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 Rocket Battery At Isandlwana

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RammedEarth



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PostSubject: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:27 am

Hi guys. As you can see, I am a very new member here. I apologize if this has been discussed before, but I am curious about one thing at Isandlwana.

It is generally believed that the rocket battery was overrun very early during the battle. This occurred because the rocket operators were on foot and were thus too slow to tactically retreat with Col. Durnford.

I just want to know one thing. Are there any evidence that the Hale Rocket Crew fired off at least 2 rockets at the Zulus before being overrun?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:46 am

Rammed Earth
I do know that Private Johnson left a statement saying one rocket was fired. Possibly Norse could have mentioned it as well. Maybe one of the other members would know about Grant and Trainers statements.
Welcome to the forum

Sprinbok
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:41 am

Hi RammedEarth.
According to Pte's Grant , Johnson & Trainer ( should be Trainor ? ) these three all state one rocket was fired before the zulus fired a volley at the battery , which killed 5 men and Capt Russell , the NNC escort bolting after the volley. This information was from ' The Noble 24th ' by Norman Holme . There was another survivor from the RB this being Bmdr Gough , not to sure if Gough ever left his account ?. scratch You need to study mo . Welcome to the Forum
Cheers 90th Salute
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:16 am

90th wrote:
Hi RammedEarth.
According to Pte's  Grant , Johnson & Trainer ( should be Trainor ? ) these three all state one rocket was fired before the zulus fired a volley at the battery , which killed 5 men and Capt Russell , the NNC escort bolting after the volley. This information was from  ' The Noble 24th ' by Norman Holme . There was another survivor from the RB this being Bmdr Gough , not to sure if Gough ever left his account ?. scratch You need to study mo . Welcome to the Forum
Cheers 90th Salute  

Hi Gary,
The answer (for Gough) is in "England's sons" by Julian Whybra, but i don't have this book at hand.
Cheers.
Frédéric
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:31 am

Thanks Frederic , I know he was a survivor , what I meant was that he never left his account of what happened at Isandlwana .
I have my copy of England's Sons , I just looked it up and it says regarding Gough / Goff ( No Account ). What's your weather like today , is it cold ?? . It was 37 here , looks like a storm is coming . Much rain is forecast .
90th .
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:01 am

90th wrote:
Thanks Frederic , I know he was a survivor , what I meant was that he never left his account of what happened at Isandlwana .
I have my copy of England's Sons , I just looked it up and it says regarding Gough / Goff  ( No Account ). What's your weather like today , is it cold ?? . It was 37 here , looks like a storm is coming . Much rain is forecast .
90th .

So the answer is "no account"...
37 C (celsius) poor man...
This morning, maybe 14-15 C
Cheers
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:15 am

Interview with Mehlokazulu Kasihayo (The Battle of Isandlwana)

Q: Were any rockets fired.

A: Something was going wrong with the battery of rocket launchers. Two of the mules had climbed onto an outcrop and were killed. Two mules were left, but the man was unable to fire. When we really saw the rockets being fired, was Khambula.
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:53 am

Well , we know they fired one rocket according to those who were part of the RB , as I said in one of my earlier posts . Not sure Mehlokazulu would know the difference between rocket or Artillery fire ? .
90th
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:01 pm

Or he wasn't in a postion to see the rocket fired. Not sure how you could miss it though, it made a hell of a noise and admitted a long trial of dense yellow smoke. More dangerous to the crew than the enermy!
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Battery at Isandlwana    Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:42 pm

John correct on all accounts ! Salute
90th
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:45 am

Bonjour,

From memory, there is a testimony in Bertram MITFORD's book about a Zulu burnt by the rocket at Isandhlwana.
Cheers
Frédéric
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana    Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:13 pm

Hi Frederic
I know there are reports from eyewitnesses at Nyezane and Kambula that talk of ' Natives ' being badly or horribly burned .
Cheers 90th.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:01 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Frederic
I know there are reports from eyewitnesses at Nyezane and Kambula that talk of  ' Natives ' being badly or horribly burned .
Cheers 90th.  

Hi Gary,

I hawe written from memory.
It's very possible that you are right.
This evening i will search the testimony in Mitford's book (Isandhlwana?)
Cheers.
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RammedEarth



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:10 pm

Thank you for the answers, guys. So, only one rocket was fired at best?
The British rocket operators were terribly courageous!
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:15 pm

Rammedearth.

I would go with the Zulu Version. No rockets were fire. The rocket battery ran straight into their path. They didn't have chance to fire a rocket.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:41 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:00 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Go back 9 posts. Look at Chards post. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:39 pm

No thanks old bean..i never go back..forward
is the only way to go..that was posted for
those who have never see it in print.. cheers
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RammedEarth



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:14 pm

John wrote:
Or he wasn't in a postion to see the rocket fired. Not sure how you could miss it though, it made a hell of a noise and admitted a long trial of dense yellow smoke. More dangerous to the crew than the enermy!
\

Hey John. I thought that this statement applied only to the Congreve rockets, not to the much improved Hale rockets during the Anglo-Zulu Wars.


Last edited by RammedEarth on Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana    Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:34 pm

CTSG
So you are not going to believe the survivors of the Rocket Battery who have said in their statements they managed to fire one rocket ? .
RammedEarth
The Hale Rockets were not much good , they preformed better if they were deployed on flat ground , there is much evidence from those during the war that they were not very effective . As I said , if you use the search box on the left hand side of the page , you will find much information .
90th Salute
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RammedEarth



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:06 am

90th wrote:
CTSG
So you are not going to believe the survivors of the Rocket Battery who have said in their statements they managed to fire one rocket ? .
RammedEarth
The Hale Rockets were not much good , they preformed better if they were deployed on flat ground , there is much evidence from those during the war that they were not very effective . As I said , if you use the search box on the left hand side of the page , you will find much information .
90th Salute
I see, thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:58 am

Rammed earth
The historical way of answering your question is to look at the evidence of survivors from the battery itself. They were there and would know if rockets were fired.
Pte. Grant:
"We fired one rocket when we were overpowered by the enemy"
Pte Johnson:
"We had time to fire our rocket when they came over the hill in masses"
Pte. Trainer:
"when the first rocket was fired they appeared in force over the top of the hill"
Acting Bmbdr. Gough left no account.
The consensus view is that one rocket was fired.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:50 pm

Interestingly a spent rocket was discovered on the Battlefield by Mr Parr the owner of the trading post at iSandlwana and given to Rider Haggard. ( Diary of an African Journey pp 202)
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:45 pm

Springbok, do you have this publication. " Diary of an African Journey pp 202"
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:52 am

Morning impi, yes I do, anything your looking for in particular?
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RammedEarth



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:19 pm

Thanks for the informative replies guys. But do you know why "Zulu Dawn" portrays the rocket crew as firing two rockets?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:28 pm

The same reason Hollywood has The Charge of the Light Brigade's 17th Lancers previously stationed at Cawnpore during the Massacre, the same reason Hollywood has Stephenson riding up to Rorke's Drift with a group of Boer horsemen, the same reason.....
...Hollywood never sets out to be accurate. It sets out to make an entertaining balanced film.
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RammedEarth



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:28 pm

Aye, that is true, though I think that "Zulu Dawn" was extremely accurate based on what I have read on this forum.

Do you think the Rocket crews were used wastefully? How many rockets were left unfired?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:47 pm

I'm sorry but I don't agree that the film is particularly accurate except perhaps in its portrayal of the ferocity of the onslaught.

Your question as to whether the rocket crew was used wastefully presupposes an intention by Durnford that it would be used as part of a sortie or attack. My opinion is that it found itself the object of an attack by Zulu skirmishers and was obliged to defend itself in the only way it could.

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to how many rockets were carried on each of the mules they had with them. I rather suspect that this was not a fixed number depending on the number of mules available and the individual load. I expect a further supply would have been found among the waggons Vause escorted into camp.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:52 am

The way I read it, the RB changed course. It was that action that led them straight into the Zulu's.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket Battery At Isandlwana   Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:11 am

24th
Agreed, passing the conical hill, amatutshane, they would have proceeded East towards the Quabe Valley mouth following Durnford. As it was they changed direction to due North.
There is a point though that even if they had not changed course they were square in the path of the left horn skirmishers that caught them. That turning action bought them an extra ten minutes of life probably.
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