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 AZW and Booby Traps.

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waterloo50

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PostSubject: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:06 pm

In Ian Knights book 'Brave Men's Blood', there is a brief mention of the engineers under Col Charles Knight Pearson leaving booby traps to prevent the Zulus from interfering with their work, There is a picture in the book which shows warriors setting off a torpedo booby trap.

I'm wondering if the torpedo trap was a more primitive version of the later Bangalore Torpedo traps.

My questions are,

Had booby traps ever been used before in the AZW?

What other types of booby traps would have been used?

How did the torpedo booby trap work?

and considering that this was the Victorian period, it strikes me that the use of booby traps, could have been viewed at the time as being an ungentleman like way to fight a war.

Kind Regards

Waterloo
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Martini-Henry

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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:33 pm

Alls Fair etc. I think there are a number of factors here such as: no Geneva convention, no United Nations resolutions on use of mines etc, & the fact that they did not even consider the Zulus to be civilized.
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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:10 pm

Martini,

Those are fair points but don't you think that a booby trap would have been seen as gaining an unfair advantage, or could it be that the AZW was a lot more gruesome and bloody than it appears. When I read of the British with their 'lifting of cattle', burning of huts, the rounding up of non combatants and possible mistreatment of prisoners along with the underhand way Bartle Frere pushed for war,  the more the AZW reminds me of Vietnam, have you heard of My Lai?  I wonder how many other things that we aren't aware of happened that could still shock today. But as you said in your post, 'All is fair....'

Cheers Waterloo
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Martini-Henry

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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:15 pm

I think it was a genocidal war & the settlement imposed by Sir Garnet made things a helluva lot worse! The deep wounds inflicted on the Zulu people reverberate to this day. Ethnic cleansing pure & simple.
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:40 pm

Ethnic Cleansing, now they are words that carry a lot of weight, are you therefore inferring that war crimes were committed? I remember in one of the threads regarding Bartle Frere, this was hinted at but never fully discussed.

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:40 pm

Phew! Those are very strong words. Standards of treatment were different then but I don't personally think it got anywhere near genocide or ethnic cleansing. Just a short time later Cetshwayo was feted, met the Queen and was part reinstated. His kingdom was split up amongst local headmen who were more amenable to colonial control. The population was not wiped out, indeed they were crucial to exploiting the gold and diamond mines. I think the subsequent treatment of the population was a bit like what Frederic is uncovering in his thread, not necessarily motivated by humanitarian feelings but very much by commercial ones. I suspect a much unhappier event for the Zulu was the success of the Boers against the British in 1880 and the handing back to them of the Transvaal. Which is where it had all begun with the border dispute back in 1878.

Steve
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:41 pm

Hi Martini,

Would you mind offering up a brief overview of the settlement imposed by Sir Garnet.

Cheers

Waterloo
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PostSubject: AZW and Booby Traps    Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:11 pm

During the second invasion of Zululand the British troops littered the outer laagar area with Broken Glass and other sharp objects Who could blame them after what had happened at Isandlwana and to a certain degree Intombi .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:27 pm

Sorry have no access to Internet where I am. An overview can be found in the Cambridge History of the British Empire Vol 2 Page 489. Hope this helps
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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:31 pm

No worries,

I will look it up, I was just being a bit lazy.

Waterloo
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PostSubject: AZW and Booby Traps    Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:32 pm

Waterloo
Here is the description from ' Fearful Hard Times At Eshowe ' by Ian Knight , it's an excellent book , it's the only one that deals with Pearson's Column only , from the start , to the finish of the siege at Eshowe , I cant recommend it high enough to be honest . It's certainly a must have if you have any interest in Number 1 Column . The zulu had been causing havoc once the work party had left the road for the day , attempting to destroy what had been completed on the day .
From page 138
'' At the completion of the days work the road party determined to put an end to the zulu's interference with their progress , and so , under the direction of Capt Beddoes of the Natal Native Pioneers , they improvised a booby trap . The device , a landmine made from dynamite with a friction tube as a detonator , was tied to a wooden stake planted in the ground .The dynamite was covered by some planks of wood . To ensure that no unwary soldier tampered with it , a board was attached to the top on which was painted the word TORPEDO . Even before the work party reached the fort they heard a tremendous explosion behind them as the mine detonated . The zulu's had pulled up the stake and set off the charge ; some must invariably have been killed , and the rest could be seen fleeing in terror in all directions . It was the last time the zulu's attempted to interfere with the road party's works '' .
90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Yes probably Genocide is too strong a word. There was an economic motive - cheap labour for the mines etc. A proud nation was broken up into little pieces in the interest of progress & civilization. Finally the prospect of a powerful autonomous Zululand was too fearful to be allowed to exist.
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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Yes probably Genocide is too strong a word. There was an economic motive - cheap labour for the mines etc. A proud nation was broken up into little pieces in the interest of progress & civilization. Finally the prospect of a powerful autonomous Zululand was too fearful to be allowed to exist.
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PostSubject: Re: AZW and Booby Traps.   Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:41 pm

90th

That's brilliant, I was wondering what the Torpedo Booby trap was, good job none of the Zulus could read English. I imagine that the psychological effect would have had a knock on effect. In the picture that I was looking at there is a piece of wood with the word Torpedo written on it, I wondered why that was in the drawing.

Many Thanks for your help

Waterloo
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PostSubject: AZW and Booby Traps    Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:49 pm

Waterloo happy to try and help now I'm back on Terra Firma !
90th You need to study mo
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