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Lt. General Sir J.G. Wolseley, General Officer Commanding
Mac and Shad (Isandula Collection)
The Battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift
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 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...

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tasker224

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PostSubject: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:42 pm

Rorkes Drift. One of the greatest, if not the greatest, backs to the wall stands in military history. I do not wish to take away from that achievement with the following. No one could diminish the achievements of Chard, Bromhead , Bourne and the men of the 24th..

Tactical military cock ups usually result in either court martials, or honours being liberally handed out.

I am sure this topic has been much discussed in the past but to what extent were the 11VCs awarded for RD and the couple more for iSandlwana, an attempt to deflect the media spotlight away from the military failings of iSandlwana, back in January 1879?

Political spin is not a new phenomenon.

One can imagine Chelmsford, meeting Queen Victoria on his return. ..Yes ma'am, over a thousand British troops indeed, terrible affair, but let's not talk about that; let's talk about the magnificent...........
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:18 pm

Maybe you should be more open, are you blaming Chelmsford for the disaster at Isandlwana.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:54 pm

This topic was well covered in the thread "Was Durnford capable" have a look at that, and if you have something new to add that has not been covered, then I'm sure Admin will unlock the thread.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:34 pm

I am not blaming Chelmsford as I do not know enough about it all. (I am starting with Zulu Rising very soon).
However, I am sure Chelmsford, like all great, senior military commanders, had a talent for imparting a positive spin on a negative situation.
Is this a bad thing? Probably not, one could argue that it is for the greater good in all sorts of ways.
Leaving blame out of it, what occurred at iSandlwana occurred. Once it had happened, the priority was then perhaps, to repair public morale at home and with the army in South Africa as quickly as possible. How best to do that? Focus on the positives, on the heroes and honour them as loudly and publicly as possible.
tasker
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:29 pm

Quote :
I am not blaming Chelmsford
Well that’s good to see.

The Good Lord Chelmsford would have been without doubt beleaguered with guilt over the losses at Isandlwana. As for trying to over shadow the Zulu Victory at Isandlwana with the success at Rorkes Drift, he would certainly not have had anything to do with that. That would have been down to the media of the day.

The success of Rorkes Drift would have over shadowed anyway its only natural to look to the positive side rather than the negative.

If the Good Lord Chelmsford had, had anything to do with it, he would have only been acting, as a good commander would have, to lighten the blow that must have demoralise nearly every soldier that took part in the invasion of ZuluLand and to give the folks back home some hope that not all was lost on that day 22nd January 1879.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:36 pm

Agreed!
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:17 pm

tasker224. I wouldn't be to quick to agree. After all he didn't even obey his own standing orders.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:41 am

Lets just say that RD happened at a very good time.
Those 11 VC's were hard earned.
Cant blame the establishment for making the most of the situation.

Regards
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:24 pm

Admin - I agree with CTSG that Chelmsford was trying to make the best of what happened at RD and Isandhlwana and we can understand that - what leader wouldn't?. I have not read enough about it yet to form my own opinion on whether Chelmsford was to blame for the loss at Isandlwana or not!
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:43 pm

CTSG
Quote :
If the Good Lord Chelmsford had, had anything to do with it, he would have only been acting, as a good commander would have

Absolute nonsense. Putting it bluntly. Your Good Lord Chelmsford cocked up big time. And boy, I bet he was relived when he rode down to R.D to find the British alive and Zulu’s Gone. I bet he gave old Crealock a Nudge Nudge Wink Wink say no more.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:46 pm

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Nudge Nudge Wink Wink say no more.
I haven't heard that for ages :lol!: :lol!:
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 11VCs and over a Thousand dead...   Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:18 am

Mr G
Wnderfully on form, I did enjoy that, still chuckling.

Regards
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