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 The Ammuntion Box Question.

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:21 pm

barry wrote:
Hi Db14,
What Locke and Quantrill write in "Zulu Victory", is probably the most accurate and difinitive account of this epic battle. It is corraborated by the writings left by survivors and other reputable authors. By "trashing" the works of the reputable authors, variously Locke, Holt, Knight, Laband and the findings of professional military researchers such as Dr Machanix, you are not doing your i.

I've never said anything against Knight, Laband or Holt. Machanix doesn't give any evidence in his work, also
what mentor ?
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: The Ammunition Box Question.   Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:56 pm

Hi all.

I agree with LH, the box looks to be made of something like Pine that has been stained.

Also if the grain of the wood used on the slide lid is running in the same direction (ie, with the grain), then I would expect that the blow from a MH butt would eventually cause it to split after a few thumps (especially easy if it was made from Pine), however, if the grain ran in the opposite direction (ie, against the grain), then the wood would need a great deal of bashing to get it to split, especially if it was a hardwood.

Martin. Salute
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:47 am

Sorry for late reply guys, its 35 degrees here in Malta, stuff sitting around a pool all day, I've just completed two days training of Mike the new armourer at Fort Rinella, so thats 20 Martini's now, stripped and in spanking order... so.

As Bill wrote, Brecon has an original box which we both carfully studied at the Museum in June, its a MKV box, introduced LOC 2848, although at the time some MkII boxes (conversions of Mki Snider) could have been around (these were declared obsolete by 1882).

Construction was mahogany, sides dovetail jointed. base nailed on with copper nails, top was three pieces, two mahogany side cheeks, screwed into place; and the central lid mahogangy, sliding inside two tongue and grove channels. the lid is held by a single article No31 (for the complete picture) brass woodscrew. The lid was slightly tapered, thus the screw was on the broad side of the taper, so the point of impact to open it is hit the narrower side, hitting it the other way just makes it tighter.

The boxes were marked with date of manufacture and mark was of box was likewise stamped across the corner dovetail : thus "V" "R^L" (Royal Laboratories) "1877", they were varnished with shellac, the tops by 1878 started to note the contents in stencil and, but by 1880, the lid was colour coded, black for rifle, red for carbine.

Close inspection of The bend in the screws found on the field shows they have been bent with side impact, bursting through the side of the lid as it slid over the screw. (I have held around 30 of these, in the collection of the late David Rattray, at Mtonjanene and those at Brecon) the bend in nearly always in the same spot. iThe hard fact is that in1880, these boxes were altered by having a steel lining put into the screw housing of the lid proves 100% that this was a noted weak point, the List of change states such. Obviously as I frequently put, the Implement Action in the hands of NCO's and armourers had there screw drivers on it anyway.

What has not been discussed here is that companies always had a company reserve, (several boxes at the ready) in close proximity to the tent line of that company. Normal practice if there was any possibility of engagement, those reserve boxes would accompany the company to the firing points. Don't forget the ammo wagons themselves was the regimental reserve.





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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:02 am

But is still not clear who broke the ammuntion boxes open, we have two accounts, one from SD. And one from Zulul sources. However SD firstly states he was on the firing line. If the wedge shape wedge is correct, then the Ian Knight video is even more incorrect, has he strikes the screwend.

Perhaps you could also give you opinion on the ammunition packaging. You been to the Battlefield many times. You also know the ammuntion packaging like the back of you hand. So would all remnants of the packaging have rotted away. My argument is that packaging would have littered the filing line area if ammuntion had been getting through.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:01 am

Again LH, no person left an acount of what was found on the firing line.

Also the packets would have been ripped to peices, scattered by the wind, mostly rotted away. Just becuase no one mentions them doesn't mean they weren't there, no one mentions, matches,cigartes, pots or pans being found, but
we know they were at Isandlwana.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:19 am

Speculation. I would expect LH would perfect to here it from someone who's knows, an expert like Neil.

Your whole knowledge base is based on Jacksons work. and that of the survivors.

You was asked a question, that being do you take as fact the Essex account, or just bits to argue your case. Pirmary evidence is what it is. If part of that account is made up, then the whole account as no creditdence. It you be dismissed.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:26 am

Impi

I don't know what your on about Essex for ?

My point is no person left an acount of what was found on the firing line, so LH's point on ammo packaging
is pointless.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:51 am

In another discussion. You talk a lot about Essex's account, he said this and that's the way it was. The original question was do you think that essex's account is correct, totally or some of it.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:50 pm

Littlehand and all.

As I always put, I do try and offer balanced facts to my posts, something I learned from Julian a long time ago, so I can only offer evidential cases.

Sadly, the clear up operation carried out on the field by Charles Bromhead to recover items of crown property for re use (including ammo boxes), also removed a lot of the organic matter for burning at Fort Melvill (Greaves), and I gather the subsequent ash pit I am told was excavated in the 1980's so its original location on the field is unknown and its current whereabouts is now scattered in collections etc.

However, what has been gleaned over the recent archeological evidence, has proven to me to be very interesting. many of the bent screws and metal lining pulls have been located on the perimeter of the firing line, where I would expect it to have been, and one could argue, and I freely admit, there is no primary source to imply who did that, Soldier or Zulu. However its location does prove that the boxes were there. Why drag a 60lb box that far away simply to open it?,

Neither do bent screws to be fair point to the deliberate smashing of the box, 130 years of cattle plodding around on the site would easily bend a 10g brass screw, so again its only evidence, but the presence of the two both ferrous and non ferrous sacrificial metal items from an ammo box, in approximately the right area do point to boxes being where they "should" be is hard fact evidence in my opinion, but not proof as I mentioned earlier who undid them.

So then we must look at other evidence, would the Zulu's deliberately smash open all the unopened boxes, only to have to cart its contents loosely away, again, you can draw your own conclusions at this, however, WW LLoyds paintings, which as proved in David Rattrays book on the subject are near photographic in detail, they do show a large pile of openend boxes on the saddle where the last stands took place, so again I emphasise there is not fact to who undid these, unfortunately, for those like me who has spent the last ten years visiting the site, the erosion on the saddle area gets worse each time I visit, its now a rock hard shale, with bits of grass clinging to what top strata remains and that has been scavenged clean of any evidence.

The evidence in a lot of Museums in SA that I have visited, Mtonjaneni, Warriors Gate, Talana, sadly have become mixed, and contain artefacts that simply could not have been there, for example in the Museum at Isandlwana is an IC1 artillery carbine, these did not exist in jan 1879, likewise at Mtonjaneni a Natal carbineers epaulette badge of C1900 vintage and the brass muzzle protector of a Lee Metford, agian, found on the site,.... but evidence of the interest the site had for passing soldiers for the next quarter century.

FWIW, and summing up , do I believe screwdrivers were an issue, no, the implement would suffice, or as official reports state, a good welly with something hard would do it, thats why they strengthened them within a year.

I do find it hard to not see that the companies would extend without the presence of at least a few boxes of the company reserve, it was standard practice, so, is it this reserve which are being found?, not that issued from the regimental reserve in the camp?..I can only sit back and watch all your posts fly!.








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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:17 pm

Neil. You should become an MP. Ask them a question and they skirl around it. All I wanted to know is, would the ammuntion packaging have remained on the Battlefield taking into account it was waxed paper.

Quote :
However, what has been gleaned over the recent archeological evidence, has proven to me to be very interesting. many of the bent screws and metal lining pulls have been located on the perimeter of the firing line,

If we are relating to Ian's Knights video ( Secrets often dead) as far as I'm aware only one or two items were found not enought to prove there was a good supply of ammuntion being distributed.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:48 am

Littlehand, sorry it takes me a whle to answer, I'm in Malta sunnin it, the wifi in the hotels appaling, bit like the 24th ammo..am I getting it or not.
MP I like that, rather be called M-H.
As you asked the paper was not waxed, MkIII ammunition packing was it is in the words of the sound of music " brown paper packaging wrapped up with string!". The cartridges were separated in the packets by fine white paper.

I suppose, the paper would last many months in dry conditions, but consider the epic rainstorms that region has in January l not long before its a pulp.

to balance that, Bassages & Coghills diaries did lay out there along time before.

Pity QM's Bloomfields & Pullens requsition books didn't, this would be a shot topic LOL
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:49 am

Thanks Neil. So there is a chance some remnants did survive, like those laying under waggons, and others covered from the elements.
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DundeeBoer

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:43 pm

Very interesting discussion. I’m getting in a little late here but thought would add a bit. The problems everyone has pointed out with the prop box used in the secrets of the dead program are all correct. The two most important being the light weight wood used. And the most important point Martin mentioned the grain of the wood being vertical if you will rather than horizontal as the originals were. I should add this was the failure of the prop man, not the two investigators both of whom I hold in the highest regards. However after demonstrating this as a forensic experiment it has taken on a life of its own. Similar to Morris work stating the copper bands needs to be removed to open the boxes. Many times forum members have stated that it was proven on that program that the boxes were easy to break open. Unfortunately it was not that easy.

I’m very fortunate to have several boxes in my collection and I have documented many more from friends collections around the world. Bill and Neil’s descriptions are perfect describing the lid and the best way to open it weather it be naturally by unscrewing it or breaking it open with an object. I am a visual learner so I thought some pictures might help for those who have not seen the boxes up close.
Bill mentioned how sturdy these were made and I will just second that. I am afraid that the statement of a “swift kick” on the edge opening them is inaccurate. You will not “kick” these things open no matter what type of boot you have on or how accomplished a footballer you may be. If you have a look back at the video LH posted, the scene before the breaking open segment shows Mr. Pollard holding and describing a proper box of the period. (That particular box a 1878 dated MK V made of Teak) One can not deny the sturdy construction and look of originals.

Hers is a picture of that box from the top for you to note the placement of the lid, the screw and the direction and grain of the wood.
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As mentioned the lid was straight on one side and tapered on the other. This formed a wedge upon closing and with the combination of this and the placement of the tongue and groove fins butting up against each other it is virtually impossible to break open by smashing it following that same direction as closing it. As Neil mentioned it would just make it tighter. I think the old boys of the 24th would know this also.

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The only successful way to smash into the box would be to strike the side of the lid opposite the screw. (Knocking it back the same direction that it came to close)

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I would agree with Bill that the weak point would be the side of the box housing the closing screw rather than the lid itself. The screw would bend from force placed on it by the lid being struck and eventually strip out or break out a part of the side of the box. (Sorry for the crude graphics. Tried to draw the bottom of the screw in black and the weak spot in red)

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Period photos confirm to us that both the MV IV and MK V boxes were in use in Zululand. As 90th mentions they varied slightly in construction but not at all in the way they would be opened (His box is a fantastic example by the way) The only difference in the lids was that the MK V lid had a brass funnel shaped washer added to it. This is described in LOC 2933. The MK IV did not. The washer went down half the distance of the hole and one could argue that it would reinforce the screw hole in the wood. This was not the intent of the washer. Its intent was to “obviate the damage done by the screw being drawn through the wood from repeated screwing and unscrewing”. (In my opinion this statement supports that the boxes securing screws were frequently removed and boxes were in fact moved from 3rd to 2nd reserve at the first sign of trouble)

Tried to get a close up of the washer on the MK V lid.
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I think it is fair and balanced to add this comment as well. This was posted on another forum by a gentleman who accurately reproduced MK V boxes some years back (Correct wood, screws ETC..) I believe several forum members have these boxes if they choose to comment on them. His comments are related to the boxes being closed up and left for a period of time exposing them to all the elements: heat, cold, wet and dry and how the wood is affected by the expanding and contracting that follows. Just as the invading columns ammunition stores would have been in 1879. His comment reads as follows.

“OK the experiment. I left a box out in the elements during our wonderful British summer. We had rain and sun in equal measures, then we had heat and a lot of it. On a particularly hot day I tried using a standard correctly sized screwdriver - I was reluctant to use my lunger! and unscrewed the brass retaining screw as quick as I could - whilst listening to the Zulu soundtrack on headphones at the same time of course.

The result - The screw was hard to shift it had settled nicely into the timber and the more pressure I placed on it the more friction the greater the heat and yes the brass started to bend. The box was slow to open as the screwdriver kept slipping out of the groove ( no posi then you know) and by the time I had extracted it - well over 2 minutes it was clearly distorted in shape.
My contribution to this argument is that the distorted screws found on the battlefield are distorted by the unscrewing process and not therefore -I think many have perhaps assumed that coupled with some eye witness accounts (the early leavers) - distorted from the box being smashed open.”

So pay your money make your choice. I m not saying the ammo boxes caused the British disaster at iSandlwana. They didn’t. Ntshingwayo did. I do believe while looking at the ones around me that they would take quite a few blows to open and present a delay accessing the cartridges inside by needing to be “Smashed” open. And if you take a detailed forensic approach, which we have been, from things like the distance of the firing line from the camp, to rate of fire, to rounds per man ETC… the ease or delay to break something open is relevant. I’m a Firefighter and Rescue Diver by trade. I can boast a little of having years and years of experience with tools, (both simple and extravagant) leverage, and breaking in to and out of all types of material. I can tell you first hand that the level of creativity you can achieve when your life is in danger is remarkable. There is nothing that can’t be broken into but as Bromhead says in Zulu “It’s just a matter of time”.


Neil, I’m interested in a couple of things you posted. Specifically the boxes being “Varnished with shellac” and the black and red color of the lids in 1880.Could you comment more about both of these?

Re: varnishing- None of the boxes in my collection were shellacked or have any reminisce of shellac about them. Nor were any other boxes I have inspected and indexed. When do you believe this was the common practice to do? Or have I misunderstood? Did you mean only the Calico label on the top was shellacked in place?

Re: Black and Red colored lids- I wasn’t familiar with this either. The practice of the sliding or center portion of the lid being black was, as far as I’m aware standard on all boxes issued from the RL. even well before the carbine round was issued (my earliest example being 1867). I have never found a carbine box example with a Red lid. You mention the change being in 1880. So in addition to the LOC 3757 in August 1880 which called for the colored labels ( see pic below) with distinguishing marks to be placed on the ends and sides, the lids were to also be painted Red correct? Always excited to learn something new. Could you point me toward where I could learn more about that point?

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Thanks everyone for a very interesting discussion. Hope everyone is well.
Regards, Jeff

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impi

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:12 pm

Jeff, thanks for a very informative reply. And the photos. It will certainly give us food for thought. Just one thing, can't get my head around what you mean, the screw bend due to the screwing and un-screwing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:47 pm


Hi Impi,

I think you have linked two different sentences. I didn’t say the screws were bent from screwing and unscrewing.
The whole sentence from the LOC is

“The countersunk hole for the screws in the sliding lid is fitted with a thin metal washer to obviate the damage done by the screws being drawn through the wood from repeated screwing and unscrewing.”

It is referring to the wood being damaged not the screw. My opinion is this could refer to two scenarios. First, boxes being moved through the different reserves, being unscrewed and made ready but not used and needing to be resealed. If this was done several times the lid would start to show damage. The second as Bill mentioned. These boxes were made to be returned repacked and reissued. The placement of the washer would increase the longevity of the box lid.

The quote I added from a member on another forum refers to an experiment he preformed, the result of which left his screws distorted as a result of the difficulty and friction caused by them being tightly in place and difficult to unscrew.

Hope that helps.

Regards, Jeff


Last edited by DundeeBoer on Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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90th

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PostSubject: The Ammunition Question   Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:25 am

Hi Dundeeboer.
Thanks mate for the post much appreciated . I was wondering where you had got to as this seems to be right up your alley !. :lol: I'm positive with yourself and Neil contributing here - the facts will be shown for all to see . I'm well and hope you are likewise .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:18 am

DDB

Superb posting, you're right pictures speak louder than words Salute

Researching for my book I came across some very interesting information on the boxes at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, in paticular the "Supply. Army Estimates", compendium of editions from 1876-1890 If my memory serves me correct. The SAA is the returns from all Departments, RSAF Enfield, Birmingham (later Sparkbrook) Woolwich, Waltham Abbey, Weedon, etc etc. Each department head, publishes his annual returns, cost plans for the coming periods and it also outlines specific changes, often with the relevent LOC number where applicable and this was then presented to the "Army Manufacturing Departments Committee" who then debate the expenditure of the works, often then interviewing the head of department and the transcript is published in the book Its a fascinating book (also about 3" thick).

The Woolwich returns are heavy going, much to do with RML ammuntion, but quite a bit about the Small Arm ammunition production. Staggeringly in 1877 Woolwich were capable of producing 500,000 Martini and Snider rounds per week. I digress, a snippet from 1880, which is quite interesting, The boxes were made in the R^L and also sub-contracted out to two manufacturers (it doesn't name them) however, it states "boxes for SAA are currently manufactured in Brazilian Mahagony (purchased under annual contract; my note), and Shellac treated." Further it states previous manufacture had been Burmese teak but cost prohibitive, one note, it states that the Mahogany was prone to Salt water contamination, teak was not ( teak boxes however were still made:specific to India) periodic wood samples were tested (as it was for Italian Walnut on the M-H) in a Silver Nitrate solution. Shellac is not a particularly water proof product in its own right it dissolves over time, but I would imagine it offered some additional resiliance to weather.

The box in your image, it that the one from Mtonjaneni Museum?.





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barry

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PostSubject: the ammunition box question   Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:17 pm

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your interesting reply, with usefull photographic illustrations.
Your reply seems to lend credence to those of us who believe that smashing open those original teak/mahogany ammunition boxes was not that easy, or quick. Which is the rub here, the delays in releasing ammunition on 22/01, causing a major problem for the defenders.

regards

barry
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DundeeBoer

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:55 pm

Hi 90th.

Ya haven’t been on in a while. Same old story I seem to either have all the time in the world or none at all. Just getting caught up on the forum is daunting if you miss a few weeks. So much great discussion. I think of it like a treat though. It’s like putting in your Zulu DVD to watch it again, but every time you do there are a whole new set of extras at the end. Glad to here you’re well friend.

Neil my brother you are killing me!
What I would give to have a look at that book! Fantastic find! It is so difficult to find good detailed information on the boxes. But you are in the right spot for it. Well not presently, but when at home which reminds me, next time you take a little holiday like now I would be glad to house sit for you. At little too no cost to you either. Just a nice bottle of port and access to your library. So I won’t press you for more right now. I’ll have to wait for your book like everyone I guess.

The box at the top is not one from Mtonjaneni. It is from a private collection in SoAf. The other is one of mine. Shoot me a PM or email if you would like details. As I think of it RE: your comment about the Zulus carrying away ammo from iSandlwana. Maybe when you get home shoot me an email we can talk about that.
Enjoy your time there and thank you for sharing that info.



Berry,
I guess I’ am leaning toward that camp. Although not entirely committed I think it deserves a proper shot. I would love to see someone take Ron and Peter up on their wager. Experience has taught me that all you need is that one tiny little thing to go wrong to expose all the other things that you would never had expected to fail.

One little delay could manifest into some thing larger. We have a little joke saying in the emergency services with all the budget cuts and reductions of man power “Don’t worry, when seconds count we’re only minutes away!” I guess you could apply that here.
I will commit to agreeing 100% with Neils and others statement that full boxes were being delivered to the lines. Weather it be by carts, mule or runner. Nothing else makes any sense. 600 rounds per box 60/10 round packets. Even an under staffed company has more than 60 men right? So one box resupply only gives those fellow 10 rounds. A helmet or hand full is just not reasonable.

I guess one other point is now that I have given my opinion of how sturdy the boxes were. The contents were not. Some obvious points have been made in this thread and the ammo question one about pioneers with axes, pistol shots and heck a martini round would make short order of the lid, the screw, the wood ETC.. But another factor in a forensic investigation is to take in to account the cost of the damage to the contents. If I go chopping or shooting my way into it how many rounds do I damage or destroy? The internal liner is very thin about the gauge of present day AC/Heating vent duct work. Easily cut into with a knife or bayonet, axe or bullet. The packets of cartridges inside stacked and packed with little wiggle room would very easily get damaged or deformed. If I hack my way into the box and damage 2 stacks, 12 packets that’s 120 less rounds to my men on the firing line. Now you are down to 48 packets. You see where I’m going. If you are forced to use the unconventional method to open the boxes remember there is a fine line between smashing a box open and smashing a box open and rendering the life blood inside unserviceable. Anyway hope that makes sense.

LH,
thanks for starting the thread. I know I posted it somewhere before but can’t remember where I am sure Neil has also but here you go. Neil has described it already but again here is a picture so everything is in one spot. A packet I carefully took apart some time ago. You can note the outer wrapper and the fine inner paper. Sorry I didn’t put the thin twine in the photo but as you mentioned it I’ll try to add a shot later for you. Very thin, so much you probably would walk right over it on the rough ground and never see it.

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Only the Best, Jeff

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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:29 am

Just out of curiosity, I read that the Zulus were using MH rifles at Kambula, obviously the ones taken from Isandlwana.

I recall It being mentioned, that they wouldn't know how to adjust the sights. Now this got me thinking. ( dangerous I know) would they have had the know how, how to clean a rifle, would they know what or where the ramrod was located, and what is was used for. You see if the Brits were firing as hard as witness by survivors of Isandlwana, the rifles would have been in need of a dam good clean you make them useable. Your thoughts gents please.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:48 pm

DDB. One of the best overviews so far. My aim is not to suggest the ammunition box was the cause of the lost of the camp, but it did have its part to play in its downfall.

I have been in contact with various sources, in order to enhance my argument.
This I believe enhances the fact that changes to the ammunition box were made as a direct result of the Battle Of Isandlwana. The new ammunition box was adapted to facilitate easy access, without the use of a screwdriver. This and what you have contributed should prove there was indeed a problem with the opening of the boxes at Isandlwana,which without doubt have delayed ammuntion getting to the firing lines.
And its does look like the boxes marked (V) were made of “Teak”

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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:31 pm

Littlehand

Sorry mate, but you are trying to put one and one together to make three. I can assure you The amount of times I've wandered over that battlefield trying to find the same edge in my mind, but the primary facts do not bare it up.

As I an DDB's superbly illustrated post shows the factual points, and for the official Treatise, published in 1897, by order of the Secretary of State also quotes about the breaking open of boxes with impact is a pretty tough fact to deny, The updates to the boxes were designed with economies and re-use in mind nothing more.

the illustrations that you use are for the MkIX box introduced 14.5.1880, you have to remember these boxes were designed to be returnable, and the damage caused by missue or over zealous soldiers..well, everything has a price. With 20,000 zulus in your proxi? you bash it open,simple. But trying to alde that this was made a list of change. (LOC 3752) just because of Isandlwana is pure conjecture. The only book which alludes to this is Barry Temple, in his excellent book "The Boxer Cartridge in British Service", and I stress whilst the book is truly the best written so far on the subject of ammo and boxes, packaging etc he then goes on also to counteract his statement about screw lining actually being re-enforced in the same para!.

The historical fact is that the boxes were being easily damaged at the screw housing, you do not mention that on 24th Nov 1879, the same year, the R^L introduced the new MkVIII box with a strengthened area around the screw hole to bolster it up!, and the MkV box had the tin lining fitted in it to strengthen too, It was merely a movement in design, it does seem that the W^D made it effectively harder to open, then make it easier.

Yes, the MkIX box was designed to remove the need for a "tool", and be easier to open, but not as a result of Isandlwana. I do always try and balance things.. In 1880, boxes being re-processed at Woolwich were converted to the MkIX method of closing, but it is only keeping up with the times.

The boxes were by 1878 mainly mahogany, teak had been discontinued for normal use, except as I put in my post with the MKVII box which was as the Treatise on ammunition 1877 HMSO, states, and I did alude to in my earlier post, "For special supply to India" i.e in Teak as the official Supply: Army Estimates quotes. Page 80 of the 1877 Treatise Boxes for "foreign service" must be of mahogany or teak, one downside teak it also had a heavier tare weight when packed.

Chard1879
Without the jag, the ramrod could not be used for cleaning,as the diameter of the rammers head even on the 1876 pattern rod is too big, being <.448", the bore is .450 across the lands, too tight for a rag to go as well. TBH even if the bore is rusty as an old tin can, if you could load it, it'd go off and be pretty lethal. evidence to this, during the trials of 1875, by Col H.C. Fletcher, rifles were fired rapidly on a daily basis for week, left outdoors, uncleaned, and still shot.




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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:51 pm

Quote :
Yes, the MkIX box was designed to remove the need for a "tool", and be easier to open, but not as a result of Isandlwana. I do always try and balance things.. In 1880, boxes being re-processed at Woolwich were converted to the MkIX method of closing, but it is only keeping up with the times

But was this not as direct result of SD observations at Isandlwana. What I can't accept. Is that the ammuntion box design was changed as a matter of fact. It clearly states for easier access.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:34 pm

SD writes he was "Breaking" them open.

Foley saw Artilery men " Breaking" them open

Macphail also saw men "Breaking" them open
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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:36 pm

"His observations on the difficulty of opening ammunition boxes led to changes in British practice for the rest of the war,"

LH. His observations led The Good Lord Chelmsford to ensure that some ammuntion boxes were opened and that screwdrivers were available. It does not say that the design of the box was changed because of the diaster at Isandlwana, so it could be said that it was the Good Lord Chelmsford who instigated the re- designed of the ammuntion box.


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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:37 pm

DB. Read DDB post. Fully. The fact they were supposed to be breaking them open would account for a large lost of ammuntion.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:47 am

CTSG. Good point but regardless, what ever observations we're made at Isandlwana,changed the way ammuntion boxes were handled during and after the Anglo Zulu War 1879. Disasters opens people's eyes.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 pm

Doe's anyone know the measurement, length of the Brass screws that secured the ammo boxes?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:23 am

Looks to be around 38mm ( Inch and a half )
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:15 pm

An old flyer from DP & G Doncaster, i should have bought
one back in the day..maybe it is still available.

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90th

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PostSubject: The Ammunition Box Question    Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:20 pm

Littlehand
found this in ' List Of Changes In British War Material ; In relation to Edged Weapons , Firearms and Associated Ammunition
and Accoutrements - Vol 1 1860- 1886 ' PHEW !! .
25 Feb 1882
Boxes ,Wood , Ammunition ,S.A, With Tin Lining , Service Pattern Mark XI
Home & Special Service Mark III
They differ from previous patterns , Marks IX and X as follows - They are made without any copper bands , the corners are dovetailed together , the top is secured by 14 , 1 1/2 inch Brass screws , and the bottom by 14 , 1 1/4 inch brass screws. That was the only mention of Screw size mentioned in the book .
90th
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90th

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PostSubject: The Ammunition Box Question    Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:27 pm

I also checked ' Notes On Ammunition 1877 Corrected up to Feb 1881 ' , no mention of the screw size in the text .
90th Don\'t agree
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The Ammuntion Box Question.    Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

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Taken from Red Coat Tours Video. Ploughed up by farmer!

Can anyone confirm if this is from an ammunition box, and not just a discarded screw from something else.
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90th

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PostSubject: The Ammunition Box Question    Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:54 am

Littlehand it does appear to be an Ammunition box screw .
90th Salute
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