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 No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.

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old historian2

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PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:38 am

At the Battle of Rorke’s Drift were any Martini Henry rifles found beside the bodies of dead Zulus such as on the hill or in the orchard. I read Colour Sgt Bourne heard in-coming rifle fire, which he says was similar to that of the Martini Henry Rifle.
If the Zulus had acquire Rifles from Isandlwana or on the way down the furtive trail, surly there would have been some left among the dead, that could clarify for sure that the Zulus did have British rifles.
I can find nothing that states that Martini Henry rifles was found among the dead Zulu.
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90th

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PostSubject: martini-henry rifles.   Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:49 am

hi oh2.
I have never read anything concerning M.H.RIFLES being found on the dead zulus at R.DRIFT, I would say that there wasnt any M.H RIFLES there, as there would have been mention of it in some sort of record either , officially or unofficially.

cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:39 pm

I dont think the Zulu at RD had played a part at Ishandlwana so they could not have any MHs from there.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:13 pm

I thought that rifles had been taken from the British killed on the fugitive trail. The Zulus that attacked Rorke’s Drift were the reserve regiment that was used to stop the British fleeing the Battle Field, chasing them down to the buffalo.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:02 pm

So its a myth then. scratch
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PostSubject: matini-henry"s   Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:57 am

hi all.

I am quite sure that the troops killed in flight on the fugitives trail had most likely ran out of ammunition for their rifles , well before they were caught up with and killed, and ditched them when the ammo ran out, as they are quite heavy and cumbersome, so it would be a dead weight to run along with , they would be looking to ditch anything that would have slowed them down. The zulus may have come across them and saw no bullets and continued on their merry way. Once the fighting was over at R.D. the surviving zulus may have gone back the way they came, and possibly picked up the bullet less rifles in the hope of finding or obtaining bullets at a later date.

cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:59 pm

Hi this comes from Adrian Greaves Rorkes Drift.

It states that the Zulu reserve came across Lieutenant Dysons small detchment on the ridge and annihilated all of them, taking there rifles and ammo. The guardain of the battle field George Chadwick always accepeted that Dyson ans his men died on the ridge. On the spur their are a number of graves and one contains 24th Regimental buttons, boot protectors and human bones under the cairn. It was in the same area that the Zulu reserve passed over and it is believed to be were Dyson and his men were stationed. The Zulu reserve having now tasted blood flushed with sucess, continued their rapid advance to their allocated position blocking the Isandlwana to Rorkes Drift road. Their they came across Lieutenant MacDowells small force of Enigeers who were busy repairing the damaged roadway across a watercourse 1 mile from Isandlwana. His men were swiftly overwhelmed, and so another 10-15 Marti-Henrys were taken by the Zulus. During 2001 an author undertook a survay of Rorkes Drift immediately above the caves and terraces. In one day searching he found 6 spent Marti-Henry cases. So it is possible that some Zulus were using captured British rifles to shoot at the defenders.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:22 pm

Drummer Boy

Theres not a shred of proof that Dyson was killed on the ridge, its not mentioned by Essex who was one of the last men down the re entry.
I discussed this very issue with George Chadwick, he was convinced that there was loss of life on the ridge and had located a cairn that 'leaked' boot protector buckles and other detrimus, there was only one cairn and that was near the re entry point. Its location is now forgoton. I saw the cairn and have spent many hours looking for it again, to no avail. But as George was wont to say, it could have been one man or ten, he didnt know.
Ken Gillings, noted authority, is a forum member, I do know that he holds strong views about this.
So if any martini were lost on the ridge it would have been very minor quantities.
Again the only force working on the roadway was the fatigue party under Anstey, whether that was on the road to the front of the camp or the rear is debatable. But as Anstey took his place in line its doubtful that he was left out on a limb.
The engineers in question were brought up by Chard, he left the camp to ride back to RD and instructed the small group of engineers, to continue on to the camp. I would question that they had time to get up the hill from the stream, of load there tools and get sent back to the stream to start work whilst the balance of the camp was under arms.

The force that invaded Natal was allready passed the combat point on the ridge before hostilities effectivly began. They took no real part in the fugitives chase so their potential gathering of MH's was severly restricted. The only suggestion that MH was used at RD was from Frank Bourne, he mentions the 'crack' of the shot.
Some where down this thread Neil, an acknowledged expert in the MH gave his opinion on the sounds of the possible guns used.
After the battle of RD patrols went out into the surrounding areas and killed of wounded Zulu. Its highly likely that some wounded had crawled into the nooks and crannies on the Oskaberg only to be shot afterwards during the clean up, this could explain any MH cases found.

I must congratulate you on your school prowess, wonderful articulation for a lad of 14.
Keep it up.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:59 pm

springbok9 wrote:

After the battle of RD patrols went out into the surrounding areas and killed of wounded Zulu. Its highly likely that some wounded had crawled into the nooks and crannies on the Oskaberg only to be shot afterwards during the clean up, this could explain any MH cases found.

My thoughts exactly.

Not sure how long the lads were posted for at RD after the battle? But surely they could have used the area for rifle practice or the like?

Do you think that a Zulu (with no experience of handling a MH), would know how to use one..?
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:32 pm

The men Stayed at Rorkes Drift for many months with nothing more then what they had taken with them on the morning of the 22nd. The conditions were terrible and the men had to sleap outside every night. They had no cups, plates or spoons and many fell ill includind Chard, who recovered but some newspapers reported his death.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:08 pm

The dispatching of the wounded Zulus at RD was mainly done by members of the NNC who used their own weapons, those dispatched by the British would have been done so by way of bayonet. I doubt very mush they would have wasted what ammunition they had left.

Wasn't Chard servant held up in the cave during the battle. Does he not mention Zulus firing from that position.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:22 am

More than enough evidence and statements to point towards the troops shooting the wounded and so called 'spies'. It was officially denied and the blame put on the NNC inorder to refrain from "upsetting the civilians at breakfast".

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:26 am

I did a little research last night about the so called road repairs.

One of the most telling issues is from Coghills diary/notes when he comments that the road the General had taken was in poor repairand not passable for a wagon so Anstey had been dispatched with a repair crew.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:39 am

Yes Chards African wagin driver ran to the saftey of a cave and hid in the bck of it, but to his horror some Zulus entered and started firing at the British from their. He stayed hidden throughout the battle and a number of shots from the defenders entered the cave killing a Zulu.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:42 pm

"My wagon driver, a Cape (coloured) man, lost his courage on hearing the first firing around the hill. He let loose his mules and retreated, concealing himself in one of the caves of the Oscarberg. He saw the Zulus run by him and, to his horror, some of them entered the cave he was in, and lying down commenced firing at us. The poor wretch was crouching in the darkness, in the far depths of the cave, afraid to speak or move, and our bullets came into the cave killing one of the Zulus. He did not know from whom he was in the most danger, friends or foes, and came down in the morning looking more dead than alive. The mules we recovered; they were quietly grazing by the riverside."

John R.M. Chard,

Captain and Bt. Major, R.E.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:52 pm

Just a few suggestions on the how the MH Cartridges may have ended up in the cave/

After the Battle R.D was still used by the British Army. They may have placed looks out’s up there,firing a signal shot if Zulu were seen in the area.

Back it the 70s relic hunters were all over the Battlefields. Perhaps some of these wanted to see the so called cave for themselves, while bending over to get access to or from the cave some of the cases they had found elsewhere could have fallen out onto the cave floor. (Just Suggestions)
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:25 pm

How many other defenders made reference to the Zulu's using MH rifles at RD apart from Col Sgt Bourne.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:19 am

Difficult to imagine that not a single captured MH and round was used at RD.
If it was, its impact in the battle would have been insignificant. Not an easy weapon to zero or aim properly and as 90th says, the number of captured rounds would have been minimal.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:06 pm

Quote :
How many other defenders made reference to the Zulu's using MH rifles at RD apart from Col Sgt Bourne.

Fred Hitch, made reference to the Zulu having British Rifles.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At RD.   Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi Littlehand.
Can you post the source and quote from Hitch regarding the zulu having British Rifles .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:49 pm

Quote :
"Each warrior was carrying a shield with his deadly asssgais in the other hand. Some of them were armed with rifles, recently, taken from our poor comrades who had been ammihilated at Isandlwana, We fired at them in our masses as they advanced, but there was some hesitation. Our shots knocked many of them down, but there were hundreds of them all over the place"

Source: Rorkes Drift. The immortal Anglo-Zulu War.
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90th

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PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At R.D.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:32 am

As Ive previously posted there wasnt any Martini's found among the dead at R.D. Also none of the wounds inflicted on the British Troops were caused by Martini Henry Bullets , this is a fact as there is no such mention In Dugald Blair Brown's book ' Surgical Experiences In The Zulu And Transvaal Wars , 1879 and 1881 ( 1883 ) . Also did Hitch '' actually see '' them or did he assume they had them because of the massacre ? . I havent ever read of Chard or Bromhead stating on record that the Zulu's had used Martini's on the Garrison. Once again , it's the same old story ! . They may , or may not have been there , but one thing which is for certain - is that they played no roll in the battle one way or the other . Julian may have some more info on this subject .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:50 am

Here we go again!!!


Quote :
Also did Hitch '' actually see ''

You could say this about any account, Did Essex, Brickhill, Smith-Dorrient, Stafford, actually see, or we're they just saying what they said as an excuse to leave Isandlwana.

We have quite a few, on here who cast doubt on what's been said, because they have never heard it before, I bet if Julian Whybra had posted the account above by Hitch, no one would doubt it.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:20 am

Impi. I was asked to post the source regarding Hitch mentioning the Zulus having British Rifles. I have done that, even though Hitch is a long standing primary source, there are those who will only use the parts of a primary sources to fit in with what they have said, or written about.

We know the Zulus werent educated in the operation of the sights on the MH, and that the rifles would have been firing far to low to cause any casuties among the British.

Saying that, those soldiers killed by gun shot were buried, I doubt very much that Reynolds would have carried out a autopsy to see what type of bullet, was used.

90th. Perhaps you could help on this one. Are there any accounts of Zulu fire arms being found a Rorkes Drift after the battle. ( The old Brown Bess musket rifle)
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At R.D.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:19 am

Impi .
If Julian had posted it you can rest assured it would be backed up by some more evidence , not merely Hitch's statement , who may have seen MH's , and he may have done so like I said , but only two people say the zulus had MH's ( Bourne being the other in 1938 , I think it was ? ) , and neither of these were the officers which I find a little strange !. I'm not disputing the fact that they MAY have been there , just not enough evidence to say with 100 % certainty they were there and had any bearing in the battle , can you show me that they had an effect ? .
Littlehand
Dont take things so personally , as for Reynolds not having time to do an autopsy .....Please .......I think he would be able to distinguish the wound
difference between the weapons involved ! .
Impi .
I also quoted from a primary source as you put it ! , D.B.Brown doesnt mention any of the soldiers suffering from M.H wounds
at RD. I think he to would be able to tell the difference . Maybe you should read his book .
Littlehand .
I'm not home tonight so cant check any books , fairly certain some old firearms were recovered and they along with the other weapons- broken spears , bayonets etc etc were put into a pit and destroyed by being burnt . From memory 7 or several MH's were recovered from among the zulu dead at Khambula along with some Sniders , not sure of the numbers though . In regard to the zulu's firing to low , I think you'll find their problem with firearms was the opposite ! , they tended to fire to high ! . Neil will be able to help here , happy to be corrected .
Impi .
As Tasker has pointed out Primary sources can be misleading ! , not saying that is the case all the time , but in some cases it may well be . As you also alluded to those you mentioned may have framed their stories so they had an excuse to leave Isandlwana , but seriously , would you expect them to stay when they didnt need to in the first place , the battle was lost .
Have you ever heard of the saying '' Discretion is the better part of Valour '' ? .
90th .



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90th

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PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Dead At RD.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:49 am

Littlehand .
Had a browse through TWOTS by D.R.Morris Page 416 .
'' At 5 O'clock Chard sent a few men out to scout the site . They moved cautiously about the area , collecting firearms and carefully prodding the dead ''.
Before Impi jumps on me again , if any Martini's were found among the zulu bodies I'm sure it would've been mentioned . Like I posted earlier , the MH's may have been there , but there is no evidene to substantiate it beyond reasoanable doubt !.
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:26 pm

The zulus that attacked RD were not involved in the battle at iSandlwana, however, they did come into contact with some of the men fleeing from the massacre, so they MAY have obtained some M-H's when they killed the fugitives, so it is possible that there were some Martini's at RD, but like 90th says, not many.

The film (zulu), misleads people into believing that the zulus got them from the dead at iSandlwana, so yet another myth that has been created by this almost fictional film.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:12 pm

90th. I have named the source, no more than what Julian would have done. I not getting into another debate as to wether or not the primary source i mentioned is true or not true
The Author of the book i mentioned would not have publlished it without doing his research before posting primary accounts. I do-not have the time to look at where the author obtained his sources, so suggest you purchase the book.

As for finding MH rifles at Rd, doubtfull as these would have been picked up and taken away but the remaining zulu's I also doubt that the Zulu used the MH Rifles at close quaters near the barricades.

Quote :
They moved cautiously about the area , collecting firearms and carefully prodding the dead ''.
Why would it have been mentioned?. Speculation on your part.

As for Reynold's why would he want to spend time looking at what type of weapon was used to kill a man. Taking into account the hot climate, i would have thought they would have got the bodies in the ground as soon a possible.

Martin. no one is questioning the amount of MH rifles that may have or may not have been at RD. And we know where they would have got them from:
Quote :
." obtained some M-H's when they killed the fugitives"
Correct.


Quote :
Had a browse through TWOTS by D.R.Morris Page 416 .
'' At 5 O'clock Chard sent a few men out to scout the site . They moved cautiously about the area , collecting firearms and carefully prodding the dead ''.
Before Impi jumps on me again , if any Martini's were found among the zulu bodies I'm sure it would've been mentioned . Like I posted earlier , the MH's may have been there , but there is no evidene to substantiate it beyond reasoanable doubt !.

Who was giving this account.
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90th

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PostSubject: No MH's found among the the zulu dead at Rorkes drift    Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:57 pm

Littlehand .
The book you quote from by Carlos Rocca is hardly illuminating in the annals of the zulu war !! . I have his book on Isandlwana
and noticed a few errors which I put down to lost in translation , I wont buy his RD book as there are many others that are in my humble opinion far better and I'm sure others will agree . The AZW Historical society dont have a review for either of his books which may or may not tell you something . But , hey , each to his own , his books just arent for me . As you say you doubt the zulu would have used the rifles near the barricades ! , if thats the case , how did Hitch see them ? . As I also said read D.B. Brown's book , they would certainly know the differance between a MH wound and Ball wound . The MH had a small entry wound and large exit wound , fairly certain Neil can verify this . Morris is quoting from Chards account . Your other quote '' Doubtful as these would have been picked up by other zulus and taken away '' , seems your speculating as well !. I did say its possible they were there , but what we do know is they didnt have a bearing on the battle . I'm fairly certain it'd be mentioned if they found any Martini's , as this was mentioned after Gingindlovu if I'm not mistaken , and as I posted earlier it certainly warranted a mention after Khambula where it was said they found MH's and Sniders among the zulu dead !.
Cheers 90th.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:22 pm

Good enough to be sold on this site..

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:32 pm

It is difficult to ascertain when most of the cases have become crushed over time if they are MH or Snider as the base plate dimensions are the same, and likewise the primer pockets. So the finding of .577 boxer baseplates are not proof MH were in evidence, or indeed as Martin mentioned where fired in the period the the Army comandeered the mission. That said I have not had the opportunity to inspect any cases reputably to have been found on the Oskerberg.

What I would like to see if they'd actually been fired, which is nearly always apparent even on the most scant peices, as the firing pin indent on the primer is easy to spot. Heres a .577 case from Hlobane,
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So this one had been fired, and I know it was a MH as the strengthening flutes in the side prove the point, however, 10mm less case and I would not be able to confirm.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:42 pm

Quote :
90th. I wont buy his RD book as there are many others that are in my humble opinion far better

Then your not in a position to comment on the book in-question. You views are based on your own opinion, with no foundation.
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PostSubject: MH's at RD   Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:27 pm


Hi Littlehand/90th,
All gunshot wounds show a small entry hole in human flesh , relative to the egress hole.
In the annals it is recorded that during the Zulu attack, accurate rifle fire was being taken into RD from the Oscarberg, and even one casualty resulted from it,.... if I am not mistaken .
Because of the range in that shooting from the Oscarberg (+-250m ) by the Zulu's it would suggest that something better than a muzzle loading powder and ball weapons were being used . I personally have not seen anything in the annals mentioning MH's found there however.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:56 pm

I have give my reason why I think MH rifles were not found at RD.

Although there is little evidence to support the Zulus were using British rifles at RD apart from two accounts mentioned. There is no evidence what so ever to suggest they weren't using British rifles.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:07 pm

The MH may have been fired by the Zulu at RD, but as I mentioned earlier, its impact would have been insignificant.
As 90th points out, and this is telling, we CAN be sure that no British troops at RD were hit by a MH round, because if they had been, the hallmark wounds would have been obvious amongst the RD casualties.
Bourne and Hitch may have heard MHs being fired - I wouldn't doubt their word or ability to recognise its sound. But the small number of Zulu warriors who may have had these, would not have been able to fire them with any competence, hence the total lack of MH casualties amongst the RD defenders.
As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in there towards the middle of either end of the opinion range.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:55 pm

Tasker
As I have written before, Black powder weapons Do sound the same, and I dispute the testimonies. I've been in the butts with all manner of black powder arms comong down range, I can assure you, a Martini, a Snider, a 45/70 or Sharps, there is little noise variance, just a deep "WHUMP!" , not the "crack-whack" of a modern arm.

On the Short Siberia at Bisley, on the 100 yards, if someone is shooting on the 200 at the side of you, again, you can tell the BP shooter, but not what h's shooting.

Martin, the range from the Oskerberg is in excess of 400 yards, (although it had the advantage of elevation) so pointing and shooting of a BP arm will hit the floor well before the aim point unless the firer a) understands the graduations of the whitworth sight, or B) as The majority of gunshot wounds was on the opposite wall, which suggests overshoots,



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24th

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:15 pm

Can we really believe that of the 4000 + Zulus that when to Jim's place, not one had a Martinti Henry rifle.
What would we expect the defenders of all ranks to record officially that the Zulus were using MH rifles. No doub't everyone would have expected them to have them. The RD defenders weren't aware that the Zulus that attacked them, hadn't fought at Isandlwana. There was a lot of killing on the trail, so quite a few rifles, plus those that had been disgarded to lighten the weight of those fleeing.

Didn't Mike Snook find some cartridges in the cave on the Oscarberg?
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90th

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PostSubject: No MH Rifles found among the zulu dead at Rorkes Drift    Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:12 am

Littlehand .
You conveniently left out part of my post regarding Rocca's book ! you write '' Then your not in a position to comment on the book in question , your views are based on your opinion without foundation '' . I have his book on Isandlwana and there are mistakes / errors ! , why would I buy the other ?? . So therefore I do have some foundation and a valid opinion which can be heeded to by others or not , its up to them . Also the other books I have give me scope for foundation and opinions , no evidence ever , has been forthcomning showing that the Martini was used at RD ( by the zulus ) . 24th has a valid point in where he states the defenders at R.D didnt know the zulus attacking them hadnt fought at Isandlwana , Hitch and Bourne's statements therefore , may have been made by assumption , they thought these zulus had come from Isandlwana . L'hand you yourself stated you doubted the MH would be used near the barricades , if you want to tow that line , Hitch wouldnt have seen them would he ? . As for your other point that the Martini's were carried off by other zulus , I doubt any zulu
would be stopping to bend down and pick one up with the defenders firing at such a rapid rate , they are extremly unwieldly and difficult to control I'd think when attempting to run quickly over broken country , seems like a death sentence attempting to pick one up when your withdrawing from a withering fire . Dont forget I did say that MH'S may have been there , but there wasnt any Battlefield evidence to back this up .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:36 am

If the zulus had any Martini Henry rifels at RD, then where did they get the ammo from?

Any infantry men fleeing the massacre would at best only have the odd round or two, and they would have used those trying to ward off attackers, and many rifles would have been dropped when out of ammo, what would be the point carrying a rifle with no ammo? They were trying to escape so they wouldn't want to be lumbered by carrying a heavy rifle, and if any zulus picked them up what would they use for ammo?

The zulus that attacked RD didn't go near the camp at iSandlwana so they couldn't have got any ammo from there.

As 90th rightly points out, Hitch and Bourne may well have assumed that they had Martini's, as they didn't know that the zulus attacking them were not at iSandlwana, therefor in their minds, any rifles being used against them would have been assumed to have been Martini's taken from iSandlwana.

If the zulus did have any Martini's, then the ammo question needs addressing.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:04 pm

Good point, but we will never know just how much ammunition was found by the zulus on the trail. We know some men just dumped everything they had, and also pack mules made off the same way as those leaving.

Quote :
what would be the point carrying a rifle with no ammo?
There woundn't be no point, so it adds weight to the fact they did have ammuntion,
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:54 pm

impi wrote:
Good point, but we will never know just how much ammunition was found by the zulus on the trail. We know some men just dumped everything they had, and also pack mules made off the same way as those leaving.

Quote :
what would be the point carrying a rifle with no ammo?
There woundn't be no point, so it adds weight to the fact they did have ammuntion,

Also, captured arms make great trophies to show off to your mates. I also read somewhere that soldiers stuffed their webbing pouches and pockets with as much ammo as they could carry. When retrieving a cartridge or two, many more cartridges would have spilled out of their bulging pouches. Many fugitives would have been cut down by Zulus, MHs, bulging pouches and all.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:59 pm

Like LH says there evidence to suggest they did have British Rifles. But there's none to suggest they didn't.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:07 pm

Dave wrote:
Like LH says there evidence to suggest they did have British Rifles. But there's none to suggest they didn't.

Quite right.
So at a time like this, we need to do what the FA committee did in the John Terry case and make a judgement on the "balance of probablities" as opposed to a Crown Court where evidence has to be proved "beyond any reasonable doubt."
On the balance of probabilities, in my opinion, I think it is highly likely that a small number of MHs were used by Zulus at RD. Does it matter, is it significant in any way? No.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:11 pm

Neil Aspinshaw wrote:
Tasker
As I have written before, Black powder weapons Do sound the same, and I dispute the testimonies. I've been in the butts with all manner of black powder arms comong down range, I can assure you, a Martini, a Snider, a 45/70 or Sharps, there is little noise variance, just a deep "WHUMP!" , not the "crack-whack" of a modern arm.

On the Short Siberia at Bisley, on the 100 yards, if someone is shooting on the 200 at the side of you, again, you can tell the BP shooter, but not what h's shooting.

Martin, the range from the Oskerberg is in excess of 400 yards, (although it had the advantage of elevation) so pointing and shooting of a BP arm will hit the floor well before the aim point unless the firer a) understands the graduations of the whitworth sight, or B) as The majority of gunshot wounds was on the opposite wall, which suggests overshoots,




Thanks for this Neil, this really hadn't occurred to me. Very interesting stuff. I had assumed that the MH would have made 2 reports, as opposed to the lesser weapons the Zulus may have carried.
Does a MH round not travel faster than sound then? Or is it the sheer mass of the lead that gives it its devastating punch?
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:16 pm

There were reports that there was continous fire from the Zulu's, I don't see how they could maintain continous fire with muskets. But I can if those on the Oskerberg had MH rifles.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:21 pm

Dave wrote:
There were reports that there was continous fire from the Zulu's, I don't see how they could maintain continous fire with muskets. But I can if those on the Oskerberg had MH rifles.

I think the Zulus had Sniders and other weaponary more modern than muskets alone. Also, with so many Zulu warriors firing, even muskets, the sound of firing woiuld have sounded pretty "continuous" from the point of view of a soldier cowering behind the mealie bags.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:25 pm

The account referred to the Zulu on the Oskerberg. First I have heard about the snider, good point though.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:14 pm

Tasker
No, MV is 1350 feet per second.
Dave
Even 60 men, firing one round per minute, is a shot every second!, even with a simple smoothbore muzzle loader

The first recorded evidence of Zulu firearms is that of Woodgate from Khambula, which proves modern breechloaders were in short supply, despite a large quantity potentially available from Isandlwana.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:59 pm

What some people are forgetting is (as I mentioned earlier), that the zulus that attacked RD were not at iSandlwana, so they could not have got any M-H's or any ammo there.

The zulus that attacked RD were the following regiments, uThulwana, iNdlondlo, uDloko and the iNdluyengenwe, of which only the iNdluyengenwe broke away from the other regiments to attack the fugitives at the Mzinyathi. How many (if any) infantrymen would have made it that far? most would have been killed along fugitives trail, and if any others survived, they would most likely have been killed along with Lt Anstey before they could even cross the Manzimyana, let alone get to the Mzinyathi.

The troops that the iNdluyengwe attacked at the Mzinyathi would have been mounted men, and did the mounted men not have Swinburns?

It is highly unlikely that there were any Martini Henry rifles used by the zulus at RD, but I suppose that it can't be ruled out completely, however, if there were any M-H's, where did the iNdluyengwe get the ammo for them?
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:02 am

Hi Neil.

I think you may be getting me mixed up with another poster scratch

I have not mentioned the Oskerberg in my other posts. :lol:

The M-H is coming on well now, I have taken my time with it, and it should look great when I finally get it finished.

By the way Neil, did you ever find the stock lever cup, or come accross any yataghans?

Best regards mate.

Martin. Salute

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