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 Lack of good intelligence.

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PostSubject: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:30 am

Hi all

Why there has been a lack of good intelligence on the size and location of Zulu strength in the January 1879 Campaign in the zululand ?

Cheers

Pascal
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:35 pm

Hi Pascal.

If you are refering to iSandlwana, this is down to Chelmsford not recconoitering the whole area around the camp thoroughly enough.

(Something that the Durnford bashers can't blame Durnford for).
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:53 pm

Hi Mr M. Cooper

I'm not accusing anyone in particular, because judging people's behavior, after several decades, it becomes a tiring, but nevertheless there were gaps of this type in this campaign, who's to blame?

You who have read so much about the war, you should admit that I am right, the Zulu seriously deluded all the British officers, no...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:10 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
Why there has been a lack of good intelligence on the size and location of Zulu strength in the January 1879 Campaign in the zululand ?
Pascal

I believe that this was the pivotal issue of the campaign. I think it was due to a lack of professional cavalrymen in Chelmsford's column. He had colonial cavalry which he probably did not use as well as he could. We can speculate as to the reasons for that. And he had mounted infantry...which had horses but certainly not the instincts and training of full time cavalry. Chelmsford seems to have dealt with this by riding out on "scouts" himself which shows that he was a relatively energetic officer. That said, the force commander's very presence would have inhibited deep reconnaissance. Also, it's possible that Chelmsford's jaunts out into the Mangeni or wherever gave him false confidence.

I think this is a topic that warrants further exploration -- it's own thread even.

Exactly how did a competent commander allow an enemy army to arrive close on his flank without warning? What went wrong in the scouting...because in some ways this is like the battle of Midway...i.e. the British knew the Zulu Army was coming and missed it anyway.
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PostSubject: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:33 pm

Good post 6pdr.

I think that you have hit the nail on the head saying that by riding out with the scouts it gave him false confidence.

The reconnaissance should have been a lot more thorough than it was, but by Chelmsford having this false confidence, it wasn't done as thoroghly as it should have been, and through this, the zulus were able to get very close without being spotted. Then of course there followed the splitting of No 3 column and heading off on a wild goose chase to aid Dartnell and bring what he thought was the main zulu army to battle. I have often thought about this 'Dartnell incident', Lock and Quantrill are of the opinion that it was a cunning ploy to hopefully lure away part of the force at the camp, if this was the intention of Ntshingwayo kaMahole, then it worked like a dream for him.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:18 pm

Hi all

This is the key of the Zulu victory and I put my finger on it ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:48 pm

NMP were used extensively as vedettes and scouts rather than the IMI.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:53 pm

This should answer all your questions..

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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:56 pm

Complacency - on Chelmsford's part; did not feel the need to comit too many resources to this.
Zulu skill and field craft in remaining undetected; they manoeuvred 20,000+ men around LC's column, quietly and swiftly. The Zulu knew where the columns were and were able to avoid them when moving.
Complacency - Pulleine not taking the intelligence he actually did get anything like seriously enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:09 pm

The infantry of the NNC would do the same job as the Zulu scouts.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:14 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
The infantry of the NNC would do the same job as the Zulu scouts.

Only under equally competent leadership!
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:22 pm

And in egal number .

And the 6 NNH troops ? Not good for scouting...?
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:38 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
And the 6 NNH troops ? Not good for scouting...?

Well, that's essentially my question...i.e. whether Chelmsford made optimal use of his "irregulars?"

It's all well and good to mistake the Mounted Infantry for cavalry but by some accounts they could barely sit their horses. That's not the real issue though. The real issue is whether they had any cavalry instincts. You know it's "real cavalry" when you have trouble reigning them in. A good cavalry commander would probably have been pushing Chelmsford (and certainly Pulleine) to send him out for a look over the next hill...and the next...and the next...relentlessly.

My decidedly amateur impression was that Durnford trained "his (mounted) Basutos" (and the Edendale contingent,) for the battlefield. I'm not sure whether there was really a strong "cavalry culture" in those units. Had any of them ever been out on a long range or independent reconnaissance? Hunting was probably as close as most of them got.

The NMP and other colonial cavalry would probably have had stronger cavalry DNA but they weren't professionals and there isn't much evidence that Chelmsford (or anybody else,) cultivated them. Maybe that was his blind spot? Dunno.

It's quite possible I am completely wrong. I am more than happy to be corrected...especially by anybody who knows how things went with the Lancers during Chelmsford's second try.

A closely related question is how efficient the Zulu reconnaissance was before the battle. My impression is that they were keeping the camp under close observation.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:58 pm

Hi 3 pdr

Chelmsford made ​​optimal use of his "irregulars?" No! no! and no! Sad Sad Sad

"his (mounted) Basutos" (and the Edendale quota) are not all Basotho (only one unit on 6, but all were worth), but all are very good scouts, for the British officers during the war against the Basotho (the same time as the 8th war against the Xhosa) the Basotho are the Cossacks of the south africa, so they were perfectly able to do the job.

And much better than any other unit of colonial horse or the British imperial cavalry...

we believe dream ?

Last new, now it's the fault of NNH units, if the British have been rolled! Sad Sad Sad

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:32 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
Last new, now it's the fault of NNH units, if the British have been rolled! Sad Sad Sad l

Pascal, if I can paraphrase, do you mean, "Here's the latest news, it's now the fault of the Natal Native Horse that the British got beat at Isandlwana(?)"

Because that's hardly what I meant. But I can see the humor of it if you were just being clever. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of good intelligence.   Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:54 pm

Well done, yes it is this, it's humor and it's true that I'm not too stupid :lol:
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