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Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command.Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
 
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 Durnford was he capable.1

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:59 pm

springbok9 " Your alive I saw you" Welcome back mate. Idea


Chard 1879 Good Post but I must say "Now there's a bitter pill. Our own damned rifles!"


Source: One Re-worded item from the great film Zulu. And one original.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:12 am

Chard 1879
Great post, as littlehand says nice to see a new member hitting the ground running.
The technical aspects of the MH I,ll leave to Neil, no doubt he will respond.
I would say however that these were not raw troops fresh out from England but rather battle hardened squaddies fresh from the Eastern Cape. Frere refered to them as "a seasoned battalion with fine young officers". Adjusting the backsite becomes second nature once the range decreases. It was also customary for range markers to be placed in the firing arc, the troop sgts would then call down the ranges as the enemy got nearer. I believe the only reports of firing going over the impis heads was the reference to artillery fire.
One of the warriors, uMhoti of the uKhandempemvu, seems to think the opposite, his view was the bullets were striking the ground in front of the advancing impi. The impi itself was stalled at 400 yards, according to Essex, a virtual killing field.

Regards
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:21 am

Springbok. You say
Quote :
"The impi itself was stalled at 400 yards, according to Essex, a virtual killing field."

Yet in a previous post you say
Quote :
"Essex never justified his comments, so heresay."


Lucky Essex or Cowardly Essex. !!!!
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:27 am

Hi CTSG
Nothing wrong in having cake and eating it :lol!: In this instance he is corrobarated in terms of the distance, SD estimated 400-500 yards.
Lucky Essex?? We both know where my feelings lay about him. Im suprised he didnt accompany Coghill.

Regards
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:56 pm

I’m not sure how the seasoned soldier would have reacted in this particular Battle.?

The British soldier was well disciplined and understood what was expected of him. If we look at the principle of the Regimental colours (Rallying Point)(Last Stand) but this was not the case at Isandlwana. Instead it is believed that the order was given to save the colours, “when someone assumed all was” lost.

Maybe he had his is reasons, but we will never know. We also have to look at the rapid decline of officers who basically left the soldiers to fend for themselves.
Soldiers need to be lead to be effective.

I do not agree, that well trained seasoned soldiers would be adjusting their sights, when the enemy was nearly upon them. There as to come a time when Bravery becomes stupidly, and none of those soldiers were stupid. They had modern firepower compared to the Zulu, but they soon realise that they would have to turn to their bayonets for survival. Rifles are excellent for killing at a distance, but useless in close quarter fighting unless it has a bayonet on the end.

The Zulu’s were skilled in open space close quarter combat; they were equipped with ideal defensive and killing weaponry.

So it is my opinion that the Martini Henry was effective until the Zulu’s broke the 1000-yard barrier.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:09 pm

Chard1879. What are your feeling on the Durnford situation. The much discussed orders. Who was to blame for the fall of the Isandlwana camp.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:43 pm

Hi Dave.
The dead cannot defend themselves against the scurrilous and malicious remarks, It is now accepted that grave errors were made and blame was laid at the deads door.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:58 pm

Quote :
It is now accepted that grave errors were made and blame was laid at the deads door

By whom. scratch
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robgolding



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:31 am

With respect CTSG

I think we all by now whom set set Durnford up to take the blame. Why?

He was dead.
He was the most senior officer, not of the 24th.
He was an Officer of Engineers - not regarded with equal standing as line officers.
He had few supporters in the military.

I think we all forget sometimes that what lost the battle were a culmination of errors by the British and the fact they were up against a brave enemy in overwhelming numbers using superior tactics.
It should also be remembered that these Zulus had never before come up against this type of mass volley fire and had not yet learnt to fear it as they did in later battles.

Hello Chard, an interesting theory. Just a couple of points Id like to make regarding the British line and the Martini Henry.

The Martini Henry could be used out to 1000 -1500 yards, at massed ranks of enemy. It is however very uncomfortable to shoot at these distances due to the rear sight being raised to such an extent that you can no longer adopt a normal firing position.
Its most effective range is between 400 - 600 yards, rear sight down and normal firing position and far better accuracy. At Isandlwana this was the main killing field.
British Officers and NCO's would have continualy been up and down the firing line controlling fire, calling out the range and the adjustment of sights - Rankers in the British Army did not have to think for themselves, they were given orders and they obeyed.
Due to the awkward firing position at the longer ranges I would think the soldiers would have only been to keen to get the sights down.
As with all black powder weapons, they foul quickly, and as the battle progressed so recoil increased and accuracy decreased.
As can be attested by reports from survivors, the men in the line were in good spirits and firing effectively, up to the sounding of the recall when they were seen to be retiring in good order.
Another point I must stress, is that no infantry line officers left the field, they all died with their men. Only non attached officers left the field and there is still much to be learnt as to when and why they did this.
I dont believe there is any proof as yet that an order was made to save the colours, by anyone.
As the companies in the firing line withdraw towards the camp, they soon realised that the Zulus were behind them in the camp, Only now would any sort of panic, if any, would have taken place as they were pushed through the camp. Those Companies that could attempted to retreat towards Rorkes Drift. Those that couldnt, or still had some form of cohesion formed square. The Companies at this time were still largely intact and the greatest slaughter took place in the camp, wagon park and along the fugitives trail.
It is hard to imagine the scene in the saddle at this time and we really dont know how long it took to wipe out those last pockets of resistance. We do know that the Zulu feared the bayonet (then and at RorkesDrift) even moreso than the bullet. (the assegai was no match for the 2metre reach of rifle and bayonet)
Zulu witnesses themselves state that the squares took a long time to overcome and it was only by firing into them and throwing spears could they be broken up. A Zulu witness sums it up best "THEY FELL LIKE STONES EACH MAN IN HIS PLACE"
What I have been trying to imply in this last part of my long winded statement is that the majority of British Companies stayed well disciplined to the last and together with Colonial troops, died like British Soldiers should. Extracting a fearfull price for the Zulu victory.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:59 am

Rob,
Nice post Rob. In general I agree, I would however agree with Wolsley, even none attached officers have a duty to their posting.
My biggest problem with Essex et al is that they are generally assumed to have left when ' all was lost'. If that was indeed the case they would have witnessed the last stands on the saddle, Younghusbands and even Ansteys on the bed of the Manzimyama. No mention is made in any of their subsequent statements, ergo was everything lost when they left or was it a precipitous flight. Again as on earlier threads, Coghill was a mile ahead of the rest of the Fugitive officers.
As for the actual line officers, wonderful bunch of men who stuck to their posts.

Chard
Sorry we must agree to disagree. Having spent a significant time on active service during my army career one thing one always pays attention to is the spatial relationship between you and your oponent.

Regards
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robgolding



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:08 am

Springbok,

yes I must agree. Essex and the other officers who fled the field, must have done so some time before the situation appeared completely hopeless. I can find nothing in any records, where they tried to rally the troops remaining in the camp or on the fugitives trail. In my opinion they must have left the camp even before most of those on foot attempted to do so. If they had still been in camp up until the time that the line had collapsed and the stands were being made, they would have been unable to break through this huge mass of men, animals, dust and smoke. Once the Zulu head and left and right horns had met there were probably in excess of 10000 Zulus in the small area of the saddle alone.

Whatever failings Durnford had, his actions during the closing stages of the battle should at least command our respect. He alone of all the regular officers who could leave the field, chose to stay .

I should have mentioned this previously Durnford was well known as a "Kaffir lover" (I use the term in an historical sense and meaning no disrespect) and regarded with suspicion by the Military and Natal society - he was the natural fall guy.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:50 pm

Quote :
“I think we all by now whom set Durnford up to take the blame. Why?”

That’s exactly my point, and that's what has been taking place for the last 131 years. It is my honest opinion that Chelmsford should be taken out of the picture because for the last 131-year people have tried to lay Durnfords and Pulleine’s cock-up at Chelmsford door. Well I’m sorry, Chelmsford was not there, and like he said he left a thousand men to guard the camp. Everyone keeps on about seasoned soldiers and how they stood back to back, everyone fell in is place. How the hell do we know what happen, the survivors ain’t exactly going to discredit the ones that fell, or the regiment/s. And what business did they have leaving the field in the first place; if every soldier had, had a horse they would have nearly all survived they would have been behind lucky old Essex and the rest that left them to it. The responsibility of the camp was with Durnford and Pulleine. That’s the fact of the matter. Glynn cannot be held accountable he was not there. The sooner people understand the politics of war the sooner they will realise the British lost the Zulu’s won. The camp at Isandlwana was a bloody shambles in the being and a shambles at the end, it was a picnic ground for the troops.

So please don’t insult me by saying.

Quote :
He was dead.
He was the most senior officer, not of the 24th.
He was an Officer of Engineers - not regarded with equal standing as line officers.
He had few supporters in the military.

Whatever he was, he was the senior officer in the camp and with that goes the responsibility of the camp. He should have kicked Pulleine up the arse and told him to do as he was told, not bloody argue over a cup of tea as to who was in command. And please don’t go down the road of the there was no orders there was orders, its doe’s not matter his rank puts him in command.

Remember this.

Quote :
Dear Durnford,
Unless you carry out the instructions I give you, it will be my unpleasant duty to remove you from your command.

The only mistake Chelmsford made, was not removing him from his command.


You also say “It is hard to imagine the scene in the saddle at this time and we really don’t know how long it took to wipe out those last pockets of resistance”

Why should we try to image what happen, what’s the point? We will never know, or should we image that they all stood back to back fighting off the overwhelming force with pocket knifes. They were terrified. They were going to die they were screaming and crying for their mothers. They were running for their lives.



I’m sorry but we have to stop dramatising Isandlwana as portrayed in the famous painting. It wasn’t like that it was a bloody slaughterhouse.
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robgolding



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:19 am

CTSG

It appears with have differing opinions on the subject of Durnford, so I will say no more.

I do however strongly disagree with your generalisation of the last moments at Isandlwana. I imagine you subscribe to the theory of the general route with little or no resistance

Yes, it was a slaughterhouse, yes there probably was some crying and calling for their mother and yes there was some running for their lives,

BUT historical fact, in relation to this and other battles, scientific research, and my own small amout of experience have shown that the majority of men when their with their mates, and the situation is at its worst actualy just get mean, they do fight on until the very end with any means at hand (including penknives).
The flight or fight response in these situations is exactly that, there is no in between. If the prospect of escape is zero then the majority of men, women or animals will fight. I would guess that there were many a Zulu along the fugitives trail who paid the ultimate price after bringing individuals or groups to bay.

In any case, what we summize as occuring on that day is really of little consequence. The Zulu considered them to be brave men and no higher praise can be given than to earn the respect of your enemy.
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:38 am

CTSG. What a crock of S**T. Where the hell did you get the your information that they were screaming and crying for their mothers and running for their lives. Let me tell you old mate. When the crap comes down you don’t leave your mates. You stand and fight together. I have heard dying soldiers and everyone of them died with dignity not crying out for their mothers, if they did they did it in silence, the remains at Isandlwana were found in groups, proof enough they stood and fell together. I would image by your comments relating to the British solders, the nearest you have come to the military is playing with you action man, so don’t cast aspersions on subjects you know nothing about unless you have had first hand experience.

sas1
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robgolding



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:31 am

sas1

Thanks for putting what I was trying to say into more appropriate language. Being a forum novice I thought I should ere on the side of caution.

I think CTSG makes these outlandish statements, just to get a response.

RobG
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:01 pm

CTSG
Well done, Bravo.
I have to love the passion and belief in your point of view. However short on a balanced viewpoint it is. Your rights to that view point are enshrined in constitutions the world over. We have argued long and hard over the blame that should be attached and to whom. I doubt that I will change your view, just as you wont change my devotion to facts. But that is the beauty of this forum that we can continually revamp and put forward theories for tearing down or provoking comment.
I do agree with Rob and SAS 1. The British squaddie has proven himself time and time again, he is no winger.
If there is a true hero from Isandlawana its the thought that those men of the 24th died following the traditions of their forebears.

Just my view point is all.

regards
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:20 pm

[a newspaperman is commenting on Chelmsford's decision to divide his forces]

Norris-Newman: Crealock, old fella. I'm doing notes for my dispatch and I need to clear up a few military points... I don't want to bother His Lordship. Had it drummed into my thick skull that a good commander never willingly splits his force, especially in an enemy's country, before knowing their dispositions.

Col. Crealock: Ah yes, if we were facing a European enemy armed with guns I think your point would hold, Noggs. Further may I remind you, I do not make the strategies you wish to comment on. I am only His Lordship's secretary.

Norris-Newman: I wouldn't take overly comfort from that, Crealock old fella, because if he sinks, then you sink with him.

Zulu Dawn Great film..
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:00 pm

hi
John, are you trying to imply Chelsfords to blame? :lol!:

thanks joe
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:54 pm

I don't think he is. He's just pointing out the root of the failure.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:16 pm

CTSG. You have heard the expres​sion(Loose cannon) Firing off in all directions. Your post started rationally but lost its momentum after “picnic ground for the troops.”

Actually there are accounts of what took place on the saddle, accounts by those that were there. One of them was a very brave Zulu Warrior named Mehlokazulu Kasihayo. He gives a very accurate account of what took place. May I suggest you read his account?

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

You will find no documented evidence from either side that’s shows disrespect to those that took part in the Zulu War of 1879, and that respect stands to day.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:59 pm

Chard thanks for the link. It says Taken from: The Immortal Anglo-Zulu War.

It’s a book. Where can I find the actual document, and who wrote this Mehlokazulu himself? Or someone else. Let me guess a British interpreter.

Sas1. Unlike you I keep my service background to myself. But for your information I served 22 years in the army. In the later years serving with 3 Para, I was in the Falklands in 82 and took part in one of the bloodiest battles. So don’t tell me soldiers don’t scream and cry for their mothers. The SAS are what they are, Saturday and Sunday Soldiers.

Rob. No disrepect intended..

Springbok. What can I say.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:09 pm

Gent's we seem to be going off topic.
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durnfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:56 pm

Saturday and Sunday soldiers.
What does that mean?
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90th

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PostSubject: beginning of the end   Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:42 pm

hi all.
This from ZULU - ISANDLWANA , RORKES DRIFT by IAN KNIGHT,
" Major Dunbar was not happy either , Physically a big man , he had the most distinguished war record of
any officer in the 24th, having taken part in the final attack on the Redan in the Crimea , and in the Indian
mutiny. He was clearly not a man who was easily daunted , but the camp on the Batshe lay to close for his
liking to the cliff"s where the action on the 12th had taken place , and was surrounded by thorn bush , with no field of fire . The camp was completely exposed , especially by night , and Dunbar was forced to mount strong guards every
night simply to ensure advance warning in case of attack. When on the 16th Chelmsford visited the camp , Dunbar
made such reservations known , but Crealock dismissed them in pointlessly offensive terms , snapping that ,
" If Major Dunbar was afraid to stay there ,we could send someone who was not " Deeply insulted , Dunbar walked
off in a rage , resigning his commission on the spot. C" ford tried to smooth matters over as best he could and persuaded him to retract for the time being , but the story must have circulated among the officers of the 24th , and
can hardly have improved the strained relations between C" ford and Glyn. Behind Crealock"s impatiend dismissal
of an experienced officer "s professional opinion lay the supreme self - confidence of C" ford and his staff. Neither
the supply depot at R.D , nor the camps on either side of the Mzinyathi crossing , nor the camp in the Batshe had been
in any way fortified ". I. Knight goes on to say. Chelmsford issued a booklet Regulations for field forces in S.Africa
November 1878. The orders relating to camps, 18/ By night horses should be picketed and oxen placed in a wagon- laager. 19 / The camp should be partially entrenched on all sides . Later on after arriving at Isandlwana , Col Glyn
suggested to Chelmsford that the camp at Isandlwana be laagered he recieved a curt reply which can only have reminded him of the superfluity of his position as column cmdr " It is not worthwhile , it will take to much time , and
besides the wagons are most of them going back to R.D for supplies ". I can see how difficult the terrain was , but
surely they may have had time to consruct a smaller version of fortification , as Wood was doing in his column . As I
believe and have said before all the officers have some degree of culpability including the Good lord and his merry staff.
cheers 90th.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:46 pm

H e is suggesting the SAS only work weekends. Regimental Banta.

Saturday and Sunday soldiers.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:29 pm

90th
Collective responsibility I believe is the phrase.
Mind you, Raw probably provoked everything by launching a totally unprovoked attack on a harmless gathering of indigenous soles. Wink
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:12 pm

"Mind you, Raw probably provoked everything by launching a totally unprovoked attack on a harmless gathering of indigenous soles."

And who was responsible for sent to Raw out in the first place. (Chelmsford I suppose) Sorry he couldn't have, he wasn't there. I wonder who it was.
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90th

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PostSubject: durnford was he capable.   Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:54 am

hi ctsg.
Actually you are correct :lol!: . It was Chelmesford"s fault that Raw found the zulus , as per his " regulations for field forces
in sth africa 1878 " . Point 17 . By day the camp should be guarded against surprise by vedettes thrown at some distance
on all surrounding points of observation. I posted a link on the forum for this book which was on ebay , did you buy it or have
you a copy ?.
cheers 90th Idea .
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:41 pm

But then again if Raw, had carried out the duties he was supposed to, instead of chasing young Zulu Boys. He would never have found them.

Another dis-regard od orders.
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90th

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PostSubject: durnford was he capable.   Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:58 am

hi ctsg.
I dont think Raw disregarded his orders at all , he was authorised to chase zulu herd boys as the cattle which they
confiscated from the zulus was to be part of the " Bounty " which was supposed to be shared amongst the troops , but
we all know this didnt come to fruition for one reason or another . So to me he was following orders . Idea .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:04 pm

ANOTHER one disobeying orders? dear oh dear.
endemic.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:24 pm

endemic. :lol!:
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:13 pm

Quote :
ANOTHER one disobeying orders? dear oh dear.

Unfortunately that was the problem.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:05 pm

Did Raw stay a fight at Isandlwana?

Dave
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:31 pm

Colonel Durnford reached the camp, and received all the information Lieut -Colonel Pulleine could afford, finding the situation to be: — Lonsdale's natives on out-post duty on the hills to the left, the guns in position on the left of the camp, and the infantry under arms. The oxen were driven into camp and — Mr. Brickhill says — tied to the yokes, but not in spanned. Constant reports were coming in from the hills to the left —"The enemy are in force behind the hills." "The enemy are in three columns." " One column is moving to the left rear, and one towards the General" '* the enemy are retiring in every direction." The enemy's force was given at 400 to 600.On hearing these reports; Colonel Dumford sent one troop Natal Native Horse to reinforce.

His baggage guard; two troops to the hills to the left (under Captains G. Shepstone and Barton)^ — one to move along the crest of the range, one to search the valley beyond and determined himself to go out to the front " and prevent the one column joining the * impi,' which was supposed at that time to be engaged with the troops under the General;" he asked Lieut. -Colonel Pulleine for two companies of the 24th, to which Colonel Pulleine replied, "'that two companies could ill be spared, but that if Colonel Dumford ordered them, of course they should go." On consideration. Colonel Durnford decided only to take his own men, and moved out with his remaining two troops Natal Native Horse, followed by Major Russell's rocket battery, with its escort of a company of Native Contingent, under Captain Nourse.

A company l-24th, under Lieutenant Cavaye, was sent out as a piquet to the hills about 1200 yards north of the camp, and the remainder of the troops dismissed to their private parades, where the men were to lie down in readiness to turn out if required. At this There were no high words," Lieutenant Cochrane says, of any kind between the colonels, as some would lead the public to suppose. The above remarks are taken from Lieutenant Cochrane's account of what passed; and he says: " I think no one lives who was present during the conversation but myself; so that anything said contradictory to my statement is invented."


I'm not sure how reliable this is. But it’s basically saying that Pulleine saw Durnford as the commander of the camp. (Well that’s how I read it. )

Mr G.
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90th

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PostSubject: durnford was he capable.   Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:57 am

hi Mr Greaves.
This from, Zulu - Isandlwana and Rorke"s Drift 22nd - 23rd January 1879. by Ian Knight.
According to Cochrane , the conversation was along the following lines , Col Pulleine said.
" I"m sorry you have come , as you are senior to me and will of course take command " Durnford replied ,
" I"m not going to interfere with you , I"m not going to remain in camp ". The book continues ,
Perhaps Durnford had expected to find fresh orders from Chelmsford awaiting him, but there had been no word
from the General , not even in response to Pulleine"s message earlier in the day warning him of the zulu presence
in the hills , by now the gunfire in the distance had been noticed by almost everyone . The book continues on...
Over lunch, Durnford announced that he intended to take his men across the plain. He was concerned that the zulu
column seen retiring in the General"s direction might have been trying to circle around to cut him off from the camp.
Durnford proposed to march out after it and intercept it . He wanted to take 2 comp of the 24th with him. Durnford
put his case in a persuasive rather than peremptory fashion, Pulleine was uneasy , he had been ordered to " Defend
the camp ", he had not been specifically ordered to hand over command to Durnford , nor had Chelmsford given him any
fresh instruction which may have caused him to alter his original position. at last , Pulleine said " Oh , very well , of course
if you order them , I"ll give you them '. Pulleine then went to discuss this with his officers , but the 24th were clearly unhappy.
Shortly afterwards Lt. Melvill walked over to Durnford and said, " Colonel , I really do not think Col Pulleine would be doing the
right thing to send any men out of the camp when his orders are to " Defend the camp " . Durnford replied , " Very well , it does
not much matter , we will not take them ".
cheers 90th.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:32 pm

Can Cochrane's statement be relied on.

Quote :
" I"m sorry you have come , as you are senior to me and will of course take command " Durnford replied ,
" I"m not going to interfere with you , I"m not going to remain in camp ".

It just doesn't ring true. What was Pulleine sorry about.
Quote :
(I"m sorry you have come as you are senior to me and will of course take command ")


I have taken some text from two statements issued to the court of enquirey.

5th Evidence. Lieutenant Cochrane
I entered the Isandlwana camp with Colonel Durnford about 10 A.M., and remained with him as Acting Staff Officer. On arrival he took over command from Colonel Pulleine, 24th Regiment

Captain Essex's
At about ten A.M. a party of about 250 mounted natives, followed by a rocket. Battery arrived with Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, R.E., who now assumed command of the camp.

We have Cochrane who was with Dunrford.

Its it possible Essex assumed Durnford had taken over command.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:34 pm

Sorry to bang the same old drum. But look carefully at all the statements. The only person actually present at the meeting was Stafford. After the initial meeting, the so called 'tent' meeting, Durnford had lunch with Pulleine and the rest of the officers. During that lunch, Higginson arrived and reported to Pulleine. Pulleine directed him to give his report to Durnford who then ordered Higginson to post look outs on top of isandlawana hill. That is the only recorded point of Durnford actually giving orders within the camp. There is conjecture however that it was Durnford who ordered Cavaye onto the Spur, conjecture only. It was over that lunch that Durnford, in the company of the other officers, set out his concerns that Chelmsford would be outflanked and announced his intentions to try and protect the flank. It was at this point he REQUESTED of Pulleine 2 companies of the 24th to accompany him, this was demurred over by Pulleine and frankly condemned by Mellville. If Durnford had assumed command he would ( if he was as reckless as others maintain) surely have ORDERED the two to go with.
I believe that Cochrane, Essex at al were present at that lunch and it was from there that they ASSUMED that Durnford being senior officer had taken command.
Reality is as reality is. Despite the passions shown in defence of various officers, there is no proof either way, speculation over available evidence is what we have. And to my mind nothing I have ever seen or read, promotes Durnford to camp commander.
Pulleine is the man who bumbled his way into battle.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:03 pm

Quote :
"Pulleine is the man who bumbled his way into battle."

Hallelujah !!!!! The good lord has shown the man the error of his ways. He takes his eye of the good Lord Chelmsford and turns to the man who was partly responsible.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:58 pm

Chelmsford was appointed to command the British troops in South Africa. With this goes the sole responsibility of every soldier under his command. He took the abilities of the Zulus for granted. He would not listen to any advice from those that knew the way of the Zulu. He was so pig headed he didn’t even understand his own standing orders If he had the Battle of Isandlwana would probably not have taken place. He would not have setup up camp on a position that could not be fortified and he would never have split his forces.

He was a lazy commander that left important decisions to inexperienced officers. Chelmsford was a glory hunter, who only cared about his reputation back in England.

He made no effort to help those that were fighting for their lives on the battlefield of Isandlwana. When news first reached him of the pending disaster he should have made moves back to the camp. However he was not stupid, he knew if he had, his chances were slim, and he had no intention of taking on the Zulu army that had just wiped out a large part of his column.

So it does not matter who was in command at Isandlwana or what orders were issued. It was Chelmsford’s duty to ensure that the camp was prepaid and that everyone concerned knew exactly what their responsibilities were in his absence.

The lost of the camp at Isandlwana rests firmly on Chelmsford shoulders. The witness statements at the court of inquiry were written by those for the benefit of Chelmsford to ensure his reputation would remain unblemished. (Chelmsford had very powerful friends back in England, who could do a lot of harm to an officer’s career.


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:04 pm

Quote :
It was Chelmsford’s duty to ensure that the camp was prepaid and that everyone concerned knew exactly what their responsibilities were in his absence.

Quote :
"Chelmsford had very powerful friends back in England, who could do a lot of harm to an officer’s career."


You hit the nail on the head. Twice:idea:

S.D
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:21 pm

Admin. I take it you disapproved of Chelmsford being in command. I knew eventually we would hear from you and your observation on Chelmsford. I have seen some of your other posts relating to the Good Lord Chelmsford. Must admit I was not looking forward to you appearance. But I guess my conversion of Springbok was too much for you. I will reply to your post, but will take sometime to preempt your replies.



S.D Why don't you sit on the fence like you normally do? You might learn something.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:26 pm

CTSG. If you can’t stand the heat. Keep out of the kitchen. :lol!: Hallelujah !!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:32 am

CTSG

No conversion here Im afraid. I nailed my colours to the mast a couple of pages back when I stated that the farce was collective reponsibility. At the risk of boring one and all: Glyn, at fault for siting the camp, Durnford for being irresponsible, Pulleine for the bumbling fool he was, Crelock for lack of moral fibre and good old fashioned guts. The list goes on. However in any company when middle management is endemicly poor the CEO is the man who SHOULD accept responsibility, so my final share share of blame would go to Chelmsford for his total lack of command and inability to command an armed force.
As allways , the unconverted.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:20 am

I made a comment on another string that would be worth exploring collectivly.
Chelmsford split his forces in order to recon the area around the Gorge and " bring the Zulu to book".
He was therefore prepared for battle when he left. Why therefore was he not prepare for battle when he returned? I can understand prudence in aproach, I can understand his men were tired.
I cant understand the excuse of low ammunition.
Between isandlawana and RD he met the impi returning from RD. He elected not to fight, why? If he had the ammo to fight the day before surely he had the ammo then? His object for the invasion was to force the Zulu to fight, yet he backed of.
Am I being obtuse?

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:26 am

i think the battle he was prepared for when he left the camp was along the lines of : the Zulu attack , we shoot a lot of them , the rest run away - job done !.

An over simplification of course , but having returned to the camp to find his 1000 men slaughtered he must have realised it was not going to be so simple and thus chose not to risk another engagement at that time .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:43 pm

Four valid points. Made by Lord Strathnairn. Its good to see they were asking the same questions back in 1879 as we are today.

First, the columns invading Zululand were too far distant from one another for mutual support and communication, especially in so difficult and unknown a country as Zululand. For instance, Sir Evelyn Wood's, the fourth column, was 35 miles distant from Colonel Glyn's headquarter No. 3 column, and, consequently, the fourth column acted independently. The result of this was that 20,000 Zulus were enabled to pass through the interval and post themselves, on the 21st of January, unobserved, under the crest of the height commanding the left front of the camp at Isandlana, and fell like an avalanche on the left flank of the camp next day, the fatal 22nd. Of course, if this dangerous ground had been properly reconnoitred, it was more than probable that that great calamity would never have occurred.

Secondly, the position of the camp at Isandlana was commanded, as had been shown by an excellent authority, who had visited the spot. He said— "I spent many hours in examining the position of the camp, and I emphatically repeat that the camp is dominated by hills to the right and loft (a little to the right and left) rear which were within pistol-shot." There was a glacis sloping away from the front towards the open plain; but what man in his senses could expect an enemy to advance over that when he could approach a flank under cover of a range of hills? Archibald Forbes, in his article in The Nineteenth Century, said something to this effect—"I challenge any soldier of experience to say whether any more inherently vicious position could have been chosen." He (Lord Strathnairn) certainly considered that any disinterested person who had sufficient military knowledge to entitle him to give an opinion at all must, after seeing the ground, entirely coincide with Mr. Forbes. Their Lordships had only to look at the map to be convinced of the justice of these views; and it was this hill-commanded camp which, by the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, was not to be left, but to be defended. If instead of that order he had previously directed that that camp, and all other camps in the line of operations, should be in safe positions to be fortified, either by intrenchments with obstacles or with waggon laagers, we should not have been the victims of surprises or defeats. Such as it was, the camp could only be defended from outside.

Thirdly, reconnaissances should have been made of the position of the enemy above and round Isandlana to any extent. The Commander-in-Chief did reconnoitre the positions to the left front of the camp, but did not go far enough or thoroughly enough; for he stated that he saw a few Zulu horsemen, who could only have been an outpost or a patrol of the 20,000 men, and he should have done all he could to take these men or follow them, or, with a reconnaissance in force, to ascertain where their main body was. If he had done so, he would have ascertained the position of the 20,000 Zulus, and been enabled to counteract their dangerous flank manœuvre. He (Lord Strathnairn) had practical proof of the advantages of this reconnoitring in Syria and in India.

Fourthly, the camp with all its contents should have been intrenched, as he had already said, with engineering obstacles to protect it, arrest the enemy's advance, and expose them to the scientific and deadly fire of the English artillery and infantry, Fifthly, the warning that the Zulus had shown themselves in force to the left front of the camp, given not only by the firing which was heard from the direction of the camp, but by messages received by the noble and gallant Lord and officers under him from the officer commanding the camp.

Source: South Africa—The Zulu Campaign—Military Organization
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:08 am

Can you see similar issues?

This relating to the charge of the light brigade.

1) Raglan was blamed for issuing so imprecise an order. He could see what was going on, but ought not to have assumed that Cardigan could.
2) General Airey (the Adjutant General) was blamed because he wrote the order.
3) Captain Nolan was blamed because he took the order to Cardigan, and was itching for action. When asked "Which guns?" he waved his arm and said, "There is your enemy."
4) Cardigan was blamed for not checking or questioning the order — but he had the sense to refuse to hand it over to Airey after the charge.
5) Contemporaries settled on Nolan — but he was killed in the charge. Dead men carry all burdens.

It was a collective, shared responsibility, a combination of

-Lack of experience

-An unclear order

-An unquestioned order

The charge reflected the political mistakes of the war.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:37 pm

Quote :
Dead men carry all burdens
I take it you are referring to the Good Lord Chelmsford.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed May 05, 2010 8:21 pm

Still thinking about CTSG. Maybe we should ask Admin to lock this topic. Idea

S.D
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