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 Ammunition Carriers

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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:59 am

90th wrote:
Impi in reply to your question about the ' Buried Ammunition ' this from Sonia Clarke's  ' Zululand At War 1879 '
Page 108 , footnote 61 , Bray was moved to the Utrecht - Newcastle - Balte Spruit - Luneburg area . Wood criticized him for excessive caution ; Chelmsford Papers ( 9 ) No 107 . Wolseley ridiculed Bray who , when the latter heard of the disaster at Isndlwana , '' at once halted at Sand Spruit , dug a hole in which he buried his ammunition , then laagered himself '' ; Preston ,ed., Journal Of Wolseley p.70 .
I've read it somewhere else with I'm sure more detil , but have given up , took me nearly 3 hrs to find this !
90th Shocked  

Thanks 90th that's another version.
The one I read, they buried it, moved off came back couldn't find it.

"This is from Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift.

Notes on Chapter 6 (2)

Two separate supply wagons were in the vicinity of Helpmekaar when they learned of the British defeat at Isandlwana and the attack at Rorke's Drift.
One was carrying Martini-Henry rifles and ammunition under escort by Colonel Bray and men of the 4th (King's Own Royal) regiment.
One or more wagons got stuck so, as a precaution, the escort offloaded the rifles and buried them to prevent them being lost to the zulus.
The escort marked the hiding place and retraced their tracks; but on their return several days later and after several heavy rainstorms, they could not find the location.
The rifles were never recovered."



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90th

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PostSubject: Ammunition Carriers    Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:27 am

Yes that's what I think I read in one of the books ages ago , unfortunately all I found was what I posted , Thanks for the post Salute
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:11 pm

In terms of equipment required to carry out the invasion it is simply nonsense to say there was no planning. Just look at the number of wagons used and the provision for improving the road surfaces as they went....nonsense? what you are describing is not planning, its called
Logistics!. The overall plan changed from five columns to three!. the 1st invasion was made
up on the hoof..as i have mentioned earlier the terrain dictated every aspect, 'the plan ' was for the
three columns to converge on the capital..Ondini..it all went to pot for reasons known to us, now the
second invasion was planned within an inch of its life, who said you could not teach an old dog new
tricks.. xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:48 pm

Logistics. The process of planning, implementing and controlling.

Steve

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:30 pm


Logistics. The process of planning, implementing and controlling.

Steve


Nah! the above is meaningless in context..With inadequate maps and inferior
scouting Chelmsford literally did not know what lay in front of him at any time!.
he was involved along with Frere in an illegal war, not sanctioned by the home
government..they jumped the gun, for real planning we need to go back a few years,
the die was cast after Canada, read the article below carefully. by Frederic Rodgers
of the Edinburgh Review 1876/7. Logistics is the physical movement of men and the
store and equipage needed to prosecute any campaign. it is not a war or battle plan.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:08 pm

You do love a little lecture. Read what I said. In terms of equipment required to carry out the invasion it is simply nonsense to say there was no planning. What on earth has your article to do with that?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:33 pm

You do love a little lecture. Read what I said. In terms of equipment required to carry out the invasion it is simply nonsense to say there was no planning. What on earth has your article to do with that?..

" you do love a little lecture "..what does that even mean?. i gave an opinion..mine!.
i did and do read your comments.. if you can't relate the article to the bigger picture
then that is a matter for you. the article shows how early the planning stage was!.
the comment that the Boers would never come around to the British view and the hope
that the ' Natives would degrade the Boer capability shows the British intentions that
ultimately would lead to the AZW and the 1st and 2nd Boer wars.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:44 pm

rusteze wrote:
Logistics. The process of planning, implementing and controlling.

Steve


agree
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:16 pm

If you can't relate the article to the bigger picture
then that is a matter for you.

Indeed it is. The thread is about ammunition carriers, my comment about planning was about equipment. Carnarvon's policy on confederation and the Boer policy on the management of natives is so far removed from that as to be totally irrelevant.

By all means start another thread with whatever point you want to make but it would be a shame to take this one so far off course.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:41 pm


Indeed it is. The thread is about ammunition carriers, my comment about planning was about equipment. Carnarvon's policy on confederation and the Boer policy on the management of natives is so far removed from that as to be totally irrelevant.

By all means start another thread with whatever point you want to make but it would be a shame to take this one so far off course.

I was of course responding to waterloo, re, planning, so i gave my own opinion regarding same,
basically saying there was'nt any.. so i backtracked a little, so what?. i dont need anybodies
permission to go off at a tangent, i did not wish to comment on the ' mythical ' panniers. they
hold no interest for me..you might not have noticed..but i don't speculate on things that can not
be substantiated..ever. and by the way it was'nt the Boer policy on the Native question, it was
the British. still it was good talking to you again.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:02 pm

I dont need anybodies
permission to go off at a tangent.

You sure don't.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:29 pm

Thanks mate, happy easter.
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Ulundi

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:52 am

impi wrote:
90th wrote:
Impi in reply to your question about the ' Buried Ammunition ' this from Sonia Clarke's  ' Zululand At War 1879 '
Page 108 , footnote 61 , Bray was moved to the Utrecht - Newcastle - Balte Spruit - Luneburg area . Wood criticized him for excessive caution ; Chelmsford Papers ( 9 ) No 107 . Wolseley ridiculed Bray who , when the latter heard of the disaster at Isndlwana , '' at once halted at Sand Spruit , dug a hole in which he buried his ammunition , then laagered himself '' ; Preston ,ed., Journal Of Wolseley p.70 .
I've read it somewhere else with I'm sure more detil , but have given up , took me nearly 3 hrs to find this !
90th Shocked  

Thanks 90th that's another version.
The one I read, they buried it, moved off came back couldn't find it.

"This is from Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift.

Notes on Chapter 6 (2)

Two separate supply wagons were in the vicinity of Helpmekaar when they learned of the British defeat at Isandlwana and the attack at Rorke's Drift.
One was carrying Martini-Henry rifles and ammunition under escort by Colonel Bray and men of the 4th (King's Own Royal) regiment.
One or more wagons got stuck so, as a precaution, the escort offloaded the rifles and buried them to prevent them being lost to the zulus.
The escort marked the hiding place and retraced their tracks; but on their return several days later and after several heavy rainstorms, they could not find the location.
The rifles were never recovered."




I wonder how long it would have taken to dig a hole large enough? Is this based on hearsay or fact?
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:50 am

Hi Ulundi
I think the story got larger in the telling, from the original: "he buried his ammunition" to "two wagons".
So possibly three or four boxes, throw them in a donga and collapse the sides, ten minutes max. Down comes the rain, floods the donga and the boxes are lost.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 am

That makes sense!
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:21 pm

agree
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:44 pm

Steve,
Thank you for your post about Bengough and your analysis about his comment. You gave interest to this topic. After the reading of all the posts on this topic and with the lack of others founds by others members, it's easy to use NOW  (in hinsight) the word "mythical" or as I wrote myself  "curiosity" about the panniers.
Again, thank you very much.
Cheers
Frēdēric
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:29 pm

Good evening Frederic

I think it is an interesting little thread. I have a feeling that we have made a likely connection between the ammunition panniers and Bengough's somewhat cryptic reference to the request for ammunition "appliances" at Greytown. The panniers are certainly not "mythical", your sealed pattern proves beyond doubt that they existed.  I do believe we have made a small discovery, not something that changes the narrative of the AZW, but how often do we find anything new of that magnitude? No, the question of ammunition supply has always been controversial and I think we have shown that there were those who were concerned about it even before the invasion. When it comes to new discoveries you must keep in mind the fact that if no-one else has made the connection it is, in itself, a good indicator! What do these historians know! Very Happy

Regards
Steve
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PostSubject: Ammunition Carriers    Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:15 am

Hi Frank
I for one doubt anybody would worry about burying 2 to 4 boxes of Ammo ! . It was coming down in a convoy so there would be far more than the 2 to 4 boxes you mention scratch . Hamilton - Browne , and I quote from p157 in ' A Lost Legionary In S.A. ' '' The reserve ammunition had , for some extraordinary reason, not been brought up to the base and many an uneasy glance was cast at the small pile of ammunition boxes . There is a good story about the reserve ammunition . It was being brought up to Helpmekaar and had reached Sand Spruit at the foot of the hills , when the OC of the wagon escort heard the news of the disaster . It was night so he had it all buried so as to prevent the Zulus getting possession of it in case he was overpowered . After reaching Helpmekaar in safety a party was sent to find it and bring it in , but the rain had removed all marks and traces , and although lines of soldiers were formed who advanced prodding the ground with their cleaning Rods , no ammunition was ever found during my stay at RD '' . I'm fairly certain it was more than 2 to 4 Boxes as you suggested ! scratch Joker
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:23 pm

rusteze wrote:
Good evening Frederic

I think it is an interesting little thread. I have a feeling that we have made a likely connection between the ammunition panniers and Bengough's somewhat cryptic reference to the request for ammunition "appliances" at Greytown. The panniers are certainly not "mythical", your sealed pattern proves beyond doubt that they existed.  I do believe we have made a small discovery, not something that changes the narrative of the AZW, but how often do we find anything new of that magnitude? No, the question of ammunition supply has always been controversial and I think we have shown that there were those who were concerned about it even before the invasion. When it comes to new discoveries you must keep in mind the fact that if no-one else has made the connection it is, in itself, a good indicator! What do these historians know! Very Happy

Regards
Steve
I'm all over the shop with the pannier issue, I started out on my first post by writing 'Were these panniers used at Isandlwana, if these pouches were used then that alters things doesn't it?' and ended up saying that 'perhaps the panniers aren't significant after all'. Having read your post to ymob I'm now thinking, hang on a minute, 'perhaps the lack of these panniers was something that historians had failed to notice and the fact that they were not available had an effect'.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:42 pm

Waterloo

I think that is a very valid conclusion. We cannot prove that Bengough's "appliances" are the panniers. But what other ammunition appliances were there? We know they had some large pannier frames for  mules (to which they could lash the ammo boxes) , we know they had the smaller two wheel carts, so what is left that is relevant to the supply of ammunition? To my mind it can only be the "man panniers" that they were denied. Would they have made a difference? We know that it took three men to carry forward two boxes of ammunition (1120 rounds), each of the panniers could take 400 rounds unpacked so that is 1200 rounds for three men, but with arguably much faster supply at the line and more flexibility in where each of them went. So yes, they might have made a difference.

Steve

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:17 pm


I do believe we have made a small discovery, not something that changes the narrative of the AZW, but how often do we find anything new of that magnitude?

So yes, they might have made a difference.......

Yes nice little discussion, very ' interesting '.. " might have made a difference".

"but how often do we find anything new of that magnitude?"...Sorry, but i'm afraid i'm
missing something again!.
made a difference! magnitude!. are you sure you are talking
about the battle of Isandhlwana, you know, the one where everyone was annihilated in little
over an hour!.get a grip. you don't like my comments fine!. i cannot abide unfounded spec-
ulation. xhosa


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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:53 pm

Yes you are missing something again. You have been quite clear that you have no interest in this subject and yet you continue to but in. Height of bad manners.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:57 pm

Greetings Gary
Just watching the Aussie/India game, could be an interesting one.
Re the ammo quantities: Firstly who's reserve was it, Hamilton Brownes? Or the 24th? Didn't the 24th have their reserve with them? The time span was far to short for them to have called for more. So possibly the NNC? If so How many were armed from the aprox 2500, 1 in 10? that's 250 guns at 5 rounds per man. Hummm just enough to fill 2 boxes. ( Frankly not a clue how many boxes but Ulundi has made a huge point, if it was a big convoy then how many boxes? And how big a hole, then how long would it take considering there seems to be an air of panic about the whole thing) If it was 50 or a hundred boxes that would take some burial and be really difficult to loose)
Anyway how big is a convoy, and suppose that the majority of that convoy was made up of food. Bottom line, it could have been any number but if I was a betting man ( and we know us southern lot aren't Very Happy ) Id bet on a maximum of 5 to 10 boxes.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:43 pm

Yes you are missing something again. You have been quite clear that you have no interest in this subject and yet you continue to but in. Height of bad manners.

Steve...

Please do not attempt to patronize!. i have been educated in this subject
by the very best! i take no lessons from you..regarding my manners
or anything else. i have an interest in the ammunition question in so far
as it directly impacts on the battle.. your speculation is fine but it will go
the way of it all, it might occupy a post or two then it will die a death and
fade away..rightly. don't make it personal, as i've found out the ring is the
place for that. xhosa
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:22 pm

The last time you decided to turn your attention to something I had said you got hold of the wrong end of the stick and ended up apologising. You are going down the same track again my friend. I make no claim on writing for posterity, but I try to be supportive of others rather than destructive. If you had read what I said you would see that I made no claim to have discovered anything of magnitude - so again you go off at half-cock. Is this business of panniers a small discovery? I believe it might be, and that is what I said to Frederic and Waterloo.

Steve
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PostSubject: Ammunition Carriers    Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:41 pm

Hi Frank
Yes I'm watching the T20 , currently 3.13 am ! , we'll never know how many , or who the ammo was for , but certainly you wouldn't label RESERVE ammo at 2 - 4 or even 8 boxes in my opinion . As for food , RD was full of it , so was Isandlwana , they had unloaded 35 wagons at Isandlwana on the evening of the 21st , it could well have been either Column's ammo , quite possibly the Ammo was being sent to Helpmekaar because the ammo had already been moved forward with the column , so it was by necessity moved along the supply route. We'll never know , but the crux of the matter is , I believe , you wouldn't bother burying anything less than 10 -12 boxes surely , again speculation , but I tend to think it was quite a deal in my opinion . A stockpile would no doubt be required at some stage , makes sense to move up as much as possible to the border . Doesn't make any sense having it to far away from the frontier , therefore making it inaccessible when required at short notice ? . Let's not forget the boxes aren't that big ! , 20.5 '' x 6.5 '' Shocked
90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:49 pm

Shhh! i have made my position on the ammunition question
very clear, its in line with the latest modern research, you
see destruction instead of rightful opinion, the business of
panniers you see as a small discovery, but in fact it was there
all the time, ie, it was not lost. i go down my own track at all
times..you will find no insecurity here! and i have nothing to
apologize for. this is a general discussion area, you have every
right to ignore my posts but you choose not to! maybe its a slow
easter sunday where you are..but twice now you have interupted
what proved to be a winning hand of black jack. i repeat i have
the right to my opinion, you have the right to reply or ignore!.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:00 pm

I leave others to judge who is being disruptive here.

Steve
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:13 pm

I am not being disruptive! i gave my opinions and responded
to you!

I leave others to judge who is being disruptive here. you say!
not very nice dragging others in,but very revealing. i did of
course mention the ring..i try to respond in the right way but
accept that others find me ' different '..inviting others to gang
up i find that repulsive in the context you put,
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:44 pm

Last word from me on this..please remember we are in
cyberspace, the proceeding conversations would not have
happened in real life.. so back on topic from me!.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:42 pm

Not trying to add coal to the fire here, I'm just interested in the pannier debate.

I think that the issue of panniers is only of interest to those that perhaps feel that ammunition supply to the firing line was a problem, I revisited the thread 'The ammunition question and I have come to the conclusion that there really isn't any solid evidence to suggest the line suffered from lack of supply but that doesn't mean that I believe that supply problems couldn't have happened, however, having read barry's post dated Mon Apr 23, 2012  he puts up quite a convincing argument, barry quoted Maj (Doctor) Felix Machanix. who has also researched the old question of ammunition supply, he came to the conclusion that:
* 500,00 rounds were available at the start of the battle
* there was no system , but use of carts or other means, to deliver ammunition to the lines.
* weapons were prone overheating in sustained fire and thus jamming, leaving troopers only there bayonets
* there were problems with opening ammo boxes and smashing them open was taking time depriving the frontline troops of ammo at critical times
* jamming weapons were reducing vital fire power at critical times
* defence lines were too far away to properly supply reasonably quickly by any means.
Leband
comments:
The firing line at Isandlwana ran out of ammunition because it was positioned up to half a mile ( 880m) from the camp , and no proper ammunition carts were available to bring up more. To compound the problem , no system of runners had been organized before the battle to carry ammunition.
I hope barry doesn't mind me using his post to qoute others research but he does make some valid points, if the above points were true, then the lack of panniers or the want of panniers would indeed have been of some significance.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:45 pm

"From the "The Army and Navy Magazine" Vol. XIV May to October 1887 in an article entitled "Cartridges for the Fighting Line" by Capt. A. B. Williams -

"In spite of the injunction of the Drill Book, and bitter experience in actual warfare, no real effort has yet been made to organize the issue of ammunition to the men actually engaged in the fighting line. It is true that at some Aldershot field-days the men's pouches are not filled beforehand, and a half-hearted apologetic effort is made to issue a few extra rounds by means of bandsmen with double havresacks ; but these attempts come very short of meeting the serious and emergent requirements of close contact with the enemy. The bandsman was, until lately, supposed in action to devote his attentions to the wounded, but this idea is now quite exploded, as it is found absolutely necessary to have specially-organized bearers for this serious work,[ Actually the "Manual of Exercises for Training Stretcher-Bearers and Bearer Companies" by Sandford Moore had been published by the Army Hospital Corps in 1877] and the sooner the idea of employing the musician haphazard on ammunition duty is exploded the better it will be. The experience of recent campaigns demonstrates incontestably the paramount importance of well-sustained infantry rifle-fire. That fire must be fed, and, in the more critical phases of an action, the slightest increase or diminution of the hail of bullets may decide the question of success or disaster. It needs no argument to assert this ; no historical records need be searched for examples to prove the value of rifle-fire action ; the fact is patent to all military minds, but, as yet, the military mind has not seriously devised a workable method for the maintenance of that fire-action.

The theoretic bandsman tending the wounded has been supplanted by the skilled stretcher-bearer ; the sentimental but effete methods of rendering first aid to the injured have given way to scientific treatment under a system of able organization. This is most humane and admirable, but surely attention to the wounded will never win a battle, whereas the want of attention to an efficient and plentiful supply of cartridges will most likely cause the loss of one...It will never do to wait till the last moment to endeavour to arrange details which should be systematized and practiced carefully in peace time...

Small-arm cartridges, as almost everybody knows, are made up in brown paper packets of 10 rounds each. Fifty-eight of these packets, or 580 rounds, are packed tightly into an oblong mahagony box, lined with tin, the latter soldered down at the opening ; and a sliding lid of the wooden box closed, a pin inserted, and the whole secured. [Coincidently, shortly after the A-ZW the screw fastener was replaced with a cotter pin] To open the box the lid is shot back (sometimes, not often, it sticks and requires some force), a loop on the tin lining is seized, and, with a jerk, an opening is torn just large enough to insert a hand. So far, so good ; but, on tearing the tin, a semi-circular flange is left at one side and a jagged edge at the other, quite sufficient, in a moment of hurry, to severely injure the hand. But, even if this difficulty is overcome, the packets of cartridges are jammed in so tightly that some skill is needed to get them out ; but, by patience and a little kicking, all will, in time be unpacked. Now this is the usual process in peace time, and how must it be intensified in war time? It must be remembered that cartridges are sent thus in small carts right up to the fighting line, and the process of unpacking has to take place, more often than not, under fire. The cartridges are thrown in a heap on the ground, and the bandsmen and buglers get them as they can, and run where they are wanted, or, more often, to the nearest part of the fighting line where the cry for cartridges is the loudest ; but there is no organization. Some are supplied, others not. This is no exaggerated picture of what has often occurred ; indeed, there is reason to believe, from reports from recent South African wars, that in some emergencies the boxes, swelled with wet, refused to open and had to be smashed with axes to get at the cartridges...

It may therefore be fairly stated that the present means and arrangements for the supply of cartridges to the fighting line are not satisfactory ; the cartridges cannot be readily and rapidly unpacked, and, when unpacked, there is a want of proper organization and system in serving them out..."


Source: RDVC
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:55 pm

"Historical Records of the 24th Regiment, From It's Formation In 1689" by Paton, Glennie and Symons ( with an additional preface by Martin and available from the RRW shop) [end of advert] -

"The Regimental Records of this date [1892], in speaking of the disaster, say : "Turn where we will, the same story of the disaster is traced in broad characters ; extended formations against savages whose hand-to-hand fighting was alone to be feared, and failure of ammunition. When this failed there was no hope ... No arrangements had been made for the distribution of ammunition, and it may be mentioned that appliances [screw-drivers] for the purpose were asked for when the Second Battalion was still at Greytown. An answer came in due time, stating 'the articles are not in store.' The letter further observed ; 'However useful and necessary such appliances may be in European warfare, it is not expected that they will be required in a war such as the troops are about to enter upon."
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:00 am

"With the Irregulars in the Transvaal and Zululand" by W. H. Tomasson.

"Just at this time a journey to the field of Isandula was made by a large party,...We rather expected to find the bodies lying in a square, as the earlier reports of the battle led one to expect. The reverse, however, was the case, and this showed the ammunition had been exhausted..."
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:01 am

Lt. William Moorsom Laurence, Commissary and Transport, datelined Pietermaritzberg, 2 Feb 79 ( printed in the Daily News which Morris had access to.) -

"...The only regular officers who were present and got safely away were Captains Gardner and Essex, and Lieutenants Cochrane and Smith-Dorrien, all of whom were employed on transport duties. There are a number of very sad stories about the engagement, all more or less satisfactorily authenticated, which have reached us here one after the other. One of them is terribly touching. It seems that when all was over, the ammunition being exhausted and nothing remaining for our men to do but to sell their lives as dearly as possible, a desperate but triumphant effort was made to save the colours from the foe..."
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:02 am

"Soldiers of the Victorian Age", By Charles Rathbone Low, 1880, Preface dated 1 Jan 1880, under Wood's entry ( Morris seems to have passed this one by)

"Some points in this sad affair must ever remain a mystery, but it would appear from recent statements made by Zulu chiefs, who were present at Isandlana, that their main attack was beaten and was falling back, when, perceiving a slackening of the British fire, owing to a failure of the supply of ammunition, they returned to the attack and carried all before them. As the Zulu warrior added with classic simplicity :--" Your soldiers died fighting, and what more could men do?"
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:16 am

"The Soldier's Pocket-Book for Field Service" (1871) - "

Regimental Reserve Ammunition, to consist of 30 rounds per man ; as each soldier is to carry 70 rounds (40 in pouch, 10 in expense bag, and 20 in valise), there will be with the battalion 100 rounds for every man in it.

From "The Volunteer Quartermaster, a Catechism." (1876) -

"How does the soldier distribute the rounds in his possession for the purpose of carriage? - 40 rounds in pouches, 10 in expense bag, 20 in valise."

"From a report by Maj. T. Fraser R.E. to Capt. H.F. Stephenson C. B. Commanding H.M.S. Carysfort -

"It is well to add, as a matter of professional detail, that the eighteen men composing the Gatling gun's crew of the Orion were armed with the Martini-Henry rifle ; that they carried two days' provisions in their haversacks, and 120 rounds of ammunition, distributed as follows : One large pouch or ball bag with 40 loose rounds, and two small pouches each containing 40 cartridges in package...The other Gatling gun's crews were armed according to rule with cutlasses and revolvers."" [It goes into quite a bit more detail including 9-pdr. and Gatling ammo carried as well as stretcher bearers' and pioneers' loads.]

From the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1888 - "The soldier carries 70 rounds of ammunition, viz., 20 in each of two pouches on the waist belt, 10 in expense bag, and 20 in a pocket in his valise."


From "The Army and Navy Magazine" (May-Oct 1883) in the article "The Afghan War 1878-1880" by Maj. M.J. King-Harman -

"The ball bag now in use is an eyesore and a great encumbrance to a man in every way."


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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:45 pm

Dave wrote:
"Historical Records of the 24th Regiment, From It's Formation In 1689" by Paton, Glennie and Symons ( with an additional preface by Martin and available from the RRW shop) [end of advert] -

"The Regimental Records of this date [1892], in speaking of the disaster, say : "Turn where we will, the same story of the disaster is traced in broad characters ; extended formations against savages whose hand-to-hand fighting was alone to be feared, and failure of ammunition. When this failed there was no hope ... No arrangements had been made for the distribution of ammunition, and it may be mentioned that appliances [screw-drivers] for the purpose were asked for when the Second Battalion was still at Greytown. An answer came in due time, stating 'the articles are not in store.' The letter further observed ; 'However useful and necessary such appliances may be in European warfare, it is not expected that they will be required in a war such as the troops are about to enter upon."

Steve
How does that sit with your theory of the 'appliances' being the panniers?

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:13 pm

Personnally,  I note that screw-drivers are written between [...].  I will take a look this evening if in the book of 1892, there is a mention of the [].How can you open the amunition boxes with'facility, without screw_drivers?
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:15 pm

Hi Frank/Frederic

The reference appears as a footnote on page 244 of Historical Records of the 24th. However, the bracketed word "(screw-drivers)" that is in the quote does not appear in the book. So it has been added by someone. Three things strike me as very odd. First an "appliance for the distribution of ammunition" sounds much more like panniers to me than a screwdriver. Second, why would you only need screwdrivers in Europe - is there some crafty way of undoing screws in SA we don't know about? Lastly, screwdrivers not in stores, couldn't they have popped around the corner shop and bought some?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:39 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Dave wrote:
"Historical Records of the 24th Regiment, From It's Formation In 1689" by Paton, Glennie and Symons ( with an additional preface by Martin and available from the RRW shop) [end of advert] -

"The Regimental Records of this date [1892], in speaking of the disaster, say : "Turn where we will, the same story of the disaster is traced in broad characters ; extended formations against savages whose hand-to-hand fighting was alone to be feared, and failure of ammunition. When this failed there was no hope ... No arrangements had been made for the distribution of ammunition, and it may be mentioned that appliances [screw-drivers] for the purpose were asked for when the Second Battalion was still at Greytown. An answer came in due time, stating 'the articles are not in store.' The letter further observed ; 'However useful and necessary such appliances may be in European warfare, it is not expected that they will be required in a war such as the troops are about to enter upon."

Frank just threw an appliance in the works.

Would the military have referred to or even considered screw-drivers as appliances for distribution? It is possible but why would it have been suggested that they were not needed for this particular campaign? They must have been referring to something more substantial like 'Panniers'. I'm keen to hear Steve and ymobs thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:54 pm

It is worth taking a look at the whole footnote in which the reference to appliances occurs (no mention of screw-drivers). It follows the reference to QM Bloomfield having to untie ammo boxes from the mules - in other words, there was a better way of distributing the ammunition than tying boxes to mules but it was not made available. I just wonder if the whole debate about screwdrivers (which we now know were not really necessary for opening the boxes in an emergency) is based on a false premise - lack of screwdrivers was not what was being referred to at all. Here is the whole footnote as printed in 1892.

The Regimental Records of this date, in speaking of the disaster, say: "Turn where we will, the same story of the disaster is traced in broad characters: extended formations against savages whose hand-to-hand fighting was alone to be feared, and failure of ammunition. When this failed, there was no hope. It is known that QM Bloomfield, 2nd Battalion, 24th, met his death while trying with others to untie the ammunition boxes on the mules, and that mules with ammunition boxes on them were to be seen plunging and kicking over the field maddened with fear. No arrangements had been made for the distribution of ammunition and it may be mentioned that appliances for the purpose were asked for when the second battalion were still at Greytown. An answer came in due time stating "the articles applied for are not in store." The letter further observed "However useful and necessary such appliances may be in European warfare it is not expected that they will be required in a war such as the troops are about to enter upon".

Does that sound like screwdrivers?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:39 pm

Bonsoir,
Does someone know if the ammunition boxes were used again by the army after opening (first hypothesis) or destroyed (2nd hypothesis)?
In the first hypothesis, it's doubtful that the screw-drivers were the "appliances"....(If the ammunitions boxes are opened urgently, they are no longer usable).
Cheers.

I.E: Specially for "my professor of dance",
You seem have fun with this thread ... without taking a position. Wink Very Happy
I invite you to join us on the dance floor.
Amitiés.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:53 pm

Off Topic, I know, but an interesting "found" by Mr John Young:
The subject of ammunition boxes has against reared its ugly head within the forum debate. So I decided to do some further research into the subject. I have discovered something I feel should be shared, and would invite any comment on my findings.

From the battlefield remains of ammunition boxes that I have seen that the straps were copper and with brass screws. These seem to indicate that the boxes were Mark V's.

'List of Changes 2848 - Box, Wood, Ammunition, Small-Arm, with tin lining, service pattern (Mark V). Change dated 5th January 1876.

A pattern of this box has ben sealed to govern future manufacture for land and sea service.'

The exterior Length is given as 20.5"
Width 6.8" Depth 8.5"
Average weight empty 12lb. 4oz.

When carrying its full load of 600 rounds for the Martini-Henry rifle - the average gross weight was 79lb. 4oz. Not a weight I contend that one man could carry from the ammunition wagons to firing-line with any great ease. Nor I contend would it have been too easy for two men to carry such a weight for a great distance, bearing in mind they would have been encumbered by their own weapons and equipment. I know mules and mule carts were also used in the supply and distribution of ammunition on the battlefield.

The fact that I have discovered, in the 'List of Changes' No. 3434 - reads as follows:'Boxes, Wood, Ammunition, Small-Arm, with Tin Lining, Service.' Dated 16th October 1878.
'Alteration of handle to lid of tin lining.
It having been found, in many instances, when using the handle for opening the tin lining of the above-mentioned boxes, that the tin immediately round the handle gives way, and the box is not properly opened; all the boxes will in future be fitted with a larger handle, fixed square on the lid, so as to ensure the proper opening of the box.'

Three months prior to Isandlwana, the 'powers that be' had discovered a defect in ammunition box which would be used there. A defect I am sure that was not rectified on boxes already in southern Africa. (...)
John Young,
Chairman,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.

Quoted in "RD forum".
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:59 pm

Steve,
Tu support your view, I don't forget that Pioneers have screw-drivers.
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Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:07 pm

From Bill Cainan, former curatoir of the Brecon Museum:

"Normal opening would be achieved by unscrewing the screw. The box would then be undamaged and could subsequently be refilled and resecured. However, in an emergency, if you give the lid a severe clout (or two), say with the but of a Martini Henry, on the edge opposite the screw, and preferably as near to horizontal as you can, the lid will be forced out, bending the "soft" metal screw".
(Source: Rorke's Drift forum)

This is one reason with those given by Steve that make me think for the time being that the "appliances" were not the screw-drivers.

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Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:10 pm

Bill Cainan again:
"I suspect that the alteration referred to by John above, was meant to allow the boxes to be opened even easier in an emergency, which would mean less broken boxes, and therefore less expense in replacing/repairing them !!! The British Army once again demonstrating ways to save valuable pennies ! I can't really think of an answer to why someone would want to fire a pistol at an ammunition box. I can only presume it must have been an officer !"

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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:19 pm

From Mike Snook,

"And as I pointed out in How Can Man Die Better, the regimental pioneers were the QM's boys and had a full array of domestic pioneering tools as well as those of the less 'subtle' type such as axes and picks".
Source Rork's Drif forum
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PostSubject: Re: Ammunition Carriers   Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:38 pm

ymob wrote:
Bill Cainan again:
"I suspect that the alteration referred to by John above, was meant to allow the boxes to be opened even easier in an emergency, which would mean less broken boxes, and therefore less expense in replacing/repairing them !!! The British Army once again demonstrating ways to save valuable pennies ! I can't really think of an answer to why someone would want to fire a pistol at an ammunition box. I can only presume it must have been an officer !"

Cheers

Frédéric

I suspect that the boxes would have been more difficult to smash open due to the later changes in 1880.

'The hard fact is that in 1880, these boxes were altered by having a steel lining put into the screw housing of the lid proves 100% that this was a noted weak point, the List of change states such lack of screwdrivers? no, The Martini Henry Implement Action in the hands of NCO's and armourers had there screw drivers on it.'

Neil Aspinshaw.
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