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 Durnfords retreat.

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:40 am

Bonsoir,

During his "fghting's retreat" Durnord:

1°) Sent a Messenger to LC for help (Sgt Kambule);

2°) Sent a Messenger to Shepstone (I.E: I suppose) with the order to ask Pulleine to support the NNH under Raw, Barton and Roberts (Gardner's testimony). Shepstone was with Raw, Barton and Roberts ("Zulu Rising", p.331). I Wonder why Durnford didn't send DIRECTLY a Messenger to Pulleine to ask support for Raw and others.

The study of Gardner's testimony seems to indicate that Durnford didn't ask help to Pulleine "for himself" during his fighting's retreat.

Cheers.

Frédéric


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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:16 am

Morning Frederic
You were going to search out the relevant info about Sgt Kambule, because of something else I'm looking at it would be of great interest to see it.
I'm not to sure that Durnford was in touch with Shepstone.
Shepstone didn't know where Durnford was, Durnford in the Valley didn't know that Shepstone had located the army. So what would the reason be for Durnford to send any messenger? Shepstone did request assistance in Durnfords name, but would you think that was merely the phraseology to get him listened to? He did, remember, tell others that he had been laughed at.

Regards

Frank
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:06 pm

Like much else on the day this is a complicated sequence of events. While still in the camp Durnford sends Higginson up onto the hills after Shepstone to tell him that he intends to take his mounted force out and go south around Itusi, he orders Shepstone to go around the north side in a pincer movement. Higginson gets within 200 yards of Shepstone, at the point where Hamer/Shepstone discover the main Zulu army, but Higginson never reaches Shepstone with Durnford's order. Instead Higginson hurries back to camp and reports to Pulleine  (Durnford has by now left). Shepstone also then comes hurrying back to camp (presumably unaware that Higginson has already reported), but at the same moment Gardner arrives with orders from Chelmsford who is blissfully unaware that anything is amiss. It doesn't look like Shepstone came with a request from Durnford for support, indeed he was not aware Durnford had left because Higginson didn't get to him. It is perhaps not surprising that Pulleine's response seems a little confused.
Or am I missing something?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:04 pm

Bonsoir Frank and Steve,

Shepstone told to Gardner that "he had been sent by Colonel Durnford for reinforcements", BEFORE to meet Pulleine and not after.
But I am agree with you: I tend to think Gardner misinterstood Shepstone.

About Kambule's account.
Unfortunately, I am unable to get a copy of his account despite my requests sent to several institutions, as the Library of Congress (this institution has a collection of S.A. newspapers!): For several reasons, I am also very interested by his statement...

Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:11 am

Frederic
Once Julian is back I'm sure he will be able to provide.
Steve
I think your pretty much spot on.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:34 pm

ymob wrote:
Frank Allewell wrote:
From ymob on a different topic.
But during his fighting retreat, it does appear to me that Durnford was trying to relieve pressure on the camp not to destroy the Zulus facing him.

What makes you believe that he was trying to relieve pressure rather than just a fighting retreat? The extent of his knowledge was very localised, with of course the exception that there was a reported chance he could have been surrounded in which case a fast retreat would have made more sense

Cheers

Bonsoir Frank,

What is the reason to make a fighting retreat when you can easily flee the danger and take refuge in a camp consisting of Imperial Infantry and guns?


Cheers

Frédéric

Bonjour,
The point of view given by H. Ridder Haggard in "The Tale of Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift":

"Why, then, it may be asked, did Colonel Durnford, a man of considerable colonial experience, adopt the more risky, if the more scientific mode of dealing with the present danger, and this in spite of Colonel Pulleine's direct intimidation to him that his orders were 'to defend the camp'? As it chances, the writer of this account, who knew Colonel Durnford well, and has the greatest respect for the memory of that good officer, and honourable gentleman, is able to suggest an answer to the problem which at the time was freely offered by the natal colonists. A few years before, it happened that Colonel Durnford was engaged upon some military operations against a rebellious native Chief in natal. Coming into contact with the followers of this Chief, in the hope that matters might be arranged without bloodshed, Durnford ordered the white volunteers under his command not to fire, with the result that the rebels fired, killing several of his force and wounding him in the arm. This incident gave rise to an an irrational indignation in the colony, and for a while he was designated by the ungenerous nickname of 'Don't fire Durnford'. It is alleged, none can know with what amount of truth, that it was the memory of this undeserved insult whcih caused Colonel Durnford to insist upon advancing the troops under his command to engage the Zulus in the open, instead of withdrawing them to await attack in the comparative safety of a 'laager'".

Cheers.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:02 pm

Hi

I reckon the general aims of a fighting retreat are (and it can be more than one reason) :-

1. The inflict casualties and destroy the enemy but generally if you have the numbers to do this, why retreat.....

2. To draw the enemy on to a stronger friendly force (which in this case was not there)

3. To draw the enemy off in a more favourable direction – e.g. normally away from friends or on false charges.

4. To slow the enemy (by proximity and/or casualties) – giving chance for a redeployment of friendly forces ( however, as I mentioned in an earlier post – it seemed to be the Zulus pushing back the NNMC  - i.e. forcing then pace)

I feel that Durnford was primarily attempting the 4 and  (hoping for) 2, but the friendlies were not in place and he did not have the numbers to slow down the left horn by weight of fire.

When (or how far from the camp) would the action of the NNMC/Left horn have been visible to Pulleine?

History has shown many times fighting retreats and refusing to engage the enemy can work but it has to be (or generally is) part of a predetermined plan.

Was AWD hoping that HBP had sent of the two companies, after him and did he think that he was drawing the enemy on to them?

It so much easier on a wargames table.......
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:00 pm

A fine little book, getting hard to find now.. Lang
was a close personal friend of Haggard's.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:01 pm

Very nice copy Les.

The quote from Haggard needs a little unpicking. He is in "journalist" mode contriving an interesting angle to the Durnford story that sounds plausible. On the one hand he claims a close and respectful personal relationship with Durnford, which he juxtaposes with the allegation ('it is alleged" but not by Haggard) that it was the memory of the Bushman's Pass incident that motivated Durnford to fight in the open. It is skillfully written as you would expect, but is basically tittle tattle that would now grace one of the tabloids.

I agree with you SRB that the effect Durnford was aiming for was 4 in your list. And he had some initial success holding up the left horn for a significant period (20minutes?). But he was then comprehensively outflanked. It is also worth noting that the Zulus in front of Durnford were also being enfiladed by companies of the 24th at that stage. So his choice was a rational one in my view.

On a relevant point it is worth noting a brief passage in Jackson's "Hill of the Sphinx". Describing this stage of Durnford's efforts (page 36) Jackson says " Now that he (Durnford) was in contact with the camp force, Durnford might have been expected to take over the generall direction from Pulleine, but he was not yet able to do so because his own African troops looked to him to lead them". In the earlier version of Jackson's seminal work (Journal of Army Historical Research) he is much more direct in his view, he says " In the ordinary way Durnford should by now have taken command of the whole British force". These are telling remarks by Jackson whose work remains the key authority on Isandhlwana. It is likely that Durnford recognised that he should have taken control and it may be that this is the point that he sends a messenger to Chelmsford. It is a more likely scenario in my mind than Haggards rather fanciful speculation about Durnford's mental pre-occupations.

Just finally can I give a plug to the Royal Welsh Museum in Brecon. You will not now find a copy of Hill of the Sphinx unless you are extremely fortunate (it is 15 years old and only 1000 were printed). But Brecon still have a nice little re-print of Jacksons earlier three articles in the JAHR - 'Isandhlwana 1879 the sources re-examined'. It is a silly price and I suspect that once they are gone it too won't be seen again. Jackson is indispensible - even in an earlier version.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:23 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
A fine little book, getting hard to find now.. Lang
was a close personal friend of Haggard's.

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You can download a kindle version here



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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:24 pm

Steve,

This is the one to try and get hold of:

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Complete with handwritten text by the author pasted in.

It cost me the princely sum of £4 on Ebay.

Prior to its revamp the NAM were sell the original JSAHR issues for £9 for all three issues.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:15 pm

JY
I will give you 5 !
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:28 pm

Nice find JY, I only recently bought the Brecon re-print just to see how it translated into Hill of the Sphinx. First thoughts are often enlightening!
Frank, Brecon is only charging £4.50 which leaves you 50p for sweeties, must be the 1999 price still!

steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:23 pm

Steve
I do have the pamphlet but it doesn't have Davids notes.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:02 pm

This ones a bit of an oddity.. nicely bound but pocket
sized.. but the content mirror's the JSAHR issues of
1965. JY nine quid for all three.. mine cost me a lot
more than that. off Steven Hopkin's i recall.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:06 pm

Hmm. still got sizing issues.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:44 pm

The manuscript notes in JY's copy appear in printed form in the 1999 Brecon re-print on the final page but also in the last of the three 1965 JASHR articles. So why did Jackson do it in manuscript for the 1965 off-print I wonder?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:11 pm

Bonsoir Steve,

1°) A possible (?) link with the "speculation about Durnford's mental pre-occupations" told by Haggard:
After learning the destruction of the rocket battery , Durnford (according to Nourse) said something about not surviving the disgrace. (Natal Witness, 19 January 1929).

2°) You wrote: "So his choice was a rational one in my view".
As you know, It is not the opinion of one of his Officer, Lt Henderson, who wrote in a letter home:“ If I had known what sort of a man Durnford was I don’t think I would have gone with him. He was close to me during most of the fight and he lost his head altogether in fact he did not know what to do".

Cheers.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:38 pm

Steve,

Strange indeed, there are other corrections in David's distinctive handwriting.

Nothing major but here are those I have spotted.

Page 31: the missing word for has been inserted.

Page 43: the misspelling of Penn Symons in the footnotes has been amended.

Page 114: Meijo- has been corrected to Mcijo.

Page 132: the misspelling of unwieldy has been corrected.

Page 177: the erroneous first initial of George Shepstone has been amended from J to G.

Page 181: the last paragraph of Appendix C the precedes escape route.

Page 182: the two misspellings of Islandhlwana - one in Appendix D and the other in the footnotes have been corrected.

Should I spot any others I will post them.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:16 am

Hi Frederic

I agree that Durnford was a complex character. My view that he made a rational decision to mount a staged fighting withdrawal (with some initial success) is really based on events as we understand them. I simply see no evidence for Haggard's insinuation that Durnford was somehow over compensating for events in 1873.

I am not sure about the accuracy of what Nourse thinks he heard him say, or quite what it means if he said it. Henderson is more difficult I agree and I will give his remarks some more thought.

Regards
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:53 am

Steve,

Haggard's insinuations added to the comment given by Nourse somewhere disturb me (For several reasons, I suspect that Durnford was unthinking). But I wonder if these doubts about the mental preocupations of Durnford are really a key point in the disaster if Durnford "made a rational decision to mount a taged fighting withrawal".
With the informations known by us (thread: Durnford was he capable), I tend to think, as you, that it was the case.

Henderson's testimony is not honest in my view. But it's just a personal opinion which is questionable!

I.E: I really enjoy your analyse about Jackson and Durnford.

Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:35 am

Hi,

I would assume that the account (from Jolife?) that the NNMC retired 30 yards before dismounting and firing was an error - it seems a very small distance - the troopers may as well have ran back that far.......

The optimum 'fighting retreat' should be retiring and keeping the enemy at an effective range - maybe 200 yards (with a carbine) - if the enemy come on faster, you retire quicker between shots but still try to keep the same distance, if the enemy slow (or hold) you retire slower (or not at all - for short periods) or fire more than one volley between steps. The distance between the forces should be what is 'comfortable' for the holding force (including taking into account the incoming fire)

To me it seems that AWD was working to a strategic plan (i.e. to prevent the enemy from attacking or threatening Lord C) but all of a sudden he was thrust (or got himself) into a tactical battle, with little idea what was in front of him or directly behind him.

Maybe with hindsight, he should have galloped like the clappers back to the camp, formed a defensive line, looked to his ammo supply and coordinated with HBP....I feel that many commanders would have 'lost their head' in a battlefield situation like that (if he did 'lose it' - which I am not convinced of).

I wonder at what point did AWD realise that it was a general attack on the camp, that was being pressed home in numbers?

The fact that he sent messengers to Lord C asking for help, would (to me) indicate the he was concerned for the camp, maybe more messengers to the camp would of been in order (or even a visit personally - I believe this was mentioned in some accounts but largely discounted now) - his troop commanders could have carried on with the tactical plan....

Oh well back to real life.....

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:48 am

Without getting to deeply involved, I have an extended essay due out soon.
Ask the following questions:
Durnford had been informed before he left that he could be chasing 6000 Zulus, what was he going to do if he caught them?
As it was he did catch them, so why didn't he do it?
Maybe this would indicate a total lack of a plan?
Mike Snook, I generally don't agree with his summations, suggested Durnford had 'gone cowboy', would the gung ho and the devil take the hindmost explain his rush?
Would it explain his attitude to the Rocket battery, his demeanor to the messengers sent to warn him ( I'm in charge ), His rush to get to the camp in the first place virtually abandoning his wagons and only sending back men as an after thought?
Working to a plan or not, I believe he wasn't, he had a predetermined wish to engage as fast as possible when he arrived at the camp ( I'm not staying,) !

Just a couple of thoughts to stir the pot.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:01 am

Bonjour Frank,
I am not sure to understand.
Do you mean you have an essay's project on Durnford's action the 22 January?

Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:15 am

Morning Frederic
Its part of a larger field. But a significant part as it impacts on other issues.

regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:23 am

In my opinion, trying to explain Durnford's action on January 22 is a very complex task (unless new discoveries).
1 °) We do not know exactly what his mission was (despite the order received on January 22). It is possible that instructions given by LC are missing (meeting G. Shepstone / LC 21 January for example)
2) How Durnford understood his mission.

Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:28 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Morning Frederic
Its part of a larger field. But a significant part as it impacts on other issues.

regards

Bonjour Frank,

"A significant part"... I am impatient to discover it!

Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:32 am

Spot on Frederic. But trying to find your way through that is a minefield of speculation so sifting the available evidence and drawing educated conclusions would seem to be the way to go. I'm trying to completely stay away from the events of the 22nd regarding Durnford up to his arrival at the Manzimyama meeting with Chard. From that point on theres a mass on information to draw on.

regards

'Qui ose gagne'
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:49 am

A priori, I think that some informations are available on the personality of Durnford over the period January 11-January 22.
On the other hand, there is no certainty about the relevance of the decisions taken by him (points mentioned in my previous message).
You are right, try to explain the action of Durnford is a minefield (very sensitive subject)!

I.E: I hope you have got a knight's armor and a provision of anti-depressants...

Courage, Chevalier Bayard!

frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:19 am

Morning all

I think you should look at the soundness of Durnford's actions from the point of view of expectations versus reality. I would argue that he had absorbed what he had been told when he arrived at the camp. He endeavoured to find out more by sending out patrols and he considered what strength he might require to carry a plan through by requesting back up cover. Was the expectation that he would meet 600 Zulus reasonable and did he calculate that he could cope with that ? - I think yes on both counts. Was the expectation that Chelmsford was engaging the main Zulu army at Mangeni a reasonable one ? - again I would say yes. But reality dawned on the high plateau and up the Quabe. Not 600 but 15,000. Snook is prone to pejorative statements and "gone cowboy" is one of them. In my view Durnford had a plan, just not an adequate one given the reality of what was facing him.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:37 am

For the time being, Frank has only posted "possible problematic questions", he has not yet set out his point of view...

Cheers.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:43 am

Sorry, except the last sentence of his comment ("Working to a plan or not, I believe he wasn't, he had a predetermined wish to engage as fast as possible when he arrived at the camp").
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:45 pm

Frank wrote: "he [Durnford] had a predetermined wish to engage as fast as possible when he arrived at the camp".

1°) The argument given to support this hypothesis is not a proof ("I am not staying"). it's possible that his mission was to participate at the military expedition in the Mangeni: Again, we don't know for sure the instructions given to him or how he understood them (see "Isandhlwana and the Durnford's papers", Studies in the Zulu War, vol. I, by Julian Whybra and David Jackson).

2°) It's possible that Durnford was impatient to prove its military values (Haggard / Nourse...). But the debate around this argument is in reality a minor point . The key points are the decisions taken by him, in the context known by him when he took these decisions (not in hinsight).

Just my opinion.

Cheers.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:09 pm

Steve
My first and second points above.
Durnford was told there were 6000 not 600 ( Lt Davies TNA (PRO)< WO 33/34). So that begs the question, what was he going to do to subdue them. And yet again, why didn't he do it?
Was he of the opinion 6000 rampant savages with extremely sharp pointy things would simply down tools and submit ? If not what was the plan, surround them with the help of his other two companies, some 200 to 250 mounted men against 6000 ?
This reality tends to lead me along the lines of Snooks thinking, unpalatable as that is.
Frederic
Not a proof as you say but the point remains he uttered the words, from that it doesn't matter what he intended to do, he was going to do something, and that was engage. He said that didn't he? Words to the effect of " when I see the enemy etc"

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:30 pm

Frank,
I wait to read your study before (eventually) debating.

Cheers

Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:35 pm

Hi Frederic
Actually these questions wont arise. So have at it my friend. agree
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:42 pm

I stand corrected on the number - you are quite right. But I still think he had a rational plan that calculated he could discover, disrupt and divert such a force with his mounted men given the forces still in the camp behind him. I think odds of 6 to one against the Zulu would not have seemed unreasonable, and this was to a degree borne out by the fact that they were held for a time even though they were 15,000 in reality. I have come to think, in the last few days, that Jackson's quite forcefully expressed view (particularly in the first versions of his text) that Durnford should have taken full control of the defences once the Zulu front was held (for a while) is significant. SRB said that Durnford's senior officers could have been left to continue the withdrawal while he returned to the camp to take over and direct the defences - I think that is probably true. But perhaps Durnford's real weakness was that he could not bring himself to relinquish direct command of his Native Horse who arguably gave the best account of themselves on that day among the British forces. Snook is never going to admit that however.

Steve
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:43 pm

Sorry, the subject is too complicated for me to be apprehended by arguments unrelated to each other, without specifying the context chosen, the assumptions used for the arguments, etc.etc etc.

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frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:49 pm

Steve
I have to labor the point, if he had a plan to contain 6000 Zulus, why wasn't it implemented? A great possibility could have been as you alluded to earlier, engage and bring them onto the guns at the camp. But that doesn't seem to be the case, or was it?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:06 pm

Hmm. I don't think his plan was to contain them, but to find out what they were doing and to disrupt, particularly if they were heading towards Chelmsford. His force was surely ideal for that? What he intended beyond that becomes mired in the questions about what he understood his roll to be. We all suspect something is missing from our knowledge on that point. Circumstances then changed dramatically and he performed his withdrawal (your new work will, in due course, help us with that I think).

Steve
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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:13 am

Hi Frank
Thanks mate for the heads up re the bridge , to say I'm surprised is an understatement to be honest ! Shocked Shocked . Is the grass still quite tall or has it died off ? . Not sure we'll get the numbers for Sept / Oct so I very much doubt I'll be heading over . Is the Buffalo as low as it was a couple of years ago ? . All the best mate .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:05 am

rusteze wrote:
But perhaps Durnford's real weakness was that he could not bring himself to relinquish direct command of his Native Horse who arguably gave the best account of themselves on that day among the British forces. Snook is never going to admit that however.Steve

Steve: Its a good job duelling is outlawed, otherwise the Lt Col might 'demand satisfaction'.....
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:51 am

Greetings Gary
I was pretty surprised there had been work done, and even more so that the stone caisons looked pretty good, happy to wait now and give them the benefit of the doubt.
The grass is really short and dry. they have been burning it of in patches as they had a couple of bush fires. At RD there is an absolute minimal flow down the river, going for walks I took a short cut over the Drift without touching water. Fugitives drift at the SD pool is also walkable. That's the pool you got dragged over on the inner tube. Wouldn't need that now, of with the socks and shoes and wade over. Thats exactly what a small herd of cows were doing when I passed by. I crossed over from the Natal bank and walked straight up the valley for around half a mile looking at the cliff face to see if I could locate anything, its pretty bare with the drought. But no luck, I did have a faint hope I could have spotted Smiths grave area or even the place where the horses crashed down. There was a reference to the marks the hoofes had made in the rocks but no luck there either. Still was a nice walk though !
Sorry to hear the IK run has been cancelled. Still could be a good time to start saving for the 140th anniversary in 2019.

Cheers Mate
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:07 am

Well you learn something everyday. Cows in SA wear socks and shoes - who knew!

Steve
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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:24 am

Hi Frank
Was it Smith - Dorrien who mentioned the scrapping and marks on the rocks ? . Will be interesting to see the bridge once it's completed , yes I think we should reserve our judgement for now hahahahahahahaha , the bridge may be a miracle as well as the shovels with some guts behind them ! . Is the Fugitives Trail still grassy , it was quite high back in April / May ? . We also called into Ft Evelyn and the grass was in places 4 to 5 ft high ! , pretty pointless trying to potter around in those conditions if you get my drift ? Very Happy Joker Joker . The SD Pool is usually quite deep , and yes , I was indeed ferried across there by a truck's tyre tube back in my first crossing of the Buffalo back in 2014 . IK hasnt ' actually ' cancelled but I dont think it will go ahead due to lack of numbers , as I've mentioned several times if anyone is thinking of going , they certainly need to do it much much sooner than later . I've been at Pete ( Admin ) a few times over the years to get out there agree agree agree agree . If we do get there we'll certainly be looking for Smith's Grave seeing as the bush has cleared somewhat . Thanks for the updates , much appreciated , got to go , looking at picking up 2 x First Editions cheaply before they are snapped up ! .
90th Salute Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:00 pm

Hey, Classy cows in Zululand, horny but classy. Very Happy
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford's Retreat    Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:25 pm

Bit like my good self Frank ! Joker Joker Joker Joker Joker Joker
90th Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy No No
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:30 pm

Hi,

Mule shoes and cow socks......the forum gets more surreal.......

If you think about it (as I just have been whilst walking to Tescos) Isandlwana was Durfords (and in fact Pulleine's) first independent battle field command.

I know Durford was engaged in some skirmish in 1873 but it can hardly be classed as a 'battle'.

Maybe inexperience (not to mention the nature of Engineers command & role) played a part big in his decision making - both strategic and tactical.

You could argue that being in command of a cavalry force did not help - the old adage is cavalry (and this was referring to regular horse) 'can take ground but not hold it'.....once the initiative is taken away from the cavalry, they are at a disadvantage against a determined infantry advance....

Funny what I think about walking to the supermarket....totally forgot what I went down for, though......

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:46 pm



Maybe inexperience (not to mention the nature of Engineers command & role) played a part big in his decision making - both strategic and tactical.
....

Durnford's achievement's in South Africa are often overlooked!. he should be judged ' in the round '.
a truly remarkable man who continues to divide opinion all these year's later.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords retreat.   Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:44 pm

Hi Xhosa,

I wouldn't really say, I was judging him - I was trying to make a point about his limited combat experience.

He was undoubtedly very well regarded in native affairs and very experienced in the South African theatre, having been there for 7 or 8 years - the fact he was selected to be on the Boundary Commission would seem to indicate that.

However, on the 22nd January 1879, it could be argued by some (and not necessarily by me) that his military career was far from remarkable and it got worse as the day wore on....

Another flamboyant (and equally remarkable 'person'), career has been overshadowed by the events of 25th June 1876. On a similar vein 'Chinese' Gordon is not remembered for the EVA or the work he did to subdue the slave trade in the Sudan but for getting (himself?) trapped in Khartoum.

Many people are not necessarily remembered for their finest hour.

Cheers

Sime
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