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 Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?

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90th

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PostSubject: Exactly what was LC guilty of ?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:01 am

Hi sas1
That my friend , was exactly what Frere did ! , obviously in collusion with LC . They were told by the British Govt to avoid war with the Zulu nation , England was much more worried about the threat that Russia was posing at that current time .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:03 am

Just a few snippets:
Frere to Hicks beach 30th Sept.................it will be necessary to send to the Zulu king an ultimatum.
Chelmsford to Secretary of State for War. 14th September. In the event of an invasion of Zululand being decide upon.......
Chelmsford to the Secretary of State for War 28th September
An invasion of Natal by the Zulus must I consider be looked upon as more imminent now than it has been for years.
Chelmsford to the Secretary of State for War 22nd December
In the event however of the demand for the sons of Usirajo and the fine of 500 cattle not being complied with by the stipulated date (1si January) I have been directed by the High Commisioner to advance Col Pearsons column across the lower Tugela and to advance Col Woods force from Utrecht across the Blood river. This may serve to show the Zulu King that the Imperial Government is in earnest, and may possibly induce him to agree to terms within the stipulated time, viz., the 10th January.
Should he not do so my present instructions from the High Commisioner are to move into Zululand.

So Chelmsford is very clear that he regards the Zulus as a threat to the safety of Natal, also he is implicit in stating his instructions stem from the High Commisioner. Again he has laid it on the line that he WILL invade 20days later.
From as early as the 4th September Chelmsford was discussing with Deputy Commisary Stickland the transport that would be needed to invade.

Hicks Beach to Frere 23rd January
This letter was sent a day after iSandlwana but before Britain knew of the invasion of the 11th and the subsequent results.

Through out the letter the tone is one of agreement that Freres course of actions were supported and his view points respected.
" Your own judgement and experience coupled with the valuable advice which Lord Chelmsford has been able to give you upon the military aspects of the case would justify Her Majesties Government in placing great reliance upon your conclusion, and I notice with satisfaction that you have throughout determined to assure yourself that you fully understood the views of Sir H Bulwer and Sir T Shepstone, and are fully convinced that they are substantially in accordance with your own. I sincerely trust that the policy you have adopted may be as successful as the very careful consideration which you may have given to it deserves and that if military operations should be come necessary, the arrangements which you have reported may secure that they should be brought to an early and decisive termination, with the result of finally relieving Her Majesties subjects in Natal and Transvaal from the danger to which they are exposed."

Surely that is a very strong endorsement of Freres actions.

So if we are going to accuse Frere and Chelmsford of colluding then surely we have to bring Bulwer, Shepstone, Hicks Beach and the Commisary in to the circle as well?

Cheers
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:29 am

90th wrote:
Hi sas1
That my friend , was exactly what Frere did ! , obviously in collusion with LC . They were told by the British Govt to avoid war with the Zulu nation , England was much more worried about the threat that Russia was posing at that current time .
90th

I know that's what appeared to happen in the light of day, but nither Frere or LC would have taken it upon themselves to make that decision. We are all basing what happened on what the papers say. Those that stood up for LC were no doubt in the know, right up to the top.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:40 am

Sas have a look at my last post, the last few lines, without doubt there was tacit approval.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:00 am

Sir Henry Bulwers opinion of Chelmsford and Crealock:

........are not very pleasant to deal with in official matters, for when they ask for anything, or desire anything or recommend anything, their official manner is not always an agreeable one, and besides I don't think they have been in all matters quite open and frank with one. To a great extent I fancy Crealock is to blame for this. He is a sort of military wasp and, between ourselves, I think he is rather snobbish sometimes.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:47 am

Should he not do so my present instructions from the High Commisioner are to move into Zululand.

In reading Chelmsford's last comment I couldn't help but feel that he was 'underplaying' the consequences of moving into Zululand, when the secretary of war received the letter, what were his thoughts on the comment, 'This may serve to show the Zulu King that the Imperial Government is in earnest, and may possibly induce him to agree to terms within the stipulated time'. Did the British Government honestly believe that the Zulu King would have complied with the demands set out by Frere? It strikes me that the information being sent to London lacked any real sense of what was planned, it is almost written in a style that says 'here are our demands, if the King doesn't comply then we will advance, which in turn will force him to meet with our demands, oh, and by the way if he doesn't comply then we will invade. Did the British government honestly not see a war on the horizon? or did they feel that everything was in hand and that it would never come to war? Either way, LC is starting to look like a co-conspirator.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:14 pm

Hi Waterloo
The end of my last post is the telling point. Hicks Beach effectively gives tacit approval of an invasion. He knew exactly what was going to happen. There are a whole series of reports from both Frere and Chelmsford dating back to September describing the build up, composition of the columns, recruitment etc. Plus warnings of impending invasion of Natal by the Zulu.
As I said, if we are to believe in a conspiracy it cant be just the two of them. Frere was doing what he was sent to South Africa for.
Possibly a touch of Nudge Nudge Wink Wink?
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:12 pm

Hicks-Beach..( Hicks-Bitch ) according to Wolseley. was playing catch up!
i don't think he fully understood what was going on..to late by the time he
did.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:49 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:03 pm

That third paragraph is totally negated by the letter Hicks Beach to Frere 23rd January as quoted above, Hicks Beach does everything but invite Frere to invade. Its really immaterial that the letter was written after iSandlwana the intent is very much there. Placed in the moder idiom it would probably translate as " Go get em big boy."
If the invasion had happened the way it was intended Hicks Beach would have claimed proprietary rights over the concept.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:47 pm

my above was of course From Jeff Guy's The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom.
i have'nt got the inclination to fully develop why Hicks-Beach had little or even
no impact on Frere's machination's. but its all been in the public domain for many
years from the likes of Guy, Dumminy, Clarke ect.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:13 pm

Frank

I am going to have to disagree with you about the significance of the extract you quote from Hicks Beach's memo to Frere of 23 January. I think the memo has to be read in its entirety to understand what Hicks Beach is saying, and to be honest he is livid!

It begins:

"I have now before me the full demands with which Cetywayo has been called upon to comply (he means the "ultimatum" and it's the first time he has seen it).

There are in addition to these documents many others which are very voluminous but the perusal of which is necessary to a complete understanding of your position. And it has been impossible as yet for HMG to examine the whole of the case as it is now placed before them by you : but I may observe that the communications which had previously been recieved from you had not entirely prepared them (ie HMG) for the course which you have deemed it necessary to take."



Hicks Beach is in effect saying to Frere - you bounced me into this you old bugger! I don't think he has any option at that point but to very reluctantly support whatever Frere is setting in train and get it over quickly because he knows that his reply will not reach South Africa until long after the events have anyway occurred.  But he is in no way condoning Frere's decision.

Les's third para is about right I reckon.

Did Chelmsford conspire in the plan ? (which is the point of all this) - perhaps, but more later.

Its worth remembering that it took two months to get an answer back from London from the time a single note is sent. And that doesn't allow for more than a day or so for London to think about how to respond. Less time than it took for the first invasion to fail ! But once British troops are going to be committed, despite HMG's better judgement, they have to be supported.

Steve
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:17 pm

Did Frere ever produce or was he later required to produce evidence to Beach that he had the full support of Bulwer and Shepstone or did Beach simply trust Frere on that matter? or had Beach assumed that Frere really did have their approval. It seems a bit harsh to pull Bulwer and Shepstone into the frame if they didn't really know what was going on. I don't suppose for one moment that Frere had lied about having their support but I wonder just how much of the truth he had offered them. Frere was extremely manipulative and very experienced in handling figures in authority.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:39 pm

Well at least Frank has succeeded in getting me to look into
some boxes. Richard Cope's Ploughshare of War is a must to
understand the geo politics of this god awful botched up policy
of confederation dreamed up on the ' india model ' by both
Percy Herbert and Frere ( who's horror of the effect of the Indian
Mutiny ) was ever mindful.. Hicks-Beach informed colleagues that
it would take a telegraph link to control Frere and he did not believe
it could be done even if he had one. Hicks-beach was the colonial
sec to the colonies but felt himself inferior to Frere..

Waterloo, Bulwer was a good honest man who strove at every turn to
thwart Frere's warmongering..Shepstone was a turncoat. Thesiger was
a tool, the blunt instrument used to smash the Zulu. but Frere was in
in effect ' out of control '. xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:21 pm

Xhosa/Steve
Your both right it is a complex issue that cant really be quantified from a single letter.

Steve
Yes there is far more to that note than I published and your quite correct in quoting the portion you do, however the key elements, once HB had finished covering his backside, are the ending to the paragraph:
" But the terms which you have dictated to the Zulu King, however necessary to relieve the Colony in future from and impending and INCREASING danger ( Upper case is mine) are evidently such as he may not improbably refuse, even at the risk of war, and I regret that the necessity for immediate action should have appeared to you so imperative as to preclude you from incurring the delay which would have been involved in consulting HMG upon a subject of so much importance as the terms were actually presented to the Zulu king."
And the following that I have already quoted.

My reading of that whole sequence of letters is effectively as weve put forward:
Frere was sent to do a specific job, confederation.
He has built up a case, with the prodding of the Colonials.
He has to a degree got the backing of Bulwer ( reluctantly in parts )
He has the enthusiastic backing of Shepstone ( Terrified that his Transvaal escapades will disintegrate)
And the military back up from Chelmsford.

Because of the warmongering from Chelmsford and his alarmist letters to The Secretary of State for war Chelmsford has managed to extract certain reinforcements, not what he wanted but enough for his purpose.

That has all been done under the nose of HB, and is all accounted for in the voluminous correspondence he refers to on the 23rd January. Its all there, even a letter from Chelmsford leaving no doubt that he is going to invade.

Sorry a long winded way of getting to my point. In that letter of the 23rd HB has covered his position ( he was a skilled politician) in every possible way even to the point of the final paragraph when he has acknowledged there was no more options and giving his approval to Freres actions. In that paragraph he has tied together Frere Bulwer Shepstone and Chelmsford very solidly.

Just a viewpoint

Xhosa
Shepstone could probably be best described as a 'Carpetbagger'. Bulwer was a good administrator and friend of n
Natal but concurred that zulu standing army would always be a threat, it was for that reason he supported, reluctantly, the military option. ( letter to Edward, his brother, 8th December 1878)
As he rightly pointed out, with Britain controlling the Transvaal and Natal the only possible enemy that the army could be sent against was Britain.

Cheers


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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:14 pm

I think that the Transvaal, the part Shepstone plays and Frere's assessment of it in relation to confederation are key to a lot of this.

But lets focus on Chelmsford again for a moment. Can we honestly say his memos to London were alarmist? I set out in my earlier post his approach to the lines of defence in Natal, which seem to me to be reasonable and tactically sound. As you say, Hicks Beach and the War Office gave way to his request for additional troops by ordering the 2/24 and 90th to Natal but they emphasised again that this was for defence.

On 11 November Frere sends to Hicks Beach a copy of Chelmsford's report to the War Office (this arrives in London on 11 December). Chelmsford had reported that his forces were in position to resist attack. He goes on to say.
"A defensive plan however cannot be considered satisfactory unless there is the possibility of taking the offensive at the right moment. I cannot however but feel that my columns will only barely be strong enough for the purpose and it will be difficult to find a means of keeping open our lines of communication." He asks for two more battalions (over and above the 2/24th and 90th).

At this time the threat from Cetywayo was predicated on numerous reports of Zulu regiments amassing near the mouth of the Tugela said to be mounting a "hunt". This was seen as a ruse to cover an attack on Natal.

Against that kind of threat I do not think that Chelmsford's plans for defence are so way off the mark. And what was to happen once an invading force had been repulsed? Not unreasonable to plan to pursue it - indeed that would be good military practice would it not?

Unfortunately for Frere the Zulu regiments near the mouth of the Tugela then dispersed and he had to look around for another excuse to go to war - hence the ultimatum. And Chelmsford, without a major Zulu incursion into Natal against which to defend, simply took his columns in anyway. But without the two extra battalions he said he needed.

So by planning to follow up after a successful defence of Natal, is Chelmsford conniving in a plan to invade Zululand or is he simply carrying out a classic military manoeuvre?

For my money he did not play a part in the invasion decision being made without any real provocation, but he did invade knowing his force was inadequate.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:27 pm

29th March 1879

This is the front of Sir BARTLE FRERE'S offending, and for this a sharp rebuke has been addressed to him by the Colonial Secretary. Unfortunately, the first step of the enterprise thus entered into led to disaster, and the natural result is that the precipitancy of the High Commissioner is more severely criticised than it would have been under other circumstances. It is only fair to him, however, to remember that he had satisfied himself that the forces at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief were adequate to perform the duty imposed upon them, and that he is by no means accountable for errors and mismanagement in the field.

So, its back on your shoulders LC, what have you got to say for yourself?
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:28 pm

QUESTION. OBSERVATIONS.

HL Deb 06 May 1879 vol 245 cc1781-4 1781
§EARL GRANVILLE My Lords, some misunderstanding has been caused by the answers which have been given to Questions which were not quite similar in the two Houses of Parliament respecting the instructions to Sir Bartle Frere. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is reported to have said yesterday evening that Sir Bartle Frere had instructions, both negative as to what he was not to do in the policy of annexation and other things of that sort, and positive as to the object which he was to aim at in taking the steps he was to take to preserve the British Colonies from the danger by which they have been threatened by the overwhelming power of the Zulu Force. The noble Earl (Earl Cadogan) on Friday referred to the indications which are given in the despatch of March 20 of the opinion of the Government on these points; and he 1782 read an extract exactly in the same sense, but going no further, from a despatch of April 10. He observed that it was impossible for Her Majesty's Government to give more definite instructions till they had received the opinion of Sir Bartle Frere. The point which does not seem to have been cleared up in either House is this—whether Sir Bartle Frere is at liberty, in case the King of the Zulus makes any acceptable proposals, to take any steps at all, or is to refer the matter home, with a necessary delay of about two months. In the despatch of March 20, he is strictly desired to submit all demands and stipulations for the approval of Her Majesty's Government before peace is concluded; and, again, he is directed to avoid taking any decided step or committing himself to any positive conclusion respecting any of the questions until he has received instructions from Her Majesty's Government. My Question is, Whether any such further instructions have been sent to Sir Bartle Frere which enable him to act upon any proposals for peace without further reference to Her Majesty's Government.
§EARL CADOGAN I have gathered from the ordinary sources of information that some misapprehension seems to exist, of the nature alluded to by the noble Earl, as to an apparent discrepancy between the answer given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the answer I had the honour of giving to the noble Earl. My Lords, I cannot acknowledge on my own part that any such discrepancy exists. The noble Earl asked me, a few nights ago, whether since the despatch, contained in the last Blue Book on the Table of your Lordships' House, any further instructions had been sent to Sir Bartle Frere with regard to the proposals of peace to be made to the King of Zululand. If the noble Earl had limited himself to asking that Question, my answer would have been a very simple one. I would have told him that no further instructions had been sent with regard to the articles of peace to be proposed; but that another despatch had been addressed to Sir Bartle Frere since the 20th of March—namely, on the 10th of April—giving general instructions to the High Commissioner, and expressing an earnest hope on the part of Her Majesty's Government that the military operations now being 1783 carried on would be directed to the bringing about of peace at the earliest possible opportunity. With regard to the instructions conveyed in the despatch of March 20, I can only repeat what I stated the other night—that in that dispatch the opinion of the Government was very clearly stated on at least two most important points contained in the Ultimatum presented by Sir Bartle Frere. It informed him that Her Majesty's Government would insist on the establishment of a British Resident in Zululand; and, further, that they were determined to insist on the disbandment of the Zulu Army—that is to say, the modification of the military system in Zululand. The noble Earl, formerly the Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Kimberley), stated that he considered that no instructions, or rather that only negative instructions, had been sent, and that Sir Bartle Frere had at this moment no means of knowing the terms on which he was to enter into the consideration of conditions of peace, should negotiations commence. My Lords, I believe the matter stands thus. If Sir Bartle Frere has an opportunity of commencing negotiations for peace with the King of the Zulus, he has ample instructions—ample knowledge of the views of Her Majesty's Government as to the main points upon which such negotiations should be framed. Further than that, no instructions have been sent to him. Although, as I understand, he certainly has full liberty to commence negotiations, he can take no decided step without previously obtaining the sanction of Her Majesty's Government—a limitation to which, after the proceedings in this House at an earlier part of the Session, the noble Earl and his Friends will probably not object.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY said, his recollection was rather at variance with the explanation now given. He understood the other evening that Her Majesty's Government were waiting for some further information from Sir Bartle Frere before they could be in a condition to give him instructions as to the terms of peace. He now understood that further instructions had been given which contained the principles on which Sir Bartle Frere might negotiate.
§EARL CADOGAN I wish to be clearly understood. I do not mean to say that further instructions as to conditions of 1784 peace have been given to Sir Bartle Frere besides those contained in the despatch of March 20.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY The noble Earl says Her Majesty's Government are awaiting further information from Sir Bartle Frere. I beg to ask the noble Earl whether that is the position of the matter?
§EARL CADOGAN In the despatch of the 20th of March, Her Majesty's Government have asked the opinion of Sir Bartle Frere as to certain matters, and I think your Lordships will be of opinion that it is natural that no further instructions should be sent to him until his replies have been received.
§EARL GRANVILLE said, that nothing could be fairer than the statement of the noble Earl; but still this matter was not quite clear. He was still at a loss to know whether Sir Bartle Frere was in a position to come to a positive conclusion without receiving further instructions from Her Majesty's Government.
§THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD I think, my Lords, it is unusual that a subject of this importance should be brought on without some notice. I may say that, in my opinion, Sir Bartle Frere is sufficiently acquainted now with the general views of the Government on what I consider the vital grounds upon which peace may be re-established to act for himself. It is unfortunate that the means of communication are so difficult—but, at all events, he is fully acquainted with the leading principles on which we expect peace to be established between Her Majesty and the King of the Zulus. There may be reserve as to details, and it is impossible but that such should be the case, as the means of communication with Sir Bartle Frere is not easy. No doubt, it will be necessary that Sir Bartle Frere should consult the Government further; but at present he may enter upon negotiations for peace with a thorough knowledge of the main principles of the policy of the Government.
§EARL GRANVILLE Would there be any objection to producing the Papers which give Sir Bartle Frere the authority he possesses?
§THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD I understand that further Papers will shortly be laid upon the Table, and from them, no doubt, the noble Earl will obtain the information he desires.
Back to SOUTH AFRICA—THE ZULU WAR— INSTRUCTIONS TO SIR BARTLE FRERE.
Forward to LETTERKENNY RAILWAY BILL.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:33 pm

SOUTH AFRICA—THE CAPE COLONY-SIR BARTLE FRERE.

HC Deb 21 May 1880 vol 252 c233 233
§MR. DILLWYN asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is intended to continue Sir Bartle Frere in his post as Governor of the Cape Colonies?
MR. GRANT DUFF In reply to my hon. Friend, I have to say that Sir Bartle Frere is now engaged in work of an entirely different kind from that on which he was engaged when the events occurred which led to the debate of March, 1879. Some time after that debate Sir Garnet Wolseley was appointed High Commissioner for Natal, the Transvaal, and all the adjoining territories north and south of those Colonies, including, of course, Zululand. His powers are continued to Sir George Colley, who was appointed by the late Government, and who will proceed to South Africa on the 28th. As regards the Cape Colony, Her Majesty's Government think it expedient that Sir Bartle Frere should remain for the present for the purpose of the work on which he is now specially engaged—namely, the promotion of a confederation of the South African Colonies.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:50 pm

SIR BARTLE FRERE—LETTER OF THE QUEEN.—QUESTION.

HC Deb 05 May 1879 vol 245 c1713 1713
§MR. HUTCHINSON asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he can give the House any information respecting the correctness or otherwise of a statement in the "Daily News," of May 2nd, and alleged to be copied from the "Cape Argus," to the effect that the Queen has written an autograph letter to Lady Frere, expressing Her Majesty's confidence in Sir Bartle Frere?

SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH Sir, I have not see this statement, and I can give the House no information with respect to it.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:57 pm

May 1879 → Lords Sitting → SOUTH AFRICA—THE ZULU WAR— INSTRUCTIONS TO SIR BARTLE FRERE.
QUESTION. OBSERVATIONS.

HL Deb 06 May 1879 vol 245 cc1781-4 1781
§EARL GRANVILLE My Lords, some misunderstanding has been caused by the answers which have been given to Questions which were not quite similar in the two Houses of Parliament respecting the instructions to Sir Bartle Frere. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is reported to have said yesterday evening that Sir Bartle Frere had instructions, both negative as to what he was not to do in the policy of annexation and other things of that sort, and positive as to the object which he was to aim at in taking the steps he was to take to preserve the British Colonies from the danger by which they have been threatened by the overwhelming power of the Zulu Force. The noble Earl (Earl Cadogan) on Friday referred to the indications which are given in the despatch of March 20 of the opinion of the Government on these points; and he 1782 read an extract exactly in the same sense, but going no further, from a despatch of April 10. He observed that it was impossible for Her Majesty's Government to give more definite instructions till they had received the opinion of Sir Bartle Frere. The point which does not seem to have been cleared up in either House is this—whether Sir Bartle Frere is at liberty, in case the King of the Zulus makes any acceptable proposals, to take any steps at all, or is to refer the matter home, with a necessary delay of about two months. In the despatch of March 20, he is strictly desired to submit all demands and stipulations for the approval of Her Majesty's Government before peace is concluded; and, again, he is directed to avoid taking any decided step or committing himself to any positive conclusion respecting any of the questions until he has received instructions from Her Majesty's Government. My Question is, Whether any such further instructions have been sent to Sir Bartle Frere which enable him to act upon any proposals for peace without further reference to Her Majesty's Government.
§EARL CADOGAN I have gathered from the ordinary sources of information that some misapprehension seems to exist, of the nature alluded to by the noble Earl, as to an apparent discrepancy between the answer given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the answer I had the honour of giving to the noble Earl. My Lords, I cannot acknowledge on my own part that any such discrepancy exists. The noble Earl asked me, a few nights ago, whether since the despatch, contained in the last Blue Book on the Table of your Lordships' House, any further instructions had been sent to Sir Bartle Frere with regard to the proposals of peace to be made to the King of Zululand. If the noble Earl had limited himself to asking that Question, my answer would have been a very simple one. I would have told him that no further instructions had been sent with regard to the articles of peace to be proposed; but that another despatch had been addressed to Sir Bartle Frere since the 20th of March—namely, on the 10th of April—giving general instructions to the High Commissioner, and expressing an earnest hope on the part of Her Majesty's Government that the military operations now being 1783 carried on would be directed to the bringing about of peace at the earliest possible opportunity. With regard to the instructions conveyed in the despatch of March 20, I can only repeat what I stated the other night—that in that dispatch the opinion of the Government was very clearly stated on at least two most important points contained in the Ultimatum presented by Sir Bartle Frere. It informed him that Her Majesty's Government would insist on the establishment of a British Resident in Zululand; and, further, that they were determined to insist on the disbandment of the Zulu Army—that is to say, the modification of the military system in Zululand. The noble Earl, formerly the Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Kimberley), stated that he considered that no instructions, or rather that only negative instructions, had been sent, and that Sir Bartle Frere had at this moment no means of knowing the terms on which he was to enter into the consideration of conditions of peace, should negotiations commence. My Lords, I believe the matter stands thus. If Sir Bartle Frere has an opportunity of commencing negotiations for peace with the King of the Zulus, he has ample instructions—ample knowledge of the views of Her Majesty's Government as to the main points upon which such negotiations should be framed. Further than that, no instructions have been sent to him. Although, as I understand, he certainly has full liberty to commence negotiations, he can take no decided step without previously obtaining the sanction of Her Majesty's Government—a limitation to which, after the proceedings in this House at an earlier part of the Session, the noble Earl and his Friends will probably not object.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY said, his recollection was rather at variance with the explanation now given. He understood the other evening that Her Majesty's Government were waiting for some further information from Sir Bartle Frere before they could be in a condition to give him instructions as to the terms of peace. He now understood that further instructions had been given which contained the principles on which Sir Bartle Frere might negotiate.
§EARL CADOGAN I wish to be clearly understood. I do not mean to say that further instructions as to conditions of 1784 peace have been given to Sir Bartle Frere besides those contained in the despatch of March 20.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY The noble Earl says Her Majesty's Government are awaiting further information from Sir Bartle Frere. I beg to ask the noble Earl whether that is the position of the matter?
§EARL CADOGAN In the despatch of the 20th of March, Her Majesty's Government have asked the opinion of Sir Bartle Frere as to certain matters, and I think your Lordships will be of opinion that it is natural that no further instructions should be sent to him until his replies have been received.
§EARL GRANVILLE said, that nothing could be fairer than the statement of the noble Earl; but still this matter was not quite clear. He was still at a loss to know whether Sir Bartle Frere was in a position to come to a positive conclusion without receiving further instructions from Her Majesty's Government.
§THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD I think, my Lords, it is unusual that a subject of this importance should be brought on without some notice. I may say that, in my opinion, Sir Bartle Frere is sufficiently acquainted now with the general views of the Government on what I consider the vital grounds upon which peace may be re-established to act for himself. It is unfortunate that the means of communication are so difficult—but, at all events, he is fully acquainted with the leading principles on which we expect peace to be established between Her Majesty and the King of the Zulus. There may be reserve as to details, and it is impossible but that such should be the case, as the means of communication with Sir Bartle Frere is not easy. No doubt, it will be necessary that Sir Bartle Frere should consult the Government further; but at present he may enter upon negotiations for peace with a thorough knowledge of the main principles of the policy of the Government.
§EARL GRANVILLE Would there be any objection to producing the Papers which give Sir Bartle Frere the authority he possesses?
§THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD I understand that further Papers will shortly be laid upon the Table, and from them, no doubt, the noble Earl will obtain the information he desires.
Back to SOUTH AFRICA—THE ZULU WAR— INSTRUCTIONS TO SIR BARTLE FRERE.
Forward to LETTERKENNY RAILWAY BILL.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:09 pm

rusteze wrote:
I think that the Transvaal, the part Shepstone plays and Frere's assessment of it in relation to confederation are key to a lot of this.

But lets focus on Chelmsford again for a moment. Can we honestly say his memos to London were alarmist? I set out in my earlier post his approach to the lines of defence in Natal, which seem to me to be reasonable and tactically sound. As you say, Hicks Beach and the War Office gave way to his request for additional troops by ordering the 2/24 and 90th to Natal but they emphasised again that this was for defence.

On 11 November Frere sends to Hicks Beach a copy of Chelmsford's report to the War Office (this arrives in London on 11 December). Chelmsford had reported that his forces were in position to resist attack. He goes on to say.
"A defensive plan however cannot be considered satisfactory unless there is the possibility of taking the offensive at the right moment. I cannot however but feel that my columns will only barely be strong enough for the purpose and it will be difficult to find a means of keeping open our lines of communication." He asks for two more battalions (over and above the 2/24th and 90th).

At this time the threat from Cetywayo was predicated on numerous reports of Zulu regiments amassing near the mouth of the Tugela said to be mounting a "hunt". This was seen as a ruse to cover an attack on Natal.

Against that kind of threat I do not think that Chelmsford's plans for defence are so way off the mark. And what was to happen once an invading force had been repulsed? Not unreasonable to plan to pursue it - indeed that would be good military practice would it not?

Unfortunately for Frere the Zulu regiments near the mouth of the Tugela then dispersed and he had to look around for another excuse to go to war - hence the ultimatum. And Chelmsford, without a major Zulu incursion into Natal against which to defend, simply took his columns in anyway. But without the two extra battalions he said he needed.

So by planning to follow up after a successful defence of Natal, is Chelmsford conniving in a plan to invade Zululand or is he simply carrying out a classic military manoeuvre?

For my money he did not play a part in the invasion decision being made without any real provocation, but he did invade knowing his force was inadequate.

Steve

Lord Chelmsford had requested extra troops that much we are sure of, but why is it that we think his force was inadequate, take a similar situation of the same period 2nd Afghan war for example, Three British columns under the command of Lieutenant General Sir Donald Stewart, two of those columns meet with resistance from the tribes of the areas they had marched into, Major General Fredrick Roberts (Kurram field Force) and Lieutenant General Sir Sam Browne (Peshwar Valley Field Force) fought pretty much every step of the way until they reached their planned destinations, Roberts even had his route blocked but managed to outflank the Afghan defenders. The three British columns were successful in establishing a foot hold in the captured territory and managed to force the Afghan tribes to negotiate. I think that the success of the British in that situation had to come down to skilled leadership and correct military planning. Perhaps it was Lord Chelmsford's lack of military skill and not a lack of men that caused the disaster. (just a thought)
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:15 pm

GENERAL SIR GEORGE BALFOUR said, he hoped the House would be indulgent whilst he offered a few remarks on behalf of a distinguished statesman, with whom he had long been intimate, and with whom he had served in trying times. Knowing well by experience the great qualities he possessed, and the fair right he had earned for high office in England, he regretted that his friend, Sir Bartle Frere, accepted the offer made to him to go out to South Africa as Governor of the Cape and High Commissioner; but he went out on the urgent request of Lord Carnarvon and the then Secretary of State for India, now the Foreign Secretary. He regretted it, because no man had ever come away from the Governorship of the Cape of Good Hope without having suffered in reputation; the only exception might be Sir Henry Pottinger, who only evaded the difficulties he saw arising by taking up his appointment as Governor of Madras. 53 He therefore felt alarmed lest, when Sir Bartle Frere went out thither, that in the complications of that Colony he would lose some of that great reputation which he had earned in India and elsewhere; but Sir Bartle Frere told him (Sir George Balfour) that he could not resist the urgent entreaties which had been, made to him on public grounds to go out. The interests of the Indian territories were stated to be deeply involved in the good government of the Cape, and as an Indian statesman he was bound to aid in establishing that Colony on a sound basis. At that time affairs appeared to be in that condition which merely needed the wise rule of so experienced an administrator. But that expectation was very different from the reality. When he reached South Africa, he found a Ministry in Office putting forward pretensions which no one contemplated without alarm, and claiming rights and privileges dangerous to the object for which the Cape was mainly intended. These he satisfactorily settled. Next, did Sir Bartle Frere go out to make war and annex territory? No, he went out to carry into effect the policy of Confederation. He went to do that which the people of England had long demanded should be done—namely, to insist that the people of South Africa should defend themselves, instead of calling upon this country to defend the m, as well as expend the millions of the less well-to-do people in the United Kingdom. Every Governor before him had shirked this question of self-defence; but heat once set about doing what others had failed in. This was a question of vital importance to the people of this country. On a recent occasion he had asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make up a statement of the outlay at the Cape and in Africa for military services, but was informed that it could not be done. Well, he (Sir George Balfour) had made a calculation that, since the time of Lord Glenelg, South Africa had cost this country £40,000,000, and considering the vast extent to which the calls for troops had been carried during the last 40 years, it was now the great object to throw the burden of military government upon the Colonists. No doubt, the war with the Zulu King was deeply to be regretted, and no one could do so more than Sir Bartle Frere; but they ought, before they condemned Sir Bartle Frere 54 in regard to his policy, to consider the cause of it, and that he went forth to carry out the instructions of the Colonial Office, which had led to this war. They were told that Sir Bartle Frere had excited the Black races against our rule; but that was not the case, for there was not only no evidence in support of that statement in the Papers presented to Parliament, but, on the contrary, every effort had been used by Sir Bartle Frere to bring to an end the war with Natives which he had found going on on arriving at his government. The present war with Zululand was one that had its origin long before Sir Bartle Frere arrived. So entirely was this the case, that he thought the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea (Sir Charles W. Dilke) could have made as good a speech in defence of Sir Bartle Frere as he had done against him. He deeply regretted that the Colonial Minister had not brought forward this fact more distinctly. The Correspondence in his own Office would show that the very policy which Sir Bartle Frere was pursuing was not his own policy, but a policy which had been initiated by the Office of which the right hon. Gentleman was the head. Not to go further back than 1875, he could refer to extract after extract from despatches from that date, written by the last. Governor of the Cape, Sir Henry Barkly, and by Sir Henry Bulwer, the Lieutenant Governor of Natal, showing that our relations with the Black races were in the most dangerous position, and especially so as regarded the Chief of the Zulus. Therefore, it ill became those who attacked Sir Bartle Frere to do so under the belief that Sir Henry Bulwer had never brought under the notice of the Colonial Office our dangerous position in that respect. As to Sir Bartle Frere's having created a policy of annexation, that also was unjust. Lord Carnarvon wrote to Sir Henry Barkly in September, 1876, to the effect that an increased section of the people in the Transvaal desired to come under British rule; that Secocœni wished to place his country under the Queen's protection; and that Cetewayo was inclined to the same course; and yet no allusion to these views of the Colonial Minister who appointed Sir Bartle Frere was made by the present head of the Colonial Office. The hon. Member for Midhurst (Sir 55 Henry Holland) spoke in such a tone as to suggest that the annexation of the Transvaal was in some degree connected with Sir Bartle Frere; but that annexation was finished before Sir Bartle Frere arrived there. That annexation was brought about by the policy of Lord Carnarvon, he (Sir George Balfour) believed, under a mistaken idea with regard to the feelings of all the inhabitants being in favour of annexation to the British Crown; and Sir Theophilus Shepstone was the officer who, under Lord Carnarvon's special and personal directions, carried out that annexation. To that annexation they might safely attribute all their present difficulties—prior to that, the language and bearing of the Zulu King was subdued; but from the moment of that annexation the feeling and the manner of Cetewayo, and of the whole Zulu nation, towards the British became entirely changed. No one could study the later Papers without coming to the conclusion that Cetewayo, before Sir Bartle Frere's interference with Natal and the Frontier of Zululand, expressed a desire to go to war with England, and Sir Bartle Frere warned the Colonial Office that our power in that part of the world was thereby liable to be attacked at any time. Then came the arbitration about the disputed Border lands, and with regard to it Sir Bartle Frere had also been blamed. But that was, again, another injustice. The claims of the Zulu King had been for many years known to the Colonial Office. Sir Benjamin Pine had reported fully thereon, and so also had Sir Henry Bulwer, as well as Sir Henry Barkly. It was remarkable that, although Sir Henry Bulwer had been repeatedly requested to undertake that arbitration, he urged his reluctance to do so, and intimated that it would be far better to intrust that work to Sir Bartle Frere. Sir Bartle Frere, with that noble indifference to self which he had shown on so many occasions, undertook the difficult and invidious task which Sir Henry Bulwer should have carried out. It had been said that Sir Bartle Frere, in his arbitration, acted favourably towards the Boers; but there was nothing in the Papers presented to Parliament to support that assertion. He (Sir George Balfour) could confidently assert that, whatever Sir Bartle Frere decided, no man could have decided with a stronger 56 feeling of what was just and fair than he did. It ought therefore to be known, and the Government should say, that after his long and varied experience as an upright administrator, his decision ought to be accepted as just; and, no doubt, he was quite right in doing what he had done in that matter. With regard to the Ultimatum to the Zulu King, which the Government said ought not to have been sent without their authority, he thought Sir Bartle Frere was fully justified in acting upon his own judgment, if he considered the circumstances pressing and the course he took a right one. He had not been able to find in the whole mass of Correspondence before the House any prohibition from the Colonial Office which would have prevented him from doing so, between the occurrence of the one solitary instance two or three years ago when Lord Carnarvon pointed out that we were at war in other parts of Africa and advised our Representative there not to enter upon hostilities with Zululand, and the issue by the present Colonial Secretary of his letter of the 21st of November, 1878—a communication which did not reach Sir Bartle Frere until after the Ultimatum had been despatched and the war had practically commenced. The point to which the question came was this—was it prudent, as a simple act of discretion on the part of our Commissioner, to enter into the present struggle; or would it have been better in the personal interests of Sir Bartle Frere to have earnestly demanded more troops, and remained on the defensive, at a great cost to the people of England, and thus waited till the Colonial Office had decided? That was a matter on which there might be different opinions; but, for his own part, he held that, as everyone was agreed that a war was inevitable, to have stood merely upon the defensive, in a country having a Frontier of 300 miles exposed to the Zulus, would have been one of the greatest military blunders which could have been committed. Therefore an offensive war, which would fix the Army of the Zulus to the points where we attacked, was a wise and judicious measure. While he thus stood up for Sir Bartle Frere in defending him from unjust attacks for applying remedies for great dangers which he had not created, he was certainly of opinion that this policy 57 of annexation, carried out in different parts of the world, was dangerous in the extreme. It was not that we could not annex territory with advantage to the people who inhabited it; but when we found, as in the case now before the House, that a man like Sir Bartle Frere did not give satisfaction to a number of hon. Members because he acted, where others before him had, prudently for themselves, allowed our affairs to drift into war, then able men like Sir Bartle Frere would not accept of office which entailed disgrace and censure. It might also be, if we went on extending our dominions as we had been doing of late years, that we would find ourselves in the position of not being able to get men fit to govern and to administer our extensive territories. But it was unjust to father on Sir Bartle Frere all the responsibility for this war, for both the naval and Military Commanders on the spot—Commodore Sullivan and Lord Chelmsford—were agreed that a defensive war was an impossibility, and an offensive war a necessity. He could not help thinking that the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Colonies might have abstained in his speech from refusing to accept the responsibility which the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea, from his point of view, had put upon Sir Bartle Frere in reference to that part of the Ultimatum which referred to the missionaries. The right hon. Gentleman would even have done well if he had left that objection alone. It was a part of the recognized policy of the Colonial Office ever since the time of Lord Glenelg to encourage missionary enterprize. Lord Grey, in his 12th letter addressed to Lord Russell, distinctly stated that missionaries were one of the great means of civilizing the people; and Lord Carnarvon said that no one was more desirous than he was of the success of missionaries in South Africa, and he would give them every support. Therefore, it was part of the Colonial Office policy, if we had any Colonial policy at all, that missionaries should be used in aid of administration. But it was utterly useless to expose the inconsistencies of the Colonial Office. Was there any Home Office more detested a few years ago than the Colonial Office, or any that had made so many mistakes? Had not the Colonial Office frequently 58 changed its policy? Had it not driven both the Cape and Canada into rebellion? Therefore, when he saw the Colonial Office praised for anything, he would, say—"Let us look to the past, and then we may judge of the future." he (Sir George Balfour) regretted that the Colonial Secretary had given a rebuke to Sir Bartle Frere, because, in doing so, he gave an opportunity for the attacks of those who were only too anxious to assail the ministry, even through Sir Bartle Frere. The Colonial Office had quietly and almost willingly permitted our affairs to be so entangled as to leave our Commissioner in South Africa in a most trying and difficult position, and in that event he was, in his opinion, perfectly wise and right in saying—"I refuse to wait until such time as the Zulu people make an inroad upon Natal territory." No doubt, the Forces were too few for this great operation; but that was the fault of the Cabinet. The fact was that the Government had been unable to give that support to the High Commissioner which he was justly entitled to expect, because, to have done so, would have exposed themselves to attacks for their own previous shortcomings. Holding these opinions, he could not support the Government in their action, neither could he, after what he had said, go into the Lobby with the hon. Baronet the member for Chelsea; and, therefore, he would feel it to be his duty not to vote at all, for he would not throw discredit on one who had rendered such services to his country as Sir Bartle Frere, and who had now suffered for the mismanagement of the Colonial Office.

HC Deb 31 March 1879 vol 245 cc20-127
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:22 pm

It is interesting to read the parliamentary debates but you have to be very careful with what is said. These are as much to do with political point scoring as they are to do with fact. It is not the same as the records of correspondence which demonstrate decision making as events developed. You only have to look at parliamentary debates today to see what a lot of nonsense is spoken in support of whichever party the MP happens to represent, or has been prompted to say by the whips. Don't look for truth, mutch of it is claptrap.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:23 pm

waterloo50 wrote:
29th March 1879

This is the front of Sir BARTLE FRERE'S offending, and for this a sharp rebuke has been addressed to him by the Colonial Secretary. Unfortunately, the first step of the enterprise thus entered into led to disaster, and the natural result is that the precipitancy of the High Commissioner is more severely criticised than it would have been under other circumstances. It is only fair to him, however, to remember that he had satisfied himself that the forces at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief were adequate to perform the duty imposed upon them, and that he is by no means accountable for errors and mismanagement in the field.

So, its back on your shoulders LC, what have you got to say for yourself?


"HC Deb 31 March 1879 vol 245 cc20-127 20
§ [THIRD NIGHT.]

§ Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [27th March], 21 That this House, while willing to support Her Majesty's Government in all necessary measures for defending the possessions of Her Majesty in South Africa, regrets that the ultimatum which was calculated to produce immediate war should have been presented to the Zulu King without authority from the responsible advisers of the Crown, and that an offensive war should have been commenced without imperative and pressing necessity or adequate preparation; and this House further regrets that after the censure passed upon the High Commissioner by Her Majesty's Government in the Despatch of the 19th day of March 1879, the conduct of affairs in South Africa should be retained in his hands."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.) And which Amendment was, At the end of the Question, to add the words "and that a war of invasion was undertaken with insufficient forces, notwithstanding the full information in the possession of Her Majesty's Government of the strength of the Zulu Army, and the warnings which they had received from Sir Bartle Frere and Lord Chelmsford that hostilities were unavoidable."—(Colonel Mure.)
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:26 pm

rusteze. back of the net with those observations!. agree
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:29 pm

rusteze wrote:
It is interesting to read the parliamentary debates but you have to be very careful with what is said. These are as much to do with political point scoring as they are to do with fact. It is not the same as the records of correspondence which demonstrate decision making as events developed. You only have to look at parliamentary debates today to see what a lot of nonsense is spoken in support of whichever party the MP happens to represent, or has been prompted to say by the whips. Don't look for truth, mutch of it is claptrap.

Steve

But you can also see, that certain members knew what Frere was there for. That's why some very awkward questions were asked carefully. And certain dispatches never came to light.

Why was Frere kept on in South Africa.
It seems to me Frere was has confused as what we are to day, as to what the Government expected of him. I think Balfour sums up Frere's situation very well.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:46 pm

littlehand wrote:
rusteze wrote:
It is interesting to read the parliamentary debates but you have to be very careful with what is said. These are as much to do with political point scoring as they are to do with fact. It is not the same as the records of correspondence which demonstrate decision making as events developed. You only have to look at parliamentary debates today to see what a lot of nonsense is spoken in support of whichever party the MP happens to represent, or has been prompted to say by the whips. Don't look for truth, mutch of it is claptrap.

Steve

But you can also see, that certain members knew what Frere was there for. That's why some very awkward questions were asked carefully. And certain dispatches never came to light.

Why was Frere kept on in South Africa.
It seems to me Frere was has confused as what we are to day, as to what the Government expected of him. I think Balfour sums up Frere's situation very well.

When the Opposition, whether in the Lords or the Commons, call upon the Government to displace a man who, though guilty of an error due to excess of zeal, is by common consent singularly and exceptionally competent to discharge the difficult duties imposed upon him by his position, do they consider that it would be necessary to find and commission another equally qualified for the task ? The responsibility of continuing Sir BARTLE FRERE in his post rests upon the advisers of the Crown.

Not quite a pat on the back for Frere but an acknowledgement that he was in a difficult situation and that they believed he had the necessary skills and knowledge to continue in his role.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:48 pm

Waterloo

Good points, I don't know enough about the Afghan war to say a great deal but I wonder whether odds of 15 to 1 or greater were likely to be met in one place?

Aside from that Chelmsford says his columns would barely be sufficient and asks for two more battalions. It is Chelmsford's first independant command so your point about his lack of experience may also be a factor. What do we think of his earlier successes though?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:56 pm

Frere survived being recalled by the skin of his teeth!
he was instead censured.. but from then on his days
were numbered..the very model, pretty much pulled
all the strings from then on!. anyhoo, all this is becoming
post first invasion!. the question is specifically about his
lordships performance.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:22 pm

waterloo50 wrote:
littlehand wrote:
rusteze wrote:
It is interesting to read the parliamentary debates but you have to be very careful with what is said. These are as much to do with political point scoring as they are to do with fact. It is not the same as the records of correspondence which demonstrate decision making as events developed. You only have to look at parliamentary debates today to see what a lot of nonsense is spoken in support of whichever party the MP happens to represent, or has been prompted to say by the whips. Don't look for truth, mutch of it is claptrap.

Steve

But you can also see, that certain members knew what Frere was there for. That's why some very awkward questions were asked carefully. And certain dispatches never came to light.

Why was Frere kept on in South Africa.
It seems to me Frere was has confused as what we are to day, as to what the Government expected of him. I think Balfour sums up Frere's situation very well.

When the Opposition, whether in the Lords or the Commons, call upon the Government to displace a man who, though guilty of an error due to excess of zeal, is by common consent singularly and exceptionally competent to discharge the difficult duties imposed upon him by his position, do they consider that it would be necessary to find and commission another equally qualified for the task ? The responsibility of continuing Sir BARTLE FRERE in his post rests upon the advisers of the Crown.

Not quite a pat on the back for Frere but an acknowledgement that he was in a difficult situation and that they believed he had the necessary skills and knowledge to continue in his role.

Your talking a right load of crap. Do you really think they would keep a man in a position of authority, who has been found guilty of causing a war. Do you not think the letter to Frere's wife from the Queen doesn't say it all.
I think your posting for the sake of posting, looking for obstacles that will do nothing more than stop the debate. Any correspondence in any war fair ends up in the Houses of Parliament, they get the full story the public get what they want them to get.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:19 am

As much as I admire your debating skills, could I suggest that you read the post, those are not my words they are a quote taken from Page 5, 29th March 1879 THE debate in the House of Lords on Lord LANSDOWNE'S motion of censure upon the Government for not having recalled Sir BARTLE FRERE from his post as High Commissioner, I posted it as a response to the question 'Why was Frere kept on in South Africa'.
Oh and by the way, 'Its Warfare not 'war fair'........

















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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:05 am

And was he recalled No
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:35 am

Lt Gen the Hon FA Thesiger to Sir Theophilus Shepstone 21st July 1878
...... if we are to fight the Zulus, I an anxious that our arrangement should be as it is possible to make them-half measures do not answer to natives- They must be thoroughly crushed to make them believe in our superiority; and if I am called upon to conduct operations against them, I shall strive to be in a position to show them how hopelessly inferior they are to us in fighting power, altho numerically stronger.

Significantly that letter was written from Government house in Cape Town.
Chelmsford is setting out a stance long before even arriving in Natal and long before meeting with Bulwer etc. The tone of the letter is hardly one of a defence of Natal, its very aggressive and warlike. Possibly Martin in his earlier posts was right in putting Frere and Chelmsford into the same bed?

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:47 am

Memorandum by Lt Gen the Hon FA Thesiger to Sir Henry Bulwer 24th August 1878

Invasion of Zululand; or defence of natal and Transvaal Colony from Invasion by the Zulus.

The letter sets out Chelmsfords plans for a 5 column approach but the significant point made is in the sub title putting Invasion of Zululand at the fore front. The letter further outlines a 5 pronged 'line of advance into Zululand', the concept of a defence line is noted but the whole approach is of 'columns rather than staic defence points.

Lt Gen the Hon FA Thesiger to Col FA Stanley PMB 14th September 1878

Memo
In the event of an invasion of Zululand being decided upon I am of the opinion that it will be necessary to operate on the five following lines.........

By this time all pretence of a defence line has been dropped and the focus is on attack.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:52 am

But what influenced LC to write such a letter? Who had he been receiving information from regarding what was expected of him. Can't believe he would have been allowed to continue with an attitude like that.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:01 am

Morning impi
The first letters were written from Cape Town, Government House. So without doubt he was discussing and receiving orders from Frere. In one letter later dated he actually says he 'discussed the troops movements with Sir Bartle Frere.' That reference was in connection with Luneberg but it does indicate that he was communication on a military basis and not just a political slant.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:29 am

Interesting snippet
Lt Gen Lord Chelmsford to Colonel HE Wood. PMB 13th November 1878
Should I receive orders to enter Zululand my first step would be to order your force, and that at Helpmakaar (when it gets there), to enter Zululand first beyond the borders, form advanced depots in the most advantageous position procurable, and throw up entrenchments for its protection-
Its quite possible that the Zulus would come down and attack us, and we should therefore have to be ready for such contingency.

I wonder what happened to that concept?????
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am

sas1 wrote:
And was he recalled No

Yes he was recalled, at no point have I said that he wasn't. There was an acknowledgement that he had over stepped the mark but the British public were divided over the issue of his recall and the government was embarrassed, in order to ease that embarrassment they offered a simplistic explanation as to why things went wrong which was the point that I was trying to make. The subject matter is lord Chelmsford so I think we should stick to that.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:28 am

waterloo50 wrote:
sas1 wrote:
And was he recalled No

Yes he was recalled, at no point have I said that he wasn't. There was an acknowledgement that he had over stepped the mark but the British public were divided over the issue of his recall and the government was embarrassed, in order to ease that embarrassment they offered a simplistic explanation as to why things went wrong which was the point that I was trying to make. The subject matter is lord Chelmsford so I think we should stick to that.

I take it the above is a personal observation!
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:33 am

yes, a personal observation.
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:10 am

My point on Chelmsford's culpability does not really hang on whether he planned, with Frere, to invade Zululand. Of course he did. Once the Zulus had attacked Natal it was perfectly proper for them to be pursued back into Zululand. Indeed it was necessary, and people both in London, and even more so in the colony, would have been horrified that Cetswayo might be in a position to try again.

Frere had convinced himself that Cetswayo had to be eliminated if he is to stand any chance of getting the Boers in the Transvaal and the Free State to accept annexation and confederation. Cetswayo calls his bluff and does not invade Natal. Frere is forced to latch on to the small incursion to kidnap and murder the two Zulu women as the best excuse he has got and he draws up the ultimatum he knows Cetswayo cannot accept. Chelmsford invades with less force than is required and that is what he is guilty of, nothing else.

As it turns out, it is not the Zulus who prevent confederation. They are duly defeated in the second invasion and a couple of years later Cetswayo has tea with the Queen! But where is the problem coming from then? The Boers of course.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:51 am

Hi Steve
I understand your position but going back to Martins accusation that the two of them planned the invasion, would you agree that the case for that has been proven? Or would your last post apportioning blame be a fair reflection?

And moving on to a further issue. In my last post an instruction/advice to Wood regarding fortification would you believe the lack of that at iSandlwana was defensible as it was intended to be a staging point/temporary camp and not an 'advanced depot'?

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:16 pm

I would put it another way. They planned the defeat of Cetswayo together, and that required Chelmsford to pursue the Zulu army back into Zululand once the invasion of Natal had been repulsed. That complied with HMG's instructions if Frere was unsuccessful in talking Cetswayo down (he probably had no intention of talking Cetswayo down but that's another story!). It is the general's job to plan - but the decision to invade was Frere's alone.

Turning to Isandlwana, my inclination is to think that Chelmsford made a mistake in not doing something to fortify. His excuse seems to have been mainly to do with the time it would take (ie if the ground had been easier to dig and to move wagons on he would probably have approved some kind of laager). I seem to recall that after the disaster he said something about it only taking an hour or two to provide some cover, which is not what he said in the first place.

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. Once he divides his force though I am much less forgiving!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:47 pm

We are pretty much on the same page about Glyn, even though he did complain he should have been a lot stronger. Ive always held the viewpoint that if Chelmsfords opinion, ground to hard, to much movement of wagons, is to be upheld then he should have listened to the advice and moved the camp more onto the plain. Although saying that I think it was the Manzimyama that swayed his judgement, but still very guilty of bad judgement.

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:48 pm

Humm have a feeling the splitting of the forces aint going to be that easy.......................... Very Happy No
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:56 pm

Where did I read that the Conical Hill would have made a good and defensible camp? Tents and wagons at the base with a battalion on top to form a redoubt if needed, pretty impregnable.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:59 pm

Bonjour,
In practice it was not possible for various reasons to "laager the camp" between the 20 and the 22 January.
Even otherwise, CHELMSFORD would not have given an order to this effect: in reality, he did not believe that the camp could be attacked (even if he dreamed of such an outcome!).
It was marked by the experiences of the 1877-1878 war in S.A.(his only fighting command of troops at his arrival in S.A. in 1878). At Centane, Upcher fortified camp only after he learned that he would be attacked.
Cheers.

Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:03 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
We are pretty much on the same page about Glyn, even though he did complain he should have been a lot stronger. Ive always held the viewpoint that if Chelmsfords opinion, ground to hard, to much movement of wagons, is to be upheld then he should have listened to the advice and moved the camp more onto the plain. Although saying that I think it was the Manzimyama that swayed his judgement, but still very guilty of bad judgement.

Cheers

Bonjour Steve,
Perhaps FYNN or MANSEL?(testimony of a discussion about the choice of the location of the camp between CLERY and the two men / The two men were not agree with CLERY)

Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Exactly what was Chelmsford guilty of?   Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:04 pm

Hi Frederic
I have no doubt your correct, but the letter he wrote to Wood is pretty definite in its instruction plus the advice that they could be attacked in camp. I don't know what happened to change his mind although I suspect it was the derision shown by Crealock to suggestions of lagering. Me thinks Crealock has got away very easily from this whole debarkle.

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