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Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command.Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
 
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Lt. General Sir J.G. Wolseley, General Officer Commanding
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The Battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift
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 G coy positions at Isandlwana

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chalkie



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:58 pm

Hi All, what has been found from the site over the years ?
Chalkie .
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:15 pm

This is from one of the SA museums. Ignore the note about ammo box screws.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

And this is the Regimental Museum at Brecon. Well worth a visit if you haven't been.
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Steve
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chalkie



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:17 pm

So quite a bit then Steve...lol
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:33 am

Bonjour Frank,

About your hypothesis (Lonsdale).
As you wrote, Pope was very far on the right of the firing line. The threat from the left horn can explain his position (I.E: he was forced to move away from its original position to face the threat of the left horn).
In this case, there was a gap on the firing line between him and the nearest 24th Coy (probaby Dyer).
Hypothesis: Lonsdale Coy (at the beginning in support of the 24th Coys on the flank) was sent to fill the gap between Pope and Dyer (there was not other free reserve from the 24th).
This event is consistent with the testimony of Malindi, with the defensive tactic advocated by LC and with the thesis of Snook (the 24th Coys would not have accepted to be "mixed" with NNC Coys on the firing line).
According to Malindi, they retreated before and faster that the nearest 24th Coys (he wrote the 24th Coys retreated "very slowly"): so no problem with your own argument (the Lonsdale Coy went to the tent lines).
About the fire of the Lonsdale Coy and the necessity of more ammunition: the men of NNC armed with a rifle (I.E:not all of them) had with them only ten cartridges with a tendancy to shoot to quickly (there are testimonies on this subject). So, the necessity of more ammunition is not a proof of their position on the firing line since the beginning.

Just a thought.

Cheers

Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:35 am

Morning Frederic
In all probability your right and Lonsdale was part of the reserve brought in to fill the gap. Impossible to argue with you my friend.
I mentioned the firing of 1/3 NNC 9 company as a point that indicated they were part of the line, cant really visualise them being allowed to fire over the heads of the imperial troops.
It does tend to prove Snook wrong in his assertion that there were no Native troops as part of the line.
One small issue with your hypothesis is: Malindi " The company of red soldiers came up and joined up in line with us and fired. We were fighting with the main body and could see the Zulu wings trying to outflank us."
That seems to indicate that they were in line before the line was completed, possibly before Dyer joined the line?
Ive been discussing privately with Steve the possibility of the original line extending all the way to the conical Koppie, as you know Snooks theory, so that theory does perhaps throw some light, in that when the line hinged then the reserve was brought forward to extend the line?

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:28 pm

It just goes to show that you need to re-visit written works on this battle time and time again as your understanding changes. I have just been re-reading Snook's chapter on the firing line and the idea that it was initially straight between the N end of Isandhlwana and the Conical Koppie. We now know that the archaeology tends to support that. I begin to like Snook rather more than I did before.

As to whether the NNC formed part of the line, Snook clearly states (as an opinion) that the 24th would not have allowed it, but immediately says that selected NCO's and experienced men might well have filled gaps. It seems to me obvious that only the NNC armed with rifles had any business being on the firing line, and as Frederic says, that is only 1 in 10. So I can believe that 90% of any NNC battalion did indeed crouch behind the firing line as described by Snook.

This whole business of the deployment by Pulleine raises a bigger question in my mind with regard to Durnford. It seems to be generally believed that there was no co-ordination between the right flank companies of the 24th (Pope) and Durnford's force before Pope made the 90 degree turn to his right to form up with Durnford's men in the donga. In other words they were totally oblivious of each other until Durnford comes into sight retreating around the south flank of the Conical Koppie. But tactically a straight line deployment of the 24th companies as far as the west slope of the Conical Koppie and Durnford's mounted force situated on its east slope is a classic arrangement to receive an attack coming down from the range of hills in front of them. The mounted men prepared to counter an outflanking manoeuvre by the Zulu or to sweep across if the advancing Zulus are routed by the 24th companies fire. There may have been much more to Durnford's deployment than a simple desire to protect Chelmsford's force.

I am sure there are lots of objections to that hypothesis, but so much might have been said that we do not know about. Snook makes the point that the Zulu left horn contained half as many men again as the chest (6000 as opposed to 4000). That is more than enough to scupper any planned defence.

Steve
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eaton

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:55 pm

If Pope was stretched out almost to the Conical Kopie and Dunrford hadn't been there, does that mean that Pope would very rapidly been outflanked by the left horn sweeping round the kopie unopposed ?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:04 pm

Steve
Mitford spoke to a member of the Umbonambi: "Here where we are standing (my informants kraal was close to the rocket hill) there were some parties of soldiers in red coats who kept up a heavy fire upon us as we came over. My regiment was here and lost a lot of men............... then the Ngobamakosi regiment that formed the left horn of the impi. extended and swept around on the south of the rocket hill so as to outflank the soldiers who fell back and took cover in that donga and fired upon us from there."
All grist for the mill I know but it does tend to support your theory and Col Snook. Possibly this is the moment that the 'hinge' commenced.
Comparing things back to the Narrative: there are three kraals marked as burnt out. Considering the short time between the battle and mitfords trip its highly possible that the uMbaonambi warriors kraal would have been built either on the old foundation or in closs proximity, for me the kraal to the west of the conical Koppie suite the occasion rather well. That particular kraal was still in use in 1939 when Coupland visited and photographed the plain. 'Zulu Battlepiece' op page 33.

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:09 pm

eaton
In a word, yes. In terms of the timing, Durnford was probably well on his way to the donga when the left horn swept around the koppie. In doing that, its a fair old distance, it gave Pope and probably Porteous chance to move backwards to the donga and then up onto the rocky ridge. Its also potentially at this time that the NNC from Norse got mixed up into the line at the knuckle.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:18 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
eaton
In a word, yes. In terms of the timing, Durnford was probably well on his way to the donga when the left horn swept around the koppie. In doing that, its a fair old distance, it gave Pope and probably Porteous chance to move backwards to the donga and then up onto the rocky ridge. Its also potentially at this time that the NNC from Norse got mixed up into the line at the knuckle.

Cheers

Thanks. That leads on to my next question - if Durnford had not ridden out of the camp, would Pope's company still have taken that position near the kopie?  If that is the case, then surely he (Durnford) can't really be blamed for the disaster that unfolded.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:30 pm

Pulleine saw that he was in danger of being outflanked on the right. I think he had no option but to place Pope's Company against the Conical Hill regardless of what Durnford was doing. Had Durnford not been there the result would have been he would have been outflanked even sooner. Durnford's earlier request for two companies to support him looks even more sensible in that light, with them in the donga for him to fall back on. The Zulu numbers were probably still too great, but it might have worked.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:30 pm

That's an interesting one indeed. All speculation of course but If Pulleine had retained control I would say yes the defence would have been the same. But interestingly Alan Gardner stated at the enquiry that in his opinion a cavalry charge across the plain would have routed the left horn. So working on that theme Durnford, Snooks 'Cowboy' could well have led a charge with his 250 men that could have turned the tide. Full ammo pouches, good head of steam and a charge not a retreat, hell John Wayne and True Grit style. Yes I do believe it could have won the day, after all the chest was being held. The only thorn in the roses of course could have been the right horn.
In terms of blame? They all share the blame pretty equally from Durnford through to Dartnell and everything in between. Every one there made his share of bad decisions.

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:40 pm

That is the story of the Victorian Hero is it not? A slightly different turn of events and Durnford has statues erected to him and popular songs are sung. But no, he is the psychologically flawed poor Durnford who we don't like to blame - but we will.

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:02 pm

Theres a hell of a lot bout this battle that we will never understand. But for me its all about the timing, the time it took Durnford to clear the conical Koppie with the survivors and get back to the donga, his time in the donga of 30 minutes, his time to get across to the left face, the sounding of the retreat, the fall back to the saddle. The whole story of the battle is in those times. Mixed up in the middle of those times is also the decision to hinge and re form, and then how long did the troops on the rocky ridge hold their positions. Mainwarings map intimates a long time with the 'Signs of heavy fighting' between point G and H. So if that hinge was enacted as the left swept around the hill in pursuit of Durnford ( See Julian there were two forces on the plain) the troops on the RR were fighting for at least 30 minutes, possibly 40 minutes. More than enough time to leave a significant artifact trail. So before the 'collapse there had to have been a minimum time of 60 to 70 minutes.
Much longer than anyone has given credit for.
Hummmmmm. Gotta stop thinking aloud.
Very Happy Rolling Eyes
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eaton

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:22 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Theres a hell of a lot bout this battle that we will never understand. But for me its all about the timing, the time it took Durnford to clear the conical Koppie with the survivors and get back to the donga, his time in the donga of 30 minutes, his time to get across to the left face, the sounding of the retreat, the fall back to the saddle. The whole story of the battle is in those times. Mixed up in the middle of those times is also the decision to hinge and re form, and then how long did the troops on the rocky ridge hold their positions. Mainwarings map intimates a long time with the 'Signs of heavy fighting' between point G and H. So if that hinge was enacted as the left swept around the hill in pursuit of Durnford ( See Julian there were two forces on the plain) the troops on the RR were fighting for at least 30 minutes, possibly 40 minutes. More than enough time to leave a significant artifact trail.  So before the 'collapse there had to have been a minimum time of 60 to 70 minutes.
Much longer than anyone has given credit for.
Hummmmmm. Gotta stop thinking aloud.
Very Happy Rolling Eyes

Would the reforming of the line be a conscious decision for the companies, or more simply a necessary reaction to what was happening to their right and left ?
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:43 pm

Keep it up Frank. You gotta mine a lot of ore to get at the nuggets!

Eaton
The two go together, they made a conscious decision because of what was happening on their right.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:54 pm

rusteze wrote:
Keep it up Frank. You gotta mine a lot of ore to get at the nuggets!

Eaton
The two go together, they made a conscious decision because of what was happening on their right.

Steve

Yes, what I was really meaning was was it a central command decision (Pulleine) or one forced on individual company commanders by necessity.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:03 pm

There are different views about where Pulleine based himself during the battle. Some say he remained at the tents, Snook has him mounted with his staff moving among the companies. If the latter is true then I would say he controlled the deployments, if he remained at the tents he might still have sent instructions but it becomes more debatable. In all honesty, because none of them survived, it is hard to know.

Steve
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chalkie



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:55 pm

This is very interesting reading lads, keep it up.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:06 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Morning Frederic
In all probability your right and Lonsdale was part of the reserve brought in to fill the gap. Impossible to argue with you my friend.
I mentioned the firing of 1/3 NNC 9 company as a point that indicated they were part of the line, cant really visualise them being allowed to fire over the heads of the imperial troops.
It does tend to prove Snook wrong in his assertion that there were no Native troops as part of the line.
One small issue with your hypothesis is: Malindi " The company of red soldiers came up and joined up in line with us and fired. We were fighting with the main body and could see the Zulu wings trying to outflank us."
That seems to indicate that they were in line before the line was completed, possibly before Dyer joined the line?
Ive been discussing privately with Steve the possibility of the original line extending all the way to the conical Koppie, as you know Snooks theory, so that theory does perhaps throw some light, in that when the line hinged then the reserve was brought forward to extend the line?

Cheers

Bonsoir,
2 comments :
1) there are 2 possible interprétations about this sentence from Malindi (Frank's reading and another),
2) about the original firing line extending all the way to the conical koppie: This thesis implies that the British at Isandhlwana had taken very seriously the Zulu threat since the beginning:or it seems that it was not the case (see the comments from pulleine, cochrane, essex...).
Cheers
Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:46 am

Morning Frederic
I look forward to your interpretations.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:30 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Hi Steve
I don't believe it was ever published.
Ray
The dig in area 1 brought out a lot more than that. 50 bent nails, 3 ammunition box straps, Martini Henry cases, buckles, foil and pull handles. Pretty conclusive stuff really.


Cheers

Frank only just see this.

I haven't seen any evidence to support what you say!
Could you post a link or the source. I have seen the documentary a few times but as far as I remember very little was found to substantiate a new position.
Happy to be corrected.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:37 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Morning Frederic
I look forward to your interpretations.

Cheers

Bonjour Frank,
Where Were thé British coys forming thé firing line when they joined Lonsdale?
Back or forward?
Possible That they were forward.
Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:38 am

Morning ray
I read the dig report some time back and made a few notes. The report has never been published or made available to the public, sorry your going to have to take my word for it mate.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:42 pm

My GGrandfather Alexander Ross was the CSgt of G Coy, l have always wondered why
he went out with the main body of the 2/24 and missed the battle.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:53 pm

Hi Keith
Do you have further information or photos you would like to share?

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:04 pm

His photo is in a couple of books by Ian Knight which includes one showing the new
G company at the end of the Zulu War. He is also mentioned by Mike Snook and in
The Red Soldier. His Zulu War medal is still in the family, he finished his service in
Burma as Sgt Major of the 2/24 a few years before he died in 1902 he went blind and
deaf.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:15 pm

Keith,

That is the reformed 'G' Company, of the 2nd/24th - post Isandlwana - under the command of Captain Farquhar Glennie. The company that replaced the one lost at Isandlwana.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:26 pm

Yes l know that he is also in a photo with Glennie and a few other soldiers.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:10 pm

Chalkie
Your relative, being in C coy, was not with Pope's G coy but instead was a member of a composite coy, as recorded by a survivor of the 24th, under Lieut. Dyer and 2nd Lieut. Griffith and made up of all men from 2/24th coys in camp not from G coy. Dyer's composite coy was to the left of Lonsdale's NNC coy in the line.

Frank et al.
Between Dyer and Pope was certainly Lonsdale, half of Barry's coy, Lieut. Erskine's party, and probably Murray's coy.
Jackson is the best at explaining how this came about (page 35 Hill of the Sphinx).
With the threat coming from the direction of the plateau, the British line of troops faced that direction.
When it was found that there was a threat from the direction of the plain then the British line of troops on the right bent backwards to cope.
Thus, the NNC (Lonsdale), originally on the right and behind the front line, as per Chelmsford's Instructions, was absorbed into the line by happenstance rather than by design.
Malindi & Higginson say they saw ammunition brought for these companies. Malindi said they held the Zulus back very well.
Apart from Lonsdale's company, Malindi/Erskine record seeing half a company of Barry (without officers), 20 men with Lieutenant Erskine from Stafford's company, and perhaps Murray's coy (but of that no-one can given current knowledge be sure).
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:07 pm

Bonjour Mr Whybra,
Thank you very much for your clarification.
This is not a criticism of the interpretation given by Mr Jackson and you but I can not understand how the natives (only one in ten was armed with a rifle) could contain 2 Zulu regiments facing them ("Hill of the Sphinx", firing line 13h00).
In Jackson's hypothesis, Dyer and Pope are very distant from one another and can hardly overcome the lack of "fire  destruction" of the natives....
On my return at home I will study again the page 35.

Cheers

Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:12 pm

Key are the witnessing of more ammunition being taken out to this NNC grouping and Malindi's statement that the Zulus were being held very well.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:23 pm

From memory, the natives had not the same number of cartridges per man than the regulars (?).
And you know of course that the "fire" of the natives was "too quickly"....
So, the necessity of more ammunition is not a surprise.

Cheers

Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:33 pm

The rapidity of fire of the NNC is a general statement and may not pertain to Lonsdale et al.'s particular companies. If anything it might indicate that they were being held in check, restrained, and well-managed by their European and native NCOs and officers.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:40 pm

Hi Julian

Is it possible that the rifles were not allocated evenly among companies? One in ten over the battalion, but some companies more and some less. Like Frederic I can see no advantage in having a company that is 90% armed with a spear in the firing line.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:53 pm

I have in mind a comment from Steve in a previous post:
Hypothesis:
First rank of the firing line of Lonsdale Coy and the native " composite " troop: only the men armed with the guns.
The mens with spears and shield behind them.
With this hypothesis the distance between Dyer and Pope is less far than on the Jackson map and gives a sense to the testimony of Malindi ( the Zulus were held vey well as Mr Whybra said) with the help of the men of Dyer and Pope.
But i don't yet study the page 35.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:42 pm

Let's suppose
in each of Murray and Lonsdale's coy 10 armed natives 20 armed Europeans
in Barry's officerless half-company 5 armed natives and 10 Europeans
in Erskine's party 5 armed natives/Europeans
That gives 80 armed men.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:52 pm

"The natal native Contingent (NNC)  
In order not to fritter away his already thinly stretched imperial infantry battalions, Lord Chelmsford had pressed the colonial authorities to levy a strong auxiliary force from amongst the tribes and clans of Natal. It was intended for screens, pickets, guards, outposts, reconnaissance, labour, convoy escorts, raiding, pursuit and such like. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Durnford RE had been the principal architect of the NNC.  The NNC was led by European officers and NCOs who, for the most part, had been brought up by Lord Chelmsford from the frontier towns of the Eastern Cape. While some of the whites had been levy leaders in the Ninth Frontier War against the Xhosa, others were little more than colonial drifters with no military experience to speak of. Because they were from so far afield, there were very few who could speak Zulu – Natal’s principal native tongue and the language of their men.   NNC battalions consisted of ten companies and were around 1100 strong. The OIC was known as the ‘Commandant’. Companies were commanded by captains, with two lieutenants and six NCOs to assist. This meant that there were close to a hundred Europeans per battalion - and Chelmsford had opted to raise no fewer than seven battalions; hence, (with most of Natal’s younger sons already enlisted in the mounted volunteer units), the necessity to ship the extra manpower up from the Cape.  The Europeans were armed with Martinis, full bandoliers of ammunition and, in the case of the NCOs, bayonets. There were one hundred native levies per company, of whom only ten had been issued with a firearm. It was often the case, though not the invariable rule, that there were five modern Martinis and five obsolescent Snider-Enfields per company. The African riflemen were provided with only five rounds of ammunition apiece. This was a function, not of crass stupidity on Lord Chelmsford’s part, as is so often portrayed, but of the reticence of the government of Natal to see the colony’s black population equipped with firearms by the military. The 10% scaling represented a compromise solution, and Chelmsford had no real choice but to sign up to it. The balance of the men turned out with their traditional tribal weapons, assegais, knobkerries and cowhide shields. Some wore hats and odd items of discarded European clothing but, for the most part, the only thing that distinguished them from their Zulu cousins was a red rag worn wrapped around the head-ring or the upper arm. All the men had been issued with a blanket which they wore rolled over one shoulder.  The GOC had directed that the NNC be drilled in imitation of regular troops, but given the language barrier, the shortage of time for training and the incompetence of many of the Europeans, the learning curve was simply far too steep. Some white NCOs resorted all too frequently to verbal and physical abuse in a vain attempt to make themselves understood. Because their parade ground manoeuvres always seemed to go horribly wrong, to the evident ire and frustration of their white leaders, any belief the levies may once have had in their ability to meet the Zulu in open battle quickly ebbed away. Morale in the contingent was soon at a low ebb and was reflected in its battlefield performance.  In all, seven companies of NNC, drawn from three battalions, were involved in the battle of Isandlwana. Both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of Commandant Rupert Lonsdale’s 3rd Regiment, 20 companies in all, had been assigned to the Central Column. Lonsdale had taken 16 of his companies out of camp on the morning of 21 January, to conduct a reconnaissance in force over the difficult ground to the right front of the camp. Thus each battalion left behind two companies to fulfil its picket commitments – its duty company for 21 Jan, and the company ‘next for duty’ the following day. A fifth company was sent back by Lonsdale as an escort to the livestock captured during the course of his foray.  The sixth and seventh NNC sub-units involved in the battle were from the 1st Battalion of 1st Regiment NNC and marched in with Colonel Anthony Durnford’s command on the morning of the fight. These two companies were 50% stronger than their 3rd Regiment counterparts, because Durnford had temporarily disbanded a third company and dispersed its manpower between them. So it was that the seven companies listed below came to be present at Isandlwana on 22 January. It should be noted that the strengths given below represent the total battalion strength in the camp and that they appear in the order European officers/European NCOs/African levies:    
1st/1st C - 5/18/300  

D Coy – Capt. C. Nourse

E Coy – Capt. W.H. Stafford  
1st/3rd C  - 11/31/200  

No. 6 Coy – Capt. R. Krohn

No. 9 Coy – Capt. J.F. Lonsdale3"


"G Company and Rear Details 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment of Foot – 5 & 171
Adjt – Lt. Henry Dyer; Tpt Officer - Sub-Lt. Thomas Griffith; QM – Quartermaster Edward Bloomfield; Quartermaster Sergeant George Davis.

G Coy – Lt. Charlie Pope, Lt. Fred Godwin-Austen (2 officers and about 80-90 ORs).

Battalion Guard Detail; 1 x section of A Coy (say 20-25 men).

6 x company rear parties (left behind to watch tents and kits). Say 4 men per coy (or 1 man per section) = 24 ORs

Bandmaster Harry Bullard and 3 boy-bandsmen.

Pioneer section (Cpl and 7-8 others).

Officer’s batmen and other miscellaneous rear details".


Source: Notes on the Composition of the British Force at Isandlwana  
by Lt. Col. Mike Snook
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:07 am

So, 5 cartridges per man for SNOOK: in these circumstances, the intake of additional ammunition  proves nothing.

About the training of the NNC, I note:

"In any case  little enough time was available to train them in their use [firearms] even had more been made available". source: "Zulu War - Volunteers, Irregulars &Auxiliaries" by Ian Castle.
"The Africans were raised on a tribal basis under a General order of 17/12/1878, some not arriving until well into January, so the Regiment [3rd / Rupert Lonsdale] had at most two to three weeks to organize and learn some simple drill". ("Hill of the Sphinx" p.9)
I don't forget also the attitude of Durnford who helped his troopers (the "elite" of the natives troops it seems) the same day at Isandhlwana (jammed rifle).

This is the basis of my doubts about the marksmanship of the Natives (Lonsdale Coy and "composite" native troop) at Isandhlwana and their ability to repel both Zulu Régiments, the uMbonambi and the uMxhapho ( Map from "Hill of the Sphinx" 1.00 PM, p.39)

According to Mr Whybra in his last message, at least 50 Europeans armed with a rifle were on the firing line of the NNC for 25 natives (+ 5 armed natives/europeans).
If the firing line of the two units of the NNC (positioned between Dyer and Pope) was only made up with men armed with a rifle (the men armed with spears behind them), the testimony of Malindi (I.E: the Zulus were held very well) and the thesis of Mr Jackson make sence for me (in my humble opinion) for the reasons written in my previous post in particular the implications on the position of Dyer and Pope (approximation of the Dyer and Pope's Coys:effectiveness of the shooting on both Zulu regiments who faced Lonsdale and others).
The testimony of a member of the Umbonambi  seems to support this theory: "Here where we are standing there were some parties of soldiers in red coats who kept up a heavy fire upon us as we came over".(quoted by Frank)

But, as Mr Whybra and Mr Jackson wrote respectively on this thread and in "Hill of the Sphinx: "the position of the African troops at that time is a controversial matter". ("Hill of the Sphinx" p.35)

Just a thought.

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Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:38 am

Local general order n°205, dated 23rd November 1878, Times of Natal, 17th November 1879 (source: Keith Smith: 3Local General orders relating to the AZW 1879", p.26)

"Equipement:
(...) Ammuntion will be provided for Europeans and natives as follows:
Carried on the person, or as the commander officer may direct, 50 rounds; regimental reserve, 50 rounds, first reserve 100 rounds; at Depôt, 100 rounds; total 300 rounds."

I.E: I am not sure to understand !

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:38 am

Stafford notes:
"Col Durnford gave orders that full ammunition was to be issued. It may be here mentioned that the Native Contingent were armed with rifles to the extent of one to every ten men the remainder carrying assegais and shields."
There was a Zulu comment on firing being either high or low, don't recall which, possibly it was from this area? There was a wide held theory amongst the untrained Native troops that the harder they pulled the trigger the further the bullet would travel.

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:19 am

Bonjour Frank,
The civilians were reluctant to see all the natives armed with a gun. It is the reason which explains the decision taken ( one man in ten) just before the war.
cheers
Frēdéric
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:53 am

Morning Frederic
Sounds just about right. Somewhere I read that the NNC was only given 5 or 10 rounds of ammo but there must have been a lot more than that issued. Your figures of 50 does sound a bit high though?

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:12 am

Frank,
I have  in mind the same number( 5 or 10 cartridges), but the last night  I found nothing about this in Thompson, Castle, Jackson...
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:33 am

Frank
Local general order no. 205 would seem to make more sense for when the NNC was in action, as opposed to what was generally carried when not in action.
At any rate, it's all immaterial, for they were seen to be replenished on the field with ammo twice; boxes were carried; and at that stage the ammunition supply must have been plentiful for that group of NNC.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:01 am

ymob wrote:
Bonjour Frank,
The civilians were reluctant to see all the natives armed with a gun. It is the reason which explains the decision taken ( one man in ten) just before the war.
cheers
Frēdéric

Frank,
About this subject, you can read for example the thesis of Keith Smith (p.25 and others).
About the numbers of the guns to the natives, there is a comment from Hamilton-Browne in "A lost legionary in south africa" (quoted in the thesis).
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Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:15 am

The last comment from Mr Whybra ("At any rate, it's all immaterial, for they were seen to be replenished on the field with ammo twice; boxes were carried; and at that stage the ammunition supply must have been plentiful for that group of NNC") is irrefutable.  Salute

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:11 pm

About the disputed point of the 2 natives troops "in line" on the firing line:

When Harford (source: "Zulu war journal / Child) returned to Isandhlwana with his troops the 22 january, he wrote that the natives refused to stay "in line" and prefered to adopt their traditional formation (ring).

To be honest, this testimony is not necessary totally significant, Lonsdale's men belonged to the dreaded Iziquoza.
I do not know (for the moment) what tribe owned the items in the composite company.
An another notable difference was that the troops  of Harford were moving  while those at Isandhlwana were static.

However, the interesting point in the testominy of Harford is that the first rank of his troops consisted exclusively of men armed with a gun...

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:49 pm

Barry's NNC were Pakade's men, from the amaCunu.
Look in Jackson's appendices for the tribes of the other NNC coys (p. 63).
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:58 pm

Mr Whybra,
Thank you very much.
Cheers
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