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Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command.Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
 
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 Major Cleary stated that ‘Spalding is utterly worthless’

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impi

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PostSubject: Major Cleary stated that ‘Spalding is utterly worthless’   Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:49 pm

Quote :
"It was generally believed that Spalding could have easily pressed on to relieve if not assist the desperate defenders at Rorke’s Drift, having reached a point less than three miles from the engagement."

I think Spalding made the right decision, not to go any further. He would have been moving into a Battle not knowing how many Zulu's were attacking, or even if they had taken the mission station. also he would have how much ammunition was available. If I recall, did he not meet some survivors from the Rocket Battery, who must have told him roughly how many Zulu's had attacked the camp at Isandlwana and with that in mind made a tactical withdrawal. Makes sense to me. Any opinions welcome.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Major Cleary stated that ‘Spalding is utterly worthless’   Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:06 pm

I totally agree with Major Cleary. Idea Spalding should never have left in the first place. Bet he was kicking his heels not getting a VC.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Major Cleary stated that ‘Spalding is utterly worthless’   Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Are we not looking at the same situation, regarding when the column first arrived at Isandlwana. When Spalding left to hurry the reinforcements, there was no threat. that's why the fortifications of RD were only put in place in the last few hours before the attack. The main difference being, at Isandlwana there had been many reports of large numbers of Zulu's in the area and nothing was done. At RD they received reports of a pending attack and done something about it. I think Spalding would have committed suicide for himself and his men, if he had advance at that stage of the Battle. When Chelmsford returned, the battle had just ended after some 15 hours of fighting.
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90th

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PostSubject: Major Cleary stated '' Spalding was Worthless ''   Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:48 am

Hi All.
Can someone point me in the right direction for evidence Cleary stated the above and in those words.
The Spalding matter has been discussed previously here . I have no Problem with Spalding leaving as
there wasnt a direct threat considering Chelmesford's force was between the Zulus and the Drift . It must
be remembered The Good Lord's ( Chelmesford for ctsg Idea ) thoughts were that the zulu wouldnt attack
the Column and the Columns greatest task at hand was to get the Impi to Attack at some point . The old
story of complacency rears it's ugly head again , and judging from what Spalding thought this permeated all
the way down the chain of command !!. Spalding had gone to see what the hold up was with I think Rainsforth's Co , once it was sorted he proceeded to the Drift where on the road he met people who
told of the massacre at Isandlwana and some in fact saying RD had indeed fallen . Spalding went further
on to where he had a better view of the situation and saw many zulus between him and the Drift and also
saw there was smoke etc from the fire at the drift . He draw upon the only possible conclusion .... Withdrawl.
Fairly certain there wasnt any wagons with them and their ammunition reserve was most likely at the Drift ,
the troops and only being 1 company , 80 - 100 max may have only had the minimal amount of rounds per man on their person . He could do nothing else .
cheers 90th.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Major Cleary stated that ‘Spalding is utterly worthless’   Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:34 pm

Just reading some more of Chards report. It really doe's make you wonder why Spalding did leave. Even after Chard had told him what he had seen, I take it he's talking about the Zulus. This alone should have been enough to make him stay. He could have quite easy have sent someone else with a message. His claim that a more senior officer going would have hurried the reinforcements a bit quicker. ( Hogwash) he wanted out it.

"The Guard as detailed was over the ponts. Captain Rainforth's Company had not arrived. I went at once to Major Spalding on arrival, told him what I had seen, and pointed out to him that in the event of an attack on the ponts it would be impossible with 7 men (not counting the natives) to make an effective defence. (According to the orders, Capt. Rainforth's Company should have been already at Rorke's Drift.

Major Spalding told me he was going over to Helpmakaar, and would see about getting it down at once. Just as I was about to ride away he said to me 'Which of you is senior, you or Bromhead?" I said " I don't know" - he went back to his tent, looked at the Army List, and coming back, said "I see you are senior, so you will be in charge, although of course, nothing will happen, and I shall be back again this evening early."
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90th

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PostSubject: Major Cleary stated '' Spalding was Worthless ''   Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:50 pm

Hi Littlehand.
You are basing your views on Hindsight and history which is all well and good after the fact . Spalding
sums it up '' Of course nothing will happen '' this being the whole mindset of those in charge all the way
from the Good Lord C down to more than likely the lowest ranker . They never thought in their wildest dreams
the camp would be attacked , and heaven forbid taken at Isandlwana . The chances of the Drift being attacked ............Well more chance of Ceteswayo being crowned King of England I would have thought !. I'm
sure if Spalding thought there was a remote possibility of an attack at the drift he would have needed to have been dragged to H'makarr !. The officers all wanted action to gain promotion and extra pay , there was no other way to achieve these goals . Spalding leaving to chase up the company probably stayed with him forever . He didnt have a choice once Durnford was ordered from the drift , he needed that extra Co .
cheers 90th.
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Major Cleary stated that ‘Spalding is utterly worthless’   Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:17 am

Ok. So Chard goe's and tells Spalding, what he had seen at Isandlwana, makes a comment that he didn't think there was enough men to hold the Drift in the event of an attack. Spalding gives this some thought, and then decides leave. He could quite easily have sent someone else.

When the message came about the camp being lost, Chard could have quite easily made that as his excuse to leave to hurry up Spalding. But he didn't he stayed with the men.
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