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 Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD

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impi

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PostSubject: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:19 pm

As anyone got a photo of the view the Zulus would have had that were firing down on the defenders most injuries and deaths were caused by gunshots. So I'm guessing the Zulus would have been fairly close to account for the hit rate. A photo would be appricated.
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90th

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PostSubject: Photo of area from where zulu snipers took aim at R.D.   Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:50 am

Hi Impi.
This from Jamies site , which has a link on this forum . Here is one that will give you an idea , and remember that there was virtually no vegetation to block the snipers view of the besieged post , except for the orchard in which case didnt
conceal the garrison from the snipers .

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cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:00 am

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:27 pm

Neil, what distance would that be roughly..
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:38 pm

I'd say roughly 3-400 yards, the caves are to the right hand of the escarpment lip where the image was taken, by say 30 yards, but still roughly the same range.
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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:46 pm

Neil

Good estimation. The distance from the "south wall" to the caves/terraces is 385 yards (I paced it out). Now if we assume that the Zulus who attacked RD had little or no Martini-Henry rifles then they must have been using smoothbore or rifled muskets. 385 yards is clearly too far for smoothbores and would be a very lucky shot for rifled muskets. I have therefore presumed that the casualties in RD hit by "rifle" fire were hit by snipers hiding in bushes a lot closer to the "south wall".

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:00 pm

So was it a case, of the Zulus just firing down, or do you think they were aiming at thier target.

Another thing I have been thinking about, with the old muskets they were using. Did they know how much powder to use or were they just guessing.
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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:10 am

Littlehand

As for the right amount of powder, and quality of powder, it's very much a case of trial and error. However, it would be easier for the Zulus to obtain flints and blackpowder than it would have been for them to get cartridges for breechloaders. John Laband made an interesting point in a recent lecture on Zulu girearms at the NAM - the possession of a firarm was more of a status symbol to a Zulu than it's tactical use. Zulu tactics were never altered to allow for firarms even though up to two-thirds of the Zulu warriors may have possessed one.

There is no doubt that Zulus were firing down on RD from the terraces - accounts from the defenders verify this. Though whether the Zulus thought this would have any effect (because of the range) is conjecture. They did it because they could !

The defenders barely had enough time to construct the mealie back walls - they certainly did not have enough time to clear away the undergrowth to allow for their fields of fire. There would certainly have been cumps of undergrowth between the terraces and the "south wall" from where Zulus could fire their muskets.

Bill
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:00 am

Bill
Thats quite an interesting point about the bushes and undergrowth. Could the fact that some 4000 odd men and a couple of thousand animals were camped there for some time possible have had an effect on the growth, firewood, browsing by the oxen etc? General trampling and flattening by passing traffic.
The letters and statements from Hamer do mention the crowding around the post itself rather than down the hill.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Photo of area where Zulus were shooting down on the defenders at RD   Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:30 am

bill cainan wrote:
Neil

"Now if we assume that the Zulus who attacked RD had little or no Martini-Henry rifles then they must have been using smoothbore or rifled muskets. 385 yards is clearly too far for smoothbores and would be a very lucky shot for rifled muskets. ".

Bill

Many a good man has been downed by "a very lucky shot."
Other factors with the g/s casualties at RD could possibly be:
Hundreds of (?) Zulu warriors firing muskets or smoothbores would have produced a light rain of lead that might well have found their targets. The greater the number of Zulu marksmen, the greater the chance of a hit.
How many g/s casualties were suffered by the RD defenders? (I don't know off the top of my head and don't have my books to hand). Obviously the greater the number of g/s casualties, the less luck would have to do with it.
I would imagine from what I have read in some of Neil's posts about the damaging effects of MH rounds on human tissue, the most telling evidence would have been the types of wound suffered by those RD defenders. MH hits would have caused massive soft tissue and bone damage compared to muskets.
If luck can be ruled out of the equation, Bill's theory of Zulu snipers hiding at close range would be the obvious explanation.
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