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Captain David Moriarity, 80th, KIA Ntombe
This photograph taken when he was in the 7th Regiment prior to his transfer to the 80th. [Mac & Shad] (Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana: One of The Worst Defeats of The British Empire - Military History
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 Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:34 pm

Frederic

Impenetrable! Very Happy

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:35 pm

Steve, i know perfectifly that Frank and you are not anti-Glyn.
I wrote anti-Glyn between " " with the mention "i know it's not really the case".
it was a freedom (awkward) of French-English translation.

Gary, I answer to your question?

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:36 pm

Sorry...
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:38 pm

Frederic

I am pulling your "jambe" my friend.
No apology required.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:48 pm

Steve,
Thank you very much.

in other words to be sure to have been well understood: Frank and you have partially exempt Chelmsford of its responsibility by attributing mistakes on Glyn's shoulders. Therefore, I clumsily used the term "anti-Glyn".

Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:38 pm

rusteze wrote:
Hi Frederic

The problem with assessing Glyn is that he is a shadowy figure during this first invasion. It is inevitable that we largely rely on Clery's comments, but I agree with you that we need to be careful because of Clery's own predilections. However, what little we know of Glyn during those few days seems to me to fit Clery's description. I think in my first post on this aspect of Chelmsford's culpability I said that Glyn's actions (or more accurately inactions) contributed to the disaster. In no way am I anti-Glyn, what I am saying is that he had a flaw. Neither am I saying that his inaction partially exonerates Chelmsford - but I do believe that an active input from him might have made things better.

Steve

Steve,

You wrote:
Turning to Isandlwana, my inclination is to think that Chelmsford made a mistake in not doing something to fortify. (....) I do however believe that the whole thing is exacerbated by the lack of initiative shown by Glyn, who recognised the need to protect the camp better but did did not feel able to assert himself. Chelmsford guilty, but extenuating circumstances.

Frank wrote:
Still believe that Glyn should have grown a pair. (...) I have to lay a solid piece of the blame with Glyn in this instance. So a divided error would be my vote.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:52 pm

Yes, a divided error in not better protecting the camp, but that does not mean equally divided. Neither does it absolve Chelmsford for other poor judgements such as dividing the force.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:25 pm

90th see below


ymob wrote:
Bonjour,

Most of the accusations in this threat against the character of GLYN are based on letters from CLERY.
So the question: CLERY, a reliable witness?
I have not the answer to this question, but I oberve about CLERY's character these comments:
-From the editor (Daphne CHILD) of "Zululand at war" (I.E: after the study of his letters): "Vain, able, critical of friend and foe, egostistical and amusing";

-From J.F. MAURICE: "Tendancy to belittle the services of good men...he is the last man I should rely on to say a good word of me behind my back".

First point: CLERY's comments about others men don't seem to be the "divine scriptures".
2nd  point: It would have been maybe useful to study the behavior of GLYN during the war of 1877-1878: to confirm or refute the adjective lethargic and other pleasantries revealed by the always well-intentioned  CLERY.

Effectively it's not a threat about the "good guys and bad guys" but it's the "anti-Glyn" members (I.E: I know it is not really the case) who used the first arguments on GLYN's character to exonerate partially CHELMSFORD's responsability.

Just a thought.



Cheers



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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:25 am

rusteze wrote:
Yes, a divided error in not better protecting the camp, but that does not mean equally divided. Neither does it absolve Chelmsford for other poor judgements such as dividing the force.

Steve

When and if this thread reaches its conclusion, do you think that we could have a thread on the topic of what LC could/should have done, it would be interesting to see how other people would have planned the campaign with the resources and intelligence that LC had at the time. (Hindsight is a wonderful thing) There are plenty of ex-military men on here, it could be an interesting subject. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:02 pm

Bonsoir à tous,

About GLYN's character:

From General Sir Arthur T. Cunynghame: "I greatly apprecied the zeal and intelligence of Colonel Glyn who I directed to take command in the Transkei, and of all his officers" (source: "My command in S.A., 1874-1878" p.339 /you can read it for free on archive.org)

Cheers.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:21 pm

Frederic

Interesting. Cunyngham was replaced by Thesiger after Frere dismissed the Cape Government (see Zulu Rising chapter 9). So Glyn gets a new boss.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:47 pm

Why are we looking into the back ground of Col Glyn. Is this relevant to Isandlwana ?
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:50 pm

rusteze wrote:
Frederic

Interesting. Cunyngham was replaced by Thesiger after Frere dismissed the Cape Government (see Zulu Rising chapter 9). So Glyn gets a new boss.

Steve
Hi Steve,
Actually, as you say, just interesting, nothing else.
There is also an interesting comment about Pulleine ( p. 339) for later...
Bonjour Les,
I have read all the actions of Glyn in the Cunyngham's book.
But Cunyngham's narrative looks like for me as an official report...So in my humble opinion not relevant. Same conclusion for Keith Smith's book on this war ( but i don't yet finish to read it)
cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:58 pm

Glyn had his chance at the COE, but he colaborated Clery's report!
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:11 pm

Possible...
But, I am not certain that his psychological state allowed him for the reasons given by Xhosa.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:46 pm

In October 1877, when they were garrison on the Cap Frontier, The high Commissioner thought them [1/24th] “a seasoned battalion under an excellent, steady, sensible commander, Colonel Glyn, and with very good young officers” (quoted in “Hill of the Sphinx” p.7)

What impressed observers about the 1/24th of Glyn during the war of the cape frontier was their professionalism: General Cunyngham, declared about this battalion: “there was no duty whatever which the Regiment could not be found equal to”. (“My command in S.A.” p.338)
Just a though ( I am not sure of the answer): which is to be commended for the quality of this battalion, Glyn? (in theory and "in practice", or only in theory)
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:57 pm

ymob wrote:
Possible...
But, I am not certain that his psychological state allowed him for the reasons given by Xhosa.

You can't keep falling back on psychological problems, the same excuse was used for Durnford. Stop making excuses, andwasting time looking at previous wars individuals took part in. If Glyn had such a wonderful reputation in prior wars, what happened to him during the Zulu War. Like Durnford, Glyn was the wrong person for the job. Perhaps they both had such stroke and didn't realise.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:03 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:

all that i have read about him paints him as a competent
and experienced senior officer, one who Chelmsford seemed
fit to promote to brigadier.
 

Bonsoir Xhosa,
What is your source for this (one who CHELMSFORD seemed fit to promote to Brigadier)?
I only found: "With the outbreak of the 9th Cape Frontier War" in 1877 the 1/24th was ordered to the Transkei, and Glyn appointed commander, wih the rank of Colonel of the staff and brevet brigadier general" [so before the arrival of Chelmsford in S.A.]
Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:08 pm

Mr Greaves wrote:
ymob wrote:
Possible...
But, I am not certain that his psychological state allowed him for the reasons given by Xhosa.

You can't keep falling back on psychological problems, the same excuse was used for Durnford. Stop making excuses, andwasting time looking at previous wars individuals took part in. If Glyn had such a wonderful reputation in prior wars, what happened to him during the Zulu War. Like Durnford, Glyn was the wrong person for the job. Perhaps they both had such  stroke and didn't realise.

Interesting question: "If Glyn had such a wonderful reputation in prior wars, what happened to him during the Zulu war?"
Personnally; i don't yet know, if GLYN was a wonderful soldier before the zulu war.
For the rest, I leave you to your conclusions.
Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:16 am

That image is taken from an Adrian Greaves book.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:35 am

Xhosa,
Thank you.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Exactly what was LC guilty of ?   Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:55 am

I've seen that picture of Glyn in other books from memory .
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:39 pm

Gentlemen: a new member jumping in the with my comments. I have read all posts with interest - am in awe with everyone's knowledge and opinions. Have read several books re: Isandlwana - Greaves, Morris, Knight (just go my copy of Zulu Rising). I really enjoyed xhosa's posts re: LCs report and Glyn's response written by Clery - they provide insights to my study that I would otherwise have no access. For what it is worth, I believe LC must shoulder most responsibility for the disaster.

P.S. - Posting from Indiana, USA where it is 2degrees cold.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:15 am

Welcome Brillo and thank you for posting. I hope you enjoy the forum. I think many of us would agree that LC should shoulder most responsibility. But what for exactly and who else might also be in the frame?
Of the books you listed i think you may find Zulu Rising offers the most insight. Let us know what you think. Not so warm here in Hampshire Uk either, about 3 degrees.

Best wishes
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:56 am

Thanks Steve:
My reasons are not new: LC'S disregard for Zulu fighting fervor to repel invaders; lack of clear and concise orders; his splitting of force. Must say I was swayed a little with the debate re: Glyn's lack of command decisions of his regiment in issue of defensive lagaaring of the camp particular when force was split. There is a lot a do not understand and hate to bring up issues that I am sure have been discussed and re-discussed many times on the forum. It has always struck me as odd that the offensive fighting ability of the NNC levies was taken for granted as being capable.

Maybe this isn't the place for this question but here I go: as I said earlier I have read several but am still confused - when Curling's artillery retired back to camp, Zulu warriors were already in the camp, where did they come from - were they down from the saddle area, from the rear of the camp, the main chest ???

Thanks in advance for clarification.
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PostSubject: Exactly what was LC guilty of ?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:31 am

Welcome Brillo1970
The Zulus that were in the camp when the RA attempted to flee the battlefield were the right horn , which had worked its way behind Isandlwana , Mostyn & Cavaye were sent up to the extreme left of the Nqutu Ridge , these two companies opened fire at these Zulus from about 800 yds away , as the Zulus made their way from right to left to get behind Isandlwana and then cut the road to Rorke's Drift . Hope this helps ? .
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:18 pm

Getting back to the original question! " Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?" Not really seeing anything other than the norm!!!!! scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:03 am

" I really struggle with this. is why did Chelmsford if he expected to
have the whole Zulu army on him (and he did expect it).. leave the ammunition.

Now that is a very good question!
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PostSubject: Exactly what was LC guilty of ?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:43 pm

The simplest explanation is it would've slowed him down . The Ammo wagons couldn't have kept up in the terrain , and LC wanted to be more mobile . As for you saying LC expected to have the whole Zulu army come down on him I find a little hard to follow , LC didn't think for a moment the camp would be attacked , and his main worry was getting the Zulu's to in fact confront him and his column ! .
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:44 pm

The question mark is not the ammunition. Chelmsford does not believe he is facing the entire Zulu army, he believes he is facing Matshana's men (which is correct). He takes with him 6 companies of the 2/24th who are carrying about 35,000 rounds between them. It was entirely reasonable to have his reserve ammunition follow and not slow him down. He would not have reached Dartnell in time if he had taken it. His error, in my view, is taking far more troops than he needs to re-inforce Dartnell (who later says he asked for two companies). Chelmsford is totally unaware that the main Zulu army lies way off on his left flank and he would continue to be ignorant of it for many hours yet.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:06 pm

Les

You are indeed entitled to your view and to label Chelmsford as a "fool" and a "vacillating incompetent". I don't think he was either of those things, but he did make errors which led to disaster. I think Frank began this thread to try and get behind the labels and pin down exactly what errors can be laid at Chelmsford's door in a balanced way. The point of my last post was to say that leaving his reserve ammunition to follow him to Dartnell's aid was not an error. I stick by that. I also raised the question of why he took such a large force with him (which left Isandhlwana denuded of adequate numbers). I think looking at his experience in 1878 may help us with that. Likewise, your right to raise the question of reconnaissance and intelligence, but some things he could not change - like the state of the roads and the available maps. In my view it gives a very false picture to damn him out of hand for everything he did. We have already shown in this thread that he made a pretty good fist of planning for the defence of Natal. In my view we have also pointed to evidence that Frere was the major player in planning to subjugate Zululand and Chelmsford played a subordinate role. Also in my view, we have raised legitimate concerns about Glyn's lost opportunities to have an impact. I have learnt some new things in pursuing some of those topics which has, so far, made the thread worthwhile for me. Lets hope, on today of all days, it can continue.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:45 pm

Perhaps not a very good question! Thanks 90th your comment makes sense.


90th wrote:
The simplest explanation is it would've slowed him down . The Ammo wagons couldn't have kept up in the terrain , and LC wanted to be more mobile . As for you saying LC expected to have the whole Zulu army come down on him I find a little hard to follow , LC didn't think for a moment the camp would be attacked , and his main worry was getting the Zulu's to in fact confront him and his column ! .
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:44 pm

I suppose what I am saying is this. If the incompetent fool of January becomes the successful all conquering General of July the labels are not helping us very much. The perennial problem we have, and have always had, is that the machinations of the so called Court of Inquiry and the consequential "lets blame Durnford" episode leads us to either brand Chelmsford as the devil incarnate or elevate him to sainthood. That label, one or the other, then gets applied to his every move. This thread looks like it will allow us to explore some of the background in an interesting way providing we can suspend judgement a little while we do it. If all the reputable authors have got there already we might as well just read the books and save our breath mightn't we?

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PostSubject: Exactly what was LC guilty of ?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:48 pm

No worries Littlehand , LC virtually answers the question himself by saying '' I left a 1,000 men here '' his overconfidence was what contributed to the fact the camp was lost , he also obviously didn't think he was going to encounter the whole Zulu army as he would've some how made some sort of provision for the Reserve ammo , the terrain is bad out that way , it would've been far worse in 1879 , simply the Ammo wagons couldn't have kept up , I think the Guns had a difficult time as well , LC's ammo wagons would've been hard to find , its not like they could follow a road etc . If they couldn't find the Zulu army how was he going to keep track of the ammo wagons ! LOL .
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:49 pm

Open question re LC taking 6 coy to the field to support Dartnell.  How strung out would a force this size be exposed to an attach and therefore how vulnerable was LC until he met up with Dartnell and the NNC.
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PostSubject: Exactly what was LC guilty of ?   Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:37 am

Brillo1970.
If LC and his force ran into the Zulu army I hasten to say it would've been over very quickly ! . In other words it wouldn't have been much fun being part of LC's command ! . They were indeed spread out , the Artillery from memory had to go looking for a different route than what the infantry took , due to the lay of the land , it was very tough going for those with the Artillery etc . Don't forget there were over a 1,000 killed back at the camp , they were much less in number with LC ! . It would've been an impossibility for LC and his mento hold of any attacking force of any reasonable size .
90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:53 pm

I thought when reports were coming from Dartnell, it was thought they had found the main army. It is said that Dartnell was going to attack anyway with or with out reinforcements. If a small force like Dartnell's was going to attack, the surly the thoughts must have been not that serious or not serious enough to take half the force from Isandlwana. Don't think LC & Glyn would have take half the force if they didn't think they was going against the main Zulu army.
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