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 Zulu use of firearms

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PostSubject: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 8:00 am

Hi all

It seems to RD and Kambula, the Zulu warriors with firearms are separated from others to form fire support !

Is there evidence for this tactic to other battles ?

Cheers

PTR
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 9:27 am

Pascal MAHE wrote:
Hi all

It seems to RD and Kambula, the Zulu warriors with firearms are separated from others to form fire support !

Is there evidence for this tactic to other battles ?

Cheers

PTR

 If you go to the "Zulu War" Battle section. There's information there on the various battles.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 11:19 am

It's done and it seems that there has to RD and Kambula they worn this tactic very efficasse, bizarre !
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 11:20 am

Hi Pascal

About a year ago there was an AZW themed day at the National Army Museum in London. One of the speakers was Professor John Laband. He gave an extremely interesting talk on the attitude of the Zulu towards firearms. Although I think it is generally accepted these days that the Zulu had quite a lot of firearms, most of these were quite old smoothbore muskets or rifled muskets. Even the latter were limited by their effective range - possibly a maximum of some 300 metres (the Shyiane terraces at RD are nearly 400 metres from the south "wall" of the defences).

There is little evidence that the Zulu changed their basic tactics to allow for the use of firearms, the possession of which was more in terms of a status symbol. The Zulu tactics were all about closing with their enemy and using their fearsome close combat weapons - the assegai and the knobkerrie. Conversely the British tactics were based on the opposite premise - using their long range weapons to keep the Zulus at a distance and NOT engage in close quarter action.

The ineffectiveness of the captured Marti-Henry rifles at Khambula is a point in question. Had the Zulu appreciated how the rifle should have been used, and had they developed rifle-only units, then Wood's position would rapidly have become untenable. However, to change a stabbing-spear army to a rifle equipped army - a major change in tactical doctrine - in a matter of weeks was just not possible.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 11:38 am

Bonjour Monsieur

But yet, RD and Kambula, there are actually Zulu warriors had gathered because they had firearms, who actually made ​​a fire support to their peers without firearms is not it?

And if the warriors with weapons fire mixed with those who did, launched in a traditional assault, would rather in the forefront of the mass or squarely before as voltigeurs or rather, in the last ranks of the masses so as not to wipe the opposing fire and come alive and ready enough to the enemy?

And during a battle, the warriors recover and use firearms from their comrades and enemies killed?

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 12:11 pm

Pascal

What evidence do you have that firearmed Zulus were operating in formed groups for fire support purposes at either RD or Khambula - as opposed to individuals doing their own thing ? I suspect you are reading too much into this.

As I've said, for the Zulu to use firearms tactically would have taken a major change in tactical doctrine and would have meant extensive "re-education" and training - the time was just not available for this, nor is there any evidence that it was in fact done, or even attempted. It is therefore probably not a good idea to compare them with Voltigeurs - as they reflects a totally different philosophy.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 1:12 pm

Monsieur

I reading too much into this, because I am passionate.

It is not ideal to change tactics in wartime, but given the urgency of the situation and the novelty of the situation, this is what was practiced to RD and Kambula ,because someone ago one who ordered the "Zulu musketeers and riflemen " to fight separately in these two battles here!

Dabulamanzi saw what happened to Isandhlwana and wanted to innovate !

Pascal
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bill cainan




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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 2:15 pm

Hi Pascal

No, nothing to do with being passionate. It's to do with the interpretation of available facts. I don't think the evidence supports your theory that it was practiced at both RD and Khambula.

At RD possibly some of the iNdluyengwe may have picked up Martini-Henry rifles along the Fugitives Drift trail, but it is highly unlikely they would know how to fire them properly. So most of the "rifle" fire coming down on RD from the Shyiane was almost certainly rifled musket fire. And, as I've mentioned, the range is just too far to be effective. I suspect anyone hit in RD, was hit from a lone musket man firing from a bush a lot closer than the Shyiane, or was the "unlucky" recipient of a long range fluke shot.

At Khambula, although the Zulu had a lot of MHs from Isandlwana, they again demonstrated a lack of familiarity with the weapon - no doubt you have seen/read the accounts of bullets firing above the heads of the British troops (indicating the sights were set too high). The Zulu were carrying the rifles mainly as a status symbol/trophy - evidence that they had been at Isandlwana.

There is no evidence at either RD or Khambula that the Zulu used exclusively rifle armed companies

So, although it may have been a good idea to group Zulu firearmed men together, it was just not feasible. Zulu tactics that had evolved over some 30+ years could not be changed overnight. Nor would there have been time for the Zulu to practice with the new weapons and to learn new tactics to use them to any advantage.

Dabulamanzi was, I believe, fairly modern in his approach to firearms, but even he was not in a position to change Zulu tactics. After RD his failure earned him general disapproval, and although forgiven and put in command against Pearson, his performance at Gingindlovu shows no signs of differing from the standard Zulu tactics. Where did you get the information from that makes you state "Dabulamanzi ..... wanted to innovate" ?

Now, if Cetshwayo had sent Dabulamanzi on a course at the Army School of Musketry at Hythe ...... !! Unfortunately no evidence of this happening either !

Bill

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 2:33 pm

PTR,

On a recent visit to Isandlwana I had the good fortune to meet with the descendants of Prince Shingana kaMpande, through the means of their inherited oral history they described to me how their forebear commanded one hundred and fifty riflemen at the Battle of Isandlwana.

They told me how those riflemen slid forwards through the long grass towards the centre of the British line. On reaching that position they fired a controlled volley into the British ranks, inflicting heavy casualties on the opposing forces.

Now I know there are those cast uncertainties on the value of Zulu oral histories, so I checked all the references I could on Prince Shingana's role at Isandlwana, in the aforementioned John Laband's work 'Rope of Sand', he mentions that Prince Shingana commanded one hundred and twenty riflemen at Isandlwana, so may be there is a element of truth to the oral history after all.

'Jimu
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 3:00 pm

Jim, interesting there a reference to this by a Zulu Warrior, evidently he claimes this tatic was used at Isandlwana. I will try to find it.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 3:13 pm

Mister Bill

No, nothing to do with Being passionate. It's to do with the interpretation of available facts. I do not think the evidence supports your theory That It was Practiced at Both RD and Khambula. the evidence supports for my theory are RD and Khambula !

At RD possibly some of the iNdluyengwe May Have picked up Martini-Henry rifles Fugitives Drift along the trail, it is highly unlikely goal Would They know how to fire em properly.And why not, this kind of gun is a easier jobs that a musket or MLR!

do not suspect anyone hit in RD, was hit from a lone man musket firing from a bush a lot closer than the Shyiane, gold was the "unlucky" recipient of a long range shot fluke. So there either I'm not in agreement, the range is good for a MLR.

At Khambula, altho the Zulu Had a lot of MHs from Isandlwana, They again Demonstrated a Lack of familiarity with the weapon - And yet they are british soldiers injured or killed by this type of rifles armed zulus groups ,not zulu amaviyo of rifles armed warriors ,only groups of warriors with such weapons from all regiments or better abaQulusi warriors

There is no evidence at Either RD or Khambula That the Zulu army rifle used Exclusively companies

So, altho It May Have Been a good idea to group firearmed Zulu men together, it was just not feasible. Zulu tactics That HAD Evolved over some 30 years Could not be changed overnight. Nor Would Have Been there for the Zulu time to practice with the new weapons and new tactics to learn to use 'em to have any advantage.They improvised! They fit!

Dabulamanzi was, I believe, fairly modern in His approach to firearms, aim even he was not in a position to exchange Zulu tactics. After RD His failure earned him general disapproval, and altho forgiven and put in command against Pearson, His performance at Gingindlovu shows no signs of Differing from the standard Zulu tactics. Where did you get the information from That makes you state "Dabulamanzi ..... wanted to innovate"? Simple deduction for what happened to RD.

Cheers

Pascal the Wink 
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 3:22 pm

Hello Monsieur Jim

This awesome post!

Obviously this is self-evident matter of logic, it has make this to RD and Kambula, so why not to Isandhlwana?

And day one of the forum members tell me that it was also made in the battles after Kambula!

But think of abaQulusi, I bet they did it too!

And to the siege of Eshowe ?

Cheers

Pascal the Wink 
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 07, 2013 3:26 pm

Mister"petites mains "

"petites mains " wrote :I will try to find it..Bravo "petites mains "!

Cheers

Pascal the Wink 
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyFri Jul 12, 2013 12:28 am

kwajimu1879 wrote:
PTR,

On a recent visit to Isandlwana I had the good fortune to meet with the descendants of Prince Shingana kaMpande, through the means of their inherited oral history they described to me how their forebear commanded one hundred and fifty riflemen at the Battle of Isandlwana.

They told me how those riflemen slid forwards through the long grass towards the centre of the British line.  On reaching that position they fired a controlled volley into the British ranks, inflicting heavy casualties on the opposing forces.

Now I know there are those cast uncertainties on the value of Zulu oral histories, so I checked all the references I could on Prince Shingana's role at Isandlwana, in the aforementioned John Laband's work 'Rope of Sand', he mentions that Prince Shingana commanded one hundred and twenty riflemen at Isandlwana, so may be there is a element of truth to the oral history after all.

'Jimu





that is an interesting story. are there any other references to Zulu rifle companies?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyFri Jul 12, 2013 6:40 am

Yes, but for Isandhlwana it is too good to be true!
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 14, 2013 11:13 am

Pascal MAHE wrote:
Yes, but for Isandhlwana it is too good to be true!




?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptySun Jul 14, 2013 11:23 am

Hello Monsieur kwajimu1879 Very Happy 

It took the Zulu saw, which happened to Isandhlwana to organize some kind of fire support to RD and Kambula Salute !

Best regards

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyMon Jul 15, 2013 12:20 am

Say it again!
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyMon Jul 15, 2013 6:34 am

Hello Mr.Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Say it again! With pleasure ! : It took the Zulu leaders see themselves that were arrived at Isandhlwana to organizes some kind of fire support to RD and Kambula Salute !

Best regards

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyThu Dec 26, 2013 1:22 pm

can anyone point me to any other references to zulu rifle companies at islandwanna?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyThu Dec 26, 2013 2:20 pm



As examples, there is what kwajimu1879 written above and what happened to Rorcke's Drift and Kambula proving that the Zulus were tempted to make fire support of attacking warriors with warriors, with others warriors all equipped with firearms. But .. they were all of the same regiments or companies? or gathered for the occasion ?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyThu Dec 26, 2013 3:45 pm

Don't here much anymore from " kwajimu1879 " he was quite a interesting member! Hope he's ok. Admin any reason why he hasn't been on of late?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyThu Dec 26, 2013 4:00 pm

He's seems to have disappeared around the time Col Mike McCabe passed away. Just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyThu Dec 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Last visit of kwajimu1879 the Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:33 am...
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyThu Dec 26, 2013 6:09 pm

Jim is well, working on another project, which is taking up most of his time.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyThu Dec 26, 2013 7:42 pm

thank you gentlemen for the replies.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyFri Dec 27, 2013 6:51 am

So much the better  Wink 
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 7:06 am

The topic is 10 years old, but here we go. I wonder how the Zulus meassured distances. Did they know what a yard is? Would they have understood the sights of the Martini Henrys?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 7:59 am

Not in the slightest.....it has been written that because whitemen raised the sights on rifle to gain accuracy at longer ranges, majoring of Zulus thought that raising the sights made the bullet go further....some individuals were 'fair' shoots having been shown by people such as John Dunne.
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 9:50 am

Did the 24th actually put pickets painted in white as was seen in the movie "Zulu dawn"?
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 9:57 am

Not at Isandlwana but they did use range markers elsewhere (maybe at Kambula or Eshowe)

I have read of piles of stones being whitewashed but can't remember what battle but it would have been in prepared positions.

Part of the company officers role was to call out the range,  so the sights could be set.

Cheers

Simon
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PostSubject: Re: Zulu use of firearms   Zulu use of firearms EmptyTue Jan 02, 2024 3:40 pm

Thanks Simon.
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