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 Final Patrol - What if ?

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John
1879graves
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Dave
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PostSubject: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyTue Dec 29, 2009 6:15 pm

Hi Everyone,

As I mentioned in my newbie intro a few days ago, I am currently reading about the Prince Imperials last patrol, wondering would the outcome have been different if, instead of Bettingtons troopers as escort, the escort had consisted of Imperial Mounted Infantry with a SNCO like Bourne or Booth in charge?

Perhaps the Zulus timed their ambush to perfection as it seems some of the escort's were still not "saddled up" even after the order had been given.

Maybe Bourne or Booth may have controlled things a lot better after the intial shock of the ambush?

Best Regards and Happy New Year!!

Jezzer.
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old historian2

old historian2

Posts : 1095
Join date : 2009-01-14
Location : East London

Final Patrol - What if ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 12:34 pm

I think we all have to understand, how the situation was presented to the men who acted as escort. The Prince was of royal blood, and therefore no one, no matter how high ranking or experienced he was, would not have disregarded the princes' orders.

Chelmsford himself in the first instances did not what the prince in South Africa.

The prince chose the route and chose the spot were to stop, even after it was reported that Zulu's had been seen, he took no notice and wished to stay longer. At the end of the day it was every man for himself when the attack took place In my opinion, it would not have made any difference who was in charge of the escort, the Prince still would have been in command.
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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1604
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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 12:52 pm

I make you right on that Old H. Idea

Dave
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90th

90th

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Location : Melbourne, Australia

Final Patrol - What if ? Empty
PostSubject: final patrol- what if   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 2:32 pm

hi jezzer.
Good post , I tend to agree with oh2 and dave , The prince being the prince was always going to be calling
the shots , So from that point of view I dont think anything would have changed , The only way the outcome
could have been differant would be in regard to numbers , if he had say 15 - 20 IMP MTD INFRY as opposed
to the half dozen or so troopers in his escort , certainly the outcome may have been better for all those involved .
cheers 90th.
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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 2:47 pm

Hi jezzer

I have to agree with all the above, the only thing that could have changed the outcome would have been numbers in the British Party.
I do not think the Zulus would have attacked if the party was at full strength, but the Prince still would have made himself in charge.
If the party had been at full strength, I do think the Prince would have ordered an attack on the Zulus as he was eager for a fight and prove he was a great soldier.

1879Graves
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John

John

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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 8:59 pm

We also must bear in mind that the Prince also tried to escape. I do not think he died a hero's death as he did not have any choice but to stand and fight. I often wonder what the Prince would have done, if one of the others had' had the misfortune of falling from his horse, would he have gone back to help him.? But like the rest I agree the Prince was firmly in command. At the end of the day, they were all in the wrong place and the wrong time. And it was a case of every man for himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 9:41 pm

Hi Everyone
I agree on the things that have been said above but once the patrol had split after the initial volley then the
Prince Imperial was in charge of no - one except himself and perhaps a British Army SNco may and say may
have persuaded Lt Carey to act differentley after the ride from the kraal?

Going back before the ambush the colonial troopers let their horses stray off, again would M/I had let this
happen? When the Zulu scout had reported he had seen a solitary Zulu nearby again I`m sure things
would have been different if a British army SNco had been present.

At the end of the day or the start of the day in this case,it was just other people with probably more
important matters to deal with than the Prince Imperial and just pushing the problem on to someone
else, all these small happenings in the end caused the final disaster, obviously if the Prince had
come through unscathed and only Rogers and Abel had died then that would have been hard luck
on their part and another minor skirmish would have passed into Anglo Zulu War history.

The Zulu War like other wars past and present there is always for certain a What If attached
somewhere along the line.
Thanks for reading my rantings and taking the time to reply to them.
Best Wishes.
Jezzer.
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old historian2

old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 10:36 am

I can see the point you are trying to make. But I would have thought it was everyones responsibility to ensure that their horse was close by or tied up. But allowing the horses to stray off was just pure stupidity on behalf of all concerned.
You are probably correct in saying that a more senior officer such as those you mentioned would have ensured the horses had been kept close by, But it also points out the Prince was not experienced enough to realise a basic soldiering skill.
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24th

24th

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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 11:43 am

With regard to looking after horses, was there not an incident during the Hlobane retreat, where Buller made Mossop go back for his horse after leaving it in a state of Panic. if my memory serves me right the Horse's name was Warrior. Someone like Buller would have kept the prince in check.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 12:15 pm

Hello Old Historian 2.
Thanks for replying to my last post, regarding the patrols camp, I think if M/I had been used
then it would been the automatic task of the Snco to make sure a sentry had been posted
and that his men kept the horses well near, without either Carey or Louis making these decisions.

I`m not questioning the bravery of Colonial troops but they may not have been so well up on
the procedures like sentry posting and keeping your main way of escape very near at all times
like British troops under a good Sergeant or Corporal, I`m not implying all Nco`s in the British
army were good at their jobs,no doubt there were some pretty ropey ones.

Now to Louis himself, I`m not doubting his reckless bravery but I do think he imagined
everythingi in war as clean and cut thrust and saw himself duelling in a foppish white
shirt and silk breeches with a nice shiny sabre or rapier in marbled hallways while on
either side his ancestors looked down approvingley from large oil paintings as he
dispatched yet another opponent. As we all know things ended nothing like this.

Perhaps if he had swopped South Africa 1879 for Belgium 1815 it may well have
put him off fighting for life? Isandhlwana may well have done the job as well!
Once again thanks for reading my views.
Best Wishes.
Jezzer.
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keith4698



Posts : 36
Join date : 2009-09-29

Final Patrol - What if ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 1:40 pm

The problem which this sketching party apart from the fact that Carey let the prince take command was to stop for their
coffee in a village surrounded by a high mealie crop, whilst a sentry was posted it was a bit pointless and l do not think
if a regular army SNCO or JNCO had been in charge of the escort the result of the Zulu attack would have been any
diffierent, it did not help of course that the area had been declared free of the Zulus which was the only reason the
Prince had been allowed to join the patrol.

Keith
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Final Patrol - What if ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 2:28 pm

Hello Keith 4698.
I just think that the soldiers that escaped with Sgt Booth from the massacre at the Intombi
River would not have been very happy to have had their Sgt replaced by Sgt Willis from
Bettingtons Horse in the situation that they found themselve in.
Best wishes.
Jezzer.
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90th

90th

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Final Patrol - What if ? Empty
PostSubject: final patrol- what if   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 8:36 pm

hi jezzer.
Valid point , but didnt 4 soldiers with Booth run from his group when attempting to rally and hold of the zulu ?
And they were killed .
But I do see what you mean.
cheers 90th.
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Final Patrol - What if ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 10:23 pm

Hello 90th.
Thanks for your reply to the subject. Your comments are spot on, some soldiers did leave
Sgt Booths plucky group of survivors at Intombi and were slain by the Zulu, would they all
have survived if they stayed with Booth`s party who can tell? I can only think that with a
Sgt like Booth issueing commands and encouragement I know were I would have prefered
to be,heaven knows what would have happened if he had been killed at this moment in
time. This is what I meant when I asked the original question "what if".

Everyone has their own ideas and opinions on the subject as I do, mostly I think we all
agree and where we perhaps disagree it doesn`t make one right and the other wrong.

Going back to that muddy donga, perhaps in a sheer moment of madness Lt. Carey
had wheeled his horse about face and charged hell for leather down the donga
split - arseing the Zulus in all directions and hoicking the Prince two up on the back
of his[Carey`s] horse, or the Prince and Carey fighting back to back in the donga
against overwhelming odds, sword versus assegai, unfortunatley both falling to
fatal wounds, in these two scenarios Carey woulld have come up smelling of very
large roses but what would we have had to talk about?

Thanks to everyone for their time and input.
Best Wishes.
Jezzer.
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littlehand

littlehand

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Location : Down South.

Final Patrol - What if ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyFri Jan 01, 2010 7:07 pm

My personal opinion is, that the Prince saw the Zulu War as a big adventure and nothing more. Problem was "Vainknights" didn't count.
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Mr Greaves

Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyFri Jan 01, 2010 7:49 pm

Any Information regarding to what this was all about would be welcome. I have never came across this before. I wonder if this has anything to do with Carey getting off the Court marshal.

"Louis Napoleon's death caused an international sensation, and in one slanderous account Queen Victoria was accused of deliberately arranging the whole thing."
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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1604
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PostSubject: Re: Final Patrol - What if ?   Final Patrol - What if ? EmptyFri Jan 01, 2010 8:30 pm

Good question. But first we have to look at what Queen Victoria would have achieved by setting up the killing of the Prince. He was no threat to her throne.

However Its common knowledge that the Zulus later said they would not have killed Louis Napoleon if they had known who he was. But are we saying if had been advertise that the Prince was going to the Zulu War, the Zulu’s would have made allowance for him. Or are we saying if the Zulus had known who the Prince was, he could have been taken as a prisoner of war, and used to bring the war to a quicker end.
(Peace Talks)


Dave.
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