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 Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:28 pm

For Better or worse something to think about, shout down or ignore, or maybe even agree.

Hypothesis on Zulu Movements
The traditional Zulu attack formation of the Bull, head horns and chest has been used with great success from the time of Shaka and is said to have been invented by him. The principals of shock surprise and a means of preventing an enemy escaping are the prime motivation behind the tactic. The Impi jogs forward to face the enemy force, shields held to the side, the horns unfold and move sideways, at a signal the shields are held to the front and exposed head on to the enemy giving the impression that the impi has magically increase by four fold. As the jog breaks into a trot the horns rush out to the extremes and circle behind the enemy force enveloping them while the head of the bull charges into the front of the by now demoralised force facing them. The chest is held back as a reserve behind the head, at times seated with backs to the fight to stop them getting too excited.
This then in brief the Zulu battle tactics.
At iSandlwana the impi had approached within a matter of a few miles of the camp, history has placed them in the Ngwebini valley whilst a new theory has moved them forward and closer to the camp and placed them into an attack ready status. The army was discovered and the attack triggered early. Various elements rushed towards the camp for quite a distance before the indunas could regain control. The reserve or chest consisting of the uThulwana, uDdolko, iNdlondlo and the iNdluyengwe were held back, formed into a circle and after a period sent off to take their place as a reserve.
Tradition tells us that when the attack was underway these four regiments were sent of way to the North of  Mkwene and sat patiently waiting in a valley at the upper reaches of the Manzimyama stream. These regiments then moved forward to block the road leading to Rorke’s Drift and cut of the fugitives trying to escape by road. It would appear that some 4000 Zulu warriors were not enough as a large contingent of horsemen managed to fight their way through, along a fairly narrow escape route.
Various Zulu sources point towards this reserve doing exactly what is indicated above and rushing of to hide away a significant distance from the main battlefield.
A position from which it would take an extremely long time to recall them in case they were needed to prop up the main attack and well away from their traditional position behind the chest.
The format of the attack is by now a fairly well established period in history but there are still concerns over a few issues. It is those issues I would like to explore.
Firstly the British positions.
Two companies of imperial soldiers were sent onto the ridge, for either a protection to the mounted troops sent forward by Colonel Durnford or has been suggested to protect the camp from an attack from the rear. A third suggestion has been that they were a replacement for the picket of NNC under Captain Barry.
One would have to ask the question though, if they were posted to guard the camp rear, why weren't they posted behind iSandlwana?
Early risers
From early morning sightings had been reported on the ridge, all of them point towards the North Eastern section with movement to the West in some cases, Chard and Pope both noted that as did Brickhill. Chard commented that the Zulus moved to the West till they disappeared behind the Mountain.
It is this force that has often been labelled as the reserved getting into position early. That contradicts the testimony that the reserve was stopped and made to wait after the discovery. Others say it was the right wing, the uNokhenke. Yet Essex mentions a force streaming in from the East and crossing his front, was this not the right horn, the uNokhenke?
The Attack
After Essex had been on the ridge for a while he was informed that there were Zulus getting between him and the camp, the chest of the umCijo. Or possible a section of the uNokhenke, but why would a regiment split to attack either side of a large hill, the Mkwene hill. David Jackson puts the right horn as being composed of the uNokhenke and the uNodwengue. A total force of 2050 men, as estimated by Mehlokazulu. The uNodwengue peeled away to move around the mountain and attack over the saddle. That leaves the attacking force coming of the Tahelane Spur as a portion of the uNokhenke, or in different terms a portion of the estimated 830 men, estimate by Mehokazulu. 830 men against two companies of the British Army plus at least two companies of Colonial volunteers?
The reserve couldn’t have been involved as they were busy taking position along the upper reaches of the Manzimyama.
The left Horn
Barker saw a large imp on the move and reported it back to the camp around 8.30, it can be speculated that this was the impi moving out of the Ngwebini valley to a point South of Mabaso hill in order to take an attack position. Similar movements were reported from Captain Barry’s position on Mkwene hill.
Within a matter of a couple of hours from this time Lt Raw had discovered the impi in its advanced position. The impi advance towards the camp with the left edges of thee force making its presence noted first in its attack on the Rocket Battery. Again within a matter of hours the battle was over and the action had moved forward to Rorke’s Drift.
Objections
I have a number of issues with the traditional concept of the battle, I’ve not going to site all sources, most are well known both for and against, instead it may promote more dialogue on the forum for members to take positions.
First
I find it incomprehensible that a reserve force, intended as reinforcement in case of need, is sent to  a hidden valley some three kilometres away from the battlefield, out of sight and out of touch, tactically it’s not of the best decisions. If nTshingwayo wanted his reserve at hand why not place then on the ridge behind the Nyoni ridge. Out of site but instantly available.
For that reason I discount completely the position of the reserve.
Second
The army had ‘with one breath’ risen and moved forward in pursuit of the mounted Colonials, the blood lust was up, no one was listening to their indents, it was attack minded regiments forging their way to the camp. So if that rage was that intense, who thought to say, wait a minute let’s take a regiment or so to move on to the left, away from the camp and run along the Qwabe valley? And why would they want to do that, they had been discovered, there was no reason to hide anymore?
And the army was out of control until much farther advanced along the plateau.
Third
The only element in control was the Reserve. As the main army was heading along the plateau anxious to get to grips, complete their boasts and be the first into the camp who was it that jogged along the Qwabe valley?
Is it possible it could have been the reserve? Held back so slightly later in starting?
The Qwabe meets the plain
Durnford met up with the impi regiments coming over the ridge, from the plateau, fairly high up the valley. At that stage he had already been warned that there was a large force moving along the plateau towards the camp and in danger of surrounding his force that leads me to assume that the force referred to was either level with him or more likely closer to the camp than he.
The rocket battery was destroyed before Durnford left the mouth of the valet, conjecturally by the left wing or the iNgobamakhosi. As Durnford cleared the valley he rode across to assist the survivors of the rocket battery as his men continued to withdraw before the force coming down the valley. Harry Davies commented that Captain Norse of the Rocket Battery support company was fighting hard
This would indicate that there were two forces on the plain, the left horn and one other, the reserve.

Sightings
Harry Davies mentions seeing from saddle “a great many Zulus, evidently reinforcements, who were never in the fight. They were about two miles of.”
Hamilton Browne speaks of large parties of the enemy between him and the camp, and this coming after the fall of the camp.
A further indication of the reserve being on the plain comes from a longer distance than Hamilton Browne.
In fact from the Rev George Smith and Surgeon Reynolds  on top of Shiyane above Rorke’s drift.
Three  companies (or regiments) of Zulus were formed upon the neck of land above the late camp and marched towards Rorke’s Drift; each company appeared to be from 1000 to 1500 strong.
It could I assume be argued that the uNdi corps had moved to iSandlwana from the Manzimyama and then formed up to move back over their tracks towards Rorke’s drift, but highly unlikely.
There were four regiments that attacked Rorke’s drift, one was involved in chasing the fugitives, iNdluyenge  and three moved further to the West.
The iNdluyenge crossed out of site above Fugitives Drift, the others split into two sections, one crossing below the bend and two crossing in sight above the bend.
To Summarise.
A Strong Argument can be made that the reserve was formed up on the plain behind the left horn. The pointers to that are as stated above. There are just too many issues that mitigate against the reserve been tucked away miles from the battlefield.
Spinning off from this discourse would be just where on the plateau were the two British Companies? Were they really driven off by a few hundred Zulu?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:54 pm

If the companies on the ridge were in the position history implies then what were supposed to be defending? Every sighting that morning with the exception of Barry was to the East, the companies were facing North. If a large impi had done as Chard seems to suggest, travel to the west and disappear, then that impi would have had the companies at a severe disadvantage. If the attacked across the spur the companies would have been taken in flank. That impi could just as easily moved of the spur lower down towards the Manzimyama and travel rather quickly towards the camp. The companies would have been completely isolated from support and the camp would have been effectively taken from the rear.
If however the companies had been posted to replace the piquet of Barry as has been suggested then they were in totally the wrong position, unsighted of the plain and blocked off from the ridge by Mkwene Knoll.
The third advance reason was to support Durnfords troops, Raw Roberts etc. Again due to that position if Raw was attacked, as did happen they were due to support a retreating force from there right flank rather than full face. to what point?
As we know they did engage a force coming front on, and not for long as they were completely out flanked, in line with the comments above, and so spread out that Essex on the left flank didn't know the right and centre had retreated. One reason for that offered was the smoke could have hid the withdrawl, and yet that concept of smoke having an effect on the main battle lines is not accepted?
A point made in the Hypothesis was that if a 4000 strong force had indeed blocked of the road, there would have been no escapes at all. We do know that there was ergo, the force on the road had to have been smaller. So was the reserve late coming down that 150 yards of the valley? or more to the point. they were not there.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:19 pm

Much seems to hinge on exactly what Chard said he saw. In ZR he is quoted as saying "they seemed to be moving around to the left, above Isandhlwana" and he fears they may be heading for the drift. He uses a glass borrowed from an NCO of the 24th. Looking at Anstey's map, and if we assume Chard is at the camp of the 1/24th, his line of sight clips the north end of Isandhlwana and continues on pretty much through the middle of the indicated positions for Dyson, Mostyn and Cavaye's companies on the ridge at 12.15. So on that assumption their facing north is about right. In other words, Chard doesn't see the impi moving behind Isandhlwana (he fears it), what he sees is them above it to its north.

Just a thought.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:55 pm

Evening Steve
The direction of the 'Chard' sighting was from East to West exactly the same axis of the two companies.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:42 pm

If we then accept that Chard did not see the reserve proceed around the back of Isandhlwana (and I agree the relatively low numbers encountered on the fugitives trail would tend to support that), we need some evidence that they instead deployed across the plain.

The only possible indication of that I can see so far (and it's circumstantial) is when Jackson says in HotS (quoting Mehlokazulu of the iNgobamakhosi) that the centre chest, having been halted by the steady fire, retreated somewhat and went to ground. He says "the Zulu centre now built up its strength in a wide front in the broken ground at the foot of the escarpment" Is this "building up" in fact the arrival of the reserve? And does that then allow the left horn in front of Durnford (who are also held up by rifle fire) to extend even further onto Durnford's flank. It is plausible.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:08 pm

Hi Steve
I see your point on the umCijo going to ground, but not being reinforced by the reserve. Theres far to much evidence to show those regiments attacked RD without being involved in the battle itself. There is still the sightings of the static element on the plain to consider.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:51 pm

Steve and Frank,
I don't know if that helps but several coys of the regiments who fought at RD were involved in the battle itself ( but they didn't fight at Rd).
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:57 pm

Hi Frederic are we taking about the iNdluyengwe and their pursuit of the Fugitives down the trail?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:04 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Hi Frederic are we taking about the iNdluyengwe and their pursuit of the Fugitives down the trail?
 I don't think. I shall search the source of my comment. Maybe Fynn after his chat with a warrior wounded or ill on the battlefield after the return of Chelmford's troops at isandhlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:25 pm

I don't yet find the source but IK wrote in Zulu Rising;Several  companoes of the u
Thulwana had followed Qethuka in the attack on the camp at Isandhlwana, so it seems likely that no more than 4000 crossed into Natal (to attack RD)"
I am sure that the warrior mentioned in my previous post was a man of the uThulwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:03 pm

Fynn met effectively a warrior of the uThulwana Regiment  on the battlefield near a hospital or vetenary wagon . The warrior died one hour later. ( ZR p.467).
I don't find his account.....
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:14 pm

ymob wrote:
I don't yet find the source but IK wrote in Zulu Rising;Several  companoes of the u
Thulwana had followed Qethuka in the attack on the camp at Isandhlwana, so it seems likely that no more than 4000 crossed into Natal (to attack RD)"
I am sure that the warrior mentioned in my previous post was a man of the uThulwana.
Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:16 am

Frederic
possibly this may assist:
James Stuart Archive vol 4 pp83.
The izinduna refered to in Qetukas praises held back the main section (isibaya esikulu) of the Tulwana. Qetuka refused to go to the circle ordered to form up by Mnyamana ( Mnyamana ka Ngqengelele the great induna of the main section) and broke away to join up with the kandempemvu who, led by spies were marching on to attack at iSandlwana.
From the above it would seem that the Tulwana were held back and Qetuka left them to join the umCijo.
Qethuka was main induna of the uhlangoti section of the amaXoza and Bunsumana sections of the Tulwana
uhlangoti is a term generally used to describe a 'flank', as in huts to one side of the main hut,  extrapolated to mean in military terms the outer company of a regiment.
So as to if or not Qetuka took any of the Tulwana with him to join the umCijo, anyones guess really.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:31 am

Bonjour Frank,
Thanks for the information.
So you are not sure that some coys of the uThulwana Regiment fought at Isandhlwana...

When I posted my first message on the subject, my goal was to try to help you to locate the reserve.
If some coys of the uThulwana Regiment fought at Isandhlwana with the Umcijo Regiment (for example), this information gives us indication about the location of the whole uThulwana Regiment (part of the reserve) a few minutes before the attack : probably close (near) the umCijo Regiment....
It was the hypothetis that I had in mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:03 am

Morning Frederic
Yes I understood the reasoning. Ive been looking at Qetuka and his family for some time, its a confusing line up. His sister/cousin, not clear which married Cetswayo, so he was given precedence over some older izinduna in taking command of the company he belonged to. That caused quite a bit of resentment.
So we have a youngish man, rejected to a degree and really anxious to prove himself. That all makes sense in him wanting to attack and 'earn his spurs', in addition he had a powerful family member. So he could get away with running of to attack and disobeying orders, but there is no mention of him taking any of his company with him. That being said there are always people in any company that want to toady to the boss, and are prepared to take chances for self promotion, so yes I would say he did take a certain amount with him, but not enough that it raised comment.

I understand your hypothesis and the thoughts of trying to place the uThulwana, Steve had the same thoughts. And its at that location that I would expect the reserve to be thrown in to support the attack, so yes makes a lot of sense. that still leaves us though with the static men out on the plain and Davis, Smith Reynolds,Symons and Browne.


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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:05 am

Sorry should have added that the reasoning for the men crossing the river to attack RD was that they needed to pick up some Glory not having taken part in the fighting at iSandlwana. Tends to mitigate against them being involved.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:46 am

....and explain why the Zulus had not MH with them (despite Bourne comments).
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:51 am

Ahh yes the MH. If my hypothesis is correct it would mean that after the battle the reserve would have crossed the battlefield to get to the saddle ( seen by Witt and Smith). Its then possible that they could have picked up MH on route, and the ammo wagons were parked on the saddle and collected ammo. Maybe Bourne was correct???????????????
Wheels within wheels Frederic Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:04 pm

a very very long debate in perspective ...
I accord to you only a handful of MH.
A Zulu witness (Sofikasho Zungu) lamented that most of the MH found on the battlefield were broken.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:25 pm

My comment is valid in the two following cases:
-If the reserve has crossed the battlefield;
-If the reserve hasn't crossed the battlefield: a handful of weapons could have been taken in the hands of the fugitives.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:34 pm

The source for the testimony of Sofikasho Zungu is a booklet "Kill me in the shadows" quoted in "Zulu Rising" p. 440 (hard cover).
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:04 pm

To prove Bourne correct there only had to be one! Nes pa?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:09 pm

As an aside Frederic. At the lecture I gave last week in Natal a senior Guide mentioned that in an area of the ngwebini valley there were still vast quantities of MH cases that had been emptied by the Zulus of the black powder. Unfortunatly I didn't have the time to explore to see if it was true, maybe next time.
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PostSubject: Hypothesis on the positions of the zulu reserve    Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:18 pm

I've been looking Frank , may get the chance to do so again in the future ?

90th agree


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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:22 pm

Gary there is a new road leading right into the heart of the valley, I will get you a location, worthwhile giving it a go.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:22 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
To prove Bourne correct there only had to be one! Nes pa?

Frank,
Of course you are right....about Bourne.
I would add that this proves nothing about the location of the reserve (unfortunately)...as you know.
But I agree, your theory can't be ruled out about this point (MH in the hands of Zulus at RD).

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:28 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
As an aside Frederic. At the lecture I gave last week in Natal a senior Guide mentioned that in an area of the ngwebini valley there were still vast quantities of MH cases that had been emptied by the Zulus of the black powder. Unfortunatly I didn't have the time to explore to see if it was true, maybe next time.


Frank,
I have read contemporary reports about « quantities of MH cases that had been emptied by the Zulus ». But nothing (from memory) about the location (ngwebini valley)
Another story about a Zulu who sold the powder and won a fortune.
Anyway, your information is intriguing. I hope one day you will go on the spot !
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:09 pm

Frank,

A statement of Ucadjana (…) contains the following ; « I saw Sidnungi, one of the Seketwayo's son of the Nokembe regiment. He had been at the attack on the General's camp at Sandhlwana. He told me (…) The attack was commenced by the Umeywa and Nokembe regiments, and then by all the Tulwana regiment, which was kept as a reserve » (...) The Tulwana regiment then crossed and attacked the camp at Rorke's Drift without success".


Warning : Ucadjana is not a direct witness.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:28 pm

I was going to make the point that if the reserve was on the plain then they would have proceeded through the camp and over the saddle heading for RD. But you guys got there first. A few thoughts on that possibility. If they went through the camp, presumably at the same time those in the attack proper were in the process of leaving, would not someone have mentioned that? It would also mean a far larger body of men going down the fugitives trail. Would they be crossing further down than would otherwise be the case - would any of that be evident from RD? Presumably, a rough timing for the reserve crossing the saddle could be worked out from the first arrival of a significant force at RD?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:33 pm

It could be interesting to read the narrative of Fynn about this meeting with the warrrior of the uThulwana regiment (I have only a quote)
This warrior was found by Fynn lying on the battlefield. Why he was here and not at Rorke's Drift?
A warrior who after killing the fugitives went to the camp to loot? A warrior who “with several companies” of the uThulwana regiment participated at the attack of the camp?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:34 pm

Hi Steve
The reserve split with the uNokhenke going across country to attack the fugitives and the balance in three regiments heading for RD, the crossed and joined up as I indicated above. The crossings, to a degree were witnessed by Smith.
In terms of your timing possibly a reverse engineering attempt, from the time they arrived at RD and work backwards. The photos Ive posted from my last visit to RD show the traditional route they would have travelled. There was no reason for the regiments to travel the long way around the road when they had a traditional road/pathway to follow that went in a straight line.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:45 pm

IK is of the opinion that the uNokhenke were told to pursue the fugitives with the balance of the reserve making there own way. It makes a lot of sense, in addition there would have had to have been a meeting point arranged, so it was no spur of the moment thing but a planed assault by Dabulamanzi and co.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:47 pm

Frederic
I really have no answer for the Flynn story not having read it, hopefully some one out there can post it in full.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:51 pm

Wink Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:40 pm

Frank,
I suppose you have already studied the testimony from Uguku of the umCijo.
Iam curious to know your thoughts about it.

Uguku said "On our left we were supported by the Umbonambi, half the Undi, Ngobamakosi, and Uve. Behind us were the other half of  the Undi and udhloko, who never came action at Sandhlwana, but formed the reserve (which passed on and attacked Rorke's Drift). (....) It was a disputed point as to which of the following regiments was the first in the English camp,viz: Undi, Kandampenvu, Ngobamakosi and Umbonambi; but it was eventually decided that the Umbonambi was the first, followed by Undi".

So,  half of the Undi was behind the umCijo:I am not at home, but from memory the umCijo was part of the chest "right" (Jackson's map / Hill of the sphinx);
The other half of the Undi was on the left of the umCijo (chest "left" or "left horn"?).

So, it seems to me that the Undi (according to Uguku) is located in both places which raises questions: the "reserve" seen on the plain by Hamilton-Browne and "the ridge"...

Cheers

Frédéric

I.E: Undi Which comprised the Tulwana,Ndhlondhlo and Indhluyengwe.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:10 pm

I forgot to mention that this statement gives a satisfactery answer to your hypothesis about the relatively low numbers of warriors of the reserve who moved behind Isandhlwana to block the road to Rorke's Drift....

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:13 pm

Happy to be corrected, the moves of the Zulus regiments at Isandhlwana are not my cup of tea!
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:27 am

Morning Frederic
As with all discussion papers this one is wide open to question and modifications. My problems with most of the Zulu testimony is it becomes very similar, not so much content but format. In other words how much is the interpreter inserting from his own perceived knowledge?
With few exceptions the statements show a very broad knowledge of the battlefield, compare that with the British that seem to be more focused on their immediate surroundings. Would for instance an umCijo warrior, huddled in a donga getting shot to pieces really know what was happening on other parts of the battlefield?
One of the commentators said that after a while survivors, British, started taking on board other accounts and making them part of their own tale.
A classic example of that are the statements from the rocket battery survivors, or the lower ranks who escaped. They all sound similar and there a reason for that. All the statements, 5 I think , are on one sheet of paper, written in the same hand. So an 'officer' has taken down what had to be said and got it out of the way as fast as possible.
Just some thoughts.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:25 pm

Bonjour Frank,
I understand your point of wiew. (Penn) Symons wrote a smilar comment about testimonies from survivors.
But why this discussion if you refuse to consider the evidences from Zulus (or British)?.
See no offense but that does not make sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:57 pm

Hi Frederic
I do take cognisance of ALL the available sources, but they have to be taken in context, be it Uguku or the Nokhenke deserter.
The deserter doesn't really say anything that can disprove the theory.
Neither does Mehlozazulu.
Mhoti doesn't add much
Uguku expresses opinions on lots of issues, from the command structure to the positions of regiments out of sight. Being in the umCijo he still comments on the action in the Donga, way out of sight and the right horn behind the mountain. His key elements are the splitting of the Undi Corps and its position behind the unCijo. Non of which are confirmed.
That's why I do treat the Zulu testimony with caution, not discounting but with caution.
I made the point of testimony being added to once discussions have taken place after the event. And a lot of the Zulu testimony was taken months afterwards.
Even Umtegolalo, his testimony contradicts Uguku in the position of the reserve and of the Nokenke.
If then the various Zulu sources cant agree what can we draw on?
So I hope you will see that I have considered the Zulus and have attempted to draw a scenario that covers a wide spectrum of evidence.
Something ive never really touched on is that Smith was of the opinion that the three lines of Zulus he witnessed on the back of the mountain were between 1000 and 1500, even taking a mean average that's 3750 plus the 4th element chasing the Fugitives, the Nokhenke ( started as 830 men but were pretty decimated, so maybe 500?)

Cheers my friend, hope that gets me out of trouble Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:48 pm

After reading your previous post, instead of studying "primaries source" about the the Zulu war, I had the project tonight to watch "Zulu" or "Zulu dawn" then read "Zoulous" (a stripe cartoon)....
These details given in your last post comfort me ...

My little finger said to me that you have some answers to yours own questions:
How do you explain the "reserve" seen by Hamilton-Browne?
Ho do you explain the large number of Zulus on the "ridge"?
Ho do you explain the relatively low numbers of Zulus who blocked the road to Rorke's Drift?
Amitiés
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:36 am

Consider too the testimony of Zulus who fought at RD who said that they took no part in Isandhlwana.
Uguku's testimony then seems mistaken - unless he was referring only to Qetuka's companies.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:11 am

Bonjour M Whybra,
As you know, no British or Zulu testimony for several reasons, is totally accurate (only a part of truth).
I think there are some clues about the presence of (coys from) Zulu regiments belonged to the reserve on the ridge (particulary the uThulwana) and on the “plain” which are intruiguing/troubling.
In my humble opinion, these hypotheses should be further developed - to retain or reject them -
Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:44 am

Are we sure that Qetuka did take any companies with him? The quotes in JS (Mtshapi) don't indicate he did. Possibly there are others Im overlooking?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:59 am

Personnaly, I have not the answer to your question; but can you imagine that Quetuka left the uThulwana Regiment to join ALONE the umCijo?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:10 pm

Frederic
Its an interesting Quote from Mtshapi. Qethuka was an induna, promoted above other more senior princes, including Dabulamanzi and Hamu. Possibly the Tulwana paid more attention to Dabulamanzi than Qetheka? Interestingly reading the progression of Mtshapi, he says that Qethuka refused to go to the circle, intimating the circle formation was either in the process or had already been formed. He broke away to join up with the Kandempemvu who were marching on to attack at iSandlwana.
So possibly he held back to the last moment before rushing of to join the chest, instead of remaining with the reserve.
But yes in those conditions, the regiment doing what they were told by Mnyamana ( along with Ntshingway in charge of the impi) Qetheka gets annoyed he wont be part of the battle and of he goes, possibly with a few adherents only, possibly with more?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:19 pm

Sorry should have added that Mnyamana Cetswayo was supreme commander of the Undi Corps, I could see a rather spoilt induna ( His sister was married to Cetswayo ) a bit full of his own importance disobeying, but a regiment, or even a significant portion?

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:42 pm

And Dabulamanzi at Rorke's Drift?
He desobeyed the orders given by Cetewayo.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:44 pm

You wrote about Qetuka :
« So as to if or not Qetuka took any of the Tulwana with him to join the umCijo, anyones guess really. »
It seems that the quotes in JS don't indicate he did not.
I know : it's not a valid argument...
At least, two testimonies from Zulus claim that the uThulwana Regiment fought at Isandhlwana.
I think that it's possible that it was the case not for the whole Regiment but for several Coys of it.
The reading of Fynn's testimony about the warrior of the Uthulwana Régiment found ill on the battlefield could provide an answer.
From memory Zibhehu refused to attack Rorke's Drift under the pretext of injury. Do we know what that the decision taken by the warriors under his command ?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:52 pm

Im not going to get into the Zibhebu thing at present Frederic, simple reason is that Neil has covered it very well in his new book and I wouldn't want to pre empt that. But as you say it is highly possible that Qethuka persuaded his own company the uhlangoti to follow him.
Possibly Neil has explored the Zulu force at RD ?

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