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 Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?

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Tig Van Milcroft
Frank Allewell
Julian Whybra
aussie inkosi
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Feb 15, 2022 5:25 pm

It has been stated by various authors over the years that Dartnell's Bivouc on the evening of the 21st was to the South East of Hlazakazi.
However certain men who were out there with him, such as Harford, state that they were on Isepezi.

So where do people think they were? I have my own ideas.

To give you something to ponder here is  Russell's map of his movements the morning of the 22nd.:

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


I will give the text that matches the key letters on the map above.

He writes:-
"About 11 miles from the camp I was told that large masses of the enemy had been seen on the hills in our front and left front and I received orders to move with the mounted infantry up a long kloof on our left front - - I understood that other troops were moving on the other side of the hill on the right of this kloof trying to follow up the enemy. On arriving at the end of this kloof which terminated in an elevated neck of land, we worked into a long and open valley (NOTE B). His Excellency after some little delay directed that the mounted infantry were to move down this valley (Note C C) and wheel round behind the hill then facing us to see where the mass of the enemy then were and if possible to make our way round by the right to meet the Mounted Police (Note D). As we approached the end of the valley we saw some of the enemy running away towards the open plain - I therefore persued them for some distance (To E) but finding that there were few of them and going very fast I ceased doing and rode up the valley at he foot of the Isipezi Hill. (Note F C)This hill was covered with the enemy in very large numbers and we saw the spoor in the valley where their massess had come down from the hills where they had been in front of the General in the morning. The valley is about 4 miles long and terminated in a high neck from which there is a rapid slope to a very broken country in which we could not recognise any tracks or landmarks. Instead of entering upon an unknown bit of country, therefore and allowing my retreat to be cut off- I retired down the Isipezi valley again and deicded to try and rejoin the General. A good many of the natives came down from the hill and commenced firing at us but at long ranges. When I quitted the Ispizi valley I off saddled for half an hour (NOTE MAP)

Note were he puts the Mounted Police marking it 'Police fight' That is no where near Hlazakazi

It may be useful to look at LC's movements that morning  as he would have been heading for Dartnell's position.
For instance Captain Alan Gardner who is riding with LC states:-
"The General's force which I accompanied, marched some 15 miles on the right of Isepezi, but only had some light skirmishes with the retreating enemy. About 10am we halted, and the General decided on encamping some four miles to our right...."

So were was Dartnell's bivouac, South West of Hlazakazi or Isipezi?
Please supply evidence for your thoughts.
Kate Very Happy
Ps sorry about the map being that way I can't seem to get it to post in landscape.


Last edited by gardner1879 on Wed Feb 16, 2022 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : date added for Russell's map)
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aussie inkosi

aussie inkosi


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Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyWed Feb 16, 2022 2:20 am

You bring up all the good subjects Kate

The sixth line down it mentions his Excellency this I would guess be referring to Lord Chelmsford and follows with the mounted infantry I may be wrong but they left the camp with Chelmsford  this valley his talking about is that valley between the Magogo hills and Sulitchane so this is clearly the morning of the 22nd remember those Zulus bivouacked the night of the 21st on Magago.

I believe Dartnell was with Harford on Isepezi but not for the night its clear through Symons Diary the mounted troops spent the night quelling down those NNC and Dartnell would not have spent the night away from his column.

By the way did Dartnell leave his testimony, that would be good reading.


Last edited by aussie inkosi on Wed Feb 16, 2022 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyWed Feb 16, 2022 7:43 am

Thanks Inky
I should have put a date on the map above.I will do that right now.
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aussie inkosi

aussie inkosi


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Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyThu Feb 17, 2022 10:49 am

Here we go Kate 

From Fred Symons
"                Meanwhile Major Dartnell had gone over the hill to the eastward to
reconnoitre, and just as the kettles were on the point of boiling, a man came galloping back with orders to saddle up immediately and follow the Major. A messenger was despatched to swrunon    the N.N.C., who had remained at the spot where the Police joined us.
 
Tired and disappointed, for we cared more about a rest and some tea than for all the Zulu armies just then, we stood to our horses and, mounting, rode at a smart pace over very rough and stony ground. We passed the scene of our first halt , to descend by the same track we had climbed in the morning .
 
An Accident
 
Then, crossing the wagon road, marched directly towards the enemy whom we had seen from the hilltop, but who was now invisible from our low position. Here one of the Police accidently let off his revolver. He was at once put under arrest and sent back to camp. I felt sorry for him and considered that under the circumstances the Major was too severe with him for a trifling offence done under nervous excitement. One word of encouragement to the boy from his commander would have made a hero of him.
 
It seemed strange, too, to me. and others who knew of the Zulu mode of warfare, that after locating the enemy, we were not all ordered back to camp to fortify it and prepare for a force which we knew would attack in overwhelming numbers, but 'twas ours "but to do or die," or escap by Heaven's help . The poor trooper was a victim of discipline, and it struck me that before long we should be too.
 
I am not sure whether it was at the time that a report was sent to the General of Zulus being in force here. I think it was later, but it made no difference.   "Kismet, 'tis destiny."
 
We halted about half a mile frQiill the hill upon which the Zulus lay (of whom not one was visible); and six men, Jack among the number, under Lieutenant Royston, were sent up to reconnoltre.


We anxiously watched the small party disappear over the brow of the hill, and when we saw them riding the rocky hillside at a much more rapid pace than they went up we knew something was after them .
 
Our surmise was correct, for from one end of the ridge to the other, as if by magic,  rose  a  long  line of black warriors advancing at the double in short intervals of skirmishing order. It was a magnificent spectacle, and no British   regiment   could   excel   in keeping their distances in skirmishing at the double.
 
They uttered no sound. On reaching the brow of the hill their centre halted, while the flanks came on, thus forming the noted horns of the Zulu impis.
 
We all thought we were to be attacked, but a shout came from the hilltop, answered by one from the right horn . The impi then halted. Another shout and the Zulus slowly retired till only three or four were visible on the ridge. Some of us considered it a ruse to entice us to attack, but the Major was not quite so easily beguiled, but waited for the reinforcing N .N.C . to join .
 
These, however, did not come, so after waiting a considerable time, and as the sun was sinking behind the western hills , we faced about under the impression we were to return to camp, but soon learnt it was the Major's intention to bivouac on Mytana's mountain.
 
We retraced our steps, leading our tired horses to the swrunit where, as the sun sank behind furthest range, we met the N.N.C. watching the Zulu tactics. I don't believe they ever intended joining us in the valley so near the foe.

It seems the Natal Mounted Police joined them, also this encounter could well have happend near Isepezi

So it seems they went eastward when they came across this Zulu impi
 they returned as the sun was going down After this they Bivouac
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Julian Whybra




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Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyThu Feb 17, 2022 2:52 pm

Fred Symons said it was Dartnell's intention to return "to bivouac on Mytana's mountain" and that they retraced their steps. He didn't say that they did not return there so presumably they did (unless I'm misreading Symons's account).
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyThu Feb 17, 2022 4:35 pm

Smashing thanks Inky. I will pull out my map of the area and plot Symon's movements from your account above.

As an aside this comment by Russell and probably from the same source as Penn Symons ie Davey:-

"About 11 miles from the camp I was told that large masses of the enemy had been seen on the hills in our front and left front"

Is also quite damning of Chelmsford. People are writing about massess of the enemy to the east (front)and north (left front) of the camp and he (LC) for whatever reason decides to make his next camp at Mangeni to the Southasts of the camp. scratch scratch
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyThu Feb 17, 2022 5:36 pm

Inky I have copied this from the other thread about Lieut Walsh and Siphezi because it contains relevant info about Dartnell's postion so forgive me if you have already read it.:-

"On the 20th I myself made a reconnaissance about 10 miles further on the same wagon track, which skirts the Inhlazate Mountain, as far as a place called Matyana's stronghold, a deep valley full of caves, with three precipitous sides, over one of which a small river falls, and flowing along its bottom, enters the Buffalo River at a distance of about 12 to 15 miles.
Not having time to properly examine the country around the particular stronghold, into which I had been told the enemy would very probably retire, I ordered that the next day, two seperate parties should move out from camp at an early hour and bring me back a full description of it. One under Major Dartnell, consisting of the Mounted Police and Volunteers of which he is Commandant, took the same road that I had taken, whilst another consisting of two battalions Native Contingent under Commandant Lonsdale worked round a flat topped mountain called Malakata, which is the Southern part of the Inhlazatye range.
The orders given to the Commanders of these two parties were that they were to effect a communication along the open ground on the Inhlazatye range and then return to camp with the information they had been able to obtain.
At about 3pm one of my Staff Officers, who had accompanied Major Dartnell, returned to camp and reported that the latter had been unable to effect a complete reconnaisance of the country beyond the small river alluded to, as he had found it occupied by the enemy in some force - that he had called up the two battalions Native Contingent and that if I sent him three companies of British Infantry to give them confidence, he would be able to attack.
I did not consider it advisable to comply with this request, as the day was far advanced and the distance great. Biscuit was sent out to the force, which bivouaced on the northern edge of the Inhlazatye range.
At 2.30am on the 22nd January Colonel Glyn, having received a despatch from Major Dartnell saying that the enemy was in great force in front of him, sent his senior Staff Officer to enquire what I would wish done.
Feeling that the postion was rather critical I ordered Colonel Glyn to move to his assistance with all the available men of the 2/24th Regiment (consisting of six companies) and also to take four guns and the mounted infantry"

Kate
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Frank Allewell

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Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyFri Feb 18, 2022 6:18 am

Kate:
Your initial question was where Dartnell was on the night of the 21st. Havent you answered that above?
"Biscuit was sent out to the force, which bivouaced on the northern edge of the Inhlazatye range."
Thats the traditional point that Gary alluded to earlier.

Frank
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyFri Feb 18, 2022 8:59 am

Frank
Certainly looks that way. I can find nothing to gainsay it.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyFri Feb 18, 2022 9:15 am

Yep as I said in my initial post I have my own ideas and they are that they bivouaced near Hlazakazi.
The reason for the post was to see if there was anyone out there who could reinforce Harford's idea that they were on Isepizi all night.
Obviously not.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyFri Feb 18, 2022 11:44 am

Although, Harford was not Dartnell. There is no reason why there might not have been separate bivouacs, especially if Dartnell wanted someone to keep an eye northwards from Isipezi. Stranger things have happened.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 10:23 am

Gardner1879

Thanks for the map you posted, I have never seen it before, and the commentary is a real bonus.

I have established my own sketch using google as to who wwas where and when. My understanding accords pretty much in all detail with this map.

There is no doubt now in my mind Dartnell was at the SE end of Hlazikzi on the slopes facing NE.

This map also makes clear that neither Russell nor anybody else rerached the crest of the iSipezi ridge, so critical at this point in time as an observation point, because the Zulu denied them access to it.

It also puts paid to the idea that Dartnell was disobeying his orders to "return to camp" since as Russell notes the reconnaissance had not been completed.

The map reinforces my understanding of where Chelmsford took breakfast i.e. at point B (or thereabouts).

Would be nice to have an idea of timing, but that would be gilding the lily.

When did Russell produce this map and Commentary?
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 12:53 pm

Hi Tig
Russell's letter and map were written/drawn on the 1st April 1879 whilst he was stationed at Kambula. It comprises of 6 pages and can be found at The NA in Kew.
Kate Very Happy
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 1:23 pm

Further to the above the only timings he gives in the letter are:-
"About 2am we received orders to turn out as many as possible of the Mounted Infantry"
"The force moved out of camp before daylight"
This next line follows on from the passge above:-
"At the end of that time I believe about 1.15 O'clock pm a mounted European of the Native Contingent came up said that he was sent to tell the General that the camp was attacked"

In the margin of the letter is a scibbled note, I think from Crealock, the signature is difficult to read, that says
"Lt Col. Russell reported this to me at 3pm and he had pointed out the way he had gone see plan (arrows) but the officer considered it was too dangerous to go alone and he (Col R) believed he hadn't gone after us"

From reading the whole letter Tig it does just concentrate on the movements of the relieving force that morning and Russell doesn't seem to indicate what happened the night before.(apart from he comment about the enemy being seen on the front and left front)

Kate
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 1:58 pm

Kate,

What is your view of the double arrows to the right of the B on the map?
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georgetatham




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 2:22 pm

Tig

You make an interesting point. It seems clear that the zulus are managing what the British are able to see. Which is of course critical to them keeping surprise. I seems to me that the Zulu engagement is only to keep Dartnel and the NMP from looking over iSipezi and the line of advance of the main import. I just reenforces my sense that the Zulus were in control of the whole theater. And this and their engagement with Dartnel led to the splitting of the British force. Which had been part of the Zulu tactical repertoire all the way back to Gqokli Hill
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 2:26 pm

George,

Gqokli Hill if the account of Ritter can be relied upon, which I believe it can in the essential details is the best example I know of of the Zulus, strategic and tactical flexibility.
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eit1939




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 8:16 pm

I cannot contribute anything of substance to this fascinating thread, except to say that Dartnell is my first cousin three times removed. His life, or what I have discovered of it, would warrant a research paper.

Keith Dawson.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 10:17 pm

George Tatham
I can't help thinking that you are attributing rather too much in terms of the Zulus' control of events. The Zulus did not KNOW that LC would send out a reconnaissance in the direction of the Malakathas at the precise moment that Mpatshana's men turned up late to join the main impi. Furthermore the Zulus were not aware that they had been discovered and were being observed by Harford etc until the few mounted volunteers galloped out to coax them into view so that their numbers could be assessed. The facts just don't seem to bear out your interpretation of a deliberate intent on the part of the Zulu. This seems to owe more to wishful thinking than evidence-based argument.
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John Young

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Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptySun Feb 27, 2022 10:51 pm

Keith Dawson,

John George Dartnell warrants a few paragraphs in Victoria’s Harvest - The Irish Soldier in the Zulu War of 1879.

Here’s his signature circa 1899:
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(John Young Collection.)

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Officers of the Natal Mounted Police.  Dartnell seated centre.
(John Young Collection.)

JY
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georgetatham




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 9:17 am

This was not about them following the british forces but about controlling access to key locations i.e the isipezi ridge. To defend their "secrecy". Results show that they did a good job of this. They did not need to know what Chelmsford was doing they could see what Chelmsford was doing. Of course, pushing Dartnell as they did could not guarantee that LC would split his forces for them but events show that he obliged them. It seems clear that the zulus were keeping an eye on general british movements including LC's his movements, (we know how much they looked after their flanks and were keen on intelligence) that is not specifically recorded of course but we have enough information about Zulus being around. The two zulu's "going to visit their mother mentioned earlier and many other disappearing Zulus or small groups spotted in the distance, mentioned in the various reports. I think the Harford reference is to the hill below iSipeze opposite Hlazikzi all the Zulus would be interested in would be keeping between the British and the iSipezi ridge crest. The Zulu wanted to know where the British dispositions were every bit as much as the British did the Zulu, it is wishful thinking to believe that was not the case.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 10:19 am

George Tatham
I think you might have misread my post.
"The Zulu wanted to know where the British dispositions were every bit as much as the British did the Zulu, it is wishful thinking to believe that was not the case."
Of course the first part of your sentence is true. How could it be otherwise? I never suggested that this was wishful thinking.
I suggested that the Zulus' CONTROL of events was wishful thinking.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 10:49 am

Julian,

In this context the Zulu had no need to "Control" anything other than access to critical positions which could give the British intelligence as to where they were. Hence Browne is pushed back on the approaches to isipezi plain and access to iSipezi ridge denied.

As Clauswitz so succinctly put it Surprise = Secrecy + Speed

They delivered that, because it was essential to their plan.
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georgetatham




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 11:00 am

Tig

I couldn’t have made the point better. Clearly they can’t control the British but they need to control the impact that the British can have on their plants. And it seems to me that they do that.

Having said that Julian I would be interested in how you see what is happening at this stage of the engagement. Not at the detailed level of; whether it was an order or not, or whether the British were over confident but more in terms of what the zulus did to create their eventual success and what the British did to help them.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 11:01 am

Tig
Are you the same person as George Tatham?
you are making certain assumptions here.
First that the Zulus might have read von Clausewitz (that was a joke by the way) and secondly that Mpatshana knew that the impi was 'ahead' of him, so to speak, i.e. on Nqutu and not still on the track from Ulundi. Thirdly, Mpatshana was late but did he know he was late? How can you assume that Mpatshana did not know that the British did not know where the main impi was?
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 11:06 am

George Tatham
Our posts overlapped. Sorry. So now the Zulus are horticulturalists! Sorry, another joke but I couldn't resist it.
Time constraints prevent me from answering at length your post at the moment. And an answer will require some lengthy post. It will be just an answer (i.e. my opinion; for no-one can truly know a thing) and not a solution. I'll have to get back to you.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 11:38 am

Julian,

I am not the same person as George. My name is Gavin.

Your response to the Zulus not having read Clauswitz, is in a degree spurious, though I accept the humorous element. Clauswitz was an observer and analyst and part philosopher, but he wanted to put some scientific principle to the "art" of War. He tried to boil down the fog of war into basic principles. He never tried to inform how to fight, just the principles of fighting effectively and identifying and meeting objectives.

To look at Zulu, their tactics these are almost a product of evolution, they had a plan that produced success and ensured they could execute it well. They trained their men in all the skills necessary to do so. But at Clauswitz also wrote Surprise is a factor in all encounters. In this the Zulu and Chelsmfords approach was diametrically opposite.

If we had access to all of the Zulu thinking and intelligence at this time your points may well be completely correct and relevant, but we do not.

The fact is that the Zulus delivered 20,000 odd men to the read and flank of Chelmsford position. By achieving complete surprise and as a result destroyed the camp. They were able to do that by preventing Chelmsford gaining knowledge of their movements. Your point seems to be that they were lucky, mine is that they were good.

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georgetatham




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 11:53 am

Julian.

Sorry about the typo. Plans not plants. Tig and I are not the same person. But as we have all discovered Tig seems to share some opinions with me. Although I grew up traipsing around the battlefields of natal and had relatives in the battle and who where amongst the first to revisit the battlefield. However I feel that many of you in this forum are better read than me on the details of this battle. I would be very interested in your understanding that is why I am part of this forum. My orientation and opinion that I have formed in relation to this battle (which seems to be shared by Tig?) is that the Zulus had far more agency in this battle and that they out generalled LC and the British. I feel that in much of the discussion and writing around this battle the orientation is to understand the errors that the British made to lose. This along with allocating the blame has poisoned the historiography of this battle.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 1:07 pm

"The fact is that the Zulus delivered 20,000 odd men to the read and flank of Chelmsford position. By achieving complete surprise and as a result destroyed the camp. They were able to do that by preventing Chelmsford gaining knowledge of their movements."
Fully agree they completed what they set out to do. Most of credit, if not all has to be heaped on the shoulders of Zibhebu. He very successfully managed to cloak the movements of the army from the British, Browne came the closest to upsetting the plan but was driven of by a very determined bunch of flank guards.
When Russell rode up the valley between Magogo and Silutshane he managed to see a few zulu on the flats and attempted to give chase, as he did so he saw the flattened grass caused by the passage of the army. So at that point, because the plain is so very open the regiments would have been behind the Mabaso hills, or at least screened by the small hills to the east of the Ngwebeni valley.  There was a force still on the reverse slopes and heights of iSiphezi, speculate as you will who they were.
The path from the North of iSiphezi to the Ngwebeni valley is wide open to view, for most of its distance iSandlwana is clearly visible on the horizon as is the plain to the south. However because of the ground slope/curvature the two simultaneous movements on the 21st, Dartnell moving east and the zulu army moving west were oblivious of each other. Its very difficult to photograph that area because of the ground heat distorting the image. Im surprised that Milne even managed to see iSandlwana never mind the camp. However thats another issue. Zibhebu would not have trusted to luck, he was far to good for that and would Im pretty confidant have had men on higher ground reporting back to him.
He would have had more than enough time to deploy a significant number of men at any observation point that would have been able to see the army on the move. He would not have wanted to engage merely protect and Im sure those men were set onto the northern faces of Silutshane, iSiphezi and the Phindo ridge. When the Police et al decided to ride up the valley that guard was brilliantly deployed, not to fight but to frighten the hell out of the mounted men. It worked, the moment the horns ran out they withdrew. The zulu didn't follow up, their job was to deny real estate to the British and that they did. For the whole night.
I would believe that once the NNC etc were hunkered down for the night they then left and followed the army. It is quite possible that their journey to join the army went slightly awry and they were one of the movements seen from the camp, just possible.
The zulu force that was then engaged on the morning of the 22nd in the valleys between Mdutshane and Phindo were I would speculate a totally seperate force that arrived in the morning and were attempting to link up, quite probably Matshane's men.
So I would agree to a great extent with the comments that the Zulu were brilliantly marshalled and lead.
Just my thoughts.
George I spent quite some time at Killie Campbell researching documents on the Tatham family. Im happy to share with you, if you haven't already done so of course. Welcome to the forum.
The same to you Mr Gavin. Salute
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 1:42 pm

Frank, I cannot add any more to the point being made without repetition, other than to agree with the points you make. I would be interested to know where your info re Zibhebu I have not been able to drill down that far, or I have missed something somewhere.

I am sure George would welcome and info regarding his family, I am sure if I were he I would. For me, if you have had a good look around, one thing in particular I would like to lay my hands on is a reasonably readable electronic version of the Henderson Maps which are in Killie. Relying upon hazy blown up scanned copies is a bit soul destroying.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 1:47 pm

Something I learned many years ago.

The Duke of Marlborough observing a soldier leaning pensively on the but end of his musket, just after victory had declared itself in favour of the British arms at the battle of Blenheim, accosted him thus:- "why so pensive, my friend, after so glorious victory?" "It may be glorious," replied the brave fellow, "but I am thinking that all the human blood I have spilled this day has only earned me fourpence!"
Rev A.K. Arvine
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 1:51 pm

Zibhebu did slighty blot his copy book in that crossing the Mzinyathi at Fugitives he broke his hand and decided to forgo attacking RD and instead spent the evening raiding the farms in the opposite directing and came away with quite a large degree of spoils.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 1:59 pm

When you refer to the Henderson maps, are these those that Ron and Peter used for THFHT? If so I can send to you, send me a pm with your e mail address.

Frank
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 2:17 pm

Frank, Thanks for the offer, I tried to send a pm but I am not allowed to do so, I will wait a day or two until my first 7 days are up.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 2:17 pm

Frank
...spoils worth more than fourpence I'll be bound.
Tig
I'm well acquainted with von Clausewitz and his work.  Re your comments:
I could equally well say that if we had access to all of the Zulu thinking and intelligence at this time your points may well be completely correct and relevant, but we do not. Those few that we do have, lead me to think otherwise.  But, as you say, we do NOT have ALL of them by any means.
Re the Zulus' achievement I absolutely do believe that they were astute, well-trained, and all the other adjectives you used in reaching the positions they did.  In doing that I believe they were astute, cunning, 'good', but also lucky.
George Tatham
Interesting to hear your background.  In looking at the battle I believe that what you said was partly true.  More has been written about British failure than Zulu success - something I'm always keen to address and where possible to include Zulu quotations wherever possible in my writings.  Too many writers on this topic have been selective in what they decide to quote.  I like to think that I've never been afraid to do so.
I'm also afraid I cannot devote the time and energy at the moment to answering your 11.00 post but I shall not forget it and will endeavour to come back to you.
All
In general I'm still not convinced by what you've written regarding the Zulus in front Dartnell.  Too much of your argument depends on their being part of the main impi and NOT Mpatshana's men and also it's obvious that Tig and GT have not read all the available sources (like Russell) so may not be aware of all the nuances.  All the evidence indicates that those Dartnell Zulus were Mpatshana's men and there are too many questions resulting from that about who knew what and when.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 2:26 pm

Julian,

On luck I think of Gary Player, "The more I practice the luckier I get".

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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 2:33 pm

...and I think of Napoleon - "I know he's a good general, but is he lucky?"
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 2:33 pm

Which was the greater soldier - Player or Napoleon?
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyMon Feb 28, 2022 2:47 pm

What has that got to do with the issue? You contend the Zulu got Lucky I contend that they were good. The bottom line is the Zulu won. Try and make the case that Chelmsford was good but unlucky, I doubt that gets very far.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 8:08 am

I have to agree with Julian on this and I will explain my reasons below

Did the Zulu outmanouvre the British? Yes
Did they use screening forces to prevent detection? Yes
Were they interested in what the British were doing? Of course
Did they out perform the British on the day? Yes
Was Chelmsford overconfident and did he underestimate the Zulu? Yes
Did the Zulu deliberatly lure out half the British force? NO

My reasoning is by looking at the other battles that took place during the AZW. And I am referring to Nyezane, Kambula, Gingindlovu and Ulundi.
We know, looking throughout history, that armies and Generals tend to use and re use the tactics that work for them.

Chief Godide kaNdlela did not try to split Pearson's force in two at Nyezane.
Somopho kaZikhala did not try and split Chelmsford's forces as they approached Gingindhlovu.
Chief Ntshingwayo kaMahole did not try to re use his successful tactics at Kambula. This is an extremely important point.
Prince Ziwedu kaMpande did not try and lure the British out of camp when they were camped on the banks of the White Mfolozi at the beginning of July nor did they attack the camp when the square ws moving across the plain.
With this last example you could claim the Zulu wanted to fight the British in the open. But then with that mind set why did Ntshingwayo not attack Chelmsford's force that was strung out on the plateau? Why attack a camp with its stability and possible defences which, incidently, Cetshwayo had told his commanders not to do.

In all of the above the Zulus deployed their armies into their classic battle formation and then attacked. (We soon learnt to disrupt this manouvering which led to some of our victories.)

Sorry but the whole idea of the Zulus luring out the British is a little too far fetched and has too many factors that had to fall into place in order for it to work.
Dartnell was not lured out of camp and therefore how did the Zulu know Chelmsford would follow.
Ntshingwayo was manouvering his army to attack the whole of No3 Column and in a pitched battle destroy it. Chelmsford sending half his army 10 to 12 miles away just made it easier.
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 8:41 am

Hi Kate
Great summary which I agree totally but one thing I will add that placed the British on the back foot from the very beginning. And that was Durnford was lured out with a sizable force
F Company with 80 men and once the first shots was heard  E Company with another 80 men
Lieutenant Raw and Roberts troops numbering 100 men with some of Barry's men and a perhaps a dozen Carbineers 
Rocket Battery with its Escorts over 100 men
And Durnfords force of 2 troops numbering another 100 men

And it was done simply by the Zulu retiring their screens

This was the best Zulu move in all of the war and they never got any credit for it, a true ZULU master stroke
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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 9:51 am

Tig
If you re-read my post, you'll find that I said that I believe that that the Zulus were both lucky AND good.  It is possible to be both.  You are arguing against something I did not write.
George T
I believe I may have something on your ancestor, I'll try to find it for you.
aussie
Your E and F coy remarks were the other way round. Ditto E/F and Durnford's force.
'Lured' is still very contentious - there is no evidence for this whatsoever from Zulu accounts; the British accounts also indicate a desire by Glyn (Pulleine) to scout the Nqutu plateau that morning but lacking the means to do so until Durnford arrived. I do wonder about the conversation in the Breakfast tent that morning about how best to proceed - there were disagreements, yes, but there must have been some things that everyone thought was a good idea like scouting the plateau... it was Durnford's over-reaction that caused dissent.



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90th

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PostSubject: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st    Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 1:32 pm

Hi All
I'm not a proponent of the Zulu luring anyone from anywhere , Inky I don't believe Durnford was lured out either , he , as he said was worried about LC's rear , he thought it prudent to scout the terrain to the left of camp and also the front left of camp , after all , he also sent riders to scout along the top of the Nqutu plateau , never once I recall having read that the Zulu's maintained they lured anyone anywhere ! , let's not forget the Zulu's weren't even preparing to attack that day , several Zulu statements I've read over the years state they never even knew LC had left the camp ! , the valley was filled with fog/ mist when LC moved out , if anyone has seen how Foggy it can be at Isandlwana you'll know exactly what I'm talking about , and as Kate mentioned , I never saw another or the same Masterstroke conducted by the Zulu forces again during the war , I believe they got lucky and seized upon it .
90th Salute
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 2:54 pm

90th
Quite! It is only with reading the primary sources - the words of those who were there (Zulu and British) - that the events of the day become apparent. From the events, their motivations can be surmised and occasionally gleaned.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 3:29 pm

Kate,

I also agree with your points, the caveat is that Chelmsford left himself no choices and removed himself from influence on the critical area of the battlefield.

Conversely the Zulus by Chelmsford actions were left a choice, they could attack that day or if secrecy kept the following day, which element they attacked was early on still a choice of the Zulu but never of Chelmsford.

Julian, I did not miss your point about the Zulu being good, your point taken to its logical conclusion is if both are good but only one lucky, luck is the operative factor, all other things being equal.

The Zulu left themselves options and choices insofar as the flexibility of their dispositions and orders allowed. Neither Chelmsford not Pulleine did, they were inextricably committed.

You may well with some reason to argue that this was lucky, for that is surely what it looks like. But as Clauswitz pointed out luck/chance works both ways, "lucky" commanders are in dispositions that allow them to exploit the other's mistep. Not knowing where 20,000 Zulus were within 5 miles of your camp does not look like bad luck to me, it looks like you do not know where your enemy is and you probably should do by now. Chelmsford thought that he did, that is error, not bad luck. Good Generals are determined by outcomes lucky or not.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 4:18 pm

Tig

"...if both are good but only one lucky, luck is the operative factor, all other things being equal."
I did not write that BOTH were good and only ONE was lucky. You are responding to a notion that I did not put. I'm not being antagonistic but I can't make a response about a statement I did not make!

"The Zulu left themselves options and choices insofar as the flexibility of their dispositions and orders allowed. Neither Chelmsford not Pulleine did, they were inextricably committed."
What option did the Zulus have left once Raw discovered their impi? The only one was their 'regimental' dispositions and that did not go as planned - in fact it was in places chaotic - or even, down to 'luck'.
I agree that Pulleine was committed once the impi was found. I agree that LC was also committed to a certain extent once he had made the decision to support Dartnell.

I am no apologist for Chelmsford - I think he has much to answer for. Note that I have never said otherwise above. So I'm not sure what your last point was a response to. In fact you seem now to be saying that it was poor British decisions and generalship that caused the battle to be lost. I thought you were arguing that it was superior Zulu generalship and decisions that caused it to be won.

Chelmsford may not have known where the impi was but neither did Mpatshana. Zulus from the regiments on the plateau did not know that LC had left camp that morning and did not know where he was. Errors are no respecter of nationality it seems. Perhaps you might read Mpatshana and others' statements in the James Stuart Archive and elsewhere rather than von Clausewitz (it has an E).
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Tig Van Milcroft




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Join date : 2022-02-21

Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyTue Mar 01, 2022 10:01 pm

Julian,

Your quote from Napoleon, inferred to me that you were of the opinion Chelmsford was a "Good" general, if I drew the wrong conclusion mea culpa.

As to options I agree with you that the Zulu had few options, none good, other than to attack the camp immediately. The intelligence Raw carried to camp, was the intelligence that had eluded Chelmsford. The same intelligence that was denied to Chelmsford by Zulu movements on the Isipezi Ridge, by the turning out of the Vedettes early in the morning, and the challenge to Browne near iSipezi itself, that is the position of the Zulu army. Until this point they had other options, which given the other circumstances they were well placed to exploit.

The same, as you agree, cannot be said for Chelmsford or Pulleine.

Unlike you I have not read the all James Stuart archive, one can only work with what one knows, if I need to know more I am quite happy to look in the direction I am pointed, which would be appreciated. From what I know at present, one of Mpatshana's roles at Isandlwana was as a spy. It does not follow that if he does not know where Chelmsford is the Zulu commander does not either. The Zulu were from what I have read well practised in espionage and intelligence work. It would be hard to miss 1500 men moving around that did not care if they were seen.

As to problems and confusion in deployment, it seems to me Raw came across the Zulu mid deployment, there had been movement on the plateau since early that morning. The Zulu command were still quite able to deliver a devastating attack with what they had.

As to ClausEwitz I confess to carelessness, I can only hope he is so long dead as not to care.
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Julian Whybra




Posts : 2911
Join date : 2011-09-12
Location : Billericay, Essex

Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyWed Mar 02, 2022 8:37 am

Tig
I am not quite sure where you have got the idea from that Mpatshana was a spy.  That would have been a little difficult on the 22nd, while in charge of his warriors.  But I would be interested to know the primary source.
On the subject of von Clausewitz I once had to read Vom Kriege in the original and I did recall that he had something to say about luck (while we're on the subject).  I'm not sure whether you've actually read his magnum opus but I dug out my old copy and found the reference to it:

"Vier Elemente machen das Kriegsklima aus: Gefahr, Anstrengung, Ungewissheit und Chance.
Nur das Element des Zufalls ist erforderlich, um den Krieg zu einem Glücksspiel zu machen, und dieses Element fehlt nie."
Four elements make up the character of warfare: danger, strain, uncertainty and chance.
Only the element of chance is needed to make war a gamble, and that element is never absent.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Wed Mar 02, 2022 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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Join date : 2021-01-04

Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyWed Mar 02, 2022 9:08 am

AS fascinating as this is, it is a little off topic when looking at Dartnell's position on the night of the 21st.
Pete could you perhaps move this to a new thread entitled Von Clausewitz and the Zulu war
Thanks
Kate Off Topic
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Tig Van Milcroft




Posts : 50
Join date : 2022-02-21

Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st?   Where was Dartnell on the night of the 21st? EmptyWed Mar 02, 2022 9:18 am

Julian,

Here is a link

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

It is his own words as recorded.

Army on the march; spies. Leaving home, they march in one great column. On entering enemy t erritory, spies will be selected; two or three from every viyo are selected by the induna of each viyo. These all accumulated and formed a body of some 10 viyos, and preceded, by some 12 miles, the main body to which they were attached. Then the main body, as it left home, is split into two on entering hostile territory, each of these bodies having its own set of spies, say 10 viyos each. The spies were so numerous for the purpose of giving the enemy the impression, on their coming in view in extended order, say separated into viyos, that they themselves were the main body. The spies were selected for common sense and ability to describe carefully what they had observed. I myself was a spy at Isandhlwana.
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