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 Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878

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tasker224

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PostSubject: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:29 pm

Seems like I am not the only one who can't find very much info out there on this seemingly very interesting engagement.
Please post any recommended sources/ reading that you know of.
Cheers
Tasker
Salute


Last edited by tasker224 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:17 pm

"The trouble began in 1877 when inter-tribal animosity between the Fingoes and the Galekas flared into open conflict which involved colonial troops.  The Fingoes, who bore long standing ill will for the Galekas, had been encouraged to settle in Galekaland under British protection.  A minor squabble soon erupted into a series of large scale attacks by Galeka forces and so the Colonial Government decided to act and sent a large contingent of 7,500 men into Galekaland to quell the unrest.
At this point the intervention calmed the situation somewhat until fighting again flared in December 1878 and now the Gaikas and the Tambookies joined forces.  General Sir A. Cunynghame, with a mainly colonial force with few Imperial troops, moved against the insurgents.  At an engagement in the Cetane Mountains in February 1878, the Galekas suffered such heavy casualties they did not take to the battlefield again.  The Gaikas now took the field against a reinforced British force under Lt General Sir F. Thesinger, who had relieved General Cunynghame.  During April and May 1878, General Thesinger pursued the Gaikas relentlessly and ruthlessly until the Cape Assembly offered an amnesty to the tribes in July."
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:14 pm

List of mountain ranges of south Africa. Cetane Mountains are not on the list, and I can find very little on this battle only what I have posted. It appears the reputation of the MH during the Zulu War was based on this Battle with regards tI performance. Either Cetane Mountains is spelled incorrectly or it's based on fiction

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:31 pm

Tasker

I think Snook covers Centre in his book, near the beggining, Julian has also made refrence to this battle.




Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:44 pm

The Road to Isandlwana by Phillip Gon covers the Battle of Centane pages 133-140
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:04 am

Thanks. Salute

Upcher was in Commarnd not Wardell.

Centane is a hill not a mountain.

3000 warriors not 10000.

Fortifications

These warriors had no guns and no attack formation unlike the Zulus.

"The camp was pitched on some high ground near the southern slope of a hill called Centane. Captain Russell Upcher of the 1/24th was placed in command. Upcher wasted no time building a strong earthwork, which he surrounded with trenches and rifle-pits. His exertions were not in vain, for on the morning of 7 February, his Mfengu scouts roused him with the news that a large Xhosa army was moving out to attack the camp. The principal attack was launched by the Galeka division from the south west. When the warrior columns first glimpsed the well-prepared camp with the soldiers in position, they hesitated, then stopped, and Upcher sent out a detachment of infantry and a troop of Frontier Light Horse, under Carrington, to act as a lure. They advanced a short distance, fired a few volleys and fell back on to the camp. There were over
3000 warriors in the attacking columns
, and as one man, they set off in pursuit. Accurate artillery fire opened gaps in the massed ranks, but the attack continued without faltering. It was only when the infantry popped their heads out of the trenches and opened up with their rifles that the attackers began to waver. The unexpected fusilade proved very demoralizing, and after two half-hearted attempts to continue the advance, the shaken columns broke. Carrington led his horsemen out like an avenging fury, and turned the withdrawal into a flight.

It was not yet 08h00 when Upcher ordered breakfast served. His men had scarcely begun to eat when warriors were observed grouping on a ridge to the right front of the camp. Captain Francis Grenfell, one of Cunynghame’s aides, was eager to repeat the manoeuvre that earlier that morning had lured the Galekas on to the waiting guns, and he persuaded Upcher to give him half a company of infantry and a troop of FAMP. However, the warriors who had so clumsily revealed their presence to the defenders were not Galekas, but Sandile’s men in whom the tactic of isolating and destroying detached groups had been ingrained. Grenfell fell into the trap, for the high grass on the ridge concealed far more warriors than were visible to him. Carrington, just returned from the chase, had to be sent up the ridge to extricate him. He, too, was soon in difficulties when the Ngqikas stealthily outflanked him. It was the unexpected arrival of reinforcements from the direction of Ibeka that persuaded the Ngqikas to break off the engagement. By 10h00 the battle of Centane was over.

The Galekas had suffered heavily in the action. It was to be their last appearance as a fighting force in the war. But the Ngqikas, largely unscathed, would return to the Colony’s side of the Kei and to the guerilla tactics they had perfected in so many wars with the white man. One of the largest Xhosa armies ever assembled had been whipped by 600 men armed with the Martini-Henry rifle. The battle was represented as a model action in colonial warfare, and much praise was heaped on Upcher’s men and their breech-loading rifles."

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90th

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PostSubject: Battle Of Centane    Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:48 am

Hi All.
Before we all get mixed up , Centane is the correct spelling and it isnt fiction , it happened ! . Littlehand can you please state which publications you use when posting as it may save others time and effort when looking for additional information.
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:02 am

Look the warrior N° 83 of Osprey for this Battle...
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:14 am

Thanks LH, seems to have been a remarkable battle. Will have to acquire the book dhragonheart suggests as it has 7 or 8 pager on Centane - looks very interesting reading.
DB14, does Snook go into a lot more depth than what LH has posted?

A few brief conclusions so far based on very little:
1. The native armies back in the 1870s certainly used some cunning, well thought out tactics.
2. The junior officers of the 1/24th when in command, as illustrated by Upcher, seemed to have been brave, highly competent and capable men. Upcher for example appreciated and saw the need to fortify of a camp; unlike the senior leaders at iSandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:42 am

Tasker ,look the very good warrior N° 83 of Osprey for this Battle...
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:53 am

The shots fired at this battle was no where near the amount fired at RD or Isandlwana. The weapons would not have been effected like those at RD and Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:21 pm

This is the only time that the beautiful and brave Xhosa warriors have wanted to fighting with the same tactics as their superb ​​Zulu cousins .

That they have not succeeded because they were not sufficiently numerous and aggressive ​​as their Zulus cousins.

However, they have made a tremendous service to their ​​Zulu cousins .

Because it's the first time the British use heavily, the rifle MH, after Centane the British imagined they could break any attack of the beautiful and brave Bantu warriors ...

We saw the result ...

That was what was served the battle of Centane and the sublim sacrifice of thebrave and beautiful Xhosa warriors ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:17 pm

Hi tasker

Quote :
Thanks LH, seems to have been a remarkable battle. Will have to acquire the book dhragonheart suggests as it has 7 or 8 pager on Centane - looks very interesting reading.

The Road to Isandlwana - Phillip Gon
The Years of an Imperial Battalion is about the 1/24th from 1875 right up to 1879, and is about their years of garrison duty in South Africa, covering the 'Black Flag Rebellion', Centane, Kimberley Diamond fields etc
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PostSubject: Battle Of Centane Feb 7th 1878.   Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:31 pm

Hi Tasker and others .
Knock yourselves out !.

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cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:37 pm

This is the only time that the beautiful and brave Xhosa warriors have wanted to fighting with the same tactics as their superb ​​Zulu cousins .

That they have not succeeded because they were not sufficiently numerous and aggressive ​​as their Zulus cousins.

However, they have made a tremendous service to their ​​Zulu cousins .

Because it's the first time the British use heavily, the rifle MH, after Centane the British imagined they could break any attack of the beautiful and brave Bantu warriors ...

We saw the result ...

That was what was served the battle of Centane and the sublim sacrifice of thebrave and beautiful Xhosa warriors ...

Cheers

Pascal
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:37 pm

John wrote:
The shots fired at this battle was no where near the amount fired at RD or Isandlwana. The weapons would not have been effected like those at RD and Isandlwana.


No one said it was, but it does demonstrate that the soldiers involved in the later battles were not "green." They and their officers would have picked up a certain amount of confidence, experience and weapon handling skills in this battle, and other skirmishes as well as plenty of time to practise.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:10 pm

Quote :
No one said it was, but it does demonstrate that the soldiers involved in the later battles were not "green.

Certainly didn't prove nothing at Isandlwana. But it did show the capabilities when entrench, with artilliery, and fighting an enermy with no fire power.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:16 pm

At Centane:

One third of the 1/24th enlisted before 1870 (this includes almost all the NCOs).

A second third of the 1/24th enlisted in the 1/24th in the year 1874, when the battalion was brought up to strength when it moved from Gibraltar to Cape Town (200 of these men had transferred from the 2/24th and were therefore old soldiers).

The third third of the 1/24th enlisted between 1874 and June 1877.

There are many novices in the third third of the 1/24 th ,but the rest is almost entirely of old soldiers.

Cheers

Pascal
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:20 pm

It doesn't matter if they were old or new. No two Battles are the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:24 pm

It is on that if the British had not been entrenched a Centane they have had some surprises, and finally the British victory at Centane, brought victory to the Zulu at Isandhlwana ...Thanks for the Xhosas Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:29 pm

Possibly, but we will never know?
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:39 pm

You know he's got the same story to the French, when they adopted the Chassepot rifle, they had a gun so superior to that of the German Dreyse Rifles (who fired twice and far less two or three times slower than the Chassepot ) thought they crush the German infantry with their firepower ... :lol:
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:22 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
At Centane:

One third of the 1/24th enlisted before 1870 (this includes almost all the NCOs).

A second third of the 1/24th enlisted in the 1/24th in the year 1874, when the battalion was brought up to strength when it moved from Gibraltar to Cape Town (200 of these men had transferred from the 2/24th and were therefore old soldiers).

The third third of the 1/24th enlisted between 1874 and June 1877.

There are many novices in the third third of the 1/24 th ,but the rest is almost entirely of old soldiers.

Cheers

Pascal


Very good points Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Centane Mountains - February 1878   Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:32 pm

I am interested in a further, because I will make for all my figures, their LS chevrons, unfortunately, I do not know the number or % of Lance-Corporal and privates of the two battalions of the 24th at Isandhlwana , where to find it ?
Thank you for helping me ...

Cheers

Pascal
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