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Lieutenant John Chard: What's our strength? Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Seven officers including surgeon, commissaries and so on; Adendorff now I suppose; wounded and sick 36, fit for duty 97 and about 40 native levies. Not much of an army for you.
 
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 Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana

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gardner1879

gardner1879


Posts : 2634
Join date : 2021-01-04

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PostSubject: Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana   Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 6:52 pm

A topic on another thread has got me thinking.
I'm not sure if anyone has ever worked this out but how much blood was spilled that day in the between the Nek and Camp area.
I've taken and used some very approximate figures gleaned form the internet. I'm not a doctor/vet so stand to be corrected any any of them.

Adult male 1.2 - 1.5 gallons of blood
Cow/ Ox 10.3 gallons
Horse 14.8 gallons
dog 5 pints

We know the Zulus method of killing and disembowling and that they stabbed everything that moved and somethings that didn't. Most of the the draught animals were slaughtered as well as the officers horse and dogs.
If we say the number of bodies both Zulu and British/Colonials/NNC strewn between the wagon area on the Nek and the camp area was approx. 1000 men (and I may be underestimating here)
LC had off the top of my head 240 wagons so with 8 oxen per team thats 1620 Ox at 10.3 gallons each.
I'm not sure how many horses and mules there were, lets say for arguments sake 200 at between 10 and 14 gallons each.
Difficult to estimate the number of dogs as most officers and some NCOs/ privates had them. Lets say 100

Humans 1500 gallons
Oxen 16 686 gallons
Horses/mules 2800 gallons
dogs 500 gallons

Thats a very approximate 21,486 gallons of blood soaking into clothing,the grass and soil. LC's men slept in this that night.
As someone who has unfortunatly dealt with death on regular basis I know its smell, but the sheer amount is too much to even try and contemplate in that heat.

It truly was a butchers yard.
Sorry to be grim everyone but this is the reality of what we are studying on this forum.
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Julian Whybra




Posts : 3206
Join date : 2011-09-12
Location : Billericay, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana   Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 9:47 pm

He battled, he bled, he ruled, a day,
And peaceful Nature resumes her sway.
Joaquin Miller
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana   Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana EmptyThu Jun 30, 2022 6:02 am

“The green grass was red with running blood… And the veldt was slippery, for it was covered with the entrails and brains of the slain.”
uNzuzi Mandla uVe Ibutho.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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PostSubject: Re: Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana   Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana EmptyThu Jun 30, 2022 8:44 am

Julian
" As falls the dews on quenchless sands,
Blood only serves to wash ambitions hands."
Byron
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Tellgryn




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Join date : 2022-01-07

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PostSubject: Re: Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana   Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana EmptySun Jul 03, 2022 8:55 pm

Will not be that much blood, once the heart stops beating the blood flow is near nothing.

Also, about blood and the battlefield and effects on morale, the British used red as the main color for the reason of this issue. Which is why the French used Blue, uniform colors matter. That is why Dark Blue and Black work best to check morale. Bad examples of using the wrong color uniform are Austria's white and the Russia green of the Napoleonic warfare.

I study warfare from over 2000 years ago to modern warfare and the effect on troop loses and blood on the battlefield. Battle of Cannae is a prime example of a battlefield covered in blood, the limited battles in siege warfare in a breech the bodies and blood are a huge factor in the outcome.

Morale is fleeting on a battlefield; the route of the oxen and cattle stampede play a larger role than written about at Isandlwana. The effect on footing at the battle due to blood on the field is amplified with those using handheld thrusting weapons and those running to change positions on the battlefield.

Time consumed in killing the cattle, oxen etc. while still fighting an enemy shooting slowed the Zulu warriors down somewhat. The main effect of this stampede is to divide the British and drive many down from the saddle.

The accounts of eyewitness' need to be looked at in detail, just a question here, but were saviors on the other side of that split of the British on the saddle by that stampede?

Just a few comments and thoughts on this issue.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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PostSubject: Re: Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana   Blood on the battlefield at iSandlwana EmptyMon Jul 04, 2022 10:16 am

Hi Tellgryn
"Will not be that much blood, once the heart stops beating the blood flow is near nothing.
Also, about blood and the battlefield and effects on morale, the British used red as the main color for the reason of this issue. Which is why the French used Blue, uniform colors matter. That is why Dark Blue and Black work best to check morale."

So the Khaki trousers were usefull?

Where as I would agree of the heart stopping the blood flow, natural leakage does still occur. Like Kate I have had experience of bodies and so I would to agree to a certain point with her. Though what would need to be taken into account is the instantaneous absorption into the veld that would to a great degree reduce the visible amounts. uNzuzi Mandla was however very descriptive in his comment.

Frank
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