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 Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.

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John

John

Posts : 2558
Join date : 2009-04-06
Age : 58
Location : UK

Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  Empty
PostSubject: Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.    Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  EmptySat Aug 07, 2010 9:55 am

Where were the trains based, and how far did the line run. Was it used at anytime to carry supplies at all during the Zulu War.


From the records of the Defence Committee,

"it appears that Major Huskisson was the first British officer to suggest the use of armoured trains in warfare. Upon his recommendation it was decided that in the event of the Zulus approaching the town, the engine and trucks of the Natal Railway Company should be manned with riflemen and patrol the line between the Umgeni and town.

General Lord Chelmsford visited Durban on oth February, 1879, and inspected the various defence works, expressing himself as satisfied with the plan adopted for repelling attack.

The harassing suspense and constant dread of attack were not alleviated until March 4th, 1879, when H.M.S. " Shah '' arrived unexpectedly and landed 200 Blue-jackets. This ship happened to be at St. Helena when news was received of the disaster which had befallen British troops in Zululand. His Excellency Governor Janisch immediately placed at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief the greater part of the garrison of the Island, and Capt. Bradshaw, E.X., assumed the responsibility of changing the route of his vessel in order to transport these men to Durban. Never were British seamen more heartily welcomed in Durban than were the 200 men landed from H.M.S. " Shah." Other reinforcements followed, the battle of Ulundi was won, and all fear of attack on the town passed.

Letters were forwarded to His Excellency Governor Janisch and to Capt. Bradshaw, E.N., commanding H.M.S. " Shah," conveying the thanks of the Burgesses
for the timely assistance rendered to the town by the prompt decisions arrived at and the means adopted for forwarding reinforcements."



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24th

24th

Posts : 1850
Join date : 2009-03-25

Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.    Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  EmptySat Aug 07, 2010 10:30 am

John. I’m not sure the trains were put too much used.

Huskisson was just suggesting that in the event of an attack, which of course didn't happen, they could be used as barricades with rifleman. A possibility that could be put to use if required.

Of course this was not the case in the Boer-War. They were used by the British.
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90th

90th

Posts : 10193
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 64
Location : Melbourne, Australia

Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  Empty
PostSubject: Armoured trains   Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  EmptySun Aug 08, 2010 6:01 am

hi John.
The trains werent used in the zulu war except to take the troops a little bit inland to their departure point.
All supplies had to be taken by wagons pulled by oxen or mules .
cheers 90th.
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Umbiki

Umbiki

Posts : 131
Join date : 2010-07-04
Location : Gloucester, UK

Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.    Armoured trains in warfare and Major Huskisson.  EmptyMon Aug 09, 2010 2:37 pm

Had a quick look at Frank Emery's, "The Red Soldier" and there is early reference there to the 5th Company, Royal Engineers, disembarking at Durban on 4 January 1879 and, " by the evening of 8 January they had travelled by rail as far as Pinetown, where they had to wait until their seven mule waggons caught up with them."

Pinetown was indeed the end of the line at that time. Putting on my other "anorak' - how sad is that?! Rolling Eyes - the first recorded railway line was in 1860 and ran from the point (wharves) at Durban to the town some two miles away. It was not until 1876 that construction of the real railway system got underway and the section to Pinetown - some 17 miles - opened in May 1878. A further section (some 14 miles) to Botha's Hill opened in March 1879 with the line to Pietermaritzburg opening in December 1880.

Hope this is helpful.

H
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