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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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 They let the chance slip.

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impi

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PostSubject: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:26 pm

Why didn't the Zulu army that attack the camp at Isandlwawa attack Chelmsford column. They would have been watching Chelmsford even after the attack, so would have know what his movements were, and as we have said before a British column on the move wouldn't stand a chance. So why did they let the chance slip by. Thinking about it they could have let the British settle in for the night at Isandlwana, attacked then, or early in the morning.

Just a thought Idea
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:45 pm

They had also ran about 5 miles before the fight at Isandlwana. I thought they had fought for about 5-6 hours.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:52 pm

Plus the many wounded and lack of food and water
and the running and fighing for around 3 hours.





Regards
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:58 pm

Well, there seems to have been two similar topics started.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:11 pm

But the Zulu's that made the attack on RD had originally been at Isandlwana. Although they never took part, they still cover the 4-5 miles with the others, they then broke away, made thier way to R?D despatching British Soliders along the trail, arrived at R.D launched straight into an attack and kept that up for about 15 hours. So the Zulu's at Isandlwana would have been more than capable of attacking Chelsford column. I wonder if the British would have been more keen to talk peace if Chelmsford had been chopped. Because at that point the British government didn't really know what was going on.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:23 pm

littlehand wrote:
So the Zulu's at Isandlwana would have been more than capable of attacking Chelsford column. .

Littlehand, they had fourght for 3 hours, hand to hand fighting would be exausting.

Running 5 miles and then fighting would be exhausting, plus they would have
been short of food and water and almost 2,000 wounded to look after.

Cheers
DB14
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90th

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PostSubject: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:14 pm

Hi Impi.
In a nutshell the thought crossed their mind , but the commander / commanders decided they would attack the
camp instead as they thought it would make a bigger statement . ie ; Loot the stores , destroy the equipment and animals to stop the british moving into zululand at a later date . The zulu's were pretty well stuffed after the attack on the camp and didnt have the stomach to press on and fight another engagement .
Fatique , The wounded , Thirst and Hunger and so on . There is no doubt they would easily have handled
C'ford and his lot .
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:13 pm

I'm not to sure the Zulu's looked after their wounded in the same way the British would. Correct me if I'm wrong but another name for the knobkerry was a mercy stick used to dispatch wounded Zulu's to put them out of their misery. The Zulus claimed to have dragged most the dead into donga's and grain pits
so they wouldn't have taken up to much time, but then again if they were going to deal with Chelmsford, the dead and wounded would have been left on the Battlefield and taken care of later. Hopefully not as long as it took the British bury their dead.

The point I was trying to make DB14, You say the Zulu,s fought for 3 hours. At RD they fought 15hrs. The Zulus being from the same army. Just image what the Zulus at Isandlwana could have done if 15 hours if they had wanted to, they could have over whelmed Chelmsford and still of had time to lend a hand a R.D.
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90th

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PostSubject: They let the chance slip.   Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:28 pm

Hi Littlehand .
I forgot to mention the zulu wanted a quick action and to get out as fast as they could , they would have had to travel for 3 or 4 days at least to get back with the wounded and their bounty .
Then undergo 2 or 3 days of cleansing ceremonies and other rituals all with an eye on getting their harvests in on time
before they would be spoilt by the weather . A very important time of year for a crop growing people . Hope this helps .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:54 pm

My initial thought would be that they were physically, emotionally and mentally drained after the initial high of the battle wore off within a few hours. They would have been wasted.
To ask them to fight again in the early hours of the following morning would have been completely out of the question.
I also think that an individual would have been unlikely to have wandered into Zululand as far as Chelmsford did without the Zulus knowing about it, let alone a blooming big column.
Hence part of me thinks the Zulus DID in fact seize their chance and attacked the camp, when they observed that it was defended by a smaller force.
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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:25 pm

I' sure the missing five hours covers this. When the camp split is was their ideal opportunity, and one they would be stupid to let pass.
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PostSubject: Did the Zulu's miss their chance in not attacking Chelmsford's column   Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:34 pm


All the points made in the foregoing posts are essentially, correct, with one element missing. The Zulu's had taken a severe beating the previous day with total casualties including KIA's far exceeding, manyfold, that of the British forces. This battle attrition, plus sheer fatigue and the looting element resulted in a drastic reduction in fighting men the following day.

Many of the enemy, once having looted the Isandlwana camp, left the action and headed for home with their spoils of war as they correctly foresaw, with dread, what was possibly coming their way if they risked challenging the British again.

I would venture to say that if the small impi that passed Chelmsford on the way to Rorkes drift had challenged him , I believe they, the impi, would have had a severe dusting.
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PostSubject: Re: They let the chance slip.   Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:55 pm

Barry I take it your relating to the attack on Sihayo's kraal I would call that a small skirmish, not sure this would have had a effect on Zulu moral.Completely the opposite I should think.

Zulus retreated, with 30 dead, 4 wounded and 10 captured.

The British suffered 2 casualties and 15 wounded.
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90th

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PostSubject: They let the chance slip.   Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:25 pm

Hi Littlehand .
I dont think Barry is talking about Sihayo's Kraal at all . He is referring to Chemlmesford's force passing the impi
that had attacked RD and was now withdrawing , as the Chelmesford's force was withdrawing itself after spending the night among the dead at Isandlwana . If I remember correctly they basically passed each other
and were ordered not to open fire . I believe one zulu attempted to charge the column he was killed by rifle fire
from the NNC .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Did the Zzulu's let their chance slip   Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:04 am

Hi 90th,
Correct, The Sirayo's kraal action was a precursor to Isandlwana.I was refering to the Zulu impi , retreating from RD and passing Chelmsford's relieving column, approaching RD.

barry
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