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 Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:02 pm

I understand.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:47 pm

Frank
Qethuka was main induna of the uhlangoti (flank or outer) amaviyo of the amaXoza and Bunsumana sections of the uThulwane.
Mpatshana stated that the sections of the uThulwane were:
Inhlambamasoka  30 amaviyo
Izingwananda       3-6
Mkingoma            3-6
Izinkonkoni          3-6
Zisongo                3-6
Amasoza              3-6
Ingoye                 3-6
Amabunsumana    3-6
amaXoza = Amasoza and Bunsumana = Amabunsumana i.e. a total of 6-12 amaviyo.
IF Qetuka went off and took the outer amaviyo with him - how many might this realistically be, do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:14 pm

Hu Julian
Using Mehlokazulas figures the Thulwane would be in the region of 60 Companies, 2460 men. each of these regiments was designed in the traditional way so they could operate independently so the greater portion would be the chest with the outer flanks as being the smaller lighter weight in numbers.
So I would hazard a guess and say that the main chest being the iNhlambamasoka with their 30 companies the two flanks uhlangoti being one, would be at say 4 companies and the rest, outer chest and reserve making up at 5 each. Theres no chance we can structure it any finer. if therefore we take a mean average of 2460/60 *4*2=328 men in the two uhlangoti companies. Hellishly rule of thumb I know but probably as close as we are going to get. Barry is an absolute fundi when it comes to these numbers, hopefully when he logs on he can give an opinion.
But approx. 300 'deserters' from the reserve would be I guess a maximum number
Does that make sense?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:17 pm

600-800 as a maximum number.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:23 pm

Yes Frederic, some where between those figures. I would think because of the presence of Dabulamanzi, sitting up there on horseback the fear factor of going against a prince may just have helped to keep the figures down.
Scientifically it would come down to how long your thumb is and how hard you can suck I suppose, Joker Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:27 pm

From the Zulu perspective, I believe much on the fight appeal without excluding the addition of a few other companies !
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:30 pm

Thinking about the effect on the numbers who went on to attack RD, doesn't 6-800 seem a tad too many?  I was calculating Qetuka's 'followers' to be in the order of 100-200 at most.
But...as you say...how long is a piece of string?  I found your answers interesting though.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:32 pm

Remember the official losses of the regiment at Rorke's Drift and the remark made by Cetewayo (about the losses) when reviewing Regiment at Ulundi: this is not consistent.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:35 pm

I even think my estimate is low!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:50 pm

Frederic
Difficult to argue against you, we just don't have the information at hand. But knowing you, you have something tucked away up your sleeve, time to reveal my friend.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:21 pm

Sorry to disappoint you but I do not have a testimony hidden under my arm.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:29 pm

Frederic
Evelyn Wood estimated the uThulwana losses at 1000. But he emphasises, it is a guess , Letter to Crealock 25th February.
Uguku is probably going to be one of your biggest supoorters in that he thinks that half the Undi Corps were left centre with the other half in reserve. That would answer both your questions in that the RD force would start to shrink and the numbers on the hill would be larger, then of course the potential losses would be more, even approaching Woods estimates.
Is this what you had in mind?

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:46 pm

To summarize, yes.
About the Uthulwana Regiment, Cetewayo was particularly shocked by his losses .
I know it was his favorite Regiment but....
And as you wrote in your first post, the official version raises more questions than it solves it.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:54 pm

Cetewayo was not only shocked by the losses of the uThulwana Regiment but also totally incredulous. The losses of the uThulwana Regiment were therefore very very heavy. The battle of Rorke's Drift ("only" 500-600 dead)
didn't explain this "bleeding" .
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:45 pm

It seems impossible to know exactly the number of the zulu's losses at Rorke's drift.
According to IK ( Zulu Rising, p.528), " a figure of 1.000 casualties  - killed and wounded - does not seem unreasonnable".
So, a loss of 1.000 men from four Regiments ( Indlondo, uDloko, iNduyengwe and uThulwana).
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:05 pm

Between 3.500 and 4.000 warriors from 4 Regiments have fought at RD.
These four Regiments represent more than 4.000 Zulus.
According to Fynn the total force of these 4 Regiments before the beginning of the war: around 6.000 warriors.

Where were the missing?

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:24 pm

Just out of interest!

A Zulu named “Will” who took part in the attack on the mission station Rorke’s Drift 22nd-23rd Jan 1879 claims to have been shot at by the British more than any other Zulu who took part. And that claim is still un-disputed today. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:55 pm

I have his account.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:50 am

just 1.999 men to find.
" Un petit pas pour l'homme, un grand pas pour l'humanité"
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:44 am

CTSG
The British tried to get him throughout the war !
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:56 am

Frederic
Mehlokazulu puts the Undi corps as around 3680. The army list puts the Undo corps as 9000. The discrepancies are just to huge.
Don't forget not all the Zulu that crossed the river fought at RD!

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:26 pm

Bonjour Frank,
Point taken!
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:12 am

Bonjour,
From " Hill of the Sphinx", p.65:
"Davies says that the Zulus opposing the mounted troops on the camp's right front were young able-bodied men without ornaments, but a few hundred yards down the Fugitives' path he ran into a lot of Zulus wearing a single red feather sticking straight up on the top of their heads. This appears to be the brown crane's feather so worn by certain regiments of the uNdi (and not a badge of the iNgobamakhosi as Davies thought). Captain Montague some months later saw a dead Zulu with a black ostrich feather plume, also, it seems, an uNdi badge, near the  road a mile in front of the camp. In my map of the position at 1 P.M. I have assumed that the uNdi came round from behind the iNgobamakhosi to attack the southern end of the camp, thus reaching the tents soon after the uMbonambi (as Uguku says), and also crossing the ridge to come down on the Fugitives' path".

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:30 am

Frederic
I would be interested in how you interpret that?

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:49 am

Bonjour Frank,

I would be interest in how you (and not me) interpret that !

The basis of the comment written by Jackson is the testimony given by Uguku. Jackson wrote a long development about it just before the extract posted in my previous post on the forum.

-About the right front of the camp :
I think, as you know, that the positioning of part of the uNdi corps behind the iNgobamakhosi or the uMbonambi makes sense.
It gives an explanation at the « reserve » seen on the plain by HB.
It's possible that these elements of uNdi corps have not attacked the camp at the same time of the others Zulus Regiments but after (a few time before the British withrew).

-About the left front of the camp :
Part of the uNdi corp was positioned on the ridge, behind or next to the umCijo Regiment.
I have always the same thoughts in mind : uncontrolled coys of the « reserve » attacked the camp without order and it's logical with the state of mind of the Zulus warriors (« the washing of the spears »).
In my opinion , it's the only explanation for the inconsisties written rightly by you at the beginning of this thread.

I.E : This thread is fun and somewhere strange: You have advanced some relevant facts and since you reject all the arguments in favour of your facts ! Frank, you are the devil's advocate of your own assumptions !

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:19 am

I forgot to write comments about another of your assumption (in another thread) about the meeting between the rocket battery and (part) of the reserve (put on position of this part of the reserve).
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:25 am

Quote
"I.E : This thread is fun and somewhere strange: You have advanced some relevant facts and since you reject all the arguments in favour of your facts ! Frank, you are the devil's advocate of your own assumptions !"
I would prefer to call it encouraging debate. And it works in forcing others to think.

'One after the other the lords of time advance,
Here Stanley meets-how Stanley scorns the glance!-
The brilliant chief, irregularly great,
Frank, haughty rash-the Rupert of debate
Lord Lytton.

( Probably one of the greatest English novelists)
Cheers my friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:33 am

Frank,
According to one of your post,In the map prepared for Queen Victoria in 1879, some elements of the uNdi corps were on the left horn.
I.E: Usually, it's me playing the devil's adocate against your assumptions.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:34 am

Frederc
Gary and I were chatting some time back after one of his visits to iSandlwana about various issues. This being one of them. Its truly amazing how just sitting at a high vantage point, like Blacks Koppie or iThusi and just staring over the whole of the battlefield, and it really is immense, things start to drop into place. Most of the time they cant be proven, at least not to the demanding satisfaction of the forum, but the minds eye tells you exactly how it all went, in real time.
Mike Snook did this and came up with a very realistic battle scenario, one of the best, but then he blew it by mentally exonerating the regiment from any mistakes. that skewed his outlook.

Any one who has visited the battlefields and spent time there in solitude will tell you exactly the same thing, it does fit together and it does make sense. But to impart that without being arrogant or inflexible is bloody near impossible. So better to let debate form and people to convince themselves.

Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:52 am

One thing is sure, and probably the only thing everyone will agree on is that in not keeping his army together nTshingwayo was a bloody awfull general. Elements of regiments were mixed up, a full balltle plan ( if there was one) was completely ignored and the army effectively did its own traditional thing.
In saying that, there were a lot of young unblooded warriors who desperately wanted to draw blood, or Wash their spears and they were swept up in the excitement, Qethuka is a classic example of that. Im sure that smaller parties, even individuals were attaching themselves to different regiments. Hence parts of the Undi Corps would have been all over the battle field. The warrior with the red Feather was seen some 400 yards down the trail, its highly possible/probable that when ( The basis of this theory) the two arms, left horn and reserve, briefly met on the plain some of the Undo corps joined the left horn. We do know from one or two accounts that elements of the left horn moved south of Malabamkosi, that would have put them on course to force the fugitives down of the high ground, and that's what happened to many of the fugitives.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:56 am

A further point to consider on the theory to point towards there being two separate forces on the plain is the statement by Davies that when the were withdrawing and coming around the corner from the Quabe valley onto the plain, they were shot at from the ridge to their left.
Just more thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:07 am

Frank
If 'on the left' means the left of Davies's ride back, out on the plain, that would imply that part of the uNdi moved down from the plateau crossing BEHIND Durnford's two troops before they withdrew.
If however 'on the left' means the left of Davies's ride out, then it places the Zulus up on the plateau's edge.
The wording is ambivalent.
Someone, please, find that hidden drawer with all the answers in!
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:23 am

Hi Julian
Davies on the left is defined by himself as being nearest the camp and also the ridge. So exactly as you pointed out on the map with the D H. AS they withdrew the came under fire as they got around the pointed hill, from the ridge (iThusi ) As at that point they were keeping the advancing party 400 yards away, it does point to two separate entities.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:25 am

Bonjour Mr Whybra,
Your personal thoughts on this (fascinating) subject are expected.
Bien à vous.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:41 am

ymob
You posted a quotation from David Jackson's book. To be perfectly honest with you I don't know FOR CERTAIN whether he thought that the left horn uNdi were just a few amaviyo (under Qetuka) or a more substantial grouping. I am due to visit him in the second week of November so I shall ask him specifically his thoughts.
For MY part I am certain that Qetuka led a breakaway group that joined in the attack - if it were more substantial than just a 'few' companies then that might explain Hamilton-Browne's sighting on the plain. However that assumes that Qetuka had the authority to command a sizeable grouping. and I don't think he had.
Quite apart from Qetuka's group, it is perfectly possible that some or all of the uNdi took the route of the left horn and that the uDhloko, for example, took the right horn route. It is simply a matter of finding the evidence to support those statements.
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PostSubject: Lytton poetry   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:44 am

Hi Frank,
Your quote earlier on Lytton poetry was interesting.
Was this Robert's work ( ie who wrote under the nom de plume Owen Meredith, of "Dark and stormy nights fame") ,or, his father Edward's , the British diplomat who was the brother of Sir Henry Bulwer- Lytton, the PM of Natal.

regards

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:55 am

Barry
The New Timon - Edward Buller-Lytton, methinks. Yes Frank?
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:58 am

Mr Whybra,
Thank you very much for your comment which are somewhere "maverick"...
It seems to me , when the sources are scarces, sometimes the existing ones can be inconsistent with the reality of the facts "on the ground"...
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:59 am

Hi Barry
Edward, and your quite right I seem to recall Bulwer was part of his many surname string.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:03 pm

Frederic
Maverick maybe. But haven't we found over the recent fortnight that the Isandhlwana story is composed of inconsistencies - the route of the Zulu reserve, the timing of the 2nd Fall in, the timing of the arrival of the various component parts of Durnford's force, the ammunition supply reserve's location, the ammunition supply to the lines, the position of 'X', and so it goes on...
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:04 pm

And he even predicted I would be around a couple of hundred years later ! Clever man.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:21 pm

Mr Whybra,
Maverick: I am afraid of being misunderstood. It was not a criticism on my part. I was very pleased to read your thoughts..... that suggest that the assumptions of this thread are not "bullshit"!!!
Merci à vous.

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:26 pm

Julian/Frederic
The main point of the 'Theory was to look at the possibility of there being two forces up against Durnford and who those forces would have been. That leading on to the proposition that one was the reserve.
In saying the reserve I suppose I should say, what was taken as the reserve rather than what was the intended.
With Qethuka coming into play as part of the equation then yes he could have lead a force into the attack, but considering he either followed on or attached himself to the chest he couldn't have been in the Quabe valley and therefore the force opposing Durnford. Considering his actions and the proclivity for action would it be conceivable that he would rush of Gung Ho, and then decide to adopt the position as a reserve and lead his men of to hide 3 to 4 kilometre away out of sight?
I would reiterate what started me thinking in that Davies says" I gave a look towards the front of the hill, towards where the General had gone in the morning, and saw a great many Zulus, evidently reinforcements, who were never in the fight. They were about two miles off."
Davies at the time was trying to take up a position on the koppie and so was in an elevated position above the smoke and dust.
So incontrovertible that there was a force, a large force some two miles of. Could that force have been Hamilton Brown? If Davies was out with his distance possibly, out by close to 3 miles? I wouldn't think so.
Hamilton Brown puts the force between himself and the camp, if Davies was referring to HBs force then wouldn't he have seen another?
Hence my thoughts moved to the Quabe Valley force being the reserve, but if it was, why no mention of or by Dabulamanzi? And that's my biggest single question!
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:36 pm

Theres a really interesting parallel with Durnfords trot up the Quabe Valley. It divides at the top just below the now main road. The left fork take a bend towards the possible position X the right towards the entrance to the Ngwebini valley entrance. If Durnford had gone to the right(and we know he didn't because of the mention of the Zulus coming over the ridge in front) he would have possibly missed the Zulus coming towards him and trotted of in total oblivion of the battle.
Onwards onwards rode the gallant 600.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:10 pm

ymob
Not misunderstood. And 'criticism' - of course not! Ne t'inquietes pas, mon ami!

Frank
Well, my thoughts too hinged on whether Davies mistook from afar HB's men for "a great many Zulus" - easily done.
Re the distance travelled up the Qwabe valley - DH on the Chatham maps are distinctly marked as the farthest point reached by Davies/Henderson, and I must say I STILL believe they were initially drawn by or at the very least inspired by AFH himself since he put his initials to them. Perhaps that will help you pinpoint the location (it's definitely the left fork).
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:23 pm

Hi Julian
I would fully agree on the left fork, everything about it fits including the 1400yards distance. The DH marked on the map is so very close it had to have been from somebody that was there, not second hand knowledge. The fact that he did take the left fork is also indicative of wanting to get close to his troops on the plateau. If the impi hadn't have been there he would have arrived on the plateau about a 1000 yards ahead of them and pretty much in sight. Getting into that level of thought certainly starts the brain ticking over. Ive some interesting photos of that area, must dig them out.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:29 pm

Afternoon all.
I have stayed out of the discussion because I find the Zulu regiments very confusing, both in name, configuration and leadership. So best left to others better versed!
On Durnford's movements, I think he was drawn left up the Quabe for the same reason that the Rocket battery were drawn left, to support his own men on the plateau and in the expectation he would find the Zulus withdrawing. He of course found them coming straight at him instead.
When Davies says he "gave a look towards the front of the hill" and saw a great many Zulus, does he mean the hill he was on, or some hill further away - in which case which one?

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:49 pm

Hi Steve
Your quite possible right with Durnfords direction. Martins been saying the same for years. Which just proves that we should be reading the statements a tad more carefully. That's really why Ive been introducing new topics, because of that finite reading.
In connection with Davies if his statement is chronological then he was on his way up Malabamkosi when he made the observation so he would be indicating out towards the plain. 2 miles out I believe. And I agree the Zulu regiments are a nightmare, especially when they all have a selection of names.
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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:01 pm

Bonsoir,

About the discipline of the Zulu warriors at Isandhlwana / From Muziwento, a Zulu boy (his father fought at Isandhlwana);

"Up came the Amangwana [Durnford's natives];" and opened fire upon the host, stirring them up. At once they [i.e. Durnford's natives] found themselves in the  close embrance of the Kandempemvu [a Zulu regiment / I.E: UmCijo] even as tobacco [is united] with aloes. The Zulu generals forbad [an advance], seeking to help the white men. But the regimental officers simply mutinied. They marched forward; they went into the battle. They [i.e. the combatants] were rolled along together towards Isandhlwana".

Quoted in Natalia n°8, December1978

The Regimental officers simply mutinied.They marched forward; they went into the battle. This well known testimony implies that MANY regimental officers disobeyed to the orders given.


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Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Hypothesis on the positions of the Zulu reserve   Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:38 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:

Hence my thoughts moved to the Quabe Valley force being the reserve, but if it was, why no mention of or by Dabulamanzi? And that's my biggest single question!

About Dabulamanzi and the reserve: We know that Dabulamanzi lied brazenly to Cetewayo about the battle of Rorke's Drift. After its failure at RD, it seems that he even feared for his life. Cetewayo was furious against him. From memory he went to take refuge in his stronghold far from Ulundi. Rumours circulated in the Natal's newspapers that he was killed by Cetewayo.

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