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 Durnford was he capable. 3

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu May 23, 2013 10:00 pm

Here you go Martin!

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

I think the post your referring to, is the one after your discussion with Julian about himself feeling poorly. and you making him feel better.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu May 23, 2013 10:09 pm

As posted earlier

Lieut. Colonel Durnford R.E
Camp Helpmakaar

1. You are requested to move the troops under your immediate command viz.: mounted men, rocket battery and Sikeli’s men to Rourke’s Drift tomorrow the 20th inst.; and to encamp on the left bank of the Buffalo (in Zululand).
2. No. 3 Column moves tomorrow to the Isandhlana (Sic) Hill.
3. Major Bengough with his battalion Native Contingent at Sand Spruit is to hold himself in readiness to cross the Buffalo at the shortest possible notice to operate against the chief Matyana &c. His wagons will cross at Rourke’s (Sic) Drift.
4. Information is requested as to the ford where the above battalion can best cross, so as to co-operate with No. 3 Column in clearing the country occupied by the chief Matyana.
By Order, H. Spalding. Major DAAG
Camp, Rourke’s Drift 19.1.79


It was Major Bengough who was required to cooperate with No 3 column against the Matyanas.

Not Durnford!

Durnford was to remain there, his other roll was find a crossing for Bengough
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Thu May 23, 2013 10:14 pm

Thank you CTSG, much obliged.

Yes, that's it.

CTSG and Dave.

If you read the following discussion between myself and Julian, you will note that both Durnford and Bengough were required to co-operate with Chelmsford against the Matyanas.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu May 23, 2013 10:17 pm

That's where it gets confusing.

The one I have just posted is the original.

The one you mentioned, was recollected by Chelmsford sometime after.

Durnford received the one I have just posted. He wanted Durnford at the drift, fresh orders followed on the 22nd moved to Isandlwana.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu May 23, 2013 10:54 pm

"Looked at critically, the question of ‘who was in charge?’ and why Pulleine and Durnford acted as they did is difficult to answer, especially in the light of the Enquiry’s deliberations. The truth may never be known but additional evidence is now available which goes some way towards clarifying the situation. The whole question of Durnford’s orders has previously hinged upon the supposition that Durnford received specific orders from Chelmsford. Chelmsford reproduced, from memory, his recollection of this particular order for his official report; it is included below using Chelmsford’s exact words.

ORIGINAL TEXT

Head Quarter Camp
New Rorke’s Drift, Zululand
19 January 1879

No 3 column moves tomorrow to Insalwana (Sic) Hill and from there, as soon as possible to a spot about 10 miles nearer to the Indeni Forest.
From that point I intend to operate against the two Matyanas if they refuse to surrender.
One is in the stronghold on or near the Mhlazakazi Mountain; the other is in the Indeni Forest. Bengough ought to be ready to cross the Buffalo R. at the Gates of Natal in three days time, and ought to show himself there as soon as possible.
I have sent you an order to cross the river at Rorke's Drift tomorrow with the force you have at Vermaaks.
I shall want you to operate against the Matyanas, but will send you fresh instructions on this subject.
We shall be about 8 miles from Rorke’s Drift tomorrow."

     Chelmsford knew that the actual order had never been found and no one challenged Chelmsford’s account. In 1885, in an extraordinary twist of fate, the Commanding Officer of the Royal Engineers in Natal, Col. Lourde, heard rumours of a ‘cover up’ involving the surreptitious removal of Chelmsford’s written orders to Durnford from his (Durnford’s) body.  Lourde cautiously advertised his fears in the Natal Witness newspaper and on the 25th June 1885 he received the following remarkable reply,

ORIGINAL TEXT

P.M.B. 25 June 85
F. Pearse & Co
14 Cole St.

E.D. Natal Witness Office

Dear Sir
 Referring to yr. Advertisement wh. Appeared a few weeks ago in the Natal Witness respecting relics of the late Colonel Durnford. I write to inform you that I have in my possession a document which was picked up by my brother A. Pearse late trooper in the Natal Carbineers. It appears to be the instructions issued by Lord Chelmsford to the late Colonel on taking the field.
 I have written to my brother to ascertain whether he is willing to part with it in the event of your wishing to have it in your possession.

 Yours truly
(signed)    F. Pearse
 
The orders were promptly delivered to Lourde. They were in two parts, the first was Chelmsford’s original order dated 19th January 1879 and it is on this order that Durnford must have based so much of his decision making when he arrived at Isandlwana. The original text is reproduced below and the order leaves little doubt what was in Chelmsford’s mind when he wrote it. It differs considerably from Chelmsford’s recollection, printed above.

ORIGINAL TEXT
   
  Lieut. Colonel Durnford R.E
  Camp Helpmakaar

1. You are requested to move the troops under your immediate command viz.: mounted men, rocket battery and Sikeli’s men to Rourke’s Drift tomorrow the 20th inst.; and to encamp on the left bank of the Buffalo (in Zululand).
2. No. 3 Column moves tomorrow to the Isandhlana (Sic) Hill.
3. Major Bengough with his battalion Native Contingent at Sand Spruit is to hold himself in readiness to cross the Buffalo at the shortest possible notice to operate against the chief Matyana &c. His wagons will cross at Rourke’s (Sic) Drift.
4. Information is requested as to the ford where the above battalion can best cross, so as to co-operate with No. 3 Column in clearing the country occupied by the chief Matyana.

By Order, H. Spalding. Major DAAG
Camp, Rourke’s Drift 19.1.79


Source: Dr AG
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu May 23, 2013 11:10 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
PS.
What officer would expect men on foot to keep up with a mounted unit. He left the rocket battery high and dry. Wiped out all bar a few! He left them, just as he did the men in the camp. No

Actually I did some fine grained research on this once...right down to the name of each man. The popular conception of this incident is wide of the mark by a great deal. First, those in the actual rocket battery who died were actually gunned down from a distance, not over run. Second, the MAJORITY of them actually escaped alive and joined Durnford's firing line in the donga. There were very few men in the rocket battery (9?) and we have testimony after the battle from 3 or 4 of them for sure. I quoted them here before. The unit was disbursed but not wiped out. Losing their leader to the first volley and bucking mules had a lot to do with it....but anybody would have bolted when they saw what was headed their way. You can look it up! - 6pdr
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Thu May 23, 2013 11:11 pm

Dave.

I posted the full order on this thread Sat May 18th at 1.49 am.

The vital part of the order is where Chelmsford tells Durnford, "I shall want you to operate against the Matyanas, but will send you fresh instructions on this subject".

The orders delivered by S-D on the 22nd were not fresh instructions about the operation against the Matyanas, they were for Durnford to move up to the camp from RD, they did not tell him to take command of the camp, they did not tell him to re-inforce the camp, they did not tell him to support Pulleine, they did not tell him to stay at the camp, they just requested him to move up to the camp, so the orders of the 19th were the ones that Durnford had to follow, and they were to co-operate with Chelmsford and Bengough in the operation against the Matyanas.

Please read the link kindly provided by CTSG above, you will then understand what I mean.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu May 23, 2013 11:40 pm

Martin, the order you speak of was a recollection made by Chelmsford.

The Order below is the original that Durnford recived, Durnford was not required to take part in the operation against the "Matyana"

Quote :
ORIGINAL TEXT
   
  Lieut. Colonel Durnford R.E
  Camp Helpmakaar

1. You are requested to move the troops under your immediate command viz.: mounted men, rocket battery and Sikeli’s men to Rourke’s Drift tomorrow the 20th inst.; and to encamp on the left bank of the Buffalo (in Zululand).
2. No. 3 Column moves tomorrow to the Isandhlana (Sic) Hill.
3. Major Bengough with his battalion Native Contingent at Sand Spruit is to hold himself in readiness to cross the Buffalo at the shortest possible notice to operate against the chief Matyana &c. His wagons will cross at Rourke’s (Sic) Drift.
4. Information is requested as to the ford where the above battalion can best cross, so as to co-operate with No. 3 Column in clearing the country occupied by the chief Matyana.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Thu May 23, 2013 11:48 pm

6pdr wrote:
Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
PS.
What officer would expect men on foot to keep up with a mounted unit. He left the rocket battery high and dry. Wiped out all bar a few! He left them, just as he did the men in the camp. No

Actually I did some fine grained research on this once...right down to the name of each man. The popular conception of this incident is wide of the mark by a great deal. First, those in the actual rocket battery who died were actually gunned down from a distance, not over run. Second, the MAJORITY of them actually escaped alive and joined Durnford's firing line in the donga. There were very few men in the rocket battery (9?) and we have testimony after the battle from 3 or 4 of them for sure. I quoted them here before. The unit was disbursed but not wiped out. Losing their leader to the first volley and bucking mules had a lot to do with it....but anybody would have bolted when they saw what was headed their way. You can look it up! - 6pdr

Interesting but, it makes know difference to the fact, Durnford took a unit on foot, while he was mounted to meet the enermy. One killed is to many.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 12:10 am

This from forum member 90th.

"
Quote :
Subject: rocket battery   Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:04 am
hi Chard1879.
The Rocket Battery was assigned to Durnford's force and was therefore following him after Durnford left the camp.
As they were far to slow to keep up they were basically left alone trudging along with only some NNC in support commanded
by Nourse ( I think ) . Not sure exactly what happened next , but seem to think I have posted it somewhere on the forum .
The rocket battery stumbled into part of the zulu force who attacked it and killed most of the men , I think 5 or 6 survivors
who are listed in the previous post . Durnford when confronted by the zulu , withdre
w , which took him past the remnants of
the Rocket Battery and he only paused to stop for a fleeting moment or so , spoke to one of the survivors and then took off !.
Leaving him to look after himself , so in answer about covering fire NO and no help at all as far as I am aware.
cheers 90th.

ps, Chard 1879 see my earlier post on this topic it tells you who survived and the circumstances of the attack on the R.B :)
"
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 6:28 am

[quote="Dave"]This from forum member 90th.

"
Quote :
Subject: rocket battery   Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:04 am
The rocket battery stumbled into part of the zulu force who attacked it and killed most of the men , I think 5 or 6 survivors
who are listed in the previous post .

Right. It may have been me who posted what 90th is referring to. He has it all correct except when he says "most." The RB was tiny...something like 9-11 soldiers. Four fell to the opening Zulu volley, including their leader. The rest disbursed. Durnford did ride by and did not show any more interest in them than he had previously. But, from memory, some of the other 5 or 6 cropped up in the donga with Durnford later, and/or made it back to the camp when he abandoned the donga. There should be no mystery here. They left testimony with minor contradictions, but generally in agreement about what happened. Ironically, being disbursed so early in the battle probably saved their lives as they were free to flee in the confusion of battle. I find this is quite extraordinary because most European survivors started the battle mounted...or had quick access to horses. - 6pdr.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 7:09 am

The directive issued by Chelmsford to Durnford very very clearly states that an order of movement has been issued seperatly. That in essence confirms that there were two communicatios, not one and the second being a copy.

Cheers
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 7:36 am

It was. On the 22nd Jan. " Move to Isandlwans"
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 7:51 am

John
The directive under discussion is the directive issued on the 19th Jan delivered by Major Spalding to Durnford at Sandspruit.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 7:55 am

6pd
Wasnt there a comment from Cochrane that when they hove into view a hand to hand conflict was in progress?

Cheers
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 8:17 am

The reason two issues are inquestion. Is because one of them, is a recollection of what the original order was thought to have contained,recollected by LC. The one posted by Dave is the original Durnford received on the 19th Jan.

"The Order below is the original that Durnford recived, Durnford was not required to take part in the operation against the "Matyana"

Quote:
ORIGINAL TEXT
   
Quote :
  Lieut. Colonel Durnford R.E
  Camp Helpmakaar

1. You are requested to move the troops under your immediate command viz.: mounted men, rocket battery and Sikeli’s men to Rourke’s Drift tomorrow the 20th inst.; and to encamp on the left bank of the Buffalo (in Zululand).
2. No. 3 Column moves tomorrow to the Isandhlana (Sic) Hill.
3. Major Bengough with his battalion Native Contingent at Sand Spruit is to hold himself in readiness to cross the Buffalo at the shortest possible notice to operate against the chief Matyana &c. His wagons will cross at Rourke’s (Sic) Drift.
4. Information is requested as to the ford where the above battalion can best cross, so as to co-operate with No. 3 Column in clearing the country occupied by the chief Matyana."
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 11:07 am

John
I believe a directive/statement of intent was issued by Chelmsford direct to Durnford ( as posted ) informing Durnford of intentions. The orders to move camp from Vermaaks were issued and signed by Spalding, not Crealock ( as would be normal for the Secretary)
Reading the Spalding orders its pretty apparent that Bengough is going to be used against Matyana. Its equally aparent that Bengoughs wagons ( with all his supplies ) are to cross at RD.
Its not a wild leap to then sumise that a meeting between the two halves of Durnfords column was planned for the very near future. ( If not the Bengoughs troops would have been without supplies.)

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 12:41 pm

Was sent via Spalding!!!
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 12:57 pm

Quote :
Bengough is going to be used against Matyana. Its equally aparent that Bengoughs wagons ( with all his supplies ) are to cross at RD.
Its not a wild leap to then sumise that a meeting between the two halves of Durnfords column was planned for the very near future. ( If not the Bengoughs troops would have been without supplies.)


But while on route to LC, Bengough received orders to proceed to Helpmakaar near Dundee. Would that have meant Durnford would have gone with him?
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Fri May 24, 2013 2:06 pm

I think what many of you are missing out is the meeting between Chelmsford and Durnford on the 4th Jan. Chelmsford rode as far as d'Almaines to discuss No2 column's role with Durnford personally, and Chelmsford confirmed this in writing on the 8th Jan.

"On the receipt of this memorandum you will at once remove your two strongest regiments to Sand Spruit Valley, and take up such a position as will best ensure the protection of the Natal border from raids acroos the Buffalo river between the Sand Spruit and the junction of the Buffalo and the Tugela rivers.
Should you consider that a counter move accross the Buffalo river will be efficacious in preventing an inroad of Zulus into Natal, you are at perfect liberty to make it, but with the understanding that it is made with a purely defensive purpose, and that the force making it returns to its former position on the completion of the duty entrusted to it.
About 50 horsemen should be left with the battalion at Middle Drift, the remainder should accompany the two regiments". (BPP C. 2242, Encl. 3 in No.9.)

The next order was delivered personally to Durnford when he visited Chelmsford at RD 11/1/79, the General having just retuned from a meeting with Col Wood. In a report to Frere, Chelmsford wrote.

"Colonel Durnford, R.E. Commanding No 2 column met me on my return to camp, as he wished personally to report on certain matters connected with his command. He informed me the country to his front was quite quiet, the women and old people in their Kraals, but the army with their King. This information is confirmed up to date.
I directed this officer to move one of his three battalions (Bengough's) to watch, and eventually to cross at the gates of Natal between Rorke's Drift and the Umsinga Mountain, while he (Durnford) and the mounted men and rocket battery were to join me with No 3 column. I directed the two remaing battalions to cross at Middle Drift, as soon as Col Pearson with No 1 column had reached Ekowe". (BPP C 2242 Encl. 8. in No.20.)


The above clearly states that Chelmsford had ordered Durnford to join him with No 3 column, and that Bengough was to eventually cross at the gates of Natal.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 2:34 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
The above clearly states that Chelmsford had ordered Durnford to join him with No 3 column, and that Bengough was to eventually cross at the gates of Natal.

A VERY enlightening post Mr. Cooper! Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 3:03 pm

John
Crealock was Chelmsfords secretary and sent on Chelmsfords instructions, if you recall early morning 22nd Jan Clery wanted to send instructions to Durnford, Crealock objected: " A column commander shouldnt receive instruction from a major."
So taking that into consideration, why would Crealock/Chelmsford use a Major ( Spalding ) to issue instructions? Doesnt make sense unless Spalding issued the instruction.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 4:11 pm

Could in be that Spalding was in command at RD. One of these military protocols. Keeps the audit trail nice a neat!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 4:15 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
I think what many of you are missing out is the meeting between Chelmsford and Durnford on the 4th Jan. Chelmsford rode as far as d'Almaines to discuss No2 column's role with Durnford personally, and Chelmsford confirmed this in writing on the 8th Jan.

"On the receipt of this memorandum you will at once remove your two strongest regiments to Sand Spruit Valley, and take up such a position as will best ensure the protection of the Natal border from raids acroos the Buffalo river between the Sand Spruit and the junction of the Buffalo and the Tugela rivers.
Should you consider that a counter move accross the Buffalo river will be efficacious in preventing an inroad of Zulus into Natal, you are at perfect liberty to make it, but with the understanding that it is made with a purely defensive purpose, and that the force making it returns to its former position on the completion of the duty entrusted to it.
About 50 horsemen should be left with the battalion at Middle Drift, the remainder should accompany the two regiments". (BPP C. 2242, Encl. 3 in No.9.)

The next order was delivered personally to Durnford when he visited Chelmsford at RD 11/1/79, the General having just retuned from a meeting with Col Wood. In a report to Frere, Chelmsford wrote.

"Colonel Durnford, R.E. Commanding No 2 column met me on my return to camp, as he wished personally to report on certain matters connected with his command. He informed me the country to his front was quite quiet, the women and old people in their Kraals, but the army with their King. This information is confirmed up to date.
I directed this officer to move one of his three battalions (Bengough's) to watch, and eventually to cross at the gates of Natal between Rorke's Drift and the Umsinga Mountain, while he (Durnford) and the mounted men and rocket battery were to join me with No 3 column. I directed the two remaing battalions to cross at Middle Drift, as soon as Col Pearson with No 1 column had reached Ekowe". (BPP C 2242 Encl. 8. in No.20.)


The above clearly states that Chelmsford had ordered Durnford to join him with No 3 column, and that Bengough was to eventually cross at the gates of Natal.

God!!!!! How far I we going to chase Durnford's orders back to get him off the hook. Don't forget LC views had changed a great deal on the 14th Jan
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 4:19 pm

Martin, if ever I need a solicitor, can I give to a call, you don’t leave one stone un-turned. You’re a ruthless man… :p;:
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 4:36 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
Martin, if ever I need a solicitor, can I give to a call, you don’t leave one stone un-turned. You’re a ruthless man… :p;:

Very Happy LOL indeed! But for me at least M. Cooper's posting (orders which I have not seen before) puts a lot of things in a different light. For example, it's easy now to see why Durnford thought he might sortie across the border...Chelmsford had given him specific permission to do so!

It also puts the General's anger in a slightly different perspective. I had thought Chelmsford was angry at Durnford for taking such a liberty...which would be viewed as initiative by a different senior officer. That order makes it clear however that Durnford was free to take the initiative UNDER THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES. The General was furious because the source of the information was a bishop, not any form of military intelligence. We can infer therefore that Durnford's prior associations with Fanny & family was a sore point indeed.

This is the point CTSG has made time and again. Where I would still differ however is that there was some larger significance regarding Durnford's loyalty or competence. I think Chelmsford knew he needed Durnsford which just made his idiosyncracies that much harder for the General to bear. Any overt reliance on the Colensos and/or the church was going to be a flashpoint. Had John Dunn provided the information however, I bet that chastising note would have been written very differently...if indeed there was any chastising at all. - 6pdr
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 4:47 pm

I would agree, but it all changed when LC received his message from Dartnell. New order sent out, 22nd Jan Move to Isandlwana..
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Fri May 24, 2013 8:13 pm

:p;: Thanks Chard.

All.

Reading again what Chelmsford said to Durnford, Chelmsford says he (Durnford) is at perfect liberty to make a counter move should he consider it. Durnford lets Chelmsford know what he plans to do, but is then given a rebuke for using this liberty. However, in this rebuke, Chelmsford does not countermand his instructions for Durnford to join him with No 3 column, therefor if Chelmsford's views had changed, he didn't say so in the rebuke of the 14th.

Also note that Chelmsford says, "Colonel Durnford R.E. COMMANDING No 2 COLUMN met me on my return to camp, as he wished personally to report on certain matters connected with HIS COMMAND". This shows that Durnford was indeed in command of his own independent No 2 column.

Chelmsford also does not countermand anything regarding Bengough watching, and eventually crossing at the gates of Natal, and neither does he say anything that would countermand his instructions for Durnford to join him with No 3 column, therefor in spite of the rebuke of the 14th, the orders of the 8th, 11th, 19th and 22nd all run consecutively, and that the order of the 22nd just informs Durnford to move up to the camp, which would be in readiness for him to co-operate along with Chelmsford and Bengough in the operations against the Matyanas.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 10:34 pm

In a letter dated the 15th December 1878 Pieter Maritzburg. From Chelmsford to Colonel Pearson, Chelmsford states that.

"Durnfords column is destined for Intument at first - This column will be under you, but I wish it to act separately from yours on the left flank, so that it may, as far as possible, keep up communication between your column and that of Colonel Glyn. It will remain watching Middledrift until you have made your first step, and will in all probability cross by the lower Tugela Drift instead of Middledrift, as the latter crossing will be very difficult and also very risky should the Zulus muster in any force opposite that point. Should Col Durnfords column move away from above Middledrift in view to crossing the Tugela at Lower Drift, the colonial force will of course be posted so as to guard that point of entry into Natal. You will have to do your best to ascertain whether you have any formidable force of Zulu on your left flank, before you advance to Tyoe M Station, and this information must be course be sent to Durnford, who should send one battalion of his force to Thrings store to keep up connection with you and watch the frontier line"
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Fri May 24, 2013 11:05 pm

Ian Knight, Zulu Rising, page 228.

'Quote'.

At the last minute, Chelmsford dithered regarding the role he had decided for Durnford's column. As the deadline for the invasion drew near, he had toyed with the idea of deploying it on the offensive after all, using Durnford as a light flying column to support the advance of Colonel Pearson's No 1 column, on his right flank and down at the Thukela mouth. Then he changed his mind, and ordered Durnford instead to move his men closer to the centre column, to take up a position at the Sandspruit, where the 3rd NNC had assembled. This change of plan was apparently the result of an apprisal Chelmsford had made after reaching Helpmekaar on 4th January. He had made a hasty tour of the border defences, and had ridden as far as d'Almaine's to discuss No 2 column's role with Durnford personally. He confirmed his new requirements in writing on the 8th January in terms which - nonetheless, and significantly - suggested that offensive action on Durnford's part might not be ruled out entirely should the straegic situation require it'.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 11:21 pm

So it appears Dunford was under the command of Colonel Pearson!


Martin.
Quote :
and that the order of the 22nd just informs Durnford to move up to the camp, which would be in readiness for him to co-operate along with Chelmsford and Bengough in the operations against the Matyanas.

Okay to keep the peace, I'm happy to go with that. But it doesnt really matter what the reason was for him being ordered to Isandlwana. Its what happen when he arrived the whole situation changed. The camp was going to be attacked. You would not expect any officer to leave, because he may have been at liberty to do so. He was the senior officer present, even if he didn't want to interfere with Pulleine orders. He could of utilised his force better along with his knowledge of fortifications. And until someone can answer Springboks comment, that being. If Durnford intended on assisting Chelmsford why did he ride off in the opposite direction. This question has been asked a few times, but no one as an answerd or is avoiding the question. Could it have been that the Brave Col Durnford used Chelmsford as an excuse to leave, which back fired when he ran head along into the Zulus, only to retreat back to the camp, losing the rocket battery on the way, was even happy to leave survivor of the RB on foot out in the field. Sent a message to Pulleine for asking for reinforcements. Causes the firing lines to become over extended, gets G Coy killed. Gets himself surrounded, runs out of ammuntion. gets himself and others killed. And then gets himself labelled as a Braveman. And to rub the salt in the wound, his body is removed from the battlefield and given a full Millitary honoured funeral. So once again he managed to leave the Battlefeld.. No
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 11:25 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
Ian Knight, Zulu Rising, page 228.

'Quote'.

At the last minute, Chelmsford dithered regarding the role he had decided for Durnford's column. As the deadline for the invasion drew near, he had toyed with the idea of deploying it on the offensive after all, using Durnford as a light flying column to support the advance of Colonel Pearson's No 1 column, on his right flank and down at the Thukela mouth. Then he changed his mind, and ordered Durnford instead to move his men closer to the centre column, to take up a position at the Sandspruit, where the 3rd NNC had assembled. This change of plan was apparently the result of an apprisal Chelmsford had made after reaching Helpmekaar on 4th January. He had made a hasty tour of the border defences, and had ridden as far as d'Almaine's to discuss No 2 column's role with Durnford personally. He confirmed his new requirements in writing on the 8th January in terms which - nonetheless, and significantly - suggested that offensive action on Durnford's part might not be ruled out entirely should the straegic situation require it'.

What's Ian's source. It should say. Sounds like Ian adding what he thought happen.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Fri May 24, 2013 11:49 pm

Good heavens impi, Shocked

You really have got it in for Colonel Durnford haven't you. scratch

Sorry impi, I don't know what source Ian Knight is quoting from, as I have said before, there are no footnotes in the copy of Zulu Rising that I have. But unlike Mike Snook, I can't see Ian making guesses at what he thinks happened, no doubt Ian will be using some well documented facts, rather than the guesswork used by some other folk.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 24, 2013 11:59 pm

Thinking about it, what has any of the orders issued prior to the Battle of Isandwana got to do with what happen at Isandlwana. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 3:13 am

Ulundi wrote:
Thinking about it, what has any of the orders issued prior to the Battle of Isandwana got to do with what happen at Isandlwana. scratch

None what so ever. Orders issue prior, we're issued to deal with a completely difference situation. The attack on the camp was unexpected. Prior orders would have been impossible to follow. Pulleines order should have became priory to all. Defend the Camp!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 3:48 am

impi wrote:
What's Ian's source. It should say. Sounds like Ian adding what he thought happen.

What's your source proving that isn't true? What is your counter theory? Wait...let me guess...you don't need one, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 4:11 am

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
Pulleines order should have became priory to all. Defend the Camp!!

Your case would be stronger if Pulleine had, at any point, requested that Durnford remain in camp and help defend it. He did not. Durnford was NOT in receipt of Pulleine's orders -- he had his own. The prior string of orders cited by Mr. Cooper et al. explain why Durnford felt it necessary to ride in pursuit of Chelmsford. Since January 4 Chelmsford's concept had been to have Durnford's column supporting his own...and following that logic, Durford rode out to do exactly that when he believed that the General's force was being outflanked from behind.

It's a damned sound case actually!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 9:14 am

We will never know the answer, as to whether or not Pulleine asked Durnford for help to defend the camp. There was a lot said between Durnford and Pulleine, not everything was heard.
Quote :

Durford rode out to do exactly that when he believed that the General's force was being outflanked from behind.

Why ride in the opposite direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 10:23 am

my oh my gentlemen what an interesting and informative read. thanks to all who have posted.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 10:41 am

CTSG,

Quote :
Pulleines order should have became priory to all.


I didn't realise that there were monks at Isandlwana! scratch

'Jimu
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Sat May 25, 2013 12:02 pm

Now that we have established that Chelmsford did indeed order Durnford to co-operate and support him, we can see from the orders of the 22nd that Durnford was instructed to move up to the camp. In that order there is no mention of Durnford taking over command, re-inforcing or supporting Pulleine, so Durnford would therefor have to follow his orders to support Chelmsford along with Bengough in the operations against the Matyanas, and if there was any change to this plan, or if there were any fresh instructions, then Durnford would have been expecting to find fresh orders left in the care of Pulleine at the camp, but there were none.

On the way to the camp, Durnford met Chard who was on his way back to RD, Chard informed him that zulus had been seen in the area of the camp. On his arrival at the camp Durnford could see that Pulleine had done very little to establish what these zulus were up to, he sent out his own men to recce the area, and also posted men on iSandlwana Hill to spot any zulu movements, he later starts to get very confusing reports saying that, the enemy are in force behind the hills on the left, the enemy are in three columns, the enemy are retiring in every direction, the columns are separating, one moving to the left rear, and one towards the general. What if they are trying to isolate Chelmsford and cut him off? As a column commander himself, he now has to act on this, he cannot afford to waste time, he has to try to find out what they are up to, he cannot risk his general being outflanked and cut off.

No one knew the size of the zulu impi that was hiding nearby, and Durnfortd had sent Raw etc, to sweep the hills from left to right, so if these reported zulus were making an attempt to get between the camp and Chelmsford, or in fact trying to join forces with the supposed impi that Chelmsford had gone looking for, then Durnford must have felt it his duty to try to stop them, and that is why Durnford set off in that direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 2:10 pm

Hi Martin Bravo.
Lucid and logical.............untill the last sentence or so.
So my half penny worth.
The whole argument that Durnford was following orders breaks down the moment he left camp. From that point he wasnt following Chelmsfords grand plan of the attack against the Matyanas. He did his own thing and attempted to crush the zulus on the ridge between his troops and those of Raw and Vause, thats the logical assumption as both sections were on a collision corse, they would have met up at a point where the Quabe Valley reaches the current Nqutu Babanango Road.
Let me digress from that slightly and look at the potential force he was facing. In his instructions of that morning he had been told Chelmsford was going of to engage the Zulu. Considering the reports from Dartnell it was a significant army.
I have no doubt that this was conveyed through the camp to Pulleine and the other officers, 'Chelmsford was going to confront the main impi.'
This to a really big degree could/would have been a cause of Pulleine not taking the sightings on the ridge seriously, his boss had gone to give the impi a bloody nose, he/Pulleine was safe and sound in the rear. The front had moved.
So My thoughts are that Durnford expected to encounter a splinter from the main army, if he thought it was any larger he is guilty of gross missmanagement in that his force was far to small and under armed.
Therefore regaining the thread from above his pincer movement would have caught a small section of zulu in between a fairly hefty mounted force and he would have come out of it as a hero. This was most probably going through his mind as well. He could have given the zulu a thrashing and returned to camp to await his commander, and hopefully have redeemed himself.
He took a chance and it didnt come of.

Is he guilty of dereliction of duty?
I would suggest in that instance he was.

Did he abandon the rocket battery?
Unwittingly ( because he thought he had the upper hand against a smaller force) yes I believe so.

I would also suggest his tactics on his retreat were wrong and its that retreat that I put down as a major contributory factor in the defeat. His stop start fighting retreat did nothing to slow down the left horn and caused few casualties.

If he had ridden flat out back to the camp, its just possible he could have prevented the loss of the rockets. But most certainly he could have given the camp an extra 20 to 25 minutes to prepare and be forewarned of the scale of the attack.
I would also theorise that given that time a better defence could have been made.

Would the outcome have changed? I have no idea at all.

Just some thoughts for discussion.

Cheers
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 4:01 pm

Martin, you can harp on about the Orders as much as you like. Look at Ulundi's post. He hit the nail on the head. Whatever orders were issued had no consequence of what happen at Isandlwana. No officer would have left a military location, when it be came obvious it was in danger of attack. Chelmsford would have made it clear in his order if he had wanted Durnford to assist issued to him on the 22nd. Regardless of what was written on previous dates. I find it odd that you are okay with him following the orders predateing the 22nd, when tne camp was under attack. It was his men that found the Impi, his men that engaged, and his men that stirred the Hornets nest, and then was quite happy to leave..

And for the last time, we no he wasn't Ordered to take command. And if he was acting independly as you suggest, why on earth did he take command. You are making Durnford look a complete idiot, by surggesting he was following orders knowing the camp was in danger. It appears he didn't have a mind of his own. As said before, Durnford used Chelmsford as a get out clause from Isandlwana.

Gardner is a very good example. He was instructed to issued orders to Pulleine to Packup camp. Did he after issuing the order, leave the camp no he stayed. Even advising Pulleine to disobay th generals orders because Chelmsford didn't know what was happening in the camp..
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Sat May 25, 2013 4:37 pm

Hi springy, thanks for the thumbs up mate.

I can follow what you mean to a degree, but don't forget that famous Chelmsford letter that says he would expect commanders to disobey orders if the situation had changed, well, the situation had certainly changed a great deal since Chelmsford left in the early hours.

It seems that poor old Durnford is going to be damned if he stayed, or damned if he left, ie, if he had stayed and the reported zulus HAD been trying to cut off Chelmsford or even attack him and given him a heavy defeat, then Durnford would have been condemned for not using his initiative and going to his generals aid, but because he did use his initiative and try to prevent them from cutting off Chelmsford, he is still still condemned for leaving the camp, so either way, it looks like Durnford is going to be the patsy.

I do have a theory about the rocket battery, and this involves the asking of Pulleine for the loan of the two companies of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, which Pulleine refused to lend to Durnford. Now, there's a thing, if, as some folk keep saying, Durnford was in command, then why did he have to ask Pulleine for these two companies, surely, if he was in command he could have ordered it, couldn't he? Anyway, I think that Durnford had a plan to use Raw etc on the left, while he (Durnford) attempted to come around from the right to stop these reported zulus, and then between them (Raw and Durnford), they could drive these zulus towards the waiting rocket battery and its NNC escourt, and if Pulleine had granted the loan of the two companies, they too would have been waiting in position, and between them all, ie Raw, Durnford, the rocket battery, its escort, and also the 2 coy's of infantry, they could have defeated the zulus that had been seen on the ridge. Of course, this is just a theory, but it might just have been part of Durnford's plan, however Pulleine refused the 2 coy's, and as everyone was to learn later, these reported zulus were quite a few more than had been estimated.

I was always under the impression that the battle had already started over on the zulu right (left of the camp), and that due to Durnford slowing down and eventually holding the left horn (until he ran out of ammo and was being outflanked himself), that he had given Pulleine the chance to draw in the line, but Pulleine had failed to see this and still left his line overextended, and had even ordered Pope to move over towards Durnford just as Durnford was withdrawing because of low ammo and being outflanked.

A lot of things went wrong that day, one of them being Chelmsford's decission to split his force in half and leave Pulleine in temporary command of the other half. Of course another thing that was wrong was Chelmsford not leaving any clear orders for Durnford in the care of Pulleine at the camp. But to be a little fair to Chelmsford, he had no idea that a large force of zulus were hidden at the camp, he was under the impression that he was going to confront them from the report given by Dartnell. Even Dartnell disobeyed orders didn't he? He was ordered to return to the camp, but decided to stay out thinking that he had contacted the main zulu army that Chelmsford was eager to bring to battle.

Catch you later springy mate. Salute
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable. 2   Sat May 25, 2013 4:40 pm

CTSG.

Read my above post to springy, this might explain things to you.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 5:04 pm

Hi Martin
Yes there are a miriad of issues connected with the battle, CTSG has also raised a couple. I tend to try and focus a little more on a single point, sure all the points do connect. But to bring in other occurences tends to stop the issue under discussion in its tracks. M y points I made on Durnford still remain. I agree he had temporal permission to act on his own, but as I outlined above it was reckless if he was chasing the main impi and pointless if he was chasing a splinter.
I dont think its damned if you do etc. If he had stayed behind a whole new battle could have unfurled.

CTSG
Blaming Durnford/Raw for the battle doesnt really sit with the new thinking of the positions of the amabuthu regiments. If you accept that thinking, they were lining up for an advance on the camp. If you dont accept that thinking then an explanation for all the activity on the ridge would be welcomed. I agree the attack was possible prompted early, but how early 10 minutes? An hour? I personally believe that Tshingwayo waited to receive conformation of the activities from scouts in the Mangeni before he decided to attack, hence the delay during the morning.
Quote
It was his men that found the Impi, his men that engaged, and his men that stirred the Hornets nest, and then was quite happy to leave.. Surely your sequence of events is a tad skewed?

I keep hearing the reason for defeat being the troops being extended to cover Durnford. Assume that Durnford left the camp and didnt return, would that line still have been extended to counteract the left horn? Or possible it would have been left hanging to allow free access of the left horn?

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 5:19 pm

The people who should shoulder the blame. Are Durnford and Pulleine. They fail to co-operate and disperse the men correctly. They were a joke!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 5:37 pm

springbok9 wrote:
In his instructions of that morning he had been told Chelmsford was going of to engage the Zulu. Considering the reports from Dartnell it was a significant army. I have no doubt that this was conveyed through the camp to Pulleine and the other officers, 'Chelmsford was going to confront the main impi.'
This to a really big degree could/would have been a cause of Pulleine not taking the sightings on the ridge seriously, his boss had gone to give the impi a bloody nose, he/Pulleine was safe and sound in the rear. The front had moved.

This is a good point. Pulleine may have assumed he didn't need to scout more because Chelmsford already had established what was important. I hadn't thought of it that way before.

springbok9 wrote:
[Durnford]...expected to encounter a splinter from the main army...his pincer movement would have caught a small section of zulu in between a fairly hefty mounted force and he would have come out of it as a hero. This was most probably going through his mind as well. He could have given the zulu a thrashing and returned to camp to await his commander, and hopefully have redeemed himself. He took a chance and it didn't come off (sic).

Is he guilty of dereliction of duty?
I would suggest in that instance he was.

I follow your reasoning up to the point of describing this as a "dereliction of duty." It seems to me that you have just described a misjudgment of the enemy's strength. Against that I would put Durnford's immediate sending out scouts. In fact, I think it could EASILY be argued that he was conducting a "reconnaissance in force" when he left the camp with his column, in much the same way that his superior, Chelmsford did. It was important for Durnford to ascertain what was happening on the other side of those hills and intervene if a large enemy force was decamping to join the main impi, ESPECIALLY if it might arrive in Chelmsford's rear.

springbok9 wrote:
Did he abandon the rocket battery?
Unwittingly ( because he thought he had the upper hand against a smaller force) yes I believe so.

I think "unwittingly" is the perfect way to characterize this. It was an error of omission, not commission. There was a lot going on and the RB should never have been a part of his column to begin with.; he simply lost track. But the idea that the RB was a significant element in this battle is fatuous. Nobody took the rockets seriously which is why they were stuck with the Durnford's column to begin with...

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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 5:49 pm

Quote :
Nobody took the rockets seriously which is why they were stuck with the Durnford's column to begin with...

Then why did Durnford drag these poor fellows out! Unless Durnford was the only one to take the RB seriously.

Quote :
This is a good point. Pulleine may have assumed he didn't need to scout more because Chelmsford already had established what was important. I hadn't thought of it that way before.

Pulleine was not order to send out patrols, he was ordered to defend the camp, which contained the supplies of the 3rd Column, which they would need to move inwards into Zululand.

Durnford wasn't ordered to send out patrols, but he did, they found the Impi and egaged it!

If he was so hell bent on following the orders Martin keeps relating too, why did he bother sending out patrol in the first place. I' m telling you Durnford was a loose cannon, a very dangerous man, who thought he was above the rest. He was a man of peace who went to war.


Last edited by impi on Sat May 25, 2013 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 25, 2013 5:51 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
The people who should shoulder the blame. Are Durnford and Pulleine. They fail to co-operate and disperse the men correctly. They were a joke!

I think Snook made a similar point in his book about there being no unity of command...and especially about the way orders were promulgated and communicated. The only person who could/would have a clear idea of what others had been told was Chelmsford himself...but he was rushing about like a Captain or Lieutenant at the head of columns and leaving the staff work to others without giving them much to go on. Naturally, confusion ensued.

In other words, to the degree that we blame Durnford and Pulleine, (in contrast to Bromhead & Chard) we must also blame the senior staff that created this division, and nobody more than Chemsford. Sh*t rolls downhill...responsibility accrues to the top.

But I can not agree with labeling the inexperienced Pulleine or the overly ardent Durnford as "jokes." The former was told to hold the camp and the latter was told to support his General's column in a larger tactical evolution.; neither had the forces at his disposal to accomplish his mission. And being imperfect does not make one a joke. Chelmsford was ultimately responsible for his defeat...but that does not make him a joke either.
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