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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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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:04 pm

Why Raw. scratch
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:25 pm

Dave. Don't ask CTSG Will blame him for something.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:06 pm

CTSG. I expect you are going to blame Raw, for opening fire on the Zulu’s first.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:28 pm

“The precipitate zeal, which induced Colonel Durnford to push on so far away from the camp, to attack the enemy, seems to have contributed in the first instance to the disaster. It seems that, by so doing he drew the fire of the Umcityu Zulu regiment, which was lying In ambush behind the heights; and according to native information, but for this, the attack would have been put off. He had taken the command out of Colonel Pulleine’s hands; and with him, therefore, must lay the responsibility of withdrawing the troops away from its defence. The orders given to Colonel Pulleine being to defend the camp in the General's absence. Colonel Durnford's daring spirit of enterprise seems to have led him into an indiscretion on this occasion; but it is an error that we are always inclined to excuse in a distinguished soldier.”

Quote :
we are always inclined to excuse
Do we excuse him.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:15 pm

Here's an interesting observation.

"Brackenbury compared the situation with that of Lord Chelmsford after Isandlwana, saying it was a case of “shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted”.

Any Comment's Welcome. !!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:26 pm

Sas1 More often than not British defeats could justifiably be put down to poor decision making on the part of the officers in command, such as Lord Chelmsford before Isandlwana or George Colley at Majuba Hill. In both cases there was also a degree of arrogance and underestimation of the enemy. Regardless of what CTSG States.

E.H
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:35 pm

sas1 I think your find that Brackenbury was appointed Wolseley's Chief of Staff. And as Wolseley was unable to reach Chelmsford before the battle of Ulundi. Idiots like Brackenbury would just about say anything to give the Good Lord Chelmsford a bad reputation.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:05 pm

Who is "Brackenbury" scratch
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:22 pm

Hi Dave
Brackenbury was wolseleys cheif of staff who was also a writer of many military books and memoirs

if you just scan through the wikipedia page on him you'll get quite alot of information
heres the link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Brackenbury


hope this helps
thanks joe
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:31 pm

CTSG. Many years ago the same questions were being asked.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:45 pm

Littlehand. Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers.
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durnfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:43 am

Perhaps we should all remember whilst we are practicing character assasination from our armchairs that the good Col Durnford died bravely on the field of Battle surrounded by his men.
Unlike certain others who were swanning around Zululand and gazing through spyglasses to see if the tents were still standing etc, or worse still hightailing it out of there on horseback whilst poor old Tommy Atkins stood and took it.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:57 am

But we must also remember where else was there for Durnford to go, apart from back to the camp where the cover of his retreat was partly to blame for the collapse of the British lines.
Quote :

“Col Durnford died bravely on the field of Battle surrounded by his men.”
Rather he had done this away from the British Camp.
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durnfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:18 pm

After 130 years Col Durnford remains the favorite scapegoat of armchair generals. We have established that the orders for him tomove up to Islndwana were unclear and imprecise to say the least.
We know that lord Chelmsford was gravely mistaken to divide his force in enemy territory.
Durnford was faced with a quandry as it was obvious that the opening games of the battle had started. There was a real possibility that Chelmsfords' column was going to be taken in the rear by whatever Impi was out there. This would have possibly resulted in an even bigger disaster than what actually happened. Durnford discovers the left horn and fights a holding retreat. It is Pulline who sends a company out to hlep him and who fatefully over-extneds the lien. It was Pulline who was supposed to pull in his men into a defensive position not Durnford.
There were mistakes a plenty that day, but trying to lay them all at the feet of Durnford is wrong and is part of a deliberate cover up. Blame the dead Royal engineer.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:10 pm

Quote :
"There was a real possibility that Chelmsfords' column was going to be taken in the rear by whatever Impi was out there."

Whatever orders Durnford received it did not include protecting Chelmsford rear. He sould have stay in the camp.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:01 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
Quote :
"There was a real possibility that Chelmsfords' column was going to be taken in the rear by whatever Impi was out there."

Whatever orders Durnford received it did not include protecting Chelmsford rear. He sould have stay in the camp.

Why?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:16 pm

We get used to villifying either Chelmsford or Durnford.
There is another whos roll has never really been explored and that is Col Glyn. Even though he had his Commanding Officer in HIS column, he was still in charge of the day to day activities of that column.
Why havent his actions ever been held up to scrutiny?
Why didnt he get more involved in the defense of the camp before he went joy riding with Chelmsford?
Why werent his juniors sufficiently briefed on standing orders?
Why did he abrogate all responsibility for his command?
Why did he not assist Pulleine in arranging his defense lines?

Lots of questions can be asked of the good Colonel and his position in the disaster, and his subsequent actions.
Try this one, Why didnt he have the guts to stand up for his men.

I,ll throw that one out for comment.

Regards
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:23 pm

Good question. But it’s no good stepping sideways 131 years on. The orders in question were issued to Pulleine and Durnford. And it’s those orders that are debatable.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:18 pm

Hi CTSG
I wonderered if you would be the first into the breach.

I dont think its a side step at all.
More like an additional level on the stairs. There can be know doubt that the culpability for the whole debacle cannot be limited, its akin to saying Nixon was the only one responsible for Watergate. There are levels of command, and in the British Military System points at which alternate decisions can be made.
Glyn had a duty to his regiment that he ignored, or to be blunt sacrificed on the altar of self preservation.
Why did Glyn back away from his responsibilities? To my mind he was a coward.
The fact that he told deliberate lies is fact. Was he that scared of his commandinfg officer that he would prostitute his reputation?
At the so called enquiry in PMB he deliberatly told lies on the content of his written orders.
He had more than enough time to reflect during his life and do the honorable thing, tell the truth. If he had doen its highly possble that the other surviving participants would have also corrected their statements that history shows are wrong. A full scale judicial enquiry could then have cross examined the witnesses and possibly given us, the students of the future, a much more objective view of the events precceding and following the battle.
I believe history has allready judged Glyn and found him wanting.
Only a personel opinion mind you. Allways willing to have that changed by a a cogent arguement.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:49 pm

Hi All,
It seems unfortunate that the tried and tested command officers of the 24th ie the Majors, were all in the 2/24 and out with Chelmsford, Matthew Dunbar [Indian Mutiny] commentated to Melvill that the camp was exposed in fact after Crealocks put down he resigned and Chelmsford and Glyn had to clear the air, Wilsone Black [Indian Mutiny] it was his men who were first into the ruined camp of Isandhlwana on the evening of the 22nd, it was also Black who instigated the first return to the battlefield and finding of the colour,
So all this experience was lost to the regiment, Pulleine in Command of the camp, gave the 1/24 over to the senior captain William Degacher, Pulliene is said to have no battle experience, whilst Degacher had fought recently in the cape frontier war.
Was Glyn wrong to leave the camp with such command inexperience, my answer is NO! Glyn and Chelmsford never expected the camp to be attacked they went out to look for the large Zulu force Dartnell had come across the previous night. It was an afterthought to leave orders for Pulleine about defending the camp if he was attacked, it was Chelmsford's idea to move the Isandhlwana camp deeper into Zululand.

Rai
Keynshamlighthorse
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:38 pm

Glyn never had much choice. Would you have disputed orders from a senior officer.

2nd Evidence.—"Colonel Glyn, C.B., states: From the time the column under my command crossed the border I was in the habit of receiving instructions from the Lieutenant-General Commanding as to the movements of the column, and I accompanied him on most of the patrols and reconnaissances carried out by him. I corroborate Major Clery's statement."

I don't think this evidence was disputed,


Quote :
"I wonderered if you would be the first into the breach."
scratch
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:57 am

CTSG
I think that proves my point exactly.
The col was Glyns, the directions for use of the col was Chelmsfords. The inner workings and the minutae were Glyns. That would include a firm chain of command, a solid base from which to operate, definative orders etc.
All sadly lacking.
The fact that 'They' did not anticipate an attack on the camp is absurd, they were in enemy territory, attacks should allways be expected, be it the column, the camp, pickets or working parties.
Look at the number of such attacks, Intombi etc.

Regards
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:30 pm

No one was expecting the camp to be attacked. But we can’t lie that at Chelmsford feet. There were many officers in the chain of command that also failed to see 20,000 Zulu’s making there way to the valley before the attack. Would the Zulu’s have attacked if Raw’s unit had not open fire first?

Smith Dorrien made stated many years later.

“I cannot refrain from remarking that had Lord Chelmsford's orders, as laid down in his Standing Orders for the Field Force in Zululand, been carried out, the disaster would never have happened, for there it clearly directed that no force should ever camp in the enemy's country without entrenching, and yet not a sod was turned at Isandhlwana”.

Can’t see the point in making a statement like that years after the event. He should have said it before the Battle
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:34 pm

Just out of interest. Who would have been left in command in the absence of Glyn? At Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:30 pm

This was Glyn's get out clause. He didn’t really have much to say.

"2nd Evidence.—"Colonel Glyn, C.B., states: From the time the column under my command crossed the border I was in the habit of receiving instructions from the Lieutenant-General Commanding as to the movements of the column, and I accompanied him on most of the patrols and reconnaissances carried out by him. I corroborate Major Clery's statement."

S.D
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:57 pm

I don't really know much about Glyn. Why was he with Chelmsford if he was in command?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:20 am

Dave
Each of the invading cols had a senior officer, Wood, Pearson etc. The central col was under the command of Glyn. Chelmsford was overall commander of the invasion force and attached himself to the Central column. But the col was under the command of Glyn.
Not that he exersised that control. When the col arrived at Isandlawana it was Cleary ( Major) the Chief of Staff who chose the camp site. Other officers wanted to move farther out onto the plain.
Dunbar complained about the amount of broken ground and was put down by a staff officer, un named. Mellville agreed with Dunbar and is reported to have said " These Zulus will charge home and with our small numbers we ought to be in laager, or at any rate be prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder.
This is the decision that Glyn didnt make and should have done. Wrong site, unfortified. CTSG and I disagree on many points, we do agree on this however, that Chelmsford was not responsible for the camp position. I dont absolve Chelmsford in any way and still place a share of the blame on him. Glyn however has a lot to answer for and as Saul David said in an earlier post. He had a an escape clause and used it.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:34 am

"Dunbar complained about the amount of broken ground and was put down by a staff officer, un named. "

But surely this is the crucial point , if Dunbar and Melville felt so strongly they should have followed the chain of command and brought their concerns to there direct superior - ultimately the column commander - if this was done and Glyn ignored them then he is to blame .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:50 am

Gary

On the way to Isandlawana Dundar was asked to guard the Bashe stream crossing. He was badly insulted at the time by Clery. He did in fact resign his commision because of the insult. He was persuaded to withdraw that, so you can imagine that to be put down and insulted again at Isandlawana he probably withdrew and kept his mouth shut.
But in general, yes there should have been more comment from the senior officers. In such a small environment, Glyn could hardly not be aware of tensions between his officers and the reasons for those tensions.
The obvious conclusion is that he ignored it.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:08 am

LittleHand

Im not 100% certain on the chain of command, it would have been something akin to Glyn, Clery, Black, Dunbar, Degaucher.

Regards
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:11 pm

Quote :
He was badly insulted at the time by Clery
Doe's anyone know what was said. ??
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:39 pm

Mr G
On the 14th Jan Dunbar moved his men up to the Bashe stream to repair the road in readiness for the column advance. He was ordered to take up a defensive position near Sihayos homestead. The area in question was rocky, over grown with thorn trees and had no field of fire. When Chelmsford and party road up to inspect the works Dunbar requested permission to move to a more defensible area. Crealock made the comment " if Maj Dunbar is afraid to stay we can get someone who isnt". Dunbar promptly resigned his commision. Chelmsford by all accounts had his work cut out to persuade him to withdraw his request.
Bear in mind that this and also the comments directed at him on the battlefield did not exactly encourage freedom of expression. George Mansell of the NMP also had a similar experience, he placed piquets on the Plateau 2 miles from the camp. They were withdrawn by Clery on the grounds that they werent needed.
Clery by the way was a professor of tactics.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:53 pm

So it was Crealock who made the comment, not Clery.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:48 pm

Came across this. I was not sure where to post it. So I decided here would be a good place. CTSG will no doub't agree with it.

Born in 1829 on a Latvian country estate, the great-grandson of a Scottish naval officer who distinguished himself in the service of Catherine the Great, Elphinstone was 15 when his cosmopolitan parents settled in Devon. For reasons of economy his three elder brothers were serving in India, but Elphinstone was allowed to join the Royal Engineers because a young officer in that corps 'could now live on his pay'.

He was posted to Edinburgh and lodged for a time with another young Engineer, Anthony Durnford, who would go down in history as the man responsible for the disastrous British defeat at Isandlwana in the Zulu War of 1879. Most historians regard Durnford as hard done by; Downer is not so sure. 'Durnford's Celtic blood and bouts of heavy drinking', he writes, 'could make him short-tempered and prone to melancholy; and his dangerous love of gambling was to lead directly to his violent and celebrated death.'
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:01 am

Say mo more. Elphinstone say's it all. Idea Pity Elphinstone couldn't have warned the Good Lord Chelmsford.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:00 pm

Wouldnt have made any difference if he had talked to him. Chelmsford didnt listen to anyone.

Is this the same highly religious scottish zealot Elphinstone thats become infamous for his dissastrous decisions in the Indian mutiny?

Nuff said
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:16 pm

I have spend hours looking for this Memorandum written by Durnford. This is all i have. Can anyone help.

"Some contemporary reports throw light on the relative strength of the Zulus and their Boer enemies. Colonel A.W. Durnford wrote in a memorandum on July 5 ("The Secret History of South Africa" by Abercrombe. The Central News Agency Ltd., Johannesburg South Africa. 1951 p.6): "
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:23 am

From the Good Lord Chelmsford.

"Dear Durnford,
Unless you carry out the instructions I give you, it will be my unpleasant duty to remove you from your command, and to substitute another officer for officer for the commander of No. 2 Column. When a column is acting SEPARATELY in an enemy's country I am quite ready to give its commander every latitude, and would certainly expect him to disobey any orders he might receive from me, if information which he obtained showed that it would be injurious to the interests of the column under his command. Your neglecting to obey my instructions in the present instance has no excuse. You have simply received information in a letter from Bishop Schroeder[sic], which may or may not be true and which you have no means of verifying. If movements ordered are to be delayed because report hints at a chance of an invasion of Natal, it will be impossible for me to carry out my plan of campaign. I trust you will understand this plain speaking and not give me any further occasion to write in a style, which is distasteful to me."


Please note the high-lighted text.

Maybe Durnford didn't understand what the Good Lord Chelmsford was trying to say.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:37 am

CTSG
Can you honestly say that you can define that statement? Was Durnford operating independently or not is more to the point. Consensus through the last 100 years has been yes he was. Ergo Chelmsford has merely re iterated his standing orders.
Second point being that this missive has absolutly no bearing whatsoever on subsequent events. Much like the so called Elphinstone comments, or indeed the dredging up of a distant relatives so called indiscretions. All grist to the mill I suppose but reeks of desperation for a lost cause.
Produce an argument based on the known facts, the actual orders issued to Durnford on the 21st/22nd January.
The recorded statements of participants in the 'tent' conversation.
Not conjecture, assumptions, or hearsay.
Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:54 am

"When a column is acting SEPARATELY in an enemy's country I am quite ready to give its commander every latitude, and would certainly expect him to disobey any orders he might receive from me, if information which he obtained showed that it would be injurious to the interests of the column under his command."

is quite clearly stating, if you read between the lines, something which yourself and Durnford failed to do. (Use your common sense)

Quote :
You say "Durnford operating independently or not is more to the point. Consensus through the last 100 years has been yes he was"
If he was working independently then he should have kept it that way, and not have expected the British to come to his aid when he got into trouble.


Springbok. Here’s a few facts about Durnford.

1. His gambling became worse and eventually his wife sought solace elsewhere. As an Army officer he could not divorce so his wife was quietly put aside and never mentioned again. But soon attracted the attention of Fanny Colenso

2. Towards the end of 1864 he suffered from a nervous breakdown.

3. He was sympathetic towards the native population, having served on the Boundary Commission that had found in favour of the Zululand claims versus those of the Boers. Shortly before the war he wrote of King Cetshwayo of the Zulus, "Poor devil! He is doing all he can to keep peach, but the white man wants his land, and alas for Cetshwayo!"

4. He was prone to rash decisions.


You must agree not a good combination for a man in his position.

Gambled. (With his men’s lives, especially the Rocket Battery)

Nervous breakdown. (Not of sound mind)

Sympathetic. (Possibly what to leave Isandlwana as to been seen not taking sides. but run into the Zulu’s by mistake)

Rash decisions. Failed to take command, Left Isandlwana, Retreated back to the camp.


I was reading one of those on-line history books, and in this particular book the author referred to Durnford as "Dumford” I wonder why that was maybe that was the Consensus of the day. Or was it a typo. ??
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:18 pm

Is the letter from Chelmsford to Durnford genuine? Or just an imaginary letter of what people surmised was sent.


"Dear Durnford,
Unless you carry out the instructions I give you, it will be my unpleasant duty to remove you from your command, and to substitute another officer for officer for the commander of No. 2 Column. When a column is acting SEPARATELY in an enemy's country I am quite ready to give its commander every latitude, and would certainly expect him to disobey any orders he might receive from me, if information which he obtained showed that it would be injurious to the interests of the column under his command. Your neglecting to obey my instructions in the present instance has no excuse. You have simply received information in a letter from Bishop Schroeder[sic], which may or may not be true and which you have no means of verifying. If movements ordered are to be delayed because report hints at a chance of an invasion of Natal, it will be impossible for me to carry out my plan of campaign. I trust you will understand this plain speaking and not give me any further occasion to write in a style, which is distasteful to me."
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:56 am

springbok9 wrote:
CTSG
Can you honestly say that you can define that statement? Was Durnford operating independently or not is more to the point. Consensus through the last 100 years has been yes he was. Ergo Chelmsford has merely re iterated his standing orders.
Second point being that this missive has absolutly no bearing whatsoever on subsequent events. Much like the so called Elphinstone comments, or indeed the dredging up of a distant relatives so called indiscretions. All grist to the mill I suppose but reeks of desperation for a lost cause.
Produce an argument based on the known facts, the actual orders issued to Durnford on the 21st/22nd January.
The recorded statements of participants in the 'tent' conversation.
Not conjecture, assumptions, or hearsay.
Regards

Still, only personal attacks on Durnford, no cogent argument.

Dave

Yes that letter was part of the parcel of documents found on Durnfords Body.

Regards
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:26 pm

CTSG
Just so there is no missunderstanding let me set out my position.
Im not a Durnford/Chelmsford or indeed anyones fan, except maybe SD.
I believe that Durnford was everything you say. Then again so was Churchill.
I differ from however in that I do not have an unshakable belief in the innocense of any of the participants.
I have a passion for the battle and its studies, in an extremely amateur way. My studies over the last 40 years have lead me along certain lines of thought.
Namely that there is no one particular point of blame. Ive said this before in this thread so I dont want to rehash.
Chelmsford is not the paragon of virtue you expouse. He bares a responsibility as do his cohorts. To deny that is the proverbal ostrich syndrom and is a view point that cannot be supported by any suviving evidence. And lets face it suviving evidence is all we have, the rest is conjecture.
So, Clery was at fault for siting the camp
Glyn was at fault for abdicating responsibility.
Durnford was at fault for not over ruling Pulliene and taking command or the camp
Pulliene was at fault for not being flexible enough change his defence lines.
Pulleines senior officers, Mellville, Essex Degaucher etc were at fault for not doing something about changing the mind set of Pulleine.
Chelmsford was at fault for his inability to listen and take advice and his poor communication skills.

Everything here is supported by hard cold fact.

The rest is conjecture.

Im not going to be around for sometime, heading into hospital for some pump repairs. Ill be back in touch in a couple of weeks.

Regards
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:14 pm

Springbok. I hope all goes well at the hospital. And I wish you well for the future.
We can pick-up when your up to it.

All the best mate. Idea
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:29 pm

Good Luck Springbok. Hope all goes well. Look after yourself.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:47 pm

Hi Everyone. My 1st Post. "Lets hopes its not my last." :lol: For what its worth here's my take on the situation !

Col: Pulleine did not presuppose command until that morning consequently it is unfair to blame him. The column’s commanding officer was Col Glyn who was effectively superseded by Lord Chelmsford.

Fortifying with wagons (Laager) was not a option as there were about 60 dissimilar wagons each day on the move, back and forward to Rorke's Drift and Helpmaakar. These wagons were not constructed like the Boer combating wagons, but heavy transportation vehicles weighing in at about 4 or 5 tons loaded. Try shoving them about in the open veldt!

The quartermasters did not relinquish procedure for the sake of an emergency, with a mixture of units (like Durnford's) requiring an ammo re-supply. Only survivors can justifying why they survived. The quarter-masters did not survived to defend themselves.

The fireing line was formed too far away from camp, further hampering ammo resupply. The firing line was so far out that the standard open order deployment, was extended to about 4-5 yards between soldiers to cover the frontage necessary.

When Col: Durnford arrived at the camp he was the superior officer present and gave the order that Pulleine was to support him. Thus Pulleine had to deploy his men too far forward to act in accordance with this order.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:14 pm

Chard 1879
Greetings and welcome to the forum.
Could you supply sources for your statement that Durnford "gave the order" that Pulleine was to support him.
Its my understanding that Pulliene refused to supply the companies requested but agreed that in the event he would support Durnford in the event he would need it. Hardly an order?
In the event the support given was by Pope wheeling to his right flank. The troops were allready stationed to far forward before this movement.
There is no evidence to support any suggestion that there was a shortage of ammunition to the firing line, on the contrary statements by Essex SD and other survivors indicate they were all involved in ensuring that ammo did reach the front line. Supported by the last archiological dig by Ian Knight.

Hi Guys the operation went down well, at least Im still alive. Nice to be back. And welcome to all the new members
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:13 pm

Hi Springbok. Thanks for the welcome. Pleased the operation went well.


I’m purely basing that statement on the principle that Durnford was the superior officer present and that Pulleine obliged him.

Quote :
As you said “I conceed Durnford was senior officer. but arriving at the camp, being informed of the situation I believe that he opted to continue with his independant command,”

Quote :
“Supported by the last archiological dig by Ian Knight”

There is an interesting article written by a Edward Langer. He points out that various historians who focused on other factors, and predominantly the ease of access, or lack thereof, of the ammunition, which was evidently in hard-to-open cases and in a central location and how a number of historians have said that it was this that become the issue, in that, due to the way the British troops spread out to try to protect against the "impi" who were approaching from left and right in a very controlled way, they were unable to sufficiently access their supplies and had to retreat somewhat, leaving them susceptible in a number of areas.

Edward outlines his own theory, which is quite interesting. Writing from memory.

The British were using Martini-Henry single-shot, breach loading, centre-fire rifles were the biggest part of the British failure at Isandlwana. He says that the Martini-Henry took a .45 calibre bullet which was heavy, 480 grams, and with the low muzzle velocity, had an arching, long range trajectory and was powerful enough to go right through 2 warriors, and that it was a good weapon up to 1400 yards, but most effective at 1000 yards, and that a trained soldier could fire 10 rounds per minute, although it was an effectual weapon, it was misused by the British Soldiers, predominantly in those conditions, and that it had problems in terms of the barrel getting contaminated with residue, forcing the troops to stop not just to re-load but to dig out the spent shell with a bayonet or knife.

He then turns his attention to the rear sight which was graduated with a range of distances, and that it was required to regulate the weapon if the distance to target changed. Trying to rephrase here, but to cut to the chase, Edward says that the way the Zulu impi moved in, and the speed at which they moved, they ended up being less than 600 yards from the retreating British lines, and that the rifle sights were set for 600, and basically, in the chaos, they weren't able to adjust their sights they simply, didn't have time, The rounds they did manage to fire were going in arcs flying over the heads of the Zulus and they ended up having to try to use their bayonet’s instead.

You say.
Quote :
”There is no evidence to support any suggestion that there was a shortage of ammunition to the firing line, on the contrary statements by Essex SD and other survivors indicate they were all involved in ensuring that ammo did reach the front line. Supported by the last archaeological dig by Ian Knight.”

Archeologically is carried out for a reason. I don’t doubt for one minute that Knight’s dig didn’t bring to light that ammo did reach the front line. However it may have been a good idea, to look for the bullet heads and not just the cases.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:17 pm

Hi Chard. Interesting post. We have Mr Neil Aspinshaw on board who knowledge on the MH is endless. He might find the rear sight issue quite interesting.
I for one who like to see what he has to say. It’s always good to see new members hitting the f ground running. I hope we hear more from your good self.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:30 pm

Chard says.
"He then turns his attention to the rear sight which was graduated with a range of distances, and that it was required to regulate the weapon if the distance to target changed."

Good to see new theories that make sense. Nice one Chard. I had never heard this one before.
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