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 James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance

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Julian Whybra
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Tig Van Milcroft




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James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyTue Mar 29, 2022 1:57 pm

Frank, I also have niggles about that message. It says everything and nothing, everything if you think the main Zulu Impi is advancing and nothing if it refers to a small force of Zulus advancing. It does capture the paucity of accurate information in the posession of Pulleine at the time (8-05am) of the Zulu intentions. It should though have caused a reaction from Chelmsford who until this point had no reservations as to the security of his flank in this direction.

If as I pointed out in an earlier post Chelmsford had co-ordinated Vedette information to go through himself rather than be filtered by the Camp he would have a better perspective of the relative threats to the entire force.

Chelmsford had allowed a very large Zulu force to insert itself undetected between the two elements of his divided command and failed to co-ordinate the flow analysis and assessment of intelligence received, of which there was much of substance.

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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyTue Mar 29, 2022 2:16 pm

This thread started off about the action on and around the Spur. I have looked at Ansteys map and Mainwaring maps, of the two Ansteys map looks much the most accurate when I compare to the (I hope) real world of Google. Vedette A and the NNC Piquet are marked, though I do not know if there is a real world actual posiiton established for the NNC Piquet. The position marked on Ansteys map provides much better visibility to the NW than the N & NE, but the Vedette A could compensate for this.

Referencing Clery on Minor Tactics, the Piquest requires patrolling from and a relatively speaking strong and defensable position sometihng like a Kraal would serve somewhere atop the Spur and close to the trackway. The strength of the piquet sufficient to provide support to patrols under fire, to defend itself against attack and or to be able to conduct a fighting retreat to the main body. This would require the piquet position to have one or both flanks secured, which suggest a positon close to the trackway and the escarpement edge.

There does not appear to have been much patrolling going on by the NNC, they were probably all together in the piquet, this would of course limit the intel quite a lot. For anybody used to receiving reports from a Regular Army piquet this may well lead to a misintepretation of what actually was going on.

This Piquet positioning and logic outlined in Minor Tactics is similar to infantry support to advancing cavalry such as Durnford requested before leaving camp, which begs a further question as to what level of support Durnford was actually requesting of Pulleine. I suggest that this could be a little as a company told off to give fire support to a retreating cavalry, not requiring a loss of contact with the main camp defense.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyTue Mar 29, 2022 5:21 pm

Frank
Pulleine's behaviour comes back to adherence to Clery's order: "...but keep your cavalry still far advanced", "keep your cavalry still far advanced", and "keep a sharp look out with your Cavalry" i.e. NOTHING added about 'sending out cavalry patrols or reconnaissance'.
Pulleine simply believed what LC - Clery - Crealock were saying viz. that the main impi lay on the track ahead and they left that morning to intercept it.
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 9:13 am

Tig Van Milcroft wrote:
Aussie, Back home. Your points include some assumptions that may or may not be correct, we will probably never know. But to eleborate.

That 5000 Zulus were moving north of the camp was the reason the Durnford instructed a reconnaissance. 5000 Zulus were not likely to overcome the firepower available in the camp. Even less so if their position and strength was understood before there approached it. 

Until Durnford's arrival in camp a reconnaissance was not possible because there were so few mounted troops left by Chelmsford. That infers that there was no serious threat to camp anticipated by the commanding officer Chelmsford. Orders were left to "defend the camp" though I have not seen a transcript of the full order. No experienced officer would leave a camp denuded of reconnaissance troops, and with more than half of its firepower mobilised to attack a "stronghold" 12 miles remote formt he camp, if there was any risk of the full force of the enemy army could be applied to the camp in its absence. That was the mindset of everybody engaged in the British force prior to Raw's discovery.

Pulleine himself may have instructed a similar reconnaissance if he had the forces able to carry it out prior to Durnford's arrival, I think this is likely, he had experience of mounted forces and their uses.

The only point of difference was the disagreement about taking Imp Infantry. The outcome would have been very different if RAW,Durnford Barton and Roberts had drawn 5000 Zulus in to attack the camp rather than the 20,000 that actually did.

To take you second point about standing back to back etc, Pulleine could have ordered this, at any time after receving Raws report. He did not, the responsibility for not doing so is his. That is not to say that what you suggest was or was not the best option. The "drawing of men out of camp" caused few casualties amongst Imp Forces and we know many more in the Zulu forces, especially those facing the retreating Basutos in the Dongas. Concentration may still have been an option even late on, before it became the last ditch option for individual companies prior to complete rout.

The "Back to back" stance you describe would be completely appropriate, if you believe you were deploying in advance to face 20,000 Zulus, that was sinmply not the case here. Pulleine deployed to "Defend the camp" not the the forces. To lose the camp and livestock aone would destroy the ability of the force to move, to lose the ammunition and supplies would be to lose the force. The "Defend the Camp" order was the reason for the loss of the men Pulleine never had enough men to achieve the task, though he possibly could have ensured the survival of some of his troops.

I am still of the view that reconnaissance in force to determine what the Zulu forces intentions were was the sensible thing to do given the "mindset" described above. If the whole force had been present instead of the most pwerful part conducting operations 12 miles away to no effect, we would be having a different discussion.
Sorry for the delay Tig,    Van broke down then one of my machines. Nightmare week thus far

Those 5,000 that moved behind Isandlwana were there to close the back door, and cause other sorts of grief, all Durnford done when he heard of it is to place a look out on top of Isandlwana, nothing after that, its then next mentioned by Melvill when its to late.

Durnfords purpose of moving Raw and Roberts to the valley beyond Mkwene was to sweep it from Zulus, and that is what the Zulu wanted.

Once the discovery was made there was only 15 minutes until they got to Mkwene its to late to strike the tents down.

Weather you do a recon or sweep the valley from Zulus it still requires men to leave the camp and that was the Zulu intention.

Craftiness is the best word to describe it.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 12:11 pm

Aussie
"...that is what the Zulu wanted."
How can you possibly write this? There is no source describing what the Zulus wanted and they would have had no idea what Durnford would do once he'd arrived in camp - if, indeed, they even noticed he HAD arrived in camp. From their morning observations they would have realized that there were few mounted troops left in camp and any manoeuvring they did carry out could not possibly have been with the intention of 'luring out' the few such men who were there.
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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 12:56 pm

Julian

There is no source describing what the Zulus wanted and they would have had no idea what Durnford would do once he'd arrived in camp
That is Why those 600 retired, Julian you are looking for sources the source is in the location of the discovery.

The Zulu saw Durnford enter the camp read Davies and then they devised a plan to get him to leave the camp.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 1:50 pm

Aussie
"...the source is in the location of the discovery."  
As you well know, that is not a source; it is wishful thinking.  No historian worth his salt would endorse it.

"The Zulu saw Durnford enter the camp read Davies and then they devised a plan to get him to leave the camp."  
And that is pure supposition on your part.  We can't invent facts to order.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Wed Mar 30, 2022 10:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 6:26 pm

I wonder if Durnford was actually Ntshingwayo in disguise.
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aussie inkosi

aussie inkosi


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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 9:00 pm

Julian
The reason no Historian has endorsed  its because they  still have the Zulu in the historical location, the facts are in the testimonies which have been interpreted incorrectly,

Julian , facts are Durnford responded to a Zulu retirement move, nothing can change that.

Its probably best I stop trying to convince anyone

The Zulu did such a great job that over 140 years after the fact it is still hidden
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 10:56 pm

"...facts are Durnford responded to a Zulu retirement move, nothing can change that."

Of course not, but that is not what you're trying to prove. You are wanting to say, as a fact, that the Zulu deliberately retired in the full knowledge that Durnford would chase after them. It isn't a fact and how could they possibly know what Durnford, or Pulleine come to that, would do (after all, the Zulus didn't know who had seniority). Indeed, they didn't know what orders LC had left for the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance   James Hamer testimony concerning time and distance - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 30, 2022 11:56 pm

PM you Julian
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