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Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one\'s a grandfather at least. If he\'d been a Zulu in his prime I\'d have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
 
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.
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 Zulu 'pickets' at Isandlwana

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SRB1965

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Posts : 560
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Location : Uttoxeter - the last place God made and he couldn't be bothered to finish it.....

PostSubject: Zulu 'pickets' at Isandlwana   Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:43 pm

Hi

I have been thinking about the Missing Five Hours thesis and I don't want to stir up an argument about its validity but if we run the 'counter' idea that some Zulus (7000) came out of their valley (around 6am ish), - for whatever pretext, had a look at the British camp and wandered back to the valley (later to be bounced by the NNMC) - they must have known that the had been spotted by the British and that chances are they (the British) would have sent out scouts after them.

Wouldn't you think that the Zulus would have left 'pickets' out and even given the full 'Zulu Dawn' scenario - wouldn't there have been 'lookouts'.

Zulu 'aggressive' scouting in well documented - advance parties of Zulus shielding the army's advance (and possibly killing the odd member of French nobility) - so it is hard to credit that they had no 'defensive' scouting routine and should have spotted the NNMC moving towards their overnight camping area.

I believe that no commander would set up camp in such a proximity to the enemy without some kind of lookouts or advanced warning of any surprise attacks.

Cheers

Sime
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu 'pickets' at Isandlwana   Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:09 pm

"I believe that no commander would set up camp in such a proximity to the enemy without some kind of lookouts or advanced warning of any surprise attacks".

That last statement.. are you talking about the Zulu or English commander. Salute
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu 'pickets' at Isandlwana   Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:53 pm

Hi Xhosa

I was speaking about the about the Zulus......and to be 'fair' to the British - they did have their pickets out but could possibly have not reacted on what they reported........ Wink

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu 'pickets' at Isandlwana   Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:35 pm

Thank's Sime.. i have alway's found it more than a bit strange that people
' obsess ' about the battle of Isandhlwana to the virtual exclusion of any
other aspect of the campaign, to be truthful i have often wondered about
this. i think my conclusion is in the end pretty simple.. it's the horror of it
all.

We have talked over the year's Ad nauseam about the Victorian attitude's
when faced with an ' inferior foe '. in my mind the ' Zulu '. did not miss a
trick... they had studied the British from the 1820's on. Shaka. Dingaan and
Mpande all had direct dealing's with them and in the main their relationship's
proved fruitful and even beneficial. the sworn enemy of the Zulu was the Boer
who had tricked them at every turn in order to grab land. When Cetshwayo came
to power he knew full well the might of the British and tried to foster amicable
relation's with them.. he was very fortunate to meet and take into his protection
a certain Mr John Dunn, who by the way had his very own personal axe to grind
against the British and Boer.

As the ninth frontier war drew to a close i'm sure Cetchwayo was watching his
border like a hawk. and knew the British disposition's in minute detail.. this
was
no surprise invasion.. it was awaited and measure's were put in place to deal with
it.. his system of spy's were without parallel and it make's it very interesting to
compare that with the British intelligence set up. there is no guesswork about the
battle of Isandhlwana.. i see it laid out in my mind as clear as glass. The Zulu
took the p-ss on the 21st and 22nd, it was not a fortuitous event that the Zulu
overwhelmed and massacred The British, they in fact toyed with them. xhosa
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu 'pickets' at Isandlwana   Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:41 am

Hi Xhosa,

I think my obsession springs from the fact that due to the British losses (and lack if interest in the British, in recording Zulu accounts after the war), we know only sections of Isandlwana.

I have always been interested in the hospital 'fight' of Rorkes Drift - simply because it is so unclear what happened in there.....the rest is rather 'boring' (to me)

On Isandlwana - I believe if the British had driven off the Zulu - you wouldn't have got all the books about it......I am not clever enough (or rather do not have the vision of the terrain) to dissect the Missing Five Hours (for example), and say its not/is possible because of 'X, Y and Z'.......that's why I rejoined this forum to try and get my head around things......hence some strange (and to some 'stoopid') questions

As someone like Frank would probably tell you - I have to be spoon fed the information - else I get confused.....all these donga's, neks, notches and ridges Wink

Most of my 'wargaming' projects and associated historical research revolve around Isandlwana, The Alamo and LBH  - probably all for the same reason.....lack of information.....

I too believe that the Zulu aspect of the battle was cleverer than the embarrassed British (at the time) would have us believe and it suited them to go with the accidental discovery, a demented Engineer Officer and even pedantic screwdriver less QMs......

I also believe that the 'answer' is out there - somewhere between IK, Ron Lock & Pete Quantrill, Julian, John Young & even Mike Snook (plus many many of the lesser 'unheralded' historians - many on this forum).

Cheers

Sime
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