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 The ammunition question

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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:03 pm

I think Julian's post raises some good points.

Originally posted Subject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu 9 Feb 2012 - 1:14

"Neither man says ‘running out’. Bickley says ‘getting short’; Williams says ‘ got short’. Their words, not mine! However, I do not disagree with your basic premise that after the line collapsed no more ammunition in any great quantity could have reached the isolated pockets of surviving companies – that’s self-evident – although Pte. Williams indicates that some got through even at that late stage.
At the time the mules were seen running about, the perimeter had gone. There was no firing line. And the mule-handlers would have been dead or running for their lives. Saying that mules were running about at that stage of the battle however does NOT indicate that the line had not been replenished with ammunition when the line was intact. In fact, it indicates that an ammunition supply had been well and truly up and running.
As for how many boxes were in the carts, no-one knows (except that it could easily accommodate 30). For me, the point is no-one says thereafter ‘but it was not enough’. Cavaye’s coy had been firing longest and it was already being resupplied when it retired to the foot of the spur (Essex). The army would not have bought ONE cart. It didn’t have its own; it bought local ones in Natal. Where there was one there would have been several (one for each coy at least) to fulfil the intended function.
Now I too always have an open mind where new evidence is brought to light which questions the prevailing view. However, nothing of the kind has been presented.
Instead…
(1) individual lines from survivors’ accounts have been selectively quoted (out of context) similar to ‘ammunition was running short’ but hardly anyone has then continued the survivors’ quotations which say something like ‘and it was carried out to them’. For the 24th, Essex, Smith-Dorrien, Bickley, Williams; for the NNC Malindi, Higginson; for the NNH Davies, Vause ; for the Carbineers Barker. So, while there was a firing line it was being supplied and all the above are witnesses to the fact. There are no accounts which state that while the perimeter existed no ammunition was brought out. There are no accounts which state that the firing line ran out of ammunition.
I have said that both Bickley and Williams were in camp and were not witnesses to events on the firing line. They did both witness ammunition going out to that firing line.
No-one has mentioned that the men of the 24th Regt. MAY have gone out with 100 rounds each as per Field Force Regulations of November 1878 and not 70 rounds apiece. Why ignore this?
Re QMs and advance loosening of the locking screw on the ammunition box (not ‘opening’, I didn't say that). Once a battalion goes into action, any soldier will tell you that certain things become automatic. At the Column Call and Fall In soldiers get their equipment and behave as rehearsed ready for action. Pioneers go to the ammunition reserve. Bandsmen (according to prepared instruction) get stretchers and fall in behind their companies or go to the company ammo waggons with carts/pouches, etc. Spare Artillerymen also fall in as ammunition runners. QMs go to their assigned station and prepare themselves in readiness. This would include ensuring ammo boxes were in easy reach and ammunition would be readily available. No order was required to do this. It was implicit in their job. This was not a raw unit just out from England as Bartle Frere said ‘but a seasoned battalion with very good young officers’. Loosening a screw to ensure swift access is within their remit.
Instead…
(2) lines have been misquoted from accounts or collated or invented. One cannot put two lines referring to different times of the battle from different survivors (Bickley-Williams) and relate them to one particular point. One cannot invent an account (Doig-Shannon) and expect to be taken seriously.
Instead…
(3) we have had repeated promises of primary source quotations to support opinions and, despite numerous calls for them to appear, nothing has been posted. Any refutations of these opinions have been either ignored or met with assurances that the refutations will be dealt with and nothing has been posted. In fact nothing has appeared that’s not already in the public domain that presents any new evidence whatsoever.
You don’t come across as condescending."
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:29 am

Quote :
For the 24th, Essex, Smith-Dorrien, Bickley, Williams; for the NNC Malindi, Higginson; for the NNH Davies, Vause ; for the Carbineers Barker. So, while there was a firing line it was being supplied and all the above are witnesses to the fact.

Can't argue with that. Salute
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90th

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PostSubject: The Ammunition Question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:06 am

Hi DB & Others .
I've already had this semi fiery debate with Julian months ago , so you are all aware of what I think on the matter .
Each to his own , fact remains there were problems of supply at some stage .
DB.
As for your comment that the '' Ammo straps '' were found on the firing line certainly doesnt mean they the boxes were opened and used by the troops ! . They could have been left unopened due to circumstance and opened after the battle by the zulus who took all the remaining ammo !. Just a thought . Salute .
cheers 90th. Salute
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:36 am

Put Dr Machanix report into context. It was written in 1979, knowledge of the battle and its issues has moved on considerably.
There are a number of glarring errors in that report and a mass of unfounded speculation and conclusions.
I have no doubt that at the time the good Doctors report would have been well received and filed along side TWOTS. And there Im afraid it should remain.

There is today still no proof or line of provable facts that could categorically state that the troops ran out of ammunition on the firing line, there is a significant difference between running low and running out.

Look at SD,s statemants, look at Essex statements. Where in those statements does it say " I was on the firing line and witnessed ammunition expiring".? In fact where does it say " I was on the firing line? "

Any inkling they both had of ammunition running low would have had to have come second hand via runners or messengers coming in for ammunition. That in itself really proves that there was a delivery system.

As DB14 has pointed out. Look at the positions of the cairns ( although no where near accurate of course ) they do indicate the areas of conflict. There are virtually non on the firing line, not a hang of a lot on the retreat either. How can some 800 men retreat across a large amount of landscape, broken up into smallish components, without defence, the bayonet cannot have been the only source.

Look at the various statements that tell of the soldiers half way across the battlefield kneeling down in rows and volly firing. And again the statements of Younghusband eventually running out of ammunition and charging with his sword. That happened a long long way from the battlefield.

DB14............Fight the good fight.

Regards
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:48 am

littlehand wrote:
Looking at it from a different angle, how long woud it have taken for each man to fire off his 70 rounds. Not that long. We know they were firing off volley after volley.

How then would you explain F Coy putting up such a heavy fire that no Zulu could pass the Saddle ?
That happened at a very late stage.

Or C Coy still firing after volleying there way back from the firing line, then fighting in the Saddle
with E Coy and then being forced up the moutain, thats a very late stage.

Or H Coy retreating over 1,300 yards to were they were cut down, they would have needed
a lot of ammo to do that.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:20 pm

Now this witness should not be overlooked he was there from start to finish.


Interview with Mehlokazulu Kasihayo (The Battle Of Isandlwana)

".Q: Where were the soldiers ?

A: They were sent in several direction in compaines wreaking havoc among the Zulu. The carabineers defende a position and their fire was very dense. A long time elapsed before they were overcome and we finished witn them. When we managed to surround them, they all died together there. They threw their weapons to the ground when their ammunition had run out and then they started using their pistols, as long as the ammunition held out and then they formed a line, shoulder to shoulder and also to the rear, fighting with their knives. By then many of the soldiers had retreated from their positions from where they had shot at us and the uKhamdempenvu and uMbomambi were carrying out a great massacre. The carbineers and the others were in the area behind the camp and the soldiers were at the front. The zulu Army initially joined at the front where the soldiers were. When the soldiers retreated from the camp, they did so firing and then the Zulu intermingled with them, reaching the camp at the same time.

The two wings then fulfilled their objective at the upper part of the camp and those who were in the camp were trapped inside it and the main body of the Zulu army went to pursue and kill the soldiers. When the Zulu approached, the English continued to fire strongly up to the buffalo River. They were concentrated in the upper part of the camp and the fire was so intense that they were able to open up a large gap, such that the men on horseback were able to escape through the opening. The Zulu's attention was focused on the massacre of the men on the left part and thus did not try to close the opening. so the riders were able to leave through it. There was a great mixture of men, the Edendale Kaffirs and the rest of the whites trying to leave in the direction of the buffalo River. They made an opening through the saddle in the hill crossed the current (He was referring to the Manzimmayama stream) and reach the buffalo River, This is the stream that passes through my fathers Kraal. The rock on this side is what we call the neck: the camp was on the other side. The resistance was valiant along the Dutch road (The trail to Rorke's Drift) and the English took a long time to reach there. They killed us and we killed them. They were defencless because they had no ammuntion left and the Zulu killed them."


"Q: Did you examine the mens cartridge holders ?

A: Yes, we did look. Some had one cartridge, but most of them were empty. We didn't find many (he was talking about the paper packets each contained 10 rifle bullets). Other cartridges bags and belts were all empty; we only found a few bags.


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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:29 pm

CTSG

That was at a late stage of the stand in the Saddle, all the stands ran out in the end.



Cheers
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:33 pm

Quote :
For the 24th, Essex, Smith-Dorrien, Bickley, Williams; for the NNC Malindi, Higginson; for the NNH Davies, Vause ; for the Carbineers Barker. So, while there was a firing line it was being supplied and all the above are witnesses to the fact.


Not one of the above witnessed the arrival of the ammuntions intended destination.. This also goes for Essex.
Vause and Davies were only able to find just a few rounds for personal use.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:35 pm

Quote :
Not one of the above witnessed the arrival of the ammuntions intended destination

Your source ? Suspect Suspect

Mamindi recorded how his company ran out of ammo but they got more from the
camp and continued to fire until they were told to retrie.

Smith-Dorrien was on the line giving ammo to the 24th men personaly.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:38 pm

DB14 Wrote
Quote :
CTSG
That was at a late stage of the stand in the Saddle, all the stands ran out in the end.
Cheers

Quote :
Littlehand wrote:
Looking at it from a different angle, how long woud it have taken for each man to fire off his 70 rounds. Not that long. We know they were firing off volley after volley.
How then would you explain F Coy putting up such a heavy fire that no Zulu could pass the Saddle ? Very late stage. scratch

Or C Coy still firing after volleying there way back from the firing line, then fighting in the Saddle
with E Coy and then being forced up the moutain, thats a very late stage.

Or H Coy retreating over 1,300 yards to were they were cut down, they would have needed
a lot of ammo to do that.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:42 pm

F Coy was on the Spur, Fourght on the line, then volleyed there way back to camp, passed over the
Saddle and were still firing heavily, Then held a fighting retreat for nealry 2 miles.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:44 pm

So who witnessed this.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:47 pm

Umhoti, Zulu Warrior.
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barry

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PostSubject: The ammuntion question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:49 pm

Hi Db14,

Please define "firing heavily",.......may I suggest....... 30 rds every two hours??.
So you see, making a statement like that supports no plausible argument at all.


regards


barry


Last edited by barry on Tue May 15, 2012 8:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:51 pm

Quote :
Umhoti, Zulu Warrior.

DB14 this chaps new to me can you post a link to source or name the source.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:52 pm

The exact words are

took up a Position underthe cover of the dongas on the right of the road and
from that place kept up such a fire that no Zulu dared show his head over the Nek,


Shows they were still well supplied with ammo at this very late stage.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:53 pm

littlehand wrote:
DB14 this chaps new to me can you post a link to source or name the source.

LH

David Jackson The sources re-examined

"A portion of the British force passed over the Nek and took up a Position under the cover of the dongas
on the right of the road and from that place kept up such a fire that no Zulu dared show his head over the
Nek, from here they weredislodged by the right horn and tried to retire across the road and down
the fugitives track,in overwhelming force and pushed among the dongas of theManzimnyama, where they
made their last stand, this body of soldiersfought well and whenever they faced about to retire they fired
over their shoulders at us."

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:04 pm

Quote :
CTSG
That was at a late stage of the stand in the Saddle, all the stands ran out in the end.
Cheers

If there wasn't an ammuntion problem, then the soldiers would have died with ammunition in their pouches ect. So if they ran out at the end, as you say then ammunition wasn't getting through fast enough. Therefore a problem did exsitst.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:32 pm

CTSG

This all happened at a very late stage when they British were in rally squares.

Zulu sources record how they couldn't get at the soldiers while they were firing, there for the
24th had to keep firing, with no way to replenish they ran out.


Cheers
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:59 pm

Quote :
DB14
24th had to keep firing, with no way to replenish they ran out.
How did they run out of ammuntion.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:05 pm

Came across this from "Ron Lock" Author and Zulu War Historian.

"I have recently come accross a 1929 account, by a Mr. Wheatland Edwards, a survivor of the Carbineers, that I had not seen before. Part of his account gives an insight into the chaos during the last moments of the camp.

"We were cut off entirely from the ammunition tent although we could still hear the little piccanin shouting "M'nition, baas! M'nition, baas!" in a high pitched voice. As brave a little fellow as one could hope to find. And all the time he handed out cartidges to those who could get near the tent. He must have gone on doing so until he was killed with the others!"
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PostSubject: The ammuntion question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:15 pm



Hi 24th,

A good one. Thanks for posting.
I have seen that one before today.
In my mind the case for ammunition supply being a real problem on that bad day is more than overwhelming.
If not, we need to ask ourselves how was it that a force of the best trained and disciplined troops in the world , armed with cutting edge technology of the time , allowed themselves to be overwhelmed and annihilated by an enemy , unshod, clad in skins and armed with crude weapons.


regards

barry
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:21 pm

Barry

is more than overwhelming

There is no evidnece for this Rolling Eyes

24th, good post it shows how up to a late stage there was still an ammo supply avaliable.


Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:28 pm

CTSG
Of course they eventually ran out of ammunition, well into the battle. But the question asked isnt that its whether or not it caused the collapse, and the ovewhelming evidence says it didnt.

Its like the story of the man that fell of the Empire State building. On his way down as he passed each floor they heard him say, " so far so good." Point being he didnt die when he fell of only when he hit the ground.

Interesting thing about the Piccanin story is that its quoted as having taken place in an ammo tent, whilst all the other forces had their ammo stored on wagons. Curious.

Barry

You live in Gauteng, youve seen how the populace have rioted in the past with intensity, should answer your question.
The line collapsed very simply, weight of numbers outflanked them, from the right wing and the left wing. But still the fought back to the saddle, firing all the way, plenty of evidence to substantiate that.


Cheers all

Regards
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:43 pm

We should considered the prolonged effect of on the MH itself not just the ammunition. We seem to be taking for granted that every rifle on the field that day, maintained a constant fire without any problems. I' m no expert on the MH but the efficiency of the rifle must be called into question on that day.
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barry

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PostSubject: Thew ammuntion question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:10 pm



Hi 24th/springbok9

24th. Dr Machanix (see posts yesterday) lists the overheating Mh's, jamming then requiring clearing and whilst all of that going on, firepower on the line was critically reduced allowing the enemy to get nearer and eventually the upper hand.

springbok9,
Yes, mention of the tent is an interesting observation. But more interesting is the fact that a black piccanin ( maybe a voorlooper ?) had become the quartermaster and had taken control of ordinance issue. Had the designated QM already fled to Helpmekaar ?.
Thus, it is evident from this that battlefield command and control was non existant.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:15 pm

Quote :
is evident from this that battlefield command and control was non existant.

Totally agree. But was it there in the first place. Lets face the two senior offices didn't see eye to eye before the battle commenced.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:37 pm

If we take this as fact, it just shows another account of ammunition not being issued when needed. And the reluctance to give to other Compaines even in the fact of over-whelming odds. scratch

"The Rev Owen Watkins wrote as follows:
'He addressed them and told them their lives depended on obedience and keeping together, and that any man who strayed from the ranks was doomed. If it was God's will and they would obey, he would bring them through into Natal. They pledged their word to abide together with him that day for life or death. But he must, if possible, get ammunition. He saw an ammunition wagon, and noticed the Zulus were too busy in the tents to bother about this wagon. He rode up with his men, and found no one there but a little drummer boy who sat on top of the wagon and said he was in charge. Simeon asked him to give him and his men a packet of cartridges each, just to help them defend themselves. But the little boy informed them that this ammunition belonged to the 24th Regiment, and as long as he was in charge no one else should have any of it. He felt the boy was obeying orders, and respected him. Then he saw there was a loose lot of cartridges lying in the grass around the wagon. Men who had come for cartridges were in such haste to fill their belts that they dropped many on the ground. So Simeon and his men each picked up a few and put them into their belts."
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barry

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PostSubject: The ammuntition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:43 pm



Hi 24th,
Another good one. Thanks
I surmise the "Simeon" was Simeon Khambule, one of the Driefontein Scouts and an amakholwa working later under Samuelson.

regards,

barry
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:58 pm

Barrry

Jamming, only Hook mentions this at RD were a heck of a lot more rounds
were fired quickly. Not mentioned at any other battle.

Isn't reocrded by anyone as happening to the 24th at Isandlwana and could be cleared quickly.

Ammo realy didn't play any part in the defeat
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:27 pm

DB Hook lived to tell us that. We don't know if problems existed with the rifles at Isandlwana. 24th is just asking the question of probability. I don't know the rifle that well but Barry has gave some information.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:11 pm

LH

Essex, Curling, Smith-Dorrien were on the line and don't mention jammimg.

It isn't recorded at Kambula,Ulundi, Gingindlovu or Intombe, whats so special about Isandhlwautf?



Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:51 pm

"Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien was a survivor of the battle of Isandlwana attached to the Royal Artillery, and was to become a full General in the First World War. He documents the ammunition supply problem, noting that ‘no steps were taken until too late to issue extra ammunition from the large reserves we had in camp.’However he also notes how he had collected numerous camp stragglers together ‘where we broke them [ammunition boxes] open as fast as we could, and kept sending out the packets to the firing line.’ However these packets contained just ten rounds each and would have soon been exhausted by the six companies of the 24th on the firing line, especially as these trips may have taken twenty minutes to complete. Adrian Greaves regards Smith-Dorrien’s claims with caution, as he ‘wrote of an ammunition box difficulty nearly fifty years after the event. He obviously forgot that a few days after the disaster he wrote ‘‘I was out with the front companies of the 24th handing them spare ammunition’’.  The myth grew to make an inexplicable defeat explicable.’ The issue of logistics in getting the ammunition to the soldiers in the line was a serious problem and it is conceivable that the Zulu advance could have been made possible by a slackening in the fire"
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RobOats



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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:54 pm

barry wrote:


springbok9,
Yes, mention of the tent is an interesting observation. But more interesting is the fact that a black piccanin ( maybe a voorlooper ?) had become the quartermaster and had taken control of ordinance issue. Had the designated QM already fled to Helpmekaar ?.
Thus, it is evident from this that battlefield command and control was non existant.

regards

barry

It was stated that when the Carbineers were in the donga they sent 3 men back to camp to get a resupply of ammunition. It seems that their ammunition wagon was at the rear of the camp and they could not find it. It is recorded that an open ammunition box was found in a tent and they took 200 rounds from this box. This would be the origin of this dialogue. They used a different caliber round from the MH round.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:03 pm

From: Malindi of Lt. Lonsdale's NNC company,

Conical Koppie.

"Our ammunition failed once but we got fresh from the camp and recommenced firing until the Zulus were within 100 yds."
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:36 pm

Jamming has been long debated before and I my research has not provided any specific source that it had a bearing until 1885, and I suspect that contemporary writers, and subsequent writers since have put two and two together and believed it was a problem from the start, it was not and the tests in 1875 by Lt Col Fletcher prove scant evidence to to fact.
It does not appear to have been reported that it is a problem at any other AZW engagement, Only Bullers report in 1880 does mention it, but that refers to ammo carried in bandoliers. **

The next time it is mentioned is in the Sudan (not Afghanistan or Egypt). The 1885 Jamming report at Kew is specific to deformation of cartridge and the ingress of sand/dust into the action. (** ammo also carried in bandoliers). Zululand is not dusty.

What was the old song? "dead men tell no tales", the supposition that it had anything more effect than a minor irritation that cold be sorted by the clearing rod with or without the jag fitted is conjecture with no specific primary scource in the battle.

Hook mentions "his rifle jammed several times", perhaps he fired 200+ rounds, when firing even an SMLE with its superb action you get jams, its the nature of a rifle, in particular with an adrenalin charged shooter behind it.
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90th

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PostSubject: The Ammunition Question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:05 am

Hi all .
Someone , and I'm not sure who mentions this but rifles were jamming in Durnford's Donga , possibly Simeon or another chap .
Although they werent the M-H as these were the Colonial men . As Neil said '' Dead Men Tell No Tales '' we will never know if the weapons did indeed jam at the beginning of the end in the Rallying squares !!!!.
Cheers 90th. Salute
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barry

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PostSubject: The piccanin quartermaster    Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:34 am

All,

As this ammunition subject is aired and the deeper we go, more worms are crawling out of the woodwork.
For those unfamiliar with the word piccanin : it is a Zulu word for a pre pubescent Zulu child, of either sex.

regards

barry
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:00 am

Barry
Not quite sure what relevance your post is.
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barry

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PostSubject: The piccanin ammunition control   Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:25 am

Hi Neil,
Good to hear from you and thanks for your other inputs on this thread.
In reply:
A few posts back 24th has a very good post quoting Ron Lock which relates the story about a piccanin distributing ammunition out of a tent.
Further to that , another post mentions a band "boy" controlling the regimental ammunition issues to the field.
So,......... it appears from these two unconnected incidents that two children where making life and death decisions about which sections of the heavily pressured defence line should , or should not, receive the vital ammunition needed.
As I said earlier, the more this is explored, the worse it gets.

regards

barry

PS: bring your Mh with a good pair of shoulder pads as well as plenty of fodder on your next visit to SA and we will put the jamming issue to the test and settle the argument once and for all.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:26 am

Barry
I would hate to use the Pun, 'jumped the gun' but thats really what you are doing. Its a giant leap from two reports to them controlling the ammo at vital stages.
There is an extensive thread that discusses the ages of the 'bandboys'. There are no children there.

One 'umfaan' with a box of ammo does not constitute control of a supply line.

I would suggest your conclusions are without substance and a tad sensational.

Regards
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barry

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PostSubject: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:02 am


Hi Springbok,
On the contrary.
This knowledge was common amongst those Colonials involved at the time and survived one battle or attended Rd. The real facts however have been lost in the mists of time, conveniently or other wise it is difficult to say.
Further, It was supported by later academics such as Dr Mechanix and many other learned scholars who went into the subject in great depth basing their findings on military courts of inquiry or courts martial of those who came through it all .
Now, not for one moment am I suggesting that all the units involved had umfaans controlling ammo. What is being suggested however is that two only could be cause enough to have one or two sections of the defence line to collapse leading to the rout.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:43 am

Hi Barry
I dont believe there is one aspect of the battle thats been lost in the mists of time. Its far to extensivly researched for any question of that.

Any veiled suggestion of deliberate hiding of the facts belongs with the rest of the conspiracy theories and tales of the illuminati.

As Ive posted, Dr Mechanix report was published in 1979, through modern day analisis and techniques viewpoints have changed. The good Doctor ( of what? ) is not a noted accademic and his report is fraught with mistakes and speculation. Right up there with TWOTS.

Id be interested to know the courts martials and military enquiries your refering to as a source of information.

For arguments sake lets assume the two incidents are true. The time lines suggest that they could have only taken place when the Durnford force had retreated back to the saddle, ( has to be that as the forces involved where Durnfords men) ergo the collapse had allready commenced.

As a second point for these to have occured they would have had to, logistically speaking, occured in the tents of the Volunteer, MI or Mounted Police, all around the horse lines. The wagons themselves were to the rear and held the ammunition supply of the Carbineers, so could not have been involved.

The other incident could only have occured at the ammunition wagons of the 1/24 to the south of the road and close to the area of Durnfords last stand. ( for those retreating/escaping the 2/24th wagons were more to the North.
Neither of those positions could have had any bearing on the outcome of the battle. The 2/24 ammunition supply wagons were much closer to the lines, as were the regimental reserve and provided much of the ammunition to the troops ( see Essex, Smith Dorean, Brickhill etc ).

Regards
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:36 pm

Barry

Durnford retreated because he was outflanked, the 24th retreat because Durnford had exposed the
flank, absolutly nothing to do with ammo.

Even if jamming did occour, this wasn't the reason for the retreat, and once the retreat started they
were all as good as dead.



Cheers
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:16 pm

Quote :
Durnford retreated because he was outflanked, the 24th retreat because Durnford had exposed the flank, absolutly nothing to do with ammo.

I'm not sure if Durnfords men were running out of ammo, but the 24th were,
After an hour of continuous fire their ammo pounces were nearly empty and the inadequate distribution of ammunition didnt help the situation. Pulliene order the bugler to sound the general retreat to a position nearer the tents. The fact Durnford had retreat shortly before left a large gap between hs previous position and Popes company.

On another note Why do we say Durnford hung the rocket battery out to dry.
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thinredlineMOD

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:43 pm

24th wrote:
After an hour of continuous fire their ammo pounces were nearly empty [...]
Not only their pouches but the ammo at all.
600 men would fire away the initial 480.000 rounds in ...
- 2h 13 min at an average firing rate of 6 round per minute
- 1h 40 min at 8 r/min
- 66 min at 12 r/min

(Not even including NNC, IMI, RA and others)

In that regard, I've read that the Zulus looted 400.000 rounds of ammo. If that's true can somebody explain that number?
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John

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:49 pm

Excellent points.

Quote :
Zulus looted 400.000 rounds of ammo
I too have read that?
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John

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:51 pm

I'm starting to think the whole story of Isandlwana is based purly on speculation. The deeper we dig the more it doesn't make sense. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:15 am

24th

When Durnford left the camp the Rocket Battery was part of his column. The majority of his column where mounted. He rode of at speed leaving the rocket battery to follow on behind at the pace of the mules. Hence they had no protection from the Zulu chest that came down the Notch from the ridge.

If Durnford wanted to proceed at speed then why take an encumberance?

Regards
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:44 am

[quote="24th"]
Quote :
but the 24th were,

24th

There is no evidence to suggest they were running out.

Read,

Essex,Higginson,Smith-Dorrien, Wilson,Bickely,Malidni,



Cheers
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