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Film Zulu quote: Reverend Otto Witt: One thousand British soldiers have been massacred. While I stood here talking peace, a war has started.
 
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» List of identified bodies at Isandlwana
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» A Case of Mistaken Identity?
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» Surgeon Espine Charles Ward
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» Explaining Amabutho in one word??
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» Non-Combat Casualties - Royal Navy and Royal Marines
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» Non-Combat Casualties - Royal Artillery
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» Colonel William,Egerton Saunders, C.B
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» Lieutenant-Colonel David Campbell Williamson.
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» Brigade Surgeon E. J. Boulton
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» Joseph Walter O’Malley Martin. Assistant Surgeon
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» Quarter-Master William London
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» Tpr. John Ross Natal Carbineer
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» Non-Combat Casualties in Colonial and Native Units
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» Victorian HMS SHAH South Africa Zulu Wars Medal William Morrison Royal Navy
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» South African 1879 Zulu War medal to Corp R Starkey 57th Regiment of Foot
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» Strange tales from Isandlwana
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» Colour - Sergeant George William Mabin
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 Defensive Square

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old historian2

old historian2

Posts : 1096
Join date : 2009-01-14
Location : East London

Defensive Square Empty
PostSubject: Defensive Square   Defensive Square EmptyMon Dec 21, 2009 9:56 pm

Could anybody tell if the defensive square was born from the mistakes made at Isandlwana? I have just read it was, but I’m pretty sure the square was deployed at Waterloo. Or was this type of square.
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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7086
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 52
Location : Down South.

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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Square   Defensive Square EmptyMon Dec 21, 2009 10:07 pm

Old H. I’m sure the pike square that was deployed Waterloo.
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

Posts : 552
Join date : 2009-10-14
Location : Loughborough

Defensive Square Empty
PostSubject: Re: Defensive Square   Defensive Square EmptyMon Dec 21, 2009 10:41 pm

The origins of the square go back well before Waterloo, in the English civil was the objective of the pikeman was to protect the muskets with a wall of steel pikes. By forming a square the horse cannot find a flank.

A Horse will not jump a human, it is simply not in its list of tricks, especially as it is faced with a hedge of bayonets.

For a really good example of the rapidity a square can be formed, watch the Four feathers, with Heath Leger. Ok a poor film but a good example of the square in rapid formation and development.

The square was perfected by the latter part of the C19th, especially in the Sudan of 1884/5, Tofrek, Abu Klea, Tamaii, in finally Ondourman, a thoroughly modern army, with modern .303 magazine rifles and machine guns, in a formation that Oliver Cromwell would be proud of.

The square, as tight as it is, in my opinion would not have saved the day at isandlwana, it would have delayed the inevitable. In the words of Kipling,

"for all the odds agianst you, you crumpled up the square.

google "barrack room ballads by kiplin and look up "the Fuzzy Wuzzy" to see the qudos the British army helf the square!
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90th

90th

Posts : 10129
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 64
Location : Melbourne, Australia

Defensive Square Empty
PostSubject: defensive square   Defensive Square EmptyTue Dec 22, 2009 4:57 am

hi olh2.
Somewhere on the forum , are the standing orders of Chelmsford which I listed a while ago, he decided to do
away with the Defensive Square in the 1st invasion , that is why Pulleine assembled his troops in the dog leg
fashion at Isandlwana. He was following the good Lord"s orders . After isandlwana the square was back in vogue,
so to speak !. So most certainly the casualties at Isandlwana caused a major re-think.
cheers 90th. 😕
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Ken Gillings



Posts : 205
Join date : 2009-10-20
Age : 73
Location : Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Square   Defensive Square EmptyTue Dec 22, 2009 9:18 pm

From what I can recall, it was used effectively in China prior to the AZW.
Regards,
Ken
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