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Film Zulu Dawn quote: “Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 How can Man die Better

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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7623
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

How can Man die Better Empty
PostSubject: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 11:52 am

I parked my car at the parking area on the saddle, strange place for a parking area in the middle of really what is a mass grave.
Bright sunshine, warm still day. Isandlwana as broody as allways. There were tour parties around being lectured on the battle so I took a gentle stroll up a distance of Mahlabamkhosi, I still prefer the name Balcks Kopie, to a cairn of stones.
I settled down with my back to the cairn and started to read Mike Snooks version of the battle. Within the first few pages I was enthralled, what was an hour excusion eventually lasted for 6hours. So absorbing was ' How can man die better.
Ive sat on different parts of that battlefield on many occasions imagining the British Forces being pursued across the sloping terrain by the Zulu impi's. Never ever have I been able to SEE the events unfold, so realistic and plausable was Lt Col Snooks narative.
I dont know if his discription and reconstruction can stand up amongst the true scholars of the wars, for me as an amateur it answered many many questions. Untill something 100% proven happens along then Im a convert. Maybe Zulu Rising by Ian Knight may do that, who Knows.
It is a long long time since I have been that absorbed, After reading a chapter devoted to the fate of Wadell and H Company I stopped reading and walked down to the site of their last stand, the feeling is so difficult to describe, emotional, awe even possibly trepidation. To be standing surrounded by these cairns, bodies and to have presented to me, for the first time, a logical explanation of why they died at this exact point was ....overwhelming!

Sorry for the drama guys buts thats exactly how I felt, and thought I would like to share it with you.

Later that evening and the following few days I finished the book and then re read it. The battlefield reconstruction is a masterpiece. I can but congratulate Mike Snook.
There are a lot of aspects in the balance of the book I would argue with. His rendition of the C and M escape is based purely on the account of Higginson, ignoring evidence such as the disabled revolver etc.

He has also, to my mind done exactly what one would expect of a colonel of the regiment involved and completely exonerated everyone from that regiment while attaching certain stigma to other participants.

Chelmsford picks up a massive amount of critisism, as does Crealock and all the Officer survivors. Including a rather large dig at Gardiner.

Durnford is of course a target, he calls him "the Cowboy". Suprisingly rather than blame Him for retreating from the Donga he lavishes praise on the leader of that particular attacking impi for outflanking him. He does in fact credit him with winning the battle.

There are errors. For me I would forgive them for the way he has managed to bring a superb analytical military brain to bear on what has been a 131 year old vexation.

Thanks for all the best wishes guys

Regards

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mons14

mons14

Posts : 101
Join date : 2009-10-28

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 3:11 pm

Thank you for that post - I really enjoyed it.

What a fantastic and powerful experience it would be to read Mike's book AT Isandlwana!!!!! WOW, the tought of it gives me chills. Lucky man you are!

Here is an open letter I published on the Victorian Forum to Mike on reading his book. It really sums up how impacted I was by his writing:

I managed to get Mike Snooks book ‘How Can Man Die Better’ and to say that I’m blown away would be a massive understatement. I read the book from cover to cover in under two days and could not put it down. It’s absolutely fantastic- what a brilliant and memorable read.

I’ve read as much as I can on the battle over the years and must admit that all of the interpretations of the battle come across rather dry and fairly clinical, making it difficult to really visualize the battle.

Mikes book has finally changed all that! For the first time in my life I’ve been able to reasonably see the battle in my minds eye and really have an appreciation of what it must have been like to be there.- I was scared out of my boots, and I was just reading a book!

Mike your work has completely changed the way I see and feel about this battle – thank you for your book. What a marvelous pleasure and privilege it was to read. I’m so glad you wrote it.

I have in my care a South Africa Service Medal named to chap of the 24th Regiment killed at the battle of Isandlwana. This medal is very important to me, and I’ve spent much time trying to understand the battle in which he died.

Your book has provided me a window into what happened there, and what it must have been like for him. It really does change my appreciation for this long lost soldier – what a horrifying and chilling way to die – but my God they fought like lions!

Well done Mike.

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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7623
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

How can Man die Better Empty
PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 3:59 pm

Mons 14
You said everything I really wanted to say. My advice to all the forum members..............buy the book ( No i dont get commision guys) it will help your understanding immesurably.
Regards
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garywilson1

garywilson1

Posts : 374
Join date : 2009-01-22
Age : 58
Location : Timisoara , Romania

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 8:15 pm

I have this book and it does make superb reading , however i don't lke the parts where he speculates what people were thinking - who could know that ? Stick to the facts - thats what you are good at .
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Saul David 1879



Posts : 527
Join date : 2009-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 8:31 pm

Here's another take on the book.

Review By : Elizabeth Hogan

"At last, a book about Isandlwana written by a senior officer of the Royal Regiment of Wales, and one who has previously reviewed a number of books on the subject and further, has served with distinction at Pretoria and walked the battlefield on numerous occasions. My first impression of this book was not heightened by the book’s ponderous title, but the title is the author’s choice and he must ride with it. Likewise, the book’s cover relies on the oft repeated picture seen on almost all recent Isandlwana books, and although it may be a favourite of the author, its repetition would not draw me to buy it. And so to the content: As a Zulu War enthusiast, (like Snook, been there and walked the battlefields - repeatedly) I was delighted with the first part of the book. Its account, though rarely new, was well written and Snook’s accompanying photographs clarified the text. I don’t necessarily agree with some of Snook’s findings.

I think it’s ‘old hat’ to still claim that the Zulu army was patiently waiting at the bottom of the Ngwebeni valley when allegedly discovered by Raw. Even Raw’s account steers one from this assumption. But every author is entitled to his opinion, but opinions need sources and footnotes that can be checked. Here, in my opinion, is the main fault of the book; there are few relevant footnotes, so nothing ‘new’ can be followed up or verified. HCMDB frequently leaves the reader suspended. The second part of the book soon made me uneasy. Snook’s frontal attack on Colonel Durnford RE is, in my view, unworthy. There is a vast amount of primary source material that details Durnford’s actual orders, discovered in the last few years, which justify his known actions at Isandlwana. Snook tries a full character assassination of Durnford and then portrays Pulleine, the regiment’s senior officer at Isandlwana, as a fine example of a commander responding to the approaching Zulus and, on horseback, gallantly riding the front line trying to rectify Durnford’s mistakes. Where on earth has this come from?

I was also concerned that the text suddenly moved from clear clipped military-speak into hop-bop teenage language. Was Col. Snook rushing to meet a deadline with statements such as ‘Durnford went cowboy’, ‘irresponsible Durnford’ and ‘Durnford’s mind was racing with dreams of military glory’. These are unworthy and irritating taunts; not thoughtful explanatory descriptions that one expects from a senior army officer writing about another. And without footnotes…... It occurred to me that, perhaps, the intention of this book is to perform two tasks; the first is to explain the topography of Isandlwana as a battlefield, which is very well done, Secondly, I wonder if Snook is making a retrospective attempt to re-establish his Regiment’s reputation by dismissing many historians’ views that Col Pulleine failed on the day. It’s well known this was no fault of Pulleine as he’d never previously been in action and was loyally obeying his general’s orders. This part of the book reflects Snook’s apparent main thrust which focuses attention on the official Records of the 24th, written by well-meaning people like Colonel Glyn, but who were not at Isandlwana. Little mention is made of detailed research by Knight, Laband, Whybra, Greaves and a long list of other recent Isandlwana authors. Neither is the archaeology of Isandlwana discussed which, surely, contributes to the evidence? Other crucial aspects which may have led to the British defeat at Isandlwana have been ignored, such as half of Pulleine’s command being engaged dismantling the camp as the Zulus attacked, an event witnessed and confirmed by those lucky to escape the onslaught, and who left detailed accounts, such as Lt. Curling RA.

As a finale, the book tries its readers’ credulity by portraying as fact the famous myth in Records of the 24th of Pulleine handing Melvill the colours, (surely colour Col. Snook?) Snook writes, ‘there is no evidence but, we in the Regiment all know that it happened’. Really? How has this gem eluded the rest of us? My main reservation is for those who buy the book in anticipation of new material; they will be stalled without the gravitas of footnotes and sources. Overall, a good read for those interested in the topography of Isandlwana, though I much prefer David Rattray’s guidebook."



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mons14

mons14

Posts : 101
Join date : 2009-10-28

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 8:32 pm

I've read that review before and disagree with all of it - obviously she doesnt like the man.

I've also read more then a few fantastic reviews about the book.

At the end of the day - what you choose to believe about the events of Jan. 22 1879 is up to you.



Last edited by mons14 on Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Saul David 1879



Posts : 527
Join date : 2009-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 8:39 pm

She doe's have a point
Quote :
"Little mention is made of detailed research by Knight, Laband, Whybra, Greaves and a long list of other recent Isandlwana authors."
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Posts : 2583
Join date : 2009-04-24

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 8:53 pm

S.D You DELETED How the hell do you get away with posting DELETED like that? And who the hell gives a dam. What DELETED I bet you have never read Mr Snooks Books. You base you opinion on what some DELETED says. Well if that’s all you got to post, may I suggest you don’t bother. Mr Snook has forgotten more than you know about the Zulu War. The mans been to the Battlefield he know what he is talking bout. DELETED

Edited By Admin.

CTSG. Please refrain from personal attacks.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Posts : 2583
Join date : 2009-04-24

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:00 pm

See what real people have to say about his books. Moron!!.

Source: RDVC.


AMAZON.COM

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
A lieutenant colonel in the Royal Regiment of Wales, Snook offers a blow-by-blow account of the heroic defense of Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, made famous by the 1964 British movie classic Zulu. Rorke's Drift was an "isolated, lightly held, and completely unfortified" garrison on the edge of Zululand and served as a depot for the advancing British army. On January 22, 1879—"one of the most calamitous... and one of the most renowned days" in the history of the British Empire—a British column was decimated by a Zulu army at the Battle of Isandlwana, the subject of Snook's earlier volume How Can Man Die Better. Late that afternoon, a force of some 4,500 Zulus who had missed the earlier action descended on the garrison at Rorke's Drift—finding it "too tempting a target to resist." The 150 men at the garrison held their ground against wave after wave of frontal attacks—the fighting often hand-to-hand. The battle raged into the night before the Zulus finally withdrew. Seventeen defenders lost their lives, while 13 received the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest honor for valor. The story of Rorke's Drift is well documenented, and Snook adds primarily "a soldier's perspective," recreating the battle in scrupulous detail and high drama. The climax comes early, however, and much of the final third of the book—such as an extended analysis regarding responsibility for the disaster at Isandlwana—feels extraneous. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review
Military History, December 2006
“Although the legendary defense of Rorke’s Drift has certainly been documented before, Snook’s second book is a brilliant historical achievement. From the beginning his narrative leaps from each page to the next, making the reader feel as if he is sometimes standing alongside Lieutenants John Chard and Gonville Bromhead. Even so, when objectively read, the book clearly gives equal recognition to the martial courage of the defending British soldiers and attacking Zulu warriors alike…Like Wolves on the Fold is a highly recommended addition to the Zulu War enthusiast’s library. It is a very well documented and outstandingly written saga of what may well be considered a Thermopylae of the British Army.”

Military History Online
"I really enjoyed this book ... Very few battles have the desperation, excitement and intensity of Rorke's Drift and this book does the battle justice. I highly recommend this book."

Journal of Military History
"Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook has put together a nice little book covering the events of 22-23 January 1879 when a tiny detachment of British soldiers held their own against sustained attacks by a seemingly overwhelming n umber of Zulu warriors...Snook describes the events in a manner that is readable and enjoyable. He keeps the story short, yet follows the actions of as many of the specific individuals as extant records make possible...Perhaps the best feature of Wolves on the Fold is that the reader has the sense of being told the exciting story of courage and tenacity backing military training and decision-making, as if in conversation...for a story that has been told many times, by many fine writers, Colonel Snook succeeds in making his version both entertaining and educational...the sheer volume of information regarding the men who participated in the struggle both at Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana is invaluable and reason enough to add the book to one's collection."

Militaria Mart
"This is a remarkable work, and the author's unbridled respect for the fighting qualities of the British soldier and his abiding affection for the Zulu people shines through."


Rorkescriftvc.com
"Written by a serving officer of the Royal Regiment of Wales, formerly the 24th, Like Wolves on the Fold is the fascinating true story of one of the most improbable victories in military history ... A collection of inset photographs and artwork, most in black and white but a few in color, round out this rousing military history, which pays full respect to both sides in a bloody conflict."
Collected Miscellany
"[Like Wolves on the Fold] is outstanding. You can tell that Snook put a lot of time and effor into researching and writing this masterpiece of historical writing. He weaves into his research the logic of a military commander...This book is an excellent example of scholarship and easy-to-read history."
1-7 of 7
________________________________________


Awesome, January 23, 2007
Reviewer: Jerome A. Rice - See all my reviews


I've read a dozen plus books on the Zulu War and have seen the movies a number of times.
This book is the absolute best of all!


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other customers.


Custer should have been so lucky, January 26, 2007
Reviewer: Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews


On Wednesday morning, January 22, 1879, the 1st Battalion and most of the 2nd of the British 24th Regiment of Foot was wiped about by a Zulu army at Isandlwana in South Africa. (This battle is covered in Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook's book, HOW CAN MAN DIE BETTER.)

After Isandlwana, the victorious tribesmen swarmed on several miles to the missionary compound, comprising a residence/hospital and storehouse, at Rorke's Drift. Here, for five hours in the late afternoon and evening of January 22nd, 154 remnant troops of the 2nd/24th successfully held off a siege by some 4,500 assailants. This stalwart defense, the crowning glory in the history of the 24th (now the Royal Regiment of Wales), is the subject of LIKE WOLVES ON THE FOLD, also by Snook.

I'm no expert on such narratives, but this book seems to me to be as exemplary an account of a small unit defensive action as one can find anywhere. Based on after-action reports and participants' memoirs, it's of the sort I would have expected from Custer and his 7th Cavalry troopers, or the Alamo defenders, or the 300 Spartans of Thermopylae, had any of these heroic bands had the good fortune to survive. But at Rorke's Drift, luck had little to do with it - just gritty determination, an adequate supply of ammo, inspired leadership from Lieutenants John Chard and Gonville Bromhead, and not just a little desperation; they were surrounded.

The volume includes a commendable 33-page section of photographs and painting reproductions. There are also several excellent drawings of the Rorke's Drift compound at various stages of the battle, each showing the direction of the Zulu attacks against a defense wall hastily constructed of 200-lb mealie-bags and 100-lb cases of hardtack and tinned bully beef - a perimeter that contracted and changed shape several times during the course of the siege as Chard and Bromhead found it necessary to withdraw and regroup their men in the face of ferocious assaults. Indeed, about halfway through the ordeal, the hospital was set aflame and had to be evacuated under fire.

The narrative of the 24th's gallant stand comprises the first half the book and is the most riveting part. The remaining, more staid chapters concern themselves with the outcome of the Anglo-Zulu War, the assignment of responsibility for the Isandlwana debacle, and the post-war careers of the principle British and Zulu combatants, particularly the eleven British defenders of Rorke's Drift who were honored with the Empire's highest award for valor, the Victoria Cross - the most ever awarded in British military history for a single action.

The story told by LIKE WOLVES ON THE FOLD illustrates the British "stiff upper lip" at its stiffest. The Empire and the Queen Empress were privileged to have such men in their service.



Seen the Movie?, January 17, 2007
Reviewer: C. L Morrison - See all my reviews



Zulu, with Michael Caine. Well, Hook was not a malingerer and the swiss guy was only 25 years old. The guys who brought the word of the Zulu's coming to the drift probably deserted their comrades. And Bromhead really was the bravest officer. Great book. Dispels the movie misconceptions, among which the battle basically ended during the night with no stand against the redoubt in daylight. Good history, but a bit chronolically broken. In the end really it's the Indians with bows and arrows and the cavalry with rifled weapons. Not so much a fantastic effort by a company of the 24th Regiment of Foot, but what should be expected, notwithstanding the rather inaccurate rifle fire of Zulus with Martini-Henris at the drift. The author makes it plain that any competent British officer could hold off the Zulus with proper orders and clear chain of command. For the romance of war take the movie, for colonial romance take the book.


The Definitive Book on the Defense of Rorke's Drift, January 6, 2007
Reviewer: Ken McCormick "kmccormick12" (Waverly, IA USA) - See all my reviews

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook has written what appears to be the definitive book on the defense of Rorke's Drift. He corrects errors made by previous writers and provides as clear a picture of the battle as is possible more than a century after the fact. There is a wealth of information, but his prose never gets bogged down. In fact, the book reads as easily as a novel. The book includes some very useful maps that complement the text and give the reader a good sense of the progression of the battle. I highly recommend Snook's book to anyone interested in the incredible skill and courage of the defenders of Rorke's Drift.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Great couage under duress, September 4, 2006
Reviewer: Frank J. Konopka (Shamokin, PA United States) - See all my reviews


This is a well-written and quite extensively detailed account of the defense at Rorke's Drift by a habdful of British soldiers against thousands on Zulu warriors fresh from their victory at Isandlwana. It recounts the actions taken by the leading officers, and the defenses that were quickly erected (and just in time) before the attacks began. This action was covered in the movie "Zulu", and the author does point out where book and cinema differ. He is obviously proud of the stout defense put on by the "redcoats", but he also praises the Zulus for their courage and persistence in the face of mass rifle fire. Both sides covered themselves with glory, but the British Empire eventually won the "war" that began with their devastating defeat earlier in the same day at the attacks at the Drift.



4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Wonderful Read, August 27, 2006
Reviewer: GrantF (MA) - See all my reviews

After reading, and thoroughly enjoying, "How Can Man Die Better", I was prepared to rip through this book with great gusto. No disappointment. It's a fantastic read. I came to the subject with a cursory knowledge (I'd read the Osprey campaign book) and some Hollywood images. I came away with as complete & thorough an understanding as I'm likely to get. While some may disagree with the point of that Lt. Col. Snook's obvious love & respect for his regiment engenders, they couldn't disagree with his clear rendition of the facts, busting of myths, and thorough exploration of the subject from a military point of view. Lt. Col. Snook includes as much of the point of view of the Zulu as he can as well. I wish more military history was written like this. It's just a great and informative read. I hope we can look forward to more books from this author.


The fascinating true story of one of the most improbable victories in military history, May 3, 2006
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - See all my reviews

Written by a serving officer of the Royal Regiment of Wales, formerly the 24th, Like Wolves On The Fold: The Defence Of Rorke's Drift is the fascinating true story of one of the most improbable victories in military history. In January of 1879, a Zulu host attacked a single company of the 24th Regiment of the British Army and a handful of recuperating hospital patients. Retreat was not an option, and the enemy outnumbered the defenders nearly thirty to one. Like Wolves On The Fold shows how sheer bloody-mindedness, as much as any other quality, turned the tables on the Zulus. Like Wolves On The Fold also surveys the remainder of the war, and examines the tragic end of the war's participants. A collection of inset photographs and artwork, most in black and white but a few in color, round out this rousing military history, which pays full respect to both sides in a bloody conflict.




Excellent study of a famous military action, March 21, 2006
Reviewer: Bruce Trinque (Amston, CT United States) - See all my reviews


I have read a considerable amount about the 1879 fight at Rorke's Drift where a small British force successfully resisted the furious attack of an enormous Zulu army, and I would unhesitatingly put Mike Snook's "Like Wolves On the Fold: The Defence of Rorke's Drift" at the top of the list of books about the battle.

Snook, a longtime officer in the Royal Regiment of Wales (the successor unit to the 24th Infantry which fought at both Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift) quite obviously identifies with the British soldiers who fought there, but he also shows a great liking and respect for their Zulu foes. The result is a book that celebrates courage and honors sacrifice, no matter the color of the skin of the fighting man.

"Like Wolves On the Fold" is a companion volume to Snook's earlier "How Can Man Die Better: The Secrets of Isandlwana Revealed" about the famous Battle of Isandlwana, fought the same day only several miles away, a battle in which the Zulu army crushed a large British field force. Although it is not absolutely necessary to read "How Can Man Die Better" first, it is nonetheless a good idea, as the author returns to the subject of Isandlwana in the last third of "Like Wolves On the Fold" to render judgement on who was to blame (and who gets credit) for what happened there.

With "Wolves On the Fold", due to the small number of British troops invoved and thanks to the availability of numerous primary sources, Snook was able to construct a fast-paced, entralling narrative that often focuses upon individual soldiers during the fight. And in doing so, he corrects many erroneous myths promulgated by earlier books (and by the 1964 film "Zulu" which was exciting cinema, but not really history). His intimate familiarity with the terrain and professional military background allow Snook to speak with rare authority.


HISTORY BOOK CLUB REVIEWS

Review by Dennis Showalter

The defense of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 has arguably been the subject of more study than any other small-scale engagement in the history of war. As epitomized in the classic 1964 film “Zulu,” Rorke’s Drift appeals to a strain in the Western imagination that celebrates courage and discipline pitted against seemingly hopeless odds. And Rorke’s Drift offers a worthy opponent in the Zulus who came, and came again, against British rifles. If indeed “the courage of your enemies does you honor,” never was more honor won than by the men who held the mission station through a long day and night in June 1879.

A legendary clash of arms

The outline of the battle is clear. Paradoxically, however, the relatively limited area of the fighting combined with the survival of so many of the garrison to generate a broad spectrum of first-hand accounts whose details differ significantly. Snook brings to his subject fingertip command of contemporary British doctrine and practice at regimental levels. He combines this with detailed knowledge of the inner dynamics of the 24th Foot, an ancestor of his own Royal Regiment of Wales; and with a regimental officer’s perspective on the stand-up, close-quarters fighting characteristic of Rorke’s Drift.

Snook’s hero is collective: B Company, 2/24th Regiment, South Wales Borderers. He shows them as first-rate soldiers, masters of their weapons and themselves. With a few exceptions, especially the fight for the hospital, which Snook reconstructs more convincingly than any previous narrative, every man had a stretch of barricade and nowhere to go. It was war in its simplest form: face front and hold your ground; stand or die. B Company met the challenge—even though, unlike their film counterparts, its men did not burst into song at the battle's climax.

The narrative’s central figure is B Company's commander, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead. An experienced officer, liked and respected by his men, Bromhead was in the thick of almost every critical situation during the siege. Account after enlisted man’s account pays tribute to leadership demonstrated in the most direct way: by apparently fearless courage. The post’s nominal commander, Lieutenant John Chard, is—one might say predictably—a more shadowy figure. Like Bromhead, however, he emerges as a professional who knew his business, and could perform under extreme stress.

Courage under fire

One of the strong points of Snook’s account is his demonstration that much of the subsequent denigration of Chard’s and Bromhead’s abilities was the product of backbiting by jealous fellow officers. No less significant is Snook’s convincing proof that the large number of Victoria Crosses awarded for Rorke’s Drift was not an effort by the higher-ups to draw attention from an otherwise-bungled campaign. Bromhead and Chard had clear ideas of who had distinguished himself, and submitted their recommendations as soon as the post was relieved.

The last third of the book summarizes the rest of the war, discusses responsibilities for the Isandhlwana disaster, and reflects on the later careers and fates of some of Rorke’s Drift’s principal actors. It provides useful contexts for what a line from the film appropriately calls a miracle—“a short-chamber Boxer-Henry point forty-five caliber miracle. And a bayonet...with some guts behind it!” 320 pages • 6" x 9"

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lt. Col. Mike Snook is a serving officer of the Royal Regiment of Wales (formerly the 24th).

ABOUT THE REVIEWER: Dennis Showalter has taught history at Colorado College since 1969 and is a former president of the Society for Military History.

LIKE WOLVES ON THE FOLD, Dec 13,2006
Reviewer: TODD ERIKSEN
Incredible!!
This magnificent book is so well researched giving an almost minute by minute account of the British "last stand" at Rorke's Drift during the Zulu wars. The real thing is much more interesting and intense than any movie or historical fiction could ever capture. I could not put it down. I've read books on Rorke's Drift before but the writing style and information blows them all away. If you are unfamiliar with Rorke's Drift then you really should read "How Can Man Die Better" also by Snook, as it has all the information leading up to Rorke's Drift, making more sense of "Like Wolves On the Fold". A must read for any history fan.


LIKE WOLVES ON THE FOLD, Sep 10,2006
Reviewer: RICHARD NEUNHERZ
An Exciting Page-turner
This second volume of Snook's account and analysis of the January, 1879, British disaster at Isandlwana and the ultimately successful defense of Rorke's Drift later that same day is a captivating story, thrilling told by an author steeped in military knowledge. In the retelling of the victory at Rorke's Drift in the face of huge odds, Snook describes the battle in exhaustive detail and explains the well-reasoned positions he takes on debated issues. While the work is not documented, he does provide a long list of participant primary sources. He also closely analyzes responsibility for the disaster at Isandlwana. This is exciting history extremely well told


LIKE WOLVES ON THE FOLD, Sep 1,2006
Reviewer: MIKE MOORE
like wolves on the fold
from acts of bravery when the bullet's are flying and hand to hand combat,to re-telling of 1st hand accounts of the battle.snook analysises this battle with a fine tooth comb leaving no detail out.it kept me on the edge of my seat anxious to read the next page.anybody interested in British or military history will enjoy this book! definitely a must have for any library!!!


LIKE WOLVES ON THE FOLD, Jul 19,2006
Reviewer: JOHN PATTERSON
Seen the movie? Now read the book.
I've seen the movie "Zulu" more times than I can count and love it. I was anxious to read Lt. Col. Snook's book to see what really happened that day in 1879, since I know how movies can sometimes take liberties with facts. This book and the account of what really happened that day, makes the movie pale in comparison. I can recommend this book to anyone interested in history, especially military or South African history.

HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE
7 DAYS LIFESTYLE &LEISURE

There have been many decisive land battles fought throughout time such as Agincourt, the English Civil War and Waterloo, whose outcomes ultimately determined the fate of nations.

But no land battle has ever been waged against such impossible odds and with so little at stake as the incomparable story of Rorke’s Drift. What happened at that tiny British garrison on Wednesday, January 22, 1879 when a single detachment of the 24th Regiment — a total of just 150 men, including several hospital patients – fought off the advances of 4,500 Zulu assailants is the true stuff of Boy’s Own stories.

Just how this nominal detachment of men, facing odds of thirty to one, attained military immortality is told in a stunning, atmospheric new book Like Wolves On The Fold, The Defence of Rorke’s Drift by Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook, published by Greenhill Books.

In recounting this classic story, Lt Col Snook, himself a serving officer with the Royal Regiment of Wales, formerly the 24th Regiment, provides the insight of a military professional in offering a strikingly original and detailed account told almost in real time.

He describes how a hot, monotonous day ended in one of the most dramatic and improbable victories in history. His minute-by-minute narrative explains the heroic actions of the battle, making clear exactly where everyone would have been standing and what was their next move.

The book is a follow-up to Lt Col Snook’s acclaimed How Can A Man Die Better, which related the dreadful events of earlier on that fateful day when modern British expeditionary army, comprising just under 1,500 men, was decimated by an unstoppable host of Isandlwana warriors.

It picks up the story after the massive host attack on the 24th Regiment at its encampment at the foot of the Isandlwana and word then gets through of this hideous defeat to the regiment’s single company posted at Rorke’s Drift.

With a similar fate awaiting them as their comrades and retreat not an option, it is the sheer bloody mindedness in the face of adversity, which is the hallmark of the British infantryman who defended the garrison.

Lt Col Snook describes the heroic actions of all the men who went on to receive an unprecedented 11 Victoria Crosses as a result of their unparalleled bravery that led to their place in history.

He also recounts the rest of the war, from the recovery of the lost Queen’s Colour of the 24th to the charge of the 17th Lancers at Ulundi then addresses the issue of who was to blame for the disastrous events at Isandlwana.

Lt Col Snook’s interest in the Zulu Wars has developed into a deeper understanding and respect for both the great fighting qualities of the Victorian British soldier and the Zulu people, for whom he has a great abiding affection.

The book, whose foreword is by Colonel Huw Lloyd-Jones, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Wales, contains 32 pages of fully captioned illustrations and terrain photographs.

* Like Wolves On The Fold by Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook, is published by Greenhill Books, £25. The book is available from good bookshops and through the Greenhill Books website, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] greenhillbooks.com.

MILITARY BOOKCLUB.COM
The legendary 1879 battle at Rorke’s Drift is to England as the Alamo is to America: a story of a few heroically holding the fort against vastly greater enemy forces. Fighting for their country, for their wounded comrades and for their very lives, the British soldiers had their backs to the wall. They fought the attacking Zulus not only fiercely but, perhaps more importantly, in a cool-headed, organized fashion. “This was war at its simplest,” the author says. “Nose to nose, face to face, hand to hand.” Panic meant death, plain and simple.

And then there were the Zulus who, until now, have received scant attention for their efforts. They, too, fought courageously—but their tactics didn’t fare them too well. They charged the fort “until the corpses of the slain were piled high around the barricades.”

Like Wolves on the Fold traces the action leading up to the battle (namely, the Zulu rout of the British army at Isandlwana hours previous). It then provides a view of all the action, tactics, strategies and blood spilled in one of history’s most remarkable battles.

If you’re not fully familiar with the British stand at Rorke’s Drift, and if you take military history seriously, you need to read Like Wolves on the Fold. Maps. 32 pages of color and B/W photos. 262 pages.
RANDLES REVIEWS



Title- Like Wolves to the Fold (The Defence of Rorke's Drift)
Author- Lieutenant Colonel Mike Snook
Publisher- Greenhill Books
ISBN- 1853676594
Binding- Hardback
Pages- 302
Price-£20

Its not often you get two books that most definitely should be read one after the other but this companion volume to “How Can Man Die Better” is an exemplary example, leading from the victory of the Zulu army at Isandlwana to a defeat at Rorke's Drift a scant few miles away. The stand at the drift has become synonymous with the highest levels of gallantry and courage associated with the British Army, because here on the 22nd January 1879 a single company of the 24th Regiment 91st/2nd Battalion). Supporting these were a few recuperating patients, and members of N Battery (5th Brigade Royal Artillery), Natal Mounted Police, 3rd Regiment NNC, and other individuals fought off a ferocious attack by over 4,500 Zulu warriors. In what should have been a walkover, even with out the explicit command of King Cetshwayo a victory was anticipated.

This fascinating addition to the Greenhill series makes for a wonderful companion to the other title and like this maintains the same very high standard both in terms of content and presentation. Obvious deviations from the real events are bound to occur when converting an event to the big screen but it has to be said that the images portrayed do help the reader to visualise more clearly how the battle might have appeared to a participant. However when you read the facts behind the action it becomes all the more incredible that such a small force could have held a huge number at bay especially after the perimeter was initially laid out for a much larger force of men armed with Martini Henry rifle with .45 Boxer cartridges. As it turned out a significant number ran away, these being mostly NNC, although one European NCO who ran with them was shot dead. Thus when it came to defence the soldiers were already over extended and it was only later when the perimeter could be shortened, with the loss of the infirmary, and the building of a redoubt that the modern weaponry delivered the desired result. The book provides an interesting over view of events leading to this stand at Rorke's Drift, and provides a riveting account of the battle for the infirmary both inside and out, and the fallback position at the redoubt. An analysis of the commanding officers, 2Gonny” Bromhead and John Chard was also of great interest and it seems that perhaps the heroic exploits portrayed in the 1960’s film was not so far off the mark in regards to their courage. Bromhead for example led several bayonet charges onto the infirmary veranda to clear it of Zulu.

The last part of the book links effectively with the other publication and investigates the subsequent course of the war, and who was accountable for the tragic events leading both to Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. Of especial note are the appendices that provide a veritable feast of information ranging from the nominal role call of the 24th Regiment at both Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, the latter casualty return, Honours and Awards, Lt Chards report to the Queen, Lt Col. Wilsone Blacks reports, and how to visit the battlefields.


If I get banned so be it. Just in-case Goodbye everyone.



Last edited by Chelmsfordthescapegoat on Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:01 pm

What you choose to believe is of course up you , but if you are writing a "factual" book then stick to the fact (as much as they are known ) - i must agree with Saul , phrases such as he quotes are just too speculative .
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:05 pm

Sometimes speculation has to come into play. When facts are not available. (That's what makes a good author)
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:07 pm

It is an integral part of this forum that everyone is entitled to his (or her) opinion and that they should be entitled to express that opinion without being insulted .

CTSG i am sure that some people do not agree with you in all your posts but i do not recall anyone ever insulting you personally .
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:09 pm

Thanks Gary. I not to happy with his reply. Admin I have sent you a P.M.

S.D
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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:12 pm

Theses discussions can get heated. CTSG. A bit hash. !!! You need to relax.. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:21 pm

There is a difference between speculation , educated guessing , and emotive wishful thinking . The latter of which has , in my opinion , no place in what is sold as a factual book .
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:36 pm

Perhaps CTSG has had a bad day. scratch
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mons14

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:38 pm

garywilson1 wrote:
There is a difference between speculation , educated guessing , and emotive wishful thinking . The latter of which has , in my opinion , no place in what is sold as a factual book .

Snooks speculations are not wild and wacky and seem very well grounded in reason to me...I dont have the book so para-phrasing here:

He says that Pullien 'must have been very concerned and wondering what the sapper was up to.' In describing what Pullien must have been thinking in seeing Durnford retreating from the Donga and leaving 'G' Comapny to its eventual death.

Seems about right to me. I dont think this is a huge leap in logic.

Nothing is wrong with logical speculation - in fact the whole battle is largely and sadly left to speculation.

But like Mike said to me - you either get it, or you dont.

I get it.
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:51 pm

Like i tried to explain it is the emotive parts i am at odds with , as with you i must para-phrase but in saying Melville was ordered to save the colours and "we all in the Regiment know its true" .
Please tell me how they know ? There is absolutely NO evidence one way or the other if he was ordered or if he just used it as an excuse to get on his horse and leg it . And as for Glynn weeping in some quite corner ? who saw him ? Maybe he did but without factual evidence it is just emotive speculation and not factual .
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 9:53 pm

Sorry about that. I must have been posting the same time as Gary. This is in responce to Mons14 post.

Good point. But that's what sells book. I suppose you could say that Snook says it how it might have happen, because no one really knows. But it good to give the reader the option to come to his/hers own conclusions.
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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 10:04 pm

Mr CTSG. . control your passions. A professional soldier must keep cool and thoughtful in times of stress. Idea

sas1
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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 10:04 pm

If you write a book in the absence of facts you can say how it might have happened or how you would have liked it to have happened .

If a book is sold as factual then it should be balanced ? No mention of any other possibility than that Melville was ordered to save the Colours?
What did Wollesey think for example - his remarks are well recorded.
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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 10:49 pm

CTSG. Your post to SD has been edited. I have sent you a P.M please understand the contents of the message.

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 7:46 am

To one and all.
Lt Col Snook goes to great pains to point out that his book is a RECONSTRUCTION of events based on his perception of available evidence. it is a trully amazing read that Ive pointed out does have bias and errors. Mentioned in the book are various sources that he does pay tribute to, Whybra, Jackson etc.
Its obvious that he has shown loyalty to his regiment and tried to protect its reputation, and any reasonable student of the battle will pick that up and look past it.
Most of the books written on the wars are based on the writers own perceptions and are therefore subject to the same critisism of bias, story telling etc.
That holds sway even in true fiction, Saul Davids, Zulu Ray is a classic example in that a central sway is perpetuation of the myth of the ammunition shortage
WHilst not agreeing with the attacks of CTSG, I agree with his arguements ( that has to be a first, Springbok and CTSG agreeing).
Gary Wilson
Your quite correct regarding the emotive parts, then be consistent and crit Knight for Brave Mens Blood, etc. Crit Morris for TWOTS, probably the only publication lacking emotion is Julian Whybras.
Isandlwana is emotive, the battlefield is emotive, I tried to show that in my opening post. Its impossible to discuss any sort of aspect of this battle without emotion. So I hardly think the Lt Col Snook can be taken to task for trying to inject a certain speculation and roll playing in order to generate that emotion.

s'ya y'vum inkani
na Se Sandlwana
Se sa b'ehlula
be zil' abelungu
Imnandi, Si y'xox
'enkosin"

We admit to dauntless defence
even at Sandlwana
we have by now defeated
the white invader
It is good; we report this to the king

The Isandlwana Victory Hymn

Regards

PS. CTSG, Chill, dont want to loose you.
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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 8:37 am

Springbok , i am sorry but i have not read the other two books you mention so i can't of course comment on them .

My remarks were not to say i did not find the book excellent - i did and have said so both here and on RDVC in the past.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 2:02 pm

S.D Thanks for the P.M No hard feelings. But Mr Snook is a major player when it comes to writing about the Zulu War. We should like the idea that someone is prepaired to fill in the gaps where facts are not available. But who's idea's make sense as to what may have took place. Idea
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mons14

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 2:41 pm

Yes I agree CTSG, I'm so grateful for Mike's book....for the first time in a lifetime of studying and yearning for new information on Isandlwana Mike has brought the battle to life for me - this is an amazing thing.

I was able to see it unfold in my minds eye, and for that gift I thank Mike. I have been profoundly impacted by his work.

I care little what his opponents say.

My hats off to him,

Well done Mike.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 2:46 pm

I think that at times we get so involved in disecting events we forget to look at the bigger picture and see what did actually transpire.
For me the few days I spent on the battlefield gave me a totally new perspective. rather than the global ' they all died here', it became more of this is where CS Wolfe died with his 20 men, and why did he die just there. The book gave meaning to that, plausible meaning. just one example really but the days were full of those vignettes.
Much has been made of the colors and Melvills ride. Whos to say it didnt happen the way Snook has hypothesised. It was entirly possible, not probable, but possible. His justification for Coghills presence is really really thin though, right from the outset he was pretty beligerant over any perceived crit of the two of them.
I do think it was rather arrogant of the author to state " we, the regiment, know ";when his book was intended for a wider audience. But there again I dont suppose you get to the exhalted rank of Lt Col without that touch of, call it what you will.
From conversations at the Lodge, Ian Knights book could make a significant impact as well, the rumour has it that he also has done a more in depth look at the battlefield, will be interesting the scholar verses the military man. My order is in allready.

Glad to see SD and CTSG have kissed and made up, was either that or handbags at ten paces.

Regards
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 2:51 pm

Mons 14
On a different web site you were asking about the military camp at Wynberg. As I type, in my study, I look out towards the camp it self. Its located around half way between Simonstown and Cape Town on the back on Table Mountain in the Constantia valley.
Regards
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mons14

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 2:56 pm

That is amazing Springbok Shocked

I live a world away, and can only dream of seeing what you're looking at right now!!

I enjoy your posts Springbok, keep it up Idea

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90th

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PostSubject: how can men die better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 3:04 pm

hi all.
I dont have this book , basically when I was starting out purchasing my Zulu War Collection I read
the E.H review and as you can see it isnt a glowing review , I have the upmost respect for Snook
as he has been there and seen that and had the guts to write about it . I tend to lean more toward
the facts as they are known and this is by no means a slant on Snook's work , what I am trying to
say is maybe I should get a copy and see for myself , there are several people on here who are
building the book up and these people in my way of thinking are those who wouldnt be taken by
pretty pictures etc etc , so it looks like its time to chase a copy and see what all the fuss is about . Idea
cheers 90th.
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mons14

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 3:09 pm

Definately, go get it 90th, you wont be sorry.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 3:09 pm

90th
I think you have either the biggest collection of books on the forum, or close to it. Not having this one is a big gap. I dont understand the EH review, lots of vitriol there. Do you think its at all possible that that EH = Col ? Hummmmm

Regards
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: how can men die better   How can Man die Better EmptyFri Jul 30, 2010 3:16 pm

hi all.
Well tomorrow I know what I will be doing Rolling Eyes , shopping !, and not for food or clothes :lol: .
Springbok I'm not wishing to bag anybody but E.H = Col not likely Shocked
cheers 90th.
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 1:32 am

No it’s to well written and researched. To be Col:

S.D
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: how can men die better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 7:21 am

hi all
Who said peer pressure doesnt work scratch . I have found myself a copy of Snook's book thanks to
several contributors from this forum who told me I do need to have it Idea . And the best thing , the other half said I can have it for
Fathers Day :lol!: :lol!: . Roll on September :) .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 7:58 am

Hi 90th,

Thank your lucky starts you live in Oz, Fathers day falls in June in the UK, if you lived here you'd have 'missed the boat' and probably have had to wait until christmas! :)

Cheers
Bookworm
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 8:46 am

90th
In South Africa Fathers day is 9 months ahead of Mothers day Wink Wink

Enjoy the book,
Regards
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 10:29 am

90th and think yourself extremely lucky to have a book by Mr Snook, as a gift. I know you like book’s by Ian Knight, So I will be interested to know your views on how can Man die Better.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: how can men die better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 2:25 pm

Hi ctsg.
You are correct , I do like the Ian Knight Books because he actually tells you in his footnotes were the
source material was found and filed away , but Laband , Jackson , Whybra are also as impressive and
I do have their publications as well . I like to see where the source material comes from as it can often lead
to lesser well known and hard to find publications , I am sure many others would agree especially my old mate
Springbok :)
cheers 90th. :)
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mons14

mons14

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 4:02 pm

90th,

What publications are from Whybra - is it just "Englands Sons' the roll, or is there more?

I dont have Englands Sons, would you recommend this?

mons

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptySat Jul 31, 2010 5:29 pm

"Englands Sons'

Lost English County (A: Winchcombeshire in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (Studies in Anglo-Saxon History)
by Julian Whybra .

Julian Whybra's research into the history and boundaries of the vanished shire has uncovered important evidence relating to the early organisation of land tenure in one of the most turbulent periods in the history of England. The history of Winchcombeshire is no obscure tale of a lost shire: the story of its creation, development and demise is intricately interwoven with the story of the development of England prior to the Norman Conquest and the fabric of government which rules our lives to this day. Winchcombeshire comprised what is now the Cotswold area of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, and its centre was at Winchcombe. A scribe's tantalising marginal addition to the heading of an early-11th-century charter started Julian Whybra's quest for the history and boundaries of the vanished shire, and his research has uncovered important evidence relating to early organisation of land tenure in one of the most turbulent periods in the history of England, dating from the reconquest of England from the Vikings in the early 10th century, through the monastic reform movement that divided England's rulers in the mid-10th century, to the Danish wars under Aethelred the unready in the early years of the 11th century. JULIAN WHYBRA studied at the universities of East Anglia and Cambridge, where he was a Fellow of Girton College and undertook much of the work on which this book is based. His main field of interest is Anglo-Saxon history and he is currently working on the boundaries of the kingdom of the East Saxons and on the nature of the shire-foundation in England. He lives in Essex. Market -- History: Anglo-Saxon -- Geography

Quite an undertaking.

(Maybe Julian think’s there has been enough books been written on the Zulu War. His book England’s Sons is a valuable resource to the authors of to day along with they Fell Like Stone's buy John Young.
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mons14

mons14

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PostSubject: Re: How can Man die Better   How can Man die Better EmptyWed Aug 04, 2010 2:38 am

Thank you for that CTSG,

mons
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