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 Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve

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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:43 pm

nTshingwayo was a bloody awfull general... you say Frank..

So what did that make Chelmsford, i dont recall him enticing
away the Zulu army, or forcing them to split their command
in the face of the enemy.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:01 am

Les
Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:07 am

Les
Two separate responses.
Chelmsford was not a good General, his single biggest mistake that started the whole fiasco was sending out the NNC as a scouting force. A scouting force should be a highly mobile unit not a bunch of terrified troops with a European command structure that had a problem keeping up.
If Dartnell was sent out with the colonial forces he would have been able to return to camp as ordered. Then the whole thing changes.
In short he was an arrogant self centred control freak. But his men loved him, God knows why.
Ntshingwayo has been held up as a Zulu hero, Why?
Look at his record in January. He exposed his army to discovery in crossing the plain, Lt Brown was oh so close to seeing them. He left a trail of crushed grass hundreds of yards wide all the way across the plain.
He was ordered to consult with the invading force.
IF he was only going to attack on the 23rd, why did he move his force out of an excellent concealment area closer to the camp. That could have been done on the early morning of the 23rd.
He lost control of his iNduna, from Dabulamanzi to Qethuka.
His attack formation was reversed ( a turning motion occurred so the right was the left etc)
His method of attack caused a tragic loss of life to the Zulu army. Probably only second to Haigh and French .
In short he was living in the past and had no control over his surroundings.
Sorry but there are very few in Zululand that hold him in high esteem, there is a great amount of people that attribute the victory to decisions taken by Mavumenger not Ntshingwayo. His speciality and talent was not warfare it was moving an army.

I said many moons ago that I had no respect for any of the senior generals and staff involved in the battle, that goes for both sides.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:43 am

However a few months later he proved himself a good General!
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:49 am

Sure did, fast learner.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:23 pm

Ntshingwayo has been held up as a Zulu hero, Why?...asks Frank.

Well ive waited to see is someone would care to defend the old boy,
off out tonight so i will say my bit tomorrow.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:45 pm

Good stuff Les.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:09 pm

Ntshingwayo KaMahole
Born circa 1820 to the clan of the Khoza, his father being Mahole who was
an attendent of Senzangakhona the father of Shaka..it is said that Mahole
might have been present when Senzangakhona met Nandi Shaka's mother..the
Mahole section enjoyed unrivaled patronage which lasted till the final
destruction of the Zulu Kingdom, not in 1879 but in the bloody and bitter
faction clashes in 1883 in which the cream of the Usuthu clan were surprised
and slaughtered on the Ondini plain. Ntishingwayo's death was of particular
regret to Zibhebhu kaMaphita the Inkosi of the Mandlakazi..Ntshingwayo had
been a member of the Zulu Royal family ' inner circle ' and died fighting
with his great war shield and Knobkerrie. an octegenarian who at the time
of the Zulu War shared joint command at Isandhlwana and commanded at the
battle of Khambula, it was customery for the Zulu Generals to watch their
engagements from a distant hill, it was noted that at Khambula Ntshingwayo
was much nearer the action directing the course of the battle.

This stocky/ stout seventy odd year old marched along side the army keeping
up with much younger men. below is a few extracts to illustrate that in fact
Ntshingwayo was a fine Zulu general fighting his enemy with cunning, daring
and bravery..according to the custom of his people against a modern army
ustilizing state of the art weaponry.

Extracts from Laband's..Zulu Warrior's, the battle for the South African
Frontier and the excellent Rope of Sand..and IK'S Great Zulu Commander's.

Not much is known of this fine general before the War of 1879..but it's safe
to assume he was at the forefront of Zulu affairs in the years leading up to
and after the ' Battle of The Prince's ' at Ndondukusuka in 1856.


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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:32 pm

Evening Les
I would agree with everything said on his life, up to 1879. He was into his 70s and I believe not the man he was. Khambula reinforces what I said earlier about control over the impi. It was the lack of control that lost them the battle there. I know the Wood fans will castigate me for that but its true.
Its difficult to imagine that in such a structured society that was to a massive degree based on fear that the junior indunas could with impunity ignore the supreme commander. Shows a huge lack of respect, but also the deep knowledge that they could get away with it. That has to reflect on the command.
So its not without reason that I formed my opinion of the warriors later years. No matter the huge eulogies that various authors heap on him, he was in his 70s and that forced march from Ondini to iSandlwana had to have taken its toll, the same with Khambula a couple of months later. So just because I draw that opinion does not mean I don't respect him, but even that's tempered knowing he did eventually sell Cetswayo out for a slice of the country. ( His name wasn't on the original list but was added in on the cession documents and the original recipient crossed out)

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:28 pm

Frank

I was struck by your observation about his method of attack and comparison with Haigh and French in terms of loss of life. I had not thought of it in that way before but you are quite right. Funny that we regard the 1st WW generals as butchers for sending men into the machine guns of the western front yet the Zulu generals are eulogised. Double standards or what!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:42 pm

Bonjour,
The Zulu Commanders before Isandhlwana could legitimately underestimate the firepower of the European armies. I would not say the same about the British and French Generals before the beginning of the great war.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:17 pm

Hi Frederic

But had not the firepower of the British Army been evident in SA for some time prior to Isandhlwana?  I think it is because the Zulu only had one method of attack which was to manoeuvre and charge. There were only two possible outcomes,  you either swept your enemy away, or you continued with additional waves until you were stopped through enormous losses. I have to say that while there might be skilful generalship involved in the manoeuvre stages there was precious little in the actual attack (and that does not just apply to Ntshingwayo). I suppose Haigh and French had an initial excuse in that they believed their artillery bombardment had obliterated the wire and machine guns - that was proved wrong as soon as the first wave was mown down. But they simply continued to throw more and more men into the deadly hailstorm. Where is the difference with the Zulu generals?

Regards
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:34 pm

Hello..they were Zulu's in their own country defending hearth and home from
one if not the biggest European superpowers of the time, this has to be seen in context!.
The Zulu had been observing the goings on at the Cape for over a generation, they knew
all about British firepower.. they were and remained desperate to avoid invasion and war.
Cetshwayo on his own could decide nothing..Ntshingwayo was against war in earlier
council gathering's but when the die was cast he threw himself into repulsing the invaders..

Its difficult to imagine that in such a structured society that was to a massive degree based on fear that the junior indunas could with impunity ignore the supreme commander. Shows a huge lack of respect, but also the deep knowledge that they could get away with it. That has to reflect on the command.....1

but even that's tempered knowing he did eventually sell Cetswayo out for a slice of the country. ( His name wasn't on the original list but was added in on the cession documents and the original recipient crossed out)
..2

I was struck by your observation about his method of attack and comparison with Haigh and French in terms of loss of life. I had not thought of it in that way before but you are quite right. Funny that we regard the 1st WW generals as butchers for sending men into the machine guns of the western front yet the Zulu generals are eulogised. Double standards or what!..3

1...Think of what the Zulu warrior's were about to do! up to 20,000 of them gathered in one place
chomping at the bit to crush the invaders and throw them into the sea, two commanders and several senior Induna's directing the action of 20.000 war maddened patriots and you wonder why
the attack did not operate like some swiss army movement.. When Raw blundered into the main
Zulu army that was the trigger for a mass spontaneous rush of men eager to close with their enemy..

2... Yes his name was added to the list, he was not a stupid man, he well knew the way the wind
was blowing, with no room to manoeuvre he really had no choice.

3... that statement i find deeply insulting!,,the Zulu fought according to their custom! in their own
country....we can never apply western standards to indigenous peoples..their aim as we know was
to engage the enemy at close quarters, the HOTB was seen as the quickest way to achieve that!
all the talk of haig and french leave me cold and makes no sense at all in the historical context
under discussion, i reject your observations Frank.. Steve remember who the Zulu were at the time
of the AZW.







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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:39 pm

Les
As usual you bring misplaced passion into a logical discussion.
Im out of this discussion before you turn it into some thing else.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:44 pm

Okey dokey Frank..' as usual ' ' something else ' thanks for that.
misplaced passion?. my passion for the plight of an independent
Zulu Nation is not that. but yeah i will leave it there. cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:37 pm

Bonsoir Steve,
I give exuses to the Zulus commanders only before Isandhlwana. The study of the battles of this war shows that you (and Frank) are right.
And there is always the same well known question, why the Zulus didn't attack the British troops when they were "in move" with hundred waggons?
Mbelini (who was not Zulu) and Zibhebu seemed to have more imagination in "tactic" than the old commanders.
Accessoiry, I maintain that the only tactic of the French infantry in 1914 and in 1915 was attack, attack, attack facing the German machine guns. Reduced of the numbers of days, the losses of the French army were higher in 1914 and 1915 1(january_june)  than 1916 (despite Verdun), 1917 and 1918.
Cheers
Frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:48 pm

The Zulu had every right to defend the old Zulu order!. using any tactic
they choose, their is a very real danger of viewing the Zulu movements in the
war through western ' civilised ' eyes. and some are still doing that today!
what is the point in researching the war if it is not viewed in the round, knowing
all that we know today!! i repeat, it is wrong to deny the Zulu their heroic struggle
to defend their homeland, and it is insulting to their memory to criticise there
response to the unfolding crisis..i think it is you three who are wrong.. but i am
happy with my analysis..just my opinion. xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:01 pm

About your comment about of the firepower of the British army well known in SA before Isandhlwana. There is a huge difference between knowing in theory and experience in pratice. Before Isandhlwana, LC knew perfectly the Zulu tactic...
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:25 pm

Hi Frederic

Yes, I agree with that.

I am going to attempt to change the focus a little if I may. I am currently reading a book called "The King in the North" (which, if you are interested in what we call the "Dark Ages" (500-800 AD), is an excellent read). It prompted me to wonder how far back in history you have to go to find a time when the "British" (I use that as shorthand) fought in the way the Zulu did in 1879. I find it interesting in its own right, but also because it demonstrates quite vividly to me one of the reasons why we were so over-confident that we would easily prevail. You have to go back an awfully long way I think. I am sure the same is true for the "French".

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:55 pm

Absolutly.
About the lack of discipline of the Zulus, at this moment,I have in mind the French cavalry (knights) at Azincourt in 1415 against the English's and Wales archers ( not the dark ages I know)!
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:14 pm

Yes. I have been to Azincourt long ago and I remember there was an "atmosphere" rather like people say there is at Isandhlwana.

But, as you say, you have to go back much much further to find an approach to battle like the Zulu. No warhorses as cavalry, no clouds of arrows as artillery, just hand to hand with spear, blade and shield. Celts, Picts, Saxons, Vikings? But before that the Romans had it all and much more - I still cannot understand how their techniques simply disappeared for 500 years in the west.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:29 pm

Fights with no horses in Europe ? Not easy!!!
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PostSubject: Hpothesis on the positions of the zulu reserve   Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:36 pm

Hi All
I'm not sure you can put the blame on the leadership , or the sub leadership at either Isandlwana , or Kambula , lets face it , the Zulu were basically still a primitive race , who only beheld their own belief in their military structure , they would've had not one clue as to how effective the british fire power would've been at Isandlwana , LC knew this ( he got that right ! ) , that's why he was worried that after the Zulus first encounter with the British firepower , he wouldn't get a chance for a second go at it . I don't care who is in command , but , if you have 20,000 warriors whose only wish is to kill you , once they were goaded into attacking , as was the case at Kambula , more so than Isandlwana , Isandlwana's pre battle volley was a split second reaction to what Raw and his men encountered more than anything . Cetshwayo couldn't have held them back , 20,000 people well spread out would be an impossiblilty to control , ( no phones or computers then ! ) or any of their leaders , none of the zulu leadership would be able utilise any amount of regimental discipline , to a race still in entrenched with military tactics , and their own primitive beliefs , for which they had abided by for 80 or so years militarily , and forever in their own beliefs . The Zulu thinking was far different to the well educated Anglo Saxon thinking of the day , lets not try to put Anglo Saxon thinking into the minds of , basically , savages , who believed in themselves and had little regard for the ' White man ' or his thinking .
Lets not forget they got the job done at Isandlwana with , or without , complete control ! , as for Kambula it may well have been a very different story to that outcome had the Zulu left horn not been well and truly slowed down by the swampy conditions in the bottom of the valley , therefore delaying their arrival into the attack being a coordinated effort , as Wood himself said '' it was a close run thing '' ! , therefore , I believe , had it been not for the boggy , swampy conditions , slowing down the encircling movement of the left horn , I think it would've been another '' Isandlwana '' but worse ! , there were more Imperial troops and others at Kambula than at Isandlwana ! .
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:42 am

Let’s bring this discussion back to its intended form.
My comments on Ntshingwayo are all valid are directed at him, not ‘the old order’, not insults hurled willy nilly at the Zulu race, nor an all inclusive rant preferred by other members.
Facts to ponder.
Ntshingwayo did split his command because of personal preferences, Matyana
CT Binns, The last Zulu King pp 125, 126, puts a stamp on the issue. There was a strong discussion between Matyana and Ntshingwayo as to tactics and strategy ( the argument took place at Babanango on the way to iSandlwana. Matyana wanted to adopt a guerrilla type of warfare, that was overruled by Ntshingwayo. Matyana felt so strongly he took hi regiments away from the impi.
Interestingly look how successful Matyanas tactics were in the Mangeni area against Dartnell and later Chelmsford.

His force came perilously close to discovery on two separate occasions in very cloes proximity to the Ngwebini valley.

Large impis were moving about all over the plateau, in spite of his stealth approach to the British.
Lack of discipline perhaps?

There were 13 Regiments in the overnight camp area. A total of 345 companies/amabutho.
That’s 13 senior induna and 345 Junior, minimum, and that excludes his management team and advisors of another 20 or so. So close on 380 various ranked commanders.
For a Zulu army to disobey its commander and for those induna to go along with that disobedience is completely contrary to Zulu custom and has to show a total lack of respect for its commander. It would have been unthinkable for that level of disobedience from Shaka from Dingiswayo or Zwide. Or for that matter Cetswayo.
That is the point being made, not an attack as alleged on the Zulu race.
The army commanders had a historical knowledge of the power of massed guns from the Boer incursions at Blood River and afterwards on a number of occasions. Shaka made use of Farewell and his men for that reason. Dabalamanzi befriended John Dunn for a similar reason and spent a long time learning about weapons and their effects.
At one point Zulu warriors were sent to work on the mines in Kimberly to earn a gun to bring home.
Massed guns were used in warfare by the Zulu and employed prior to the invasion in tribal disputes ( Webb).
I would suggest therefore the Zulu knew every nuance of the effect of mass rifles, to describe them in this context as primitive is totally unfounded. In the context of the period they were a highly evolved African nation, not a tribe, a Nation. There was a strict hegemony and hierarchal structure to the family and from there to the omnipotent king himself. Omnipotent in his having finality on lives and wellbeing of his subjects. It’s in that context that it is unthinkable there could have been desentition. There were of courses exceptions to that, refusal to allow cattle to leave the country etc, but any disentition was based on a historical allowance.
There are many instances of the Zulu using differing tactics in attacks and defence, from hilltop defence lines to guerrilla attacks to ambushes. This HOTB is a traditional but not exclusive attack method. Zulu history is rife with those examples.
Ntshingwayo was strictly enjoined to approach the British command to ‘discuss’. He had hours ( TMFH) in which to do that, he sent spies to the camp (Mehlokazulu) and was kept fully informed of what was happening in the camp.
His options were there, go and chat, at least 4 hours available to do that, attack the column in transit, again 3 to 4 hours available.
Why did he move his army from an incredible place of concealment to the bottom of an open plain. He had the entire army available in a valley that they could have been addressed from, that address was traditional before battle. At that point he would have put his regiments in battle order and allocated authority. He would have stamped his personal authority
Sorry he was a great man but he had obviously lost the respect he so richly deserved.
I’m more than happy to defend my position based on fact and debate, but emotion and passion doesn’t have a place in historical research.
At Khambula with the same command structure the impi responded to a ‘sting’ from the mounted force to charge forward instead of waiting, again a total lack of discipline. The question has to be asked, why? What has caused this breakdown in the structures, the very fabric that held the nation together, the discipline instilled by Senzangakhona and carried to brutal extremes by Dingiswayo and Shaka.
The Debate is about the decline of authority, not emotion.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:18 am

Bonjour Frank,
A relevant analysis with good questions.
I just want to add, LC learnt of his failures, it has not been the case for the Zulu Commanders.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:21 am

Substantial piece Frank, even handed and beyond reproach in my view. Interesting commentary on the Zulu exposure to firearms and their attempts to capitalise on them. It is a puzzle as to why they did not adopt a guerrilla  based campaign which, I agree, would have been very effective against the lumbering British columns and much less costly in terms of attrition. Is it, I wonder, because the impis were unused to being in the field for lengthy periods of time, needing to return to their homes on a regular basis? If Ntshingwayo had attempted to "discuss" matters with Chelmsford as directed what do we think his proposition would have been?

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:59 am

Steve
There is no doubt whatsoever that Cetswayo bent over backwards to accomadate the British. That going back to the farce of a coronation and his relationship with Shepstone. Ntshingwayo was on a hiding to nothing when it came to a peace proposal. BUT he was instructed to try, a last throw of the dice by Cetswayo.
Cetswayo and Ntshingwayo knew first hand the effects of massed guns, going back to Ndondakusuka, he saw what Dunn's men did to his supporters with 50 guns. Even at his Coronation when Isibebu decided to object, Cetswayo lined up his gun men before the traditionally armed impi.
Just to emphasise that issue and the esteem he held for guns, he at one time petitioned the Government to purchase 250 guns for 'self protection', and got them. Dunn made a fortune out of that deal.
Just think of what could have happened if Matyana had won the argument? 20000 plus Zulu streaming out of the Quabe valley at dawn on the 22nd taking the extended Chelmsford column in the flank then turning onto the camp? Scarey stuff. Chelmsford himself dead? What would have happened at the 'breakfast tables' and Whitehall. It could have changed the course of the war.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:20 am

I guess Wood and Pearson would have attempted to retrace their steps and defend the Natal border. Meanwhile, a victorian version of the Falklands Task Force would have set sail for the Cape. The impact of that on SA, if it were allowed the time to arrive, is hard to imagine.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:29 am

A consideration could be that Kambula may not have happened thus giving the army chance to re group and think what they had achieved. Probably as well RD would not have happened, life as we know it changed?
The question then would have been did Cetswayo have the power to negotiate from a position of strength? I would think so.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:57 am

Maybe, but his prime objective would surely have been to secure his NW border - how would the Boers have reacted to that I wonder? I fear the outcome might have been even more catastrophic for the Zulu nation.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:00 pm

Let’s bring this discussion back to its intended form.
My comments on Ntshingwayo are all valid are directed at him, not ‘the old order’, not insults hurled willy nilly at the Zulu race, nor an all inclusive rant preferred by other members...that would be me
then... Very Happy

There was a strong discussion between Matyana and Ntshingwayo as to tactics and strategy ( the argument took place at Babanango on the way to iSandlwana. Matyana wanted to adopt a guerrilla type of warfare, that was overruled by Ntshingwayo. Matyana felt so strongly he took hi regiments away from the impi... yes as a prearranged decoy!..to put the willy's up Dartnell and draw the
british out of the camp..

For a Zulu army to disobey its commander and for those induna to go along with that disobedience is completely contrary to Zulu custom and has to show a total lack of respect for its commander. It would have been unthinkable for that level of disobedience from Shaka from Dingiswayo or Zwide. Or for that matter Cetswayo.....are you sure about that Frank?. forget the notion that Cetshwayo
could decide anything on his own...he could not! he was answerable to a considerable council.
just one example of him being overuled on the spot was when the royal cattle was turned by back
on the 2nd of july by the uMcijo..

Sorry he was a great man but he had obviously lost the respect he so richly deserved.
I’m more than happy to defend my position based on fact and debate, but emotion and passion doesn’t have a place in historical research...sorry..again none of that is based on fact!, he never
lost the respect of those that matter, he was revered to the end of his life. emotion and passion
surely they are good quality's. there is no ego with me, no burning resentment..always happy to
hear other opinions and views..it just so happens that i dont agree with you, that's all no big deal.





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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:02 pm

Cetewayo forbade his regiments to attack fortified camps. Nevertheless, I think you overestimate the knowledge by the Zulus of  the formidable firepower of the British infantry. Face to the volleys of British coys is a very particular experience. Otherwise, the other tribes of S.A. didn't fight againt the British in 1877/78  as the Zulus in  1879 (Maybe a few similitaries with the battle of Centane). This last point explains the defeat of the British at Isandhlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:06 pm

Frank,
About your post of today (8.42 a.m.)
You quote Binns: "There was a strong discussion between Matyana and Ntshingwayo....Matyana felt so strongly he took his regiments away from the impi"
It seems to me that a similar argument was written by Lock and Quantril and was not in reality p roven - just an assumption, nothing else.
I'don't have a copy of his book. What is his source? What did say exactly his source?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:21 pm

...just an assumption of Lock and Quantrill. I have an another source about the meeting between Matyana and Ntshingwayo and the reasons of the presence of Matyana in the Mangeni the 22 January is totally  different.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:39 pm

There are no irrefutable evidences that Ntshingwayo knew that the Cheklmsford's column was "in transit". Again only assumptions.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:32 am

Frederic
The 'assumption' was from Mehlokazulu in conversation with Benjamin Bartle Bunting, son of George Bunting. Mehlokazulu was appointed Chief Native Scout for the area and lived in the Sigubudu Valley opposite Fugitives Drift, the home of the Buntings. Binns comments that meetings often took place between the two.
There are I believe two more, open to correction, mentions of the argument between the two Zulus. With differing conclusions.
I would suggest that its a pretty safe assumption that Ntshingwayo knew the movements of the column.
Do you think there was a possibility that the reports of the British gunfire and capabilities from the attack on Sihayos Kraal may have filtered down? Even discarding that possibility there is no doubt whatsoever that the Zulu knew the capabilities of massed gunfire, they had seen it and used it. As I mentioned above at one point Cetswayo requested the purchase of 250 guns to use against the Swazi.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:57 am

Steve
Probably right. Cetswayo made no secret his wish to invade the Transvaal, he threatened it on a number of occasions. At one time he pleaded with Shepstone to 'lift the blanket' (of protection) for just 1 moon so he could invade and destroy.

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PostSubject: Hypothesis on the positions of the zulu reserve    Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:54 pm

Hi Frank
From memory the Majority of the force that attacked Sihayo were NNC , I doubt there would've been any massed volley fire in that attack , therefore nothing to prepare the Zulu for what they were going to face a week or so later . Agreed the Zulu's had plenty of guns in Zululand , but they certainly weren't in the same league as the MH , I for one , certainly believe the Zulus had no idea of what massed volley fire could & would produce .
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:51 pm

Greetings Gary
Just watching a bit of cricket.
Blood River
Ndondakusuka
Wasn't there around three companies of British forces at Sihayos?
There really are so many references of Cetswayo wanting and using guns en mass, his campaign against the Swazis is a classic example.
But each to his own opinion. Its a side issue to my main post so happy to let it go.
Oops another wicket gone. 114 for 5.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:08 pm

Sihayo, Charlie Harford's first action alongside HB and the NNC, the 24th
prodding the NNC along at the point of the bayonet, scrambling about
among the rocks, definitely no massed volley fire.
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PostSubject: Hpothesis on the positions of the zulu reserve   Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:53 pm

Hi Frank
There may've been 3 Co's at Sihayo but they were basically the reserve , LC wanted to test the mettle of his Native troops , so they were sent in to basically do the job , the 1/ 24th merely approaching from behind them and as Les mentions '' prodding them along at the point of their bayonets , no massed volley fire . As for Ceteswayo knowing about the effects of volley fire , he may've had an idea but they as I said didn't have the MH , 1 shot then it was time to go through the reload process , many instances of the Zulu's firing their weapon then dropping it , no time to reload when fighting the British , they needed to get closer , quickly . Blood River wasn't what you would call volley fire , it was more of the Boers firing when they could . Not to sure about Ndondakusuka , there weren't a great deal of rifles there from what I remember , is it Dunn to who you are referring , with , at the most , 8 -10 of his people ? .
We haven't started well in the Cricket 2- 0 ! , I'm more worried about the Tests , that to me is real Cricket .
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:59 pm

Bonjour Frank,

About the LC's column "in transit", apparently, I misunderstood you . I had in mind the movments of LC's troops the 22 January.

About the meetings between Matyana and the other Zulus Commanders, I didn't constest them: I contested you conclusion:"Matyana felt so strongly he took his regiments away from the impi... yes as a prearranged decoy!..to put the willy's up Dartnell and draw the british out of the camp".
To my knowledge, there is not certainty about the reasons of the presence of Matyana in the Mangeni the 22 January. It was the reason of my question about your source: accurate transcription of the comments told by Mehlokazulu or "free interpretation" of his comments.
But as usual, always happy to learn.



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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:56 am

Morning Frederic
Not my interpretation, Buntings.
Bottom line is we don't know exactly what happened, there are theories and there are theories. My contention is just that, a theorie.
90th
The fact that so many members believe the Zulu had no conception of the power of the gun I find mind blowing in the extreme.
To describe Blood River in such a cavalier manner is to ignore history. The Boer had a number of guns each, these were fired in turn and reloaded for him, the rate of fire was every bit as fast and a lot more accurate than the British could ever hope for. Look at the various engagements of the Boer wars.
The same with Dunn. He had around 50 followers, the reported devastation caused by his guns was sufficient to stop the Zulu advance and allow them to escape in the river. That was witnessed by Cetswayo
The mind boggles.
I couldn't believe the game yesterday, your lot lost because they played worse rubbish than our lot. Difficult to believe that these were the top two sides not that long ago. Certainly not looking forward to the test matches if this is is going to be the standard.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:12 am

Morning all

I think, that to a great extent, we are splitting hairs over the Zulu appreciation of the power of volley fire. They certainly understood that they needed to acquire firearms themselves because they had experienced the effect to some extent. But what are we saying here? Do we think that if they had a better understanding of the effect they would not have attacked in the way they did? What else would they have done?

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:26 am

Bonjour Frank,
Some points of your thread, as you know , are linked with the hypothetises written by Lock and Quantrill. A new debate about TMFH?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:48 am

...and one of the Zulu force seen at one moment the 22 January by the Brirish at Isandhlwana  was the men of Matyana?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:42 am

Hi Frederic
Theres no real evidence pointing either way, its all a matter how you choose to read/ignore reports. My own viewpoint is that Matyana did split from the main army and returned to the Mangeni.
The main impi was moving from Siphezi to Ngwebini on the morning of the 21st. Browne came close to them on the plain. Common theory is that Matyanas men carried out the screening of the column. But if the had been a disagreement as early as the Babanago halt would Matyanas men still be that close to the impi or would they have moved of to the forest ?
Or conversely is Mehlokazulu wrong and Matyana was sent to screen the armies move? We just don't know. L and Q are of the opinion that Matyana was a deliberate move to draw the British away. If that was the case why was he, Ntshingwayo, going to attack the camp? He had no knowledge as to how many men Chelmsford would take/leave behind!
Why would Matyana be employed as a screen, surely that was the job of Zibhebhu kaMapitha? Or it was according to Ndabuko ( JY Gibson)
What advantage would Ntshingwayo have had in attacking a virtually empty camp with 20000 men? That's principally why I don't believe in the touted decoy theory.
However we do know that there was a significant force in the Mangeni on the 21st and towards the 22nd. We do know that the Zulu tried with Dartnell to entice him into a trap. We do know that on the 22nd the Zulu kept withdrawing, effectively forcing Chelmsford to split his forces. Was that Matyanas tactics of war? Did Matyana abandon that when he heard of the battle at the camp?
Matyanas force wasn't infinite, they couldn't have been in the Mangeni and on the plateau. Did he split his force? Was that force of 4 to 5000 seen early morning Matyanas force trying to find Ntshingwayo?
Lots of questions Frederic, mostly without answers.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:33 pm

Bonjour,
Some thoughts about Mayana...

It should be noted that reliable evidence about the movements of the Zulu army at this crucial period (21-22 January) are unfortunately insufficient to claim to a faithful reconstruction of events.
The author Ian Knight found no evidence indicating that Cetewayo's Regiments were hung by the British forces in the Mangeni the 21-22 January .
For Ian Knight, it's Matyana's followers who were surprised at the very end of the afternoon near the rocky outcrop of Phindo by Dartnell and his troopers.
Testmoniy from Magema Fuze, a key informant of Bishop Colenso, who stated that Matyana received orders to join the "great army';
Testimony from the boy Muziwento who said CHELMSFORD had faced Matyana's men the 22 January and not those of the main army ( I.E.: We were told that Matyana, son of Mondisa, had just been killed);
Finally, a testimony of a Zulu prisoner quoted in the MILNE's report claims that the band met the 21 was only the tribe of Matyana who sought to join the Impi from the bush Qhedini. Matyana himself was present. (Report of Proceedings of 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24 January 1879 from Lt R. N. Milne).
According to the detailed reports of British services delivered to CHELMSFORD, prior to the invasion, the Chief Matyana kaMondise brought together an armed force of about 700 Sitholes.
If this estimate is correct, Matyana kaMondise could count on significant reinforcements during January.

Hamilton-Browne has put the figure of 1,500 warriors at his meeting with his followers in the afternoon of the 19 January.
Part of the rallied must be amaQungebeni, survivors of the confrontation which had been held at kwaSogekle (12 January).
The approach of the great army of the King also galvanized the border tribes pushing the most determined of its members to line up alongside Chiefs as Matayana who embodied the resistance to the invader.
It's probably in the late afternoon on January 20 (the day of arrival of the Cetewayo army in the region) or in the morning of 21 than Matyana was instructed by messengers mandated by Cetewayo's Commanders to join the cantonment of the "great army" with his men.

According to Uguku (umCijo Regiment), the presence of Matyana in the Phindo would be the consequence of a plot devised by the main Cetewayo's Commanders, eager to get rid of a troublesome rival.
The army was under the combined direction of Mavumengwana, Ntshingwayo and Sihayo. It was expected that Matyana assumes the Commander-in-Chief. However, as he was a native of Natal, the other three were jealous and did not want to be led by him.
They asked Matyana to explore in the company of Undwandwe, the area of the Phindo by promising they would walk on his feet. After he left, they borrowed a track north of Mount Babango while Matyana and Undwandwe were heading south of Babango, escorted by six companies.
This testimony also brings an explanation about the importance of the number of warriors who surrounded Matyana. This number of warriors had surprised Dartnell on January 21.
Furthermore, this testimony confirms that the warriors who blocked the road to Dartnell were under the authority of Matyana and not under the authority of the other Commanders.
According to Ian KNIGHT, most of Matyana's warriors is started by small groups the 21 January toward the meeting point when one of these bands met Dartnell in late afternoon .
Matyana had planned to follow his men the next day. Initially, it seems that his warriors on their own have thought of chasing the enemy horsemen to the area to allow the main impi (which was trying to regroup around the Siphezi's mountain) not be found.
A similar situation occurred the same day with the Lt. BROWNE's patrol (IMI) near Siphezi.
According to Ian Knight, the Matyana's followers, realizing that the riders were accompanied by too many troops (NNC) to glimpse a chance of success, they have thought about another trick.
Overnight, refugees on the hilltop, they lit hundreds of campfires to push the British to stay to maintain contact. Before dawn, they abandoned their bivouacs to plot their route to Siphezi hoping to be followed by Dartnell and LONSDALE, in the hope to deliver them to the main impi.The arguments from Ian KNIGHT raise a question: Did the men rallied around Matyana are able to show this discipline and maneuverability which had surprised the Colonials during the confrontation with MANSEL's detachment the 21 January?
The answer is uncertain, probably yes with the presence of the 6 companies mentioned by Uguku.
After Isandhlwana, the British came to believe that the movements of the Zulu force opposing Dartnell obeyed to a deliberate plan from Zulu Commanders to move away the combined forces of Dartnell-LONSALE and CHELSMFORD from the Base Camp.
A testimony of a Zulu prisoner seems to confirm this suggestion: The General in command of the impi who wanted to attack the camp of Isandhlwana, having caught a small enemy force between him and Natal, was dissuaded by some of its officers to attack the camp and recommended him to wait to make sure of why the British were out of their camp. " (Report of Proceedings of 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24 January 1879 from Lt R. N. Milne)
No concrete evidence allows to corroborate this thesis which appears unlikely , despite the position of some modern writers like Ron Lock and Peter Quantrill ( "Zulu victory: Isandlwana and the cover-up") or Saul DAVID ( "Zulu: The Heroism and the tragedy of the Zulu war of 1879 ").
The outlined scenario would imply that the Zulu's Commanders were ability to improvise a complex plan in a very short time and coordinate at the same time the movement of columns troops dispersed over several kilometers. In addition, the Zulu high command certainly could not predict the reaction of CHELMSFORD that would divide his forces by learning the clash between Dartnell and Matyana's warriors.
Lock and Quantrill to explain that the Zulus had not attacked the Mansel's detachment suggest in their book "Zulu Victory Isandlwana and the cover up" that instructions had been given to that effect by Cetewayo who still hoped a negotiated peace with the British. An armed confrontation caused by his men could have compromised this hope.
For a Zulu prisoner whose testimony was collected by MILNE, the Zulus would not have attacked Dartnell the 21 January because there was not enough white men to kill (Report of Proceedings of 21st , 22nd, 23rd and 24 January 1879 from Lt Milne RN).
Given the absence of evidence from the Zulus General explaining their intentions, their intention rests on fragile assumptions ...
Anyway, in the early morning of the 22 January, Matyana was probably not aware of the skirmish occurred the 21 January between his men and the enemy.
According to Magema Fuze:, Matyana when he went toward CHELMSFORD and his men, he did not thought for a moment that he was facing his enemies. Seeing indigenous allies , he believed that they belonged to the royal army. Indeed, the Zulu Commanders had ordered him to join them at approximately the same place where the white men were stood. Also, he quietly walked to the head of his men, in all unconsciousness , the bridle of his horse in hand. As they got closer, shooting rifles of their opponents suddenly rang in their ears. His supporters have prevailed him to a less exposed position . He jumped on his horse and flew . All his followers, except Noju and another, were losing their lives.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:36 pm

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

C.T. Binn's pages's 125/126..The Last Zulu King.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:29 pm

Hi Frederic
I think we are all in agreement that the warriors at the Mangeni were Matyanas men. Considering a company was generally in the region of 40 men or so Im surprised there were only 6 mentioned by Uguku.
I think the debate comes in as to how Matyana ended up back in his own territory and what was his roll.
Usibebu was regarded as the expert in scouting and screening and again there seems little doubt that he was in charge of that issue, Prince Ndabuku seems pretty strong on that, IK emphasises that point on a couple of occasions as well.
If that is acceptable, and I would believe it is then Matyanas roll seems to become one of opportunism  in that when he left the main army at Babanago that was on either the 19th or 20th Chelmsford himself hadn’t formulated his plans, or if he had they were not shared. So at that point Matyana didn’t have a target in mind.
The decision by Chelmsford to send out the scouting party was substantially to clear the Quodeni area, Matyanas traditional homeland. And Matyana would have been back there then.
The question then becomes what does the meeting of the two forces on the 21st mean? Was it Matyana defending his ‘patch’? If as pointed out it was Usibebu doing the army screening then Matyana surely couldn’t have been involved in that aspect.
We do start to pit one informant, Uguku against another Mehlokazulu. There are peripherals, but those are the two on the spot. So as pointed out you take your preference and dependant on what you want for the outcome you make it fit.
That’s about as close as your going to get Im afraid.



Cheers

PS: This detail came about from my comments on the tactics used by Ntshingwayo and as an illustration that different tactics were used by the Zulu armies. Whatever the reason for Matyana being in the Mangeni area he did use differing tactics.
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