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 The 21st January and the Decoy theory

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:09 am

kopie wrote:

Mehlokazulu is merely trying to justify their actions - he was being questioned for slaughtering over 1000 men.
What absolute rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!!
He was being questioned for the execution of two wives of his father.
Kopie if you are to take logical part in debates make sure of your facts.

Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:54 am

[quote="springbok9"]
kopie wrote:

He was being questioned for the execution of two wives of his father.
Kopie if you are to take logical part in debates make sure of your facts.Salute 
I was waiting for you to weigh in on this. The gang of four have been visiting on him their lurid fantasies about Mehlokazulu being forced to confess great untruths staring down the barrel of an Adams. (BTW, if it was an Adams pistol they couldn't have done one of those Hollywood scenes where they twist their mustaches and spin the cylinder Russian Roulette style...because it would have fallen out. And then Mehlo, who had charged into massed Martini-Henry fire at one point, might have died laughing.)

But completely LOST in the "discussion" was any reason motive for WHY Mehlo & Co. would have been forced to do anything remotely like that. First, it was all coming through a translator so the guy writing the report didn't understand a word the Zulu were saying (unless it was Harford or Brickhill...and it wasn't) and could write anything that was convenient without coercion as long as he had the translator's agreement. Was Chelmsford going to bump into Mehlo at the supermarket later, switch to his native Zulu, and get the real skinny? I don't think that was likely.

It also got the GOF greatly excited that the proper names of officers and units were used in the document. Mon Dieux! Could that perhaps be because it was meant to consolidate the findings of multiple interviews into one "intelligence summary" (for lack of a better word) that would be comprehensible to senior staff who would be conversant with the established names and units? In other words, the purpose of that document was most likely to incorporate a summary of enemy maneuvering (according to those who participated) into an After Action Report that also summarized what was already established for reference points.

But no, the GOF read it as a verbatim, "as told to" testimony of a single individual...and then declared it "absurd."

Well, something is absurd all right... Rolling Eyes 



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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:19 pm

"Legend has credited Zibhebhu with almost superhuman achievements in securing intelligence that morning, for it was said after the war that he had penetrated the British camp, passing himself off as a man of the NNC, then had worked his way up the mountain itself until, from the summit, he had been able to look right down among the tents and study the British defences – or lack of them – at his leisure. Such feats were not beyond the capacities of Zulu scouts, but on this occasion the story is probably apocryphal – it is difficult to see what Zulu scouts might have learned from inside the camp that they could not plainly see from the escarpment – and no doubt reflects the absolute mastery of the terrain attained by Zibhebhu and his scouts. The story is given in C.T. Binns, The Warrior People (London, 1975)"
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:34 am

Hi Chard
I think the word 'apocryphal', is apt. All that risk for nothing really. Any view he had from the top of iSandlwana he could get fro the ridge with far less risk and hassle, not to speak of effort. Im 100% certain though that there were spies out ( and that includes Mehlokazu ). the Zulu high command knew everything they wanted to know about the camps. Only thing they didn't know was the power of the MH. They did at Khambula but stupidly ignored their new found knowledge. Bit of arrogance there maybe?

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:41 am

Chard
A view from the ridge down onto the plain

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Perfect view of the whole camp site.

Cheers
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:52 pm

Springbok, it's this roughly where Mehlokazulu watched the British with the other indunas, before reporting back.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:27 am

Hi Chard
Not quite the view. If you were standing there. turned left and walked for around a Kilometer you would be heading for iThusi
that's the ridge/hill straight in front of this shot, just above the cows grazing.
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The drop in between the cows and iThusi incidentally is the notch where the Rocket Battery came to grief.

Moving towards iThusi, where Chelmsford met up with Gossett and where they looked to there left and saw the Zulus on horseback watching them. this is the view Mehlokazulu had of the camp area.
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To help you position things. If you were Chelmsford and woke up in the morning to admire the view of your nice safe camp this is what you would have seen
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Centre right is the conical hill, Amatutshane, just to the left and the highest point on the ridge is iThusi, that's where Mehlokazulu would have stared back at Chelmsford. Moving to the left is the main ridge, separated from iThusi by the Notch, again killing field of the Rocket Battery.

Hope that puts things into context.

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90th

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PostSubject: The 21st January and the decoy theory    Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:01 am

Hi Springy .
Excellent photos , well done mate .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:53 am

agree 
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John

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:35 pm

Mehlokazulu

"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"

He says he could see English out post "Quite close to us" he then says " the out post saw us and commenced to move about, and there seemed to be a bustle in the camp.

Just how far was Mehlokazulu from the camp at this stage? As it must have taken a while for one of the out post mounted men tI report they had seen the Zulus.

Also forum member 90th tells us they didn't know they were going to be attacked, so why all the movements in the camp and the inspanning of wagons, if this was so?
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:53 pm

John
The first photo was the piquet position, the next of iThusi is where Mehlokazulu was.
The standard alarm signal for the mounted outposts was to ride in a small circle to warn the camp.
Pulleine had given the order to inspan the oxen, a couple of reasons, initially because they were scheduled to go back to RD, then later to protect the cattle.

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:04 pm

Makes sense. So the outpost riders were they colonials or British. and was it at this point that the first signal was sent back to the camp using this method, riding around in circles.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:58 pm

From the camp how far were the vedettes posted. Could they at all times be seen by those observing them from the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:18 pm

Lord Chelmsford speak's of rumour's " that the troop's
were deceived by a simulated retreat" " and thus
drawn away from the line of defense " the facts prove
the exact contrary, the only person deceived by a
simulated retreat was Lord chelmsford himself, whose
troops during three hours had advanced " against
a Zulu force that fell back from hill to hill...giving up
without a shot, most commanding position's." and where
was their line of defense " we do not find one word
of Lord Chelmsford's own want of the most ordinary
precautions- his want of " inteligence " and neglect to
obtain it- of his seeing the enemy's mounted scouts on
the left front, and intending ( but not making ) a
reconnaissance in that direction- his fixed belief that the
enemy could only be in force in his front-the transparent
way in which he was drawn further off from the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:03 pm

springbok9 wrote:
kopie wrote:

Mehlokazulu is merely trying to justify their actions - he was being questioned for slaughtering over 1000 men.
What absolute rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!!
He was being questioned for the execution of two wives of his father.
Kopie if you are to take logical part in debates make sure of your facts.

Salute 
An irrelevant technicality. No one cared in the slightest about the fate of these 2 women. They were the excuse that Frere was looking for and were used as the excuse for the commencement of hostilities. The truth Mehlokazulu was being interrogated over, was what the heck happened at iSandlwana.
Think outside the box a little!
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:52 pm

kopie wrote:

The truth Mehlokazulu was being interrogated over, was what the heck happened at iSandlwana. Think outside the box a little!

You are half right Kopie. The war was over. The British authorities could speak to whomever they pleased about the war or anything else. Mehlokazulu was jailed specifically because he was named in Frere's ultimatum. That WAS a legal technicality. But Mehlokazulu was the equivalent of a company commander...a lieutenant or captain at best. Why speak to him about what happened and not the officers above him? The reason he shows up so much in the post war literature was because he grew up on the border which made him accessible in terms of geography and cultural affinity. His Dad, Sihayo, dressed and had the habits of a "Natal kaffir" at the time. OTOH, Cetshwayo himself was in captivity. He was introduced to the Queen, not tortured or humiliated. And in fact there was very little friction between the British and Zulu for quite some time after the war. Before you can think out of the box, you need to know what's inside. You need to study mo 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:53 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:35 am

think of the bigger picture re, Frere's
intentions.confederation was not
going well, he deceived both london,
and used the incidents of smith and
dieghton along with the murdered
woman as his casus belli, what a
cynical odious product of rampant
imperialism.i could go on but its bed
time. 6pdr/ kopie Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:52 am

Chard
The piquets on the ridge were visible from the camp area. The ones further afield were visible from the control point on top of Amatutshane manned by Lt Scott, he was in charge of the piquets.

John
Trp Barker says in his statement ( Stalker ) that when they spotted the Zulus ( in the Qwabe valley ) they "gave the usual signal". So yes it was used.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:12 pm

Sprinkbok do you know where Trooper W.W. Barker & Hawkins were actually posted.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:41 am

"Narrative of Field Operations Connected with the War in Zululand (London, 1881), shows no vedettes posted beyond the amaTutshane conical hill and the iThusi highpoint on the iNyoni escarpment"
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:44 am

LH/Chard
Its so much open to interpretation. reading Barkers pretty long statement ( Stalker ) he positions himself well into the Qwabe Valley. But his estimates of time and Distance are really haywire.
I think he was with his mate Hawkins around the Qwabe Hill area, he had to have been in line of sight of Scott on Amatutshane. That was the system used each vedette viewable by relays back to Scott. If there was a sighting then they rode in circles to attract attention.
There is strong evidence that there was a further vedett much father out along the Qwabe valley on a hill called Nyezi, that's conjectured as being Whitelaw.
This is the answer I got from Ian Knight to the same question


Questions; Springbok
Can you give your opinion on how many piquets were stationed around iSandlwana?

The map in the official Narrative of Field Operations puts mounted vedettes on Mkwene, immediately north of the camp, on the slight rise in the middle of the iNyoni ridge, on iThusi (the furthest point of the iNyoni ridge visible from the camp), on Amatutshane (the ‘conical hill’) and on a high point just beyond the Nyogane donga to the south. The infantry picquets are in a curve arcing from the NNC on Mkwene out beyond the Nyogane and round to the southern end of Mahlabamkhosi (‘Black’s kopje’). These were daytime posts, and were drawn in at night to a circle much closer to the camp. Now, obviously this map cannot be held to be entirely reliable, and indeed the positioning of the troops during the battle on it is highly suspect - but, since it was compiled from the reports of men who were there, it is nonetheless a source to be taken seriously. And I think it is largely correct with regard to the vedettes for a number of reasons. Lt. Davies mentions that Lt Scott of the Carbineers was posted on Amatutshane, and Mehlokazulu confirms this by his reference to mounted men on the hill. From this position Scott not only had a good forward view of the country towards the Silutshana and Magogo hills, but he was also able to serve as a hub, co-ordinating any response that was necessary with regard to reports from the outlying posts. In my opinion Tpr Barker confirms this by the way he describes various Carbineer vedettes, including himself, falling back to Scott when the Zulus first appeared early in the morning. Remember that Inspector Mansel complained that he had wanted to push mounted vedettes further forward but that Clery had refused - my feeling is that Clery wanted a chain of outposts that were not only within sight of each other, but also of the camp, and he may have felt that pushing vedettes further out would isolate them and make them vulnerable to no very good military purpose. A significant factor in this, in my view, is that mounted vedettes were expected to give visual signals of any changes in the situation; Barker himself says, that on first seeing some Zulu movements, ‘we gave the usual signal’. That would have entailed riding their horses round in a circle, the warning for ’enemy in sight’ - and whilst I accept they may have conveyed such a signal by means of vedettes further back down the line repeating it, I think it much more likely that they were within direct sight of the camp - indeed, Clery’s order to Mansel only really makes sense if that were the case. The Nyezi position, further forward, is out of sight from Scott’s position on Amatutshane, for example, because of the lie of the land, although it would have been visible from the top of iThusi. But if a vedette on iThusi could overlook the iNyezi rise anyway, why bother to put a further vedette on iNyezi?

Do you believe a vedette was on iNyezi or Bizanani hill or Qwabe, and what were the movements of Barker and Hawkins?

No, for the reasons above. I’m not sure what purpose a vedette on iNyezi would serve, since it doesn’t offer a radically different view of the country than could be obtained from the top of iThusi. Yes, it was further out, but as I’ve suggested the line of sight to the camp and to other vedette outposts was restricted, meaning that any outpost there would be isolated, and would have only rather limited ways of passing information back to the camp in a hurry. I realise this has arisen because Tpr. Barker’s account refers to distances which would place him that far out - he says that the Carbineer vedettes were ‘posted to the direct front and left of the camp’ and that he and Hawkins were ‘on a hill to the extreme front quite six miles away’. Well, of course iThusi is not six miles from the camp but it is the furthest significant high point visible from it. In regard to his perception of distance, however, Barker says at one point they retired on Lt. Scott’s position, ‘about two miles nearer the camp’. Well, if we are fairly confident that Scott was an Amatutshane, that would place Amatutshane about four miles from the camp - in fact it is less than two miles from iSandlwana, which suggests to me that after the event his exertions during the day made the distances seem greater to Barker than they were. His recollection of time was also affected, I think, and I’ll come back to this in a minute - remember that sequence, timing and distance are all things which can be affected when recalling a stressful event. Barker says that shortly after they had retired to Scott they saw Zulus both on the hill they had occupied and on the skyline further to the left, where two other vedettes had been forced to withdraw. That seems to me entirely consistent with other accounts of those early Zulu movements, who were seen from the camp to be on the flank of iThusi and on the skyline of the iNyoni ridge abutting it further west. To be honest, I struggle to reconcile it with the idea that the Zulus were further out at iNyezi, for example, at that stage of the day, because the Zulu accounts stress that it was the amabutho in the ‘chest’ who went forward early in the morning, rather than the left ‘horn’, as it must have been were the Zulus to be approaching iNyezi. Indeed, several Zulu sources, including Mehlokazulu, specifically suggest that the left ‘horn’ took no part in those early movements. I am, by the way, sceptical that they might have been Zulu stragglers - not because I don’t believe there were stragglers, but because (for a number of reasons I won’t bore you with here!) I think any stragglers were further north and east at that point in the day. Barker says he and Hawkins went back to their post and that the Zulus retired, some of them lingering on a hill in the distance. Again, subject to my comments about distance, I think they were actually on iThusi looking at the Zulus returning towards the bivouac in the Ngwebeni valley. He then describes a certain amount of too-ing and fro-ing, some of which is clearly condensed because he runs the sequence together, with no reference to the hours between those first sightings and the subsequent attack, and indeed he puts the fall of the camp at ‘about 10.30 or 11 a.m.’ which of course is much earlier than most other sources, and really not the case. I say this not to discredit Barker in general, but merely to flag up that his perceptions of time and distance are generally the weakest part of his account. To me, though, it is significant that he makes no mention of witnessing Durnford’s advance, which he could hardly have missed if he were riding around in the country near iNyezi, since Durnford‘s advance took him right past iNyezi. Barker does, however, mention seeing Raw and Roberts’ men on the heights ‘on the extreme left in skirmishing order‘ - a movement which could be watched from iThusi but not from iNyezi - and refers to actions of the rocket battery. Given that we know the rocket battery was over-run somewhere on the slopes of the iNyoni west of, and close to, iThusi, it places Barker closer in once again. Taken together all this strongly suggests to me that, whatever his impression of the distances involved, Barker was actually stationed on iThusi, and not on iNyezi.

As in all things there are differences of opinion. L and Q present evidence in Zulu Victory to show Whitelaw on Nyezi.
Personal I think it comes down to the early sightings. Barker to my mind is pretty emphatic when he says Whitelaw was forced to retire and Whitelaws comment that he saw thousands of Zulu. Whilst Barkers sighting was a few horsemen trying to surround him. So although Ian seems to put that at one sighting I would differ and say its two separate sightings. The other issue in that connection is that Whitelaw being father up the valley would have seen 'thousands' and then retired, if the two sightings were the same then he would have been cut of and we would have heard no more from him. So yes I believe two sightings there fore two positions because Barker doesn't mention 'thousands', then it intimates that Whitelaws sighting was out of sight of Barker, that puts his, Whitelaws, view as into the eastern end of the Ngwebini valley or the Southern side of Mabaso, Both suggested forming up areas for the impi.

This is a difficult route to show with photos.

This is the distance from iSandlwana on the left of shot to iThusi on the right, iThusi is the end of the ridge line and the Western bastion of the Qwabe Valley

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This is the mouth of the Qwabe with iThusi on the left and Qwabe hill on the right. Barker would have been on the Qwabe hill

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This shot, I have moved North along to the oposit end of the Qwabe valley and photographed looking South Barker would have been on the hill to the left of the valley.


This is, my opinion only guys, where Durnford halted and portions of the left horn came over the hill from the right and behind the camera, Durnford then retreated towards the Qwabe mouth. centre of the shot.


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This photo is at the Northern most end of the Qwabe valley and looks South, just above the dam in the middle is a cinical type hill, that's Qwabe hill where I think Barker was stationed, to the left is where I believe Whitlaw was stationed

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Sorry long winded reply, but its what I think was happening.

As an aside I walked up this valley taking lots of photos down both sides until I got on the plain at the bottom, only then did I turn round and realise how bloody far id walked. Was pitch black when I got back to the road and my car, sopping wet after blundering into that dam in the middle of the valley. That first beer in the RD lodge was so good.

Cheers



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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:38 pm

The more I look at the photo's you post, the more confused I get, to me there is a very clear view for miles from Isandlwana. Thus giving a clear indication as to why the site was selected to form a camp.
So surly the camp observing the vedettes, must have seen what they saw. I can't see how the British were surprised by the attack.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:41 pm

[quote="Chard1879"I can't see how the British were surprised by the attack. [/quote]
Cause Lord C was, to everyone belief, was out attacking the main Zulu army that was miles away from the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:05 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
I can't see how the British were surprised by the attack.
That, in a nutshell, is why the final responsibility for Isandlwana rests with Chelmsford.  But for poor reconnaissance, the camp shouldn't have been as surprised as it was.  He doesn't really fare well on the tactical, operational or strategic levels in that regard.

Strategic -- he assumed the "Zulu impi" would try to avoid battle, so he sought to aggressively pursue it...but if that was true why would it have rushed to the border area to begin with?

Operational -- Chelmsford dispatched what amounted to "a reconnaissance in force" and then sought to bail it out.  Mike Snook points out the concept of reconnaissance in force, being neither fish nor fowl, is a fundamentally flawed concept.  Then Chelmsford doubled down on his mistake allowing either half of his column to be overwhelmed.  Circumstances dictated it was the camp that was overrun, but it could have as easily been his/Londsdale's force because he never had a clear understanding of who owned the operational initiative.

Tactical -- Due to Durnford's last minute efforts I don't think the camp really was surprised, tactically speaking, except for the Zulu right wing closing on the nek from behind.  There was an animated "discussion" about posting lookouts behind Isandlwana which Chelmsford allowed Crealock to quash (Was it Major Dunbar that was insulted?) which might have prevented that. Though I doubt it would have changed the results much, even if they were posted, as there was no reserve to deal with yet another massive threat.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:02 pm

I struggle to understand, why after all the reports of large numbers of Zulu movements around the camp, didn't give them a clue that something wasn't right. And all these movements after Chelmsford had left. None prior?

"Trooper Barker, Natal Carbineers.

“[we] arrived on the hill [assessed to be Qwabe] about sunrise [0522 hrs] After being posted about a quarter of an hour we noticed a lot of mounted men in the distance and on their coming nearer we saw that they were trying to surround us….. we discovered they were Zulus. We retired to Lieut. Scott about two miles nearer the camp [assessed to be Conical Hill] and informed him of what we had seen, and he decided to come back with us but before we had gone far we saw Zulus on the hill we had just left and others advancing from the left flank  [an area including iThusi Valley] where two other videttes (sic), Whitelaw and another had been obliged to retire from. Whitelaw reported, a large army advancing ‘thousands’ I remember him distinctly saying ….this would be about eight a.m.”
…….. shortly afterwards numbers of Zulus being seen on all the hills to the left front.” 
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PostSubject: The 21st Jan and the decoy theory    Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:34 am

Hi 6pdr.
You are correct , it was Dunbar who was insulted after he mentioned the lack of a camp defence . Crealock was the one who insulted him , basically calling him a coward . LC was forced to speak to Dunbar and persuade him to stay , Dunbar was close to resigning on the spot .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:08 am

6pd
The discussion around the vedettes and piquets was between Insp Mansell and Clery. Clery wanted all the outlying sentries brought closer to the camp, in fact to be visible from the camp.
90th
The incident you refer to was on the Bashe river crossing.
Chard
Sorry If Ive given the wrong impression with the photos, in actual fact the view from the camp to the North was severely restricted because of the ridge, hence the reason for the guards up there.
The view down the Qwabe valley was not from the camp, that view could only be seen from the mouth leading onto the plain, round the corner so to speak.
The view down the plain to the East was the only really good view from the camp itself.
Littlehand
Couldn't agree more, lots of intel coming in that was never explored by Pulleine, the excuse normally used is because he didn't have a mounted force and that's not true, he had some excellent volunteers plus some Mounted Infantry available.
If he had the gumption to ignore orders from the likes of Clery he should have had the volunteers, the carbineers, the MI etc all over the plateau.
He had reports from Barker from Bullock from Whitelaw from Vereker from Barrie and all the time in the world and the manpower to investigate.
Chelmsford was remiss in that the night before when his sojourn onto iThusi was interrupted by Gossett, he made a note that he intended to explore the plateau the following day. The question therefore is why wasn't Pulleine properly briefed by him or by Glyn.
The only briefing Pulleine was given was by a relatively junior officer, jumped up little idiot obsessed by his own importance ( sorry my view on Clery ).
Pulleine should have been summoned by Chelmsford/Glyn and given a briefing on what was happening, instructions to explore the plateau, and a more precise set of instructions. He wasn't, instead his instructions, and we only have Clery's word for it mind you, were a collection of vague of the cuff 'suggestions'.
Possibly one reason behind the lack of exploratory moves onto the plateau was that if there were to be an attack it would come from the South, the direct line to Ulundi.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:13 pm

therefore is why wasn't Pulleine properly briefed by him or by Glyn. said springbok..

Hi all, as usual frank your all over it! just two point's..
Why did'nt Pulliene get on his horse and have a look
himself or at least send his adjt?

We can not underestimate the damage to the command
structure after his lordship attached himself to the
central column,Glyn as it turned out was effectively
made redundant and was left out of the loop..Crealock
referred to chelmsford openly as ' my general ' he
gravely insults a decorated senior officer,with the result
said by 90th that ( he nearly resigned on the spot ) in
fact he DID resign! leaving chelmsford to clean up the
outrage caused by crealock.then we have melvill,dunbar.
and even Glyn ' abusing ' the camp. the c.o.i. was quick
to try and throw blame at the now grieving and most
possibly severely traumatized Glyn, who still had the nous
to kill that accusation stone dead and bat it straight back
at his lordship. cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:22 pm

Greetings Les
Interesting read seeing as we have been chatting about it, Sonia Clarke: Zululand at war. The letters in there from Clery bring a lot of light to the situation as it stood. Re read a good portion of it last night. Still don't like the bloke but he was really loyal to Glyn, and protected him.

SOP to make sure everyone is briefed and knows whats happening and what their responsibilities and areas of influence are. Chelmsford was just to focused on the Mangeni area.

Good 6-0 win on the weekend.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:43 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Still don't like the bloke but he was really loyal to Glyn...
Yes, this is what L&Q pointed out. Clery was Glyn's man as much as Crealock belonged to Chelmsford. The squabbling after the event between the staffs of Glyn and Chelmsford boils down to those two fighting. Even if everything else L&Q is thrown out as unlikely, (ammunition boxes, Zulu diversion tactics, the importance of the tents etc...) they made a contribution by pointing out the horrid staff dynamics that flourished under Chelmsford even before the back biting that inevitably followed the disaster.

They say when two utterly committed parties are having a fight the truth usually lies between. Given the message that turned up (almost incredibly!) later that gave the lie to Crealock's chief contention -- (i.e. Durnford was "ordered" to take control of the camp,) I'm not sure I believe the truth lies between in this case...but the back and forth surely outlined the parameters of the argument for a later generation of historians.

L&Q and Snook both take a lot of other positions it is difficult to objectively substantiate, but they also both highlighted all was not well with that column's command element before the fight. This is why, IMO, the Pulleine vs. Durnford debate is a red herring. They were the victims, not the cause of the problem and probably did well not to make things worse by falling into the same distrust that Clery and Crealock demonstrated. Chelmsford was either blissfully ignorant of the tension or simply did not care about it. The only thing he was more blind about was the potential for the Zulus to defeat him.

But I do think we have to ask ourselves what it says about the man (or the situation) that he seems to have addressed those problems the second time through...
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:39 pm

So who ordered the men in the camp to the front.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:46 pm

Durnford,suggested, Pulliene, ' demurred ' Coghill
threw in his two penny worth, cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:51 am

I think what ive been alluding to in the last couple of posts boils down to the lack of responsibility from Glyn. Its fine to suggest that Chelmsford had taken control etc, but would any of the great leaders of the past taken that attitude? I doubt it. Glyn should have been big enough to recognise that a very large portion of HIS men with a very inexperienced Colonel was being left in hostile territory and made sure that precise instructions were left for their well being. Instead he continued in his sulk and left it to a Major to give orders to a Colonel that were nebulous in the extreme. That gentlemen, should have lead to a charge of dereliction of duty.
Chelmsford for all his faults, and they were there, SHOULD not have been involved in setting the conditions for the camp life left behind. For that reason he actually wasn't ! Usurped command or not, Glyn had a duty which he ignored.

All grist for the mill

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:40 am

Springbok wrote:
Glyn had a duty which he ignored
Agree, even after the battle, he remained silent. He was more than happy to agree with Clery statement.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:45 pm

A large portion of an army( half-ish ) was enticed
away from the camp, in what turned out to be an
abortive attempt to close with the main Zulu army! this
we know!. the topic is the decoy theory, i will return to
the un-inpeachable Glyn later.

A court of inquiry was at once ordered to assemble for the
purpose of collecting evidence regarding the Isandhlwana
disaster.
In the meantime Lord Chelmsford in a despatch dated Jan
27th, submitted to the secretary of state such information
as he had been able to glean from the meagre evidence
available.
Of great importance is his insistence that at so early a stage
of the investigation he was unable to vouch for the accuracy
of his intelligence..

He wrote.
" The court of inquiry which is about to assemble will,i trust, be
able to collect sufficient evidence to explain what at present
appears to me almost incomprehensible."
" Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine ist Battalion 24th Regiment was
left in charge of the camp, and received strict instruct-
ion's to defend it.

" Had the force in question but taken up defensive position in
the camp itself, and utilized there the material's for a hasty
entrenchment which lay near to hand, i feel absolutely con-
fident that the whole Zulu army would not have been able to
dislodge them."

" It appears that the oxen were yoked to the wagon's three
hour's before before the attack took place, so that there was
ample time to construct that wagon laager which the Dutch in
former days understood so well."

" Had, however even the tents been struck,and the British
troop's placed their backs to the precipitous Isandhlwana Hill,
i feel sure they could of made a successful defence."

Whilst in a telegram sent by mail on the same date, Lord Chelms-
ford said:
" It would seem that the troops were enticed away from
their camp, as the action took place about one mile and a
quarter outside it."

Me..so there you have it! that's two decoy's, the first when LC
was enticed out of the camp, the second just above in LC's
telegram. who was in overall charge?..Chelmsford!! and please
think about this, LC was fully aware of the advise re, laagering
but at Isandhlwana..not a sod was turned!! if any recall that
sketch,i think in the Graphic, where Chelmsford return's to the
stricken camp, what do we see. SLIT TRENCH'S.after the fact.
he never made that mistake again, but then, he never commanded
AGAIN, let the blame rest where it should. with his lordship!.
underlining mine cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:56 pm

Good 6-0 win on the weekend....

Cheers springbok, but the soppy
sod's are leaking in at the other
end, we need that winning men-
tality some thing you lot have in
abundance. Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:18 pm

Hi Les
Cant fault your comments but the red Baron was pretty wrong in that statement as in many other instances. The battle wasn't fought a mile and a quarter outside the camp, it began at that distance but the battle per se was fought on the edge of the camp.
I have to come back to the salient points. Chelmsford only knew that orders were issued ( by Clery ) AFTER the fact. It wasn't up to Clery to do that, it was Glyns job to look after his Regiment. Nobody else Im afraid. Chelmsford tried for the cop out saying that it wasn't his job to look after the minutae of the column, and it wasn't, but he had interfered to such an extent that he actually had made it his job. Isnt this a classic Cake and eat it situation?
As Mike Snook so rightly says in HCMDB, " Junior officers cultivate a way of speaking to senior officers," he applies that to Melvills conversation with Durnford. And he is so right, a good subaltern/ADC can tell a senior officer to go to hell in such a manner that he looks forward to the trip.

Nope Glyn has to join the rest on the list of culpable gentlemen.

And that includes everyone from the staff rank of Major upwards.

Cheers Mate.

PS Picked up a copy of The Day of the Dead Moon at a Country fete on the weekend for the give away of 5 quid. Only looked at it when I got home and found the disks were missing, anyone want to buy a nice CD box (empty) for 5 quid?

Not getting involved 
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:56 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Nope Glyn has to join the rest on the list of culpable gentlemen.
Well, yes, in some abstract sense they are all responsible; most especially Chelmsford. But as to particulars I would fault Glyn only for not insisting he remain behind to defend the camp if that was his regiment's primary responsibility. Was it? Then why was half of it ordered so far afield, and him with it? Should he have resigned his commission like Dunbar threatened? Mutinied?

Occam's razor. Chelmsford over reached and got his hand caught in the cookie jar. He should have borne the brunt of responsibility...and eventually he did.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:25 pm

6pd
I wouldn't say that Glyn should have stayed behind, after all one half of the regiment was going of into the distant lands. What I contend is that Glyn abrogated his responsibility in a sulk because he couldn't handle Chelmsford. He left the care of a large part of his command to the machinations of a Major/wannabee modern major general. For that he gets an Onion.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:31 pm

Chemsford was always carefull when choosing his word. Does he not say I accompanied Col Glynn!
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:34 pm

Glyn was the commander of the third, central column, and Colonel of the 24th!.
right, so he issued the order's, No! he did not, his command was usurped! he was in
command in name only, now this is one of those technicality's of the Victorian British
Army, but you can only guess how the senior 24th officer's were feelling as the campaign
proceeded to Isandhlwana, we have noted the comment's made about the camp, Glyn
remained in control of regimental duties only! his lordship made the tactical decision's
inc ordering Glyn to select the next campsite, bit harsh to blame major's up, when the
vital decisions were made by their superiors. i find the whole tone of french suspect,
and clarke's work's the most reliable.. i usually post unrehearsed and off the cuff but,
sometimes i slip a bit of text in to illustrate my point's, like, of Chelmsford, " he had
prepared no " defensive position;" but he had selected a fatal spot for his camp,
which covering a front of about half a mile, was utterly indefensible as it stood; and he
had " pooh-poohed " the suggestion of taking defensive precautions when made by Col
Glyn; In justice to Colonel Glyn commanding No 3 Column, it must be remarked that the
general himself gave the order's for the various movement's,ect, and in justice to Lord
Chelmsford also, we note it is asserted that the shock that he experienced told severely
on him at the time, and he may not of have very carefully studied the dispatch,
which was the work of his military secretary. my underlining.   6pdr,what?
" in some abstract sense ". no abstract's here!!. cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:37 pm

littlehand,well spotted, victorian nicety's, there
was only one boss,Glyn was'nt even a close
second.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:54 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
6pdr,what?
" in some abstract sense ".  no abstract's here!!.
In case you doubt it Xhosa, we are substantially in agreement. I see Glyn primarily as a victim of circumstance (or Chelmsford & Co.) It's all well and good with 20-20 hindsight to say, "well, he could have bucked all precedent and practice of his position and done xyz," (such as insisted on staying behind in the camp,) but IMO that's a tack to take in the courtroom...not in historical analysis.

Unlike Springbok I do not make the jump from "sulking" to an abrogation of responsibility. He did what he was allowed to do by making suggestions (to better defend the camp,) executing the plan of attack at Sihayo's kraal, or riding out with the flying column. Even if he did wear a sourpuss or mutter under his breath, I don't see that as shirking or contributing to the disaster.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:56 pm

My mistake.  It was our old friend Crealock. He states the General said he was accompanying Glyn.
But Glyn states he was accompanying the General?



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

1. Soon after 2 A.M. on the 22nd January I received instructions from the Lieutenant-General to send a written order to Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, R.E., commanding No. 2 Column, to the following effect (I copied it in my note-book which was afterwards lost): " Move up to Sandhlwana Camp at once with all your mounted men and Rocket Battery—take command of it. I am accompanying Colonel Glyn, who is moving off at once to attack Matyana and a Zulu force


2nd Evidence.—Colonel Glyn, C.B., states: From the time the column under my command crossed the border I was in the habit of receiving instructions from the Lieutenant-General Commanding as to the movements of the column, and I accompanied him on most of the patrols and reconnaissances carried out by him. I corroborate Major Clery's statement.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:02 pm

6pdr wrote:
xhosa2000 wrote:
6pdr,what?
" in some abstract sense ".  no abstract's here!!.
In case you doubt it Xhosa, we are substantially in agreement.  I see Glyn primarily as a victim of circumstance (or Chelmsford & Co.)  It's all well and good with 20-20 hindsight to say, "well, he could have bucked all precedent and practice of his position and done xyz," (such as insisted on staying behind in the camp,) but IMO that's a tack to take in the courtroom...not in historical analysis.

Unlike Springbok I do not make the jump from "sulking" to an abrogation of responsibility.  He did what he was allowed to do by making suggestions (to better defend the camp,) executing the plan of attack at Sihayo's kraal, or riding out with the flying column.  Even if he did wear a sourpuss or mutter under his breath, I don't see that as shirking or contributing to the disaster.

We know through Browne, that Glyn wasn't happy about the camps defences being inadatquate. The problem is. He should have made a stronger representation to the General, instead of muttering his concerns in the shadows of a camp fire!
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:47 pm

littlehand wrote:
We know through Browne, that Glyn wasn't happy about the camps defences being inadatquate. The problem is. He should have made a stronger representation to the General, instead of muttering his concerns in the shadows of a camp fire!
A number of different people complained about the state of the defenses and nothing was done about it. As it happens, here I side with Chelmsford and pragmatism. The camp was meant to be a one night stand. Digging in or forming a laager that would encompass the camp is easy enough to say, but it would have required an immense amount of work (given the nature of the ground,) for next to no return had the entire force been present. In other words, I wouldn't have "entrenched" either if I hadn't sighted an enemy.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:00 pm

For the me the trouble started with the failure by Crealock to send the original order to Durnford, that Clery was going to send. If Clery's order has been send word for word by Crealock, Durnford would have received clear and concise orders.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:37 pm

"forming a laagar" ,says 6pdr, just highlighting
that mate so i can say..again..not a sod was
turned.. and yet drooglever thesis, in response
to one message including the word Laager! and
has no one seen the sketch on the 23rd showing
troop's occupying SLIT TRENCH'S.
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PostSubject: Re: The 21st January and the Decoy theory   Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:38 pm

littlehand Salute Wink 
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