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 Isandlwana and hindsight

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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:47 pm

kopie wrote:
If the Allies had lost control of their army on the first day of the battle of the Somme as just one example, perhaps they'd have been a little more successful on that first day?
I'm not sure your analogy holds up too well. My guess is that if the Germans had been without modern artillery, machine guns and aircraft, and been outnumbered 20:1, the Brits may have fared well enough on the Somme...irrespective of how much command and control Haig (or whatever donkey was in command) exerted. O.T. though...
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:58 pm

Kopie
When you speak of evidence, it is necessary to be careful, because it cuts both ways.
You wrote:
"Clearly, Raw came upon the Zulu army as it was about to commence its attack."
Your use of the persuader word "clearly" flies in the face of evidence from the Zulus themselves who state that they were NOT about to commence an attack.  Name me one Zulu source which says they were about to attack.  You won't be able to.
You wrote:
"During the battle, each and every Zulu regiment knew its role, knew where to be and when, where to go"
Zulu evidence says the contrary with regiments getting mixed up, the centre becoming the right, the right becoming the centre, part of the uNdi detaching itself and ending up on the extreme left.  Name me one Zulu source which says that the impi attacked in the originally-intended formation.  You won't be able to.
It might be argued that it was the overwhelming numbers and the voracious Zulu onslaught - that very "losing control" - which won the Zulu the day.  It was the bludgeoning 'blunt instrument' of the horns of the bull attack and, my word, the poor Zulus paid dearly for it.
I'm all for giving the Zulu their due.  On the day of the battle they were more than a match for the British.  But I'm not in favour of giving more than their due, of ascribing to the Zulus a military competence and use of tactics which was not present.
The Somme analogy does not work and is not usefully-employed here - but I don't think you seriously meant it, did you?
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana and Hindsight    Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:13 pm

Kopie
It escapes me which of the zulu commanders actually stated that when Raw appeared and possibly after they fired , the impi rose to attack them ! , the zulu leader then states they had a hard time trying to restrain them ! . I agree with Julian that you wont find in anybook , or anywhere for that matter , that the zulu army was in their assigned positions and about to attack ! , the evidence doesnt exist to back up your theory . The crux of the battle being the 20 / 1 odds , much to great for the British to handle with the tactics they'd deemed fit to use . I'm also for giving the zulu army their dues , but they had many things go their way which more than contributed to them winning the day , least of all being an army massing 20 K+ Verses 1700 , not forgetting only about 800 or so were Imperial Troops .
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:41 pm

90th, Julian, you are starting to convince me and cause me to rethink some of my theories - but not all, I hasten to add!
What I would be really be very interested in reading, is some of those "Zulu sources" that the 2 of you speak about, but haven't referenced.
The only books I seem ot be able to purchase, are those written by European authors, based on the evidence that Chelmsford left for us to peruse.
Can either of you recommend a book, where I could read these Zulu commanders' statements for myself? And I would like to read the accounts written by Zulus in the years after the war, not those extracted under duress in the aftermath of their eventual defeat.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:08 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Kopie
When you speak of evidence, it is necessary to be careful, because it cuts both ways.
You wrote:
"Clearly, Raw came upon the Zulu army as it was about to commence its attack."
Your use of the persuader word "clearly" flies in the face of evidence from the Zulus themselves who state that they were NOT about to commence an attack.  Name me one Zulu source which says they were about to attack.  You won't be able to.
You wrote:
"During the battle, each and every Zulu regiment knew its role, knew where to be and when, where to go"
Zulu evidence says the contrary with regiments getting mixed up, the centre becoming the right, the right becoming the centre, part of the uNdi detaching itself and ending up on the extreme left.  Name me one Zulu source which says that the impi attacked in the originally-intended formation.  You won't be able to.
It might be argued that it was the overwhelming numbers and the voracious Zulu onslaught - that very "losing control" - which won the Zulu the day.  It was the bludgeoning 'blunt instrument' of the horns of the bull attack and, my word, the poor Zulus paid dearly for it.
I'm all for giving the Zulu their due.  On the day of the battle they were more than a match for the British.  But I'm not in favour of giving more than their due, of ascribing to the Zulus a military competence and use of tactics which was not present.
The Somme analogy does not work and is not usefully-employed here - but I don't think you seriously meant it, did you?

"Mehlokazulu’s Second Interrogation Report:

 He [referring to Cetshwayo] then gave Tsingwayo orders to use his own discretion and attack the English wherever he thought proper [Indicating clearly that Ntsingwayo was at liberty to attack as and when he thought fit] and if he beat them he was to cross the Buffalo River and advance on Pietermaritzburg, devastating the whole country and to return with the spoil.  I caught up with the Zulu Army at the bottom of the Ngutu Mountains, about eight miles from Isandhlwana, where they had encamped. We learnt from our scouts that the English were encamped at Isandhlwana, but did not know that the army had been divided, as we did not send spies into their camp. 

We need to know that Mehlokazulu was not himself privy to all the tactical information received by the Zulu battle commanders. He is also referring to the position of the amabutho by onset of darkness 21st January and not the very different situation that became clear on the early morning of the 22nd.
We slept that night at the above-mentioned place. In the morning Tsingwayo called me and said. ‘ Go with three other indunas and see what the English are doing.’ 

I called the indunas and started off at a good pace. We were all mounted. When we got to the range of hills looking on to Isandhlwana, we could see the English outposts [mounted men] quite close to us, and could also see the position of their camp. The outposts evidently saw us, for they commenced to move about, and there seemed to be a bustle in the camp, as some were inspanning the wagons, and others were getting in the oxen. We immediately went back, and I reported to our commander Tsingwayo, who said, ‘All right, we will see what they are going to do. I went away and had something to eat, as I had no food that morning. Presently I heard Tsingwayo give orders for the Tulwana and Ngyaza regiments to assemble. When they had done so he gave orders for the others to assemble and advance in the direction of the English camp. We were fired on first by the mounted men, who checked our advance for some little time.” 
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:11 pm

Note in the above, Tsingwayo gives the order to advance. Prior to them being fired upon, by "Raw"
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:17 pm

Now let's see what Julian has to say about that, littlehand?

Hopefully he can enlighten us. What I would like to know is, what is the difference between Mehlokazulu's first interrogation statement, and his 2nd?

I am liable to treat any statement taken by the Brits in the immediate aftermath of the conflict with suspicion; so what were the circumstances of the 1st and 2nd statements?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:23 pm

Being the 2nd interview, perhaps he had time to reflect, on the events. It's primary anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:27 pm

kopie, the james stuart archive.
he interviewed the Zulu and wrote
down their oral testimony from the
earliest times up to the Bhambata
Rebellion.. 5 vols, but not cheap.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:35 pm

kopie wrote:
What I would like to know is, what is the difference between Mehlokazulu's first interrogation statement, and his 2nd?
That is a good question. And Mehlokazulu's second statement does tend to mitigate against Raw & Co. being the first contact. Most interesting is the idea that certain age regiments were "assembled" prior to the attack beginning...but in this Mehlokazulu contradicts himself...or more likely the translations have erased nuances in the way he expressed himself. I wonder if there were two different translators?

I can well believe the British camp was under observation for a long time prior to the attack, but that's a long distance from bolstering some of your more reaching points kopie.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:56 pm

The source hasn't appeared in my first interview post ?
Anyway the source is from TMFH.

Is an overview from L&Q.

"Most contemporary Zulu witness reports tend to be selectively compiled. We are therefore not provided with any sequence of Question and Answer that may enable us to form an independent view. The interrogator recording key points often packaged the report in a manner designed to ease the task of the military reader that, in some instances, obscured a clear meaning. Instances occurred whereby the prisoner quoted ‘Lord Chelmsford’ by name, being obviously guided by the interrogator. Very few high-ranking commanders were formally questioned, the exception being Mehlokazulu, son of Sihayo and one of the commanders of the Ngobamakhosi Regiment. There are two recorded interrogations of Mehlokazulu that differ substantially. The first took place at the time Mehlokazulu was expecting to be found guilty of a capital offence. He was under the threat of capital punishment and was not to know that circumstances would turn out very differently for him and it is reasonable to consider that he was experiencing a degree of anxiety that probably limited the extent to which he commented in this first interview. Here he confirmed that there was no intent to fight on the 22nd     
 He further confirmed that his part in the attack began when three mounted troops- black and white – attacked us first"
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:11 pm

littlehand wrote:
Julian Whybra wrote:
Kopie
When you speak of evidence, it is necessary to be careful, because it cuts both ways.
You wrote:
"Clearly, Raw came upon the Zulu army as it was about to commence its attack."
Your use of the persuader word "clearly" flies in the face of evidence from the Zulus themselves who state that they were NOT about to commence an attack.  Name me one Zulu source which says they were about to attack.  You won't be able to.
You wrote:
"During the battle, each and every Zulu regiment knew its role, knew where to be and when, where to go"
Zulu evidence says the contrary with regiments getting mixed up, the centre becoming the right, the right becoming the centre, part of the uNdi detaching itself and ending up on the extreme left.  Name me one Zulu source which says that the impi attacked in the originally-intended formation.  You won't be able to.
It might be argued that it was the overwhelming numbers and the voracious Zulu onslaught - that very "losing control" - which won the Zulu the day.  It was the bludgeoning 'blunt instrument' of the horns of the bull attack and, my word, the poor Zulus paid dearly for it.
I'm all for giving the Zulu their due.  On the day of the battle they were more than a match for the British.  But I'm not in favour of giving more than their due, of ascribing to the Zulus a military competence and use of tactics which was not present.
The Somme analogy does not work and is not usefully-employed here - but I don't think you seriously meant it, did you?
"Mehlokazulu’s Second Interrogation Report:

 He [referring to Cetshwayo] then gave Tsingwayo orders to use his own discretion and attack the English wherever he thought proper [Indicating clearly that Ntsingwayo was at liberty to attack as and when he thought fit] and if he beat them he was to cross the Buffalo River and advance on Pietermaritzburg, devastating the whole country and to return with the spoil.  I caught up with the Zulu Army at the bottom of the Ngutu Mountains, about eight miles from Isandhlwana, where they had encamped. We learnt from our scouts that the English were encamped at Isandhlwana, but did not know that the army had been divided, as we did not send spies into their camp. 

We need to know that Mehlokazulu was not himself privy to all the tactical information received by the Zulu battle commanders. He is also referring to the position of the amabutho by onset of darkness 21st January and not the very different situation that became clear on the early morning of the 22nd.
We slept that night at the above-mentioned place. In the morning Tsingwayo called me and said. ‘ Go with three other indunas and see what the English are doing.’ 

I called the indunas and started off at a good pace. We were all mounted. When we got to the range of hills looking on to Isandhlwana, we could see the English outposts [mounted men] quite close to us, and could also see the position of their camp. The outposts evidently saw us, for they commenced to move about, and there seemed to be a bustle in the camp, as some were inspanning the wagons, and others were getting in the oxen. We immediately went back, and I reported to our commander Tsingwayo, who said, ‘All right, we will see what they are going to do. I went away and had something to eat, as I had no food that morning. Presently I heard Tsingwayo give orders for the Tulwana and Ngyaza regiments to assemble. When they had done so he gave orders for the others to assemble and advance in the direction of the English camp. We were fired on first by the mounted men, who checked our advance for some little time.” 
But he states they were fire on first.Question 
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:26 pm

Good point CTSG. However, why did they fire, " To check the advance of the Zulus " who by the way were advancing towards the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:59 am

Some good points being made here, but don't forget that the zulu's had been observed making movements around the area since the early hours. It would appear that they began these movements not all that long after LC had left the camp. Therefor would these movements not go a long way in showing that the zulu's had spotted their opportunity and had decided to start getting into a position to begin an attack on the camp? Dartnell is away at Mangeni, LC is on his way to join him, the camp is un-laagered, Pulleine is at a loss about all these reports, many of the zulu's that were at Mangeni have now moved to join the main impi near the camp, however, they leave a small skirmishing group behind to distract Dartnell, and now LC is also on his way to join Dartnell leaving the camp un-laagered, surely this golden opportunity to attack the camp cannot be refused. Raw may well have disturbed a very large group of them, but the zulu's have been moving about for quite a few hours, so many of them must have been almost ready and assembled in their attacking positions, but no doubt others would be waiting for further orders. When Raw disturbed them it appears (according to Ntsingwayo), that they were getting assembled in their positions, and that some of them had been ordered to advance. So all in all it would appear that they had seen their opportunity and were about to take it when Raw disturbed them. Even their left horn was well on its way and had been spotted and reported to Durnford, who was told of a large body of zulu's heading in the direction of LC, however, it wasn't known at the time that this was the left horn. I feel that all these movements point to the zulu's planning to attack on the 22nd rather than the 23rd, and that this re-planning was a result of Dartnell being at Mangeni and LC leaving the un-laagered camp to join him, they simply saw their chance and took it.
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:30 am

Thanks for the sources littlehand.
Clearly then, as I suspected, Mehlokazulu's first statement was made under duress. He was fighting for his life. It can not be trusted.
His second fits in much more with what actually happened next, not just at iSandlwana, but also on the 22nd, the same day that Pearson's column was attacked at iNyezane. The Zulu forces at both battles were happy to over rule the moon and attack on the 22nd. It may have been coincidence that BOTH commanders decided to go against the moon's omens and attack a day early. It may also be that the attacks were planned simultaneously for the 22nd, not the 23rd.
My opinion is both attacks were planned for the 22nd, not the 23rd - new moon or no new moon!
It was Cetshwayo and/or his commanders who called the shots; not the moon!
(I have always thought this moon thing was pure BS on the part of the Zulus - when your lands are being invaded, you attack when the opportunity arises, to hell with the moon!)
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:23 am

littlehand
This is the only testimony, even in translation, which might be construed to shed the light on the subject which you might desire. The important point to note is that Ntshingwayo ordered two regts to move forward, to advance, NOT to attack. [The whole impi would have been ordered to ATTACK. Two regts are ordered to manoeuvre into their appropriate positions relative to the other regts in preparation for the attack on the 23rd.] Whenever a seemingly controversial account exists which contains ambiguities, a historian will alweays compare it to other contemporary accounts dealing with the same event for endorsement or clarification - what exactly was it intended to convey. There is no other Zulu account which gives the slant to Mehlokazulu's words which you read into it.

While the two regts were manoeuvring, Raw came upon them and events took over.

Kopie
I'll reply over the weekend with the references you want. I'm working away today and will be back late this evening. I don't carry the precise refs around with me!
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:01 am

Julian Whybra wrote:

This is the only testimony, even in translation, which might be construed to shed the light on the subject which you might desire.  The important point to note is that Ntshingwayo ordered two regts to move forward, to advance, NOT to attack.  [The whole impi would have been ordered to ATTACK.   There is no other Zulu account which gives the slant to Mehlokazulu's words which you read into it.
   
While the two regts were manoeuvring, Raw came upon them and events took over.

Kopie
I'll reply over the weekend with the references you want.  I'm working away today and will be back late this evening.  I don't carry the precise refs around with me!
Thanks Julian.
Julian, in one sentence you recognise that nuances can get lost in translation, in the next you are splitting hairs between words such as "advance" and "attack."
I do not speak kwaZulu, but surely, these kinds of subtleties can be lost in translation.
Ntshingwaya had already ordered 2 regts to move forward by the time Mehlokazulu reports the appearance of Raw, he was, I am guessing, about to order the 3rd and 4th to do so also by the time Raw showed up. How many regiments were there?
I have seen nothing to persuade me that the Zulus were not advancing to attack, perhaps later on the 22nd, other than Mehlokazulu's first statement which was clearly made under duress, and the dodgy moon theory, which was subsequently ignored by the rank and file at iSandlwana, AND, by those at iNyezane.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:56 pm

Kopie
I've got back earlier than expected and have looked up the Zulu sources, as promised, which relate to the formation of the impi as it attacked and getting mixed up.  I'd rather get back to you while the subject is 'hot' so to speak.
They are Uguku (Colenso and Durnford p. 345); Mehlokazulu (RE Journal a/c); Umbonambi warrior (Mitford p. 89).
In addition it is necessary to look at the accounts from warriors in the regiments named by Mehlokazulu as having been ordered to advance to see exactly what they were doing, viz. uThulwana warrior (Mitford and uDhloko warrior (Mitford).
The difference between advance and attack, even in Zulu, is not splitting hairs and being ordered to do one is certainly not in expectation of the other.  There is no subtlety in translation here.  Neither would Ntshingeayo order just two (out of thirteen regiments) to ATTACK.  The attack order would be a simultaneous one.  
Mehlokazulu was not involved in any of these movement orders - he was not in one of the involved regiments and he was not a party to the decision-making or its reasoning.
There is not one Zulu account that states it was intended to attack on the 22nd - in fact on the other hand there are several that go out of their way to point out that it was scheduled for the 23rd.
Of course you are entitled to have whatever opinions you like about the intended day of attack but they can only become historically valid if there is evidence to back them up otherwise they are simply without foundation.  The evidence without exception all points only one way - which is why Lock and Quantrill have taken so much stick over their theory and their refusal to countenance the inclusion of Zulu testimony in its formulation (uncomprehensible in my opinion).
All good historians take on board new evidence and I am always prepared to consider the relevance of new material and to change my mind as a result but L&Q have nothing of this sort. Speculation is fun but it's not history.
That's all for now as I'm in a hell of a rush.
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:46 pm

Julian, thank you for your time in this. I will need to mull this over for a while and read for myself some of the authors you and springbok have suggested.

I appreciate the attack was originally planned for the 23rd but I still believe and have read nothing to the contrary, that the situation, and hence the plans, CHANGED as obvious opportunities opened up.
The advancing of the regiments to position X must have been forming up for attack on the 22nd. Why wait? Why would they have waited another 24 hours?
Answers to me on a post card please, but no references to moon, lunar etc allowed, unless you can explain why the Zulus who attacked at iNyezane were not bothered by it.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:07 pm

Julian, you cannot be serious. Attack, Advance. I admire your work. But just sometimes it would be nice if you was to hold up your hands and say yes that is an option.

You told Kopie he woundn't find a source, that show the Zulu were going to attack the camp. I post one.
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:21 pm

Go littlehand!

It does seem to me that the message is often that if it aint written down in a book somewhere, then it didn't happen.

And the main disagreements about events are based around the interpretation of particular words. More free-thinkers and fewer barrack-room lawyers please.

My uncle was in 2 Para and he served in NI and in the Malvinas. He often talks about how they used to TAB (Tactical Advance to Battle).
When 2 Para TABbed through the night and morning to Goose Green, when they arrived there, they didn't sit on their hands for 24 hours. They got straight on with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:56 pm

People read as to make it fit with their chain of events. Not how it was meant to be read, but the original author.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:56 pm

Little hand
But that's my point, you didn't post one.  You posted an account in which a Zulu referred to Ntshingwayo ordering two regiments to move forward.  That was all.  The Zulu wasn't from those two regiments.  Of course I'm serious.  I deal only with the realities of the situation - they are after all, all we have to go on.  History is not logical.  What happens is not what should happen.  Often it's what should not happen.
The attack DID happen on the 22nd - but only because it was pre-empted.  The attack was scheduled for the 23rd - most likely because Cetshwayo wanted to ensure his warriors were rested thoroughly before the attack and all the requisite ceremonies were performed.  All the Zulu accounts which speak of the day of the attack say it was destined for the 23rd.  However much one may wish they didn't, unfortunately they do.
I am fully prepared, as I've said, to countenance a 'planned' attack for the 23rd - but where is the evidence for it.  L&Q couldn't come up with it - and it's THEIR theory!!!  Can you?

And your last post cuts both ways!


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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:57 pm

what Julian wrote is quite correct.he researches
meticulously and when required produces often
primary source material, as for me..the attack
went off half cocked, they recovered, and then
massacred every living thing in that camp, it
makes me laugh/ cry, what did the british/ local's
do,they died! end of!

i note the young blood's moving in and pushing our
old fart views aside, but remember..you cant re-
write history, your not a capitalist, imperial,country.
so your not powerful enough, but, on the other hand,l
fresh thinking is always good, but fact's, or better
still fresh primary source material would be even better.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:12 pm

There lays the problem, Historians try to re-write history, even when it's as plain a day. Why would the Zulu be told to advance on the camp. What possible reason would there be other than to destroy it, and those within. They were ordered to push the Whiteman back to natal.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:20 pm

To get the respective regiments into their required position in the horns-chest-loins. They were all mixed up in the Ngewbeni whilst waiting.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:29 pm

It matters not about the formation, whoever they were they we're told to advance on the camp.

Why would they advance on the camp, carrying Shields and Spears & firearms.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:53 pm

Littlehand
No-one is re-writing history here.  'History' records that the attack was scheduled for the 23rd.  In this case it is actually you (L&Q) who is (are) attempting to do the 're-writing' by suggesting it was scheduled for the 22nd!

Impi
If you don't understand why the formation is important, then you don't know enough to add anything constructive to this discussion.  Each regiment had to be in its allotted position for the attack to commence simultaneously, for the attack to develop into its classic bull's horns formation, and for each regiment to be in its allotted place in the encirclement to ensure there were no gaps.  They didn't just all rush forward in a heap and hope they ended up in the right place!!  Manoeuvring into the 'start' position with all equipment was a necessary preliminary to the attack as intended.  This took time.
If Ntshingwayo was about to commence an all-out attack he wouldn't begin it by ordering just two regiments into the attack - the whole thing would be out of synch.
And they WEREN'T told to advance on the camp!  Read the primary source (on the assumption that you now know what one is).


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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:19 pm

And remember, the commander's trying
to keep the reserve together,making
them sit with their backs to the action!
as i said it went off half cocked, and it
is truly remarkable that the regiments
finally managed to shak(a)e out into
the horns of the buffalo..i believe that
there is no primary evidence the Zulu
intended to attack on the 22nd, but
that they did, IS what happened!.
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PostSubject: Isandlwana & Hindsight    Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:46 pm

For what its worth , the fact of the matter is that Julian is correct , the attack was to be at dawn on the 23rd !.
Allowing the impi to be rested and doctored for the attack . An opportunity arose they took it .
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:11 pm

"For what its worth". says 90th.

Your opinion, i know. is highly
valued. i listen to what you say.
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PostSubject: Isandlwana & Hindsight    Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:50 pm

Kopie please dont confuse the tactics at Goose green with those at Isandlwana as used by the zulu ! Shocked 
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:10 am

90th wrote:
Kopie please dont confuse the tactics at Goose green with those at Isandlwana as used by the zulu ! Shocked 
90th
Yes, one of the things I note about many people reading history today is that they have a very difficult time imagining the uncertainties in a world lit primarily by campfires or torches after dark. Situations tend to be seem more ambiguous even today in the sudden absence of radio communications and GPS -- think if they had never existed. Likewise, I know I'm dealing with a "newbie" or someone deficient in historical imagination when they employ the word "must" a lot. When I find myself becoming that adamant I try to remind myself that we are dealing with probabilities...at best.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:54 am

Please, please, please, it is not I who is correct. It is serious historians from Coupland to Jackson, Knight to Laband, Clarke to Thompson. I am simply re-stating the accepted position which has not shifted in the light of research or new evidence.
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PostSubject: Isandlwana and Hindsight    Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:16 am

Agreed Julian , you are all correct from what I've read over the years .
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:46 am

90th wrote:
Agreed Julian , you are all correct from what I've read over the years .
90th
Totally agree 90th. Julian is correct, admin could this topic be locked.
We are so lucky to have Julan on this forum. agree  I bet the RDVC miss him so much!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:53 am

Wonderful sarcasm, as usual attack the man not the content.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:22 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
Kopie
When you speak of evidence, it is necessary to be careful, because it cuts both ways.
You wrote:
"Clearly, Raw came upon the Zulu army as it was about to commence its attack."
Your use of the persuader word "clearly" flies in the face of evidence from the Zulus themselves who state that they were NOT about to commence an attack.  Name me one Zulu source which says they were about to attack.  You won't be able to.
You wrote:
"During the battle, each and every Zulu regiment knew its role, knew where to be and when, where to go"
Zulu evidence says the contrary with regiments getting mixed up, the centre becoming the right, the right becoming the centre, part of the uNdi detaching itself and ending up on the extreme left.  Name me one Zulu source which says that the impi attacked in the originally-intended formation.  You won't be able to.
It might be argued that it was the overwhelming numbers and the voracious Zulu onslaught - that very "losing control" - which won the Zulu the day.  It was the bludgeoning 'blunt instrument' of the horns of the bull attack and, my word, the poor Zulus paid dearly for it.
I'm all for giving the Zulu their due.  On the day of the battle they were more than a match for the British.  But I'm not in favour of giving more than their due, of ascribing to the Zulus a military competence and use of tactics which was not present.
The Somme analogy does not work and is not usefully-employed here - but I don't think you seriously meant it, did you?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:28 am

Littlehand wrote:


"Mehlokazulu’s Second Interrogation Report:

 He [referring to Cetshwayo] then gave Tsingwayo orders to use his own discretion and attack the English wherever he thought proper [Indicating clearly that Ntsingwayo was at liberty to attack as and when he thought fit] and if he beat them he was to cross the Buffalo River and advance on Pietermaritzburg, devastating the whole country and to return with the spoil.  I caught up with the Zulu Army at the bottom of the Ngutu Mountains, about eight miles from Isandhlwana, where they had encamped. We learnt from our scouts that the English were encamped at Isandhlwana, but did not know that the army had been divided, as we did not send spies into their camp. 

We need to know that Mehlokazulu was not himself privy to all the tactical information received by the Zulu battle commanders. He is also referring to the position of the amabutho by onset of darkness 21st January and not the very different situation that became clear on the early morning of the 22nd. 
We slept that night at the above-mentioned place. In the morning Tsingwayo called me and said. ‘ Go with three other indunas and see what the English are doing.’ 

I called the indunas and started off at a good pace. We were all mounted. When we got to the range of hills looking on to Isandhlwana, we could see the English outposts [mounted men] quite close to us, and could also see the position of their camp. The outposts evidently saw us, for they commenced to move about, and there seemed to be a bustle in the camp, as some were inspanning the wagons, and others were getting in the oxen. We immediately went back, and I reported to our commander Tsingwayo, who said, ‘All right, we will see what they are going to do. I went away and had something to eat, as I had no food that morning. Presently I heard Tsingwayo give orders for the Tulwana and Ngyaza regiments to assemble. When they had done so he gave orders for the others to assemble and advance in the direction of the English camp. We were fired on first by the mounted men, who checked our advance for some little time.” 
I have taken ths discussion back to where it made sense, before the twisting of words and facts.
Julian asked Kopie to show one Zulu source that showed the Zulus were about to attack.
The second post by LH did just that. A Zulu source.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:04 am

impi
With respect, the primary source he posted does not say they are about to attack. It says two regiments are to move forward. When dealing with primary sources one has to treat them as they are, not as one would wish them to be.
Would you like me to remind you what a primary source is again so you are fully informed?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:37 am

So the question seems to be the word Advance as opposed to Attack.
If I read this statement in conjunction with other source material:
NAM, 6807-386-8-14 Hamer
They disappeared over a ridge, and on coming up we saw the Zulus like Ants, in front of us, in perfect order as quiet as mice and stretched across in an even line.

TNA (PRO), WO 33/34, inclusure 2 in no91 Nyanda 25th January
,the army of Zulus sprang up.

KCAL, Symons Papers, MS 1072 Mhoti
.....some mounted natives from the camp rode up the mountain on which we stood and opened fire and the battle began.
However as I said, the Natal Natives fired upon our impi and our men could not be restrained from attacking them and our whole force advanced towards the camp.

FEC p410-413 Uguku
It was our intention to have rested for a day in the valley where we arrived the night before the battle, but having on the morning of the battle heard firing of the English advance guard who had engaged Matshans men and it being reported that the Ngobamakosi were engaged, we went up from the valley to the top of the Ingqutu, which was between us and the camp: we found that the Ngobamakosi were not engaged, but were quietly encamped lower down the valley. We saw a body of horse coming up the hill towards us from iSandlwana side. We opened fire on them, and then the whole of the army rose and came up the hill.

TNA (PRO), WO 33/34, inclosure 2 in No80 Nokhenke Warrior
, we were sitting resting when firing was heard on our right, which we first imagined was the Ngobamakosi engaged and we armed and ran forward in the direction of the sound. We were however soon told that it was the white troops fighting with Matyanas people some ten miles away to our left front and returned to our original position. Just after that we had sat down again when a small herd of cattle came past our line from our right, being driven by some of our scouts, and just when they were opposite the uMcijo regiment a body of men on the hill to the West, galloping, evidently trying to cut them of. When several hundred yards away they saw the uMcijo and dismounting fired one volley at them then retired. The uMcijo at once jumped up and charged. an example that was taken up by the Nokenke and Nodwengu on their right and the Ngomamakosi and Mbonambi on the left.

This statement goes on to describe the disorganisation of the regiments as in: the original Zulu left became their extreme right while their right became the centre and the centre the left.

Five separate references that encompass the Umcitjo, Nokhenke and oNqakamatshe plus two European officers and one from the senior NCO of Roberts troop.

One additional from Raw himself
TNA (PRO), WO 33/34 Inclosure 1 in No91
......the whole army showing itself from behind the hill in front where they had evidently been waiting.

Not a semblance of suggestion the impi was attacking prior to Raws discovery. I would believe that the regiments were in the Ngwebini valley the night before, that's self evident from the statements and were redeployed forward to position X AFTER the report from Mehlokazulu on the situation in the camp. It was at position X that the regiments WAITING for the final shuffling to get them in order were discovered. I am pretty sure as well that once that order had been established the impi would have attacked the camp. I cant see them being pulled from the really well concealed Ngwebini to the less well hidden Position X.
As a further pointer to that belief is the timing of a portion of the Left Horn attacking Durnford. To get to that point they must have been well forward of Ngwebini, and that indicates the attack was pretty close to imminent. Raws discovery probably started the battle an hour early.

Cheers

Salute 

Cheers Salute 



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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:57 am

Thank you springbok.
I was in the process of compiling a quotations list myself but have been so busy I haven't had time to finish it. You not only posted it but added to what was in mine.

As an addendum the uThulwana and Udhloko warriors from Mitford (i.e. men from the two regiments to which Mehlokazulu makes reference) say nothing whatsoever about being ordered to the attack. Well, they wouldn't, would they; they were in the loins and didn't take part in it. They would nevertheless have to get into (advance) into the loins' position in the line of battle.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:12 am

I didn't bother with the uThulwana source, he had nothing to assist. The other from the Umbonambi does again state that: " We were lying in the hills.........then the whole impi became very excited and sprang up.....

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:48 pm

OK, so we have 20,000 Zulus who made it to the valley without being seen, remain hidden, Then on the 22nd Jan In broad day light, the regiments are told to advance on the camp. Why?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:22 pm

Chard
My own thoughts are that Mehlokazulu was sent of on his spying mission and then returned to the Ngwebini valley where the impi were waiting. He would have reported that a sizable proportion of men had left the camp, its highly possible that the departing column may have still been visible in the distance.
Ntshingway would I assume have called together his war council and co commanders and decided the time was right, he wouldn't know if that portion under Chelmsford was coming back that night or not, in fact seeing no wagons with those troops he probably did think they may be returning later in the day.
A decision would have been reached that was most probably, lets go punch a pom. The distance to the camp was pretty big, around 8 1/2 miles, with a really hard climb out of the valley, so what better, time was on their side, to take a stroll out of the valley and re form up on the plateau ( position X is really perfect for short time hidy hole ). The run in to the camp was reduced by half and the traveling time significantly more.
That, I think was under way, except for the loins that is, they were some distance in the rear. And then Raw appeared and the front regiments bolted. The loins were held back while the balance, under fire and charging had to do a huge turn to get the left horn back into its proper position.
And that as they say was that.

Hope that answers the question.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:11 pm

I'm guessing LC departure would have been seen, possibly Zulu scouts. We don't really know if Zulu spies where in the camp. As said before, all they needed was a red cloth. It's the advancing issue that's needs to be cleared up. Brickhill says the Zulus were advancing, pushing the men back to the camp. He doesn't say they were attacking. But during this advance the Zulu's were killing men.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:30 pm

Chard
Mehlokazulu was sent to see what was happening in the camp.
The statement by Brickhill refers to around an hour and a half later, not this phase of the battle.

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:58 pm

Apologie didn't make myself clear, I was only using the word Advance as used by Brickhill, to show he to never used the word attack. The fact that the Zulus were killing men in their advance, show's their intent!

Advance, Attack. Has the same meaning in the case of Isandlwana!
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:35 pm

Mehlokazulu is having something to eat when he hears, Tsingwayo give orders for the Tulwana and Ngyaza regiments to assemble. When they had done so he gave orders for the others to assemble and advance in the direction of the English camp. 

It then appears as the advance commenced Raw and co appeared, and fired into the advancing Zulus. Are we really expecting the Zulus regiments to remain calm, there was bound to be panic and disorganisation. Just as there was in the British camp, when the Zulus made it to the camp. 
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana and hindsight   Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:23 am

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