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 Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.

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John

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PostSubject: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:55 pm

Just three questions.

1) Did the Zulu's just get lucky when the British forces divided at Isandlwana. Or would they have attacked regardless.

2) Why did the Zulu's not continue on after Chelmsford column,after their Victory at Isandlwana.

3 ) Did you think Chelmsford delay returning to Isandlwana, because of the amount of ammunition and rifles, which was now in the hands of the Zulus.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:09 pm

John. Question 3.
I never thought of that,but it would be a very good reason why he did hesitate in quickly moving back. I don't know how many rifles there were at Isandlwana but there were over a thousand troops left there. But this brings us to the old question of would the Zulu's have known how to use the M.H. Neil has already stated that they would not have been aware of how to operate the sights, but with a thousand rounds coming at you, I don't think you would want to take a chance.
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90th

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PostSubject: just 3 questions relating to Isandlwana   Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:48 pm

Hi John / Impi.
These questions have been answered on the forum previously in much deatil , but again quickly .

1 / You could say they got lucky to a certain extent , they were going to attack the camp at dawn on the 23rd in any case , which was stated in zulu interviews .

2 / They were spent and had lost significent numbers , hadnt eaten for many hours , travelled many miles , very hot day etc etc .

3 / Chelmsford's delay returning to Isandlwana was basically his forces were spread far and wide looking for the zulu's , according
to C'ford he said , he didnt recieve the messages sent from Hamilton - Browne , he did recieve the Pulleine message and stated
to his staff '' There's nothing to be done on that '' or words similar ! . He was also aware he left a 1,000 men there , so he wouldnt
have been expecting the zulu to attack at all , let alone attack and win !!!. It was extremley difficult to contact the scattered parties searching for the zulu army . If he acted on Pulleine's message he wouldnt have got back in time because of the distances involved
in attempting to re-call his forces which were spread over miles of poor terrain . These are quick repiles , hope they help. Idea
cheers 90th.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:42 pm

Question 1) They wasn't going to attack because of the New moon issue. But in another discussion, it was asked if this was the case. Why was Pearson's column attacked on the 22nd.

Question 3) So why was Harness prevented from continuing his journey back to Isandlwana. He was on his way to assist.
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90th

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PostSubject: just 3 questions relating to Isandlwana   Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:19 pm

Hi MrGreaves.
Question 1 .......... Good Point , why was inyezane attacked ???????. Maybe the position Pearsons column were in was
to good a chance for the zulu's to ignore . They were attacked as they were strung out negotiating a River .
Question 2 ...... Harness by memory was called back by the Staff Officers ? , Cleary Springs to mind ? , they had no idea what
was happening at Isandlwana but obviously thought nothing . Milne had already been watching the camp for an hour or so
and stated he couldnt see anything out of the ordinary . Cleary would have based his decision on the intelligence they had at
that time .
cheers 90th.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:01 am

Mr G/90th
Wasnt the iNyezane battle provoked when Pearson sent the cavalry out?

Harness had turned to go back to camp and was then stopped by Gosset ( he was so convinced the reports were wrong he offered to bet 100 pounds) Harness and Black plus F and H companies were then recalled.

Regards
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:42 am

Quote :
Wasnt the iNyezane battle provoked when Pearson sent the cavalry out?


Don't think so. Will have to check. If you have something that clarifies that would appreciate it. Of course the other question is why, was Harness placed on the board of enquiry into the disaster Isandlwana. Maybe his statement would have opened some eyes, if he had been allowed to be a witness?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:32 am

Mr G
As they say, 'therein lies the rub", the conspiracy theorists point to that as being a way to shut Harness up. The courts martial was composed of Col Hassard, RE. This was the guy who built himself a fort at Helpmekaar and refused to move out of it.
Next was Lt Col Law. RA. A man that Chelmsford himself described as a man who doesnt like work.
Finally Harness, and being nominated for the Courts Martial was not allowed to give evidence, and was specifically directed by Chelmsford ( the order in writing survives) not to express an opinion.
The non conspiracy sidee point out that Harness was the only qualified man able to sit between the two Duffers ( Chelmsfords description not Mine).
So pay your money and take your choice.
Nyezane isnt really my field but from strolling over the area I seem to remeber that a Division of the NNC were sent out to clear a party of Zulu out of the way, they followed up and hit against the main impi, mmuch the same as isandlwana I suppose. Could be very wrong, Im going on memory.

Then again, if the historians that point to the isandlwana battle only being scheduled for the 23rd because of the dead moon. Why do they gloss over the nyezane dust up? Maybe because the impi was provoked into fighting early. Or if they did intend to fight that day, makes a mockery of the day of the Dead Moon theory. Not so?

Anybody care to explain that conundrum?

Regards
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:15 am

No 1 column is attacked at Nyezane by 6000 Zulus. That's how i understood it.

With ref: to Harness. Did he received a promotion of any kind after the court of enquiry / Zulu War...

"On his own initiative a Colonel Harness gave orders for his small force of artillery and infantry to return to camp. But it had only progressed half a mile when a staff officer rode up with express orders from Chelmsford to resume its original march because the message was a false alarm. The last chance to save the camp had been thrown away."

Would have been worth keeping him on the panel for Chelmsford sake....
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:27 am

Lieut. -Colonel Crealock's " statement " is stigmatised as "palpably written to establish a preconceived theory;" and The Daily News says most justly that

" Colonel Harness should not have sat as member of the court of inquiry. How it could have been supposed that an officer who had taken so prominent a part in the doings of the 22nd January was a fit and suitable member of a court assembled even to take evidence merely, is more than we can understand. Besides, the very fact of his being a member, we are told, precluded Colonel Harness from giving his own valuable evidence."
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:46 am

OH

Says it better than I could.

Regards
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:39 pm

And look who wrote it "Lieut. -Colonel Crealock" Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:41 pm

I think John's first Q is a very interesting one indeed.

Having recently read about this in Zulu Rising by Ian Knight, there is apparently no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the great Zulu army had any knowledgeat all that the column had split. (It was Chelmsford's intention to slip away in darkness without being seen by any scouts and it looks like he achieved this).

What I want to know is, how different would the outcome have been if the column had NOT split?

Would the Zulus have lost, or would the entire Centre column have been wiped out? The Zulu army made very short work of those who were left to guard the camp.
I feel the Zulus didn't "get lucky" at all - I think they were unlucky - they would have wiped out the entire Centre column.
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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:09 pm

Q2 - John, the Zulu army was already tired and hungry before it attacked iSandlwana - logistics; in addition, they did not know there was another half a column out there - they thought they had destroyed the whole army.

Q3 - Chelmsford did not take seriously the successive reports that the camp was under threat/being surrounded/being attacked/taken for several reasons.
1. He thought he was on to the main Zulu army, to the west of the camp, because of the heavy skirmishing he was encountering, in the area where he believed the main army to be
2. Also, if the camp was being threatened, it was not by the whole Zulu impi; he had left over a thousand men to defend the camp and thought they could deal with it.
3. He did not entirely believe the messengers who were dispatched to give him messages, because they were imperial officers. He assumed the reports were exaggerated by over excited messengers. Only when he was told by British messengers did he start to take the reports seriously. There was (and still exists) a prejudice of rank, that Chelmsford certainly possessed; Pte less reliable that an NCO, NCO less reliable than an officer; Foreign officer less reliable than British officer etc. etc.
It was only when he heard news that the camp had fallen, from a British officer, whose name escapes me for the moment, did the penny drop for Chelmsford.
He was heard to say "could this possibly be true? I left over a thousand men to defend it."
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:13 pm

Zulu Rising by Ian Knight,

I know you have just read this book but you have to understand this is the Author's opinion, which may differ from a lot of the other books on the Zulu War. There are many books on the market covering this subject. Mike Snook. Peter Quantrill & Ron Lock just to name a few when reading this book you have to take into consideration the research sources used by each author. Look in the Zulu War publication section there are some very good reviews.
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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:52 pm

Chelmie
I could not agree more with your last post, whilst Ians books have been the cornerstone of popular literary works, available from most outlets, he's not the be all and end all, and to draw conclusions without studying Mike Snooks work Vs Ron and Peters arguments its like reading a sport report on a sunday rag, they all differ and often you think they've been to another game. I personally feel ZR its lot of warmed up bits from the fridge and put into a big new stew, tasty, nothing really cutting, a jolly good read none the less, however having read most books on the subject its a bit of a shelf filler in my view, and thats were Snook and Lock/Quantrill score. 25 years of studying this campaign, nearly ten weeks spent on the battlefields you tend to glaze over a touch.

IMO, Jacksons Hill Of the Sphinx, Gon's the Road to Isandlwana are MUST READ, both have contradictory areas, Gon has some of the usual mis-noma's but essential to building up a picture of what the regiment were doing in the 1877-78-79 period and how it reacted to the various forms of combat in the South African environs, the 24th were not just volley fire boys, but adept to using cover, and contrary to alot of the earlier works who seem to think they stood stoically being shot at is far from their experience, how many of the readers of this site know about Cetane?,

Thats why I try not to get to embroiled in "what if debates" any longer, de-facto criticism of personalities, without a thorough background study of these guys, most of whom were hardened campaigners, not wishful amateurs is really something that cannot be draw from one author.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:12 pm

Quote :
Gon's the Road to Isandlwana
I was looking at this book the other day, but put in back on the shelf. But yes I agreed don't form your opinion based on one book.
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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:37 pm

CTSG, Neil
Thanks for those cautionary warnings. I realise I am a bit like a 6 year old who has just swallowed a dictionary having just read Zulu Rising. Just starting out in learning about this campaign.
I did ask this forum to suggest which book I should start with, as a beginner and Zulu Rising was the clear and overwhelming recommendation. You are right Neil in that it is based on all the old sources that have already been studied and there might be very little in there that is new. However, I do think the author has been very fair and objective to all sides and no opinions have been expressed by Ian Knight - he is just tying together a vast quantity of witness statements and stories from those who were there, with no bias by military rank, class or which side they were fighting on.
I will get round to reading other books one day, but with the very greatest respect to Mike Snook, his books on the Zulu War won't be among them. (I hasten to add I have his book on the Nile Relief Expedition on order). As a member of a regiment descended from the 24th Foot, he will not have the objectivity to portray events in any way other than glorify his regiment.

"IMO, Jacksons Hill Of the Sphinx, Gon's the Road to Isandlwana are MUST READ" - Neil, i WILL take your recommendations and get round to reading them soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:15 pm

tasker224. I think your doing bloody well. A newby that's hit the ground running. Keep it up. Idea
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:18 pm

Echo sas1. There's a lot to learn. And many books to read. But its all worth it. But you will learn more from the forum..
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:09 am

Tasker
I echo the thoughts of the forum members.
However
Ignore Mike Snook at your peril. I dont agree with all he says and dont accept the book as a whole, far to much unsubstantiated conclusions. BUT. His reconstruction of the battle and movements of the players is masterful, to not read it would be to your own detriment.
I recall you asking which book to start with, you read the correct one. What you now have is an over view. Start to read source material, there is an abundance on this site alone. From that the gaps left by Ian Knight will become apparent.
Centane by the way was fought in the Eastern Cape against the Gcaleka and the Ngqika by the 1/24th. Neils point is that the 1/24 were really a battle hardened bunch of soldiers not fresh out of England recruits. You can pick up on there fighting capabilities through 'The road to iSandlwana'. That battle by the way was a forunner to Khambula. Its a good study all on its own.

Keep going

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:33 pm

Tasker
Do get a copy of How Can man Die Better by Mike Snook, as Springie says, the final chapters are brilliant in bringing those last hours into plausible reality, as no-one survived once the encirclement was complete.

Ok,HCMDB is a hybrid book in its own right, fact and fiction, Mike makes no excuses for this, and neither should he, but his interpretation, and one that draws not only from just this campaign, but all the other punch ups we got in to in the high Victorian era, from a military background, and as a serving officer, he responds how his forebare's would probably have done, given their circumstances its first class and quite refreshing. I look at it as TWOTS but the re-make, with more evidence.

Ian's Brave mens Blood and his Jan 22 1879 books are still in my top ever reads and should be a must have for all enthusiasts, in the late 1970's and 1980's when I got into the subject in any depth very little could be found at the local library, save Micheal Barthorps, and James Bancrofts books (again very good indeed for the time), he bought a whole new freshness to the subject, and I have been an eager buyer for his works since, but now new kids on the blocks like Ron and Peter and Mike Snook are going far deeper.

Mikes approach to the new book on the desert campaign is superbly done, OK, he's picking the brains of specialists in most fields to ensure the detail is as good as it comes, he asked me to study the weaponary details for him, ensuring the written facts can be backed up with hard evidence. Its a cracking read.






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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Just three questions relating to Isandlwana.   Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:08 pm

Many thanks indeed, to all of you for the advice. I have a lot of reading to do!
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