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 The ammunition question

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: The ammunition question   Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:13 pm

xhosa
Consider the amount of time that elapsed from the point at which E and F withdrew down the slope to the point where the right horn appeared over the saddle.  Compare what happened to the east of the mountain and the length of time it took (including the stalling of the centre and the right horn) to the time taken by the right horn to proceed down the western back of the mountain.  The times do not equate.  I have no solution here; I'm merely noting the fact.

6pdr
Mostyn: this was not a "simple reinforcement of a prior decision that was POSSIBLY taken by somebody else (Durnford?)".   A.  There was no-one else to take such a decision.  B.  Pulleine had agreed to reinforce Durnford should he become engaged.  The nature of such reinforcement was down to Pulleine.  It was not Durnford's place to interfere with regimental duties.  Mostyn was selected simply because his company (F) was the next one to be assigned a duty in the strict alphabetical company rotational duty in battalion operation (following E).

You wrote that "Pulleine had access to Chelmsford's written instructions and doesn't seem to have adequately implemented them".  On the contrary I would say that he implemented them to the letter (and tried to uphold them in the face of opposition) only abandoning them when the situation called for it.

You wrote of Essex  "The way I've seen that told is he hurried up there on his own and acted like a company officer simply because it allowed him to participate".  Essex is specific in stating that it was at Pulleine's order that he acted in regard to extending the line on the spur.

The two examples you provide re Pulleine receiving guidance by subordinates are not quite accurate: Gardner did not politely tell him to get a grip: he offered advice re the situation in hand; Melvill's intercession was not 'guidance to Pulleine'.  It was advice to Durnford, something as adjutant he was perfectly entitled to do.  Having read Gardner's, Brickhill's and Essex's accounts I cannot agree that that is the way 'the stories were told'.  Remember too that claims Pulleine was acting too slowly are made in hindsight.  At the time Pulleine assumed that the main impi was in front of Chelmsford, not on the plateau - whatever was up there until he received info to the contrary - was a subsidiary force.  I don't know of a third example you might cite.

Re Shepstone and Murray.  Shepstone had no assigned role - he was on the staff of No. 2 column.  After Raw's withdrawal down the spur, Vause met him and was ordered to the north line, after that Shepstone may well have returned to the HQ where he felt he might be of sue.  As for Murray his company was only remaining unassigned reserve along with Krohn's coy.

Re Roberts' troop, their whereabouts after their action on the plateau is just not known - it's always assumed they withdrew with Raw - but there is no evidence for it.

xhosa/6pdr
I agree that the thinking out loud with others acting as a sounding board is a strong point on this forum and it's precisely because of that that I wanted to present a counterargument to Frank which is why I'm taking part (I never left!).

Springbok
The left horn did precisely what it was supposed to do: encircle the British right.  Scooping up all of Durnford's force into the net was a real coup.  I don't truly believe that Ntshingwayo would have had to issue a separate order reminding its commander of this fact.  The Zulus were trained to manoeuvre exactly as they did and they carried it out with precision.

xhosa
Yet!
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:14 pm

xhosa
Consider the amount of time that elapsed from the point at which E and F withdrew down the slope to the point where the right horn appeared over the saddle. Compare what happened to the east of the mountain and the length of time it took (including the stalling of the centre and the right horn) to the time taken by the right horn to proceed down the western back of the mountain. The times do not equate. I have no solution here; I'm merely noting the fact.

I am always concious of a remark from that wonderful storyteller David Rattray, he urges us to believe!.
and i recall his voice vividly when he said, re, time scale.."this battle lasted just as long as it takes
me to tell you about it". so bearing that in mind, and as nearly always this is off the cuff!..Pulleine/
Durnford dispatches Cavaye and Mostyn, they arrive and soon find something to shoot at. the right
horn! which they proceed to do! the right horn take no notice and do what they have been ordered to do which is to complete the horns of the buffalo,so as we know Cavaye and Mostyn are shortly
re-enforced as the chest and the left horn come boiling over the escarpment, now this question is about the doings of the right horn and the timings thereof..say all companies are fully engaged at 12.35-12-40.that leaves a window of only 40 minutes for most organized resistance to be virtually
over! 40 minutes..i wish all who try to minute by minute this battle must realize that it is impossible
to do so!

Julian, one must live in hope that people long dust, have secreted, deposited something as yet
not revealed, ie, Durford's orders! Lloyd's sketch book were! i am an optimist at heart, i'm sure
the participant's transported back in time would be amazed at our continued fascination.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:15 pm

Captain Walter Stafford.

"the whole of our force had retired to this position, where they still were when we arrived. The one exception was Lieutenant Roberts, of Pinetown, who had managed to get his men into a cattle kraal on the ledge of the ridge. I heard later on that this little band had been shelled by our artillery, and that Roberts had been killed as a result of the blunder"
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:41 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
[left]
Mostyn: this was not a "simple reinforcement of a prior decision that was POSSIBLY taken by somebody else (Durnford?)".   A.  There was no-one else to take such a decision.  B.  Pulleine had agreed to reinforce Durnford should he become engaged.  The nature of such reinforcement was down to Pulleine.  It was not Durnford's place to interfere with regimental duties.  Mostyn was selected simply because his company (F) was the next one to be assigned a duty in the strict alphabetical company rotational duty in battalion operation (following E).

Perhaps I am confused here, but do you really think that dispatching Mostyn up the spur had anything to do with Pulleine fulfilling a "commitment" to Durnford?  I can understand that he might have potentially ordered Bradstreet and/or Pope over to the right flank to help Durnford (or simply bolster it) but the companies to the north were almost a separate battle in the sense that one flank could not see what was happening on the other. The dispatch of Mostyn was precautionary and separate from the formation of the main defense line hinging on the pair of 7-pounders.  

Quote :

You wrote that "Pulleine had access to Chelmsford's written instructions and doesn't seem to have adequately implemented them".  On the contrary I would say that he implemented them to the letter (and tried to uphold them in the face of opposition) only abandoning them when the situation called for it.

I am aware you believe that, and I agree with you that Pulleine seems to have intended as much...but Frank, and I would bet a majority of others, believe that in some way or other colonial troops (basically NNC and NNH units) became interspersed with the Regulars.  I have to admit that it's possible such a thing happened, even if that wasn't the cause of the debacle...and if so, it speaks to a lack of positive control.

Quote :
You wrote of Essex  "The way I've seen that told is he hurried up there on his own and acted like a company officer simply because it allowed him to participate".  Essex is specific in stating that it was at Pulleine's order that he acted in regard to extending the line on the spur.

Smith-Dorrien says that Essex was busy with correspondence in their tent when a sergeant informed him of the developing situation. He thereupon grabbed a horse and rode north off his own bat. Pulleine later gave him orders to pass on? OK, but I tend to be suspicious of Essex because he earned the nickname "Lucky." Somehow he managed to get himself involved in another debacle in the Boer War...and survived it which large numbers of his brethren didn't...and usually nicknames like "Tiny" and "Lucky" are ironic.  Coincidence or ?
Quote :

The two examples you provide re Pulleine receiving guidance by subordinates are not quite accurate: Gardner did not politely tell him to get a grip: he offered advice re the situation in hand;


I read that as Pulleine being overwhelmed...worrying about what Chelmsford would think of him instead of responding to a developing threat.  Yes, to some degree that stinks of 20-20 hindsight, but Gardner was acting as a courier, not an advisor. Pulleine did not query him and Melvill with, "Well boys, what would you do if you were in my boots?" Gardner just spoke up, as did Shepstone, in consternation that their commander didn't grasp the bigger picture -- ~"large numbers of Zulu are lined up in rows just over that escarpment and they were pushing my troops back this direction when I left them. [subtext: clue in man!]
Quote :

Melvill's intercession was not 'guidance to Pulleine'.  It was advice to Durnford, something as adjutant he was perfectly entitled to do.

It depends upon how you imagine this advice was delivered.  SD says it was conversational not confrontational. But the very fact that a lieutenant had to speak truth to power that way suggests his superior had not adequately asserted himself.  I don't doubt that such speaking up was "permitted," but that doesn't mean contradicting or correcting somebody of higher rank might not have consequences somewhere down the road.  Right or wrong, Melvill must have felt strongly about the situation and been uncomfortable with it.

Gardner, Melvill and Shepstone all went out of their way to "advise" Pulleine while Durnford simply seems to have skirted him.  We have very few examples of his positive control over the battle after the retreat from the spur.  I think it adds up to the point where you have to at least consider the possibility that this is an example of a guy simply being overwhelmed by events that he never anticipated. That has happened to many experienced leaders and Pulleine was not that -- not in combat at least.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:35 pm

That has happened to many experienced leaders and Pulleine was not that -- not in combat at least.


Would you care to qualify that last statement? he raised his own
unit.. irregulars called Pulleine's Lambs..at the end of the day he
was a lieut colonel in one of englands finest regiments. the blame
game is a well worn path! it led down the road a piece to his lord-
ship and in my opinion that's where it rightfully belonged!.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:49 am

xhosa2000 wrote:
Would you care to qualify that last statement? he raised his own
unit.. irregulars called Pulleine's Lambs..at the end of the day he
was a lieut colonel in one of englands finest regiments. the blame
game is a well worn path! it led down the road a piece to his lord-
ship and in my opinion that's where it rightfully belonged!.

Glad you brought that up -- it fits the pattern exactly. Like 'Tiny' or 'Lucky' the name 'Pulleine's Lambs' was ironic. In other words the unit he raised was notorious for its ill discipline not its combat effectiveness. He could not control them. They ran amok in town provoking a good deal of complaint. They were the kind of guys you issued shovels instead of guns lest they get drunk and kill innocent bystanders. I don't consider that an endorsement of his leadership abilities...which is why he was left in what was supposed to be a backwater...but wasn't.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:15 am

Glad you brought that up -- it fits the pattern exactly. Like 'Tiny' or 'Lucky' the name 'Pulleine's Lambs' was ironic......err actually you brought it up some posts before. i handed you the bait and you
snatched my hand off! read the rest of my comment, joined up thinking my friend, i'm trying
to avoid colloquial english for your better understanding! so, like sure, Pulleine was like totally like
a loser who could not control the events around him dude!...not so he was a lieut col in the british
army, and it has been pointed out ad nuseum that his immediate subordinates were on hand to share
in command decisions! but the Zulu had their own ideas!  Very Happy 
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:05 am

Hi Julian
Difficult I know to gauge the company strengths as the various sources omit and differ in quantity.
My take would be
Sihlala as being the most accurate:
I would add in for the left Horn
iNgobamakhosi 101 companies
uDloko 30 companies
uVe 100 companies

and quite possibly the uMxhapho, however they would probably be more considered as left central, even though they were South of the koppie.

With those three elements there are 231 companies. , close to 10 000 men.

Your comments about Shepstone being sent to guard the rear. Im sure if that was the case Nyanda would have been with him, he says the last time he saw Shepstone he was in the tent area. And that while he, Nyanda was on retreat. Ive opten tended to think that Shepstone was part of the Youghusband retreat and he carried on around the buttress instead of making his stand at the same point. From Younghusbands stand there is a line of cairns that climbs up and over a ridge ( close to the cave ) then descends down and across to where he is buried.

In terms of the extention of the left horn to outflank I remain convinced that they moved up the South side of the ridge that descends from Mahlabamkhosi towards the donga. Its a natural concealment and the Zulu were experts in using the natural features. Possibly coincidentally Gardners map shows a Zulu column crossing the road by quite a margin and bypassing the camp towards the koppie.
Essex shows the same route.
I would refer you again back to your own compilation map produced with FWD.

All of those maps have in common the left horn taking a circuitous route to get around the 1/24th tented area and attacking from the top., leaving the iNgobamakhosi to face Pope.
Possibly a mini horns of the buffalo within the main attack ?
None of those Southward movements could have been observed by Pulleine if he was on the line. Even at the HQ tent those Southward movements would have been lost behind the Nkengeni ridge itself.

So it would come back to my original comment that the left horn was considerably stronger than it would normally have been. It could be argued that this was as a result of turmoil on the plateau and regiments not knowing where there should be, and that doesn't sit comfortably with me really. Ntshingwayo had sat with the regiment the entire night in the Valley with his advisers being constantly advised as to what was happening, when they moved out of the valley over the Mabaso I am pretty sure there was a solid plan in place. That being true why would so many men be involved in the left horn and probably more to the point if the uNdi Corps was destined to be a reserve of to the North West ( Could that have been the group Stafford took pot shots at? ) how on earth would a part of the Corps be at the opposite end of the world, by mistake? Or design?

Cheers
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:54 am

Lots to comment on and I don't have the time to go into this in the depth i would like - a pity we can't be round a table somewhere (with a pint on hand!).

xhosa
Perhaps rather than think of the time in minutes that elapsed, picture the events that occurred pari passu with the right horn's rear-of-the-mountain movement:
a forward move to the plateau's edge, boiling over the edge, the impi being stalled in front of the line, the 24th moving to get a better sighting, Durnford's fighting retreat, the left horn moving forward and being held, the movement of the gun to a leftward position and Pope's move, the Zulu charge home, the withdrawal and flight over the saddle
A lot happened in front of the mountain in the time it took for the right horn to move at its jog-trot pace behind the mountain.  I'm not saying it WAS definitely held up.  I am saying the times to me don't equate and either it took its time or it might have been held up - and, if it were, what were the possible causes of it.

littlehand
Yes, Stafford's comment is the only one that refers to Roberts's death.  It's hearsay since he was told by A N Other and no-one else mentions it or corroborates it.  No-one else mentions a cattle kraal either. That said, it may well have happened as he wrote, but even if it did, we still hear no more of Roberts's troop, and it might have retreated to the west of the mountain with or without its commander.

6pdr
Briefly, staff and field officers and adjutants had that right to offer advice without being asked for it.  That's why they were in that position.  I don't see Gardner or Melvill's actions as being inconsistent with their role and neither does it in any way convey Pulleine in a bad light for being on the receiving end of it.  Conversational - not confrontational, as you say.
Essex immediately reported for duty as was expected of a special service officer in such a situation and he was given orders by Pulleine which he carried out.  The 'Lucky' epithet first appears after Majuba Hill in 1881 when he had twice escaped with his life.  I know of no other 'secret' meaning attached to this nickname that any contemporary referred to.
Pulleine's Lambs although being a rough lot were effective and the epithet was applied not because of their behaviour off-duty but because of the bruising way they went about their employment on duty whilst responding to their commander like 'lambs'.

Springbok

Nyanda was inDuna of Raw's no. 1 troop NNH and Nyanda would have stuck to his men, and they to him.  I don't believe he would have tried to remain with a column staff officer like Shepstone - it was not his place or duty.

Where do the figures of 101 iNgobamkhosi AND 100 (!) for the uVe come from?
Where does the evidence that the uDhloko fought in the left horn AND was part of the reserve that fought at RD come from?
What is the evidence for the uMxhapho being in the left horn?
I ask these questions because I don't know where your information is coming from and we're using the same sources.  It's important because it's where you get your LARGE left horn from and at the moment I can't see it but I'm willing to be persuaded.

I agree with you about the left horn coming over the Stony Koppie.  I agree with you that southward movements could not have been observed from the HQ tent - though they could have been seen/perceived by Durnford...(another thread looming here)

You wrote "So it would come back to my original comment that the left horn was considerably stronger than it would normally have been. It could be argued that this was as a result of turmoil on the plateau and regiments not knowing where there should be".
You need to provide me with evidence for the numbers and other regiments' inclusion in the left horn before I can even start to consider this.  As you know, I do buy into turmoil on the plateau because at least two Zulus independently of one another say so.  I also buy into Ntshingwayo having a solid plan but I believe that the turmoil interfered with it a little and once launched, it could not be 'unlaunched'.

Enjoying this, but busy, busy, busy and working away this weekend in the Midlands running a course and have to prepare for it!!!!


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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:41 am

Fair enough Julian, and as per i can find nothing
to negate what you say! cant believe you went
all latin on me ( think about it..me! lol, ) i dont
and never have attempted to minute by minute,
i leave that to the minutiae,ist's, a comprehensive
overview suffices for me.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:51 am

All Latin on you!! Be thankful I didn't go all Zulu on you!!
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:55 am

Fascinating, intelligent and courteous debate! I enjoy it!
I regret missing knowledge to participe in it!
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:35 pm

Shocked   agree 
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:37 pm

Hi Julian
Yep an evening In the pub would be interesting, let me know when your in Cape Town  agree 
I was waiting for the dissention on the uDhloku.  Suspect 
Keith Smith published a paper some time ago that really intrigued me about the position of the reserve, traditionally up towards the northwest.
Keith presented a pretty compelling argument to place the reserve out on the plain rather than the North West, despite the 'deserters' and Umtegalalos statements. That particular placing of the reserve has allways bugged me, mainly because of their perceived position at the Ngwebini on the extreme East ( the so called Henderson/Wood map markings )
Uguku puts the, uMbonambi, half the Undi, Ngobamakosi and Uve on the left of his regiment. Mehlokazulu is even more specific when he says:" the men who fought at Rorkes Drift took no part at iSandlwana: they were men of the Undi regiment who formed a portion of the left horn.

So again my view point would be that the uDhloko did form part of the left horn and did follow the ridge line up to the koppie and then over and down into the Manzimyama valley towards Rorkes drift.
Your other questions, the 101 figure of the Ngobamkhosi is quoted by Sihlala, the only figures I can find for the Uve are from Robertson who puts the strength at around 4000, ergo approx. 100 companies.
The uMxhapho positioning comes from FWD.

Shepstone. Ordinarily I could have agreed with your contention of him being staff, however he would seem to have removed himself from that position to take men up onto the plateau. Nyanda specifically mentions Shepstone taking command, " We dismounted and moved with them under command of Mr Shepstone." he then describes how 'we' were driven into the camp and then 'the last I saw of Mr Shepstone was among the tents.' That whole passage reads as them being under the command of George. Something I haven't had the time to follow up here is his statement that the guns retreated before the right of the line.

The Rocket Battery
I would say they were attacked by more than skirmishers, Nourse quotes 'over whelming force', heavy volleys, etc.

Cheers enjoy the course.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:02 pm

Frank
I am just falling over myself with work and i really shouldn't be doing this so this will be brief...

Pub: great idea, though a little village pub I know in Margaretting Tye would suit me.

uNdi and uDhloko positions:  I'm not sure Keith would maintain that stance.  Frankly there are too many men from those regiments that put them where they are traditionally placed.  Uguku was with the umCijo in the centre so he doesn't know with certainty which regiments were in the left/right horns: he was somewhere else.

Sihlahla gives the 101 amaviyo for BOTH the iNgobamakhosi and uVe combined.  So you are counting them twice.

umXapho is left centre acc. to Jackson.


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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:05 pm

Fascinating, intelligent and courteous debate! I enjoy it!
I regret missing knowledge to participe in it!
Cheers.....

You do yourself a disfavour, i find your views relevant,
with a great deal of enthusiasm and often inciteful, and
more than worthy to join in any of this, or any other
thread!
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:08 pm

Les I would firmly agree with you.

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:12 pm

Julian Im so sorely tempted for a lengthy reply. I will not tempt you way from work though. I will post later.
BTW Jackson puts uVe with iNgobamakhosi, page 39 Hill os the Sphinx.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:45 pm

ymob/xhosa
Moi aussi! Je suis d'accord!

springbok
I absolutely agree that the uVe were with the iNgobamakhosi on the left horn.  Never thought otherwise.  Typed uVe, meant uMxapho and have edited previous post accordingly.  Sorry to confuse.  More haste less speed.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:33 pm

The uMxapho were as you say left of centre alongside the uMbonambi. There route down onto the plain appears to have been down the notch area. And would I assume have been the regiment that pursued the Rocket Battery and subsequently the left wing of Durnfords force. Private Johnson, Lt Davis both mention that pursuit, and of being almost surrounded. Again there is a mention of that pursuit going around the koppie. I again would suggest therefore that they did move south of the koppie before attacking the line, possibly just below the guns position.
uVe strength
Mehlokazulu makes no mention of the uVe as a separate entity in his listing of the regiments that took part, just the Ngobamakosi with 80 companies Robertson however lists them separatly with 4000 warriors in each.
Uguku although part of uMcijo would have sat alongside them at the upper Ngwebini and walked/run along side them over the length of the plateau and would be very aware of who was next to him.
Mehlokazulu was commanding the Ngobamakosi and would most certainly have been aware of who was around him I cant see him counting in the uNdi regiment without sound knowledge.
So that still gives me the original men I proposed.
The issue of the reserves being on the plain is probably a whole new topic but would be interesting to explore rather than dismissing out of hand. Like most things with this battle there are tantalizing glimpses and hints of it being there, even Hamilton Brown has a word or two to say about it.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:14 pm

Springbok

I agree with your remarks about the uMxapho but although they may have moved south around the koppie they attacked 'forward' as part of the centre along with the umBonambi towards Dyer/Lonsdale/Pope and cannot be included in the left horn.

Mehlokazulu indeed makes no mention of the uVe as a separate entity in his listing of the regiments that took part (just as he doesn't mention all the other regiments individually), he merely states that the Ngobamakosi had 80 amaviyo and 60 izinDuna (5,600 warriors). Robertson, as you say, lists the uVe and iNgobamakhosi separately when talking of the army in general (i.e. not Isandhlwana) with 4000 warriors in each. Fynney does the same with 70 and 86 amaviyo respectively. The Natal witness gives a total of 4,000 in the iNgobamakhosi, the uNdi prisoner 7,000.
Interestingly there are three reports of numbers relating to the uVe and iNgobamakhosi together specifically at Isandhlwana:
the Nokenke deserter at 5,000 combined
Sihlahla at 5,050 combined (101 amaviyo)
and Mpatshana at 5,600 (iNgobamakhosi 80 amaviyo) and 650 (uVe 13 amaviyo) making combined 6,250.
Looking at the numbers specifically referring to Isandhlwana, your large left horn does not add up.

Uguku (uMcijo) was not sitting next to the uVe/iNgobamakhosi at the upper Ngwebini. The umBonambi and umXapho were between them. So he would not be aware of their numbers at that point.

Mehlokazulu was commanding the Ngobamakosi and would most certainly have been aware of who was around him - he would have seen Qetuka's small contingent of uNdi (out of place) having hurtled forward without orders to run with the left horn. Perhaps he was referring to them.

I agree that the issue of the reserves being on the plain is probably a whole new topic and would be interesting to explore rather than dismissing out of hand, on the other hand, if you are intent on including the uDhloko in the left horn's attack, it needs to be explored here.

This is Wimbledon fortnight isn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:19 pm

olor=#0000FF]Julian Whybra"


I have always also wondered whether someone else was holding up the right horn behind the mountain.  I've been tempted to think it might have been Roberts's troop (about which we hear no more) which might have preceded the right horn down the west-of-the-mountain escarpment.  Roberts may have been with them (I don't necessarily believe the 'killed-by-friendly-fire' story though it might be so) and Roberts's body position is not known.  The right horn took an awfully long time to proceed down the back of the mountain and I've always felt that SOME unsung hero must have been holding it up.  

I am curious to know who were these "unsung hero"...
I don't found in "England's sons" and "Hill of the Sphinx" the losses of Roberts's troop.
If the Robert's troopers are practically totally slaughtered and the others NNH units not (as the Edendale's troop), i suppose it would be an indication...

Cheers

I.E: Thanks to Les, Julian and Frank for being so kind
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:42 pm

some forum members might be interested to see
the list of Zulu regiments as compiled by Fynney
prior to the invasion.

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:33 am

Julian and Springbok,

This is a very interesting discussion.  I have always been very intrigued by the issue of the number Zulus at Isandlwana.  One of the things that I have always found interesting is that when looking at the statements of many of the Zulu participants who describe the force present at Isandlwana, what they describe as regiments being present, have always been characterized as corps in the army lists that I’ve read.  

For instance, the statement of a warrior from uMbonambi indicates that 8 regiments were present – the iNgobamakhosi, uMbonambi, uMxhapho, uMcijo, uNokhenke, uNodwengu, uDloko, and uNdi. Similarly, the statement of uNokhenke deserter indicates that 7 regiments were present – the iNgobamakhosi (which included the uVe), uMbonambi, uMcijo, uNokhenke, uNodwengu, uDloko, and uNdi.

I think that it is interesting that the Zulu accounts consistently refer to the uNdi, and uNodwengu as regiments as opposed to corps composed of several individual regiments, such as the Thulwana, iNdlondlo, and iNdluyengwe regiments of the uNdi corps. It got me to wondering if perhaps some of the other units described as regiments in the Zulu accounts were actually what we would consider corps as well. For instance, if I’m not mistaken, the uMcijo is listed as not only a regiment by Fynney, but also the name of the entire corps comprised of the uMcijo, Unqakamatye and Umtulisazwi regiments and totaling 9,000 men.  Likewise, the uMbonambi is listed by Fynney as the name of a corps comprised of the uMbonambi and Amashutu regiments.

I think that it is also interesting the way that the participants characterize the uVe. In the uMbonambi warrior’s statement he indicates that 6 regiments actually took part in the fighting at Isandlwana, but he did not consider the uVe as one of the 6, saying instead that the uVe was part of the iNgobamakhosi and not a separate corps. The uNokhenke deserter also characterized the uVe as a battalion of the iNgobamakhosi rather than a separate regiment.  Could this be why Mehlokazulu did not give a separate number of amaviyo for the uVe, because in his mind they were all part of the same corps – the iNgobamakhosi?

In Jackson’s Hill of the Sphinx, Jackson also distinguishes regiments from corps and describes the uMcijo corps, and uMbonambi corps as taking part in the battle as opposed to describing them as individual regiments.  Is it possible then that the Zulu accounts of the force present at Isandlwana have been misinterpreted, and instead of a single regiment of the uMcijo and a single regiment of the uMbonambi, these were in fact two corps composed of several individual regiments? If so, then perhaps, Spingbok, this would at least make the chest more comparable in number of warriors to the left horn.

Julian, I was interested in your assessment of the number members from the uNdi corps that joined the left horn.  The only account I have ever read describing the number from the uNdi corps is Uguku’s account in which he indicated that half of the uNdi joined the left horn.  Are there other sources which indicate a smaller number actually joined the left horn?

Also, I have never read Mpatshana’s account, and I would be very interested in knowing the number of amaviyo he indicates were present in the other regiments at Isandlwana.  Could you post his numbers for the other regiments?

Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:50 am

Cetewayo
Great that you've joined the debate, Julian needs your help  Very Happy 
As I said earlier it really depends on who you believe and who your prepared to disgard. It is of course highly possible that interpretation due to the language have skewed figures and again the base of allowing between 40 to 55 men per viyo, that's already a 30 od percentage variation. A list you haven't touched on is the Army List which again gives variances.
Julian
Yep tennis season it is, so back over the net to you.
Happy to concede your point on the double count for the uVe. But I don't believe you can take Uguko's comments out of the fray. His words are just as weighted as those that attribute the position of the Reserve as being to the North West.
My points on that would reflect a disbelief that the position indicated was in any way tactically sound, from there the only point of immediate support it could have given would have been to the right horn or right chest.
Secondly it would have been completely out of sight of the command structure, well behind at least one hill.
Third the distance from the area to the battlefield would have rendered it useless for any immediacy.
Forth we have agreed that the person most likely to know who was in his command would have been Mehlokazulu, that being so how would you account for his very firm statement that the uNdi/uDloko was part of the left horn?
And again the comment on "half" the Undi" would suggest a lot more than 300.

Cheers

( Work is a four letter word )

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:29 am

springbok
Your response requires a fuller reply than I have time for at the moment.
I must work today and finalize all preparations. I have a family funeral in Sussex tomorrow and Friday I leave to run the weekend course.
I'm sorry! Roll on Monday!

Cetewayo
I happen to have Mpatshana ka Sodondo in front of me:
here you are -
uThulwane - 3,000 men 60 amaviyo
inGobamakhosi - 5,600 men 80 amaviyo
uVe - 650 men 13 amaviyo
A general remark - trying to make any sort of argument based on Zulu figures for regiments/corps is fraught with danger. To begin with Europeans are inclined to view these military terms in a European sense and one can't - a point you have discovered for yourself. Secondly, one has to differentiate - is the writer referring to the numbers in regiment/corps at the start of the war or the numbers in the regiment/corps present at Isandhlwana. Thirdly there is a difference between numbers of men in each amaviyo depending on the regiment. Then there is the then African concept of number - I recall once asking the distance between two places and being told about fifteen miles. I then asked whether this was as the crow flies and got the answer, "no, as the butterfly flies".
I'm inclined to say 'don't go there' but the draw of Isandhlwana forces me, like Frank and yourself, to try to make sense of these numbers.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:48 am

Hiya, cetewayo. Mpatshana in his own words here, if
you want to right click the pages fine, you can then
read them at your leisure!. i will leave them in pb for
a week..James Stuart Archive vol 3.

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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:40 am

Well done that man.  Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:47 pm

Wink 
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:39 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Then there is the then African concept of number - I recall once asking the distance between two places and being told about fifteen miles.  I then asked whether this was as the crow flies and got the answer, "no, as the butterfly flies".

I'll have to remember that one. So clever!  Very Happy   Exclamation   Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:11 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Hiya, cetewayo. Mpatshana in his own words here, if
you want to right click the pages fine, you can then
read them at your leisure!. i will leave them in pb for
a week..James Stuart Archive vol 3.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Holy cow! How you do that?
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:20 pm

ive been doing that for nearly fifty
years now, i'm ashamed to say i
have forgotten a lot more then i
remember! i'm a laid back guy,
nearly horizontal at times, i have
no points to prove, none of it is
that important to me..but i do
value genuine people!  Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:28 pm

If only you could use your superpowers for good instead of evil! ;-)
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:54 pm

again your attitude leaves me no choice but to
say whatever! we rub the wrong way, if you recall
i have apologised to you twice, one in a pm and one
publicly, i have no problem offering a sincere apology
when required, what i do expect is acknowledgement
of that apology..i have good manners, despite myself!
you chose not to do that, not just you there are others
on this place who have done the same, one of which i
was very surprised at indeed and i must confess very
disappointed! however i never bear a grudge and do
indeed start each day afresh. again i say, lets
rewind.. my names Les how do you do!
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:16 pm

Julian, thanks for posting those figures from Mpatshana's statement. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, please accept my condolences.

Xhosa, thanks for the link to Mpatshana's statement.

Springbok, I was under the impression that Fynney's list was the one used by the army and is the list that appears in the publication  Zulu Army and Zulu Headmen. Am I confused about this, and is there another list you're referring to? Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:30 pm

cetewayo, your welcome.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:16 am

Springbok,  Julian great debate.  agree

Of course, one can only speculate on the numbers of Zulu present at Isandlwana. To many variations ?
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:41 pm

Cetewayo
Sorry I didn't notice you had mention the Army List and yes it was compiled by Bernard Fynney. Ive just had a re look at Jacksons figure and while doing so noticed he referes to a Black Ostrich feather as being part of the uNdi 'uniforn' and being found by Montague to the front of the camp. My reading of the passage in Montague however puts the body and feather he found at a mile towards the rear of the camp just of the road. I mention this I think the Black Ostrich feather as being used by three regiments, only one of which wsa at isandlwana, the uMxhapho. Probably all sorts of reasons for a body being a mile behind the camp when his regiment fought to the front of the camp but its intriguing none the less.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:45 pm

Springbok,

Didn't the iNdluyengwe who were part of the uNdi also have black ostrich feathers as part of their uniform? If so, this could explain why the body was found a mile behind the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:19 pm

Didn't they have white ostrich feathers and widow bird plumes? As far as Im aware, and by no means am I an expert, the other two that used Black Ostrich feathers were iQua and mBelelela/uMhlanga. there were one or two more that used white Ostrich, Tulwana for instance had split feathers and Brown Crane. There again allways happy to learn
Even so the plot would thicken. Montague says the body was adjacent to the road and a mile away would mean that the reserve travelled a long way down the road before cutting overland to the crossing of the Mzinyathi. Assuming of course that the reserve was indeed North of the camp, and that is one of the issues under discussion.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:51 pm

Actually quite deceptive, Ive just measured one mile from the saddle, its at the Manzimyama/ Road crossing.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:32 pm

In all the descriptions of the iNdluyengwe that I've read, they are described as having a bunch of black ostrich feathers surmounted by one or more white ostrich feathers with widow bird plumes on either side.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:43 pm

Of course the feather may have come from a passing ostrich...
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:52 pm

As you have so often pointed out, a good historian will always go back to the original source - in this case an Ostrich. Well done Julian!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:06 am

Julian
Nope it was still attached to the withered corpse so no Ostrich on holiday from Oudtshorn Im afraid.


Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:10 am

Cetswayo
As I said Im no expert so quite happy to concede the point, my source of information is Chris Wilkinson-Lathams 'Uniforms and Weapons of the Zulu War.'

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:29 pm

The Left Horn
As posted I believe the left horn was disproportionally large compared with balance of the Zulu army dispositions.
I’ve put forward that this to a great degree was because of the inclusion in that portion of the army the Undi, Uve and Ngobamakosi.
In addition to the above I would also make a case that the army reserve, being the uDloko regiment was also on the plain at that juncture.
The Deserter from the Nokhenke
Statements from the ‘Deserter’ are a key issue in positioning the reserve in that he states; “ With the later were the two commanding officers, Mavumingwana and Tyingwayo and several of the kings brothers  who with these two corps ( the Undi and the uDloko ) bore away to the Northwest and after a short pause, and keeping on the southern side of the Sandhlwana, performed a turning movement on the right, without any opposition from the whites, who, from the nature of the ground could not see them.”
Since 1879 this has been the key evidence that positions the reserve. But in the traditional context the evidence is suspect in that he has the leadership of the impi leaving the field of battle and positioning  themselves in a place that they could not see any of the unfolding battle. Not a concept that I can agree with.
He also links in battle the two regiments of the Mbonambi and Ngobamakosi and suggests they attacked the English right, effectively naming them as the left horn: “the Ngobamakosi and the Mbonambi made a turning along the front of the camp towards the English right but became engaged before they could accomplish it, and the Uve regiment, a battalion of the Ngobamakosi was repulsed and had to retire until reinforced by the other the other battalion.”
Comment
The deserter was on either part of the left horn or left centre and I would question if the Undi where a half a mile behind if he would have been able to see their positioning. The fact that he also has the entire command structure being remote from the battlefield would also tend to discredit his statement. From his position on the ridge however he would have been able to see the left horn spreading across to outflank and in the dead ground approaching Mahlabamkosi and the southern part of Isandlwana.
Umtegalalo
His is the second testimony that points the reserve of to the North: “On seeing the other four regiments engaged had commenced the attack marched off to their right and without fighting made for the Northern side of the Isandula Hill, being concealed by it until their turning movement being completed, they made their appearance to the west of the Isandula at the spot where the wagon road crosses the neck “.
He also has a different version of the chest formation in that he lines up the Umcijo, Nokhenke and the Mbonambi.
Comment
Nowhere in this evidence does he mention the Undi as being on the ridge, his comments could easily apply to looking across the plain at the right flank of the camp
.
Uguku of the Umcijo
“On our left we were supported by the Mbonambi, half the Undi, Ngobamakosi and Uve.”
Comment.
The ‘half’ is a tad more than the 300 soles suggested.

And again:
“It was a disputed point as to which of the regiments was the first in the English Camp………..but it was eventually decided that the Mbonambi was the first followed by the Undi.”
With Julian’s suggested 300 members of the Undi being present, would they really have been singled out for that honour?
Mehlokazulu kaSihayo
“The men who fought at Rorkes Drift took no part at Isandlwana; they were the men of the Undi regiment who formed a portion of the left wing. When the camp at Isandlwana had been taken these men came up fresh and pursued the fugitive’s right over the Fugitives Drift into Natal.”
Comment
There are a few issues here, firstly the definitive statement that the reserve was with the left wing and secondly the phraseology  of “they came up”, indicative of them following on behind his regiment or following on from there holding area.
Lt Harry Davis
“I gave a look towards the front of the hill towards where the General had gone in the morning and saw a great many Zulus, evidently reinforcements who were never in the fight. They were about two miles of.”
Comment
For a long time this has been taken as meaning he saw Hamilton Brown on the plain. But his view was of a mass at two miles whereas Hamilton Browns closest point was 4 miles.
Colonel George Hamilton Brown
A lost legionary in South Africa.
“When we had got to a place, about 5miles from camp,”
And
“………….there were large parties  of the enemy close to us, “
And
TNA WO 33/34  “During the whole engagement I noticed large bodies of the enemy in reserve who never took part in the action.”
Comment
Again a definitive statement that there was a static force between him and the battlefield.


Synopsis
Quite often comments made by the various survivors/participants are tailored to make them fit pre determined thoughts, because, ‘South of the mountain doesn’t fit, call it a mistake and make it North’ for instance. If the statements are viewed from the point of view of the participant quite often it changes the result. Hence my comments on the Zulu accounts.
Hopefully I’ve made the point that there is sufficient reason to look again at the sources for believing the reserve was behind the Nqutu range out of site of the battlefield.
The position often pointed to makes no military sense and is completely impractical.  The statements of the Zulu participants can be read in differing lights if we look at where they were positioned and how they would have viewed the battle.
On the maps often associated with TMFHT and discussed by Julian and David Jackson in ‘Isandlwana and the Durnford papers” ( Campbell Collection Map no 3 0 There is a positive indication of the track of the Undi  Corps being across the plain and  South of Mahlabamkosi. To quote from that article: “In particular the positioning of the Undi Corps gives weight to the argument that it crossed to the valley behind Isandlwana by way of South of Stony Koppie rather than by way of the spur to the North of Isandlwana.
Map marked No1 in that essay, referred to as map 2 in the TMFHT has the annotation, variously attributed to Lt Henderson or to Colonel Wood respectively, motes that the Undi were ½ mile to left rear of the Ngobamakosi in Bivouac and action. Again a definitive statement that the Undi were in action at the same place as the Ngobamakosi.
In presenting this I am arguing that that the reserve was not stationed on the plateau but was behind the left horn in between the strike force and Hamilton Browns NNC. I would also argue that the reserve followed up on the attacking Ngobamakosi , a part of which acted as reinforcement for the badly mauled first section. The reserve, including the uDloko then proceeded around the Stony Koppie and went on to attack Rorkes Drift
Sources
Keith Smith ‘Dead was Everything’
Keith Smith ‘Select Documents, A Zulu War source book’
FWD Jackson ‘Hill of the Sphinx’
Colonel G Hamilton Brown ‘A lost legionary in South Africa’
Bertram Mitford ‘Through the Zulu Country’
Ian Knight ‘Zulu’
Isandhlwana and the Durnford Papers FWD Jackson and Julian Whybra
Statement of Lt HD Davis TNA (PRO), WO33/34, Inclosure 2 in No 96
Mehlokazulu Royal Engineers Journal 2nd February 1880
Nokhenke Deserter TNA (PRO) WO 33/34 Inclosure 2 in No 80
Uguku of the Umcijo  ‘FE Colenso , The Zulu War and its origins.


There we go Julian, wrong or right my thoughts on why the left wing was stronger than the rest.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:44 pm

Springbok,

I am definitely not an expert either, just a novice who is passionate about the subject matter
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:50 pm

I also rely on Wilkinson-Lathams book as well as 'Zulu Army and Zulu Headmen', and Knight's 'Anatomy of the Zulu Army' and the Osprey titles he has authored. I think I read on this forum that Julian's next installment in his 'Studies in the Zulu War' will focus on the Zulu army. I am waiting for its release with bated breath.
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PostSubject: Re: The ammunition question   Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:58 pm

springbok9 wrote:
The Left Horn
As posted I believe the left horn was disproportionally large compared with balance of the Zulu army dispositions.
I’ve put forward that this to a great degree was because of the inclusion in that portion of the army the Undi, Uve and Ngobamakosi.
In addition to the above I would also make a case that the army reserve, being the uDloko regiment was also on the plain at that juncture.

HOLY COW!  Shocked  (I hope it's not too sacrilegious to use that phrase when speaking of Zulu dispositions.)  Joker 

You do keep this joint jumping, Springbok!

I've never read anybody else with this theory before. If the reserve was out there isn't it likely that Durnford's detachment would have spotted them and sent back some sort of messenger? Or am I misunderstanding the situation?
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