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 Supplying a Zulu Army in the field

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Supplying a Zulu Army in the field   Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:15 pm

There must have been difficulties supplying a Zulu army in the field, do we know anything about the Zulu supply lines, did the British do anything to interrupt them, or was it not a real problem?

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PostSubject: Supplying a zulu army in the field    Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:33 pm

Littlehand the zulu army didnt have supply lines as such like a regular army , they took with them , or used what they found on their way to their destination . That was one of the main reasons they didnt or couldnt invade Natal if they had even won at RD. The British didnt interupt their supply lines as they didnt have any , The British burnt Kraals or looted grain or what they came across in deserted Kraals etc , that as far as the harassement of zulu '' supply '' lines went .
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PostSubject: Re: Supplying a Zulu Army in the field   Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:36 pm

90th wrote:
The British burnt Kraals or looted grain or what they came across in deserted Kraals etc
I would count that as interrupting their supply lines. Someone must have been bringing cattle and other food sources.
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PostSubject: Supplying a zulu army in the field    Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:47 pm

I've never read anything which states the zulu army was waiting or having supplies sent or delivered . As I said they carried or drove ( cattle ) with them in what they thought they'd need , the boys to young to fight , carried with them only what they could carry . This you will find in all books , no mention of a supply line as such . The zulu army had no waggons or commissariat department , they were still a primative people with no such organizational skills regarding replentishment on their campaigns . You can have your opinion but if you read the books you'll find no mention of zulu's ferrying supplies to the front ! .
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PostSubject: Re: Supplying a Zulu Army in the field   Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:53 pm

LH. Found this.

"The Commissariat. While stationed at the military kraals soldiers refrained from eating sour milk (amaSi, pl. only) but were exhorted to live on 'hard' foods which would give them strength, such as meat, beer, and cooked mealies. At the royal kraal meat and beer were supplied by the king. At the other military establishments meat was supplied to a lesser extent from the royal herds and the warriors had to rely on supplies from home, cultivate their own fields, or seek supplies from other sources when and where they could. They also had to supply their own uniforms and weapons, assegais
and knob-kerries. The shields, however, were generally manufactured at the military kraals from the hides of beasts slaughtered there and thus belonged to the 'state'. As previously mentioned they were stored and were only issued on mobilization and had to be returned at the end of the campaign. Captain Allen Gardiner gives an interesting account of an application for shields made by a party of young soldiers, and their reception by the king, who at that time was Dingane. 'I shall give you no shields until you have proved yourselves worthy of them; go and bring me some cattle from Mzilikazi, and then shields will be given you' was Dingane's curt reply.
During wartime the provision of supplies was effected, in the short term by carriers, and in the long term by capture. For the purpose of raising the equivalent of the 'supply and transport companies' of sophisticated armies, Shaka enrolled youngsters between the ages of ten or twelve to eighteen years as baggage carriers (u(lu)Dibi). The izinDibi were attached to the regiments which on reaching military age they would eventually join. They normally marched at the rear and either to the right or left flank of the main body at a distance of a mile to three miles. They carried mats, cooking pots, and mealies, and some spare, rolled-up shields. They also acted as drovers of small herds of cattle which were required to be slaughtered for food for the army, but which were used mainly as guide animals to lead any captured cattle back to the home kraals.
In addition to the dibi boys, groups of girls from the warriors home kraals, carrying beer and mealies, accompanied the army for a day or two at the beginning of its march. When the supplies they had been carrying were depleted they and some of the smaller baggage boys, who were no longer needed, or who could not keep up with the army, returned home. From then onwards the army had to fend for itself either by helping themselves to food at the various kraals they passed while still within their own country or by plundering food stores in enemy territory.
In order to defeat a numerically superior enemy Shaka had, in his earlier career, invented and successfully applied 'scorched-earth' tactics as will be explained later. This practice was subsequently followed by some tribes who burnt their mealie fields, hid or destroyed their stores, and drove their cattle into the bush. On prolonged forays Shaka's armies, unable to obtain food-supplies in enemy territory, had to endure incredible hardship. On the last expedition sent out by him, the return of which, however, he did not live to see, his warriors were reduced to such straits that they had to gnaw at their shields to remain alive, and in marshy terrain had to swallow liquid mud for lack of free-standing water.
Source: THE ZULU MILITARY ORGANIZATION AND THE CHALLENGE OF 1879
by Cmdt S.Bourquin, DWD"
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PostSubject: Supplying a zulu army in the field    Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:10 am

Thanks John for posting in more detail what I was attempting to say in my previous posts , pressed for time today so cant post anything of detail , running from memory which thankfully was close to the mark . Shocked 
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