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 Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:22 am

Looking for any accounts of friendly fire incidents during the Zulu War. Below is a possible example. Did the Zulu’s have weapons that could fire the types of bullets that wounded British and Colonial troops. Its very possible that with all the firing, incidents of missing firing, accidental firing, ricocheting could have contribute to the injuries sustained by some troops.

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90th

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PostSubject: Friendly Fire Incidents   Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:40 am

Hi CTSG.
A little more info regarding your post , The chap who is referred to in your posting from Dugald Blair Brown's book is Pvt . J. Mcnally .
There have been several incidents already posted on the forum regarding friendly fire , not sure where they may be . Idea
cheers 90th. Idea
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:56 am

Thanks 90th.
It was believed that Bright was killed by friendly fire, but not confirmed. The article I posted shows a British Soldier being hit by an Enfield Bullet. Which could mean he was hit by friendly fire.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:42 pm

Chelmie, not unless it was from a Snider as none of the troops would have Enfield Muzzle loaders. , there is a possibility, A Terry carbine which fired a smooth sided .50 calibre bullet, and these were in the hands of the native troops, it was a self consuming round like the Westley Richards,however it would have shallow rifling groves in it though.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:34 pm

Thanks Neil. So it's a possible friendly fire incident ?
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Ulundi

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:49 pm

‘Killed By a Bullet from Birmingham’i
‘Friendly Fire’ Incidents on the Anglo-Zulu War by Ian Knight.

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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:35 am

Does anyone know about an incident, where John Chard and men with him came under friendly fire. Not sure if it was before or after RD.
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90th

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PostSubject: Friendly fire incidents    Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:31 am

Hi Ray63 .
Yes it did happen from memory at Fort Newdigate after R.Drift . This I think was the incident which is fairly well known , Fort Newdigate was often referred to as Fort ' Funk ' after this incident . I'll go and see if I can find it in a book and post it for you .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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90th

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PostSubject: Friendly Fire incident Ft Newdigate    Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:08 am

Ray63 here is the incident it's from Ian Knight's ' The Zulu War Then And Now ' page 184 .
The second div suffered one of the many night alarms which plagued its advance . An Officer of Marshall's Staff left this acount of the incident . '' The English mail came in in the evening , and we were just in the middle of our letters , when at 9pm , we heard 3 single shots from the 58th sentries , on the East of the camp , then the alarm sounded and musketry began all around the Laager , and just as we all ran out buckling on Swords , and filling our pockets with cartridges , we heard a 9 pounder at the NW angle . I went off to the Lancer lines , and then got on a wagon , at the corner of the laager , a regular blaze of rifles now going on round the laager , and men firing wildly , under and on the wagon . I felt sure then it was all humbug , and I managed to make the men on my right cease firing , a bullet from somewhere inside the camp whizzing over my head as I was talking to them . Never saw anything so dangerous , and it was from beginning to end a false alarm .....We then walked outside , the firing at last having ceased , and we found the Engineers , Chard with them , in the little stone Ft Newdigate , had had a poorish time time , crouching behind a little wall , with a storm of bullets over them , and had a Sgt wounded and 2 horses killed . In all , 7 men were wounded and 3 or 4 horses killed , why there were not more , I cant make out . Some of the men actually mistook the traverse for the outside of the laager . Many amusing incidents , great waste of ammunition . One regt alone fired 1,200 rounds . I wish they had really come , as it was a bright moon , and we might have had a good time of it ''.
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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barry

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PostSubject: Friendly fire   Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:49 am


Hi Ray63
There were one or two FF incidents recorded on the nights prior to 22/01 when the NNC , being the unruly and undisciplined bunch they were, opened fire on their own : and one in particular when the NMP under Mansel had to duck for their lives and crawl to safety. However , the NNC fire was so inaccurate and wild that no one was hit.
The NNC were well known for their skittishness and was the cause of their Officers ultimately abandoning them .

regards

barry
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:40 pm

I knew I could depend on you guys. Thanks very much... Salute
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War. Friendly Fire Incidents, Recorded, Unrecorded, unknown but possible.    Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:45 pm

"First among the victims of this circumstance were our old friends, 5 Field Company, Royal Engineers, then attached to Wood's redoubtable Flying Column. On 5th June Wood's advance guard ran into Zulu opposition at the Ipoko river, and suffered casualties; as he wished to camp there to wait for supplies to come up, he decided to fight. First he detached the Engineers and sent them back to Newdigate's column, in laager with hundreds of wagons about 18 km to the rear. The sappers were to build a strongpoint for defending the store depot, so when they arrived at 18h30 on 6 June they pitched their tents on site and began work, well outside Newdigate's laager. About 22h00 they were awakened by shots and dived into the protection of the walls, only ,61 cm high, on which they had just begun working.

They heard the outlying picquets fire three volleys, saw them retreat, and persuaded them to shelter within the walls. At once they all came under heavy fire from Newdigate's laager. Corporal Howe relates the story of what happened next in this dangerous and farcical situation: ' "Good heavens, they are taking us for the enemy. Under cover at once!", cried Chard, the hero of Rorke's Drift. It was not safe to move. The buglers sounded the cease fire. Our men got over the wall to rush on the laager when they, taking us for a rush of Zulus, poured another volley into us. Back we had to go helter-skelter over the wall. Men jumped on to one another and were lying huddled in hopeless confusion, whilst shot was pouring into us like hail. Before it ceased five Engineers (including a sergeant and two corporals) had been wounded. Next morning we found the stones on the wall covered with lead and bullet marks. The artillery told us they were just going to fire when they heard our bugle sound. If they had, not one of us would have escaped'.

Such was the disastrous origin of Fort Newdigate, better known to the troops as Fort Funk. Similar false alarms ruffled the columns as they continued their slow advance, and the artillery did in fact fire in one of the worse incidents just before Ulundi. Among other things, it was to deal with such lapses of soldierly conduct that Chelmsford encouraged the flogging of offenders; over 500 floggings were administered during the campaign at a time when it was otherwise little used as an army punishment, and indeed it was abolished in 1881.

Source:The Anglo-Zulu War as Depicted in Soldiers' Letters by Frank Emery.
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