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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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The missing five hours.

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 The missing five hours.

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:51 pm

Chelsmford left about 4am and the Zulus according to the MFH decided to attack the camp.

Well at 11:45 there was still no attack on the camp.

Why ?

They could easily cover the distence to the camp in under an hour or 2 at most if they had to get
ready. What advantage was there by waiting till it was broad daylight.


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impi

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:57 pm

They was moving into position.

"First: Having conjecturally decoyed half of No 3 Column (and two thirds of its artillery) from the camp in order to join Major Dartnell in an effort to locate, engage and destroy a strong Zulu presence approximately ten miles east of the camp in the Mangeni Falls area and,
Second: The reconnaissance of the Isandlwana Camp made by a mounted party that included Mehlokazulu kaSihayo, one of the commanders of the Nkobamakosi Regiment in the very early hours of 22nd January and,

Third: In the knowledge that the camp strength was substantially reduced by observation of a strong column leaving in the early hours of the 22nd on the track leading to Mangeni Falls

Ntshingwayo kaMahole, overall commander of the Zulu Regiments, presented with a sudden and unexpected tactical opportunity, changed his battle plan from remaining concealed until 23rd, to one of mounting a deliberate attack as soon as possible on 22nd January.
To assist with evaluating this reasoning we have divided the battlefield into two areas of engagement.


Trooper Barker, Natal Carbineers.

“ ……[we] arrived on the hill [assessed to be Qwabe] about sunrise [0522 hrs] After being posted about a quarter of an hour we noticed a lot of mounted men in the distance and on their coming nearer we saw that they were trying to surround us….. we discovered they were Zulus. We retired to Lieut. Scott about two miles nearer the camp [assessed to be Conical Hill] and informed him of what we had seen, and he decided to come back with us but before we had gone far we saw Zulus on the hill we had just left and others advancing from the left flank [an area including iThusi Valley] where two other videttes (sic), Whitelaw and another had been obliged to retire from. Whitelaw reported, a large army advancing ‘thousands’ I remember him distinctly saying ….this would be about eight a.m.”
…….. shortly afterwards numbers of Zulus being seen on all the hills to the left front.”

Captain Edward Essex.
75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment, serving as the Director of Transport for No 3 Column.

“…… until about eight A.M., when a report arrived from a picquet stationed at a point about 1,500 yards distant, on a hill, to the north of the camp, that a body of enemy’s troops could be seen approaching from northeast.”


Lieutenant J.R.M.Chard, RE.
Time approximately 0930 hrs by estimation.

I also looked with my own, [field glass] and could see the enemy moving on the distant hills, and apparently in great force. Large numbers of them moving to my left, until the lion hill of Isandhlwana, on my left as I looked at them, hid them from my view. The idea struck me that they may be moving in the direction between the camp and Rorke’s Drift

Lieutenant W. Higginson, 1/3rd Natal Native Contingent (NNC.)
The first intimation we received about the Zulus was at 6 a.m when. Lt. Honourable Standish Vereker came into camp and said that the Zulus were appearing on the extreme left, and nearly opposite his outlying picket [Assessed as being somewhere north of Magaga Knoll and south of the Nqutu Range of hills.] …… Soon afterwards Colonel Pulleine sent me and Sergt Maj Williams came with me. We found Captain Barry [Comment: Commanding the picquet] and Lt Vereker watching a large body of Zulus on the extreme left of the camp, and they informed me that a large force of about 5,000 had gone round behind the Isandula Hill.

Lieutenant Hillier, Lonsdale’s Natal Native Contingent. (NNC)
At half past seven a.m. Lt. Veriker [sic] of the NNC who was on picquet duty with Captain Barry rode into camp and reported to Colonel Pulleine that the Zulus were advancing on the camp in large numbers. 6

This report corroborates that of Lt. Higginson, in that Zulu deployment was taking place in the open and in view of the camp’s outposts.
The words advancing on the camp are unambiguous and show aggressive intent to attack. Note the time: 0730 hrs 22nd January.

Lieutenant C. Pope’s Diary. 2/24 Regiment, portion of which read:
“ Alarm- 3 Columns Zulus and mounted men on hill E. Turn Out 7,000(!!!) more E.N.E., 4000 of whom went around Lion’s Kop.[Isandlwana Hill] Durnford’s Basutos, arrive and pursue.” 7

Pope, by direct personal observation, provided confirmatory evidence that a large Zulu force was sighted. Furthermore, the deployment was taking place prior to Durnford’s arrival. This is a valuable, and completely uncorrupted, collateral source report.


J.A.Brickhill, Interpreter.

On the morning of 22nd January between 6 & 7 O’clock in the morning the Zulus showed in considerable force at the southern end of Ingutu Mountain."
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:10 pm

Impi

What posistion do you mean ?

The only posistion the Zulus needed was to form up in there regiments, which i beleive they slept in.

Also TMFH can't be posted on any public site without the permission of L and Q.





Cheers

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:12 pm

The point that as to be considered " Is was there so much Zulu activity if they never had the intention of attacking. They would have remained hidden. Why would they draw attention to themselves. The sad thing is although these sightings were reported nothing was done. Perhaps the Zulus had found out the the rest of the column would be following The Good Lord Chelmsford on the 22nd at some stage. So it would have been a sensible move on the Zulu part to move into postions to prevent them from doing so.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:17 pm

Quote :
Also TMFH can't be posted on any public site without the permission of L and Q.

DB14 That my friend is nothing for you to worry about. I sure our Administrator has a very healthy relationship with both authors, We have discussed and posted information from the TMFH. I'm sure this information would have been removed by now if the authors were un-happy.

So please stay on topic.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:31 pm

Why was there so much Zulu activity if they never had the intention of attacking. ( I think thats what CTSG was going to write)

Its a good question. We know that Zulus did and could have entered the camp and mistaken for NNC. Perhaps as CTSG says Learned about the possibility of column moving off.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:35 pm

No one new that the camp was going to be moved until Gardner arrived at 12:00 with
the order from Chelsmford.

The Zulus had no posistion other then forming up in regiments, then the horns and the
chest, and attacking the posistion. This forming up would not have taken over 5 hours.

CTSG

You've read Snook, you know his argument on why there was so much activity.


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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:58 pm

"Bertram Mitford’s Through Zulu Country, page 90, published in 1883, records a meeting with a ‘warrior of the Umbonambi regiment’ that describes the bivouac position on the morning of the 22nd as: We were lying in the hills up there. This description is far removed from any connection with the Ngwebeni Valley, the supposed bivouac location"

DB14. As you like you Zulu accounts I thought I would post this.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:00 pm

I like Zulu accounts because they were there and not one of them mentions an attack.

Not a single one of them, what would be the point in lying ?



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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:12 pm

So what's your thought on the account from Mitford, The Zulu he spoke to was at Isandlwana. But says they was in the hills and not near the Ngwebeni Valley.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:02 pm

Quote :
Not a single one of them, what would be the point in lying ?

So if this Zulu is saying he was in the hills. Where does then leave us, if the Zulu don't lie... You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:11 pm

Part of the impi was not in the valley.

The whole source says

We were lying in the hills up there when one of our scouting parties came back followed by a number
of mounted men, some white but most were black, they fired on us, then the whole impi became very
excited and sprung up.


Why would the Zulus send out scouting parties if they were in the middle of an attack ?


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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:18 pm

and this zulu says later "At first we had not intended attacking the camp that day, as the moon was ” wrong ” (in an
unfavourable quarter — a superstition), but as the whites had discovered our presence the hidunaa said we had better go on."
(p.93)
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:21 pm

Quote :
Part of the impi was not in the valley.

So now we have them in two locations.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue May 01, 2012 8:47 pm

Mehlokazulu’s Second Interrogation Report:

 He [referring to Cetshwayo] then gave Tsingwayo orders to use his own discretion and attack the English wherever he thought proper [Indicating clearly that Ntsingwayo was at liberty to attack as and when he thought fit] and if he beat them he was to cross the Buffalo River and advance on Pietermaritzburg, devastating the whole country and to return with the spoil.  I caught up with the Zulu Army at the bottom of the Ngutu Mountains, about eight miles from Isandhlwana, where they had encamped. We learnt from our scouts that the English were encamped at Isandhlwana, but did not know that the army had been divided, as we did not send spies into their camp. 

We need to know that Mehlokazulu was not himself privy to all the tactical information received by the Zulu battle commanders. He is also referring to the position of the amabutho by onset of darkness 21st January and not the very different situation that became clear on the early morning of the 22nd.
We slept that night at the above-mentioned place. In the morning Tsingwayo called me and said. ‘ Go with three other indunas and see what the English are doing.’ 

"I called the indunas and started off at a good pace. We were all mounted. When we got to the range of hills looking on to Isandhlwana, we could see the English outposts [mounted men] quite close to us, and could also see the position of their camp. The outposts evidently saw us, for they commenced to move about, and there seemed to be a bustle in the camp, as some were inspanning the wagons, and others were getting in the oxen. We immediately went back, and I reported to our commander Tsingwayo, who said, ‘All right, we will see what they are going to do. I went away and had something to eat, as I had no food that morning. Presently I heard Tsingwayo give orders for the Tulwana and Ngyaza regiments to assemble. When they had done so he gave orders for the others to assemble and advance in the direction of the English camp. We were fired on first by the mounted men, who checked our advance for some little time.” 

This must have some bearing to substantiate that they could attack any time and that included the 22nd which of course they did.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue May 01, 2012 8:52 pm

Dave

The Zulus had over 5 and a half hours to attack the camp.

They didn't.



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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue May 01, 2012 9:07 pm

Perhaps they wasn't ready.
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90th

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PostSubject: The missing 5 hrs    Wed May 02, 2012 12:35 am

Hi All .
The original plan if I'm not mistaken from the zulu heirachy was that they intended to attack Isandlwana at dawn on the 23rd
January . So if they intended to attack Isandlwana on the 22nd , it seems logical it also would take place at dawn !. . I stick with the thought that had they not been discovered on the 22nd ; the attack would not have taken place until the morning of the 23rd . Dont forget that Nyezane was also a case of the impi being discovered prematurely - this happened about 8am which led to that battle commencing .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu May 03, 2012 4:28 pm

To much Zulu activity prior to the valley discovery. They plan to attack on the 22nd.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu May 03, 2012 5:56 pm

Then why do no Zulus mention this ?
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu May 03, 2012 6:08 pm

Ntsingwayo was at liberty to attack as and when he thought fit. He obviously thought it fit to attack on the 22nd Jan. and let's face it he made the right decision.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 04, 2012 8:19 am

LH
Salute You are so right. Salute

Cheers
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 04, 2012 12:05 pm

Am I reading the TMFH Wrongly? Or is it plain to see, that the various sightings on the morning of the 22nd Jan of the Zulu movements surly indicated that they were forming up into their traditional fighting formation.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu May 10, 2012 11:22 pm

Dave this by Ron Lock. Brillient artical as usual.

It's seems they didn't. Althought it's quite clear in many accounts that's what was happening but no one seemed overly concerned, including Durnford.
Also this artical contains some other interesting factors.


"     Curling was also conscientious in writing to his mother, vividly describing the Battle of Isandlwana, within the confines of his own experience, on several occasions.  It is in these letters, written from about the 25 January to the 21 February, that he adds considerably to what we already know of the battle;
Quote :
At 7.30 I got the message to turn out at once and we got ready in about 10 minutes forming up by the 1/24th on their parade ground.  The companies were very weak no more than 50 in each and there were only 6 of them in all.  We congratulated ourselves on the chance of our being attacked and hoped that our small numbers might induce the Zulus to come on…I suppose that not more than half the men left in the camp took part in its defence as it was not considered necessary and they were left in as cooks etc...”
     My contention is that the firing line was at half strength because the remainder of the men were busy packing up the camp.  Curling continues:
“When we were turned out again about 12, the Zulus were only showing on our left [the Nqutu Plateau] and we only prepared to defend the approaches to that side of the camp.  All the time we were idle in camp the Zulus were surrounding us with a huge circle several miles in circumference and hidden by hills from our sight.  When the action once began we saw nothing but what was going on in our immediate front.  None of us felt the least anxious as to the result for although they came on in immense numbers we felt it was impossible they could force a way through us.  When the order to retire came and we trotted up to the camp to take up a fresh position we found the camp full of the enemy and you can imagine our horror: there was no time to think and we galloped right through the Zulus losing all the men except the drivers and one or two gunners."
      
In his letters, Curling describes the battle many times and one feels that he does do in an effort to rid his mind of many horrific scenes:

"
Quote :
We could form no idea of their numbers.  They advanced steadily in the face of the infantry and our guns...The Zulus still continued to advance and we began to fire case but the order was given to retire after firing a round or two...when we got the order to retire we limbered up at once but were hardly in time as the Zulus were on us at once and one man was killed (stabbed) as he was mounting in a seat on the gun carriage…"
and again,
"We trotted off to the camp thinking to take up another position there but found it was in possession of the enemy who were killing the men as they ran out of their tents.  We went right through them and out the other side losing  nearly all our gunners in doing so and one or two of the sergeants.  The road to Rorke's Drift that we hoped to retreat by was full of the enemy so no way being open we followed a crowd of natives and camp followers who were running down a ravine.  The Zulus were all among them stabbing men as they ran...and finally the guns got stuck and could go no further. In a moment the Zulus closed in and the drivers who now alone remained were pulled off their horses and killed..."

       Two weeks after the disaster Curling still finds it difficult to believe that it really happened and in particular how quickly the camp was
Quote :
overrun:

"..The whole affair seems like a bad dream too terrible to be true.... The whole thing lasted such a short time, not more than ten minutes from the time we retired until the guns were taken that one can hardly realise what a terrible thing it was." 

       It is interesting that Curling mentions seeing both Melvill and Coghill at separate times and his encounter with Melvill indicates that the Zulu right horn had got into the camp before the order to retire was given to the firing line.  Curling comments that the guns were positioned

"
Quote :
about four hundred yards beyond the left front of the Natal Native Contingent Camp” and that, on the order to retire, the guns were limbered up and were trotted away finally galloping through the camp at the Nek"

     This would have been a distance of approximately 1,500yds taking about three to four minutes to cover.  Yet on arrival at the nek, Curling states that Melvill had already left with the colour. Curling, riding his own charger which, by his own account was a splendid animal which didn’t put a foot wrong and carried him all the way down to and across the Buffalo River without a fault.
       I believe then that Curling’s letters reveal new evidence which, coupled with the tents not being struck and a lot of speculation on my part, offer a new solution to the causes of the disaster.  To summarise:

 1.    The various movements of Zulu forces on the Nqutu Plateau as reported by the vedettes during the course of the morning, were not their dispersal to different positions but their deployment for encircling the camp;

2.    Pulleine had not only been ordered to defend the camp but to also disassemble and stow it preparatory to the move to Isipezi Hill area.  Unfortunately each of these orders was counter-productive to the other and for the reasons already suggested, Pulleine gave the defence of the camp second priority, consequently only half his infantry was deployed in its defence, the other half being inside the camp employed in menial tasks. Curling, in fact, mentions as he and the guns enter the camp that: “...it was in possession of the enemy who were killing the men as they ran out of their tents.”

3.    Whilst the unstruck tents, to a degree, obscured the perilous position in the firing line, the camp was actually taken by the Zulu right horn entering, completely unopposed, to the rear of Isandlwana Hill - hence Melvill having already departed by the time Curling arrived only a few minutes after beating a hasty retreat from the front of the camp.  Likewise, by the time the few survivors of the firing line also reached the camp, it had been overwhelmed.

4.    And so who was to blame?  Collectively, the whole of Chelmsford’s army for it was possessed of an all prevailing over-confidence coupled with an unjustified disdain of the enemy.  It was not only Chelmsford and his staff officers who were so grossly opinionated - indeed, most believed that the conquest of Zululand was going to be a glorious adventure and a bit of a lark: the young volunteers of the Natal Colony had brought along their cricket gear; a festive atmosphere prevailed in Isandlwana camp and, perhaps typifying the general attitude of Chelmsford’s officers, there is a passage from a letter Curling wrote to his mother only four days prior to the disaster,

"
Quote :
The total number of troops that have gone into Zululand amounts to 13,000 a sufficient number to beat them ten times over . . . we are pretty certain to have few engagements before the Zulus give in and take to the bush..."
  
   Even the rank and file were equally confident, a confidence that endured almost to the moment of death.  Captain Essex, one of the five Imperial Officers to survive, later wrote:

Quote :
"I was surprised how relaxed the men in the ranks were despite the climactic tension of the battle.  Loading as fast as they could and firing into the dense black masses that pressed in on them, the men were laughing and chatting, and obviously thought they were giving the Zulus an awful hammering.
"
    
More specifically, Lord Chelmsford was to blame for the reasons already stated, closely followed by Colonel Pulleine who failed to comprehend the imminent peril to the camp, and took no appropriate action to defend it whilst there was still time to do so - the action taken at Rorke’s Drift at short notice is an example of what could have been done.  And Colonel Durnford, who with his years of experience in Natal and his contact with the Zulu people, should have given the enemy credit for the thought that it might well attack the camp.  In failing to do so and leaving Pulleine and his command, Durnford must take a share of the blame - but certainly not all as was Lord Chelmsford’s intention.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 7:06 am

Ron Lock ignores the fact that less then half way through the battle Pulleine ordered all the men wo could
carry arms to be marched out of the camp, that Pulleine wrote to Chelsmford to tell him he couldn't move the
camp, that Curling had bad eye sight and that the dead were found in more then half Coys.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 10:04 am

You mean Curling Ignores. scratch
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 11:02 am

Hi Ray
Possibly not ignores, maybe didnt know. Looking at Curlings movements, he was sent down to the knuckle, at that stage just in front of the rocky ridge on the downslope. From there he couldnt see the first company/two companies to his left and definitly not Popes company. He was then in action, noise sound excitement etc and was withdrawn to move to his right in support of Pope/Durnford. Pope was strung out pretty thinly, would have been pretty difficult to assess the company strength. He then relocates to behind A and H companies and fires of canister.
Not to long later he has to withdraw, hecticly, the impi is on him pretty fast killing the RA men. He then has a frantic ride across the rear of the NNC, all retiring, across Popes rear and diagonally up to the road mixing up with Durnfords men retreating.
Thats one hell of a morning at the office, would tend to distort images, stretch the senses, and really induce PTS.

Not the best way to remember anything.

This isnt critisism of Curling, quite the oposite, more an attempt to stop 2 +2 equalling 5

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 5:15 pm

Quote :
"We trotted off to the camp thinking to take up another position there but found it was in possession of the enemy who were killing the men as they ran out of their tents."

Come on what's does that tell you. A raging Battle and men in the tents
( perhaps they were on nightshift)



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barry

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PostSubject: The missing five hours   Fri May 11, 2012 6:56 pm


Hi littlehand/ctsg,

A good post. Should dispel the popular delusions.
Just go to prove that all this drivel about volleying backwards in retreat was just that.
In short what Curling describes was nothing short of unmitigated chaos.

regards

barry
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 6:59 pm

Barry

Were does Curlings say the 24th became a unmitigated chaos. Question

He says the last time he saw them they were retreating steadily.

Volleying there way back was drivel ? Its mentioned by the Zulus who were there. Rolling Eyes

Please explain F Coy retreating over 3 miles Question Or almost all the Coys getting back and most being found in rally sqaures, and Zulus mentioning there long resistence firing heavily, then using the bayonet.

I look forward to the answer. Salute



Cheers
DB


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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 7:47 pm

DB. With regards to the retreats you keep mentioning. Can you post me a Primary source that quote the distances you quote.

The fact that men were still in their tents proves there's was no one commarding. Chaos was rife thought out the camp. There was no organised retreat is was everyone on the firing lines running like hell back to the camp. The fact they stop to fire or fire the odd shot over their shoulders does not tantamount to a retreat under commard. We know that regiments were intermingled. Curling was there he is a primary source.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 7:51 pm

CTSG

He does not say the men in the tents were 24th men, they could be anybody, there were over a hundred camp
casuals, traders and civilians present. There was chaos in the camp, but not on the firing line.

Zulu Accounts

"Then at the sound of a bugle the soldier massed together and began to fire at a fearful rate."

"The soldiers retired on the camp fighting all the way."

Curling

"The last time i saw them they were retreating steadily."


Higginson

"I saw the men of the 24th were retreating also, but very slowly."
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 9:34 pm

DB.
CTSG

Quote :
He does not say the men in the tents were 24th men, they could be anybody, there were over a hundred camp
casuals, traders and civilians present. There was chaos in the camp, but not on the firing Line.

Your missing the point. It does not matter who was coming out of the tents. They were all involved in the "BATTLE OF ISANDLWANA" the 24th regiments were not the be and end all. There was nothing special about the 24th they fought and died the same as the colonial regiments, traders and civilians. All should have been on the defensive. Those in the tents could have been handing out ammunition ect. No matter what way you look at it, the whole of the British army and those who fought on their side were in full retreat. There are many accounts and now we can add Curling to that list. The Zulus were surrounding the camp in their usual formation, and nothing was done.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri May 11, 2012 9:41 pm

It's not poodle to make a fast retreat when the enermy are nealy upon you. The British would have been keeping the Zulus in check the best they could and until the ammuntion lasted. One point to consider the 24th didn't have any ammuntion when they reached the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sat May 12, 2012 9:00 am

Why didn't " Curling mentioned this at the court of enquiry.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sat May 12, 2012 9:03 am

Your probably all correct really.
It was an unmitigated disaster, if it wasnt we would not be having this debate. Yes the line did collapse. The individual pockets of resistance are historical fact, and thats only denied by selective quotations.

Chard
Who knows what ammo they had? They did however manage to continue fighting for a considerable time, many many sources have been quoted to the intensity of firing from the pockets of men on the saddle, read the reports on this string.

Barry

Your views are far to narrow and denialistic. The facts are there, the companies didnt die on the firing line, most died on the saddle and on the trail. In a foot race they had no chance of keeping ahead of the Zulu, like Usain Bolt up against David Cameron ( Now theres a thought ). So what kept them apart for that 800 meters?

They died in pockets, not as a solid mass, that supports your contention that it would have been close to a panic retreat.
However the panic was at a column / regimental level. The individual lower level officers dont get the recognition they deserve in controling these small troops of men to the extent they got back to the saddle. Look at the topography, imagine a bloody big tented area in between these soldiers and the road to safety. They didnt get across it by throwing away their guns ( far to much testimony about the firing on the saddle) and running like hell. As individuals they had no chance at all of getting more than 10 metres. But they did get 800 meters, thats a fact
not fiction.

CTSG

look at the layout of the camp relative to the battlefield, the only way at least three of the companies could have got from the line to the saddle was through the camp area. Running through the tents in other words.
The Zulu regiment credited with being first into the camp was in the left horn. So as the infantry ran through the tents they collided with the Zulu. Hence the phrase, "men running out of the tents.
Do you really believe that with a raging battle going, zulus screaming 'Usutu', cannons blasting, wounded men screaming, that men would be laying down in their tents writing to dear old mum? Cmon mate be logical.

I dont believe that any one of these two conflicting opinions are right, but both are.

DB14

I really do admire your arguments, power to you mate. However I do know that CTSG has had military experience in a battle situation, Barry quite possibly. Me, yes. And drawn from that we will all tell you that a battlefield has no absolutes, its kill or be killed in a melee like isandlwana. Any sort of order comes down to small areas of conflict or action. The column broke up, the companies quite probably did, it would have come down to the Lts, the Color Sgnts, the Corporals. There could not have been a retreat based on regiments.

Happy to be ripped apart.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sat May 12, 2012 8:38 pm

Many military strategists have attempted to encapsulate a successful strategy in a set of principles. Unfortunately at Isandlwana it seems the Zulus had a better understanding of this than the British. 

Objective (Direct every military operation towards a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective)

Offensive (Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative)

Mass (Concentrate combat power at the decisive place and time)

Economy of Force (Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts)

Maneuver (Place the enemy in a disadvantageous position through the flexible application of combat power)

Unity of Command (For every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander)

Security (Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage)

Surprise (Strike the enemy at a time, at a place, or in a manner for which he is unprepared)

Simplicity (Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding)
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sat May 12, 2012 10:14 pm

Well that just about sums it up. Salute
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun May 13, 2012 12:12 am

The problem I have with the battle of Isandlwana is this. 

I have said this many times. The Good Lord Chelmsford wasn't at Isandlwana when it was attacked. He may have split his forces, and failed to fortify the camp on arrival. But there was no threat during or at the time of his departure and no body else was overly concerned about the lack of fortifications. I agree a few made comments, but not to the Good Lord Chelmsford, these comments were between the officers themselves. When The Good Lord Chelmsford left he left Col: Pulliene in charge. The camp was now his responsibility and with that goes the responsibility of every item and every rank & file with-in the camp. The Good Lord Chelmsford was not there. Forget about what he didn't do or what he should have done. Or what he said or what he didn't say, or what orders he issued or didn't issue, or what the order contained and what they didn't. The problem in hand is that 20000 plus Zulus had landed about 5 miles from the camp. And regardless of what Zulus said about the New moon they were going to attack on the 22nd January 1879. 
The TMFH without doubt shows using (Primary Sources)  that there was a lot of enemy activity we can all read this how we want to read it, but anyone with an once of sense, will know they were moving into position. (The Horns of the Beast) the circular movement had been reported by many primary sources of those who were there and survived. 

The officer in command failed to do anything that would have been beneficial to the camp and those with-in. I could list his failings but I won't insult your intelligence because you already know what he failed to do and the mistakes he made with regards to the positioning of the men. 

With regards to Col: Durnford. As far as I'm concerned he just stopped for breakfast, his part on his arrival was of no consequence. His failure to identify the existing problems within the camp are unbelievable, especially when you take into account his knowledge of the Zulu. He knew large numbers of Zulu sightings had been reported, but chose to leave the camp. The danger was there and both senior officers failed to see it. Regardless of the reasons why Durnford left or what his Orders were, he should have remained in the camp either working with Pulliene or assumed command as senior officer which we know Pulliene would have gladly given over. We have recently heard by a Primary Source " Brickhill" that Pulliene didn't know what to do and seemed to be quite complexed. Gardner also suggested that for the moment he should disobey  the general orders. But the fact of the matter is Durnfords actions compacted the situation. 

With regards to the firing lines, they may have stood their ground, at the early stages when their ammo pouches were full, they may even had been laughing and beckoning the Zulu on. But the overwhelming numbers moving towards them, change the situation, the British were no longer laughing but running and fighting for their lives. If you want to call it a retreat then call it that. I call it surviving. The Zulus as intended from the start pushed the British into small compact units where they were destroyed. Where some say there were last stands, I'm ok with this but these so called last stands were only made because they had no where else to run. 

As for the Zulu accounts of the Battle, they were translated and written down by the British and no doubt subjected to alteration. To maintain the victorian melodrama and heroism of the British empire. 
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun May 13, 2012 10:39 am

Apart from ignoring a few points and glossing over others, that pretty much as it happened.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun May 13, 2012 8:51 pm

It's interesting to note that Norris-Newman wrote, that if the whole column had remained at Isandlwana they to would have been killed along with the rest. He bases this on the fact, that no fortifications had been applied. However he does mentioned two stones walls being build as a form of defence. It's also interesting to note that on Sunday the 19th Jan, rumours had reached them, that a night attack was to be made on them by a large Zulu Impi under Sirayo.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun May 13, 2012 9:08 pm

CTSC. You make it sound so simple. But to get to the cause of the diaster. Various factors have to be taken into account. And doing what you ask.

Quote :
The Good Lord Chelmsford was not there. Forget about what he didn't do or what he should have done. Or what he said or what he didn't say, or what orders he issued or didn't issue, or what the order contained and what they didn't.

You have to be joking. Your taking out the key player who was responsible for the diaster.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun May 13, 2012 9:23 pm

Admin. I was merely trying to point out, that the battle regardless of what was said and done, was always going to end up with the troops themselves taking matters in to their own hands, as there was no chain of command for most of the battle. The Good Lord Chelmsford's input during the battle was of no consequence either at the start or end of the Battle. He wasn't there.

No disrespect intended. But should you not be observing rather that posting your thoughts. Salute

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun May 13, 2012 10:17 pm

"The initial view, reported by Horace Smith-Dorrien, was that the British had difficulty unpacking their ammunition boxes fast enough and that the quartermasters were reluctant to distribute ammunition to units other than their own. Well-equipped and well-trained British soldiers could fire 10–12 rounds a minute. The lack of ammunition caused a lull in the defence and, in subsequent engagements with the Zulus, ammunition boxes were unscrewed in advance for rapid distribution.

Donald Morris in The Washing of the Spears argues that the men, fighting too far from the camp, ran out of ammunition, starting first with Durnford's men who were holding the right flank and who had been in action longer, which precipitated a slowdown in the rate of fire against the Zulus. This argument suggests that the ammunition was too far from the firing line and that the seventy rounds each man took to the firing line, was not sufficient.

Photo of Isandlwana with one of the cairns marking one of the many British mass graves at the site
Perhaps the most persuasive view,however, recently supported with evidence from the battlefield, such as Ian Knight and Lt. Colonel Snook's works, (the latter having written How Can Man Die Better?), suggest that, although Durnford's men probably did run out of ammunition, the majority of men in the firing line did not. The discovery of the British line so far out from the camp has led Ian Knight to conclude that the British were defending too large a perimeter.

The official interrogation by the Horse Guards under the direction of the Duke of Cambridge, the field Marshal Commanding in Chief, in August 1879 concluded that the primary cause of the defeat was the "under estimate formed of the offensive fighting power of the Zulu army", additionally the investigation questions Chelmsford as to why the camp was not laagered and why there was a failure to reconnoitre and discover the nearby Zulu army.

Apparently, the British failed to properly form a square. They were defending too large an area, and as such, were overrun by the Zulus."
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Mon May 14, 2012 7:21 am

John
I think its possible the two stone walls refered to were at the Bashe river temp camp.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Mon May 14, 2012 10:05 pm

Thanks Springbok. But the walls in question were build at Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue May 15, 2012 7:35 am

John
Sorry Mate your quite right. AS newman says a wall to the road going forward and a wall facing the Buffalo. Not mentioned by anyone else so I assume they were really small walls, there were a number of guard points around, both front and back so possibly used for one or two of those.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Walled sangars   Tue May 15, 2012 8:46 am



Hi John,

Rattray's guide book shows "Black's sangar" on one of the maps. This is located on the opposite bank on the Buffalo near one of the roads. It is located south of the present pumphouse, and across the river, but near the spot where Bmdr S Smith's grave is belieived to exist. Sangars are walled mini redoubts, ie big enough for 2 or 3 men. Local stone and other material is normally used in their construction.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue May 15, 2012 9:29 am

Barry
Does Rattrays book show the sangar at fugitives drift?

Cheers
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PostSubject: Black's sangar   Tue May 15, 2012 10:23 am

Hi springbok9,

Good to hear from you, although I thought you would have been there by now.
Yes, at FD, see p64 of Rattray's Guide. I have tried to translate this to lat/long for those who don't have the map, but do have access to Google Earth. The co-ords are 28deg 22min 59.16sec S / 30deg 36min 11.97sec E. This is quite rough as the map given by DR was not too accurate. A water tank is visible there now on on the edge of the river, it is a short distance to the ENE of the supposed position of the sangar.

regards

barry


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