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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 8:48 pm

littlehand wrote:
...There were two senior officers present at Isandlwana; none of them had the foresight to drop the tents, the fact that no one made any effort to strike the tents tells us that those two officers had their own agenda. We also need to make it clear that Gardner’s message wasn’t to tell Pulliene to pack up camp.

LH,
What were their agendas in your mind? Are you saying they each had their own agenda or do you merely mean they were too busy doing other things to notice they were about to be assaulted?
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 8:49 pm

John.

I did say that Muirhead was entitled to opinion, and yes, wagons could have been brought up into some form of defence, and yes, ammo stations should have been set up, however, this take a lot of time to do, time which Pulleine had plenty of since the first reports of zulus in the area, and all this should have been done long before the arrival of Col Durnford. Don't blame Durnford for the laxness of Pulleine, it was Pulleine who was in command of the camp, and he could and should have seen to all this long before Durnford arrived.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 8:53 pm

Quote :
this take a lot of time to do

Would agree, if Durnford didn't have over 200 horse man with him, Even if they had carried 1 ammo box each, that's over 200 boxes being moved near to the compaines.
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90th

90th


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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 8:59 pm

Hi John .
I dont know if you've ever ridden a horse before , but it would be extremely difficult for each rider to carry an ammo box and ride his horse , these boxes needed two men to carry them on the ground . They weighed in excess of 100 lbs from memory , happy to be corrected . It would be nearly impossible to ride and balance a 100 + Lb weight in the saddle . Salute
Cheers 90th.


Last edited by 90th on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:00 pm

littlehand wrote:
Brickhill states. " Strike camp and come with all speed, leaving sufficient guard to protect such as can not be moved without delay"

I have to say that this can easily be read as a request to send what material support was easy to transport and relevant immediately, and follow with the balance when possible. Obviously, he wanted the remaining tents, wagons, supplies etc...to be guarded but there is no request to entrench. IMO there is enough ambiguity that multiple interpretations are possible...but any of them allows room for Pulleine to be somewhat perplexed by the conflicting demands placed upon him. Having been caught betwixt and between, LC is looking fairly clueless here.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:02 pm

You all blame Pulleine for not reacting massivly by making barricades and forming defences, but he had specific orders
on how to defend the camp if he was attacked and he followed them. You may critise him, but how an earth was he to know that they wouldn't work ?

How did he know he was facing the main army ? The reports were of several thousand, but the king had sent Several thousand Warriors against Pearson's and Wood's Column, how was Pulleine surposed to know that the reports were not just a force of a couple of thousand sent to harass the column ?

The main army was as far as everyone knew, being fourght by Chelmsford, the reports of several thousand in the hills, didn't change that as it was never anything more than a few thousand, there was never a report putting the Zulu strenth at over 10,000 that would have given away the fact if wasn't just a few thousand sent to harass.



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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:10 pm

I would say, the clue was in the reports he was receiving, could be wrong.. But I don't think so..
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:13 pm

LH

What report put the Zulu strenth in such a figure that it was obvious that it was the main army ?
Given that the main army was around 25,000 strong.



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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:16 pm

littlehand wrote:
[quote
I did read somewhere, and been looking for it ever since, that Chelmsford had not anticipated that Durnford who would most likly be moving at walking speed from RD would arrive at the camp so soon and assumed that he would be back in camp before his arrival and could give specific orders then.

Wether this s true or not I know not!! But it would fit in with what Gardner states at the enquiry.

LH,
You know you are right about this, I think, because when Smith-Dorrien arrived at the camp across the river from Rorke's Drift his message was attended to immediately. I think it may have been Henderson who went tearing after Durnford, but in any case the Colonel rode back immediately to RD and broke down the camp there quickly enough that some commented it seemed to be left in a state anticipating the move toward Isandlwana. In any case, most of us would agree that Durnford had his reasons for being anxious to get forward.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:19 pm

The first report he received large numbers of Zulu's should have kick him into gear. He should have done something ignorance is no excuse. Perhaps he should have had asked Melvill. Did Dartnell report 25000 strong. No, he formed a defensive square, and requested assistance.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:30 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
LH

What report put the Zulu strenth in such a figure that it was obvious that it was the main army ?

I can't speak for LH but for me it's not a question of facing the main army, so much as Pulleine behaving lackadaisically in the face of multiple reports indicating the enemy was present in some strength. His orders from Clery did not preclude him from conducting further reconnaissance...and Durnford seized upon that necessity within minutes of entering the camp and assessing the situation. Once the battle starts there is an almost startling lack of specific information about his role in it...as if he was either not visible as a leader or what people did witness they preferred not to relate later.

I would put on the other side of the ledger that, far from expecting that he entrench on rocky ground, his commanding officer was chivying him along to the next campsite as if it were impossible that the one left behind might be attacked. If I was Pulleine I would have been fairly conflicted and perhaps anxious not to be seen as somebody who panics at the first whiff of the enemy. He was not to know that the LC had allowed the Zulu main body to encamp on his flank a few miles away...but Durnford's energetic response to the reports does indict him for a certain lack of energy.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:38 pm

But you keep forgetting he had strict orders on how he was to fight the Zulus and he followed them !!!


Also we've been through this before LH, a square was impossible at Isandlwana as it would have ment
sacrifising the whole camp full of supplies and would have been over run by Zulus.


Cheers
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:47 pm

John wrote:
Did the Rocket Battery arrive the same time as Durnford when he arrived at Isandlwana..

The RB survivors variously indicate that they arrived at 11:30 or 12:00 but agree they stayed for only about ten minutes before departing with Durnford again. One of them estimates they rode 3-4 miles out before being attacked.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 9:58 pm

Quote :
Also we've been through this before LH, a square was impossible at Isandlwana as it would have ment sacrificing the whole camp full of supplies and would have been over run by Zulus.
Wasn't that done anyway. Would like to hear more as to why a square couldn't have been formed.


Pulliene had been left in command of the camp from the time Chelmsford and his staff led out the reinforcements for Dartnell at 05:30. Durnford arrived at about 10:30. Even if Durnford had been "senior" and had taken command, Pulleine had had five hours to form some kind of defence before Col Durnford arrived. He done nothing The camp at Isandlwana was not so protected. The wagons could have been placed in a defensive posture. They were not,the wagons were simply placed close to the sub-units whose kit they carried. We have argued in the past that placing the wagons in a defensive laager was too difficult for the inexperienced drivers, possibly - but the inexperience was not so great that the wagons could not have been placed in some kind of defensive position. 

The ammunition re-supply to the firing lines failed,because the ammo stations were too far from the troops in combat; it took far too long for a soldier or anyone else to make his way from the company lines to the quartermaster's ammo waggon, wait while earlier arrivals were served their allocation and make his way back to the company lines and hand out the few extra rounds he had collected. This failure was down to Pulleine as commanding officer of 1/24th, but it affected Pope's 2/24th men as well, and any other troops who needed re-supply. The ammunition re-supply should have commenced well before the soldiers commenced firing. Company ammo stations should have been placed behind each line, only a few paces from the men in action. On top of that, a regular top-up run should have been in motion to ensure that company ammo stations were not depleted. 
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Neil and Springbok discussed it for a very long time a few months back, i'm sure you could find it.




Cheers
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 10:19 pm

DB. You shouldn't say something, that you can't back up or my tell others to find it for themselves. Instead of using Springboks and Neil's theroies, give your own.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 10:21 pm

I joined in and agreed with what was discussed, and don't have time to find it all again.


Cheers
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 10:42 pm

"A Zulu account describes a group of the 24th forming a square on the neck of Isandlwana."
So a least some saw the benefit of forming a square.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 11:12 pm

[quote="littlehand"]
Quote :
The wagons could have been placed in a defensive posture. They were not,the wagons were simply placed close to the sub-units whose kit they carried. We have argued in the past that placing the wagons in a defensive laager was too difficult for the inexperienced drivers, possibly - but the inexperience was not so great that the wagons could not have been placed in some kind of defensive position.  

It would be worthwhile to sort our what we mean by "wagons." There were Essex/Smith-Dorrien's supply wagons in the park on the Nek. Because the order had come down not to return these to Rorke's Drift the oxen were not in harness...and harnessing them was a major operation. Because oxen cannot walk backwards (true story,) it requires some skill to get them in a circle anyway. The supply wagons were extremely heavy and could not easily be pushed by men for any distance over broken ground. There were also carts, ambulances and ammunition wagons. Chelmsford had specifically ordered the ammunition wagon for the 2nd to be made ready for being brought forward later (as it would have slowed his reinforcement column to Dartnell too much,) and this was presumably one of the things the General wanted when he sent the oder to Pulleine to begin moving camp.

I am guessing the wagons you are referring to are the "regimental wagons" (I don't know the proper way to refer to them...but the ones that carry the tents and other heavy equipment,) which would be more spread out than the supply wagons but not in sufficient numbers to form a cordon around the entire camp. Besides the practicalities of manhandling these wagons into place (which would have been CONSIDERABLE) there is the issue Drummer Boy has raised about ignoring orders. The small laager that these wagons would create might be secure but it would not be in keeping with the instructions Pulleine had been issued by Clery. Don't get me wrong -- if Pulleine had understood what he was about to face it would have been wise to form laager or square, but he had no crystal ball that could see into the future. A force of 3,000 Zulu could not take down the camp if they were seen coming at any distance.

Quote :
The ammunition re-supply to the firing lines failed,because the ammo stations were too far from the troops in combat; it took far too long for a soldier or anyone else to make his way from the company lines to the quartermaster's ammo waggon, wait while earlier arrivals were served their allocation and make his way back to the company lines and hand out the few extra rounds he had collected. This failure was down to Pulleine as commanding officer of 1/24th, but it affected Pope's 2/24th men as well, and any other troops who needed re-supply. The ammunition re-supply should have commenced well before the soldiers commenced firing. Company ammo stations should have been placed behind each line, only a few paces from the men in action. On top of that, a regular top-up run should have been in motion to ensure that company ammo stations were not depleted. 

Can you supply references that this was a standard operating procedure? Consider that Chelmsford marched out of camp with about half its strength believing that he might come upon the Zulu main body...and his men had something like 70 rounds each...because ammunition was heavy and moving it was a slow process, especially across broken ground. Nobody was expecting to have 25,000 enemy descend on them over a short period of time. They got it wrong. Pulleine's command paid the price...but only in the sense of it dying a few minutes earlier than if they had more ammunition. In fact, apart from Smith-Dorrien's discredited account of the ammunition boxes, there is not much evidence suggesting a shortage of ammunition until the bitter end of the battle. Certainly this was not the factor that decided the outcome of the battle. Assuming it was confuses cause with effect.


Last edited by 6pdr on Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 11:18 pm

impi wrote:
"A Zulu account describes a group of the 24th forming a square on the neck of Isandlwana."
So a least some saw the benefit of forming a square.

Yes, and that would have made sense to do, especially if they were surrounded and had run out of ammunition. Given their training it might even have been instinctive. But there is a big difference between a company forming square more or less ad hoc, and forming a regimental square.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 11:21 pm

impi wrote:
"A Zulu account describes a group of the 24th forming a square on the neck of Isandlwana."
So a least some saw the benefit of forming a square.

Yes hardly a square, this is what has been described elsewhere as fighting back to back
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Ulundi

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2012 11:33 pm

Going by Chelmsford idea or what he would have expected to have happen considering the terrain and layout of the camp, and using Isandlwana hill as a natural rear defence. As written in the book I have mentioned many times " Lord Chelmsfords Zululand Campaign 1878-1879"

I would have thought this is what he was talking about, if not a square extended line in ranks may still have had the desired effect.

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But it's oblivious to all going by the cains just out far they were from the camp. They never stood a chance.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 12:43 am

Just out of interest, this is why Durnford received the reprimand from Chelmsford. And you can see why he received it.

"Durnford was given command of No. 2 Column comprising the 1st Regiment, Natal Native Contingent (three battalions) and five troops of mounted Natives. Much to his disappointment he was stationed at Kranskop in a reserve position with the added task of guarding the Middle Drift over the Tugela.

Two days after the expiry of the 'ultimatum' he advised Lord Chelmsford by means of a hurried note that he intended invading Zululand on the strength of information he had received that a Zulu impi was heading for Middle Drift below Kranskop. Without waiting for approval, he set his troops in motion and might have marched straight to Ulundi, had he not received an angry note from the general ordering him back to his base and warning him that he would be relieved of his command if he once again disobeyed instructions. A rather subdued Durnford returned to his camp at Fort Cherry"
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable ?   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 1:45 am

Impi .
I agree with DB14 , this was debated in great detail by many people on here previously , probably even by your good self .
I dont see anything wrong with anyone being told to try and find something themselves , especialy when it's on here in the first place . I also dont have the time to keep posting the same things over and over again for the those who cant find the time to use the search box themselves !. Seek and you shall find . There was as I said , much discussion on why the camp wasnt Laagered or entrenched . It may be a little dificult to find , but if you have the time and the inclination you will find it . You need to study mo
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 2:33 am

Ulundi wrote:
They never stood a chance.

True, NO MATTER WHAT THEY DID. It well may be that IF you could take Pulleine forward in time to see how he was defeated and then "rewound the tape," he might very well have tried that tactic on his second go. I doubt he would have had the command control to succeed, but something like that (maybe backed up on the hillside more,) would have been optimal in terms of killing the enemy...though it's my guess they would have been overwhelmed by the Zulu anyway.

I hesitate to use Mike Snook as a source but he addresses this idea at some length in his book HOW CAN MAN DIE BETTER. He seems to have a firm grasp on the tactics of the Victorian Army and (especially) the terrain. He writes that Chelmsford had not left enough regulars in camp for a square to work -- they would have needed close to the entire regiment to make the square capable of protecting the camp and withstanding the assault. There's no way to prove a full regimental square could have held, but I agree with Snook that a battalion was unlikely to be sufficient to defend the camp--something that was entirely incumbent upon Pulleine.

The regimental square is not a new suggestion because the British employed it against the Zulu later in the same war. But when you suggest that Pulleine should have been able to pull that off at Isandlwana in real time you aren't studying history; you are "Monday morning quarterbacking," (as we say in the US.)

John Keegan's THE FACE OF BATTLE changed the study of military history moving it out of studies with padded leather chairs. He suggested that to make genuine sense of things historians should strive to understand the point of view of the participants at the time--to work at a human scale. Looking back, absent limited intelligence, confusion, and danger, with 20-20 hindsight, while hovering 1000' over the battlefield doesn't lead to valid conclusions. People insist on doing it anyway, but the truth is that no British commander could have anticipated where things were headed quickly enough to prevent being surrounded by the Zulu impi...and from that point forward, the fate of the 24th et. al. was in all liklihood sealed.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable ?   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 6:06 am

Hi 6pdr.
Not sure which book I read it in but LC didnt propose the square to be used at all in the zulu war ! . As the square was a way of dealing with a European or other Cavalry formation. Hence the book he released in Dec of 1878 on how the defensive structures were to be put into place . Pearson on the same day at Nyezane but earlier in the morning , set out his defensive structures as per the requirements of LC'S booklet . Pulleine did the same thing a few hours later . One succeded the other didnt .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 8:04 am

Pulliene sent hs men out to far.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 8:18 am

Quote :
90th Not sure which book I read it in but LC didnt propose the square to be used at all in the zulu war !
I think we all know that square formation wasn't going to be used. I was just showing DB that a square formation could have been used and Suscessfully, like wise with the extended lines in ranks, but using the hill as back cover.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 8:27 am

Hi all

Since nobody seems to know the contents of the reports received by Pulleine before the arrival of Durnford and can not do with trusts no witnesses,at any historical epoch, in fact nobody, no one really knows the state of mind of Durnford and Pulleine and why they act this way ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 8:50 am

Read TMFH You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 9:12 am

Yes Sir :sleep:
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 9:52 am

If it had turned out that there had just been a band of Zulus - a thousand let's say - on the plateau, easy to mop up, much as Durnford was led to believe, would Muirhead still have thought Durnford's action provocative?
If Pulleine had known in time that the whole impi was on the plateau, do you really think he would not have laagered, constructed sangars, informed Chelmsford, held back Durnford? Pulleine was not stupid.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 10:12 am

Ok Julian ,so all the reports received by Pulleine from the morning have deceived him as those of Dartnell, have deceived ,misled LC...

The guy who did the recognition at that time could easily be mistaken and it is they who are the insiders disaster ...

It is therefore the ones responsible ... What I've always thought, especially concerning Dartnell.

Pulleine was misinformed as LC ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 10:58 am

Pascal
As a general point for this topic, I really don't believe that one should blame anyone. There are certain points on which one can say Chelmsford might have done this, Durnford should have done that, or Pulleine should have done the other, etc but blame like this implies that that it was the Britons' fault for LOSING the battle. In fact, the disaster was the Zulus' fault for WINNING the battle. Blame the Zulus! Credit where credit's due!
That said, there are certain specific things that I believe can be laid at Chelmsford's door which he should have answered for. He may have justified to himself why he made certain decisions and it would have been interesting to hear why and how. Of course, we never shall. The question remains whether he himself ever felt any guilt about them which is why he never made those decisions available to the public gaze.
It's a bit like Lieut. Carey writ large. The finger points at you. You have to defend yourself. You manage to get away with it. Yet you have to live the rest of your life with own conscience.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 11:02 am

Yes, but alas not too embarrassed the following of his existence ...
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 1:33 pm

"A few miles from the camp, the general and advance escort returned to explain that the camp had fallen. When Chelmsford, who seemed, according to Private P. Fitzgerald (2/24th), ‘very near crying’, ordered that the camp should be retaken even at the point of the bayonet, the ranks responded with three cheers"

We will never know how he felt. During and after.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 1:43 pm

Yeah LC had nerves of steel, a huge cold blood, it was better for him, given his situation...

After this, there was intombi drift and hlobane , what throw a tantrum, but he remained stoic ...

In fact, with Gingindlovu and Ulundi, he noted the levels ...

His punishment is to have no c-in-c in war after, which is very regrettable ...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 1:47 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
In fact, the disaster was the Zulus' fault for WINNING the battle. Blame the Zulus! Credit where credit's due!

Breath of fresh air, that. Think of how much time and energy is spent here arguing over the minutia of the moment on the Brit side. Why doesn't anybody here ever try to figure out the first thing about how the Zulu won? How did they get 25,000 men within whistling distance of Isandlwana without the 24th and its allies noticing? That's a good place to start...because the Britons didn't lose in a vacuum; they were beaten by the Zulu.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 1:56 pm

sas1 wrote:
We will never know how he felt. During and after.

But we DO know what he would have done differently because -- and this is very unusual -- he basically got the chance. On his second go, with more resources at his disposal (cavalry in particular,) he succeeded in taking the Zulu capital and deposing Cetshwayo. Therefore, I would posit that he was indeed a competent general. Of course, being competent does not remove the responsibility for a disaster like Isandlwana but it should sober people up (well, except Peter O'Toole perhaps,) who view him as a bumbler. He was not. He was beaten by luck, circumstance and a better managed foe. There is not a great deal of evidence that Chelmsford felt he should live in disgrace the rest of his life and with Victoria as his guardian, he did not have to either.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 2:02 pm

Any ways even if the entire third column was present at Isandhlwana, the British could not win without laagers ...

Even a Kambula they were beaten without laagers...

As I was saying Julian days ago, discovered it takes at least 25 companies of imperial british infantry to break the Royal Zulu army without laagers ...
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 2:12 pm

90th wrote:
Hi 6pdr.
Not sure which book I read it in but LC didnt propose the square to be used at all in the zulu war ! . As the square was a way of dealing with a European or other Cavalry formation. Hence the book he released in Dec of 1878 on how the defensive structures were to be put into place . Pearson on the same day at Nyezane but earlier in the morning , set out his defensive structures as per the requirements of LC'S booklet . Pulleine did the same thing a few hours later . One succeded the other didnt .
Cheers 90th.

True enough. In the rock, paper, scissors world of leftover Napoleonic tactics there wouldn't have been much reason to think he would have to form square because the Zulu had no cavalry. OTOH, the 24th would have that formation in their kit bag and with no cannon available to the enemy they were quite free to use it.

The extreme proficiency of the Zulu as "skirmishers" was noted by British survivors. They move as quickly as mounted infantry making their whole army a sort of quasi-cavalry force IMO. What goes unsaid quite often is that, unlike other African opponents, the Zulu charged home with abandon. So you had an army that combined the mobility of light cavalry with the combat characteristics of heavy cavalry. On the other side of the hill you had a very awkward and ungainly confederation of wagons, but precious little cavalry. The outcome is not so hard to understand in hindsight IF you are willing to open your eyes and see it instead of obsessing over whom the losers should blame.

I suspect that if Pearson had to face 25K Zulu on the first day his fate might have been different...but he did draw the right conclusions afterward, tactically speaking
.

Also worth noting, Chelmsford consulted with many other experienced hands (like John Dunn and Fynn,) in coming up with his primer on the Zulu. Naturally, because they were civilians and not British Army regulars they tended to think in terms of laagers rather then regimental squares. My understanding is that the second version of his instructions -- the one that talks about entrenching etc... -- was not published until AFTER Isandlwana. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 3:25 pm

Quote :
They move as quickly as mounted infantry making their whole army a sort of quasi-cavalry force

Chief Sihayo’s mountainous kraal above the Batshe River. A corporal of the 24th wrote:

‘We were at great disadvantage owing to the rocks and bush, but we managed to rout them out in the long run after about eight hours’ fighting.’ He admitted that ‘it is very hard work travelling after these Zulus. They can run like horses"
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 3:29 pm

Would the uniforms of the 24th Regiments have had some impact on their ability to fight in the conditions that the African climate threw at them. It must have been extreamly hot, lack of water it must have been a nightmare, not sure hot long one needs to be exposed to the sun before heat stroke sets in. Just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 3:51 pm

If the Zulu royal army had not attacked the third column, she allegedly attacked a another column and this column would have been torn to pieces as the third column...

It will Isandhlwana had to learn that the British, in part, to confront and defeat the Zulus, they had mistaken the zulus for the Xhosa ...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 4:10 pm

Is it not as simple as: Pulleine told to keep his cavalry vedettes advanced, draw in his line of infantry outposts and defend the camp, if attacked.

How did he expect to defend the camp if his troops were sent to meet the enermy far from the camp...was he forced to take this action because of Durnford?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 4:41 pm

All is confusion, for Pulleine between the LC instructions and Durnford initiatives, has also noted that when the Zulu attack began, Pulleine just received the LC order asking him to leave the camps and join him...
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 4:57 pm

Ray63 wrote:
Would the uniforms of the 24th Regiments have had some impact on their ability to fight in the conditions that the African climate threw at them.

Both battalions had been in country long enough to be well acclimatized. Some of their uniforms would have been threadbare at this point...and many adjustments to local conditions made. By some accounts they looked ragtag -- more like scarecrows than the paradigms of perfect scarlet portrayed in ZULU. That said, the afternoon sun would get to anybody wearing wool as they hiked over the ground to the Mangeni.

BTW, more than anything else I was quite surprised when I visited the battlefield at the range of temperatures over the course of a day, from chilly in the morning to hot in the afternoon. One has to dress flexibly. I'm sure the S. Africans here can expand on this.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 5:15 pm

Thinking about the film Zulu, when they took the water buckets around, I doubt those at Isandlwana had that provision. Then in reality Chard led a charge to get the water cart back inside the compound.
but i guess if ammo wasn't getting to the firing lines, I doub't water woud be either.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 5:31 pm

The fault was in the placing of the infantry who were spread out exposing large gaps between the companies and within the companies. When the battle commenced, messages were coming in from Scott and those others who had see the large number of Zulu appearances, Pulleine decided to send two companies north to Talehane ridge where the Zulus had been seen in greater numbers, but Pulliene did not recall the company of NNC on Magaga Knoll located right in the path of the Zulu movement. As the main assault came in from the north-east, his action was to recall the two companies, leaving the others - Wardell's and Porteous's - where they had been all morning. Pulleine's placing of the companies left them with very serious problems, even the power of the Martini-Henrys rifles couldn't overcome.

Happy to be corrected, and willing to learn!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Durnford was he capable.2 - Page 14 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2012 5:38 pm

Whatever their dispositions, without laagers, they were walking dead men Sad
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