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 How does Chelmsford rate as a general?

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no-flint-grey



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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:35 pm

:) Hello new here. I was wondering what users here think of Chelmsford? Was he a good general? Does he deserved the blame for Isandlwana?
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:27 am

Hello NFG,

Your question poses many sub questions within which we may find ourselves pondering without a definitive answer.

If your question refers only to Chelmsford's management of the centre column and his delegation of command to his general officers therein, then you will find here, I think two different conclusions.

My own view is that Chelmsford handled the campaign (1st and 2nd invasion) well, with his seperation of forces leading to the defeat at Isandlwana being his only fault.
A quick study of his instruction manual for field forces during the war would indicate a sound mind per his preparedness when considering the strength of the zulu army, (yes leaks can be found but this follows into any campaign).

Overall, we must consider the command of a victorian army in the field, led mostly by officers who had purchased their commisions.
If Chelmsford held the 'rankers' in contempt as a few of the purchased officers did, I suspect he may have left more men to defend isandlwana than he actually did, presuming them to be incapable of defending the camp.
I think he stood out in this instance, he was held in high regard by the rankers because of his fondness for and belief in, the common soldier.
Had he remained in camp and sent another officer out to counter the excellent trickery of the zulu generals, I believe he would have had the sense of mind to formulate a defensive plan, even with the small numbers left in camp.

I must say, I do not fault pulleine, but I would rather Chelmsford in command than he.


Many others on this forum will, within their expansive field of knowledge be able to provide you with a better argument than I, and one reaching beyond the field of isandlwana.

My own opinion is based solely on my opinion of Chelmsford's generalship and I hope it offers something, though as always, I bow to higher authorities on this forum.

Cheers


Matt



Merry christmas
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:29 am

Hi welcome to the forum.
Not complete blame, but there are many reason to suggest he was mainly to blame. However one member is convinced he had nothing to do with it. Because he wasn't there.

It would pay you to look at some of the discussions already held on this, you will get a good understanding of what our various members think. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:45 am

Thankyou for replying guys Idea . My own conclusion is that he did not underestimate the Zulus, he just did not believe they would attack at Isandlwana. He wanted the column at Isandlwana ready to move as a mobile reinforcement, which is why he did not allow them to fortify their position, and they were therefore destroyed. It's interesting that he does not get any credit for the other victories he won, which were against superior armies and he eventually even took the Zulu capital
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:07 am

NFG,

A word of note, following the zulu war, Her most gracious majesty our former queen Victoria (GRHS) held Chelmsford in high esteem and he was, even with his doubters, awarded high office in recognition of his victory at Ulundi in the zulu war and saw his life out (though without further battlfield command) in a position of high regard.

I think personally, isandlwana was a sour dessert, it tasted nasty after lunch but the 'assegai in the belly of the nation' as Cestswayo called it, may have saved Natal from the ravages of the superbly disciplined zulu army at dinner.

We may argue all year long on Chelmsfords faults, but naming any commander in the zulu war (British or Zulu) would, with serious scrutiny unveil foolishness and exceptional moments of fortune in equal measure.
It is a matter of distinction, nothing more.

Though as ever, I bow to higher authorities.

Cheers

Matt
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:04 am

Hello

Of course it does! And we can think otherwise is beyond me ...should really be obtuse as Chelmsford himself, to think that ...

A good general would not have confused the Zulu with Xhosa ...
And would not have despised the Zulu warriors, as he did ...

- The least we can do is to study your opponent before the war and especially when one has ever fought ...This he could do so without extrapolation on my part.

- If he did he would have prohibited the deployment in extended order, see the result at Isandhlwana ...That he could have prohibited without extrapolation on my part.

- A Isandhlwana ... You can imagine the weaknesses of the 6 company at the front, and all in extended order allowed three paces between each man (7 - 1 / 2 ft)

- It Is to cry, It was the deployment orders of Chelmsford coming straight from the regulations of 1877 ...

- It would have been valid against the Xhosa who were less aggressive (except at the Battle of Centane) but not against their Zulu cousins​​.

-
Dailleurs if the Martini-Henry was not as effectively at the Battle of Centane, Chelmsford would be less confident about the firepower of his poor bloody infantry ...


- So Chelmsford did not study the tactics Zulu.This he could do so without extrapolation on my part.


- For example, with reference to all their war past, including their defeats against the Boers...
This he could do so without extrapolation on my part.

- If he had not despised the Zulus, he would not leave Isandhlwana with as few troops ...This he could do so without extrapolation on my part.


- He imagined defeat the Zulus in the open field with the few troops he had taken from Isandhlwana, it's incredible ...

- If the Zulus had not attacked the camps, he would have been crushed and killed ... And even if the Zulu had a good logistics, they could eventually crush Pulleine that after the defeat of Chelmsford would have had to break camp ...That would have made ​​the Zulu general, a genie ...

- It is also a bad strategy because organizing his army into five columns and four to go in Zululand is debile ...

- Even for the second invasion, there are two columns too ...

- A single column with at least 4 Imperial Infantry battalions (32 Coys) marching on Ulundi by the shortest route and the matter was settled ...

- His mania of Detachments against an army as mobile as that of the Zulu, it's madness, we saw the result at Isandhlwana...

- In addition, it says a military command to a bureaucrat is to show contempt towards the Zulu ...

- Also his subbordonnés Durnford and Pulleine were not very smart either ...

"A la vie ,comme à la guerre,les meilleurs plans sont les plus simples..."

Cheers

Pascal














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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:00 pm

I think he did understand the Zulu tactics because before the war he gave standing orders for every column to fortify their position when coming under attack, however he forbade the column at Isandlwana from doing so. I think he did not realise the Zulus would attack the position at Isandlwana, he believed they would retreat further into Zululand under the pressure of the other two columns advancing from either side. This was his great blunder
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:21 pm

He knew that the Zulu army was in the area since he left the camp to face him, so what happened to other columns, he did not care, he suspected that if there was an army main Zulu, it would be for him and his other columns so that no diversion would not even ...

He imagined defeat the Zulus in the open field with the few troops he had taken from Isandhlwana, it's incredible ...

He Thought He Was in front of Xhosa ... and with the Martini-Henry nothing untoward could happen, including defenders of Isandhlwana...


The proof of his stupidity is that for Gingindlovu, then for the second invasion, he understood, his intelligence returned after Isandhlwana, where he understood the Zulu tactics ...


And this is also valid for Durnford and Pulleine, completely off the plate every two ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:48 pm

How does rate as a general...............Well in my opinion

" Not fit to be a Sergeant"



Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:10 pm

Hi DB14

Watch out DB, CTSG will have you on a fizzer for that Suspect :lol!:


Did Santa pay a visit ? :lol!: 😕 Idea
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:10 am


Hi

Anyway, for a long time, that the evidence of Chelmsford imcompétence Chelmsford was made ,If it was a good general :

1 - We would not have found a replacement before the end of the war...

2 - War he was quick to complete before the arrival of his replacement ...

3 - And he was not ever given military command in the field, he was so bad general ...

Of course, as there is no justice and with the support of the queen, who thought people, especially by their social rank, he was able to continue his life quietly for 25 years, receiving honorary status ect ...

It's really disgusting, if I survived Isandhlwana and I found me in front of him one day, with the character that I have , I will have exploded ...

It's amazing that he never had any problems with the survivors of Isandhlwana !

For know the true personality of Chelmsford:
On Google vidéo in english / french language : " Zoulous , le defis guerrier "

Cheers

Pascal














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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:09 pm

I will just answer the title of the post: Less than medicre.
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:22 pm

Yes Tasker224

I agree with you and it seems that it is not likely to think so, I think it would have had to be delivered to the Zulus after Rorke's Drift

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:34 pm

[quote="Pascal MAHE"]
Hi

Anyway, for a long time, that the evidence of Chelmsford imcompétence Chelmsford was made ,If it was a good general :

1 - We would not have found a replacement before the end of the war...

2 - War he was quick to complete before the arrival of his replacement ...

3 - And he was not ever given military command in the field, he was so bad general ...

Of course, as there is no justice and with the support of the queen, who thought people, especially by their social rank, he was able to continue his life quietly for 25 years, receiving honorary status ect ...

It's really disgusting, if I survived Isandhlwana and I found me in front of him one day, with the character that I have , I will have exploded ...

It's amazing that he never had any problems with the survivors of Isandhlwana !

For know the true personality of Chelmsford:
On Google vidéo in english / french language : " Zoulous , le defis guerrier "

Cheers

Pascal




Chelmsford would almost certainly have gone to his grave thinking that HE made NO mistakes. To him, it could only have been the fault of others. (This is another psychopathic marker).
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:37 pm

How does Chelmsford rate as a general?

A stupid one!
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:28 pm

Ah still DB14, you want to admit that Chelmsford was a disaster?
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:01 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
Ah still DB14, you want to admit that Chelmsford was a disaster?


Admit, well ok

Chelmsford was a disaster Idea




Cheers
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:30 pm

Very good

In addition Chelmsford was very lucky.

Instead of attacking the camps, the Zulu could attack him and then the massacre would have been greater.

And if the Zulu army had a real logistics system, they would have remained in the field of Isandhlwana one or two more weeks,the Zulu had massacred all the 3rd column and taken Rorke's Drift...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:54 am

Quote :
Chelmsford was a disaster


He was promoted Major-General in March 1877. In February 1878 he was appointed to command the forces in South Africa, with the local rank of Lieutenant-General, and in October succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Chelmsford. He brought the Ninth Cape Frontier War to an end in July 1878, and was made a KCB in November.

In January 1879 he invaded Zululand (see Anglo-Zulu War), but the centre column of his forces was defeated at the Battle of Isandlwana, after Chelmsford split his forces and permitted the Zulus to concentrate their army against a part of the British expedition. The battle was a crushing victory for the Zulus and caused the defeat of the first British invasion of Zululand. The British army had suffered its worst ever defeat against a technologically inferior indigenous force.

Because an invasion of Natal seemed likely as a result, Chelmsford was relieved of his command, to be replaced by Sir Garnet Wolseley. Chelmsford was ordered by Her Majesty's Government to "...submit and subordinate your plans to his control."Chelmsford ignored this and various peace offers from Cetshwayo in order to strike while the Zulu were still recovering from their defeats and to attempt to regain his reputation before Wolseley could remove him from command of the army. In the event Chelmsford defeated the Zulus at the Battle of Ulundi, just before Wolseley's arrival, a battle which effectively ended the campaign. Lord Chelmsford left for England in July 1879, but Wolseley ensured in his despatches that Thesiger receive all the credit for Ulundi, and he was awarded the GCB in August.

Lord Chelmsford became Lieutenant-General in 1882, Lieutenant of the Tower of London from 1884 until 1889, colonel of the 4th (West London) Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1887, full General in 1888, and colonel of the Derbyshire Regiment in 1889. He exchanged the colonelcy of the Derbyshires for that of the 2nd Life Guards in 1900, and was made GCVO in 1902.

He was the inaugural Governor and Commandant of the Church Lads' Brigade, a post he held until he died.

And you call him a disaster :lol!:
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:16 am


Hi

It was protected by the queen,

which is an incredible injustice, and that British Prime Minister who has made the cost of his stupidity and eventually to die fairly quickly ...

If it was a good general, he would have to order other armies in combat ...

See the google video "Zoulou,le défis guerrier" in French / English language, current british historians take good care of your Chelmsford ...

Cheers

Pascal














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PostSubject: Chelmsfords rating as a general   Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:22 am


Hi All,

It serves no purpose at all to go into the ups and downs of the man's career, it has already all been dealt with many times on this forum. Based on his failed performance at Isandlwana he was a disaster and not certainly worthy of the military rank he was bestowed.
His position as Governor General and Commandant of the Church Lad's Brigade was perhaps the most fitting he ever had, as he was definitely not a leader of men.


barry
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:28 am

Hello Barry

Even someone who has it all!

Courage, we'll make it ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:41 am

All depends on your definition of Disaster really.

He had a good career as a commander of forces. Crimea, Sebastopol, Indian mutiny, Abyssinia Ninth Cape frontier war.
All these posting aquited without problems.

He screws up badly and makes two intemporate decisions.

No I wouldnt call him a disaster, in the modern idiom, "he had a bad day at the office".

Regards
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:57 am


Hi

Say to receive orders, Chelmsford might be the case but is in the back ,in UK.

But it really does not understand the Zulu before Isandhlwana.

This was not rocket science to study before returning to campaign.

I'd checked with all the Boers who fought and he would have answered: without enough firepower, you have to hide ...
No need to have done St Cyr or military school to understand that!

Cheers

Pascal














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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:11 am

The question under consideration is: How does/did Chelmsford rate as a General. To answer the question you must look at his career.
If the question was: How did Chelmsford rate at isandlwana the general comments would have some validity.
That isnt however the question, so look at his career over all.
Nothing to do with receiving orders in a subordinat capacity or to sitting behind a desk in the UK.
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:57 am

How does Chelmsford rate as a general?

His career after 1879, the Chelmsford has to his beloved Queen Victoria, who has proved and what was not honest ...

But who am passionate I asked this very interesting question on another topic:

"If Sir AT Cunynghame or Sir Garnet Wolseley, Commander in Chief WAS for the first invasion of Zululand?"

I have no knowledge of these two generals to meet and you?

Cheers

Pascal












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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:40 am

To be honest, I think most commanders would of done the same thing as Chelmsford had. Let's not forget, that due to Isandlwana, the precautions taken by the column leader's doubled ten-fold! I mean, even Wood, was complacent with his sorties in the Hlobane area before the disaster on the 22nd. Chelmsford was slightly unlucky in my opinion. He'd made a few errors, yes, but, uesless, definitely not. What about Buller's and Wood's decisions at Hlobane! Very questionable indeed?
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:13 am


It's different.

If the Zulu royal army had not intervened to Hlobane it would have been a very good operation.

But Wood and Buller could not foresee ...

By cons imagine that Wood is used all his infantry units, because of the terrain, rather than the cavalry for this operation.

As will Wolseley against the Pedi of the same kind of field ...

Or even that there is only sent part of his infantry to support his cavalry ...

It would have been hell ...

What I criticized for Chelmsford Isandhlwana is to have left the camp with part of the column ...

He had only to take them all and in this case, even if it had been crushed, there would be less blame him ...

The detachments are made ​​to be crushed, see other defeats in this war ...














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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:48 am

Of course it's different, Pascal. All I'm saying, is that errors in judgement were made which cost unnecessary lives. It happens in wartime. Chelmsford, Wood, Buller and Moriarty had all made them. To be fair on Chelmsford. He was probably too over cautious after Isandlwana, (not a bad thing.) If Kambula hadn't happened, Wood and Buller would've been slaughtered for the loss at Hlobane. Wood cleverley smoothed that one over! Chelmsford was unlucky, Wood was lucky!


Last edited by runner2 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:59 am

Runner 2
Pretty close to agreement with you.

Pascal

Point 1: Dartnell had not disengaged and had stayed out of the camp on the night of the 21st.
Point 2: Chelmsford acted with all due dispatch in attempting to re enforce him.
Point 3: Chelmsford avowed intent was to bring the Zulu to battle.
Point 4: If Chelmsford had waited to pack up the entire camp and move it to Dartnells position it would
have taken days, took him 3 days to move 11 miles from RD to isandlwana.
Point 5: If supposing, he hadnt moved and Dartnell was attacked and wiped out the critics would
have hung Chelsford out to dry.
Point 6: Therefore he had no option but to split his force.
Point7: If he had taken the whole force and they could have been on the road by say 8 oclock, the zulus
would have cut them to shreds on the plain.
Point 8: Chelmsford deserves castigation for many things that day, Bad communication, lack of attention
to the camp defence etc.
The myth of him being wrong to split the force is exactly that........ a myth.

So critisize if you will but in doing so tell me how you would have moved the column forward to assist Dartnell. Ignore the peripherals, we all know the camp should have been fortified, Durnfords orders should have been clearer. His standing orders should have been obeyed

So there is your exersize, a significant chunck of your column has disobeyed orders by staying out of camp and screaming for help. You have to help them, or wish them Bon Voyage, How are you going to do it, and schieve your objective?
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:18 am


Yes Runner 2, wood is a hell of a lucky without Kambula, it would become a second Chelmsford ...


And he could have the experience of Isandhlwana ...

If it was he who was attacked Jan. 22, 1879, at the place where he was with his troops on that day?

Cheers

Pascal
















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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:33 am

Pascal.
Very good points raised by Springbok. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's very, very easy to cirticize the mistakes that Chelmsford had made. So, like I said previously, most commanders would've split their force to reinforce Dartnell on that fateful day. Why? Well, because it was tatically sound. What he did, or did not do after that, is very interesting.
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?    Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:23 pm

springbok9

Point 1: Dartnell had not disengaged and had stayed out of the camp on the night of the 21st.

Pascal

(error of Chelmsford) But it should never have been sent with as many troops , in addition he believed in face of all the Zulu army and asked
" insidueusement " for reinforcements .Unable to rely on information in recognition of the cavalry, for against it would have been perfect for the protection at long-distance of the marching columns or stoped troops to avoid surprise attacks.


springbok9


Point 2: Chelmsford acted with all due dispatch in attempting to re enforce him.

Pascal

(error of Chelmsford) should not increase, but do return to Isandhlwana.

springbok9

Point 3: Chelmsford avowed intent was to bring the Zulu to battle.

Pascal

(error of Chelmsford) There is no need to attract the Zulus at the battle, they come without invitation.

springbok9

Point 4: If Chelmsford Waited HAD to pack up camp and the Entire move it to position it Would Dartnell
Have taken days, HIM Took 3 days to move 11 miles from Isandlwana to RD.

Pascal

Yes it's true, the more reason to expect the Zulus at Isandhlwana,

(error of Chelmsford)it does not run after an army more mobile than his.

(error of Chelmsford)And before an attack, he would have had time to study the field of Isandhlwana and entrench themselves, when victory was assured ...

springbok9


Point 5: If supposing, he hadnt moved and Dartnell was attacked and wiped out the critics would
have hung Chelsford out to dry.

Pascal

Yes but the losses were less than what happened ...

Many of mounted troops could escape and the loss of NNC are less serious than that of Imperial infantry who were the flower, the backbone of each column entering Zululand.

springbok9

Point 6: HE HAD Therefor no option to view historical split force.

Pascal

(error of Chelmsford)"wait and see" at Isandhlwana with all His Troops.

springbok9

Point7: If he had taken the whole force and they could have been on the road by say 8 oclock, the zulus
would have cut them to shreds on the plain.

Pascal


(error of Chelmsford)Not with a deployment like to adopt it, at Gingindlovu or Ulundi.

springbok9


Item 8: Chelmsford Deserves castigation for Many Things That Day, Bad communication, Lack of Attention
etc. to the defense camp.
The Myth Of Him Being wrong to force the split ........ IS Exactly That a myth.

Pascal

(error of Chelmsford)Except that as he did ... This is not a myth.

springbok9

So if You Will critisize purpose in doing so tell me how You Would Have Moved the column forward to assist Dartnell. Ignore the peripherals, we all know the fortified camp Should Have Been, Should Have Been Durnford orders clearer. His standing orders obeyed Should Have Been.

Pascal

(error of Chelmsford)Dartnell had no help, for the reasons explained above. Durnford was impulsive, (error of Chelmsford)Chelmsford should keep constantly with him, do not entrust column or detachment.

springbok9

So there is your exersize, a significant chunck of your column has disobeyed orders by staying out of camp and screaming for help. You have to help them, or wish them Bon Voyage, How are you going to do it, and schieve your objective?



Pascal


(error of Chelmsford)Spare no troops, it's good to weaken the columns.


Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:28 pm

Runner 2

Chelmsford has only errors during the first invasion of Zululand ... He has no excuse ...

Cheers

Pascal
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:52 pm

Gave up trying to make sense of that lot.
Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:13 pm

And yet I answered, question by question...
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:18 am

As a new convert to the Zulu Wars my only experience of Chelmsford is from the books "Zulu Dawn" and "Zulu Hart" where in both cases he appears to be a stubborn old fool, too easily lead by others. This prompted me to look at his military record which appears to be rather gallant.
This in itself proves very little in as much as to say that Officers have always got the awards and recognition for the various campaigns even when they have done very little or in some cases nothing at all but the troops under his command have in fact been very courageous. This makes me wonder if there is any hard evidence of his bravery prior to the Zulu Wars and if so, how could a man loose such integrity in such a short time? unless of course he had lost his marbles by 1879.
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:26 pm

timah welcome to the forum.

Good to see someone's wanting know about The Good Lord Chelmsford career prior to the Zulu War, there is much on the web about him. I'm about to go out for the evening, but theres one thing I ask you to consider , before judging, The Good Lord Chelmsford and his roll during the Anglo Zulu War of 1879. He his offten blamed for the diaster at Isandlwana. It needs to be understood, he was not at Isandlwana during the attack, he went to the assistance of another officer who thought he had found the main Zulu Army. If he hadn't had gone and Dartnell's force had been wiped out, he would have been blamed for that, he was in a no win situation. However it's up to you to make your own mind up, I'm sure many of the members on this forum who will try to convince you otherwise. The Good Lord Chelmsford's military career was un-blemished until others cocked up at Isandlwana and others then tryed to lay the blame on his doorstep. Whatever should have been done the days before the Battle is of no consequence to what happened on the 22nd,numberous sightings of large enermy forces we're seen after The Good Lord Chelmsford had left, but nothing was done in anyway to fortify the position. I'm sure you will hear otherwise. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:14 pm

In short, Chelmsford was a glory-seeker.
Think about what would happen today, if a General or any other senior commander invaded another, sovereign state, BEFORE receiving any mandate to do so by his own government; and then, loses half his fighting force, well over a thousand men, when he was not at home! He would be in a bit of trouble, wouldn't he?
Well, Chelmsford is guilty of this.
So it was in Chelmsford's interest, to blame others (dead men) for the disaster of iSandlwana.
I am no fan of Chelmsford and I think he was ultimately to blame for the disaster, the buck stopped with him when he ddecided to invade Zululand without the consent of his own government.
However, the minute Chelmsford left the camp at iSandlwana, leaving Col Pulleine in charge, the safety of the camp and its defence from that moment on was the responsibility of Pulleine. He was to blame for the immediate disaster.
Now there will be forum members who will tell you that Chelmsford left standing orders as to how the camp should be defended etc, but this is nonsense.
The senior officer left in charge, the senior man on the ground by default is delegated with the responsibilty. If Pulleine didn't like the orders left by the good lord, he could and should have rearranged things to his own satisafaction.
This is the duty of the senior officer in any situation; if he had shown the kind if initiative that John Chard had shown at Rorke's Drift, they might JUST have held off the attack. Who knows?

PS - welcome to the forum!
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:29 am

timah

Welcome to the forum.
CTSG is pretty close with what he says, Chelmsford had no option but to do what he did nd seperate the column.
However as usual CTSG is hung by the bits he omits and can never defend, namely the items he was blamed for by the, then, Ministry.
He did not obey his own standing orders,
he did not do anything to safe guard either the camp or its prievious camp on the banks of the Buffalo,
he was cavalier in the way he rode about the country with virtually no escort,
he failed dismally in his communications with Glyn, Pulleine, Durnford and the balance of the General Staff
he failed dismally in his appreciation of the enemy facing him,
he ignored advice from all and sundry.
These are the bits that the Chelmsford apologists tend to gloss over.
Prior to 1879, he was a pretty good soldier, afterwards he took his skills as a billiards player to new heights.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:06 am

Of Course Springbok has his timeline wrong again.

The Lord Chelmsford left for England in July 1879, but Wolseley ensured in his despatches that Thesiger receive all the credit for Ulundi, and he was awarded the GCB in August.

Lord Chelmsford became Lieutenant-General in 1882, Lieutenant of the Tower of London from 1884 until 1889, colonel of the 4th (West London) Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1887, full General in 1888, and colonel of the Derbyshire Regiment in 1889. He exchanged the colonelcy of the Derbyshires for that of the 2nd Life Guards in 1900, and was made GCVO in 1902.
He was the inaugural Governor and Commandant of the Church Lads' Brigade, a post he held until he died."
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:31 am

Church Lads Brigade? Found his level at last.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:27 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Church Lads Brigade? Found his level at last.

Cheers

Indeed, all noddy appointments, Chelmsford was moved harmlessly upstairs, put out to grass.
They either had to back him, or sack him.
Support him or jail him.

On a cock up as large as this unauthorised invasion of Zululand, the government of the day would have lost a lot of face and pride, as would the British Army if they had jailed him. It would have looked as if the British Army had been outwitted by an inferior, uneducated, incivilised native army of savages.
By backing Chelmsford, together they were able to perpetuate the myth that the disaster of iSandlwana was just jolly bad luck and not at all down to the incompetence of its leaders.
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PostSubject: Re: How does Chelmsford rate as a general?   Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:16 pm

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