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 Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:48 am

6pd
if you look back to a topic iSandlwana the firing lines. There is a series of photos that shows the area we are talking about. The photos pointing down a valley are the area that Chelmsford had his breakfast, on the side of silutshane.
The very last shot is from the ridge at the end of the valley from where Mansell was nearly surrounded. Straight down across the plain is the deep gash of the Mangeni Gorge, to the right as you look at it is the Hlakazi where Dartnell camped on the 21st. The conical hill just to the right of the gorge is Magogo where the zulus camped and lit their fires on the night of the 21st. In the middle distance to the right is the hill the NNC skirmished over forcing around 60 zulus to cross the plain to the left and hide in the caves, from where Harford shot a couple.
Hope that puts things into perspective for you.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:58 am


Only generals who commanded the Zulu at Isandhlwana, know what they were scheming. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:11 pm

springbok9 wrote:
6pd
if you look back to a topic iSandlwana the firing lines. There is a series of photos that shows the area we are talking about. The photos pointing down a valley are the area that Chelmsford had his breakfast, on the side of silutshane.
The very last shot is from the ridge at the end of the valley from where Mansell was nearly surrounded. Straight down across the plain is the deep gash of the Mangeni Gorge, to the right as you look at it is the Hlakazi where Dartnell camped on the 21st. The conical hill just to the right of the gorge is Magogo where the zulus camped and lit their fires on the night of the 21st. In the middle distance to the right is the hill the NNC skirmished over forcing around 60 zulus to cross the plain to the left and hide in the caves, from where Harford shot a couple.
Hope that puts things into perspective for you.

Springbok,

I really appreciate you taking the time to explain. I will look for the photos/topic when I have more time. On the off chance you have it, I am using David Rattray's GUIDEBOOK TO THE ANGLO-ZULU WAR BATTLEFIELDS to try to understand this maneuvering (though Nikki said this book was a real sore point with him.) If you have access to the book there is a diagram on page 43.

Anyway, on pg. 42 there is a photo of some boys looking roughly east across the gorge of the Mangeni Falls at a circular edifice labelled "Milne's Hill" (or reference point "e".) Dartnell's Bivouac ("g") is north of the falls. My problem is reconciling the proper (Zulu) names of the landmarks with the what the Europeans call them...but it would seem that the boys must be sitting on Silutshane (or "c") and "Milne's Hill" is Magogo?

A picture really is worth a thousand words -- particularly when a third dimension such as a valley is in play -- so I will have to investigate further, but in the mean time, thanks! - 6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:23 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:30 pm

Dartnell was he capable ? Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:58 pm

6pdr wrote:
springbok9 wrote:
6pd
if you look back to a topic iSandlwana the firing lines. There is a series of photos that shows the area we are talking about. The photos pointing down a valley are the area that Chelmsford had his breakfast, on the side of silutshane.
The very last shot is from the ridge at the end of the valley from where Mansell was nearly surrounded. Straight down across the plain is the deep gash of the Mangeni Gorge, to the right as you look at it is the Hlakazi where Dartnell camped on the 21st. The conical hill just to the right of the gorge is Magogo where the zulus camped and lit their fires on the night of the 21st. In the middle distance to the right is the hill the NNC skirmished over forcing around 60 zulus to cross the plain to the left and hide in the caves, from where Harford shot a couple.
Hope that puts things into perspective for you.

Springbok,

I really appreciate you taking the time to explain. I will look for the photos/topic when I have more time. On the off chance you have it, I am using David Rattray's GUIDEBOOK TO THE ANGLO-ZULU WAR BATTLEFIELDS to try to understand this maneuvering (though Nikki said this book was a real sore point with him.) If you have access to the book there is a diagram on page 43.

Anyway, on pg. 42 there is a photo of some boys looking roughly east across the gorge of the Mangeni Falls at a circular edifice labelled "Milne's Hill" (or reference point "e".) Dartnell's Bivouac ("g") is north of the falls. My problem is reconciling the proper (Zulu) names of the landmarks with the what the Europeans call them...but it would seem that the boys must be sitting on Silutshane (or "c") and "Milne's Hill" is Magogo?

A picture really is worth a thousand words -- particularly when a third dimension such as a valley is in play -- so I will have to investigate further, but in the mean time, thanks! - 6pdr


Trying to get my head round it too; the only way to fully appreciate the ground is to go there with a knowledgeable guide and spend many hours taking it in.
On my to do list; once the kids have finished with uni, will have to see what is left and hope it doesn't start with a - sign!
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:45 pm

littlehand wrote:
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Thanks for the pointer littlehand. Unfortunately, without fixed reference points and north, south, east, west indicators the import of these photos is lost on me. As impi pointed out when they were posted however, one does get a sense of the vast scale of the battlefield...and also what the terrain looked like. But I can't even make out what is mean by the caves on the Phindo.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:19 pm

Sprinkbok may be able to help, as they were taken by him, on his tour.
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90th

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PostSubject: Zulu Deception Of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:58 pm

Hi 6pdr.
On the left hand side you will see the heading ' Favourite Wb Links ' click on Jamies Site , I'm sure you will find it interesting !
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:29 am

90th wrote:
Hi 6pdr.
On the left hand side you will see the heading ' Favourite Wb Links ' click on Jamies Site , I'm sure you will find it interesting !
Cheers 90th. Salute

Indeed, I find it invaluable! Thanks a million!
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PostSubject: zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:40 am

Very Happy Hi 6pdr.
Happy to be of service ! . Salute
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Dartnell's Reconnaissance in force   Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:48 pm

Dartnell found the Zulu's Flank Guards the evening before the Isandlwana attack. The reconnaissance sent word back to LC that there were about 300 Zulus near the Phindo Hills. When Dartnell and Lonsdale return they realized there was about 1500 Zulus. When the courier returned, they sent him back to the camp to tell LC that there were more than 300 and now there in the range of 1500 and to send reinforcement of 1 or 2 companies of the 24th.

Now for all the people who supports LC's decisions to rescue or support Dartnell, why did LC feel that he had to take half of # 3 column with him and leave the rest, when Dartnell only asked for 1 or 2 companies?

My answer is he did not want to miss the fight. By doing this he weaken number 3 column and put # 2 column in a tricky situation. Which resulted in the Isandlwana disaster.

Commander Howse
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:13 pm

Dartnell, spent the night out after deciding it would be safer to stay rather than trying to get back to camp! 

What can't of defensive formation did he use. Or did he just post piques? and hope for the best?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:44 pm

Ray63 wrote:
What can't of defensive formation did he use. Or did he just post piques? and hope for the best?
From memory, they posted some sentries and slept in a big square with the command group in the center.  One side of the square got spooked (by its own shadow, more or less) and it stampeded through the middle into the other side.  That got sorted out and then it happened again by which point Maori Brown was threatening to shoot the next man who bolted etc...  In other words, according to Harford and Noggs it was amateur hour.

Anybody who thinks the Isandlwana camp was relatively under protected or unprepared should realize that if the Zulu army found the other part(s) of Chelmsford's divided force any sort of fighting would have in all likelihood yielded a more one-sided result than Isandlwana alone.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:53 pm

Ray63, They set up a Bivouac and formed two squares one formed by NNC and the other by the mounted troops. When the courier returned with the first set of messages he brought back some supplies.

Commander Howse
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:58 pm

I thought squares had been abolished, and extended lines used.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:03 pm

Dartnell and Lonsdale's troops were mostly made up of Colonials and natives with Dartnell being from the old ways, so that is probably why the two squares were formed.

Commander Howse
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:06 pm

Commander Howse wrote:
Ray63, They set up a Bivouac and formed two squares one formed by NNC and the other by the mounted troops.Commander Howse
Aha!  I stand corrected.  Your description is much more accurate Cmdr. Howse and it reminds me of a telling incident.  

To that point the journalist nicknamed Noggs had been wearing a red strip of cloth to show anybody who cared that he was attached to the NNC -- and it is usually implied that's where his allegiance lay because their colonial officers had been quick to welcome him when he arrived at Helpmakaar or some equally forbidding place.  But after the second panicked stampede that night he decamped from the NNC square for the (imagined) safety of the mounted troops' square.

Pure supposition...but would you want to bet he removed the red strip of cloth too?
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PostSubject: Decamping from the NNc lines   Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:14 am

Hi 6pdr,
Yes, as did all the NNC officers. They could not handle the illdiscipline and unruliness of the NNC rank and file. During the course of the night the NNC fired on a recce party of the NMP who were detailed to go out and feel for the enemy; they fired away at least 20,000 rounds at a white cow which happened to pass in their field of vision. The cow was not hit once and coninued on its way chewing its cud.
On two other occaisions during the same night the NNC left their lines, for no reason, and rushed in for "safety" into the lines of the mounted colonials. The old saying," with friends like these, who needs enemies ", applies very well here.

regards,
barry
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:36 am

EXTRACT FROM A LOST LEGIONARY IN SOUTH AFRICA.


"Major Dartnell concurred with him. They
decided to form two squares, our men in one,
Dartnell's in another, and we were to bivouac
there for the night.

My Colonial officers were furious. Colonial
officers are given to speaking their minds. Even
Captain Buncombe came to me and asked me if
everyone had gone mad. " What in God's name
are we to do here? "

The squares were formed. We had in our
square about 1400 natives armed as I have before
mentioned, with their complement of white officers
and non-coms., but few of the officers had brought
their rifles, and very many cartridges had been
lost while scrambling over the rocks and rough
ground during the day. I of course disarmed
the natives, who had M.H. rifles, and gave them
to the officers but the ammunition was very
short.

The natives were made to sit down in a square,
two deep, the white men being inside. Ye Gods
of war! as if Natal Kafirs in a formation two
deep would stand for a moment against a rush of
Zulus. Sick with disgust, as soon as the square
was formed, I lay down and, strange to say, fell
asleep. I had loosened my revolver belt for a
minute, meaning to buckle it again, but went to
sleep without having done so. I do not know how
long I slept when I felt myself rushed over and
trampled on. I tried to get to my feet, but was
knocked down again. I then tried to find my re-
volver, but was unable to do so. I never let go of



COMING EVENTS 123

my horse's bridle which I was holding in my hand,
and at last staggered to my feet.

The square was broken, natives rushing all
ways mixed up with plunging horses, while the
night was horrible with yells, shouts and impre-
cations. " My God/' I thought, " why am I not
assagaied?'' as half-mad natives rushed by me
jostling me with their shields. In a flash I saw it
was a false alarm. To wrench a knobkerry out of
a native's hand, and to lay about me, was the work
of a moment. My white men fought their way to
my shout and backing me up splendidly we soon
quelled the uproar and thrashed the cowardly
brutes back to their places.

To pick up my revolver and buckle the belt did
not take long, and then it was time to inquire the
cause of the row. It seems that one of the natives
had gone to sleep and had dropped his shield and
assagais, and this was enough to frighten the bold
Natal Kafirs into a stampede.

Yet with these curs I was expected to stop a rush
of the finest fighting savages in the world!

As soon as I met Lonsdale I again urged him to
return to camp even at this hour, and perhaps he
might have done so, when Major Dartnell came
over to us and informed us that he had sent an
orderly back to camp to request the General to
reinforce us. This would be worse and worse,
with a force of men barely strong enough to meet
30,000 to 40,000 Zulus, even when in laager. It
certainly was not the game to break up that force
into two parts at a distance of quite eleven miles
and just before a big fight was expected to take
place.



124 A LOST LEGIONARY IN SOUTH AFRICA

Again I sat down, sick to the very heart, but
of course I could say no more. Lonsdale was my
chief, and it was my duty to loyally back him up
and obey his orders.

About an hour afterwards, one of the horses
shook himself, and immediately the cowardly
hounds of Natal Kafirs again stampeded, but we
were ready for them this time, and thrashed them
back to their places. I then informed them that
the next man who moved would be at once shot
and that the two Zulu companies should charge
and kill off the company to which the delinquent
belonged. This threat put the fear of the Lord
into them, and for the rest of the night they sat
tight.

The weary night dragged on, no chance of
sleep, no chance of rest, as we had to watch our
wretched niggers, and I was very pleased to see the
east lighten and grow pale".

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PostSubject: Zulu Deception Of Dartnell At Matyana   Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:50 am

Hi John.
JUst wanting to clarify the officer in your report was named Duncombe , as opposed to ' Buncombe ' as you have posted .
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:01 pm

John wrote:
EXTRACT FROM A LOST LEGIONARY IN SOUTH AFRICA.
Yes, that's the account I was remembering...but a lot of it I regard as hyperbole, and so should everybody IMHO.  I think that Ian Knight got it exactly right when he wrote that Maori displayed "a distinct tendency towards wisdom after the fact" in his writings.  The trouble with Browne is that he is such an entertaining writer one tends to suspend one's critical facilities when reading him...like with all good fiction...but in the end I would prefer to know what "really happened." Where it comes to hard facts I only take completely seriously what men like Noggs and Charlie Harford confirm/corroborate in their accounts...but IMO Browne is useful for understanding the attitudes of the day and why Durford would have been held in such low esteem by many of his ilk.
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PostSubject: Zulu Deception Of Dartnell At Matyana    Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:10 pm

Hi 6pdr.
Yes , ' Maori ' was well known as more of a storyteller than one whose writings could be taken as Gospel ! . From memory his book dealing with the Zulu War was written some 50 odd years later .
90th. You need to study mo 
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana   Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:01 pm


They are not Zulu deception of Dartnell at Matyana and the Zulus had a plan very simple:

1 / Attach the third column and destroy ...

They had planned to do this on 23, put they were prevented by the reconnaissance missions launched by Durnford, which caused the zulu attack the 22.

There is nothing complicated or subtle from the Zulu, it's just a unfortunate concour of circumstances for them and the British in the camp , thanks to Durnford.

2 / Zulu opposite Dartnell are not an decoy, they are just there to defend their homeland, it is a local defense force ...

Dartnell has confused the local defense force with the main army and reported his discovery to LC. (LC could make the same mistake, if it was, in the place of Dartnell)

Makes mistakes is human.

LC will join with hundreds of men and 4 guns, without prior check.

The stupidity is human

There is nothing complicated or subtle from the Zulu, it's just unfortunate concour of circumstances for the British.

The result is known

All the rest is literature and all is unfortunate concour of circumstances ...

And remember, in war as in life, the best plans are the simplest

Cheers

Pascal
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