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Aidan



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PostSubject: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySat Oct 09, 2010 12:56 pm

Hi Chaps
I have been on a games forum in the Napoleon: Total War topic. The discussion in question began around the use of Sqwaures and kind of wandered into the range of firearms. From there we managed to get to the fact that many men at RD were killed or injured by fire coming from the Oscarberg, given that as far as we over there know, the Zulu's were mostly armed with smoothbore muskets and Lt Chard's report says they were firing from 3-400 yards away - well outside the range, let alone effective range of, say, a Brown Bess.

So there was some knocking about of the idea that they had MH's looted from the Isand battlefield which seems unlikely, at least in any numbers. We also watched a clip of Ian Knight doing a Holt's tour talk at the front wall of the defense (where Hitch got shot) and refers several times to Zulu's firing 'rifles' - in fact stating Hitch was shot by a 'rifle'.

Of course a rifled musket with minie ball might be the answer but thought I would post the question here - is there any known information known as to what firearms the Zulu's had at Isandlwana and RD?

Another topic that came up was that according to a battlefield survey at Isandlwana there was no evidence for a protracted fight or any 'last stands' - which is hardly surprising to me given the battlefield cleanup and the amount of 'souveniring' that has gone on ever since eg:

Standing on the nek Haggard looked out over the battlefield and visualised the events of 22 January 1879. "Few relics are left of the struggle now after the lapse of 35 years, some broken medicine bottles, a good many fragments of bully-beef tins, pieces of the bones of men and animals, that is all. Also we picked up the remnants of two Martini cartridges; the one I found on the nek had not been fired, probably it came from the pouch of some slain soldier, a slate pencil and such sundries." (That night when the party stayed at the store of Charles Evelyn Parr, close to the battlefield, Haggard was given a "number of cartridge cases and the head of one of Durnford's rockets." )

There is another thread on here regarding relics on the battlefield and I know several have visited the site - some many times - so your opinions on this would be valued.

Also mention was made that in the Youtube clip one guy had seen, Ian Knight knocked open a replica Ammo box to show how easy they are to open so he was obviously involved in this 'survey'.

Can anyone shed some light on this 'survey' - perhaps even get a comment from Ian on it.

It seems strange to me that he would not be well aware that a 'survey' would not give clear evidence of the length of the fight and the last stands without the relics (piles of cartridge cases in appropriate positions etc) but have seen plenty of reports here - especially the Zulu evidence - that shows protracted resistance and last stands. If this 'survey' is available on youtube or some information about it could be given I would be most grateful

Regards

Aidan



Last edited by Aidan on Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : My typing was c*p :D)
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySat Oct 09, 2010 7:29 pm

Neil, Ken, and Springbok will be able to answer all these questions.

But you do have a point: the Brown Bess effective range is often quoted as 175 yards (160 m), but the Brown Bess was often fired en masse at 50 yards (46 m) to inflict the greatest damage upon the enemy.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySun Oct 10, 2010 8:15 am

Hi Aidan
Without a doubt Mr 'Martini Henry", Neil, will be able to give all the ballistic info. There is no doubt whatsoever that the zulus inflicted a fair amount of damage from the Oskaberg. Thats extremely well documented by suvivors.
They were in the habit of buying fire arms from traders. Cetchwayo did in fact issue instructions to collect as many firearms as possible. I would therefore imagine that a significant amount of different weapons were available.
The regiments taking part in the RD battle werent on the Isandlawana battlefield so wouldnt have taken any weapons from there. Possibly they would have got the odd one from the early stages of the fugitives trail but not a significant amount.
The 'survey' was an archiological dig run by Ian Knight for, I believe. a British TV program. I cant remember any mention of denial for any lasts stands. The main results coming from the dig were a report that the firing line was father out than originally reported. ( Mike Snooks book is to a part based on that ). Secondly they inspected a cairn on the Fugitives Trail and found human bones.
There is again some pretty strong conjecture suported by some sound deduction, by Castle Snook and mainy other authors that supports the concept of the last stands. Also testimony from various Zulus involved in the battle.
As an example, a recent line of study Ive been looking at is the statements by the Rev de Witt, he comments that from the top of the Oskaberg he witnessed soldiers fighting in a Krall some distance from the camp. There are three possible kralls visible, two on the trail and one closer under the Blacks Koppie skirts.

Hope that helps.

Regards
The film clip of Ian Castle opening an ammo box cant be taken seriously. The 1879 boxes were made of teak/Mahogany. Extremely hard woods. Iansdemo was done with a local pine, very easy to shatter. Probably easier to shatter with your fist rather than the butt of a Martini
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySun Oct 10, 2010 6:43 pm

Quote :
The 1879 boxes were made of teak/Mahogany. Extremely hard woods
I recall they found the screws that secured the ammo boxes, which were bent at a 45-degree angle, when Ian Knight broken open the box with the butt of the rifle, it actually bent the screw to the same angle.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySun Oct 10, 2010 7:47 pm

The Zulu capabilities of adjusting the sights on the M.H Rifle were none. During the Battle of Isandlwana the soldiers were adjusting sights down as the enemy closed in. So for argument sake lets it the sights were adjusted to 100 yards, the Zulu’s firing down from Oscarberg would have only had a hit by luck. I have only read one account of a defender being wounded, where a musket ball was removed from his spine. I have never read an account of a M.H bullet being removed.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySun Oct 10, 2010 8:20 pm

From Colour Sgt Bournes acccount.

"The Zulus had collected the rifles from the men who they had killed at Isandhlwana, and had captured the ammunition from the mules which had stampeded and threw their loads; so our own arms where used against us. In fact, this was the cause of every one of our casualties, killed and wounded, and we should have suffered many more if the enemy had known how to use a rifle. There was hardly a man even wounded by an assegais - their principle weapon."
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySun Oct 10, 2010 8:48 pm

Apart from the odd martini, those that would have been picked up during the flanking maounouvre of the right horn, in destroying the small RE contingent under McDowell, (often too debated), the chance of a Zulu of the assualting Impi on RD having a Martini slim.

Without doubt the Zulu would not have understood the sighting on a Martini, unless they had been trained in shooting P53 Enfield's, with the Whitworth type sight. A smoothbored musket is a completely "line of sight" weapon, and at the range of the Oskerberg from the defence is well in excess of 400 yards, at that range a musket is hitting the floor, 200 yards before the target. A shooter, with the sight ladder set at 100 yards with a martini is going to hit the floor at 300, as a 500 yard trajectory is 8 feet from ffl in its flight.

Bourne stated he heard Martini fire from the Oskerberg, but this I would question, I have spent hours in the butts of rifle ranges, 500 yards from the firing point, I cannot tell the whump of a black powder rifle be it a Martini, Snider, P53 or Sharps,..they all sound the same. Only the supersonic "crack" of a nitro round can be differentiated.

The bullet that hitch had removed was a ball of approx 50 calibre, it was not a martini round, and certainly not a .577 Minnie bullet which would be fired from a P53 enfield or a Snider.

There is no doubt that eventually rounds of any description would find a mark, from the Oskerberg if enough were fired, no matter how random, I have sat many an hour on the rocks on the Oskerberg, I doubt I could actually snipe at an specific target, a that range, especially if it was behind a barricade. it was those with their backs to the 'Berg, which would have been in the most peril, as Scheiss found out.
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impi

impi

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptySun Oct 10, 2010 10:02 pm

Quote :
There is no doubt that eventually rounds of any description would find a mark, from the Oskerberg if enough were fired
Can adding more black powder make Can adding more black powder make a difference to the distance of the round? scratch
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Rorke's Drift Csualty Report   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 1:09 am

hi all.
This from ' Rorke's Drift By Those Who were There ' by Jones & Stevenson.

These are the Gunshot injuries .

1 / 24th
Pte. J. Waters . Severely Wounded - Gunshot thro' arm & shoulder .
Pte. Desmond . Slightly Wounded - Gunshot thro' fleshy part of thumb.

2 / 24th.
Sgt. T. Williams . Dangerously Wounded - Gunshot left side of chest fracturing ribs. Bullet not Lodged.
Corp. Lyons. Dangerously Wounded- Gunshot neck , fracturing spine of vertibrae, Ball Lodged.
Corp. Allen. Severely Wounded - Gunshot thro' shoulder and arm.
Pte. Hitch. Dnagerously Wounded - Gunshot thro' shoulder joint .
Pte. Tasker. Slightly Wounded - Gunshot Splinter of ball breaking skin of forehead.

Native Cont.
Corp. Scammell. Dangerously Wounded - Gunshot , Ball passing in at upper part of R shoulder & making exit at L shoulder.
Pte. Scheiss. Slightly Wounded - Gunshot Contusion of Ankle.

Comm Dept.
Storekeeper Dalton. Severely Wounded , Gunshot thro' fleshy part of shoulder & making exit behind.

That was signed . J. North Crealock Lt Col Assist Mily Secretary.

In another extract from an unidentified Natal Newspaper c Jan 1879.

2 / 24th Pte. Jones . Slightly Wounded - Bullet Abrasion of Abdomen , Where as in Cealock's report this is stated as ' Assagai Contusion of the Abdomen .

As we can see many wounded by Gunshots.

This from the very detailed England's Sons by J. Whybra.

A Roll of those Killed . ( Gunshot Casualties only )
1 / 24th Pte. Edward Nicholas - Gunshot through Head .

2 / 24th.Pte. James Chick - Gunshot . Pte. Thomas Cole - Gunshot through head . Pte. John Fagan - Gunshot , Pte. John Scanlon
Gunshot .

2/ 3rd NNC
Corp. William Anderson - Gunshot through head ( may have been shot whilst deserting ) before the action started ?.

Army Comm Dept.
Louis Byrne - Acting storekeeper , Gunshot through head .

Sgt Thomas Williams listed in Crealock's return died of his wounds .
cheers 90th.







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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 8:15 am

Impi
Hypothetically yes, but thats on the premise that you know how much to put in it in the first place. For example, if you drop the load on a Martini to 70 grains, it will have very little effect on 100 yards, but beyond that it starts to become oversighted dramatically.Even with a full 85 grains velocity will drop from 1320 fps @ muzzle to about 1000 fps at 500 Yards, that is why the elevation becomes important, and why a fixed sight musket is so haphazard.


A man with a musket at close range though will cause far more damage, look at the injury list, they are nearly all upper torso, i.e that exposed.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: help needed on a couple of questions please .   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 9:09 am

hi Aidan.
In regard to the ' Battlefield Survey ' I dont know of it but it may go under another title .
cheers 90th.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 9:19 am

Battle Field Survey

The only surveys I can recall were the Lt James RE. The Anstey and Penrose Survey. The Ian Knight/BBC Survey.
As I said on an earlier post the Ian Knight survey didnt dwell on the last stands, more on establishing the front line and the line of Fugitives Trail.
There was of course the Alfred Boast 'survey', that was more of a record of the cairn construction and positions.
If there are any others Id really like to know about them.

Regards
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: help needed on a couple of questions please .   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 11:37 am

hi Aidan.
This from a collegue , hope this helps .

Not sure what Aidan means by a survey. The battlefield was surveyed (mapped) by Lts. Penrose and Anstey at the time and of course lots of time since, but if you mean archaeological survey the only one was carried out in 2000 by the team from Glasgow University under Dr Tony Polland. I was the historian attached to that. Although the same team also surveyed the mission site at Eshowe, and published a report on that, no official report was published on the iSandlwana one due to a break down in communication between the Glasgow team and Amafa, the heritage body who administer the site. The survey was not in any case comprehensive - there was neither time nor money available - but targeted specific areas. An unofficial report by Andrew Greaves (who was then an archaeology student and who worked as a volunteer on the dig) was published in Issue 8 of the Journal of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society (December 2000).
cheers 90th. Idea
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Aidan



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 12:15 pm

Thanks for the responses so far chaps but hasn't got me further forward

It's the Ian Knight/BBC survey that's the one being quoted as 'showing no evidence' for last stands - this may be inferred from absence of mention of them and lack of evidence on the ground or some specific statements made in the program, it's quite important to establish what the program actually did go into, which is why I was hoping to at least find the title of it to see if I can find it online or some authoritative statement regarding it's contents.

I must say it's raised an interesting topic though, just what were the Zulu firing from the Oskaberg ? :) - unfortunately ambiguity reigns as usual - the words 'gunshot' 'bullet' and 'ball' are not definitive in any way, as 'gunshot' is too generic and we still use the words 'Ball' and 'bullet' for the same round pretty much interchangeably...

The question of last stands hinges on one persons comment that when he watched the program it showed cartridges 'scattered around the site with no evidence of last stands, presumably he would be expecting heaps of cartridges where the last stands were . In their absence he is likening it to the Little Big Horn survey which concluded that the lack of cartridge cases (both along the line of graves which had previously been thought to be a 'picket line' and around the clump of fenced-in graves) shows that the Natives were right in their statement that the cavalry soldiers were swiftly overwhelmed there when they had nowhere left to run. The difference here is that this accorded with the Native Americans evidence where at Isandlwana the forum 'opponent' is questioning the veracity of the Zulu eyewitness evidence.

Which in itself is somewhat silly as if you disregard the evidence of the warriors at LBH then the survey there cannot say there was no last stand or that the line of graves do not in fact represent a picket line. absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But I prefer to give more authority to my rebuttal if possible :)

However I do believe that there are several records - Hunter-Browne being one who does mention piles of cartridges round two of his dead officers, some references to 70 men being dead in a clump near the HQ tent, 150 men in a group somwher else, Anstey's 60 men etc - but of themselves they do not give concrete evidence of last stands unfortunately.

I am sure when the books I have ordered finally get here - including Norris' book with Blacks report, I will have better information but that's not going to be for some time

Thanks for your replies so far though, most appreciated Idea

Aidan
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: help needed on a couple of questions please .   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 12:36 pm

hi Aidan.
You will find statements in some of the books regarding last stands , fairly certain the ' Black Report ' in Norris- Newman's
book mentions clumps of bodies here and there . Can you tell me which books you have on order ?. In regard to last stands
you will find there isnt to much evidence in which a report will say there were many or hundreds of Cartridge cases found at
this point . Many of the last stands were conducted with the Bayonet after the ammunition had already run out . A considerable
amount of ammo didnt even get to where it was supposed to go , many instances of people sending ammo to the soldiers
but with the mules bolting and taking off to god knows where , the ammo just didnt arrive in time to those who needed it .
This would explain the lack of large piles of empty cartridges around the groups of dead . Hope this makes sense
cheers 90th.
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Aidan



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Join date : 2010-08-18
Age : 65
Location : Perth Westen Australia

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 1:03 pm

90th wrote:
hi Aidan.
You will find statements in some of the books regarding last stands , fairly certain the ' Black Report ' in Norris- Newman's
book mentions clumps of bodies here and there . Can you tell me which books you have on order ?. In regard to last stands
you will find there isnt to much evidence in which a report will say there were many or hundreds of Cartridge cases found at
this point . Many of the last stands were conducted with the Bayonet after the ammunition had already run out . A considerable
amount of ammo didnt even get to where it was supposed to go , many instances of people sending ammo to the soldiers
but with the mules bolting and taking off to god knows where , the ammo just didnt arrive in time to those who needed it .
This would explain the lack of large piles of empty cartridges around the groups of dead . Hope this makes sense
cheers 90th.

Hi 90th
So far:
Items ordered:
1 X AB547, Zulu Rising: The Epic Story of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift @ GBP 20.00 = GBP 20.00
1 X EA133, DVD: Isandlwana : Zulu Battlefield @ GBP 11.99 = GBP 11.99
2 X AB274, Hill of the Sphinx: The Battle of Isandlwana @ GBP 10.00 = GBP 20.00
1 X AB273, Isandlwana 1879: The great Zulu victory @ GBP 14.99 = GBP 14.99

Total: 73.68

The Royal Regiment Of Wales Museum Shop

I was hoping they would have Mike Snook's book HCMDB - but not in their online shop and didn't have Norris-Newmans either so am just about to go after those online - probably Amazon as i already checked seekbooks and Nile.

I did read one post on this or the other forum which has Hamilton-Brown writing that he came across two of his officers remains with a 'heap' of spent cartridges round them and said that as they had both been excellent shots they would have accounted for quite alot of zulu (words to that effect anyway). Of course when you arfe looking for a particular thing it's nevger where you thought it was :)

Aidan
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 7:32 pm

90th you have listed 16 confirmed kills with bullets. When you considered 25000 rounds were fired during the defence of Rorke's Drift. Plus what the Zulu fired, that's not bad going. Even if you count friendly fire. Idea

Also proves the English weren't very good shots. scratch
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John

John

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyMon Oct 11, 2010 8:02 pm

Quote :
Also proves the English weren't very good shots.
(You have lost me) scratch
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littlehand

littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyTue Oct 12, 2010 8:00 pm

Brown Bess: (British standard smoothbore)

Maximum range: circa 250 yards;
Maximum effective range (100 round volley): 150 - 200 yards;
Effective maximum range (Single round): 100 - 150 yards;
Optimum range: 75 - 100 yards;
Weight: 9lbs, 11oz (Small Land);
Optimum effect: At 30 yards, will penetrate 3/8" of iron or 5 inches of oak;
Rate of fire (Optimum): 4 - 5 rounds per minute;
Rate of fire (actual): 2 - 3 rounds per minute;
Rate of misfire: 20 - 40%.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyWed Oct 13, 2010 7:01 am

I could be wrong but I would assume that the 16 kills were British, killed by Zulu. The 25000 rounds fired were from the British to the Zulu!
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Aidan



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyWed Oct 13, 2010 12:28 pm

springbok9 wrote:
I could be wrong but I would assume that the 16 kills were British, killed by Zulu. The 25000 rounds fired were from the British to the Zulu!

:lol!:

The Zulu casualties were around 3-500 killed and probably at least twice that wounded (seems to be a fairly standard ratio for some reason)

The other thing that people tend to miss is that most likely (not stated anywhere I have read but based on my military experience and known practise), the high amount of ammunition used probably reflects that the British were putting out 'fire suppression' during the dark hours to keep the zulu's heads down and hopefully get a few of them lurking in the grass and rocks...

Cheers

Aidan
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyWed Oct 13, 2010 1:14 pm

Aidan, dont forget that 'Will' was shot at countless numbers of times. scratch
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Aidan



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyWed Oct 13, 2010 1:21 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Aidan, dont forget that 'Will' was shot at countless numbers of times. scratch

Of course !! Poor Will always getting shot at - his mate Bill Posters tends to just get prosecuted a lot !! Wink
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyWed Oct 13, 2010 2:16 pm

........The fire from the rocks behind us, though badly directed, took us completely in reverse, and was so heavy that we suffered very severely and about 6pm were forced to retire behind the entrenchment of biscuit boxes. Chards statement.
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littlehand

littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyWed Oct 13, 2010 9:44 pm

If I recall. Neil had a good explanation for the amount of ammunition used a R.D.

http://1879zuluwar.forumotion.com/general-discussion-area-f6/shots-fired-at-rorkes-drift-t1047.htm?highlight=shots
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Aidan



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyThu Oct 14, 2010 5:04 am

littlehand wrote:
If I recall. Neil had a good explanation for the amount of ammunition used a R.D.

http://1879zuluwar.forumotion.com/general-discussion-area-f6/shots-fired-at-rorkes-drift-t1047.htm?highlight=shots

The quote there was from Mike Snook and said that the men had fully replenished their pouches etc

Which is a bit of a Doh! moment as around 100 men taking say 100 rounds each = 10,000 rounds, course we don't know the exact number they had in their pouches at that time but it makes a big difference to the calculations I think?

Unless Chards' report incorporates rounds returned to stores of course ... as the figures were in Lt Chard's report to HM Victoria Rolling Eyes

I think I will take Mike's word for it - presumably if anyone would know the stores returns the CO of the Regmt writing a book on the subject would :)

Aidan
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John

John

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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyThu Oct 14, 2010 8:34 am

I did read somewhere that a statement was made by someone at R.D. That if the Zulu's had attacked again. There would not have been enough ammunition to stop them.
(Or something along those lines)
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Aidan



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed on a couple of questions please..   Help needed on a couple of questions please.. EmptyThu Oct 14, 2010 10:22 am

John wrote:
I did read somewhere that a statement was made by someone at R.D. That if the Zulu's had attacked again. There would not have been enough ammunition to stop them.
(Or something along those lines)

From Chards report: each man had a good supply of ammunition in his pouches, we had only about a box and a half left besides...

Aidan
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