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 Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.

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PostSubject: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:43 pm

Hi all.Did Durnford assume command at Isandhlwana?.

On arrival at the camp,Durnford's Mounted men were
ordered ' to front form troop' near the centre of the
camp, while Durnford made his way to Pulleine. at the
rear of the NNC tents he met Brickhill the interpreter,
who had in his charge eight of Gamdana's people, who
lived beneath the Phindo, a few miles to the south-west.
Gamdana had pledged loyalty to the British and as a sign
of goodwill had sent in 11 guns to the officer commanding
the camp.

Brickhill had taken Gamdana's people to the columns office where,
it seems, they had been detained for the last hour or so.
convinced that they were not Zulu spies, as was rumoured
about the camp,he had brought them to Durnford for his
verdict. Durnford accepted Brickhills judgement and let them
leave the camp to collect their cattle which were grazing on
the Hlazakazi...

it seems relevant at this point to raise the question of who
had command at the camp.- a question which appears not
to have been clearly settled by either Durnford or Pulleine.
Chelmsford had nor ordered to remain at the camp
and from the latter's behaviour it seems as if he believed
that he was not bound to.and yet Durnford had already, by
his release of Gamdana's people, assumed the response-
ibility of command and it is clear from Lieutenant Cochrane's
evidence that Pulleine accepted it outside the framework
of the order's left him by Chelmsford.
cheers xhosa2000
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:30 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Hi all.Did Durnford assume command at Isandhlwana?
Well it seems to me this question has been asked and answered a hundred ways and a thousand times here...and I also think it is largely irrelevant (except to finger pointers) because when Durnford rode out from the camp he clearly ceded control BUT...

In my eyes there are at least four clear signs the Pulleine and Durford demonstrated there was no doubt as to who had superior rank.

The first was when the two met.

The second was the example you cite where Durnford dismissed Gamdama's delegation without referring the decision to Pulleine.

The third was when Higgenson (IIRC), walked up to Pulleine to deliver a sighting report and Pulleine indicated to him that he should be addressing Durnford.

The fourth was when Durnford requested the two companies of regulars and Pulleine did not outright refuse him. (He left that for Melvill to do which should give us a clear indication of how strong a commanding presence Pulleine probably was that day...)

I can't see as how there is ANY ISSUE WHATSOEVER here...as Cochrane (who was a Regular attached to Durnford during most of this timeframe,) makes it absolutely clear in his testimony.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:36 pm

I can accept both the arguments, there is another aspect or view point. Durnford was used to commanding front line troops, Pulleine had very little ( Pulleines Rangers being the exception). So yes he probably had more personality, and strength. He did make it quite clear when he arrived that he wasnt taking command and was moving on. BUT, there it is, the big but... I do believe that even though he didnt de facto take command he certainly because of his presence assumed command. Does that make sence? Effectivly the same as the CHelmsford Glynn arrangement. Remember in the aftermath Chelmsford asserted he didnt have command of the column, but his was the stronger will power.
All academic really untill around two hours later when Durnford TOOK command and ordered the recall...............................but thats another story.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:21 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Pulleine had very little ( Pulleines Rangers being the exception).
Yes, good point.  But what I take from that (ironic) nickname is that his troops were known from running amok.  To me that's another sign that Pulleine probably did not have a very strong command presence.

Quote :
All academic really untill around two hours later when Durnford TOOK command and ordered the recall...............................but thats another story.Cheers
Durnford ordered the recall?  As in the sounding the bugle call? Surprised Now there's a new thread!!

Care to put a little more meat on those bones? Question
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:18 pm

Busy putting an argument together. At present its putting together two and two. On a basic level we know a few points of Durnfords movements, Essex, Gardiner and a couple of others. We know he had conversations with both of them. In conversation with Essex he gives some strong indication of where they were. Whats been messing with my mind in trying to put all the clues together has been looking at that vast battlefield and thinking there was no way of putting the bits and pieces together. Then I suddenly realised that in fact the battlefield wasnt as big as we assume. A very large block of that ground was covered in tents and wagons toilets and cooking areas. So the access to and from the HQ and ammo areas to the fronts, I use the plural on purpose, was a touch restricted. If you look at Essex, read him carefully and see what his major occupation was, getting ammo to the front. Then plot his potential routes, it would be across the top of the camp towards the North and then down the line, A second route would be due East down to the other front. We know he met Durnford on one off those routes. We also know that the line was about to collapse, the NNC had just started to run, Essex gives a direction from where they were standing to that occurence. In similar vein, if you analyse Gardners movements, his station was with Pulleine, and he rode back to the Donga on a couple of occasions, there is a limited field of view from the line to that area plus now add in the tents obscurring part as well. That gives a pretty gppd location of the area Pulleine would have been and also the line Gardner would have travelled when he met Durnford.
Sorry a bit long winded.
Add all that together then take into account the conversations and you pin point Durnford. Plus there was an eye witness that puts him on the line. He had a stated objective of gathering the troops together.
If, as I and a hell of a lot of people right of the idea of ammo shortages and the fact that PULLEINE COULD NOT SEE the donga to see that colapse then why did the line stop firing, as one. It was ordered..............................two plus two.
Thats a bit of meat for the bones.
I can and will flesh the whole thing out with quotes names times directions etc etc. But as the song says, " Dont eat meat but sure likes the Bone." And thats enough terrible puns from me for a while.

Have FUn
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:49 pm

great post springbok, i will have to read it a couple of
times to digest.: 

6pdr...All academic really untill around two hours later when Durnford TOOK command and ordered the recall...............................but thats another story.Cheers.

6pdr the above was my next point.viz

The lunch was soon over and according to Cochrane, Durnford, restless for action,
said almost as an afterthought as he left Pulleine:" if you see us in difficulties
you must send and support us".David Jackson declares that Durnford had no right
to give this order. while Durnford was out of the camp there was no confusion over
command,but what would happen on his return? We shall see later what serious
effects the failure to delimit the areas of command would have on the course of
the battle for the camp. Drooglever.
cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:19 pm

[
[color=#cc3366Durnford ordered the recall?[/color]  


Bonsoir Springbok,
Very interesting, really Idea .
But it's seems to me that it's just a theory isn't it?
Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:33 pm

Most of what we know about the Battle of Isandlwana. It's just theory! 

Ian knight points out that some members of the NNC joined Chelmsford. 
Would they have not been able to give, information relating to the battle and what they saw. Just a thought!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:22 am

This whole sarnario of who was in command, has been made confusing, by Durnford infront of witnesses taking command. 

Who are the eyewitness who confirmed Durnford as saying he wouldn't be staying!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:11 am

Frederic
Yes, all theory. Thats really all we can do at iSandlwana untill some fresh evidence turns up, and Im sure one day it will.
Its a case really of putting together a jig saw puzzle without a picture and all the pieces are the same. BUT ( there allways is a but. The official narrative says at one point: "On this it would seem that Colonel Durnford determined that the forces under his command should adopt a more compact formation and ordered the 'Retire' to be sounded. This was done, and the time of its occurence appears to have been just prievious to the rush of Zulus that penetrated the line."

Chard
Cochran:
Pullein: " I ams sorry that you have come as you are senior to me and will of course take command."
Durnford: "Im not going to interfere with you: Im not going to remain in camp.'

As I posted earlier in responce to 6pd. the fact that Durnford 'said' he wasnt going to take command doesnt mean to say he didnt. Witness the incidents that 6pd mentioned, reports being directed towards Durnford by Pulleine from Higginson, Durnford 'suggesting' the men be stood down. There is also the sending of the first troop onto the hills, Essex says it was Durnford. Others say Pulleine so possibly Durnford suggested and Pulleine acted.

Mr G
Your spot on, they could have, but ( theres the but again) The COI didnt even bother with the White civilian Captains or even Hlubi or Malinga. There again would the NNC rank and file be able to give any sort of report other than their immediate front in that there were some bloody big angry Zulus with very sharp implements being waved around occupying their full attention?

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:13 pm

Bonsoir Springbok
-Ron Lock and Peter Quantrill have said nothing on this subject in "Zulu Victory"
-F.W.D. Jackson in Hill of the Sphinx also says nothing, BUT he quotes Captain Rothwell -Narrative of field operation-p.43 note 24 (Durnford not Pulleine)
-Ian Knight in "zulu rising"(p.396-397) had wrote ;"Pulleine's only option was to try to withdraw  as quickly  as possible and take a new position closer the tents...the bugles sounded the 'cease fire' and then 'retire'.BUT Knight gives no source.
So you are right: we don't know "who had sounded the bugles "(Pulleine or Durnford?) and your thesis is possible.
Very interesting
Many thanks for your answer.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:47 pm

If Durnford hadn't taken command, would he have still been in the frame as one of those who caused the diaster. 

Was his mistake taking command albeit for a short while, and bearing in mind most of those would witnessed him assuming command lived to tell the tale?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:56 pm

1st Witness.— Major Clery states: I am Senior Staff Officer to the 3rd Column, commanded by Colonel Glyn, C.B., operating against the Zulus. The General commanding accompanied this Column from the time it crossed the border into Zululand.
   On the 20th January, 1879, at the Camp, Isandlwana, Zululand, the Lieutenant-General commanding gave orders to Commandant Lonsdale and Major Dartnell to go out the following morning in a certain direction from the camp with their men, i.e., the Native Contingent, and the Police, and Volunteers, part of the 3rd Column. On the evening of the following day (the 21st) a message arrived from Major Dartnell that the enemy was in considerable force in his neighbourhood, and that he and Commandant Lonsdale would bivouac out that night. About 1.30 A.M., on the 22nd, a messenger brought me a note from Major Dartnell, to say that the enemy was in greater numbers than when he last reported, and that he did not think it prudent to attack them unless reinforced by two or three companies of the 24th Regiment. I took this note to Colonel Glyn, C.B., at once, he ordered me to take it on to the General. The General ordered the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment, the Mounted Infantry, and four guns, to be under arms at once to march. This force marched out from camp as soon as there was light enough to see the road. The Natal Pioneers accompanied this column to clear the road. The General first ordered me to write to Colonel Durnford, at Rorke's Drift, to bring his force to strengthen the camp, but almost immediately afterwards he told Colonel Crealock that he (Colonel Crealock) was to write to Colonel Durnford these instructions, and not I. Before leaving the camp, I sent written instructions to Colonel Pulleine, 24th Regiment, to the following effect:—" You will be in command of the camp during the absence of Colonel Glyn; draw in (I speak- from memory) your camp, or your line of defence"—I am not certain which-"while the force is out: also draw in the line of your infantry outposts accordingly; but keep your cavalry vedettes still far advanced." I told him to have a wagon ready loaded with ammunition ready to follow the force going out at a moment's notice, if required. I went to Colonel Pulleine's tent just before leaving camp to ascertain that he had got these instructions, and I again repeated them verbally to him. To the best of my memory, I mentioned in the written instructions to Colonel Pulleine that Colonel Durnford had been written to to bring up his force to strengthen the camp. I saw the column out of camp and accompanied it.

In Clery's statement he only mentions that he was directed to bring Durnfords force up to strengthen the camp. 

1. Statement of Lieutenant-Colonel J. North Crealock, Acting Military Secretary.

1. Soon after 2 A.M. on the 22nd January I received instructions from the Lieutenant-General to send a written order to Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, R.E., commanding No. 2 Column, to the following effect (I copied it in my note-book which was afterwards lost): " Move up to Sandhlwana Camp at once with all your mounted men and Rocket Battery—take command of it. I am accompanying Colonel Glyn, who is moving off at once to attack Matyana and a Zulu force
said to be 12 or 14 miles off, and at present watched by Natal Police, Volunteers, and Natal Native Contingent. Colonel Glyn takes with him 2-24th Regiment, 4 guns R.A., and Mounted  Infantry."
2. I was. not present during the conversation between Major Clery, Staff Officer to Colonel Glyn, and the Lieutenant-General, but the evening before, about 8.30 P.M., on this officer asking the Lieutenant-General if the 1-24th " Were to reinforce Major Dartnell in the Magane Valley," he said " No."  The General received, I believe through Colonel Glyn, a subsequent representation which caused the fresh orders at 2 A.M. the 22nd, and the orders to Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford.

Here we see Crealock saying he order Durnford to take command, when in fact we now know he didn't. 

So we are back to the old question why did he. As Impi says was his assuming command his own down fall.  Either way the order issued to him, did not order him to take command. So did he disobay orders by taking command.
 All though it is said he didn't interfere with Pulleine's Command, he did by taking command, relocating troops, and asking for tow Compaines of the 24th.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:08 am

impi wrote:
If Durnford hadn't taken command, would he have still been in the frame as one of those who caused the diaster.
If the battle was lost and Durnford had survived, he most DEFINITELY would have been blamed...and he knew it. In that case it really doesn't matter whether he assumed command or not. I actually think (assuming the battle was lost) that the only hope for Durnford's reputation was that he died fighting and somebody who spent the battle beside Pulleine survived. (Melvill?) It might have been clearer to contemporaries then that there was plenty of blame to go around.
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at Isandlwana   Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:13 am

Ulundi we have covered this ad nauseum ! . We have posted here countless times that Durnford was SENIOR to Pulleine !
When Durnford arrived at the camp , command AUTOMATICALLY reverted to him ( Durnford ) , Durnford may or may not have issued some orders but the bottom lines are ..............He told Pulleine that he wasnt staying , and he didnt , he left !
Command reverted back to Pulleine when Durnford rode out . That is the fact of the matter plain and simple . It isnt hard to understand . scratch . Who knows what happened when Durnford was forced back to the camp ? . Hope this makes it clear to you .
90th agree 
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:38 am

Ulundi wrote:
So we are back to the old question...As Impi says was his assuming command his own down fall.
No. 25,000 hostiles sitting on the flank of the camp undetected were "his downfall."

Quote :
 Either way the order issued to him, did not order him to take command. So did he disobay orders by taking command.
No. Logically speaking, it is impossible to disobey an order that is not given.

Quote :
 All though it is said he didn't interfere with Pulleine's Command, he did by taking command, relocating troops, and asking for tow Compaines of the 24th.
Upon arriving on the scene he quickly ascertained that Pulleine had not followed up multiple enemy sightings with aggressive patrolling. He dispatched his own troops to do so. He didn't take the two companies he requested. Indeed, there were never even any heated words on the matter. So again, it is not true that he "interfered" with Pulleine's command.

Both Pulleine and Durnford died...and the man who was responsible for the British dispositions and tactics that day survived. Mostly though, it just doesn't matter who you point your finger at. You're just chasing your tail with circular arguments.
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:38 am

90th and 6pdr are both correct.

With Col Durnford being the senior officer on his arrival at the camp he would have been deemed as being in command, and although he told Pulleine that he was not going to take over command as he would be leaving, whatever he suggested would have been taken as an order with him being the senior officer while he was at the camp.  

Continually trying to 'Durnford bash' and lay the blame at Col Durnford's feet is totally wrong, read Ian Knight's responses and you will see that he puts the blame elsewhere.

After the AZW, Chelmsford never commanded again, this should tell you something about who to blame.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:23 pm

Didn't Straford say, there appeared to have been a disagreement between Pulleine and Durnford. 


Being in command of a section attached to no 2 column, did he have the right to take command of section of no 3 column. This would fit in with the actual order he received. Move to the camp. Nothing else!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:32 pm

Durnford would have been " deemed as being in command" 

Well if this was the case, Durnford Lord Chelmsford and all other ranks and file would have know this. 

So does this not Strenthen the argument that Durnford was in command that day. Does it not also Strenthen the other argument that he Disobayed orders by leaving the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:24 pm

For 90 th

Yes Marsupial , agree this has been said and repeat ad nauseum !

This is Pulleine that control the the majority of troops at Isandhwana, LC left Pulleine in the camp for this, not to reinforce the garrison ... Durnford was just passing through, but remained too long in the camp...

Cheers

Toksa...
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:01 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:

Continually trying to 'Durnford bash' and lay the blame at Col Durnford's feet is totally wrong, read Ian Knight's responses and you will see that he puts the blame elsewhere.
For convenience I have cut and paste his balanced view of Durnford's role. Let me say in advance however that I understand one expert's opinion (even if he is recognized as the foremost authority on the battle,) does not prove anything beyond dispute. OTOH, those of you who have no additional information and think your opinion should be weighed as heavily as a scholar with thirty years and many books on the subject are delusional.

Ian Knight wrote:

As to Durnford I think there is some valid criticism to be made for further splitting the forces at iSandlwana camp, and for over-stretching the defensive position - but against that you have to remember that when he arrived at the camp the situation had clearly changed (with the Zulu appearance along the ridge) since Chelmsford had left a few hours before. Durnford had a mounted and therefore mobile column, so he could be forgiven for thinking he was best placed to investigate the unfolding situation - especially as he was not tied by any specific orders to the contrary from Chelmsford. Of course, he might have sent some of his men out whilst establishing a command position at the camp, which would have made overall direction of the battle much easier, and I do think his personal feelings, and in particular a need to be useful and play an active roll, influenced his decision there. It certainly didn’t make it easy to present a co-ordinated defence of the camp with Pulleine somewhere at the foot of iSandlwana and Durnford in the Nyogane!

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
After the AZW, Chelmsford never commanded again, this should tell you something about who to blame.
Knight mentions this too, as well he should because it represents the true judgement of the establishment at the time even in lieu of Chelmsford's latter successes. Today we know a good deal more about the battle than was understood then and most, if not all of the additional information, tends to indict the view that any one excuse...whether it be intractable ammunition boxes or Durnsford's behavior...could possibly exonerate the man in charge from taking the blame. A leader can delegate authority but never responsibility--that is an underlying tenet of any military organization. More to the point however is Knight's response to all finger pointers...

Ian Knight wrote:
But I would also make the point here that the men most responsible for the outcome of iSandlwana were Ntshingwayo kaMahole and Mavumengwana kaNdlela. Throughout the iSandlwana campaign the Zulus consistently made less mistakes and recovered the initiative quicker - to move an entire army largely unnoticed so close to iSandlwana was an extraordinary achievement, and speaks not only of the failure of British reconnaissance but also of the skills of the Zulus in using terrain and successfully masking their movements. And during the battle itself Ntshingwayo’s command and control of his troops was more effective, and the assaults themselves were skilfully made and with great courage. The assumption that the British should automatically have won these battles unless they stuffed up is deeply flawed in my view - and by concentrating our thoughts on what the British did wrong we can be fooled into overlooking what the Zulus did right. In my opinion iSandlwana was more of a Zulu triumph than simply a British disaster.
Those of you so invested in pointing the finger could profitably redirect that energy into learning about what was going on "on the other side of the hill" as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:38 pm

6pdr,excellent post,we are all free to express what ever
opinion we want,whenever we want to.cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:40 pm

Yes, agree but in fact, what was going on the other side of the hill of the sphinx ?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:13 pm

Firstly Ian Knight has been decent enough to answer the questions posed to him. I doubt he wants people to believe what he says is the be and end all, his views just open the doors to other avenues and food for thought. Perhaps you should post something that shows it to be otherwise. Or give your own reasonble explanation to the question. 


What happen behind the hill stays behind the hill. Forever and a day! I don't see how a discussion about what happen behind the hill can take place, when there is absolute no evidence to show what happen? Unless of course you have something?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:33 pm

CTSG,

I think you have misunderstood me. The expression, "on the other side of the hill" is shorthand for seeing the battle from your opponent's perspective. I did not mean what happened on the far side of Isandlwana. -6pdr
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:35 pm

Perhaps you should word your posts more carefully!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:46 pm

What do members think, Durnford should have done after arriving at Isandlwana?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:48 pm

6pdr

It was understood that the phrase "on the other side of the hill" is shorthand for seeing the battle from your opponent's perspective, since you had written this phrase between guilemets.

But the question what happened on the far side of Isandlwana, is equally interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:49 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
Perhaps you should word your posts more carefully!
No, I said exactly what I meant.  English is not Pascal's native language so I wouldn't expect him to know every military colloquialism
.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:53 pm

impi

Durnford should have done after arriving at Isandlwana? Durnford would have to obey the orders of LC as soon as possible !
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:58 pm

6pdr This is true but I debrouille,anyway ...
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:19 pm

6pdr wrote:
Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
Perhaps you should word your posts more carefully!
No, I said exactly what I meant.  English is not Pascal's native language so I wouldn't expect him to know every military colloquialism
.  
Then if it was meant solely for Pascal. Let that be known?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:27 pm

impi wrote:
Then if it was meant solely for Pascal. Let that be known?
It was not directed specifically at Pascal (or anybody.) He merely responded to it. I did think he might have misunderstood...which was not true as it turned out. He was simply making his own point (which is nothing new, btw.) But you and CTSG seem to have taken it rather personally, to which I can only say, "Hmmmm...how interesting."
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:33 pm

No
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:49 pm

impi wrote:
No
By the way, my answer to your question if Durnford ought to have done exactly as he did. Get a sit-rep (or debrief) from the commander on the spot. It was important that he have an understanding of the situation in general but also because he intended to ride on and find Chelmsford who sure would have inquired as to the status of the Isandlwana camp which he was anxious to move forward.

I also endorse wholeheartedly his next step which was to follow up with patrols in the wake of Pulleine's lax response to the sighting of so many Zulu.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:48 pm

In line with Johns post in another topic. The Isn Knight answers.

I cannot find anything regarding army protocols from 1879. So I put it to you. Does anyone have anything that shows Durnford was deemed senior and expected to take command, when he arrived at Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:13 am

This is from Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army 1844.

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

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:03 am

Hi, just the job,well posted,great info,
but in practice.Exclamation  cheers xhosa2000
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:59 am

For "Eldest" read "most senior". Then para. 2 clearly applies. When Durnford arrived he was the most senior and therefore was deemed to be in command of the camp according to regulations.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:32 am

rusteze wrote:
For "Eldest" read "most senior". Then para. 2 clearly applies. When Durnford arrived he was the most senior and therefore was deemed to be in command of the camp according to regulations. Steve
Exact same situation as applied at Rorke's Drift, no? (Right down the senior officer being an engineer...but at Isandlwana we're talking about brevet ranks as well.)
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PostSubject: Did Durnford asume command at Isandlwana ?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:55 am

People come on here and ask questions , I , when I can answer it as best I can , I have so many books etc , I dont have the time or inclination to sort out '' where's this ? , who said that ? etc etc . On this instance 6pdr beat me to it , for those who wanted evidence about why Durnford was to take command at Isandlwana should read the accounts at RD , where Spalding asks Chard from memory , who is senior , him or Bromhead ? , Chard replied he didnt know ! , Spalding replies '' No Matter , I'll check the Army List ''. Spalding did so , and told Chard as he was about to head to Helpmekaar that he was senior and he was in command . So its obvious the same thing happened at Isandlwana , I dont know if its age or years of service but that is the fact of the matter on how it was done .
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:24 am

Hardly primary source. Next your be telling us there were more British than Welsh?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:49 am

Probably two of the most critical sources regarding who was to be in charge during Chelmsfords absence would come down to two statements.
1) Clery
    These are the orders that Durnford is accused of disobeying!
    Prefacing these 'orders' to Pulleine Clery states: "You will be in charge of this camp....." Thats pretty categorical really.

At the time this order was given it was already known that Durnford was being called up. Why wasnt a rider attached to that order saying, "until Col Durnford arrives."
Possibly pedantic maybe, but why was Pulleine told this? He was senior in camp, till later, so possibly the order was meant to convey to Pulleine that no matter what, your in charge ! Is that feasible?

2)Chelmsford
    Chelmsford was later to agree with those orders. He said: "Distinct orders were left with Col Pulleine by  
    Col Glyn regarding the defence of the camp and therefore when I ordered Col Durnford to come to it from Rorkes Drift I  
    refrained from sending any fresh instruction to that officer which might have caused confusion."

In other words Chelmsford has full concurred with the orders issued to Pulleine, ( You are in charge)  it can therefore be sumised that he agreed that Pulleine was to remain in command.
    Ergo, it was not his wish that Durnford took command.

Pulleine handed the written orders to Durnford, so its likely that Durnford saw in black and white an instruction that despite seniority he was not to take command.
Pulleine being the gentleman he was then mentioned that Durnford was senior.
Durnford, the lone ranger that he was declined command. So obeying the wishes of his CIC.

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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:30 am

Agree with most of that and the possibilities. Don't agree with the Pulleine gentleman bit. More likly Durford bulldozed his way into command. He probably reminded Pulliene he was senior. 

Either way there would have been a nasty taste, in the mouths of the 24th regiments, when you considered an officer of Engineers commanding native troops arrives on the scene takes command. Perhaps at that point Pulliene produced his written orders, which clearly showed he was in command in the absence of Glynn. Durnford sole purpose had to be to reinforce the camp only! His leaving for whatever purpose was a direct miss-movement of orders. He weaken the camp even further.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:52 am

Durnford's leaving the camp, and his fall back? 

What impact did this have on the Companies 24th and Pulleine's command. Were some repositioned to cover his fall back, did it draw Companies further away from the camp.
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PostSubject: Did Durnford Assume command at Isandlwana    Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:54 am

Ray63 .
What part of my post didnt you understand you ungrateful sod . If you dont wish to believe what I posted re Chard / Spalding , the same chain of command would've existed at Isandlwana , I suggest you go and buy ' Rorkes Drift By Those Who Were There ' by Jones & Stevenson . Go and buy the books yourself , with your own money , and read them in your own time .
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:40 pm

CTSG
Nope, Pulleine brought up the subject of senioriy ( Cochrane )
2nd Para
Fully agree, can almost hear it ( Bloody upstart Irish bugger, who the hell does he think he is, or words to the effect )
'Direct miss movement of orders?" thats an interesting one for sure. Almost as good as " Deviation from criteria based standard'. Cant have it both ways im afraid, there was no order to disobey/ignore. Pulleine should have had bigger B**s and acted like an imperial officer.
One thing that always puzzles and will never be answerd is what were the orders sent to Durnford on the 21st? We know that Shepstone rode to the camp for orders, but non have suvived. Possibly the fact that Durnford went of looking for wagons early on the 22nd gives a clue.

Dave
Ignoring the fact that Durnford left the camp and looking at the situation on the ground. Pulleine was looking at the attack from the North/North East and arranged his force accordingly, this was before Durnford retreated down the Quabe Valley, and before Pulleine knew there was a threat from that direction. So its without doubt he was following the defence instructions issued by Chelmsford to all column commanders. IF there was no Durnford involvement then he would have had to eventually faced the left horn coming across the plain and also the right horn coming over the saddle. The fact that Durnford held up the left horn probably accounted for there being suvivors. So yes Durnfords retreat did have an impact, saved a few lives.

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Ray63
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at Isandlwana    Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:49 pm

Hi Springy .
Rolling Eyes  What can I say ! . Shocked 
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:01 pm

"The fact that Durnford held up the left horn probably accounted for there being suvivors."

I have never understood, why Durnford was credited with this. As said he would have met the left horn at some point, did he have a choice other that hold them back.

"there was no order to disobey/ignore"

Was Durnford not ordered to move to the camp?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:18 pm

Dave
To put your question back into context. You asked what effect Durnfords fall back had. Thats answered, he saved lives. Did he have any options? Yes he did, and its an aspect that Ive always blamed Durnford for. I believe that instead of the fighting retreat down the valley he should have got back to the camp as fast as possible, taken command and as an experienced soldier possibly, just possibly the camp may have been saved. AS it is the fighting retreat did nothing.
He had intelligence that Pulleine didnt, the zulu army had split into its traditional components, the left horn was on its way. This surely would have enabled the camp to form a different defensive strategy.
Durnford needs to be given credit as well as a bashing. He did save lives. He attempted to resurect a situation that Pulleine had caused. He aided QM Pullen in organising the defence against the left horn. He was a brave man, no doubt about it and really doesnt deserve the negative publicity he gets.
He was ordered to the camp and did just that. He didnt disobey any orders, or if he did show me which one? Ive allready shown above the orders that were issued and Chelmsfords concurrence with them.
Just my thoughts of course.
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