Point by point.
Yes from various points of the firing line the Donga is invisible. However from around a third of the way down Popes line, hypothetical placing, it is highly visible.
Mike Snook has gone to great trouble, in attempting to exonerate Pullein, in placing him at the front line. Its conjectured by him that it was Pullein who called for the withdrawl on seeing Durnford pull back, therefore the donga would have been visible.
The area of penetration between Pope and Durnford would therefore have been visible, after all if you see a bunch of screaming Zulus heading towards your tents its pretty obvious that some thing is afoot. From that point the left horn has curled around Durnfords flank, he is seperated from Pope by the incursions. So he packs up, loses control and runs for it. The point Im trying to make is I suppose that there were other factors over the 'low ammo state' that caused the withdrawl and subsequent loss.
Assume Dirnford had a mythical supply of ordinance, would ir have made a difference? Zulus to the left of him, Zulus to the right, ( with apologise to Alfred Lord Tennyson) and Zulus about to perform rectal surgery. The line was breached the best case scenario would have involved a pocket of men isolated in the Donga while ethe left horn streamed around him.
Does that make any kind of sense?
I spent some time walking the position from the guns position down to the end of the donga, just passed the road crossing. Its a hell of a distance to cover. When I walked back to Popes cairns and you look around, you only then start to apreciate the vast length covered by Pope, Bradsteet and Durnford. Plot the aprox number of men onto the mind map and it just doesnt come across as a perfect defensive position. Probable Durnfords position was a wrong choice, if he needed the shelter of the donga he should have taken up a position a few hundred meters closer to the conical Kopie. Even then, that would have closed the gap and made the line stronger but would have made the left horns flanking movement evem easier. No win situation.
Just thinking aloud is all.