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 Isandlwana, Last Stands

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:11 pm

Sorry i did not mean in any way that Pulliene should have dug or laarged!!!!!

This was Chelsmfords falt, and his alone.

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:18 pm

But there was a need to at least fortify the area in some way, veering on the side of caution. The British were an invading force with the high possibility of attacks by the Zulu defenders. It was known there were Zulus in the immediate vicinity, but Chelmsford chose to ignore this. Compare this first invasion to the second invasion, which had him fortifying at every available stop. Isandhlwana was a high price to pay for Chelmsford to learn this hard lesson.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:22 pm

I totaly agree, his arogence cost the battle.

In my opinion the battle was lost the moment he left.

Pulliene had to defend not only camp, but wagons, tents, cattle, for this he would need at least
10 companies of Infantrey, Pulliene had 6.

5 to stop the chest and defend the front of the camp, 2 to defend against the right horn and 2 for the left,
with reserves to take on the lion and anywhere their was a break in.

Cheers
DB14
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barry

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PostSubject: Questions raised around last stands at Isandhlawana   Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:28 pm

The question raised is was there enough ammunition ?, Yes enough to annialate the enemy many times over, if the rifles could keep functioning and did not overheat; and if the rounds could be broken out of the boxes quickly enough. Trooper Clarke , NMP, himself carried double the normal 70 rounds, ie 140 rds on his person. Perhaps that is why he was a survivor ,
The ground there is hard and rocky, thus making entrenchment difficult, but by consolidating the defence, under a competent officer, survival was a real possibilty. Dont forget that the .455 MH rounds were doing terrible damage to the enemy at quite long range and their casualties on that day far surpassed, by a supposed factor of at least 10 or 12, those of the British and Colonial forces.
I see those who speculate on where the last stands occurred make no mention of the many members of the NMP who fought so gallantly there, making a last stand. Even the so called guru of the AZW , the late David Rattray seemed to be oblivious of this fact. Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:40 pm

Ask yourself this question - How would the No.3 Column have fared under Glyn's command, if Chelmsford hadn't accompanied it with his HQ Staff ? The latter usurped Glyn's position and later denied he interfered in Glyn's decision-making process and actions he would have taken. Compound this with none of the senior officers telling Chelmsford he was wrong, his strategy was badly flawed, and to listen to the Boers, etc., that continually advised on the side of caution. I've said this before and will repeat it again - there were too many Yes men and not enough, or any for that matter, No men, the former obeying Chelmsford to the letter, with many of them, I imagine, already knowing it could possibly lead to a disaster of some kind. Then again, Durnford could be considered a No man and we saw what happened to him post-Isandhlwana. Obviously others didn't want the same outcome for themselves afterwards, or being sent to the back-and-beyond, in a remote outpost, counting horses for the military. No chance of promotion, with the high chance of being totally forgotten altogether.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:24 pm

Mr Graves
I honestly believe that the 5 officers in question behaved totally acceptably. I might enlarge that to 7 officers to include Stafford and Davies. Given where they crossed the river, given that the situation was one of sauve qui peut, where did their duty lie? (A map is useful here.)
To warn Rorke's Drift (done by specific messengers from Gardner). To organize a makeshift defence at a point which any invading impi must pass through to reach Natal and where there was a sizeable garrison - Helpmekaar (done personally and headed by Essex). To inform other isolated garrisons and townships, like Umsinga, Sand Spruit, Dundee, Newcastle - these in turn got isolated farmsteaders to 'come in' (organized by Gardner via Colonel Bray) . To inform the nearest senior Column Commander - Wood - (done personally by Gardner). To forewarn towns all the way to Pietermaritzburg and the Natal Government and to organize a civil defence (done by Stafford/Davies). That accounts for the senior surviving officers. The others were subalterns who, once they'd met up, assisted Essex. (Curling was completely "done up" and in no fit state to do anything.)
I don't see that there was anything else to be done. No defence was possible at Fugitives' Drift, the river between FD and Rorke's Drift was alive with Zulus and impassable except by taking a route away from the river and then swinging back towards it. Chelmsford's reconnaissance must have been viewed as given up for lost.
What else do you think they might have done that they hadn't already?
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:33 pm

Colin J. wrote:
But there was a need to at least fortify the area in some way, veering on the side of caution. The British were an invading force with the high possibility of attacks by the Zulu defenders. It was known there were Zulus in the immediate vicinity, but Chelmsford chose to ignore this. Compare this first invasion to the second invasion, which had him fortifying at every available stop. Isandhlwana was a high price to pay for Chelmsford to learn this hard lesson.

Chelmsford saw no reason to fortify, neither did Pulleine. The latter could have organised the defences any way he saw fit themoment Chelmsford left the camp.

In a word, COMPLACENCY.

All round.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:42 pm

Julian. The colonial officers, Lieutenants Henderson, Adendorff, Vane, Raw and Vause escaped, but made their way towards the camp at R D and stopped to assist, even if it was only for a while. Adendroff is still a mystery, as to wether he stayed or not. But the British officers in- question rode on by. None of those officers, knew if RD had been warned about what had taken place at Isandlwana.
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana , Last Stands .   Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:58 am

COMPLACENCY , pure and simple . The Fish rots from the head !. Chelmesford's only problem in his
eyes and his thoughts were getting the zulu to fight !!!. He has said this in much correspondance . Well
he got his wish , and he was damned lucky he didnt get the chop with the rest of the column , Considering
his punitive force was scattered to the four corners of the eath it is a miracle they survived . Luckily the
zulu were more intent on doing the camp than those strung out along all the other points around Isandlwana.
cheers 90th. Idea


ps. No disrespect is meant or inferred with my '' The Fish Rots From The Head '' analogy .
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PostSubject: Last stands at Isandhlawana    Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:21 am


The fish rots from ther head. Very well said 90th!!.
But please add, British arrogance , and pig headedness.
Of course one must remember that a basic dictum in any conflict, is to NEVER underestimate one'.s enemy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:28 am

90th
I will bow to your experience when it comes to fish :lol!:

Your correct of course, however. The balance of the senior officers must accept that their level of competence left a lot to be desired.
Heres a thought for you from Jackson.

Cleary in his testimony says that he told Pullein that " he was in charge". And yet over that very short time frame that he had issued that advice he was calling up Durnford knowing that in the entire column the only two people senior to him where Chelmsford and Richard Glynn. What was the thought process? Who was supposed to be in charge? Did he envisage Durnford being called up and then leaving the camp?

Doesnt that point to a central error in the entire chain of command? Conflicting orders, or even simpler, the right hand didnt know what the left was doing. Back to the fish again. Idea

Regards
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana , Last Stands .   Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:40 am

Hi Springbok .
Agreed , The chain of command ............... With many links not pulling their weight ! Suspect .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:13 am

Tasker
Pulleine did not have the freedom to act as you suggest. He was fully aware that Chelmsford would be siting a new camp (it was already on the Mangeni in Chelmsford's mind) and that his job would be to pack up camp and follow. Gardner indeed brought such an order. The focus had already shifted. One doesn't start to fortify a camp one's leaving.
little hand
I'm afraid you are not right. Lieutenant Henderson escaped with the Edendale men, broke through to the road, and ended up at RD and assisted for a brief while before moving on (without taking orders). Adendorff and Vaines ended up tat RD because they couldn't swim and Vaines was sent immediately onwards. Raw and Vause crossed at FD and did not go to RD. The Imperial officers did not behave as you have written. Remember their locations once they'd crossed the river. Gardner sent two IMI privates specifically to warn RD and Essex's immediate plan was to block the impi's path at Helpmekaar. Read the primary source accounts of these officers to see for yourself what they did. You can't just 'write from the hip'; you must provide evidence for your remarks if others are to believe them.
Here's mine:
ESSEX
His Statement to the Court of Inquiry, made on 24th January 1879, appears in the Blue Books;
A letter dated 26th January 1879 published in The Times of 2nd April 1879.
COCHRANE
His Statement to the Court of Inquiry 27th January 1879 appears in the Blue Books;
A written Report of 8th February 1879 in the National Archives;
A Supplementary Statement of 4th March 1879 in the National Archives.
GARDNER
Statement to the Court of Inquiry, made 26th January 1879 appears in the Blue Books;
In the Proceedings of the Court of Inquiry, made 27th January 1879 appearing in the Blue Books;
An account in the National Archives.

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:05 pm

Forgive me, I continue to think like a modern day officer and not like a Victorian officer where it seems any initiative would have been frowned upon. I have been corrected on this point before, by Springbok in particular.
I still have trouble getting my head around the fact that a Victorian officer left in charge of a small group of men, a wagon, a tent or a whole camp would not have had the authority to react to or make plans to deal with a situation develping around him, to his own satisfaction without first having to check back with the superior who left him in charge in the first place. Even if that superior was inaccessible, as Chelmsford was.
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barry

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PostSubject: Isandhlawana last stands   Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:18 pm

Point well made Tasker.
Even if Thesiger was present on site it seems he was unapproachable, the men did not like him as he was insulting to subordinates and very opinionated. However he was not on site, probably ducked knowing what was perhaps coming. That said, where was the INNIATIVE of the junior officers left behind in the Isandhlawana camp. I certainly know what I would have done.


Last edited by barry on Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:18 pm

Perhaps this could apply to Isandlwana and those officers who left on horseback. This was said By Wolseley of Harward.

Quote :
"The more helpless a position in which an officer finds his men, the more it is his bounden duty to stay and share their fortune, whether good or ill. It is because the British Officer has always done so that he possesses the influence he does in the ranks of our army. The soldier has learned to feel, that come what may, he can in the direst movement of danger look with implicit faith to his officer, knowing he will never desert him under any possible circumstances."

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:24 am

And that duty was fulfilled as regards the men for whom the escaping Imperial officers were responsible. Their responsibilities complete, they left. Those of the 24th were incomplete, they stayed.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:31 pm

Interest reply. Melville & Coghill come to mind scratch
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:32 pm

Melvill and Coghill were obeying orders. That had become their duty.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:36 pm

Julian
I can agree about Melvill but Coghill did leave afterwards ( more than enough references). Why would you believe that Coghill had that right? Ive seen justification for him leaving by virtue of his injured knee, however I cant agree with that, he was still a regimental officer.

Regards
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:38 pm

Actually he wasn't. He was attached to the Staff of No. 3 column as an orderly officer, which was where his duty lay.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:59 pm

But as he was injured and left behind wasnt he seconded as a runner to Col Pulleine? And he was a regimental officer.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Although a regimental officer, Coghill was not being emplyed regimentally, as indeed were a number of other officers of the 24th on that fateful day.

Bill
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:45 pm

But surly rank is no excuse to leave. In fact it should be a reason to stay. But back then, it was expected.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:54 pm

Hi Bill/ John
Are we not getting into semantics and trying to look for justification? I love the victorian romantisism attached to the whole 'save the colors'. But being pragmatic he, Coghill, had been involved in the column and regimental issues. He was a member of the mess. But to really sieze on, wrong or right, to my mind flimsy excuse to leave?
My objections to Coghill are not connected with that terrible ride or the gallantry at the drift, just that horrible niggle that says why did he leave.
If he was going to ride shot gun for Melvill, then brilliant, however over the trail he was only linked to Melville once, by Binkley, at other points he is either behind or well in front of the colors. Niggles me.

Regards
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:18 pm

"It is unknown why Coghill actually took flight from the battlefield but it was during a scene of chaos in the headquarters area that he took leave and departed on a horse not belonging to him. It has been speculated that he intended to make contact with expected reserve troops close to Rorke’s Drift."
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:59 pm

barry wrote:
Point well made Tasker.
Even if Thesiger was present on site it seems he was unapproachable, the men did not like him as he was insulting to subordinates and very opinionated. However he was not on site, probably ducked knowing what was perhaps coming. That said, where was the INNIATIVE of the junior officers left behind in the Isandhlawana camp. I certainly know what I would done.

Me too!
(But again, this is now. Would I have been too afraid to back then, for fear of being accused of disobeying orders?)
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:44 pm

Admin. I know we are not supposed to post anything from the RDVC website and no doubt this will be removed which is a shame, because this is one of the best overviews of the last stands we are ever likely to see.

It was posted by a Mr Peter Ewart..

" last stand"? What "last stand"? Everyone who fell that day had a "last stand." What was so remarkable about Durnford's "last stand"? He died - either stabbed, shot or bashed over the head or all three - in exactly the same way as everyone else and at virtually the same time (wthin an hour or so, mostly within a few minutes or seconds) as everyone elsewho fell on the British/colonial side and in exactly the same circumstances as almost everyone else. 

No-one saw his end but he was in the same position as hundreds of others were at the same time - desperately fighting with what they could in a hopeless task that could only have one end. The vast majority of the British troops died while hopelessly surrounded. He did absolutely no more than virtually everyone else on his side in doing what he could do to defend the camp during the attack in whichever way he could in the position he found himself in/they found themselves in. And that's all - nothing else at all. No-one doubts his soldier's courage, either in 1873 or 1879 and I make no comment at all about his apparent bone-headed stubbornness which can, in occasional circumstances, even be an attribute. Some of the camp's defenders - no-one can know how many - died before Durnford did, but of course many (perhaps most?) died after he did. No-one can guess exactly how many but it is a fact that certainly scores died after he did and quite possibly hundreds. So what is this "last stand" business? 

The only difference between the loss of Durnford and the loss of all the others, is that not one of those others, with the possible exception of Pulleine, bore any responsibility whatsoever for the defeat, whereas any fair minded person accepts that Durnford's behaviour that day was either (a) completely, (b) fairly or (c) marginally responsible for the disaster. Virtually everyone else, during their own "last stand", was blameless." 






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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:51 pm

Chard. 6 pages to this topic. And this bloke sums it all up in one post. Salute

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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana - Last Stands    Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:15 pm

Hi DB14 .
I know I've read I think it was Curling's report where he states he heard the ceasefire order on at LEAST two instances .
Makes sense what you say involving the initial volley's as the zulu did indeed go to ground , also this would have applied to the
the withdrawl as well . Plus the layout of the land gives plenty of dead ground for the zulu to use and get closer to the British
lines , there are many areas in which hundreds can hide and cant be seen from the firing line . There is a village which is out past the firing line but cant be seen if you stand in the approx position of the said firing line .
cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana - Last Stands    Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:22 pm

Hi DB14
Agreed , Jackson for his meticulous attention for detail ( Proven Sources ) . Snook for his wonderful writing abilities and a somewhat lesser attention to proven sources . That is taking nothing away from Mike Snook in any way shape or form .
He is a fantastic story teller , I mean that in a genuine way . You need to study mo You need to study mo .
cheers 90th.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:26 pm

Hi 90th

Did he have another book apart from hill of the spinx ?


Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwan , last stands .   Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi DB14 .
Yes . I have it .

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Anything by Jackson is well worth having .
cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:14 pm

■British Empire (including Colonial Troops & Auxiliaries)

■Col. Pulleine and Bodyguard, (1/24th Foot)
■Col. Durnford (R.E.) with NNMC Troop
■Lt. Francis Porteous' A Company, (1/24th Foot)
■Capt. Reginald Younghusband's C Company, (1/24th Foot)
■Lt. Charles Cavaye's E Company, (1/24th Foot)
■Capt William Mostyn's F Company, (1/24th Foot)
■Capt. George Wardell's H Company, (1/24th Foot)
■Lt. Charlie Pope's G Company, (2/24th Foot)
■Lt. Curling's Division, ('N'/5th R.A.)
■Maj. Russel's 9 Pdr. Rocket Battery, (11/7th R.A.)
■Imperial Mounted Infantry Squadron No.1 (Detail)*
■Natal Mounted Police (Detail)*
■Buffalo Border Guard (QM MacPhail's Detail)*
■Natal Carbineers (Lt. Scott's Detail)*
■Capt. Bradstreet's Newcastle Mounted Rifles (Detail)
■Capt. Krohn's Coy No. 6 (1/3rd, Natal Native Contingent)
■Capt. Stafford's E Coy (1/1st, Natal Native Contingent)
■Zulu Coy (2/3rd, Natal Native Contingent)
■Lt. Raw's Zikhali Horse Troop No. 1 (Natal Native Mounted Contingent)*
■Lt. Robert's Zikhali Horse Troop No. 2 (Natal Native Mounted Contingent)*
■Lt. Vause' Zikhali Horse Troop No. 3 (Natal Native Mounted Contingent)*
■Lonsdale's 9 coy 1/3 NNC
■Murray's 1 coy 2/3 NNC
■Erskine's 4 coy 2/3 NNC
■Barry's 5 coy 2/3 NNC
■Andrews's 1 coy NNPC (detachment)
■Henderson's 4 Troop NNH
■Davies's' 5 Troop NNH
■Nourse's D coy 1/1 NNC


■Zulu Kingdom

■inGobamakhosi ibutho warriors
■uMbonambi ibutho veterans
■uVe ibutho warriors
■umKhulushane ibutho veterans
■isAngqu ibutho veterans
■umCijo ibutho elite warriors
■umHlanga ibutho warriors
■uDududu ibutho warriors
■uNokhenke ibutho elite warriors
■uThulwana Mounted Scouts
■uDloko ibutho warriors
■inDluyengwe ibutho veterans
■iNdlondlo ibutho warriors
■Iziduna Ntshingwayo kaMahole Khoza with elite bodyguard
■Iziduna Dabulamanzi kaMpande with elite bodyguard
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:26 am

Hi all

For the last stands for that they could take as long and as far from the camp, where the rate of fire was very slow or falling back, they brought boxes of cartridges with them ...

Is there any evidence on this last done?

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:30 am

And in terms of Zulu regiments present at Isandhlwana and their numbers of warriors, there are many variations ...

Cheers

Pascal
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:58 am

The cease fire was sounded twice to enable the troops to move position in order to get a better field of fire.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:06 am

littlehand
How about
Lonsdale's 9 coy 1/3 NNC
Murray's 1 coy 2/3 NNC
Erskine's 4 coy 2/3 NNC
Barry's 5 coy 2/3 NNC
Andrews's 1 coy NNPC (detachment)
Henderson's 4 Troop NNH
Davies's' 5 Troop NNH
Nourse's D coy 1/1 NNC

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:22 am

Thanks Julian. Added to Littlehands list.. Salute
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PostSubject: Isandlwan , last stands .   Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:05 pm

Hi Pascal .
To answer your question about the troops withdrawing and carrying the boxes with them , well we dont know for sure , the boxes
are very very heavy ! . It takes two men to carry one at a time . Suspect . If they , say as an example are carrying back five boxes that means 10 men arent firing their weapons , and who knows how many boxes made it to certain companies on the front line . 1 , 2 or more , we will never know the answer so we cant make a judgement with 100 % confidence .
cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:42 pm

Each company possessed a scotch cart for carrying ammunition from the camp to the front lines (manned by the bandsmen whose job it was to carry ammunition). It may well be that in the toing and froing some of them ended up on the front line when the lines retreated in which case the movement of the boxes would have been facilitated.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:49 pm

Would it not have occurred to the officers within the firing lines, after seeing the amount of Zulu's coming there way, that they would not have had enought ammunition. They must have also realised, although ammunition was getting to them it wasn't coming fast enought. Wouldn't a good officer had moved his men back closer to the camp to ensure the runners could have reached them quicker. 90th has mentioned how much ammo was allocated to each soldier. The sums would not have added up.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:09 am

Hi all

Anyway for the last stands are so long they took to their other things that the ammunition they had on them ...

So they always carried boxes of cartridges and can be well explained by way of Julian ...

Where to find illustrations of the ammunition carrier vehicle mentioned by Julian, I had never heard of this ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:19 am

impi
At the firing line, when the officers saw the numbers of Zulus, I am sure that they would have felt that they had a perfectly adequate amount of ammunition both at the front and in camp. Long before they would begin to run short at the front line, ammunition supply would have been organised and put into action. This was the role which bandsmen with their scotch carts fulfilled during action and which they were trained to do. They would have been told off to their places and awaited instructions/orders at the outset. There is plenty of evidence that this was done. There is no evidence to suggest that ammunition was not getting to the front lines fast enough. This is a myth.
The so-called 'last stands' are a different matter of course.
For scotch carts: go to
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- there are various scotch carts there - scroll down to the Derbyshire one - it approximates to the one the army used - hand- or animal-drawn.


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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:02 am

Better than that, there is a proper contemporary drawing of an army scotch cart in the illustrations section following page 128 in Bennett's 'Eyewitness in Zululand'.
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PostSubject: Ammunition to the lines   Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:12 am


Hi Julian,
The dearth of ammunition on the firing line is not a myth at all, but a sad reality. It was actually part of the bigger problem.

This fact is born out by the fact that many Zulus, interviewd post the battle reported that the ammunition bandoliers/pouches of the defenders were empty and that they had tried to defend themselves, at the end with very ineffective pistol fire and fists , knives and bayonets.

Many of the survivors reported on the ammuntion problem too and this caused them to make the decision, quite early in the battle to flee as they saw the battle lost, being denied the wherewithal to fight. These are first hand accounts.

Now this whole matter is bigger than just the supply of ammunition, it has also got a lot to do with possible rate of fire ,malfunctioning weapons, and defensive lines which were just too extended and thus not tenable. It has also got something to do with battalion reserves of ammunition which were being "husbanded" by the 24th. A lost cause anyway because the Zulus captured all of those too in the end.
I am planning on a post shortly to put this whole problem in better perspecticve.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:24 am

Barry all post with rate of fire and statistique of hit with of all type of firearm of the british army in the zulu wars are vital...

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Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:20 am

Barry
Naturally the Zulus reported bandoliers were empty at the END of the battle - the men would have fought to the last bullet and then resorted to knives, etc. The questions raised above in this topic related to whether there was a shortage on the firing line DURING the battle.
I do not know of one survivor's account which reported an 'ammunition problem' and I have them all. The only possible exception is Smith-Dorrien's which, it is generally agreed, was taken out of context. If such a scenario were true, the survivors' accounts would be full of it.
I do not know of any survivor's account which states that lack of ammunition caused them to flee the field.
I do not know of any account which states that rounds were being husbanded at the battalion reserve waggons.
I quite agree that troop disposition lies at the heart of the disaster.
I nevertheless look forward very much to your future posting.
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PostSubject: MH Rate of fire   Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:50 pm



Hi Pascal,

Because of the bad interplay of important variables on 22/01/1879, and little records kept, one cannot with certainty say what the achieved rate of fire was. The MH manufacturer would have given a very optimistic estimate of this, but the reality fell far short.

regards


barry
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:52 pm

Julian. Are they similar to this one?

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Scotch cart
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