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 Durnford was he capable.2

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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:56 pm

Very Good point.

Quote :
As the senior officer in the field, he can find nothing better to do than spend time unjamming carbines. (which, along with its excessive rates of fire, doesn't say much for the trained state of the much vaunted NNMC).
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:56 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
No doubt this topic will come to a halt now. However I am looking forward to replies. Based on my post from a Zulu War Author & Historian. Salute

Tasker why don't you make the first comment...

Because I am weak with laughter at seeing the words "educational & recreational purposes" and you that near each other :lol:
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:59 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
Very Good point.

Quote :
As the senior officer in the field, he can find nothing better to do than spend time unjamming carbines. (which, along with its excessive rates of fire, doesn't say much for the trained state of the much vaunted NNMC).

Only a very good point if it comes from a repuatble source.
But in any case, unjamming rifles is a more worthy pusuit than fleeing the battle ground on horse back.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:29 pm

Here's two accounts. Primary Source. Tells us the men weren't trained in the procedure of un-jamming their weapons. As they were under the command of Durnford, that failure falls to him.

"Jabez Molife who served with Durnford’s men, noted that several times during the defence of the donga, men appealed to Durnford to clear jammed weapons. Notwithstanding that he had only one effective arm, Durnford dismounted and cleared the guns, gripping them between his knees.

(Private Johnson, of the 24th, who was attached to the rocket battery, noted that the battery’s NNC escort at first returned Zulu fire, but that ‘I observed that a great number of them were unable to extract the empty cartridge cases after firing, and offered to do so for some of them, but they would not give me their rifles’"
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:17 pm

littlehand wrote:
Here's two accounts. Primary Source. Tells us the men weren't trained in the procedure of un-jamming their weapons. As they were under the command of Durnford, that failure falls to him.

"Jabez Molife who served with Durnford’s men, noted that several times during the defence of the donga, men appealed to Durnford to clear jammed weapons. Notwithstanding that he had only one effective arm, Durnford dismounted and cleared the guns, gripping them between his knees.

(Private Johnson, of the 24th, who was attached to the rocket battery, noted that the battery’s NNC escort at first returned Zulu fire, but that ‘I observed that a great number of them were unable to extract the empty cartridge cases after firing, and offered to do so for some of them, but they would not give me their rifles’"

You've missed the point again!
The point is Durnford did not flee the battle.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:35 pm

[quote="Chelmsfordthescapegoat"]
Quote :

However now we know Durnford wasn't ordered to take command, ie Julian's publication. Then he had no right to take command or interfere with Pullienes orders. He took command cock it up, he handed the command along with the problem back to Pulliene and then left.

What we have here is people contradicting themselves over and over again.
You can't say that Durnford took/was in command of the camp when it suits your POV and then say Pulleine was in command when it suits your POV.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:01 pm

Quote :
What we have here is people contradicting themselves over and over again.
You can't say that Durnford took/was in command of the camp when it suits your POV and then say Pulleine was in command when it suits your POV.

Mate your a nice bloke but, you are making a fool of yourself. All you are doing, is showing everyone your not understanding what's being debated, this issue as been debated over and over again.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:17 pm

Quote :
As the senior officer in the field, he can find nothing better to do than spend time unjamming carbines. (which, along with its excessive rates of fire, doesn't say much for the trained state of the much vaunted NNMC).

Lack of competence on the part of the native units.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:25 pm

This is the icing on the cake.
Quote :

"The truth about the unit he commanded, and which his apologists give him great credit for forming, is that it disintegrated in the face of the enemy, fled the field, and in so doing triggered a wider panic. So much for their 'devotion' to their colonel. Fine post-mortem words from one or two of them, which doubtless you will feel inclined to quote, but there were 250 of them, not one or two, and it didn't actually mean anything when it came down to it. They abandoned him"

CTSG I have sent you a PM.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 am

Dave wrote:
Quote :
As the senior officer in the field, he can find nothing better to do than spend time unjamming carbines. (which, along with its excessive rates of fire, doesn't say much for the trained state of the much vaunted NNMC).

Lack of competence on the part of the native units.

The ones in the donga with Durnford and colonial cavalry? They weren't competent? REALLY?!

That's flaming virulent ignorance on your part. That anecdote is about the MOUNTED native units, not the foot sloggers of the NNC. For your information they performed magnificently from beginning to end. You need to study mo THE POINT ABOUT DURNFORD IS THAT HIS ONE ARM WAS VERY STRONG...not that his men "didn't know how" to clear a jammed cartridge.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:49 am

6pdr from your side kick. REALLY!,,,

Tasker wrote.

Subject: Re: The ammunition question   Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:46 pm
Quote :
John wrote:
DB. Not being critical, I enjoy your posts, but you do tend to forget it wasn't just the 24th that were fightIng at Isandlwana. There were Coloinal forces and civilians or doing their bit to stay alive.

Cant think of his name, but there was a chap with the rocket battery. Who offered to help troops to clear their jams, but they refused to give him their rifles, instead they run away, that was due to an ammuntion problem
.


The 24th would have been experts to a man at using their own personal weapons and would have suffered few jams.
Also, I doubt the native soldiers or even colonials would have been armed with the MH.
Any jams in the colonials' and natives' weapons would more than likely have been caused by a lack of competence, rather than any fault with the MH or its cartridges.

_________________
Life. Isn't it everything?
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:30 am

I'm not sure I'm following your train of thought.

I think it was in Grant's statement that it said panicking members of the NNC would not surrender their jammed rifles to him. But Durnford was not present during that event. As a matter of fact the four survivors of the rocket battery had to make their way to Durnford's donga later where they were given artillery horses which is how they survived the battle.

The story about Durnford striding up and down the topside of the donga while the colonials and his mounted troops held off the left horn until they ran out of ammunition is that he was exposing himself to fire to bolster the morale of his troops. I'm quite sure you are aware that this was part of the ethos of being a Victorian officer -- demonstrating sang froid under fire.

With the exception of Henderson -- who was a flunky for Shepstone and therefore an enemy of the Colensos and Durnford -- the bulk of Durnford's troops held him in very high regard. By offering up their rifles to be cleared by his abnormally strong good arm, they were simply communing with their leader. It was an hommage of sorts.

I am not blind to the argument that he should not be distracted by performing magic tricks during the height of a battle, but you should not be blind to the argument that Durnford was holding them in that donga by the sheer force of his personality. The cartridge clearing was part of the act...and it worked until they ran short of ammunition.

BTW, the Martini-Henry wasn't the only rifle that had cartridge jams.


Last edited by 6pdr on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:40 am

Quote :
I think it was in Grant's statement that it said panicking members of the NNC would not surrender their jammed rifles to him. But Durnford was not present during that event. As a matter of fact the four survivors of the rocket battery had to make their way to Durnford's donga later where they were given artillery horses which is how they survived the battle.

Durnford wasn't with the RB. Different location all together.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:45 am

Quote :
I am not blind to the argument should not be distracted by performing magic tricks during the height of a battle, but you should not be blind to the argument that Durnford was holding them in that donga by the sheer force of his personality. The cartridge clearing was part of the act...and it worked until they ran short of ammunition.

Your skirting around the facts. Personal opinion, Your missing the whole concept, the men should have been trained on how to remove a blockage.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:47 am

Littlehand .
Just to clarify a point in one of your earlier posts regarding people being sent to the top of Isandlwana , this was done but there were no reports received from the chaps up there . I'm certain Ian Knight has mentioned along with other historians there is /was
'' NO CLEAR VIEW '' as you put it in your post of the surrounding area. I'm sure there are some members that have been to Isandlwana and have climed the Mountain , hopefully they may help us out .
Cheers 90th.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:52 am

Dave wrote:
Quote :
I think it was in Grant's statement that it said panicking members of the NNC would not surrender their jammed rifles to him. But Durnford was not present during that event. As a matter of fact the four survivors of the rocket battery had to make their way to Durnford's donga later where they were given artillery horses which is how they survived the battle.

Durnford wasn't with the RB. Different location all together.

Actually Dave, the RB belonged to Durnford's command. After they were scattered by the Zulu volley Durnford did pass their way again on his return journey so it would hardly be true to say, "different location altogether." And then, as I wrote, the remaining men in what had hitherto been the RB gravitated toward the donga where Durnford was fighting.

But you do this sort of thing on purpose, don't you? Either that, or you are really quite ignorant of what is readily available in dozens of published sources.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:58 am

Dave wrote:
Quote :
I am not blind to the argument should not be distracted by performing magic tricks during the height of a battle, but you should not be blind to the argument that Durnford was holding them in that donga by the sheer force of his personality. The cartridge clearing was part of the act...and it worked until they ran short of ammunition.

Your skirting around the facts. Personal opinion, Your missing the whole concept, the men should have been trained on how to remove a blockage.

No Dave, I'm not dodging anything. It is YOUR personal opinion they were untrained (despite fighting magnificently throughout the battle according to EVERY account,) because I am unaware of a single primary source that claims this about Durnford's mounted troops who were by all accounts exceptionally well trained and outfitted by the prevailing standards of the day.

Or to put it another way, you just made their supposed lack of training up. As such I will be ignoring your posts from this point forward. Please feel free to return the favor.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable ?.   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:57 am

Dave .
I must've missed something as I dont see the relevence of your post today at 4.40 pm ?? . If you read properly what you have highlighted you will notice 6pdr does in fact state Durnford wasnt with the Rocket Battery !! .
90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:14 am

Dave .
Another point , which I know you wont like but here it is anyway , you say '' The men should have been trained on how to remove a blockage '' . . The troops involved would never have fired so many rounds in such a short period of time , and wouldnt have been aware that jamming was going to take place . They may well have been taught on a cold rifle under no pressure , but not one that had certainly became extremely hot , let's not forget the pressure that was on them , with what they were facing . It's a lot easier to clear a jammed weapon when you are not under pressure . Therefore , no doubt some struggled to clear their weapons, and I'm afraid you and many others are thinking of todays standards when attempting to deal with actions that were taken during the zulu war of, and let's not forget the fact it was 1879 !. If you can be bothered read some literature of the time and that way you'll get a feel for the thinking of the time .
90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:21 am

CTSG .
Do you or your historian know anything about the Bushman's pass incident ?? . I'm thinking the historian might but he doesnt really elaborate , does he ? . This in reference to it being poorly led , if you know the orders Durnford was forced to act upon you will understand what I'm trying to say .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:41 am

Hi Gary

Yes , Durnford at the Bushman's pass :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:24 am

6pdr and 90th.

With the mindset's of some of the members on the forum, it is just like trying to hammer rubber nails into steel plating.

And no matter how many light bulbs you switch on, they just refuse to see the light.

In other words, it's like trying to walk against an escalator, you get nowhere.

You both have a great understanding on the matter, but it is almost impossible to share that knowledge with some of the members, because of their attitude towards anyone who's opinions differ with theirs.

Take heart lad's, there are those of us who see your point and agree with you.

Salute

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am

Yes like me :lol:
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:42 am

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
In other words, it's like trying to walk against an escalator, you get nowhere.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

But I wrote: "But Durnford was not present during that event."

In the very next post Dave quoted it and his entire response was: "Durnford wasn't with the RB. Different location all together"

That's through the looking glass and out the other side and down a hill or two...and it's wholly intentional. Obviously he and I are on this forum for two entirely different reasons.

Never the twain shall meet.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:22 pm

90th wrote:
Just to clarify a point in one of your earlier posts regarding people being sent to the top of Isandlwana , this was done but there were no reports received from the chaps up there . I'm certain Ian Knight has mentioned along with other historians there is /was
'' NO CLEAR VIEW '' as you put it in your post of the surrounding area. I'm sure there are some members that have been to Isandlwana and have climed the Mountain , hopefully they may help us out .
Cheers 90th.

This is from memory but I think you might want to reread that sequence of events in ZULU RISING. I believe Knight does indeed make the point -- more than once -- that although it SEEMS like men stationed atop Isandlwana could see across the plateau and over the ridges across the valley this was NOT the case. And that's his key point wrt to what Pullenine/Durnford could have known about the size and strength of the force headed towards them.

But I also seem to remember that a report did come down from the men posted up there about the leading elements of the right horn clearing a prominent hill to the north of the camp.

So what I'm saying is that stationing men atop Isandlwana earlier in the battle would not have changed everything -- we're in agreement there -- but the lookouts up there DID send down a report indicating an enemy force approaching in strength right around the time Durnford was preparing to leave the camp.

What seems to be missing altogether is a timely warning about the uNokhenke et al. heading for the rear of the camp virtually unimpeded. There probably was a warning because didn't one of the Shepstones die on the reverse side of Isandlwana? But because it seems that the British left flank was slaughtered to a man, I don't think we'll ever know at exactly what point it occurred to the British command that they were being double enveloped. It would be helpful to understand at exactly what point Pulleine grasped that he'd been defeated in detail...or really that Chelmsford had been. If he did come to such a realization, it's not altogether beyond the pale that he would have shot himself...but conceiving it possible is a very long way indeed from establishing it as truth.

- 6pdr

P.S. I climbed Isandlwana on my sole visit and tried to get as close as possible to the little cave that temporarily sheltered the (supposed) last survivor of the British forces. That's about as high as the average tourist is allowed to get on Isandlwana, but the outpost position Knight is referring to would have been considerably higher in my estimation. I don't think that many amateurs -- which is what virtually all of us are here -- can get an appreciation of this issue unless they live in the vicinity of the battlefield and scale the steeper top part of Isandlwana on their own. Most guides simply wouldn't take you that far up because it's dangerous ground for the typical middle aged duffer who obsesses over such things. My guess is that experienced climbers could take it in a heart beat however.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:00 pm

90th wrote:
CTSG .
Do you or your historian know anything about the Bushman's pass incident ?? . I'm thinking the historian might but he doesnt really elaborate , does he ? . This in reference to it being poorly led , if you know the orders Durnford was forced to act upon you will understand what I'm trying to say .
cheers 90th.

If you want to understand Durnford you MUST know about Bushman's Pass. That doesn't mean everybody will walk away in sympathy with the man, but it was certainly a pivotal event for him personally, and more broadly speaking in the history and political culture of Natal.

No disrespect whatsoever meant to you 90th. I understand calling it the Bushman's Pass Incident is just common parlance. But it was an "incident" in Natal in the same way that the "Boston Tea Party" was a notable soiree in the history of Colonial Boston.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:14 pm

Hi 6pdr .
None taken . Salute . I think that when Durnford was told he was not to fire on Langalabalele or his followers until he was fired upon first , placed him in an unfavourable position.
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:41 pm

90th wrote:
I think that when Durnford was told he was not to fire on Langalabalele or his followers until he was fired upon first , placed him in an unfavourable position.
Cheers 90th.

Yes, certainly that's how things transpired. But I also think that colonials from prominent Natal families deserting him, and then calling him "Don't shoot" to shift the blame on to his shoulders also placed him in an unfavorable position. But at least they were consistent.
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PostSubject: The Bushman's Pass incidebnt   Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:09 pm

Hi 90h/6pdr,

Correct, Durnford carried out his ORDERS to not shoot first, in the Bushman's Pass incident. This unfortnate event unjustly earned him the rather demeaning sobrequet of "Dont Shoot", Durnford."
.Yet many to this present day choose to twist this incident and use it to pillory the man. They do this because they have little else of substance against him and thus enjoy clutching at straws. This ploy does not wash with those who know better.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Oh yes ,The good Durnford at the Bushman's pass :lol: :lol: :lol:
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 pm

From the top of Isandhlwana you are still below the plateau's edge though you can still get a view of the slope up from the top of the spur where it meets the escarpment. The only message from the top was that 'the Zulus are retiring everywhere and one column appears to be retiring to the east'. This arrived when Durnford was conferring with Pulleine in the camp and was instrumental in deciding Durnford that Chelmsford's left and rear might be threatened from the plateau direction, hence his decision to move across the plain to cut them off.

The whole discussion about the NNH training, their departure, and unjamming rifles is a red herring. The NNH (only formed in December) were as well-trained as they could have been in the time available. They (Henderson and Davies's men) left the field only when ordered to do so by Durnford. Durnford's presence with this unit certainly stiffened their resolve. His exposing himself to Zulu fire and helping his men unjam their weapons is typical of the man and to his credit.

As a by the by the NNH did not undergo a name-change to NNMC until AFTER Isandhlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:50 pm

Hi Julian

So basically "Dont Shoot" Durnford. "wanted to Help LC in moving across the plain to cut a zulu column with only two troops of NNH ... :lol:

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:10 pm

Now, now Pascal, no soubriquets! They are not becoming. I'll re-write what you put:
Durnford wanted to Help LC in moving across the plain to cut off a smaller band of Zulus (or so he believed) with only two troops of NNH, a rocket battery and Nourse's NNC whilst on the plateau they were chased eastwards by two troops NNH and Barry's NNC... ...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:26 pm

I mean, that "Dont Shoot" Durnford with his two troops of NNH would not even have been able to stop a grandmother ...
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:43 pm

But Pascal, they DID! They obliged (with the additional IMI and NMR/NC) the Zulus to stop in their tracks. The Zulus had to outflank them to move forward. Give them credit!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:44 pm

"Haggard states '...[Durnford] was designated by the ungenerous nickname of 'Don't fire Durnford.' It is alleged, none can know with what amount of truth, that it was the memory of this undeserved insult which caused Colonel Durnford to insist upon advancing the troops under his command to engage the Zulus in the open, instead of withdrawing them to await attack in the the comparative safety of a 'laager.' ...

Henry Rider Haggard, The Tale of Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift from Andrew Lang's edited work The True Story Book published 1893, London.

Highlighted. Sounds familiar!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:51 pm

CTSG
The part of Haggard's quotation you have highlighted refers to Isandhlwana - i.e. that it was the memory of the Bushman's River Pass incident and the nickname acquired that prompted Durnford to advance across Isandhwana plain.
I may be wrong but your 'sounds familiar' implies you were associating it with just Bushman's River Pass.
Haggard is of course incorrect in assuming that Durnford had a laager at Isandhlwana he could retreat to.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:52 pm

Quote :
Henderson, one of Durnford's own troop commanders.

"If I had known what sort of man Durnford was, I don't think I would have gone with him. He was close to me during most of the fight and he lost his head altogether. In fact I don't think he knew what to do"

Don't write this statement off. Henderson was there. There is no reason why he should make a statement like this if he didn't think it. You are all obsessed with dressing Durnford up as a hero..
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:54 pm

Oh yeah, Julian but that it was necessary that "Dont Shoot" Durnford receive reinforcements of the white colonial cavalry of the camp and after ,even a support of artillery fire.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:58 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

you, you've got it, I agree with you a 800%, your very long post on previous days about what was worth "Dont Shoot" Durnford" is excellent, continuous, that is a real treat...

Bravo

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:06 pm

Pascal, your a breath of fresh air Salute You see the truth, for what it is. Your not blinded by the obsession to hide the truth about Col: Dunford. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:11 pm

And it gets worse on him, Chelmsfordthescapegoat ,you recall the famous topic about how he died at Isandhlwana ? (but not the right to talk about this)

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:12 pm

Wasn't Chelmsford asked by the Duke if he had recieved any reports other than Pulleine's 8:05 message that the
camp may be in danger, and he replied that he hadn't recieved any.

Thats clearly a lie.



Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:22 pm

CTSG
For once we are in agreement. I don't write Henderson's statement off. I never have. It is a curious remark made in private correspondence to his father but may reflect Henderson's true observations. The thrill of battle?
DB
I also agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:43 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
"Haggard states '...

You are quoting Haggard now? TALK ABOUT GRASPING AT STRAWS. Haggard wrote fantasy novels, not history. He wasn't present during the war. Afterward, he got everything so wrong in his "nonfiction" essays about S. Africa, that they are painful (and very boring) to read in hindsight. He didn't know Durnford. He was merely parroting second hand gossip. And just to be clear about this CTSG, trading in second hand gossip does NOT make one a primary source...not if you are Thomas Thomas...not if you are H. Rider Haggard.

Durnford's mounted troops fought brilliantly at Isandlwana. They staged a textbook withdrawal under heavy pressure (cited by many as the most challenging military maneuver,) and then stopped the Zulu left horn from encompassing the 24th for as long as their ammunition held out. A lot of men owed their survival to "Durnford's Basutos." After retreating from the donga they tried to retrieve ammunition and rally -- as far as was possible -- in the camp. When the situation there became utterly untenable, Durnford (to his credit) sent them off. Fighting all the way --or at least until their bandoliers were emptied -- the Edendale Contingent provided covering fire to save more lives at the Buffalo River before exiting the battlefield in relatively good order -- the only unit on the British side to do so that day. These were black cavalrymen lead by black officers -- the only one's in the British Empire at that point -- and Durnford raised them.

As for how the colonials felt about "Don't Shoot" that day -- well, they died by his side trying to hold the nek. Had a miracle occurred and any of them survived they would have had to call him "Don't Leave Him" Durnford. He certainly didn't leave them...for the second time. Maybe they felt they had to make amends.

Durnford died the sacrificial death that Victorian officers fantasized -- in every way a thoroughgoing hero.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:56 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
Oh yeah, Julian but that it was necessary that "Dont Shoot" Durnford receive reinforcements of the white colonial cavalry of the camp and after ,even a support of artillery fire.

Well the colonial cavalry did VOLUNTARILY* reinforce Durnford in the donga so they probably believed two things.

1) It was tactically necessary to hold the Zulu left horn rather than letting it flow unhindered into the camp.

2) Durnford had chosen a position of merit to do so.

There were two 7 pounders on the field. One of them was redirected to support the right flank for a period of time, but then it returned to its original position. Durnford did not request the cannon fire to support his position -- the artillery simply chose where it thought it could do the most good. Moreover, it is probably more accurate to say that the gun was trying to compensate for the gap between Durnford anchoring the British right flank and Pope's 'G' company.

* I know your English needs help Pascal so let me define this for you. Voluntarily means without receiving orders/instructions to do so. Not from Durnford. Not from Pulleine. Not from anybody that we know of...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:00 pm

It is not your thoroughgoing hero, which delayed the left horn, but the ground.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:01 pm

My argument is has always has been, for people to understand that although The Good Lord Chelsmsford made mistakes, he wasn't present during the Battle of Isandlwana. He wasn't to know that the Zulu's were hiding and preparing to attack the camp on the 22nd and neither did anyone else, military or civilian. the battle was lost,due to the many reasons debated. But trying to make a hero out of one of the officers that was present and who made many mistakes is down right disrespectfull to the men that never had a choice but to stay a fight. It wasn't just Durnford who kept the gate open, it was the many men with him. And they were only there because they had no where else to go. And they died like every other soldier did on that day, in the little pockets of resistance that remained until the end.

And as for those who think, The Good Lord Chelmsford wasn't remorseful after the battle and until the day he died. He was, and he like many had to live with that, he also lost friends that day, and Probaly sons of friends he had back home. Would he have done better if he had been at Isandlwana who knows, Probaly not and the out-come would have bee n the same. But he wasn't. I would bet that every man that died at Isandlwana on the 22nd Jan, was on The Good Lord Chelmsford mind during the Battle of Ulundi. He made good his revenge!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:11 pm

6pdr
I also agree with you.
One error - it was Durnford who asked Cochrane to ride over to the guns to request detaching one to fire at the right front for a time.

CTSG
What you say may be true but he is not absolved from his later behaviour in failing to acknowledge the existence of his Instructions particularly regarding troop dispositions in battle.
P.S. It would really help if you didn't keep writing the Good Lord Chelmsford, it's silly and prevents us taking seriously what you are trying to say, and I must admit my eyes keep focusing on "Good Lord(!)" rather than the whole.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
CTSG
For once we are in agreement. I don't write Henderson's statement off. I never have. It is a curious remark made in private correspondence to his father but may reflect Henderson's true observations. The thrill of battle?

Indeed. It sounds like a case of wild eyed battle lust. Perhaps the good Colonel put the wind up Henderson. Strange that he felt no debt of gratitude for his survival under the circumstances. I think one must be moved to wonder where there is anything that Durnford might have done right in his eyes.

And finally, Henderson does not say how he would have improved on Durnford's conduct. It was a hopeless situation not of Durnford's making. What was Henderson's solution? To leave! Mind you, I would have done the same; especially with permission. What I wouldn't have done was bad mouthed the man who saved my life.

Says a lot about his character I'm afraid... (Actually I'm just threw that last bit in for fun because it's such a commonly used tactic by the Durnford-haters on this board... I suspect there's more to the story than what happened at Isandlwana.)
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