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 Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyTue Jul 03, 2012 5:00 pm

It is mentioned that Lieutenant Milne mistakenly reported that the Zulu overrunning the camp at Isandlwana were cattle being driven in.

Based on the following time table I don’t believe it could have been the Zulu entering the camp that Milne observed.

Milne was a Naval Officer from HMS Active attached to Lord Chelmsford’s staff as his Naval Aide-de-Camp. In the early morning hours of 22 January 1879 Milne accompanied Chelmsford with Colonel Glynn’s forces that left the camp.

At 8:05am Colonel Pulleine sent a message that Zulus had been observed near the camp.

At 9:30am Pulleine’s message was received by Colonel Glyn.

Around 9:40am Chelmsford sent Lieutenant Milne at once to the top of 600 foot high hill, Silutshana, from which the camp could be seen 12 mile distant. Milne remained there for at least an hour with a very powerful telescope, but could detect nothing unusual in the camp. The tents of the camp appeared to be standing, and it looked like the cattle had been brought in.

About 10:30am Colonol Durnford’s forces arrived at Isandlwana camp

By 11:00am Milne had descended the hill and made his report.

Around 11:30am Durnford left the camp.

By noon general fighting has broken out around the camp.

Around 12:30pm British forces begin falling back on the camp.

By 1:00pm the Zulu are in the camp, hand-to-hand fighting is taking place, and those who are able are fleeing the camp for fugitive’s drift.

Milne could not have mistaken the Zulu taking the camp, for the cattle being driven into camp, between 10:00 and 11:00am. Did he observe Durnford’s troops entering the camp, and mistake them for the cattle?


Petty Officer Tom
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old historian2

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyTue Jul 03, 2012 6:11 pm

Very good point. He couldn't have if that account is correct.
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tasker224

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyTue Jul 03, 2012 6:18 pm

I am sure this has been discussed before somewhere. POT's timetable of events seems to show that it couldn't have been the Zulus that Milne had seen.
Those who have beenup on to the hill and looked back towards the battlefield some 10? miles away with a telescope of similar magnification, on a similarly hot morning all seem to agree that whatever Milne had seen, he wouldn't have seen it very clearly.
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Chard1879

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyTue Jul 03, 2012 6:30 pm

Extract from Statement of Lieutenant-Colonel J. North Crealock, Acting Military Secretary.

"10. Lieutenant Milne, R.N., A.D.C., shortly after this descended a hill on our left, whence he had been on the look-out with a telescope. All the news he gave regarding the camp was that the cattle had been driven into camp. I believe this to have been nearly 11 A.M."

Tasker. It's the times that are important, not what he saw or didn't see. Ever since it has been said that Milne was mistaken and it wasn't cattle in the camp it was the Zulu. But as Tom quitely points out the battle had really started when Milne was on the hill. So was it Durnford he saw arriving.
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Frank Allewell

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyWed Jul 04, 2012 3:28 pm

Ive posted a photo that replicates Milne using a 200mm lens. On a clear morning visibility is pretty good. If there is an sort of heat haze coming of the summer grass its just a blur.
Toms main point though is correct there was no incursion into the camp at that time, Brickhill had however been ordered to bring in the cattle so the possibility is that those were the cattle seen by Milne and Symonds.
At 11 oclock Raw was just leaving the camp so the impi had not yet been discovered.

Regards
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyWed Jul 04, 2012 7:12 pm

So it was the cattle or Durnford's column.
Given that Milne would have undoubtedly been a skillful user of his telescope, if he reports seeing cattle entering the camp, should that be doubted?
Did Durnford's force arrive at the same time as the cattle were being driven in? Could Durnford's arrival have been masked by this event?
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyWed Jul 04, 2012 11:27 pm

Brickhill states he brought the cattle in between 09:00 hrs & 10:00hrs. So he could have seen the cattle. But it wasn't the Zulus, as first thought. Thanks to POT pointing this out.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Jul 05, 2012 6:31 am

I dont think cattle would have entering the camp in colums of 2 and straight lines like Durnford's men probably did .
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Jul 05, 2012 7:58 am

Was it ever thought that the Cattle were Zulus?
Certainly Milne and Penn Symonds didnt think so !
Milne did not see the cattle entering the camp, his statement was that he saw the cattle in the camp.

It was I think Hamilton Brown that said he saw: " a group of maddened cattle being driven over the saddle followed by a huge swarm of Zulus."

Are we not getting mixed up between the two sightings, they were seperated by around over 2 hours, probaly closer to two and a half really.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Jul 05, 2012 7:34 pm

Extract from the Statement of Lieutenant-Colonel J. North Crealock, Acting Military Secretary?

" Lieutenant Milne, R.N., A.D.C., shortly after this descended a hill on our left, whence he had been on the look-out with a telescope. All the news he gave regarding the camp was that the cattle had been driven into camp. I believe this to have been nearly 11 A.M."
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Jul 05, 2012 10:16 pm

springbok9,

Quote :
Was it ever thought that the Cattle were Zulus?

The whole story about Milne mistaking Zulus in the camp for cattle may have been started by Milne himself. In the aftermath of Isandlwana I am sure there was a lot of second guessing, and ‘survivor’s guilt.’

In a report to Commodore Sullivan, Milne included his own self doubts in his notes of the proceedings of Jan 21, 22, 23, & 24.

“We are not quite certain about the time. But it is just possible that what I took to be the cattle having been driven into the camp, may possibly have been the Zulu “impi.” (P.P. C.2454, page 187)

I know I have read the accusation of Milne’s mistake in a couple of sources, but the only one I could find is from “Soldiers of

http://www.soldiersofthequeen.com/page13s-ArchibaldBerkeleyMilne.html


“The morning of the disaster at Isandlwana, Milne left the ill-fated camp with Chelmsford's column and it was he who climbed to the top of a tree to observe the events at the camp with his telescope when the first reports of a Zulu attack began to trickle in. He reported that the draught oxen appeared to have been moved into the camp but that all else looked normal. The "oxen" were in actuality the mass of Zulu warriors who by that time had overwhelmed the camp and its garrison.”

This is the same quote as used in the current “Zulu War Image Of The Week” on the left hand side of the forum’s home page.


Petty Officer Tom
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Jul 06, 2012 8:29 am

Hi Tom
Sorry I was refering to the immediate aftermath, morning of the 22nd that is.

Regards
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Jul 06, 2012 8:26 pm

POT, your theory of survivor's guilt is a good one.
Often after a tragic occurence, it is very, very easy for a witness to be persuaded that what they saw or did in relation to that incident, even if they were 100% sure that they were correct, was not so.
For example, if I loaded a weapon, then unloaded the weapon and counted out every single round that I had loaded, stored the rounds away, noted down that I had done this, signed it and dated it and then double checked it twice and then I hear that someone had picked up my weapon and shot themselves with it, I could (nearly anyone could) be made to admit and accept that they had negligently failed to make their weapon safe. (This readiness to accept that one has made a dreadful mistake which played a part in the incident that they had played a small part in and survived, is a classic feature/symptom of "survivor guilt") which has in fact been exploited in the most immoral way by them above, when a scapegoat was needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Mar 06, 2014 7:23 pm


[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN ON THE 135TH ANNIVISARY {TAKEN 1052 AM} OF THE BATTLE OF ISANDLWANA OF MILNES POSITION LOOKING
AT THE CAMP THE SHIYANE CAN BE VIEWED LEFT OF THE CAMP WITH ISANDLWANA CENTRE AND ZULU ATTACK FROM RIGHT
PLEASE ENJOY GUYS I WILL SEND MORE NUGGETS LATER ON.

Photo and text by forum member AUSSIE. INKOSI. 
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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Mar 06, 2014 9:01 pm

Thanks Pete, AUSSIE INKOSI great photo..
what is the distance from camera to the
hill please?. cheers xhosa2000
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Chard1879

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Mar 06, 2014 9:17 pm

Wasn't it between 11-12 Miles
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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Mar 06, 2014 9:59 pm

Hiya chard1879, thanks for that, i was
looking at the photo and thinking, what
is the distance! it deceives the eye, the
hill looked about about three miles away
to my untrained eye..
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Ulundi

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyThu Mar 06, 2014 10:36 pm

I now get a clear understanding as to why, Lord Chelmsford didn't go rushing back, all very open country. They could never have formed a defensive position.
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aussie inkosi



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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Mar 07, 2014 3:44 am

xhosa2000 wrote:
Thanks Pete, AUSSIE INKOSI great photo..
what is the distance from camera to the
hill please?.                 cheers xhosa2000



I did not measure the distance mate but i would say the distance is about 12 miles my camera was at full zoom
but its much further than what it looks like Very Happy
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Mar 07, 2014 7:50 am

Pity Milne never had you camera on the day.  Rolling Eyes
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90th

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Lt Mine's observation of Isandlwana    Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Mar 07, 2014 8:23 am

Excellent photo Aussie inkosi much appreciated . No doubt you have some more ?  Joker 
Cheers 90th.
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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Mar 07, 2014 8:31 am

90th
Go take your own  Very Happy 

Been waiting to say that mate  Salute 
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90th

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Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana Empty
PostSubject: Lt Milne's observation of Isandlwana    Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Mar 07, 2014 8:32 am

Hi Springy
LOL , One day , One day ......... agree   agree 
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana   Lieutenant Milne’s observation of Isandlwana EmptyFri Mar 07, 2014 3:28 pm

Ulundi wrote:
"...all very open country."

Well that can be a matter of perspective. What seems open from a precipice can seem completely chopped up rough going from a donga.

The view of the bowl is indeed open so you can see a large force coming from miles away. OTOH, as the 7-pounder battery discovered (and pushed their guns forward as a result,) the undulations of the terrain can allow that same force to approach within 100 yards with relative impunity. Grand views of the battlefield are deceptive. The devil was in the details.
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