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 Battle of Ulundi, Question.

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Dave

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PostSubject: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:47 pm

At the Battle of Ulundi, why did the Zulu’s wait until the British had formed their defensive square before attacking, surly if they had attacked while the column was moving it would have been a different story. There was approximately 23,000 Zulu’s

The Zulu were maintaining small attacks, but what stopped them making an all out assault at a time when the British were exposed. The British would not have had time to form a laager or a good defensive position, so it would have been a fight in the open, which is want the Zulu had wanted.


Dave.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:06 pm

Hi Dave.
Better still, why did they not wait and carry out a night attack, The Zulu’s didn't worry about bad omens at night, they proved this at Rorkes Drift. They knew what British weapons could do; probably most of them at Ulundi had taken part in one of the Battles leading up to Ulundi. So to me a night attack would have been the best option for the Zulu army, but no so good for the British. By the way is there any mention relating to if there was a full moon on the night before the battle.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:11 pm

Hi littlehand. Good point something like this.

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:21 pm

Nice one. But take away the burning hospital. It was down to the fire that the defenders could see the Zulu’s. But at Ulundi this would not have been the case. If there weren’t a full moon then it would have been nearly pitch black. If the Zulu's had manage to get into the square they would have caused havoc inside, I would imagine the British were still very nervous thinking about Isandlwana, and some of the regiments in the square were new and had never encountered the Zulu. But I bet they had heard some nasty stories from the old guard. What i would like to know is why they didn't carryout a night attack when the odds were well stacked against them.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:39 pm

Rider Haggard

[i]"But from my intimate knowledge of the habits of natives I had little fear that they would attack us at night, though, had they done so, they could have compassed our destruction with but small loss to themselves. It is not the habit of this people, they like to fight in the light of day--at dawn for preference."[/i]

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John

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:53 pm

“Charges were made by the Zulus, in an attempt to get within close range, but they could not prevail against the British fire. There were a number of casualties within the square to Zulu marksmen, but the British firing did not waver and no warrior was able to get within 30 yards of the British ranks. The Zulu reserve force now rose and charged against the southwest corner of the square. Nine-pounders ploughed chunks out of this body while the infantry opened fire.”

Why did the Zulu’s keep charging. Hundreds were dying before their eyes but they still continued to charge? I know the Zulu’s were brave. But come on this was just shear stupidity, Why did they not retreat and reform and apply other tactics, if even it meant running away and trying another day. They were like lambs to the slaughter a bit like the Battle of the Somme. Does anyone know how long the Zulu’s kept on charging before they realise it was pointless.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:04 pm

"Chelmsford took the majority of his force with only ammunition and water and crossed the river advancing towards the Zulu kraal, moving in the cumbersome hollow square, the mounted troops covering each side and the rear." The defensive Square was already formed. And Just before 9am the Zulus attacked the hollow square on all sides.

The fire from the packed British regiments, the artillery and the Gatling guns was overwhelming. It was the largest concentration of British military might in South Africa to that date.

"Zulu prisoners stated after the battle that they were overwhelmed by the noise of the firing, let alone the impact of the bullets, and stunned by the size of the British force. It took only half an hour before the Zulus began to falter."
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90th

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PostSubject: battle of Ulundi.   Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:38 pm

hi all,
Ever since I have been interested in the zulu war , I find it perplexing as to why the Zulus
never attacked any of the columns whilst they were on the move and vulnerable ,
also when the troops were crossing rivers , and night attacks , I know that wasnt their
way, but they did attack R.D during the night . And surely fighting for your throne and
lands , I cant understand their thinking .
cheers 90th.
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:19 am

Quite right , a column on the march is strung out for miles - very vunerable , why did they not attack .

Reminds me of the battle in the film "The last of The Mohicans " .
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:31 am

The Zulu's were drug in-duced. Thats the only reason why they continued their attacks.
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:12 am

Major Chard tool part Ulundi. Did Bromhead. If no could someone explain why he was disallowed.
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:10 pm

hi
in regards to the post about why the zulus didnt retreat, regroup and apply other tactics. What other tactics did the zulus have (apart from the famous Horns of the buffalo) ?
Could they really have any other tactics they could use against a British Square that was covering every angle they could attack from with strong firepower?

thanks joe
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:32 pm

Hi Joe. No it was there traditional formation. It was the British who changed their tactics after the disaster at Isandlwana.
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:23 pm

I've read somewhere that the Zulu's got pretty close to the square - they found some cover that was only somthing like 50Ms away.

I witnessed a talk by Ian Knight (fantastic experience, if you get the chance), he mentioned in this that it was reported that officers drew swords at one point as they thought that they were going to be overwhelmed. There were also Zulu bodies within something like 5 paces of the square. I recall him also saying that a commanding officer worriedly shouted "can't the men fire faster", so maybe it wasn't as clear cut a victory as it seemed.

Don't forget, these boys were fighting for everything that was precious to them - the Brits were just there to do a job...
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:34 pm

thanks for the quick responses everyone.

thanks joe
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90th

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PostSubject: battle of ulundi   Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:07 am

hi ciscokid.
The officer to whom you are referring " cant you men fire faster ' was the good Lord Chelmsford !!!. Without looking it up
I cant think of the distance the zulus got to in regards to the square , at Gingindlovu it was said some got within 20 paces !
The zulus seemed to lack the intensity they showed at Khambula according to Col Wood , the fight was only intense at
Ulundi for the first half hour or so . The zulus didnt adopt new tactics simply because they more than likely didnt have a
plan B. I still cant fathom why they didnt attack the convoy colums or others that were spread out along roads etc etc.
hope this helps.
cheers 90th.
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:39 pm

Cheers for the heads about Chelmsford

I remember reading on RDVC that the Zulu's didn't know the concept of a prolonged battle - lasting weeks, they would have their scrap and then go back home.

Maybe they were just too proud to use guerilla tactics, or it wasn't in their nature. I guess if they have an order from their King, then it's do or die...
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:21 pm

hi 90th,
at Ulundi no zulus got within 30 yards of the British square.

thanks joe
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:38 pm

Correct. The fire was to hot for them.
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:08 pm

joe wrote:
hi 90th,
at Ulundi no zulus got within 30 yards of the British square.

thanks joe

If you get the chance, ask Ian Knight about this. From memory he was emphasizing the fact that it wasn't such a walk in the park as it's made out. I still very green to the AZW, but Ian seems to know his stuff, I’ve go no reason to doubt him, unless I interoperated him incorrectly…

And I think he was quoting a reporter, not sure if it was Noggs??
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:26 pm

hi
just think what the British casualties would have been like if they did make it to the square, they would have no where to run, they would get absolutley slaughtered.

thanks joe
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Ulundi, Question.   Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:30 pm

"The Zulu advance was made with great determination, but their movements appeared to be without order. Some individuals managed to reach within thirty or forty yards of the rear face, where there was some cover, but the main advance on all sides was checked at some distance by the heavy artillery fire and steady volleys of the infantry. These were so effective that within half an hour the enemy wavered and gave way, when the cavalry dashed out to complete their discomfiture. Passing out by the rear face of the square, Colonel Drury Lowe (who had been already wounded) led the 17th Lancers in the direction of the Nodwengo kraal, dis- persing the enemy and killing those that could not reach the shelter of the kraal or the bush below ; then wheeling to the right, he charged through the enemy, who were endeavouring to reach the mountains beyond."

Source: Full text of "History of the Zulu war and its origin;"
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