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 What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.

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Dave

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PostSubject: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:43 pm

Lord Chelmsford left Isandlwana between 04:00-04:30hrs. Disregarding the waiting of Col Durnford to arrive at Isandlwana.

What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.

First report is made by Trooper Barker of the Natal Carbineers recorded at 05:22hrs

Brickhill states 12:00hrs they heard heavy firing so I’m taking that time as when the Battle started.

I recall someone saying there was 100 + wagons on the field, would it really have been impossible to have formed a Laggar? He was quick enough to remind Durnford that his orders were to defend the camp.?
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:02 pm

Its easy with hindsight, but I think that none of the imperial forces had any concept of what the Zulus were capable of and thought that they could see them off with a few volleys.
There seems to have been no thought given to the possibility of the Zulus attacking from the rear, which would have destroyed the camp even if the firing line hadn't collapsed.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:17 pm

Agreed eaton.

Disregarding the waiting of Col Durnford to arrive at Isandlwana.

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:52 pm

I think it is an exaggeration to say they thought they could see them off in a few volleys, but they did think they could see them off given their available fire power. I quite like Snooks idea that they could have quite quickly built two or three rocky redoubts to withdraw into if need be. After all, they didn't underestimate the opposition at Rorke's Drift and did well behind rudimentary barriers. You needed to avoid being charged at unprotected and to have enough ammunition to keep them at 40/50 yards. I read somewhere that as a result of experience in the Franco Prussian war troops with breech loading rifles would deploy in extended order to have most effect. It was no longer the old tactic of forming close ranks for volley fire. But that did mean that you needed a fall back defensive position which, of course, they didn't have at Isandhlwana.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:11 pm

A question about redoubts, I have seen a few post where redoubts have been mentioned as a possible form of defence. I was wondering what type of redoubt people are thinking about. I am struggling to see how a small rock and earth built redoubt would have been of any use. I can see how a decent waggon laggar could slow an advance down but I can't imagine that a redoubt would have provided any benefit. I understand how a rock redoubt would be useful against small arms fire and even artillery but against a mass of Zulu's, I'm not seeing it. Can anyone describe what the advantage would be other than a fall back point. I think a redoubt would have done nothing other than postpone for a short period of time the inevitable outcome.
Many Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:29 pm

I think there is evidence that Durnford's small force in the donga did well until outflanked and low on ammunition. Likewise the 24th companies until they were outflanked. I agree that in the end overwhelming numbers might well have told. But equally there comes a point when such destruction of the leading ranks of the attackers from behind cover can lead to waivering in the attack and withdrawal. Plenty of rocks to build something quite substantial and large numbers of NNC to do it during the morning. Just a thought.

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:44 pm

That doesn't address an attack by several thousand Zulus from over the nek, unless at least one company, possibly more had been positioned to deal with that. No thought seems to have been given to that, even though large numbers had been seen moving behind Isandlwana in the morning.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:02 pm

Not much thought across the board! The approach from the rear could easily have been observed and a warning given. Remember the more mobile elements of Chelmsford's force were not that far away. Buying a further three hours resistance might have made all the difference.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:15 pm

A decent redoubt, raised earthworks and trenches and gun positions with a lagger at its centre does provide a very good defence against an attack on the flank and rear. I have just been looking at a redoubt used in 1877 at the Siege of Plevna. The way the redoubt worked at Plevna was that when the outer defences were breached, the defending force would withdraw to the lagger at the centre, the attackers would occupy the trenches, when the defenders had regrouped they would push an attack back into the trenches and force the attackers to withdraw, this happened a number of times. The defenders at Plevna killed twice their number using the redoubt. Perhaps a properly constructed redoubt at Isandlwana would have made a difference.
I haven't been to Isandlwana, how hard is the ground, it looks like its all rock, would it have been possible to dig a decent size trench, they would need the earth from the trench for the raised earth works.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:27 pm

rusteze wrote:
Not much thought across the board! The approach from the rear could easily have been observed and a warning given. Remember the more mobile elements of Chelmsford's force were not that far away. Buying a further three hours resistance might have made all the difference.

Steve

It was observed - early on - and misinterpreted. Admittedly Chard wasn't the brightest of sparks, but all he considered was a possible dash for the Drift. The dispositions of the firing line precluded any consideration of an attack from the rear.

Supposing the frontal attack had been delayed by perhaps an hour, the Zulus could have entered the camp from the rear while the firing line was still deployed way out in front and well away from its ammunition supply.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:42 pm

Chard was responsible for the drift so I have no problem with his interpretation - and he made a pretty good fist of building defences at RD, so not so dim either in my view. There were any number of officers senior to him who should have been thinking about the camp - a piquet on the Kopie could have looked to the front and behind. Any redoubts would presumably have been well back from the firing line, ideally in the camp to cover all approaches.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:59 pm

rusteze wrote:
Chard was responsible for the drift so I have no problem with his interpretation - and he made a pretty good fist of building defences at RD, so not so dim either in my view. There were any number of officers senior to him who should have been thinking about the camp - a piquet on the Kopie could have looked to the front and behind. Any redoubts would presumably have been well back from the firing line, ideally in the camp to cover all approaches.

Steve

I don't disagree, although it appears that Dalton deserved most of the credit there. Yes, more senior officers should have reacted differently, but they didn't, probably because of the mindset of the day that natives were military primitives who would just do frontal attacks.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:06 pm

There were a lot of reports coming in from various out posts,each stating large numbers of Zulu's
I think there was plenty of time to a least form some of the wagons into a fortified position. They had plenty of ammuntion, cannon etc. If Pulliene really didn't think the Zulus were getting ready to attack. Then what would it have taken. A Zulu messenger to bring him a message. I'm surprised some of the officers, didn't show some concern regarding the early Zulu movements.

Earthworks out of the question. Believe it or not, they had actually forgot to pack spades. ?
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:28 pm

Forgot to pack spades, one of the most essential pieces of kit next to the rifle and mess tin. They probably thought that they wouldn't need them. The whole debate about building a decent redoubt is pointless then. Bloody hell, LC needed his arse kicked.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:37 pm

Have you ever been to the battlefield?  'Digging in' in WW1 style would be a very difficult option.

The wagons used by the column, once unhitched, (and remember there was not enough oxen to move each wagon), because of their size would need at least 40-50 men to manhandle them into position.

A lot has been discussed about laagering and fortification - I do not think either was really an option.  So it is unfair the blame those, including LC, actually on the ground that day.


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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:44 pm

I don't buy this lack of spades story. Surely pioneers were repairing the road as they went along, what did they use? Didn't Chard send a wagon forward to the camp? Didn't Glyn ask whether they should entrench? If you mean soldiers entrenching tools then I don't think they had them. I take the point about digging the ground not being easy but a shallow trench plus build up rocks could have been achieved.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:05 pm

[quote="Kenny"]Have you ever been to the battlefield?  'Digging in' in WW1 style would be a very difficult option.

Kenny.
I asked that very question in an earlier post in this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:31 pm

7th February 'Two companies of the 1/24th under captain Russell Upcher, 'Upcher's position was well entrenched, his camp surrounded by a ditch and rampart.' Didn't anyone take heed of lessons learnt.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:38 pm

Waterloo50

I have been to both sites - many times - at Quintana (old spelling) - the defence position (7 February 1878) is still discernible today - soft ground and much easier digging. There are also the remains of defensive works at Fort Warwick (Impetu) south of Kei River (held by Capt Wardell). I would not like to dig at Isandwana. The problem with this forum is that many people make comments based on what they have read - rather than what they have actually seen on the ground. I would always recommend 'go where history was made'.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:42 am

Correct Steve. agree

A trench and built up rocks etc, would have helped enormously at iSandlwana.

One only needs to remember what Col Joshua Chamberlain and the brave men 20th Maine did to 'Johnny Reb' from behind such a structure at the battle of Gettysburg.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:14 am

"By Sir Henry Havelock.
"If the men at Isandula had had these light spades, they would have been able, even in a few hours, to have intrenched the camp, or, at any rate, to have thrown up a few rifle pits flanking each other. Then, with the powerful weapons with which our men were armed, he undertook to say that we should not now have been mourning a great disaster;"

Waterloo, I'm not sure LC can be blamed for not having spades. That would have been down to Glyn.
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PostSubject: Laagering   Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:07 am


Hi All,
The Boers who had much experience in dealing with the Zulu's, used a system of laagering.
This did this not generally utilise entrechment , neither the use of stone brest works or trenches, but rather material quickly to hand, ie their wagons. Drawn into a defensive circle big enough to contain the defenders it placed a barrier between themselves and the attackers. It worked for them with a much smaller forces than Chelmsfords.
Chelmsford was advised by many to do this, but of course this buffoon was very clever and chose to ignore all good advice given to him.
He and his men paid the price for his stupidity.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: What could Col Pulleine have done to secure the camp with equip avaiable to him    Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:58 am

I'd be willing to bet a sizable amount that Havelock never visited Isandlwana or anywhere near the place for that matter ! . ( I hope he didnt after my opening line ! ) The soil seems to be light and sandy , compounded by all the rock and bedrock which is also throughout the area , I doubt very much if Spades would have been of any use at all in that area . I believe their only chance was to Laager with the wagons , but as there were many supposed to be going back to RD on the 23rd that wasn't gong to happen , plus it was no easy feat to actually laager wagons of that size with Oxen ( 12 - 16 of them per wagon ! ). It all reverts back to LC when he said we wont be here long enough to fortify , and once again with our benefit of hindsight , let's not forget , they never thought that the camp would be attacked , LC was wanting to chase them up , and force them to confront him , and their Martini - Henry's Shocked Shocked .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:06 am

barry wrote:

Hi All,
The Boers who had much experience in dealing with the Zulu's, used a system of laagering.
This  did  this  not generally utilise entrechment , neither the use of stone brest works or trenches, but rather  material quickly to hand, ie their wagons. Drawn into a defensive circle big enough to contain the defenders it  placed a barrier between themselves and the attackers. It worked for them with a much smaller forces than Chelmsfords.
Chelmsford was advised by many to do this, but of course this buffoon  was very clever and chose to ignore all good advice given to him.
He and his men paid the price for his stupidity.

regards

barry

Absolutely Agree!
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:14 am

90th you have seen Isandlwana first hand.
In your opinion how easy would it have been to position the wagons, in the camp area. I'm not sure how far they were parked away from the camp, or how easy could they have been positioned into a laggar where they were originally, in the wagon parks.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:22 am

Kenny wrote:
Have you ever been to the battlefield?  'Digging in' in WW1 style would be a very difficult option.

The wagons used by the column, once unhitched, (and remember there was not enough oxen to move each wagon), because of their size would need at least 40-50 men to manhandle them into position.

A lot has been discussed about laagering and fortification - I do not think either was really an option.  So it is unfair the blame those, including LC, actually on the ground that day.

Kenny there must have been enough oxen, or the wagons wouldn't have got to Isandlwana in the first place. As for using 40-50 men there was 1300 + men available.
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PostSubject: What could Col Pulleine have done to secure the camp with equip avaiable to him    Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:33 am

In my opinion it would have been impossible to laager in the camp area because of the large number of Tents that were occupying that same ground , let's not forget these Tent's also extended out onto the plain by a considerable distance as well .
It may have been possible to put a few together on the Nek / saddle , but not in the numbers required , or as they did at Gingindlovhu or Khambula , the bottom line being all the Wagons that were to be easily moved ( the empty one's ) were all supposed to be going back to RD to be resupplied on the morning of the attack . To answer your question the wagons were basically parked behind the Tented area which was on the Nek / saddle , there isn't a great deal of room to manoeuvre a 16 team Ox Wagon , the humble Ox is hardly the brightest animal , and also many of those who were in charge of the Ox Wagons were relatively inexperienced , many of the old hands didn't want to go into Zululand , as they thought they would be poorer financially for doing so .
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:52 am

Littlehand,

Far faster for fifty men to manhandle a wagon then to inspan the oxen to move it, especially as 90th mentions the distinct lack of space prohibiting the manoeuvre of the wagons in the confines of the camp at iSandlwana.

It would have taken several hours to form a laager, with a lack manpower in the camp as it was, I would say it would have been impossible.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:40 am

Just a question!
Roughly how many men could Pulliene have placed on the top of Isandlwana, carrying only a rifle and spare ammunition. If it is possible could the British have survived, based on the fire power and holding the high ground.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:41 am

Ray,

These were British soldiers and not mountain goats.  The process of moving an ammunition box takes two men at least if you were manhandling them as each full box weighs 70lbs and 4ozs, (sorry I don't do metric.) so in my opinion to get a company strength unit up there would have taken several hours.

Not something Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine - rather than 'Pulliene' - would have even considered given the time element involved.

Just my opinion though.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:12 pm

Totally impossible to use the top of Isandhlwana. If you have a redoubt you want to be able to sally forth from it and attack if the opportunity arises. On top of Isandhlwana, if they could have got there at all, they would have been trapped like rats.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm

LC left the camp in the early hours, Pulleine was getting early reports of zulu's in the area, he had many hours to do something about his defences long before Col Durnford arrived. OK, maybe he thought that it was just a few zulu's that were just observing what was going on at the camp, and maybe he thought that they would not be so bold as to attack the camp, however, that does not excuse him for not doing something about his defences just in case they did attack. It is rather surprising that some of his senior officers did not advise him to reinforce his defences just in case of an attck, and he had plenty of men to use to do something about it. He could have made use of some of the wagons, the rocks and the dongas, he could have sought the advise of the boers who had fought the zulu's a number of times, but he did next to nothing about the situation, even after other numerous reports of zulu's in the area were coming in. Let's face it, Pulleine was out of his depth, he was more of an admin officer rather than a line officer, maybe he would have been better off swallowing his officers pride and asking the advise of others as to what they thought he should do about the situation, or was he hoping that Col Durnford would soon arrive and get him out of the awkward situation he found himself in.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:29 pm

Chelmsford intended to establish a staging post once he had moved the column forward to Mangeni. He said it would need to have some defensive works as it would only have a small garrison. So he was not totally oblivious to the need for defence. The obvious candidate is Isandhlwana which is about half way between RD and Mangeni. Presumably you would put the post on the saddle?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:29 pm

John Young wrote:
Ray,

These were British soldiers and not mountain goats.  The process of moving an ammunition box takes two men at least if you were manhandling them as each full box weighs 70lbs and 4ozs, (sorry I don't do metric.) so in my opinion to get a company strength unit up there would have taken several hours.

Not something Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine - rather than 'Pulliene' - would have even considered given the time element involved.

Just my opinion though.

John Y.

Some good observations, but if the ammuntion had been carried up in pouches etc not ammuntion boxes. In any case they would have had access to more ammuntion than they were sent out of the camp with. The fact the Zulu would have had a hell of a time trying to dislodge the men on top, near impossible, I think the Zulus would have given up. How long was it supposed the last man held of the Zulu until nearly dark, that was just one man. Younghusband saw the advantages of taking the high ground, one if not the last company to perish.
I'm not sure you would need to be a mountain climber to get on top of Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:40 pm

Ray,

As regards to your last comment have you tried the climb yourself?

As to pouches - a pair of pouches contained forty rounds, even if a company made the climb how longer do you think would 400 rounds last?

Not long I would venture.

John Y.


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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:08 pm

I seem to recall a message where Chelmsford mentioned entrenching..
whilst the battle was in progress..and in the famous sketch below, are
there not men in slit trenches?.

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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:13 pm

I did say pouches ECT. They had other equipment that could carry ammo. Looking at the images of Isandlwana it doesn't look that difficult,don't for men were posted on the top.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:18 pm

I must be missing something - how would posting a few soldiers up there have altered anything?
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:40 pm

Ray63 wrote:
Just a question!
Roughly how many men could Pulliene have placed on the top of Isandlwana, carrying only a rifle and spare ammunition. If it is possible could the British have survived, based on the fire power and holding the high ground.

My original post.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:45 pm

Doesn't look too difficult!! First you have a steep rocky slope then you have a vertical rock face, that must be minimum 30 feet high, that extends the whole length of the mountain.

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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:56 pm

Lol going by that photo. There is one of an Arieal view, but can't find it. Wonder how they got the messengers on top?
I have read anything that describes how hard it was to get to the top. But we know men were up there.

Moving on how many men could the top accommodate? Roughly.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:19 pm

On the back of a fag packet, if you take the length of the mountain to be a bit less than the length of the camp in front of it, I reckon you might get a third to a half, say 350 men. But they would need wings to get there.

Steve
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:49 pm

What we really need is a account from someone who either climb or witnessed a climb. If it could be done you could get quite a lot of men and ammo up there in 6 hours.
Again members are saying it couldn't be climb, but that's just guess work.
I'm sure Frank as managed to get to the top, but could be wrong. But getting back to Steve's reply, 350 could do a lot of damage from the top, it some safety.
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eaton

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:55 pm

I don't think that form of defence would have even entered the colonel's head. His idea of defence was to stand his men out in the open some considerable distance from the camp and the ammunition supplies.
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:58 pm

Both big mistakes, we know the out come.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:07 pm

I think this is all missing the point. We are not talking about medieval siege warfare. The army in 1879 would deploy its troops and artillery where they were best placed to use the range of their breach loading rifles and cannon to best effect. That means they would try to cover dead ground and they would operate in open order with each soldier separate from the next but in sight. The stopping power and firing rate of the Martini in those circumstances was phenomenal. They would be prepared to fall back and to protect their flanks as circumstances dictated. They would then ideally have a redoubt or laager within which they could take cover and regroup if that was needed. No way would they have gone shinning up Isandhlwana just because they had seen a few thousand Zulus on the hills to the north.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:16 pm

Perhaps but as we are told, none expected the Zulu attack,even after all the early sighting nothing was done. Getting men on top, would have gave the Britsh some hope of surviving not all but some. At least it might have been obvious to LC that the camp was being attack,seeing a load of redcoats.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:23 pm

That certainly had been their previous experience, but fighting in extended open order is precisely why they were defeated. Subsequent battles were fought differently.
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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:38 pm

I think there are three reasons why they were defeated. First, sheer weight of Zulu numbers and their willingness to take casualties, second they were outflanked and third they had no refuge to fall back on. Extended order or shoulder to shoulder would have made no difference. They had to try and command the dead ground if their rifle fire was to keep the Zulu at distance. Once it became hand to hand they were lost.

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PostSubject: Re: What could Col Pulliene have done? To secure the camp and all of its provisions, with the men and equipment available to him.   Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:28 pm

If there had been men on top no chance of being out-flanked, and good command of the whole battlefield.
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