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 Isandlwana, Last Stands

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:34 am

Ulundi
Possibly this may help: On Google Earth iSandlwana is at 28 21'11.09" S 30 39'04.89"E
If you zoom in to the saddle you will see a pathway running diagonally down to the left, follow that along the string of cairns until you hit the L shaped row of cairns. This is the approx crossing point of the chasm, or at least one of the points. Cross the chasm and follow its southern edge and you will pick up the trail of cairns again untill you reach a clump of cairns near the manks of the stream. this is at 28 21'53.25S 30 38'10.72"E
This last group of cairns is Ansteys stand.

Hope that helps.

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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:30 pm

This might help too.

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John

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:21 pm

Does any one know which company made their last stand here?
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana , Last Stands    Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:46 pm

John.
It may not have been a company ! , there appears to be only one Cairn in sight , more than likely it was an individual or possibly a couple more . Who I would hazard a guess that they / he attempted to use the large rock as cover at some point before they were overcome .
90th .
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:37 pm

John
The stand was made by about 40 men from F coy under Lieut. Anstey. you could get this information from any reputable history of the battle - Jackson, Knight, etc. Do look things up!
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:44 pm

Thanks 90th.

Julian, thanks for you rely, it's quicker to ask, than trawling through books to find the answer. Of course the book would have to show the same photo posted for me to know who they were.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:59 am

Julian not sure about that, The image is actually on the shoulder of Isandlwana, and would represent the retirement line that Younbhusbands company took along the scree slope, It is not the only one n the vicinity. The "big" cairn which is prominent in most images is off to the left.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:44 am

Neil/John
Apologies. I misread the thread. I thought John was asking about the coy at the Manzimnyama stand. At the shoulder cairn, you are quite right, it would have been Younghusband's C coy remnants (about 60).
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:41 am

Interesting, so the slope behind is the one they charged down, making their last effort to cut through, where the Cain is.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:46 am

So the cairn posted in this thread by John, it one of the same, as depicted in this image.

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Ulundi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:38 pm

"Some officers who were with the advance column, and who afterwards visited Isandhlwana, say that they appear to have " tried to get the waggons together to form a laager," but there was not time."
Source: HISTORY OF THE ZULU WAR AND ITS ORIGIN.BY FRANCES E. COLENSO

Does anyone know the names of these officers.
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:43 pm

Just trying to think at what point in the Battle they woud have tried this. Of course the only problem with their thoughts on this, is that some waggons were used by the Zulus to take away their dead. And others Probaly just moved. There are no accounts that I know of from any of the survivors that men tryed to Laager the waggons.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:22 pm

I don't think this happened. It took 50 men to move a waggon. This was Zulus moving the transport about.
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90th

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:36 pm

I also tend to agree with Oh2 & Julian , never any mention of an attempted Laagering of wagons during the Battle .
Not that I've come across in any of my books .
Cheers 90th.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:07 am

These officers who claimed this is what they saw, possibly saw a few waggons in close proximity of each other and assumed that's what took place.
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PostSubject: Simulation of Isandlwana battle   Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:13 pm

Have been lurking this forum for some time -- I have found the amount of insight and knowledge amongst the posters impressive and enlightening.

With regard to the question of a square being effective at Isandlwana, I came across this brief academic paper on the subject of simulation models. Fortunately for all, the author happened to choose the battle at Isandlwana as his test case!

It is an interesting read. You can follow the assumptions the author made (artillery was ineffective, distribution of ammunition was strained over larger distances, etc). The author simulated both the actual battle to "prove" the model and then an alternate hypothesis of a British square.

Enjoy!

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:30 am

Bill
Will the family be donating the other items taken from Anstey's body in their possession?
Adrian
I think it worth noting in terms of last stands that the reason many of the camp casuals managed to run the gauntlet was because of Durnford's stand holding up the left horn and Shepstone's behind the mountain holding up the tip of the right horn.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:15 pm

Julian

Not that I know.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:57 pm

Can we be absolutely sure,that Durnford deliberately held up the left horn, to enable the rest to get away, or was it a case of he had no choice, but to fight wetther it was the right horn, left horn, or other.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:21 pm

Dave
Whether it was so intended or not, that was the result. Durnford could not have known whether Shepstone was stemming the tide behind the mountain but he would have been aware that the right horn had not yet appeared and the longer he could hold back the left, the greater the chance the men in the camp had of surviving.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:35 pm

Are there any accounts of what "Shepstone" was actually doing.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:56 pm

No. They were all kia.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Thought as much!!!
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:44 pm

Why didn't Durnford retreat all tne way back to the camp?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:39 pm

Dave
Impossible. He would never have made it with his command intact (remember, it was a mounted command, movement through the tented area would have been terribly restricted). But he had no intention of doing that anyway - a stand to the south of the camp might perhaps form part of a defence which would hold up the progress of the left horn. And this it did.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:49 pm

So it's true to say, Dunford didn't choose his spot to fight, he wasn't given a choice. So in hind-sight he had no option, but to fire at the oncoming Zulu's for preservation of himself and his men. It’s possible that those who left the Battlefield did so by taking advantage of Durnford’s position and action.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:28 pm

24th
I suppose he had a choice as to whether to run, form a stand on the saddle, go it alone into camp to find Pulleine...
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:30 pm

Quote :
go it alone into camp to find Pulleine...
If he had taken the choice above, would there had been a specific reason for doing so, what could have be achieved by finding him.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:50 pm

To co-ordinate the defence - so that the right hand knew what the left had already done!!
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:31 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
To co-ordinate the defence - so that the right hand knew what the left had already done!!

Seems an odd asumption to make, taking into account he wasn't prepaired to co-ordinate the defences, when he first arrived at the camp. A little too late me thinks!!!!!!
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:01 pm

Quote :
Seems an odd asumption to make, taking into account he wasn't prepaired to co-ordinate the defences, when he first arrived at the camp. A little too late me thinks!!!!!!
It's a valid point.

Durnford last stand was dictated by the Battle formations of the Zulu Army.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:09 am

When Durnford arrived in camp he was not intending to stay and was 'passing through'. Although he was senior officer at that moment, his stay in the camp was brief and beyond making certain suggestions, recommendations, and requests (and at least one known order), he did not, in his own words, "interfere". Neither was the camp under any specific threat at that moment.
When he returned to the camp for the last time following his retreat from the donga no-one knows precisely what his intentions were. It is logical to assume that if he intended taking command he would try to reach Pulleine to see what he had already done and what remained of the command and communications structure. If matters were beyond that, he would want to concentrate the troops for an effective 'last stand' (we do know he sought to concentrate the troops) and to be among them. As has been written, the movement of the Zulu warriors restricted his possibilities and dictated what he was and was not able to do. A last stand in front of the saddle was all that was left open to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:48 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Dave
Impossible. He would never have made it with his command intact (remember, it was a mounted command, movement through the tented area would have been terribly restricted). But he had no intention of doing that anyway - a stand to the south of the camp might perhaps form part of a defence which would hold up the progress of the left horn. And this it did.

Not quite.
Durnfords stand was above the 1/24th tented area so he, Durnford, did actually retreat back to the camp. There are two potential routes he could have taken, to the South of the tents or along the road that bisected the camp. Considering the site of the volunteers deaths I would assume that the men took the road to the point below the saddle. This was the point on the NW corner of the 1/24th tented area that the stand was made. That position was tactically brilliant as it forced the left horn to break up and work its way through the entanglement of the tents/guy ropes etc. It also had the wagon park on their shoulders and could arguably have been a point where they could have been replenished. That is untill the right horn aproached from the rear and cut of the route to the saddle.
If the position was forced on them it was an unbelievable stroke of luck. But if that position was decided on by Pullen or Durnford it was well chosen. Personally I believe, unlike Mike Snook, it was of Durnfords choosing. The reasons behind that are there to see in the time line.

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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:48 pm

Quote :
That position was tactically brilliant as it forced the left horn to break up and work its way through the entanglement of the tents/guy ropes etc

I thought the tents weren't struck, that was one of the arguments with regards to the defences of the camp. There was no entanglements just thin red lines of soldiers well away from the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:27 pm

impi
The tents werent struck that meant that the guy ropes outstretched etc were definitly an impedence, ever tried running through a camp site when you were a kid? I have fond memories of friction burns from tripping over taught ropes. Unless the left wing ran up the road they would have had to negotiate the tents or the slopes of Mahlabamkosi. Either one would have slowed them down and taken the impetous out of the charge. On the other side of the tents were the volunteers, Durnfords horse and the Carbineers. The time line again shows that they would have been alone untill joined by units of Popes Company and/or H company. ( We know they were re enforced because of the bodies found there) Great job eventually done by Durnfords force. They would have had to hold that wing back for a considerable time before the retreating imperial forces joined them, to do that they must have had ammunition replenishments, ergo the ammo wagon at their backs.
Its all about the time line.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:39 pm

springbok9 wrote:

I have fond memories of friction burns

Are you remembering this accurately Springy?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:46 pm

Caught out. :p;:
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:16 pm

Quote :
They would have had to hold that wing back for a considerable time before the retreating imperial forces joined them, to do that they must have had ammunition replenishments, ergo the ammo wagon at their backs.

But on sending his men back for more ammo, they found but a few cartridges.... agree
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:34 pm

24th
Try and come up with a plausible explanation as to how: The forces in the donga had to retreat because of a lack of ammunition and then after doing so managed to hold back the entire left wing untill they were joined by various imperial forces retreating, at least 30 minutes and possibly more.

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:34 pm

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It's there somewhere!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:30 pm

No it isnt, whats there is hyperboly miss direction and supersition and downright untruths.
The question has been asked and never been answered,let me ask it again:
Durnfords men retired from the Donga with little or no ammunition. A rearguard action was fought by the Carbineers plus volunteers. In a similar time zone the line collapsed. The companies made their way across half a mile of veld before some joined Durnfords forces for a stand below Mahlambamkosi. There was a time gap, minimum of 30 minutes before those two forces joined up and fought till eventually the died.
The question therefore is: how could those Carbineers and volunteers have fought for that period ( plus the additional time when the imperial troops joined them ) with no ammunition.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:26 pm

Any eye-witness accounts on this Springbok...
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:10 am

Yes there is and they have all be quoted ad nauseum.
But given the simple fact that some 60 bodies were found clustered around Durnford, a lot of them being imperial troops, substantiates it. Those troops could not cross that battlefield in under 30 minutes fighting of the chest as they went. Therefore ipso facto had to have held of the left wing for that period baring in mind that the withdrawl from the donga was one of the catalysts for the collapse of the firing line.
Time line extract:
1. Durnford abandons donga.
2. Retreats towards the camp.
3. Carbineers establish a second firing line
4. Durnford rides of to try and see Pulleine ( Chats to Gardner on the way)
5. Left horn moves towards 1/24 camp
6. Line collapses and withdrawl begins
7. Durnford returns to the 1/24 camp and re joins the carbineers
8. Imperial troops join Durnford.
9. The saddle is kept open long enough for the fugitives to escape.

Fit all that into a time scale and then figure out how they could have done it without ammunition. Take into account that the stand was above the tent line where the 1/24 wagons where parked, plus of course the regimental ammo reserve.

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PostSubject: Durndfords last stand and the NMP   Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:33 am

Hi All,
On a point of historical correctness, taken from Holt's " the Mounted Police of Natal", p66;
quote
" around him (Durnford) lay (dead) 14 carbineers and 21 of the police" unquote . There is no mention of volunteeers succumbing there, however on page 64 this is said,
" as the final rush came , Colonel Durnford clearly saw that death was inevitable for nearly everyone , and shouted " Get away as best you can" to the Police and Volunteers surrounding him , but very few heard him or obeyed him.
So, it would appear that any Volunteers who were with him there escaped with their lives.
What comes out of all of this is that Colonel Durnford was desperately holding the enemy off, perhaps with his sabre and revolver ,.....so that others lives may be saved. This point is corroborated in Mehlogazulu's report which confirmed that revolvers and knives( messe), meaning bayonets and swords of course, were being used by the defending Colonials in their last stand. He went on to say that the ammunition bandoliers of this group of enemy fatalities were all empty.
Prior to this when Dartnell rode out with the NMP and the Natal Crabineers contingent on his Patrol , he left 1/3 of his NMP force at Isandlwana to help defend the camp. 30 of these men were mounted infantry, one, Tpr Pleydell was the NMP watercart driver and Tpr Parsons was in hospital having injured his knee when thrown from his horse the previous day.
The only survivors of this 32 man NMP force were : L/c Eaton, Tptr Stevens, Tprs Doig, Shannon, Collier, Dorehill, Hayes, Kincade and Sparks

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:35 am

The ammuntion in the waggons you mention, we're not the type of rounds Durnford men could use. They were for the 24th regiments who were equipped with MH rifles.

And was it not Garner who rode out to Durnford, nt the other way round.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:51 am

Ray
Im pretty sure that the ammunition types etc ( not my field) were cleared up by Neil.
Gardner saw the withdrawl and rode across, he met Durnford. Read into that what you will. The point being its part of the time frame.
The second point being that nobody so far has come up with an explanation as to how they could have held of the left horn for some considerable time with no ammo !

Barry
Most certainly knives sticks stones could and would have been used at the end, but not for an extended period.
From Major Black: "The bodies lay thickess on the 1/24th camp; a determined stand had evidently been made behind the officers tents......seventy dead lay here.
Near at hand were found the bodies of Col Durnford and Lt Scott and othe Carabineers, and men of the NMP, showing that here a lso our men had gathered and fought as recognised body. This was evidently a centre of resistance as bodies of men of ALL arms were found converged."

Cheers
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:07 am

I'm guessing the men that were in front of the camp, possibly laid down enough covering fire to allow the men to cross, the Zulus themselves would have been exhausted.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:56 am

Hi Ray
The area in question is on the right of the camp, the main line to the left and left front wouldnt be possible for Pope to cover that area, hence the reason for him being taken in the flank. It was pretty much in the begginingof the attack so exhaustion wouldnt have been an issue. Bottom line really is that that group had run out of ammo in the donga yet still managed to fight of 2-3000 zulus for around 30 minutes, they had to have had a re supply and as the area they regrouped was adjacent to the 1/24th wagons that becomes the obvious choice.

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:07 am

Is it possible that they had a re-supply of weapons, thus accommodating the ammuntion from the waggons.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana, Last Stands   Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:12 pm

impi
Its allways possible, there is however a pretty large but, there would have had to be a considerable amount and I honestly cant remember any references to that sort of quantity. As this incident would have occured before the line was breached there would not have been a significant amount of imperial weaponry available either.I think still the safe bet is a re supply. Its the only explanation Ive ever been able to come up with.
Mainwaring incidentally lists Durnfords body found with 6 officers and around 160 men, mostly 24th.
Brickhills statement says that he hunted round the camp trying to find a weapon, he did bump into his friend Quarter Master Pullen, the man who would have controlled weapons, so he is positioned in the place that Durnfords men were aiming for.
He, Pullen, was trying to stem any retreat and arrange a stand so again that would place him in the ideal position to get ammunition.Brickhills last sighting of his tent mate was of him heading towards the koppie leading a band of men towards the left horn and I cant really see him leading men into an attack with no ammo.
In support of Julians comments on Shepstone keeping the right horn at bay is also a quote from Brickhill about the Basutos who: "had a narrow escape on the ridge ( Tahelane ridge? ) bursting past the Generals tent ( en route from North of iSandlwana to the saddle by the shortest possible route?) ) and kept up their fire from the rocks under iSandlwana.
Hope that explains my point

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