu’s did not attack at night. It seems they lit fires indicating their presents. I just wonder if the out-come would have been different if they had attacked at night. It was difficult enough to keep the new recruits in order during the daytime fighting.

As Ken Gillings states
Quote :
“Molyneaux rode out in the direction of the Inyezane River to check the presence of any Zulus across the stream and they later reported that a large number of Zulu camp fires were burning, indicating the presence of a large impi.”


And of course would the British have been ready for a night attack.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:33 pm

While looking through A LOST LEGIONARY IN SOUTH AFRICA I came across this under Gingindlovu.

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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:56 pm

And this small Zulu boy was the only one to get through the British defences that day. Great Picture 1879Graves.

S.D
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:11 pm

Hell's bells; I wrote that in 1978 for the centenary edition of the Military History Journal Zulu War Centenary issue (Vol 4 No 4, January 1979)!
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:47 pm

I’m pleased it is our forum member Ken Gillings that complied this fascinating insight in to these battles back in 1978 now that was a good year.

I’m also please to see we are discussing as Ken states in his centenary edition of the Military History Journal Zulu War Centenary issue (Vol 4 No 4, January 1979)!

The forgotten battlefields of the Zulu War, 1879.

I would like to know more about these battles. I not sure what knowledge other members have with regards to these battles but we certainly have one member that knows his way around them.
Already members have joined in this discussion. With some excellent posts and photo’s I knew nothing of the Zulu boy being captured, and taken by the navy as a mascot. I look forward to many more discussions relating to these Battles.

Kind Regards

G.

By the way chaps just wanted you to know. I’m really glad I joined this forum. My life was becoming routine. Since I retired. Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:16 pm

Mr G. Agree with all of that.

Not sure, the out-come would have been the same, if it were not for the Gatling guns. In the first instance of these being used the Zulus quickly disappeared. They had come-up against the Gatling at Inyezane. Maybe some of the Zulus involved in Gingindlovu saw action Inyezane. The 60th seemed to be un-steady on their feet when the first attack came, but felt more comfortable when the Gatling came into action.

It is also said that the Zulu lacked the drive and spirit that had pushed them forward at the Battle of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. The British never had the Gatling gun at either of these battles.

With reference to Rockets, do we know how many rockets were actually fired at Gingindlovu and what damage they caused to the Zulu ranks.
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PostSubject: gingindlovu   Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:08 am

hi all .
This book is based on the life of the little black lad that made it to the firing trench at GIngindlovu.
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cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:47 am

Eleven rockets were fired by the Royal Navy at Nyezane but there were four 24-pr rocket troughs at Gingindlovu and I can't find any reference to the number of rockets fired. One of those fired at Nyezane may be seen at the Fort Nongqayi Museum at Eshowe.

Interestingly, an order was issued in Zululand that the artillery's Nos 1 should ride five yards in front of their teams to look out for Aardvark (Ant-bear) holes and this only became the universal rule several years later.

Regarding the query about the amabutho present at both battles, here are the comparisons:

Nyezane: uMxhapho, elements of the uDlambedlu and izinGulube, reinforced en route by elements of the iNsukamngeni, iQwa, uDududu, iNdabakawombe and other coastal communities. This may be why the issue of the inauspicious nature of the new moon was not as relevant as at Isandlwana. The overall commander was Inkosi Godidi kaNdlela Ntuli and the sub-commanders were Inkosi uMatshiya kaMshandu, Inkosi Masegwane kaSopigwasi, Mbilwane kaMhlanganiso and Phalane kaMdinwa - most of them being from the local area.

Gingindovu: Elements from the Tsonga comunity, the iNgobamakhosi, uMcijo, uKNokhenke and uMbonambi. The overall commander was Inkosi Somopho kZikhali, assisted by amaKhosi Sigcwelegcwele kaMhlkehleke, Phlana aMdinwa, Masegwane kSopigwase, Milwane kaMhanganiso and Mavumangwana kaNdlela Ntuli (Godide's brother- bothe of whom were the sons of King Dingane's commander at Blood River in 1838).
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:45 pm

Chelmsford must have been very confident, confident enough to goad the Zulu's into attacking.
Was he trying to prove that the british defensive square if organised correctly, could with stand any attack the zulus could throw at them. At least he remembered the mistakes made at Isandlwana and fortified his encampment.

What would have been the out-come if the British had suffered another defeat.

Pearson could not have lasted much longer at Eshowe.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:06 pm

So the young lads name was Jabulani. Well at least he live to tell his tale.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:32 pm

I would be interested to know who drew first blood at the various battles during the Zulu war of 1879. It was the British at Isandlwana. When Raw and his men came across the Zulu's by accident, they fired upon the Zulu's first.

At Gingindlovu, Chelmsford goaded the Zulu's into attacking, so I'm assuming the NNC fire at the Zulu's which caused the Zulu's to retaliate.

Not sure about the other battles but I thought it would be interestsing to know who actually picked the fight at these battles.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:39 pm

It was the Zulu's who picked the fight at Rorkes Drift. The British at Ulundi. Not sure on Khamblua or Hlobane.
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:59 pm

Inyezane River. When the Zulus appeared near the knoll on the ridge, a company of the Natal Native Contingent (NNC), under Lieutenant Hart, were sent up the spur after them. I’m not sure if they killed any Zulu’s during the chase. But the British attacked first.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:07 pm

The first attack of the war took place on 12 January 1879, when the position of Sihayo's kraal was attacked by the British.
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90th

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PostSubject: gngindlovu   Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:22 am

ho olh2
At the battle of Inyezane the british took the first step to attack , but in fact the NNC contingent that was to attack was
attacked by surprise and lost a couple of officers and men as the NNC bolted .Hope this makes sense :) .

john.
The british attacked first at khambula , Wood ordered Buller and his mounted troops to goad , I think the right
horn into attacking before the zulu army was ready to do so.
As for Hlobane the british climbed the mountain during the night in the purpose of attacking at first light ,
but as the zulus saw them I"m fairly certain the zulu fired first .

At Ntombi the zulus attacked at first light and therefore started that encounter.
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:15 pm

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PostSubject: gingindlovu   Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:52 am

hi ctsg.
I have dealt with this site , but , I find their medals are way overpriced .
But a very good site to have a look at , no doubting that at all. :)
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Gingindlovu.   Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:22 pm

With regards to Inyezane, king Cetshwayo contended that Colonel Pearson provoked the attack made on him by burning kraals, and committing other acts of hostility.
“I suppose he has a point”
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