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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
 
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 What were the Zulu Army planning?

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tasker224

tasker224

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PostSubject: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 8:17 am

Perhaps another trivial Q again from me, so apologies if it is over simplistic and has been covered numerous times before. I have Ian Knight's book in iSandlwana and RD in the pipieline for my birthday, but I can't wait.

In brief, am I right in thinking that the accepted theory is that the Zulu army were planning to attack iSandlwana on the 23rd, not 22nd, in a deliberate assault, but were perhaps drawn in to attcking on the 22nd on their discovery?
Might they also have been hoping to catch Chelmsford's column in the attack also, on their return?
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: What were the zulu army planning   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 8:36 am

Hi Tasker224.
You are right we have covered this before but a quick reply will suffice , the zulu army did intend to attack at dawn on the
23rd as the 22nd was seen to the zulu's as the day of the dead moon . The only reason they attacked on the 22nd was
they had been discovered by Raw and his detachment . Raw's men dismounted and fired a volley into the dense mass of zulu's.
Who then couldnt restrain themselves and proceeded after Raw and co . The Zulu's say that the Induna's attempted to call them back but there was no stopping once they started . I dont think there was any interest in Chelmsford party , as the zulu's had
gone to great lengths to avoid them . I suppose when you look at it with The Good Lord and his forces spread over a lot of
ground trying to find the army , the zulu's had they been in Chelmsford's Vicinity , they could have rolled straight over him
and then gone on to attack the camp . You will certainly enjoy the Knight book I'm on chapter 24 and enjoying it immensely .
cheers 90th.

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 5:07 pm

There is still a niggling question that I can’t get my head around. The Zulu’s were hid in a valley approximately 5 miles from the camp of Isandlwana, We are told that they did not intend on attacking on the 22nd because new moon ect. Well what if Chelmsford had decided to move the whole column and not just half at 05:30am still bearing in mind the Zulu’s were not going to attack. The distance would have only become greater between the two armies with Chelmsford moving further into Zululand. I don’t think the Zulu army would have followed the risk of being seen would have been to great, so would they have remained in the valley and gone after Chelmsford the next day, I personally think, like I have said before the Zulu army had another agenda, and my thought is Natal. The fact that they were discovered forced the Zulus to go to plan B. If the Zulu had got into Natal the supply line to Chelmsford army would have been cut. And we all know what happen during the Siege of Eshowe
Also the Zulu’s knew the British would never fight them in the open, so would Chelmsford had taken the risk of moving back to Natal. A column on the move would certainly have gave the Zulu the advantage and an east target.
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Jamie



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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 8:40 pm

Hi Littlehand,

In respect to Natal being the objective of the Zulu Army and not engaging the invading column of Chelmsford, this can quickly be put to bed. It was an over-riding fact that King Cetshwayo had instructed the Zulu commanders to firstly engage in dialogue with the British prior to attacking, It was one last throw of the dice to have dialogue and also be seen as the 'victim', Secondly he had instructed the army not to set foot into Natal and be seen as an invading army but merely defending his kingdom.

Regards,

Jamie
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 8:55 pm

Hi Jamie. That make be so, But what would have happen if Chelmsford had taken the whole column with him when he went to Dartnell's assistance. And why would the Zulu King have sent 20'000 + Armed Zulu's as peace envoys.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 9:02 pm

Quote :
It was an over-riding fact that King Cetshwayo had instructed the Zulu commanders to firstly engage in dialogue with the British prior to attacking

I wonder what Chelmsford would have done, if 20,000 armed Zulu Warriors had wandered into the camp at Isandlwana to talk peace. Bet he would have said yes.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 9:49 pm

The British were not interested in talking peace. The King had been issued with the ultimatum. The British massed on the borders of Zululand ready to invade, the chances are there probably was a large well armed Zulu Army watching there every move. After reading the missing five hours I started to think with all the Zulu sighting, was it just a display to show the British just how many there were, and the best thing to do would be to turn back.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptySun Jan 30, 2011 10:03 pm

We so easily forget the Battle of Inyezane, We hear, that the British drew first blood at Isandlwana. It was around eight o'clock in the Morning that the Zulu’s attacked Pearson’s Column a few hours before Isandlwana.

So although we are told
Quote :
“Zulu commanders to firstly engage in dialogue with the British prior to attacking”
They certainly didn’t try very hard to open a talking dialogue. I think that went out the window, when the British launched their first attack on Sihayo Kraal.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyMon Jan 31, 2011 3:57 pm

If Chelmsford hadn't taken away half of his force, might the Zulus' victory at iSandlwana have been even greater and the British loss even more disastrous?
Tasker224
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyMon Jan 31, 2011 4:44 pm

Yes. Because the same problems, which half the force experienced, would have applied to the whole force had they stayed? No fortification, ammunition boxes ECT. The only thing that would have changed would have been Durnford’s Movements. He who not have been called upon to take command of the camp, he would have remained at R.D.
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Jamie



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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyMon Jan 31, 2011 5:21 pm

John wrote:
Quote :
It was an over-riding fact that King Cetshwayo had instructed the Zulu commanders to firstly engage in dialogue with the British prior to attacking

I wonder what Chelmsford would have done, if 20,000 armed Zulu Warriors had wandered into the camp at Isandlwana to talk peace. Bet he would have said yes.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the feedback and points are noted. Lets not get silly. Please do a little research and do not detract from source evidence available if you care to take the time and read up. Personal opinions are always accepted and that's what makes these boards so interesting for us all but we need to stay on the path of common sense and evidence that we have at our disposal and not invent wild stories or theories that would detract from the historical path we currently walk and respect.

According to Cetshwayo himself (see the book - 'A Zulu King Speaks'),

I told Tyingwayo who was at the head of these troops, not to go to the English troops at once, but to have a conference and then send some chiefs to ask the English why they were laying the country waste and killing Zulus ... When day dawned my chiefs were again consulting about sending to the English before fighting; but suddenly they heard to roar of the guns and saw dust and smoke rising up to Heaven, and our foragers rushing back to the camp, saying 'that the cavalry was near'. Then the chiefs, seeing that the work of death was being executed, broke up the meeting and went to their several regiments ...

Thanks,

Regards,

Jamie
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyMon Jan 31, 2011 9:02 pm

Jamie.
Quote :
When day dawned my chiefs were again consulting about sending to the English before fighting; but suddenly they heard to roar of the guns and saw dust and smoke rising up to Heaven, and our foragers rushing back to the camp, saying 'that the cavalry was near'.

Extract from Interview with Mehlokazulu Kasihayo (The Battle Of Isandlwana)

[i] "No orders were given at all. It was not our day. Our day was the following one; We had not planned to attack on the day of the new moon. Our intention was to attack the camp the following day at dawn, but the English forces came to attack us first."[/i]

A bit contradictory, Tyingwayo says the they chief's were consulting with regards to speaking to the English.

Yet Mehlokazulu Kasihayo states they received no order's "at all". But states they were going to attack the camp the following day. Mehlokazulu Kasihayo was a chief, but makes no mention of diaolog with the English.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyMon Jan 31, 2011 9:43 pm

Quote :
"but suddenly they heard to roar of the guns and saw dust and smoke rising up to Heaven, and our foragers rushing back to the camp, saying 'that the cavalry was near'. Then the chiefs, seeing that the work of death was being executed, broke up the meeting and went to their several regiments"
.

I take it he was referring to Raws discovery of the Zulu's in the valley which would have been between 10-11am. ( The Zulu attacked Pearson column around 08:00am) Which leads on to a question. The Zulus at Isandlwana was not going to attack on the 22nd (New Moon) and only attacked when discovered. But it the Zulu's that attacked Pearson at Inyezane didn't seem to be bother about the moon theroy. And those Zulu's like those at Isandlwana were not accidentally discovered they attacked.

So there is no logic in saying "When day dawned my chiefs were again consulting about sending to the English before fighting;"
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 6:44 am

Hi Jamie
Would you like to expand on the "Wild Theories" comment. Surely the fun of exploring history is of proposing, debating and either accepting or rejecting comment.

The proposition put up for discussion is : On which day were the Zulus scheduled to attack.

The arguments for the 23rd rely on the statements by Cetshwayo and Mehlokazulu.

The rebuttal could be summed up as
1.Cetshwayo trying to curry favour with his captors.
2.Was Mehlokazulu in a possition to actually know what, if any orders were issued by Cetshwayo?
3. As has been pointed out, at Nyezane there was no suggestion of any envoys being sent to negotiate with Pearson. That battle started at around 7, before hostilities broke out at iSandlwana.
4. The Zulu command ignored Cetshwayo, it happened just before Ulundi with the cattle being blocked.

It would be possible to answer 3 by saying that the battle started in the same way as iSandlwana in that a group of NNC chased a small group of Zulu and encountered an army of 6000. So possibly there could have been a similar 'forced' commencement.

Lock and Quantrills rather persuasive arguement in the Missing 5 Hours theory would point to an attack being planned for the 22nd.
That argument incidentally has only received a rebuttal from Mike Snook, as yet nothing from Labrand, Knight Greaves et al.

And again once in the field any army, no matter what the preplanning has said, is left to act and re act to circumstance.

I must believe that the camp was under permanent survielance from the 21st onwards, so possibly the Zulu command reacted to Chelmsford leaving and ignored any pre conditions for attack.

Whatever the causes my point is that its all debatable.

Have fun guys, more than willing to be ripped apart.

Regards
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Jamie



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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 7:16 am

Apologies for my terminology "Wild". Might be the wrong wording.

Just trying to steer the thought train on the straight and narrow !
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 7:22 am

Hi Jamie
The only straight and narrow here is CTSG's mind. :lol!:

Regards
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 12:19 pm

I think CTSG Is correct. Isandlwana doe’s tend to over shadow the battle of Inyezane. So we can safely say “it was the Zulu would was the aggressor” on the 22nd January 1879 not the British. Is there any reference to the Zulu’s receiving ordereds to attack Pearson Column, or was this done as like Rorke’s Drift off the cuff. Also their doe’s not seemed to have been any co-ordination between the attacks.

21st Jan Zulu’s start harassing Darnell’s section forcing them to stay over night. Chelmsford departs Isandlwana around 05:30 to assist him. 08:00 Zulus Attack Pearson. 10:30 Isandlwana. I not so sure now that talking peace was actually on the cards. But I do understand that the Zulu’s had chosen a good place to stop the first invasion, which they did and put Pearson Column out of action for a few months.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 12:35 pm

Hi OH
I wouldnt in any way describe the Zulus as the agressors, they didnt invade the Brits did.
The distance in between iSandlwana and the coast is pretty large, so to co ordinate could have only be done on a pre planed basis. Therefore one would have to say that the attack on the 22nd at iSandlwana was deliberate, or they were both wrong.

regards
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 3:50 pm

HI Gentlemen, great discussion. I don't think I was ever expecting a YES or NO answer and have not been disappointed. Thanks to everyone involved for such a great read and your incisive thoughts.
At the risk of being critical of other members' posts, however, is it not a little late to be apportioning blame?
Having had the pleasure and privilege of meeting 6 Zulu people last year, who came to work with us for 3 weeks in an exchange visit, I was staggered by the cheerfulness, energy, enthusiasm, ambition, friendship and lust for life of these 5 ladies and one gentleman. And wow, could they dance.
However, if I were to sail half way round the world, enter a Zulu house without permission and fire shots at them, I would not be surprised if my actions brought a swift and decisive response.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 4:29 pm

I can see where you’re coming from, so are we looking to put the New Moon theory to bed. Its true the British on the 22nd were not the aggressors. So why did the 20,000 Zulu’s remained hidden while other were attacking. I think we have to dig deeper but I do think Ron & Peter got it right when they say the attack was planned for the 22nd.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 7:01 pm

Is there a Zulu point of view on this?

Surely it must be recorded somewhere, whether they had intended to attack on the 22nd or 23rd.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 9:06 pm

Unfortunally the Zulu’s did not keep accounts, what accounts were given by the Zulu’s were normally in the form of a statement taken by the British. A good example is "what happened when the Zulu got inside the tent area of Isandlwana". We will never know. But I think CTSG has raised a very good point, if the Zulu didn’t plan on attacking on the 22nd why did they attack Pearson’s Column. The theory of the New Moon is an important part of the story because of the Zulu superstition, which played a great part in the lives of the Zulu’s as a whole. I think we need to try and understand why the Zulu’s attacked Pearson’s column.
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90th

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PostSubject: What were the zulu army planning   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 10:00 pm

Hi Tasker224.
I have read in many books accounts of certain zulu's who were interviewed after the war and the the attack at Isandlwana
was to have taken place at dawn on the 23rd Jan , you cant get a much better source of evidence unless we find the secret
to time travel and go back and ask them ourselves . Idea . The interesting point is the attack on Pearsons column , they
also were as we know attacked about 7am on the morning of 22nd Jan , a good 5 hrs or so before Isandlwana . I think
the reason is basically the same as the Isandlwana attack , whereas the direction that Pearson's column was travelling
it was only a matter of time before they came across the zulu army sent to oppose them , so in short they decided to
attack with a smallish element of surprise . I also think a colonial detachment came across them as they were scouting
the hills to the right front of Pearsons advancing column . Basically they the zulu's had to act .

Mr G.
The british were indeed the aggressors on the 22nd ,Simply because they were on the zulu side of the river , and had been since they crossed into zululand on the 11th . Basically british aggression began when they crossed the border ( River ).
cheers 90th. Idea
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 10:43 pm

But what about the issue with the New Moon. ?????
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 10:46 pm

INYEZANE, GINGINDLOVU AND THE RELIEF OF ESHOWE
The forgotten battlefields of the Zulu War, 1879
by Ken Gillings

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 11:21 pm

"Increasing his army on the Frontier and so menacing Natal" So Cetshwayo did have Natal on his mind when he sent the army to the borders. This makes sense. Was he hoping that the attack on Pearson’s column would draw the other two columns towards the coast? Still leaving 20,000 warriors hidden in the valley.

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I take it the frontier is the Borders of Zululand????
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 11:28 pm

I did try and post this in the comment above but couldn't for some reason. Anyway all working now. Have a read of this. There’s a lot in there that i have not read before. This is where the article post above came from. Hopefully some useful information might be found. I have not read all of it, no time at the moment. But would be interested in other members opinions.

Click Here
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 11:32 pm

Mehlokazulu Kasihayo "We had not planned to attack on the day of the new moon" This to me its starting to look like a myth..

They didn’t intend to fight on the 22nd.

1) Numerous sighting of Zulu’s (Specified in the Missing Five Hours.
2) The Attack on Pearson’s column.

If they had not planned to attack on the 22nd then none of the above would have taken place.

His plan as he stated was to mass an all mighty army on the frontier and menace Natal.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyTue Feb 01, 2011 11:56 pm

With regards to who was the aggressor? The Interview with Mehlokazulu Kasihayo relates to the Battle of Isandlwana only. Read in the right context, it was Lieutenant Raw’s men who open fire on them.

And with reference to the overall aggressor as 90th rightly points out the British when they invaded Zululand.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 8:06 am

But he would have known what events had been planned for the 22nd. In the book CTSG posted it says that the Zulu's were sent against Pearson column because it would have been the smallest and less equipped, which makes sense.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 11:28 am

I am aligning with 90th's point of view, 8 posts or so above this one.

The Zulu witness accounts, to the effect that the assault was to happen on the 23rd.

*The reasons why the Zulu attacked on the 22nd - are there any Zulu accounts of this, other than the moon account?

We can speculate as to why but the reasons could be numerous. Even the best laid plans and all that....battles can be triggered prematurely for all sorts of reasons, be it iSandlwana or a bar brawl.
(Being discovered; being attacked; one indisciplined leader losing his nerve; opportunism - such as seeing half the force march away with Chelmsford etc etc)

*Are there any Zulu accounts as to why they attacked early on the 22nd, or any accounts that this was a deliberate assault that went ahead on schedule, that anyone has come across??


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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 1:39 pm

Tasker Click Here
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 2:24 pm

What also must be taken into account is that the Zulu Army only had enough provisions to last until the 20th January by the 21st there were no provisions left. On the 22nd January small groups were sent out form the valley to gather food. It was probably one of these food-gathering groups that were sighted by Lieutenant Raw which of coarse led to the discovery of the Zulu Impi in the valley. If we perceive the New Moon story as fact, and we have no reason to doubt that, what alternatives did the Zulu’s have? Once they had been discovered.
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Al Amos

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 8:24 pm

An amphibious invasion. WOW! What a hypothetical scenario that would be. Long boats and whale boats pulling up to the beach to be charged by mass Zulu!

hmmm....

al
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 9:26 pm

Can anyone confirm whether or not the New Mood theory? As in nearly all the History books is true or false. If true can someone tell me why this only applies to the Zulu Army at Isandlwana?
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John

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 9:50 pm

I thought the New Moon was fact. But now i not so sure. scratch But S.D doe's have a point. Of course in hindsight it was a Zulu Chief that made the statement about the New moon "We didn't plan on attacking" The King however sent his army to crush the British. Don't think he says but not on the day of the New Moon.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 10:15 pm

I have had a good look around the various websites, and the only reference i can find to a Zulu account relating to the New Mood is our old friend "Mehlokazulu" Nothing else. So maybe the History Books base the New Moon theory on his account. Just a thought.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 10:29 pm

What is the distance between Isandlwana & the location where Pearson had his confrontation?
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 10:37 pm

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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: What were the Zulu Army planning?   What were the Zulu Army planning? EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 10:46 pm

Thanks Littlehand. Quite away off. So as the Crow flys about 97 Miles. (I Think) Correct me if i'm wrong.
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