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» Bearing The Cross by Ken Blakeson | BBC RADIO DRAMA: Ken Blakeson's play tells the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift and the effect it had on three of the soldiers who fought in it.
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» Letter of officer during Zulu wars.
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» Bearing The Cross by Ken Blakeson | BBC RADIO DRAMA: Ken Blakeson's play tells the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift and the effect it had on three of the soldiers who fought in it.
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» Death of Michael Jayson (Zulu Dawn)
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» A few questions regarding Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana
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» What was G company supposed to do?
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 Command and Control

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Schlaumeier

Schlaumeier


Posts : 7
Join date : 2023-12-31

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PostSubject: Command and Control    Command and Control  EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 7:52 am

I have started writing my own set of wargaming rules for the AZW. One thing I do not know much about is command and control on the british side.

If the CiC made a decision, how was it forwarded to individual battalions and companies? Were orders forwarded to battalion commanders who then in turn forwarded orders to their company commanders or were there direct orders to companies? What could company commanders decide on their own? How were bugles used, on company level or battalion level?
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SRB1965

SRB1965


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Age : 59
Location : Uttoxeter - the last place God made and he couldn't be bothered to finish it.....

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PostSubject: Re: Command and Control    Command and Control  EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 9:34 pm

In battle, orders were transmitted verbally from the CinC to the companies via Staff officers, mounted ADCs or galloper/runner - verbally or written, sometimes both for emphasis.

Buglers could also be used, to pass on orders, similar to orders noted below.

The same system would have been used in a multi Battalion battle - though in the AZW,  most of these battles entailed the British infantry being large (multi unit) squares (or boxes) blazing away (well shooting at least), with little need for orders changes.

Reports and requests went back up the chain of command via similar methods - runners or riders etc

I forget if it was Davies or Henderson, who Durnford sent to the N5 battery for fire support but he told the officer to go because Stuart-Smith/Curling was more likely to pay heed to a white officer than a NNH trooper or NCO.

Within a company bugles were used to pass on basic military orders, cease fire, retire etc.

I believe that Sergeants carried whistles but that may be for someone like John Y to confirm.

Runners could also be used between the Company CO and its sections.

Company commanders lagely acted as they saw fit during the battle (within the instructions from their Commander) the company was the main tactical unit.

For example at Isandlwana most movements would have been decided by the company commanders - OK the order to retire may have come from Pulleine but actually 'how' would have been down the Company Commander.

Majority of Popes G Company maneuvering would have been initiated by him, based on lie of the land, proximity of enemy etc etc.

It is hard because you have to decide what you want your wargames rules to portray - company level combat or Battlion level - it makes a whole shed load of difference to the mechanisms.

Cheers 

Sime


Last edited by SRB1965 on Tue Jan 02, 2024 10:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: Command and Control    Command and Control  EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 9:58 pm

Just for your information this is the Commander-in-Chief in Southern Africa in 1879.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere.
Governor of Cape Colony, Her Majesty’s High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief of Forces in Southern Africa. (John Young Collection.)

The British Army in South Africa was under the command of a civilian.

JY
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Command and Control    Command and Control  EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 10:17 pm

John Y

And very snazzy he looks too....perhaps OiC would have been a better term....in wargaming the head honcho is normally referred to as 'the general' or the 'CinC'.....regardless of actual rank....its just a wargames term.....gamers are sometimes lazy about military correctness.....
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Schlaumeier

Schlaumeier


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PostSubject: Re: Command and Control    Command and Control  EmptyWed Jan 03, 2024 7:46 am

Thanks Simon. agree
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