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 Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.

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Posts : 1606
Join date : 2009-09-21

PostSubject: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:31 am

Why did the British choose the rainy season to invade. ( This alone would have slowed the whole process down making it easy for the Zulus to attack a slow moving column in the open.

Was it necessary to split the advancing columns,could they not have invaded as one. The intention had been to prevent the Zulu army escaping, upon entering Zululand all of the three columns were to far apart to help each other.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:30 am

"Chelmsford originally planned to send five separate columns into Zululand, and essentially prevent the Zulu’s from avoiding a major confrontation by surrounding them. This was changed into three columns, the 4th and 1st columns continued as originally planned, but the 3rd and 2nd merged into a larger central column. The fifth column, consisting of roughly 2,300 men did not enter Zululand at all."
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PostSubject: Wrong time to invade zululand   Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:09 pm

Hi Dave.
This has been covered fairly well on the forum , but I'm not sure where it is ! .
cheers 90th.
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Mr Greaves

Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:22 pm

It appears that the British had invaded Zululand prior to the 11th Jan., which would have been a Saturday,

Newman states:
“During the afternoon on the Wednesday (Which would have been the 8th Jan) the camp was startled by a sentry sending in news that several mountain men were coming down to the river from the Zulu said, and at that distance, it was impossible to distinguish who or what they were. All turned out and hurried down to the drift. Where the punt was working. And it was then discovered that the visitors were not Zulus at all; but the party consisted of Captain Barton and Lieutenant Baron Von Steitencron, of the frontier light horse, with an escort of one corporal and three men, who had made a most adventurous ride from Colonel Wood’s column, which we learnt had crossed the Blood River on the previous Monday morning, (That would have been on the 6th Jan) and were encamped a few miles in Zululand.”

So could we say the Hostilities? Actually began on the 6th Jan when Wood’s cross into Zululand. Because its was not for the intention of peace talks.

(I could be wrong, I don’t know)

Source> In Zululand with the British Army.
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old historian2

old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:46 pm

Has this not been mentioned before, it other history books.
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PostSubject: Re: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:04 am

Mr. G.
No. 4 Column under Colonel Wood did cross on the 6th January in preparation for the advance up the Zulu coast.
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PostSubject: Re: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:31 am

Chelmsford the Scapegoat,

I think you are confusing your columns! Evelyn Wood's theatre of operations was no where near any coast, that I know of.

Pearson's column was known as the coastal column, as their line of advance was parallel with the Indian Ocean.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:14 am

No. 4 column, under Colonel Evelyn Wood, V.C., C.B.,
was at Utrecht, and was composed of the 1st Batt. 13th
Light Infantry, the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry, 4 guns
of the nth Battery, ;th Brigade, R.A., the Frontier Light
Llorse, and some thousand native allies.

1879. Colonel Wood's column crossed the Blood River and
entered Zululand on the 6th of January. Several skir-
mishes between the scouts of the column and the enemy-
took place, invariably ending in the defeat of the latter
and the capture of their cattle. On the ioth, the troops
moved in the direction of Rorke's Drift for the purpose of
co-operating with No. 3 column in an attack upon a large
force of the enemy, under Sirayo. The Zulus, however, in
spite of the rapid movements of our troops, had received
a timely warning and had retired. Several thousand head
of cattle were captured, and after a consultation with Lord
Chelmsford, Colonel Wood returned with his column to the
Blood River.

On the 1 8th, No. 4 column left its camp near Bemba's
Kop, moving in a north-westerly direction, and at
11.30 p.m. on the 21st, advanced against a large body of
the enemy strongly posted on the Zlobani Mountain. The
90th, thirty Dutch volunteers, and 600 of Wood's Irregulars
passed under the Insaka at daylight, and ascending the
Zunguin heights passed over the top driving the enemy
before them. The 13th and guns marched from Tinta's
kraal, and encamped at the foot of the Zunguin. On this
occasion Captain Wilson's company of the 90th having to
escort some waggons back to camp, returned immediately
that duty was performed, having marched thirty-six miles
in twenty-four hours. A second attack was made on the
enemy's position on the 24th, when the 90th advanced in
line against 4,000 Zulus, who turned and fled. In both
attacks the enemy suffered severely from our well-directed

At this time the news of the disaster at Isandhlwana
reached Colonel Wood, who determined to retire to the
Umvolosi River for the purpose of covering Utrecht.

Compelled by circumstances to remain stationary, Col.
Wood sought for a position, which, while guarding the
main line into the Transvaal, would at the same time
enable him to act on the offensive whenever an opportunity

offered. .V site for an entrenched camp was chosen on the 1879.
Kambula Hill, commanding three lines of road, viz., that
leading, via Derby, to Pretoria, that entering Natal at
Rorke's Drift, and the main road to Utrecht.
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PostSubject: Re: Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.   Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:23 pm

Hi All

This is from "From Midshipman To Filed Marshal" by Sir Evelyn Wood VC.

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Wrong time to invade Zululand & invade as one.
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