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The missing five hours.

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 The missing five hours.

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:15 pm

Whether or not the plans changed and whether or not it filtered down to the ordinary warrior, the fact remains that the overwhelming mass of surviving Zulu testimony states that they were stationary or in position or not yet in the regiment's allotted place at the time of their discovery.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:03 pm

Hi Julian
But surely the facts as you present them don't eliminate the possibility that an attack plan had been put in place, only that it wasn't well developed.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:42 am

Hi Frank,

Actually I DO believe that the possibility of a planned or re-programmed attack on the 22nd is eliminated.

Mehlokazulu was a junior regimental induna with a high status as a ‘wanted man’ due to his involvement in the murder of Sihayo’s wives as one of the ostensible causes of the war. His overblown notoriety far exceeded his weight as a military commander and his post-war value as a ‘prisoner of war’. He was certainly not the Zulu equivalent of 'an officer and a gentleman'.

There are six accounts of Isandhlwana by senior Zulu regimental commanders (and a seventh by Sihlahla who was present when such an account was given by Usibebu). None of these mentions an attack on the 22nd. None of them was privy to the information which Mehlokazulu laid claim to knowing and they surely would have been were it true.

You know as well as I do that any controversial remark has to be proven by secondary factors and supported by corroboratory evidence – especially one as important as Mehlokazulu’s re the timing of the attack – before it is accepted into the historical canon. To disregard doing this would be to lack historical discipline and rigour.

There have been many such remarks made by Europeans. ‘The Colonel has shot himself’ is one. ‘A company marched out up the spur and was never seen again’ is another. These remarks, made perhaps in the heat of the moment (for self-importance or self-aggrandizement) or rumour repeated as fact, are all uncooroborated by others’ statements or unsubstantiated by the known facts. These have been discarded. Very occasionally corroboration can be found and the remark becomes woven into the story.

Just because the remark in this case is made by the infamous Mehlokazulu, I don’t see it as any different. In fact I can easily see how a young induna elevated way beyond his status because of his notoriety (and basking in it) might want to feign a level of importance and intimacy with the commander that he did not enjoy and to pretend being a party to knowledge to which those senior to him were not. It increased his standing in the eyes of the enemy ([important] people came especially to see and talk to him). Yet there is no corroboration of his remarks and unless there is then they do not deserve equal weighting or even alternative theory status. (I might grant him a footnote.)

There cannot be one rule for European testimony and another for Zulu.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:28 pm

Hi Julian
I would tend to question that, or at least a few aspects. In a perfect world everything would have been corroborated at iSandlwana. However very little is, one thinks of vast areas of Higginson, Brickhill etc etc. All individual statements and possibly with the exception of Brickhill all had an axe to grind. Brickhill of course being the only one that does admit, to a degree, leaving a colleague to his fate. That could be argued against Higginson though I would suppose.
But SD et al could all legitimately be accused of leaving their comrades and using their limited statements to cover up for themselves, very few have all aspects witnessed. But we do accept their statements and weave them into the patterns of the day. As you so rightly pointed out Equality for European and Zulu.
I cannot figure out a reasonable explanation for Mehlokazulu to lie/expand on those parts of his statement that we refer to, if indeed he was trying to protect himself or ingratiate for his coming trial surely the obvious statement would have been simply "I wasn't there."
I have as you are aware spent hours pacing those areas and its based on my own observations that I believe that the leading elements were out of the valley, the timeline just cant support any other point of view Im afraid.
Accepting that fact and all the statements, Raw, Nyanda etc in which they agreed the Zulu regiments ( estimations between 12000 and 15000) were waiting ( Raw I think alludes to them being in motion) is the prime element that I posted above as suggesting that Mehlokazulus statement was a commentary on the army being moved forward from Ngwebini onto the plateau. That's an action that had to have happened at some point during the morning. That is unless the discovery took place in the valley ( and that I just cant believe). Ergo Mehlokazulu could indeed be correct in his statement, the regiments were moved forward to the upper reaches of the river and there waited for whatever orders Tshingwayo was going to give. I believe the current military phrase is 'Lay up point or LUP.' Weather those orders were for a forward movement, an attack, or simply to wait for the 23rd ( then why move forward at that time?) we will never know really.

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:38 pm

Frank
I agree the impi was 'in motion' - manoeuvring into position for the 23rd - getting properly aligned as Ntshingwayo wished (we know they weren't so) - but that is all that can be established for certain.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Julian
I can live with that.
Cam
Great meeting up with you, loved the carrot cake. Do it again soon.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:58 pm

The decision to attack the camp was no doubt made, when it was known the camp had depleted in numbers. Which would have been in the early hours of the 22nd.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:38 pm

Back on topic.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:46 am

John
My only problem with a pre planned attack is: Who amongst the Zulu high command would have the guts to openly defy Cetswayo? His orders were not to attack without first consulting.
So to deliberately go against the orders of a man who would have no hesitation about hammering very sharp wooden poles up your rear end and enjoy watching you squirm a tad........... plus of course he had some other interesting ways of amusing himself.

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PostSubject: The missing five hours    Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:30 am

Hi Frank
Dabulamanzi was one who flouted Ceteswayo's orders , as did Tshingwayo at Kambula .
90th
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:42 am

John/Admin
Apologies. My intention was to show that speculation based on speculation is a never-ending alley.

Frank
I agree. By all accounts the way the Zulus mounted the attack in an uncoordinated fashion appears to fit in more with a response to an 'unprovoked' attack.

90th
Whilst that's true, Frank's point is a good one considering that this was the Zulus' first major engagement of the war and the senior izinDuna's opportunity to show their loyalty and obedience.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:45 am

Quite right, but Dabulamanzi was of Royal Blood but still ran for cover. Khambula could easily be put down to the influence of Mnyamana kaNgqengelele.

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PostSubject: The missing five hours    Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:46 am

Hi Julian
Although Kambula was much later , and  they were goaded into it by Buller , Tshingwayo probably had no choice once the unco-ordinated attack began .
90th

Just saw your post Frank , I think Buller was the reason the attack started prematurely Joker Joker .
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:01 am

A controlled force possibly wouldn't have reacted against Buller, the 'pep' talk of Mnyamana had a bit to do with the unsettling of that force.

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:11 am

My reasoning behind the original post reflects the fact that as Julian points out, this was the first major engagement that the force had specific instructions for. Dabulamanzi was no doubt caught up in the blood scent of the chase, and did indeed run for cover afterwards in spite of his royal blood 'protection'. The 'old school' leadership at iSandlwana would Im sure have been more conditioned to obeying Cetswayo.

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:51 am

Is it not to much of a coincidence that Pearson colum was attacked on the same day. It all seems to have been organised for the 22nd Wether LC had left or not.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:54 pm

John
Godide found the British were further ahead than he thought and took advantage of the night to surround the British on the 21st. On the 22nd he decided he would attempt to attack the British as they were crossing the Nyezane river and at a disadvantage. This was pretty much an on-the-spot opportunist decision as opposed to an organized, planned event, i.e. his impi wasn't in time to be where it was supposed to be for an attack and Godide had to improvise. So yes, it was a coincidence that both battles occurred the same day.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Too much of a coincidence when you consider the new moon theory. Did both Zulu impi's risk attacking on the 22nd with all the bad omens ect.
Another thing I could be wrong, but I can't find any accounts of the eclipse that took place from Pearson's column. Surly they must have seen it ?
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:51 pm

What was it the Zulus were afraid of, regarding the New moon. ?
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PostSubject: The missing five hours    Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:46 am

Hi Frank
Nyezane was not dissimilar to Isandlwana , Godide also had little choice as to attack , the Colonial troops stumbled across his army on Wombane if I remember correctly , and several of the Colonial offocers were Killed instantly as the native force decided to take off .
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:46 pm

Come to think of it! There doesn't seem to be any accounts from RD regarding the eclipse.? A real mystery this eclipse. It seems those at Isandlwana were the only one's to have witnessed this.

So we don't think Godide had scouts watching the movements of the Pearson.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:21 am

Hummmm wonder if a relative of Samuel Beckett was there............'Waiting for Godide'

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:39 pm

90th wrote:
Subject: Battle of the Nyezane Fri 15 Nov 2013 - 22:18

the following from Knight & Greaves in a biography of Godide kaNdela who was commander of the zulu impi at Nyezane
'' Godide underestimated the speed of Pearson's advance . On the 21st he pushed forward to the kwagingindlovhu royal homestead reaching it after dark only to find that Pearson had already passed by and set it on fire . The british remained camped nearby , and Godide seized the opportunity to surround them in the darkness . For both practical and spiritual reasons , however , the zulu were reluctant to launch an attack in the dark , and the frequent shouts by Pearson's sentries convinced Godide that the british were prepared . Instead , he he called off his men and retired north , across the nyezane river . The british were astonished to wake up the following morning to find large swathes of grass trampled flat around the camp . Godide's revised plan was to attack Pearson ( 22nd ) as he struggled to get his wagons across the narrow , high banks of the Nyezane '' .
This from ' Who's Who In The Zulu War ' by Knight & Greaves page 145.
As you are well aware the zulu army was a taker of opportunity , Godide was given sanction to do what he thought fit , the attack on the 22nd although not ideal with their spiritual thinking , was yet again , an opportunity to good to deny , heavy wagons attempting to cross a swollen river , they also had good cover from the hills they were stationed behind , its a little like Isandlwana in the fact that a Scouting party under Fitzroy- heart and the NNC found them before the attack was set into being .
90th


Sounds like Godide knew exactly what he was doing..


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PostSubject: The missing five hours    Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:45 am

John if you read further you'll see Godide was given the go ahead to attack when he liked , they also mention it wasn't ideal to attack on the 22nd , but if the need arose , and he thought he did , he would attack , the attack was premature as Knight & Greaves state , the NNC and their officers ran into the Zulu army before Godide had them in their appointed position . As you say it sounds like he knew what he was doing , but the timing was the problem for the Zulu army , due to it been discovered , as it was at Isandlwana by a scouting force .
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:43 pm

So at both Isandlwana and Nyezane the possibility of a planned or re-programmed attack on the 22nd must have taken place due to British movements changing. Perhas the attack on RD was re-programmed for the 22nd as well. If all had gone well and the Zulus had won all three on the day the gates to natal were wide open.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:20 pm

John,

But the Zulu attack on Rorke's Drift wasn't planned at all.

John Y.
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PostSubject: The missing 5 hrs    Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:56 am

That's it in a nutshell John , the attacks were started due to British movements , and as JY states RD wasn't planned at all , Cetewayo stated they weren't to cross the river from memory , remember it was Ceteswayo who wanted to be seen as the aggrieved , and not the aggressor .
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:50 am

So the attacks on the 22nd were reprogrammed,

Julian you agree the Zulus were moving, but only to get in position for the attack 23rd, would they have done this in day light and in full view if the British.

What accounts do we have from the Zulu that RD wasn't on the agenda. I have one account. Mehlokazulu.
Would RD have been on the agenda on the 23rd if all these battles had been programmed for the 23rd?
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:58 pm

Hi John
There are a number of authenticated cases when the Zulu were fighting way back to iShaka's day when they manoevered in open countryside and in full view. So I don't think it would have worried them over much, the Zulu tactics were more about intimidation than surprise. A favoured trick was to surround the enemy holding shields edge on to the foe and then at a signal swing it face on so visually increasing dramatically the bulk. 
I would sumise that the attack on RD came more about after the chase of the fugitives rather than them setting out from iSandlwana with that in mind. Possibly a case of 'well we are almost there lets finish it of'.

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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:54 pm

I find it hard to believe that three Battles took place on the same day when , the Zulu plan was to attack on the 23rd.

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PostSubject: The missing 5 hrs    Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:51 am

John
The Zulu's were basically forced to show their hand on the 22nd because the Colonial Troops found them at Nyezane & Isandlwana , Rorke's Drift was more a blood lust thing with Dabulamanzi , he was obviously thinking it would be a walk in the park compared to Isandlwana . Nothing hard to believe , it was just timing on the British behalf that orchestrated two of the Battles .
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:10 am

John,

Why do you find it so hard to believe?

The Zulu were - and in some cases are still are - great believers in omens.  The omens regarding fighting on 'The Day of the Dead Moon' were ill.  The 22nd January 1879 was fought on such a day.  Listen to the words of the late David Rattray, he talks on this in great detail based on Zulu oral history.

Nyezane, the first battle of 22nd January 1879, was fought - in my opinion - to preserve national pride.  The mountain of eWombane was the site of one of King Shaka's early victories.  My theory is that because a new invader now threatened the revered site was something that Godide could not permit, thus his decision to come into contact with the advancing No. 1 Column.

The decision to attack at Isandlwana has already been discussed at length on this forum, so I can't see why you are having trouble grasping that fact.

As to Rorke's Drift, as I have previously stated the attack on the Mission Station was not a planned attack.  It was a spur of the moment decision made by those who not played their full part in the action at Isandlwana.  The Zulu knew there was a British garrison at Rorke's Drift and flushed with the victory at Isandlwana they chose to "...have a fight at Jim's."

One well-known author refers to Isandlwana, Rorke's Drift and the cross-border raids into Natal on 22nd January 1879 as 'The Isandlwana Campaign.'  Others that I know state that Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift are interpreted as just one continuous battle.

I don't if that helps your understanding, or whether it merely muddles it further for you?

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:16 am

90th wrote:
John
The Zulu's were basically forced to show their hand on the 22nd  because the Colonial Troops found them at Nyezane & Isandlwana , Rorke's Drift was more a blood lust thing with Dabulamanzi , he was obviously thinking it would be a walk in the park compared to Isandlwana . Nothing hard to believe , it was just timing on the British behalf that orchestrated two of the Battles .
90th

90th can you elaborate on why the Zulus were forced to show their hand.
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PostSubject: The missing five hours    Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:23 am

John I'm sure you are aware of what happened , you hardly need me to elaborate , the fact of the matter is the Zulu's were not ready to attack at the time they were discovered , but being found basically forced them to launch their attacks prematurely ( Nyezane - Isandlwana ) .
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:51 am

Zulu were seen by the British, and set off to pursue them. A bit like Isandlwana.again it was the Britsh who forced the Zulu hand.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:59 pm

Thanks 24th, in which case the NNC and their officers didn't run into the Zulu army, they were chasing them?
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:50 pm

deleted see my post below. click on link.


Last edited by littlehand on Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:32 pm

Best account yet on this Battle.

Did Godide, leave Ulundi the same time as the Warriors that were heading for Isandlwana.?
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PostSubject: The missing 5 hrs    Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:39 pm

Chard you obviously haven't read Ian Knight's book '' Fearful Hard Times '' , this article , the one that you think is the best account you've read , doesn't mention Midshipman Coker and his work with the Gatling Gun ! , doesn't refer to the Officers by name , who unfortunately for them , were cut down once the Impi launched their premature attack . This article is certainly light on detail ! . Have a read of Knight's account I'll be very surprised if you don't change your mind ! You need to study mo
90th Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:03 pm

Some if that information posted by LH is from Laband Rope of sand P243; Laband,J,: Kingdom in Crisis P115

Still, it shows the Zulus reprogrammed the attack for the 22nd. In simular circumstances to Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:09 pm

John your correct.
I didn't have time to post all of the artical. But I will!
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:10 pm

agree
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PostSubject: The missing 5 hours    Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:14 pm

Yes John they did ! . I mentioned earlier it was in the same vein as Isandlwana , when you stated you found it hard to believe they launched the attacks on the 22nd instead of the 23rd ! .
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:25 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
Best account yet on this Battle.

Did Godide, leave Ulundi the same time as the Warriors that were heading for Isandlwana.?

Good question Chard!
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:44 pm

John there's to much to sort and post, here's the link. Its a bit slow loading, but there is some good information. I have deleted previous text!!!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: The missing 5 hours    Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:00 am

Littlehand
Are you able to find and post Ian Knight's account of Nyezane from his book '' Fearful Hard Times '' , it's actually the best book I've read on the dealings of the Number 1 Column , and one of the best books on the Zulu War as a whole in my humble opinion .
90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:23 am

I Don't have that book, but its now on my list..

Just an after thought, I suppose we could say that Colonel Pearson provoked the attack made on him
by burning kraals.

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90th

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PostSubject: The missing 5 hours    Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:46 am

Littlehand
Yes , you could say that , but Godide was always going to attack Pearson regardless if he burnt the Kraals or not . I can tell you that you wont be disappointed with the book , as I said , I think it's excellent , certainly a must have in my mind . If you search around you will get it at a decent price , you shouldn't have to pay much more than a tenner for it , with luck ! . It'll be the best tenner you ever spend ! . Should be bed time for you now ???? , what is it 12.45 am ? .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:34 pm

Bonsoir à tous,

Quoted in "Major General Sir Henry Timson LUKIN, 1860-1925, the making of a South African hero" by Erasmus Wentzel Nortier. (Thesis / Master of Military History / University of Stellenbosch)

p.9: Note 16

"Sir William Beaumont (...) says in his personal narrative that the slaughter at Isandhlwana could have been prevented. He mentions information he got in a letter from (....) Woodroffe (...) which stated that Mayana was given full authority by Cetewayo to raid the camp at Isandhlwana. Sir Beaumont dispatched a special messenger to LC at Isandhlwana, with this information, but he states that he never knew if this information ever reached LC. See UCT, BC 67 (I.E: Dr K. Campbell Papers), Report by Sir William Beaumont."

In the same vein: Statement of Uguku of the umCijo.(source:" The Zulu war and its origins" by Colenso and Durnford, p.410 / IE: already posted on this forum)

"We arrived at Ingqutu eight régiments strong (...) and slept in the valley of a small Stream (...)which runs into the Nondweni to the eastward of Sandhlwana (...). The army was under the joint command of Mavumengwana, Tsingwayo and Sihayo. It was intented that Matshana kaMondisa was to be in chief command but he having been a Natal kaffir, the other three were jealous of him and did not like him to be put over them; they therefore devised a plan of getting him out of the way on the day of the battle. they accomplished this plan by getting him to go forward with Undwandwe to the Upindo to reconnoitre, and promised to follow. As soon he had gone they took another road, viz., north of Babanango, while Matshana and Undwandwe went South of it, being accompanied by six mavigo (coys)..."

Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: The missing five hours.    Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:04 pm

Frederic
I think there may be confusion here between Matshana kaSodondo and Matshana kaMondisa. The timing of Beaumont's note and the wording 'raid' indicates that it was the local Matshana who was being given permission to 'raid' the column (en route as it were) not attack it as part of the impi.
I think you may have unwittingly put together two pieces of evidence which actually don't align.
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