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 The 21st January and the Decoy theory

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:10 pm

AS this debate has raged for many years, 134 actually, I thought it may assist the members to see the area concerned.

Dartnell camped on the side of Hlazakazi looking across the plain towards the Mdutshana hill ( yet another conical hill ). In between the two was the plain leading down to the Mangeni Gorge. The ridge connecting the two features is where the officers gathered to look back at the camp on the 22nd.

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This the Mdutshane hill, the Zulus had lit their fires on the face looking towards Dartnell, pretty deliberate, obviously with the object of showing Dartnells force that they were still there. By Morning they had gone.

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Later as the forces of Chelmsford/Dartnell skirmished over the hills the Zulus gradually withdrew. All of this movement fits in with the theory that the imperial forces were being drawn behind them.
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These are the hills along the line of the retreat. A number of Zulu took shelter in these caves.

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Once they, the Zulus reached this ridge a determined attempt was made to stop the imperial forces
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Directly behind this ridge is Siphezi hill behind which the Zulu army had camped on the night of the 20th.

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The area that this photo was taken shows the direction the retreating Zulus had had taken, from the right, and the position that the Zulu impi had camped at. Its also the area that Russell had patrolled.


The whole line of retreat for this regiment of Zulu ( Matanyas Men ?) was very deliberate from Mangeni towards Siphezi. By the time the imperial troops had got there act together and started to skirmish down the valley ( as I show with the arrows) the main impi had already got in to the Ngwebini valley. So they weren't protecting that impi, why were they there then? And why attempt to lead the troops towards that massive bastion of Siphezi?

It lends a lot of credence to L and Qs decoy theory. I do believe that the troops were led on that 'merry dance' but I don't believe that it was a plan to weaken the camp. Admiration I have for the Zulu commanders but I don't believe they had that tactical awareness,
Theres a lot of different possibilities, maybe they were protecting Matanyas forces ? Maybe they were a splintered group that found themselves in the wrong place? Possibly they themselves where on their way to join the main impi, camped for the night then set of next morning to the camp site at Siphezi, but to late?

Anyway hope the photos help the forum to 'see' the area.

Cheers
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:31 pm

Many thanks Springbok, excellent.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:49 pm

Agreed. Thanks Springbok.
I will have a close and careful look at these photos this evening with a brandy in one hand and Zulu Rising in the other!


PS
Scotland 15 - Springboks 12
England 12 - NZ 15
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:14 pm

Could the decoy plan, have come into play, once it was realised that the camp had been divided. I'm sure if 20,000 Zulu could get to the valley, undetected, then there is no reason why messengers couldn't have been sent from the valley in the early hours to tell the Zulus harassing Dartnell, to carry out a retreat that would, pulled the British forces further from the camp. Which of course worked.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:29 pm

Of course it did impi, undoubtedly, as did the decision to bring the attack forward a day (and I have no faith in the theory that Lt Raw and his patrol precipitated the attack - for that read "let's take the credit away from the Zulus for spotting the opportunity, much better to think it was bad luck for the great white dopes and impetuous and indisciplined Zulus getting lucky" , any more than I believe that James Blunt and his patrol prevented WW3).

Opportunity knocked.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:31 pm

Springbok, looking at the area where Dartnell camped out, it seems fairly open, I don't think they had any wagons with them ? If they did not enought to laarge. What do you think, Dartnells chances would have been if the Zulus had attacked them on the 21st Jan. I'm thinking wiped out. 

With that in mind, what could LC have done! In would have been a reverse of Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:35 pm

Here's an thread:

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:39 pm

yes springbok,excellent, and impi well said.
and off course they lured LC and Dartnell
up hill and dale,all day as they pleased.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:43 pm

I see your point Impi, why didn't they attack Dartnell on the 21st when the 1st encounter took place.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:47 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
I see your point Impi, why didn't they attack Dartnell on the 21st when the 1st encounter took place.
Because their objective was to join the main impi for the attack on the camp.


Springbok says:
"It lends a lot of credence to L and Qs decoy theory. I do believe that the troops were led on that 'merry dance' but I don't believe that it was a plan to weaken the camp. Admiration I have for the Zulu commanders but I don't believe they had that tactical awareness"

Perhaps, but as impi mentioned earlier, the decoy may well have been actioned once the Zulus had seen the opportunity.
After all, no one and no commander would really have expected LC to split his force, no matter how ingenious the decoy!
Why did they lead LC and dartnell on this merry dance?
Why else other than to occupy them whilst the camp was attacked? I can see no other reason. (Other than the obvious one, that an enemy will do anything to harrass, disrupt its opponent at every and any opportunity).
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:06 pm

You say, they were making their way to join up with the main Impi. Bearing in mind this encounter with Dartnell happened on the 21st. So who were the Zulu's who led LC & Dartnell on a merry dance on the 22nd Jan?
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:32 pm

How's this for an idea.



I have read that, Ntshigwayo supposedly walked around the camp at Isandlwana during the night of the 21st r the early hours of the 22nd. 

Dartnell's message was giving to LC between 01:30 and 02:00am according to Clery and Crealock. Is it possible that Ntshigwayo found out that. LC was going to Dartnells assistance. Messenger sent to the Zulu's watching Dartnell to remain their, wait for LC to arrive, then go into retreat mode.

Ntshigwayo then starts the wheels moving with the main Impi, accounting for the reported sightings of large masses of Zulu movements 05:00hrs on wards. 



Just a theory.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:50 pm

I think that is highly plausible John. Well said.
It certainly could have happened in the time scale you suggest and a Zulu messneger would have covered the distance between Ntshingwayo's position and the force occupying Dartnell's thoughts, in little more than an hour.

Chard, I don't know tbh, but one possibility is that it may have been a small diversionary force, splintered off the main group on their way to join the main impi.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:00 pm

I'm happy to go with the decoy sarnario kicking in when the camp was dived. The logistics Ntshigwayo had to deal with would have been tremendous. From sitting quite in a valley 5 miles from the enermy, waiting for the moon to be right, to organising a 20,000 + Zulu army assault on the Brtitsh in a matter of hours.  They must have had a very good communication setup.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:03 pm

One of the greatest difficulty's which the leader of a
tumultuary assemblage labour's under, is to bow to
the whole of his will, and when irregular see their
territory from several points their chief must possess
an exceptional personality, and must enjoy unusual
authority, if he is to keep them concentrated for
decisive action.

Many instances can be adduced from small wars to show
how true this is, of which the following may suffice,

In the Zulu War, although Ketchwayo's Impi's possessed
a rude organization, were highly disciplined and enjoyed
extraordinary mobility, the fact that his territory was
invaded at three different point's seem's to have so dis-
concerted the monarch that, although the British oper-
ation's for some months were singularly ineffective, he
made no attempt to carry the War into Natal.

Small War's..their principles and practice. Col C.L.Callwell.
third edition 1906.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:05 pm

John wrote:
I'm happy to go with the decoy sarnario kicking in when the camp was dived. The logistics Ntshigwayo had to deal with would have been tremendous. From sitting quite in a valley 5 miles from the enermy, waiting for the moon to be right, to organising a 20,000 + Zulu army assault on the Brtitsh in a matter of hours.  They must have had a very good communication setup.
Me too. Think about the logistics he had to deal with up and to the point of LC splitting his force in the early hours. As for comms, as I have already said, from before the battle of Marathon, a fleet footed messenger or two is all that is needed.

PS - and huge thanks again to Springbok for those photos - they really are amazing; they have given me a much, much clearer mind's eye picture of the ground and movements around the Mangeni.


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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:07 pm

Les, what's your thoughts on the new moon theory. They wasn't going to attack until the 23rd?
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:10 pm

kopie wrote:
John wrote:
I'm happy to go with the decoy sarnario kicking in when the camp was dived. The logistics Ntshigwayo had to deal with would have been tremendous. From sitting quite in a valley 5 miles from the enermy, waiting for the moon to be right, to organising a 20,000 + Zulu army assault on the Brtitsh in a matter of hours.  They must have had a very good communication setup.
Me too. Think about the logistics he had to deal with up and to the point of LC splitting his force in the early hours. As for comms, as I have already said, from before the battle of Marathon, a fleet footed messenger or two is all that is needed.
Remembering a verse from Brownes book, he said every morning to Zulus would climb a hill, and send smoke signals. They eventually shot them both, one being an old hag of a Zulu. Anyway, could smoke signals have been used.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:14 pm

Not sure if i believe everything Browne wrote.
I would think a messenger system as used by LC would have been the method. The Zulus were (are) pretty swift movers.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:19 pm

When you think about it, any number of Zulus could have got into the camp, or they needed was a red cloth rapped around their arms, or head. Your probably right about the messagers.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:26 pm

hiya john, good question, your right it
was ' the day of the dead moon ' if?
you could find a more naturally suspicious
people than the Zulu i have never heard
of them, but, having said that they did
indeed attack on that inauspicious day.
but why? excellent intelligence,superior
tactic's, discovery, opportunity, take
your pick, the British did not hand them a
victory..they took it! and i have
said many times what an awful lesson
both forces received for different reason's.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:38 pm

There's one thing, that's been niggling me with this new moon argument, that they wasn't going to attack on the 22nd. I can see the reasoning behind why Isandlwana was attacked, the opportunity was not one to be missed, albeit dead moon or not. 

It's the attack on Pearson's Column, that's what I can't get to grips with, they attacked on the 22nd. Yet they were if I recall Springbok correctly 40 miles away. How would they have known that the situation at Isandlwana had changed, and an attack was iminant. Hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:45 pm

That engagement from memory,occurred
at about half eight am.also the dotdm. Wink 
theres so much that does not fit,other-
wise we would have nothing to talk about.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:59 pm

Ah good you see where I'm going. Was the Zulu communication lines so good, they were able to get a message to the zulu's instructing them to attack on the 22nd Jan regardless of the new moon. Or was it all preordained that the attacks would happen on the 22nd anyway. Question 

Didn't Pulleine send off a message around the time the Zulus attacked Pearson.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:07 pm

yes, yes?, and yes!.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:15 pm

Here's an extract from Pearsons letter to LC. It clear to see, the Zulus went on the offensive first! 


"I HAVE the honour to report my arrival here at 10 A.M. this day, with the column under my command, and, I am happy to state, without a casualty of any kind—except, of course, those which occurred in the engagement of yesterday, of which I have already duly informed you by telegram, despatched yesterday evening.

Yesterday morning, the mounted troops which preceded the column under Major Barrow, had crossed the Inyezane River—which is about four miles from our camping ground on the previous night—when I received a note from him to say that he had selected a fairly open space for a halting place, which he had carefully vedetted. I at once rode forward, to reconnoitre, and found the ground covered with more bush than seemed desirable for an outspan ; but as there was no water between the Inyezane and the places where we bivouacked last night—four miles further on, and with several steep hills to climb—I decided upon outspanning for a couple of hours, to feed and rest the oxen, and to enable the men to breakfast.

It was then just eight o'clock, and I was in the act of giving directions about the pickets and scouts required for our protection, and the wagons had already begun to park, when the leading company of the Native Contingent, who were scouting in front—personally directed by Captain Hart, Staff Officer to the Officer commanding that Regiment — discovered the enemy advancing rapidly over the ridges in our front, and making for the clumps of bush around us."
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:37 pm

kopie wrote:
I think that is highly plausible John.
Based upon what Kopie? It might be possible, but why is it plausible? Is there a shred of evidence behind any of this rampant speculation? I know that sounds hostile, but it's not. I would like all this to be true...I'm just wondering what basis you have beyond speculation?
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:17 am

Good debate.
Few answers:
Kopie Springboks to win by 20, All Blacks by 15 plus. Salute 

Kopie your other posts on the decoy, good thoughts but possibly the last paragraph of this post may influence your thinking.

Impi your 8.14 post
Highly possible Salute

your 8.31 post
The camp site was on a flat area half way up the slope so a great defensive position for troops well armed but not for Dartnells rag tag bunch. Your right the Zulus would have 'eaten them up' quick time.
Chelmsford had absolutely no option at all, he had to advance to Dartnell in force. The two companies requested could have been wiped out on the trail. He couldn't ignore them and he couldn't take the whole force. Beside which this was what he wanted, the opportunity to bring the Zulu to battle.  Salute 

John
Very possible, even probable there were spies, but they didn't have to go into the camp the view from the ridge would have told them everything they wanted.

There is no history in Africa of the Zulu, Xhosa, Venda Tswana or any of the other half a dozen cultural groups using smoke as a signal, with any degree of sophistication that is. The African way is to shout from the hill tops and relay messages for long distances. Its said, Rider Haggard I think, that his servant in Pretoria knew about the battle the next morning.

I don't think Ntshingwayo would have put himself into danger by going into the camp. He was a famous man and could very easily have been recognised by the camp Zulus.

The distance and country side would not allow for any rapid communication between Chelmsford and Pearson. The fact that both battles took place is variously put down to both impis being discovered ( lends support for the lack of tactical knowledge theory ) or that the attacks were planned for the 22nd before they left Ulundi, and that kills of the day of the dead moon theory.  Salute 

6pd
The decoy theory is actually built on sound fact, but so are a lot of other theories on this passage of events. All speculative but indeed all plausible thoughts. What we have to be extremely careful of is over complication things when a simple explanation would suffice. In that area I fully agree with Mike Snook, though not on his bloody arrogant way of putting things. Salute 

The key again ( sorry keep banging on about this ) is the time and space possibilities: Rolling Eyes 

Couple of key points

20th January: The main impi has moved to its bivvi area behind Siphezi
                    Lt Brown patrolling the front of Siphezi is driven of by some very agresive  flank guards to keep him away from the bivvi.
21st January: Dartnells forces , in particular the mounted volunteers, start to investigate the area from Mangeni to Siphezi ( that's the sequence of photos at the start of the topic) they again are not allowed to get to close, at one point they were close to being surrounded. That's the flank guards again. But by this time the impi was on the move around Siphezi towards Ngwebini. ( Photo F, the path is on the extreme left of the hill moving towards the camera. In the second photo,G, I have swivelled by 180 degrees so Siphezi is behind me.) In front is the whole plain with iSandlwana that small blip on the left horizon ( if there was a look out on top of iSandlwana and he was alert he would have seen the impi moving on the 21st.
What separated Darnells advance across the plain and the impis movements was virtually the curvature of the earth, not much else. If you think of all the comings and goings across that plain its amazing that the two sides never saw each other. So POSSIBLY it wasn't such good generalship that got the Zulus that close just blind luck? Oh yes and bloody inefficient imperial scouting.

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Imagine 20 000 men all moving in a fairly big crowd through long grass ! The track they would have left was HUGE. Dead give away to any one passing by. Its my contention that this is what was being guarded on the 21st and 22nd, the track itself.
When the Zulus moved ahead of the troops they were, in my opinion, "leading them a merry dance" up the Mangeni valley and across the ridges towards Siphezi and away from that track. It would have been like an arrow pointing the direction the impi had travelled. Not a lot of sophistication behind that just plain old common sense
.

That's my theory anyway. If nothing else adds something to the debate.

Cheers


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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:56 am

Cant resist adding this shot in, without doubt one of the most beautiful areas in the country.

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PostSubject: The 21st January and the Decoy Theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:18 am

Hi Springy .
As usual excellent photo's , not long now Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:32 am

I like the track idea, makes sense. As you say it would have been a dead give away,
An arial photo of isandlwana would be great, marking out the various movements as Springbok as done on his photos, Black lines zulu movements Red British Blue Colonial.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:43 pm

springbok9 wrote:

What separated Darnells advance across the plain and the impis movements was virtually the curvature of the earth, not much else. If you think of all the comings and goings across that plain its amazing that the two sides never saw each other. So POSSIBLY it wasn't such good generalship that got the Zulus that close just blind luck? Oh yes and bloody inefficient imperial scouting. That's my theory anyway. If nothing else adds something to the debate.
Now, now...you'll make no friends like that. You're a dangerous man Springbok. You're venturing into the view Willy Shakespeare would have taken. Come to think of it, I wonder how the modern narrative might run in the absence of publishing revenues... Hmmm...
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:48 pm

There was a story of him spotting a bow legged man walking along and uttering the immortal line: " Forsooth what manner of man is this with his testi in parenthesis."
That's gonna get me in trouble
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:06 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Good debate.
Few answers:
Kopie Springboks to win by 20, All Blacks by 15 plus. Salute 

Kopie your other posts on the decoy, good thoughts but possibly the last paragraph of this post may influence your thinking.

Impi your 8.14 post
Highly possible Salute

your 8.31 post
The camp site was on a flat area half way up the slope so a great defensive position for troops well armed but not for Dartnells rag tag bunch. Your right the Zulus would have 'eaten them up' quick time.
Chelmsford had absolutely no option at all, he had to advance to Dartnell in force. The two companies requested could have been wiped out on the trail. He couldn't ignore them and he couldn't take the whole force. Beside which this was what he wanted, the opportunity to bring the Zulu to battle.  Salute 

John
Very possible, even probable there were spies, but they didn't have to go into the camp the view from the ridge would have told them everything they wanted.

There is no history in Africa of the Zulu, Xhosa, Venda Tswana or any of the other half a dozen cultural groups using smoke as a signal, with any degree of sophistication that is. The African way is to shout from the hill tops and relay messages for long distances. Its said, Rider Haggard I think, that his servant in Pretoria knew about the battle the next morning.

I don't think Ntshingwayo would have put himself into danger by going into the camp. He was a famous man and could very easily have been recognised by the camp Zulus.

The distance and country side would not allow for any rapid communication between Chelmsford and Pearson. The fact that both battles took place is variously put down to both impis being discovered ( lends support for the lack of tactical knowledge theory ) or that the attacks were planned for the 22nd before they left Ulundi, and that kills of the day of the dead moon theory.  Salute 

6pd
The decoy theory is actually built on sound fact, but so are a lot of other theories on this passage of events. All speculative but indeed all plausible thoughts. What we have to be extremely careful of is over complication things when a simple explanation would suffice. In that area I fully agree with Mike Snook, though not on his bloody arrogant way of putting things. Salute 

The key again ( sorry keep banging on about this ) is the time and space possibilities: Rolling Eyes 

Couple of key points

20th January: The main impi has moved to its bivvi area behind Siphezi
                    Lt Brown patrolling the front of Siphezi is driven of by some very agresive  flank guards to keep him away from the bivvi.
21st January: Dartnells forces , in particular the mounted volunteers, start to investigate the area from Mangeni to Siphezi ( that's the sequence of photos at the start of the topic) they again are not allowed to get to close, at one point they were close to being surrounded. That's the flank guards again. But by this time the impi was on the move around Siphezi towards Ngwebini. ( Photo F, the path is on the extreme left of the hill moving towards the camera. In the second photo,G, I have swivelled by 180 degrees so Siphezi is behind me.) In front is the whole plain with iSandlwana that small blip on the left horizon ( if there was a look out on top of iSandlwana and he was alert he would have seen the impi moving on the 21st.
What separated Darnells advance across the plain and the impis movements was virtually the curvature of the earth, not much else. If you think of all the comings and goings across that plain its amazing that the two sides never saw each other. So POSSIBLY it wasn't such good generalship that got the Zulus that close just blind luck? Oh yes and bloody inefficient imperial scouting.

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Imagine 20 000 men all moving in a fairly big crowd through long grass ! The track they would have left was HUGE. Dead give away to any one passing by. Its my contention that this is what was being guarded on the 21st and 22nd, the track itself.
When the Zulus moved ahead of the troops they were, in my opinion, "leading them a merry dance" up the Mangeni valley and across the ridges towards Siphezi and away from that track. It would have been like an arrow pointing the direction the impi had travelled. Not a lot of sophistication behind that just plain old common sense
.

That's my theory anyway. If nothing else adds something to the debate.

Cheers
Good theory, but what if they didn't move as one, but in smaller units.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:24 pm

6pdr wrote:
kopie wrote:
I think that is highly plausible John.
Based upon what Kopie?  It might be possible, but why is it plausible?  Is there a shred of evidence behind any of this rampant speculation?  I know that sounds hostile, but it's not.  I would like all this to be true...I'm just wondering what basis you have beyond speculation?
6pdr, your constant demands for "evidence" is getting a little tiresome, particularly as you will be fully conversant with the fact that:
1. the Zulus did not write and leave written evidence for the likes of you and I to read in subsequent decades.
2. the contemporary written evidence from the theatre that we DO have which was produced for consumption in 1879 and the coming decades for the likes of you and I to read, was that which was overseen, scrutinised and controlled by Lord Chelmsford.
Maybe the truth of it is, speculation is all we have. Can we rely on what LC left us? As much as I'd like it if some revelationary, truthful, unbiased statements or documents were to be unearthed, I am afraid that isn't going to happen.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:41 pm

6pdr wrote:
kopie wrote:
I think that is highly plausible John.
Based upon what Kopie?  It might be possible, but why is it plausible?  Is there a shred of evidence behind any of this rampant speculation?  I know that sounds hostile, but it's not.  I would like all this to be true...I'm just wondering what basis you have beyond speculation?
6pdr. If you had read, Johns original post, you would see it was a theory.

You do seem to be pushing Kopie? Any particular reason why Question 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:08 pm

Hmmm, not stirring, but i was wondering
about littlehands last observation. Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:40 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Hmmm, not stirring, but i was wondering
about littlehands last observation. Very Happy 
scratch  Because he's the one advancing the theory perhaps?
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:52 pm

Going off topic!
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:57 pm

littlehand wrote:
Going off topic!
scratch Exclamation  Are you talking to yourself Littlehand?
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:58 pm

Might as well be!

Anyway chaps enough for me tonight. Good night!
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:08 pm

Good night LH Very Happy  Cool as a cucumber !
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:43 pm

good night from me,sleep well.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:47 am

impi
cant get to it at present but there is testimony from a Zulu describing the way the Zulus advanced from Ulundi, effectively in two seperate columns but always in sight of each other. They grouped at Siphezi for the final advance.
Like everything theres no hard and fast theory that will come out of our delibertions. The most we can come up with is something that fits the facts. Hence Snook, Quantrill having differing view points. Maybe the Ian Knight aproach is the most conservative, he never speculates only reports based on verifiables.
I know that quite often my theories go against the more pragmatic thinking, but hell that's the fun of it. Very Happy 

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:01 am

kopie wrote:
6pdr wrote:
kopie wrote:
I think that is highly plausible John.
Based upon what Kopie?  It might be possible, but why is it plausible?  Is there a shred of evidence behind any of this rampant speculation?  I know that sounds hostile, but it's not.  I would like all this to be true...I'm just wondering what basis you have beyond speculation?
6pdr, your constant demands for "evidence" is getting a little tiresome, particularly as you will be fully conversant with the fact that:
1. the Zulus did not write and leave written evidence for the likes of you and I to read in subsequent decades.
2. the contemporary written evidence from the theatre that we DO have which was produced for consumption in 1879 and the coming decades for the likes of you and I to read, was that which was overseen, scrutinised and controlled by Lord Chelmsford.
Maybe the truth of it is, speculation is all we have. Can we rely on what LC left us? As much as I'd like it if some revelationary, truthful, unbiased statements or documents were to be unearthed, I am afraid that isn't going to happen.
Hi Kopie
There is additional 'untainted' Zulu testimony. Read things like Rev George Smith, Bertram Mitford, Noggs Newman, Moodie, Laband and WE Montague. Theres a lot really and non of that was 'controlled' by Chelmsford.
There seems to be this fetish that Chelmsford ran an organisation like the Watergate crowd doing cover ups. While there is no doubt that he was protected I don't believe for a second that all the reports all the statements were veted and controlled by him.
Bit less passion and a bit more objectivity will really help your research.

When statements are made so purposfully it needs a back up confirmation otherwise things tend to become emeshed in the folklore of the period. TWOTS is such a classic example with some of Morris's theories taken as gospel. There are other examples, many of them. Hence 6pd asking for confirmation.

Cheers Mate keep it up.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:40 am

Springbok, thanks for these recommendations:
"Read things like Rev George Smith, Bertram Mitford, Noggs Newman, Moodie, Laband and WE Montague. Theres a lot really and non of that was 'controlled' by Chelmsford."
I will read some of this next I think. I would really like to see what the Zulus themselves say about it.

Also xhosa, thanks for your recommendation, the James Stewart volumes. Do these contain stories by Zulus who were at the battle?

Sadly what seems to be lacking, is testimony by Zulu commanders (with the exception of Mehlokazulu's 2nd statement).

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:10 am

Mehlokazulu was the only senior rank interviewed, probably because he was firstly detained and secondly he was 'local'. He also had a couple of later conversations with Mitford, Stafford and Wood.
His statement needs reading very carefully to establish frameworks of happenings. For instance when he returned from his scouting mission ( Top of iThusi ), and that was witnessed/ties in with sightings from the camp and the Carbineers it starts to add a time line to events. His report back to Ntshingwayo establishes that the Zulu command started to move regiments forward, not as some interpret it to the attack, merely forward. That starts to tie in with a portion of TMFHT. Hes also pretty adamant that the charge started when they were fired on. So it puts into the frame that Ntshingwayo was most likely getting ready to attack and started an advance from Ngwebini to position X. Not all the regiments were in position when they were discovered by Raw, and yes they were discovered, there is far to much evidence of that to dispute it.
The other Zulus I have mentioned all corroborate portions on Mehlokazulus statements.
A book Ive mentioned before, not easy to get hold of, is Keith Smiths Select Documents: A Zulu War Source Book. It puts most of the statements in one easy place. try and get a copy, its invaluable.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:26 am

Keith Smith, thanks again for that recommendation. I will get hold ot if.

Moving forward or advancing on the camp itself? Where is position X?
It seems to me that a move forward to "position X" was not necessary. The advance from Ngwebini to the Camp sufficed!
It also seems to me that M is consistently adamant to point out that the Zulu were fired on first, in both of his statements.
I have no reason to doubt this, but it is justification isn't it? Do you remember, at the very first opportunity, telling the headteacher, "well, he hit me first!"
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:40 am

Position X is the point determined in The Mising Five Hours Theory.
You need to read that to make yourself conversant with the timings involved in getting from Ngwebini valley to the camp, it cant be done in the time frame. Therefore there had to be an advance from the valley to a closer position, hence the position X.
Your comparison an reasoning assumes therefor if they, the Zulu, weren't fired on they wouldn't have attacked? This doesn't hold with your thoughts that they were atacking before the shots were fired or that the Raw episode was a non event?
Cant have it all. No 

Cheers Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:49 am

Perhaps a bad comparison.
I do not think that the Zulus being fired on first precipitated the attack, I think they were attacking, or moving into position to attack later that same morning, in any case.
Mehlokazulu is merely trying to justify their actions - he was being questioned for slaughtering over 1000 men.
I am willing to accept that being fired on perhaps spurred a portion of the advancing army to chase Raw's patrol down, that it may even have kicked off the entire Zulu advance on the camp by a few hours.
But it is self evident that the Zulus were in striking range of the camp when Raw spotted them moving. I am a long way off from being convinced that the Zulus were going to stall/hold up this advance on the morning of the 22nd by 24 hours, and attack on the 23rd.
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