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Film Zulu Dawn:General Lord Chelmsford: For a savage, as for a child, chastisement is sometimes a kindness. Sir Henry Bartle Frere: Let us hope, General, that this will be the final solution to the Zulu problem.
 
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 Punch's view of Chelmsford's tactics!

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lydenburg

lydenburg


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Punch's view of Chelmsford's tactics! Empty
PostSubject: Punch's view of Chelmsford's tactics!   Punch's view of Chelmsford's tactics! EmptyThu Mar 28, 2024 11:37 am

Whilst reading through an 1879 volume of the satirical magazine "Punch", I came across the following in its 5th April number. It is quite "informed" as well as being cynical and readers to this site - if they don't already know it - might find it amusing and interesting!


"Lord Chelmsford before entering on the Zulu "campaign" published a handy little pamphlet for the information of his officers and men, in which he gave rules for conducting hostilities in Africa. From the desponding and doleful tone of some of his recent despatches, his Lordship's retirement from his command seems not an impossible contingency. It would be a pity if his Lordship should carry out this intention till he has appended an additional chapter to his instructive and (when followed) no doubt useful brochure, something to this effect:

Chapter Last: How to ensure a Defeat and how to behave under it.

Having carefully perused and mastered the above rules for successfully engaging the Zulus, all that now remains will be deliberately to march in their teeth.
Knowing that a strongly-fortified camp is the key and nucleus of defence against this vigilant and active enemy, the commanding officer should quietly move out with the bulk of his force, leaving the tents unentrenched and the waggons unparked "in laager". He may, at the same time, send verbal orders that the camp is to be defended.
If the enemy presents himself, he cannot do wrong to follow him up. It will be time enough when the enemy proves himself to be a Will-o-the-Wisp, whose object has been to mislead and draw away the opposing force, and treat him accordingly.
While advancing, he had better not weaken his force by detaching scouting or reconnaissance parties and should turn a deaf ear to all such disquieting reports as that firing is going on in the direction of the camp he has left behind him.
There will be no harm if, in order to show the sense of the responsibility of his position, he later in the day orders one of his Staff to go to the top of a hill with a telescope, and look towards the camp. He will, of course, be satisfied by the assurance of the Staff officer "that he thinks it's all right".
If late in the evening he sees reasons to suspect that the enemy have been playing him a trick, as savages will, his best course will probably be to fall back on his camp, and should he find the camp destroyed, the stores plundered and its defenders slaughtered to a man, it will be his duty to put up with this extremely disagreeable state of things with all the equanimity he can command.
Now is the time for extreme caution. Should there be reason to conclude that the enemy is moving off, and that he must be encumbered with spoil, the best plan will be to let him go unmolested.
On the other hand, should he come across a handful of men who have held a position of the utmost importance against overwhelming odds for a long winter's night, he may safely "thank them very much".
After this, he should lose no time in instituting a strict Official Inquiry into how the mischief has come about. Should it be proved by "supplementary testimony" (furnished by officers of his personal staff) that the Commander in Chief is not responsible and that someone else has been to blame, all the better for the Commander in Chief, and all the worse for somebody else.
Having brought matters to this point, he will stand aside and wait for events.
Should the Colonists chafe and the indignant British Lion growl, he may suggest that an officer of rank be sent out immediately to assist him and, if need be, to take his place. He may at the same time remeber that for a very long time he has not been at all well. Lastly, should the growl of the British Lion get so loud as to be annoying, if he feels that more responsibility is being thrown upon him than he can bear, there will be nothing for it but to pack up his cocked hat and writing desk and come home!
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SRB1965

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Punch's view of Chelmsford's tactics! Empty
PostSubject: Re: Punch's view of Chelmsford's tactics!   Punch's view of Chelmsford's tactics! EmptyWed Apr 03, 2024 5:17 pm

Interesting because despite the CoI findings only being released in March, it mentions the 'verbal' order to entrench the camp.....


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