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 No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.

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John Young
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90th

90th


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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Dead At RD.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 9:49 am

Littlehand .
Had a browse through TWOTS by D.R.Morris Page 416 .
'' At 5 O'clock Chard sent a few men out to scout the site . They moved cautiously about the area , collecting firearms and carefully prodding the dead ''.
Before Impi jumps on me again , if any Martini's were found among the zulu bodies I'm sure it would've been mentioned . Like I posted earlier , the MH's may have been there , but there is no evidene to substantiate it beyond reasoanable doubt !.
Cheers 90th.
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Mr M. Cooper

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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 11:26 am

The zulus that attacked RD were not involved in the battle at iSandlwana, however, they did come into contact with some of the men fleeing from the massacre, so they MAY have obtained some M-H's when they killed the fugitives, so it is possible that there were some Martini's at RD, but like 90th says, not many.

The film (zulu), misleads people into believing that the zulus got them from the dead at iSandlwana, so yet another myth that has been created by this almost fictional film.
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littlehand

littlehand


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Location : Down South.

rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 12:12 pm

90th. I have named the source, no more than what Julian would have done. I not getting into another debate as to wether or not the primary source i mentioned is true or not true
The Author of the book i mentioned would not have publlished it without doing his research before posting primary accounts. I do-not have the time to look at where the author obtained his sources, so suggest you purchase the book.

As for finding MH rifles at Rd, doubtfull as these would have been picked up and taken away but the remaining zulu's I also doubt that the Zulu used the MH Rifles at close quaters near the barricades.

Quote :
They moved cautiously about the area , collecting firearms and carefully prodding the dead ''.
Why would it have been mentioned?. Speculation on your part.

As for Reynold's why would he want to spend time looking at what type of weapon was used to kill a man. Taking into account the hot climate, i would have thought they would have got the bodies in the ground as soon a possible.

Martin. no one is questioning the amount of MH rifles that may have or may not have been at RD. And we know where they would have got them from:
Quote :
." obtained some M-H's when they killed the fugitives"
Correct.


Quote :
Had a browse through TWOTS by D.R.Morris Page 416 .
'' At 5 O'clock Chard sent a few men out to scout the site . They moved cautiously about the area , collecting firearms and carefully prodding the dead ''.
Before Impi jumps on me again , if any Martini's were found among the zulu bodies I'm sure it would've been mentioned . Like I posted earlier , the MH's may have been there , but there is no evidene to substantiate it beyond reasoanable doubt !.

Who was giving this account.
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90th

90th


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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: No MH's found among the the zulu dead at Rorkes drift    rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 12:57 pm

Littlehand .
The book you quote from by Carlos Rocca is hardly illuminating in the annals of the zulu war !! . I have his book on Isandlwana
and noticed a few errors which I put down to lost in translation , I wont buy his RD book as there are many others that are in my humble opinion far better and I'm sure others will agree . The AZW Historical society dont have a review for either of his books which may or may not tell you something . But , hey , each to his own , his books just arent for me . As you say you doubt the zulu would have used the rifles near the barricades ! , if thats the case , how did Hitch see them ? . As I also said read D.B. Brown's book , they would certainly know the differance between a MH wound and Ball wound . The MH had a small entry wound and large exit wound , fairly certain Neil can verify this . Morris is quoting from Chards account . Your other quote '' Doubtful as these would have been picked up by other zulus and taken away '' , seems your speculating as well !. I did say its possible they were there , but what we do know is they didnt have a bearing on the battle . I'm fairly certain it'd be mentioned if they found any Martini's , as this was mentioned after Gingindlovu if I'm not mistaken , and as I posted earlier it certainly warranted a mention after Khambula where it was said they found MH's and Sniders among the zulu dead !.
Cheers 90th.
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John

John


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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 1:22 pm

Good enough to be sold on this site..

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw


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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 2:32 pm

It is difficult to ascertain when most of the cases have become crushed over time if they are MH or Snider as the base plate dimensions are the same, and likewise the primer pockets. So the finding of .577 boxer baseplates are not proof MH were in evidence, or indeed as Martin mentioned where fired in the period the the Army comandeered the mission. That said I have not had the opportunity to inspect any cases reputably to have been found on the Oskerberg.

What I would like to see if they'd actually been fired, which is nearly always apparent even on the most scant peices, as the firing pin indent on the primer is easy to spot. Heres a .577 case from Hlobane,
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

So this one had been fired, and I know it was a MH as the strengthening flutes in the side prove the point, however, 10mm less case and I would not be able to confirm.
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http://www.martinihenry.org
littlehand

littlehand


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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 2:42 pm

Quote :
90th. I wont buy his RD book as there are many others that are in my humble opinion far better

Then your not in a position to comment on the book in-question. You views are based on your own opinion, with no foundation.
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barry

barry


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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: MH's at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 4:27 pm


Hi Littlehand/90th,
All gunshot wounds show a small entry hole in human flesh , relative to the egress hole.
In the annals it is recorded that during the Zulu attack, accurate rifle fire was being taken into RD from the Oscarberg, and even one casualty resulted from it,.... if I am not mistaken .
Because of the range in that shooting from the Oscarberg (+-250m ) by the Zulu's it would suggest that something better than a muzzle loading powder and ball weapons were being used . I personally have not seen anything in the annals mentioning MH's found there however.

regards

barry
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littlehand

littlehand


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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 5:56 pm

I have give my reason why I think MH rifles were not found at RD.

Although there is little evidence to support the Zulus were using British rifles at RD apart from two accounts mentioned. There is no evidence what so ever to suggest they weren't using British rifles.
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tasker224

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rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 6:07 pm

The MH may have been fired by the Zulu at RD, but as I mentioned earlier, its impact would have been insignificant.
As 90th points out, and this is telling, we CAN be sure that no British troops at RD were hit by a MH round, because if they had been, the hallmark wounds would have been obvious amongst the RD casualties.
Bourne and Hitch may have heard MHs being fired - I wouldn't doubt their word or ability to recognise its sound. But the small number of Zulu warriors who may have had these, would not have been able to fire them with any competence, hence the total lack of MH casualties amongst the RD defenders.
As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in there towards the middle of either end of the opinion range.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 7:55 pm

Tasker
As I have written before, Black powder weapons Do sound the same, and I dispute the testimonies. I've been in the butts with all manner of black powder arms comong down range, I can assure you, a Martini, a Snider, a 45/70 or Sharps, there is little noise variance, just a deep "WHUMP!" , not the "crack-whack" of a modern arm.

On the Short Siberia at Bisley, on the 100 yards, if someone is shooting on the 200 at the side of you, again, you can tell the BP shooter, but not what h's shooting.

Martin, the range from the Oskerberg is in excess of 400 yards, (although it had the advantage of elevation) so pointing and shooting of a BP arm will hit the floor well before the aim point unless the firer a) understands the graduations of the whitworth sight, or B) as The majority of gunshot wounds was on the opposite wall, which suggests overshoots,



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24th

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 08, 2012 8:15 pm

Can we really believe that of the 4000 + Zulus that when to Jim's place, not one had a Martinti Henry rifle.
What would we expect the defenders of all ranks to record officially that the Zulus were using MH rifles. No doub't everyone would have expected them to have them. The RD defenders weren't aware that the Zulus that attacked them, hadn't fought at Isandlwana. There was a lot of killing on the trail, so quite a few rifles, plus those that had been disgarded to lighten the weight of those fleeing.

Didn't Mike Snook find some cartridges in the cave on the Oscarberg?
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90th

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PostSubject: No MH Rifles found among the zulu dead at Rorkes Drift    rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 8:12 am

Littlehand .
You conveniently left out part of my post regarding Rocca's book ! you write '' Then your not in a position to comment on the book in question , your views are based on your opinion without foundation '' . I have his book on Isandlwana and there are mistakes / errors ! , why would I buy the other ?? . So therefore I do have some foundation and a valid opinion which can be heeded to by others or not , its up to them . Also the other books I have give me scope for foundation and opinions , no evidence ever , has been forthcomning showing that the Martini was used at RD ( by the zulus ) . 24th has a valid point in where he states the defenders at R.D didnt know the zulus attacking them hadnt fought at Isandlwana , Hitch and Bourne's statements therefore , may have been made by assumption , they thought these zulus had come from Isandlwana . L'hand you yourself stated you doubted the MH would be used near the barricades , if you want to tow that line , Hitch wouldnt have seen them would he ? . As for your other point that the Martini's were carried off by other zulus , I doubt any zulu
would be stopping to bend down and pick one up with the defenders firing at such a rapid rate , they are extremly unwieldly and difficult to control I'd think when attempting to run quickly over broken country , seems like a death sentence attempting to pick one up when your withdrawing from a withering fire . Dont forget I did say that MH'S may have been there , but there wasnt any Battlefield evidence to back this up .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 10:36 am

If the zulus had any Martini Henry rifels at RD, then where did they get the ammo from?

Any infantry men fleeing the massacre would at best only have the odd round or two, and they would have used those trying to ward off attackers, and many rifles would have been dropped when out of ammo, what would be the point carrying a rifle with no ammo? They were trying to escape so they wouldn't want to be lumbered by carrying a heavy rifle, and if any zulus picked them up what would they use for ammo?

The zulus that attacked RD didn't go near the camp at iSandlwana so they couldn't have got any ammo from there.

As 90th rightly points out, Hitch and Bourne may well have assumed that they had Martini's, as they didn't know that the zulus attacking them were not at iSandlwana, therefor in their minds, any rifles being used against them would have been assumed to have been Martini's taken from iSandlwana.

If the zulus did have any Martini's, then the ammo question needs addressing.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 1:04 pm

Good point, but we will never know just how much ammunition was found by the zulus on the trail. We know some men just dumped everything they had, and also pack mules made off the same way as those leaving.

Quote :
what would be the point carrying a rifle with no ammo?
There woundn't be no point, so it adds weight to the fact they did have ammuntion,
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 6:54 pm

impi wrote:
Good point, but we will never know just how much ammunition was found by the zulus on the trail. We know some men just dumped everything they had, and also pack mules made off the same way as those leaving.

Quote :
what would be the point carrying a rifle with no ammo?
There woundn't be no point, so it adds weight to the fact they did have ammuntion,

Also, captured arms make great trophies to show off to your mates. I also read somewhere that soldiers stuffed their webbing pouches and pockets with as much ammo as they could carry. When retrieving a cartridge or two, many more cartridges would have spilled out of their bulging pouches. Many fugitives would have been cut down by Zulus, MHs, bulging pouches and all.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 6:59 pm

Like LH says there evidence to suggest they did have British Rifles. But there's none to suggest they didn't.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 7:07 pm

Dave wrote:
Like LH says there evidence to suggest they did have British Rifles. But there's none to suggest they didn't.

Quite right.
So at a time like this, we need to do what the FA committee did in the John Terry case and make a judgement on the "balance of probablities" as opposed to a Crown Court where evidence has to be proved "beyond any reasonable doubt."
On the balance of probabilities, in my opinion, I think it is highly likely that a small number of MHs were used by Zulus at RD. Does it matter, is it significant in any way? No.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 7:11 pm

Neil Aspinshaw wrote:
Tasker
As I have written before, Black powder weapons Do sound the same, and I dispute the testimonies. I've been in the butts with all manner of black powder arms comong down range, I can assure you, a Martini, a Snider, a 45/70 or Sharps, there is little noise variance, just a deep "WHUMP!" , not the "crack-whack" of a modern arm.

On the Short Siberia at Bisley, on the 100 yards, if someone is shooting on the 200 at the side of you, again, you can tell the BP shooter, but not what h's shooting.

Martin, the range from the Oskerberg is in excess of 400 yards, (although it had the advantage of elevation) so pointing and shooting of a BP arm will hit the floor well before the aim point unless the firer a) understands the graduations of the whitworth sight, or B) as The majority of gunshot wounds was on the opposite wall, which suggests overshoots,




Thanks for this Neil, this really hadn't occurred to me. Very interesting stuff. I had assumed that the MH would have made 2 reports, as opposed to the lesser weapons the Zulus may have carried.
Does a MH round not travel faster than sound then? Or is it the sheer mass of the lead that gives it its devastating punch?
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 7:16 pm

There were reports that there was continous fire from the Zulu's, I don't see how they could maintain continous fire with muskets. But I can if those on the Oskerberg had MH rifles.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 7:21 pm

Dave wrote:
There were reports that there was continous fire from the Zulu's, I don't see how they could maintain continous fire with muskets. But I can if those on the Oskerberg had MH rifles.

I think the Zulus had Sniders and other weaponary more modern than muskets alone. Also, with so many Zulu warriors firing, even muskets, the sound of firing woiuld have sounded pretty "continuous" from the point of view of a soldier cowering behind the mealie bags.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 7:25 pm

The account referred to the Zulu on the Oskerberg. First I have heard about the snider, good point though.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 10:14 pm

Tasker
No, MV is 1350 feet per second.
Dave
Even 60 men, firing one round per minute, is a shot every second!, even with a simple smoothbore muzzle loader

The first recorded evidence of Zulu firearms is that of Woodgate from Khambula, which proves modern breechloaders were in short supply, despite a large quantity potentially available from Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 09, 2012 10:59 pm

What some people are forgetting is (as I mentioned earlier), that the zulus that attacked RD were not at iSandlwana, so they could not have got any M-H's or any ammo there.

The zulus that attacked RD were the following regiments, uThulwana, iNdlondlo, uDloko and the iNdluyengenwe, of which only the iNdluyengenwe broke away from the other regiments to attack the fugitives at the Mzinyathi. How many (if any) infantrymen would have made it that far? most would have been killed along fugitives trail, and if any others survived, they would most likely have been killed along with Lt Anstey before they could even cross the Manzimyana, let alone get to the Mzinyathi.

The troops that the iNdluyengwe attacked at the Mzinyathi would have been mounted men, and did the mounted men not have Swinburns?

It is highly unlikely that there were any Martini Henry rifles used by the zulus at RD, but I suppose that it can't be ruled out completely, however, if there were any M-H's, where did the iNdluyengwe get the ammo for them?
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 12:02 am

Hi Neil.

I think you may be getting me mixed up with another poster scratch

I have not mentioned the Oskerberg in my other posts. :lol:

The M-H is coming on well now, I have taken my time with it, and it should look great when I finally get it finished.

By the way Neil, did you ever find the stock lever cup, or come accross any yataghans?

Best regards mate.

Martin. Salute

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 12:25 pm

Hi All

A couple of points.

Prof John Laband gave a very interesting talk on the Zulu attitude to firearms in a lecture at the NAM at the beginning of this year. He was absolutely clear in stating that, to the Zulu, the possession of a firearm was a matter of STATUS. There is no evidence that the Zulus changed any of their tactics to allow for the use of firearms. I would not therefore expect to see Zulu firearms having any significant effect in any of the battles during the war, even if 2/3 of the Zulu warriors possessed a firearm of one sort or another..

The distance from the Shyiane terrace to the south wall of the mission station is 385 yards (I paced it out) - beyond the effective range of even rifled muskets. As Neil has intimated, it would take a very very good shot to hit anything at that range. I agree that there are no wounds suffered by the defenders that would relate to the use of MHs.

The iNdluyengwe did not accompany the Undi Corps in their march from Isandlwana to RD but acted independantly - almost as part of the left horn. I do not think it stretches the bounds of possibility that they could have picked up some MHs and ammunition during their pursuit along the Fugitives Drift trail. However as to their subsequent use ..... ? They would not be familiar with the weapon and all it's intricacies (and of course did not have Neil to advise them !) so there would be little advantage gained, apart from after the battle to show their mates "Look what I've got !". Initially, possessing a MH would have given the owner a fair degree of kudos, which could also explain why none were found following the battle at RD.

However, as has been said above, there seems to be little in the way of evidence either way. All we can be certain of is that Zulu firearms (of any sort) had little impact in deciding the outcome at RD.

Bill

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 12:57 pm

Quote :
I would not therefore expect to see Zulu firearms having any significant effect in any of the battles during the war,

This from Colonel Evelyn Wood " Camp Kambula March 30th 1879.
Directed to The Deputy Adjutant- General.

"The enemy, well supplied with Martini-Henry rifles and ammunition, occupied a hill not seen from the laager, and opened so accurate and enfilade fire,though at long range, that i was obliged to withdraw a company of the 13th posted at the rear of the laager"

"Our loss would have been much less severe than it was but for the fact of many of the Zulus being armed with the Martini- Henry rifles which were captured at Isandlwana and the Intombi River. Parties of the enemy armed with these splendid weapons finding cover under the rocks to the east and in a fold in the ground to the west kept up an enfilading fire from 600 to 1'000 yards, which inflicted all the serious damage of the day"

Quote :
However, as has been said above, there seems to be little in the way of evidence either way. All we can be certain of is that Zulu firearms (of any sort) had little impact in deciding the outcome at RD.
Totally agree. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 4:15 pm

Corporal Schiess was shot in the leg, and then lost his hat to a Zulu shot; Commissary Dalton, leaning over the parapet to shoot a Zulu, was wounded in the shoulder by a bullet and dragged out of the line to have his wound dressed; Keefe, 'B' Company's drummer, suffered a skin wound to the head; Corporal Scammell, of the NNC, was shot in the back, and Private Byrne, attempting to help him, was killed by a shot to the head, as was 'Old King' Cole, another private in 'B' Company (see below at hospital section). The fire from the mountain only grew worse; Privates Scanlon, Fagan and Chick were slain. At least 1/3 (five) of the 17 killed, or died of wounds, were struck at the Front wall.

I

Brown Bess: (British standard smoothbore)

Maximum range: circa 250 yards;
Maximum effective range (100 round volley): 150 - 200 yards;
Effective maximum range (Single round): 100 - 150 yards;
Optimum range: 75 - 100 yards;
Weight: 9lbs, 11oz (Small Land);
Optimum effect: At 30 yards, will penetrate 3/8" of iron or 5 inches of oak;
Rate of fire (Optimum): 4 - 5 rounds per minute;
Rate of fire (actual): 2 - 3 rounds per minute;
Rate of misfire: 20 - 40%.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 4:46 pm

Remember that of the 4000 to 5000 Zulus attacking the post, one in four of them carried a firearm
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 5:25 pm

But what fire arms?
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 6:25 pm

"There is even evidence that some of the attackers at Rorkes Drift may have been armed with Martini-Henrys. Snook concludes that there could not have been enough ammunition available even if the attackers had picked up a few of the rifles. Therefore shots that sounded like Martini-Henrys must have been carbines that used a .450-inch cartridge case with a slightly loader load"
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 9:29 am

Hi Dave

Thanks for the quotes relating to Khambula. However, the TOTAL "British" casualties at Khambula were 18 killed and 65 wounded (10 died of their wounds subsequently) - this is out of a total strength of 2,068. The figures for Ulundi are remarkably similar - 12 killed and 70 wounded out of a total of around 5,000. So, I'll stick with my statement that the Zulu firearms did not have a significant effect. Now, if they had known how to use the Martinis they had gained at Isandlwana, the casualties amongst Wood's men would have been considerably higher and may have changed the course of the battle. This would seem to confirm John Labands point about the firearms being substantially a status symbol to the Zulus.

At Rorke's Drift how many "firearms" were there ? Who can say, but if we say 1 in 4 (per Drummer Boy above) that would be nearly 1,000 weapons. Most were clearly flintlocks and percussion rifles muskets and maybe SOME Martini-henry rifles. With perhaps two hours of daylight available, the numbers of men hit is very low - so again not a significant factor (unless of course you were one of the men hit).

I was also interested in Impi's stats on the smoothbore flintlock. Where did you get these from, Impi ? I have a short pattern musket and have fired it extensively. There is very little chance of hitting anything over 100 yards, and the penetration is very poor at any distance over 80 yards. I would love to see someone achieve the "optimum" reload figures of 5 shots a minute - one shot every 20 to 30 seconds is a more realistic figure (as is stated), but that is with trained men. The rate of misfire is directly linked to the number of times you fire it. The more shots, the greater the chance of misfire, as the touch hole gets blocked, the flint gets blunt, and the barrel gets fouled. I found that with a clean musket and a new flint, the rate of misfire is about 1 in 12 or 1 in 15 - and that is usually due to the powder in the pan having become dislodged, or the flint is not striking true.

The Anglo-Zulu War is really all about the Zulu need to close with the British to take advantage of their numbers and the British need to keep them at a distance with heavy volley fire (the latter requiring a good steady flow of ammunition).

Bill
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 11:46 am

Hi Bill.

Good post mate. There have been many quotes in various books, etc, saying that the Zulu fire arms would have been primative, so it could have been chance shots that hit the defenders at RD. One thing that puzzles me is that in your earlier post you said that the iNdluyengwe were almost part of the left horn, surely they were over on the Zulu right? and along with the uThulwana, iNdlondlo and uDloko, they made up the reserve force. However, they (the iNdluyengwe), took a different route to RD than the other three regiments, and attacked the fugitives at the Mzinyathi, and I wouldn't imagine that many (if any), infantrymen would have made it that far, meaning that there would be no Martini Henry rifles for the zulus to pick up, besides, any infantryman making it that far would have been out of ammo long ago, so if there was the odd M-H, what did the zulus use for ammo? The men that the INdluyengwe attacked must have been mounted men, and I thought that they had Swinburns, so it is looking like there were not many (if indeed any) Martini Henry rifles used by the zulus at RD, and if by chance there were, then I wonder where the ammo came from?

How is that bad leg doing Bill? hope it mended well for you.

Martin. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 12:27 pm

Martin

You're right - I meant RIGHT horn !!!!!!

Bill
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 12:45 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Blame it on that bad leg Bill, can't tell the right from the left, or should that be left from right. :lol: :lol:

Martin. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Martin

Yes thanks, the ankle has healed OK (merely a flesh wound !).

Lt Anstey and maybe 60+ men made it down the Fuguitives Drift trail to the Manzimyama. we'll never know exactly which Zulu regiment overwhelmed them - maybe the iNdluyengwe ? Certainly that would be a source of Martini-Henry rifles and (some) ammunition, though some authors (eg Mike Snook) would say that they fired off all their ammunition before succumbing - but who knows for certain ?

The reality (I suspect) was that it was probably Neil Aspinshaw selling the Zulus rifles and ammunition off the back of a conveniently parked wagon !!!!!

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 8:37 pm

Bill
what? me selling Martini's from a wagonI.. take offence sir.... you omitted to report the "magic roundabout" theme playing from my wagon, and on the back a releflective sign, "mind that Zulu".

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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyFri Oct 12, 2012 12:33 pm

Hi Bill.

Looking through David Rattray's guidebook, he appears to have the attackers at the Manzimyama as elements of the iSangqu, uDududu, iMbube, mDlu-yengwe, and possibly elements of the iNgobamakhosi and uVe. The main attackers at the Mzinyathi (Buffalo), are shown as being the iNdluyengwe, so I would presume that the men they attacked would be mounted men.

Martin. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyFri Oct 12, 2012 1:47 pm

Martin

Some of these regiments were actually from the Zulu centre. In the pursuit down the trail I would not expect individual regiments to hold their integrity, with much intermingling taking place. This is why I'm sure it could well be possible for some of the iNdluyengwe to have picked up Martini-Henry rifles and/or ammunition - it might explain why Bourne refers to the "crack" of a MH, not that they seem to have hit any defender !

I think I owe Neil a public apology for inferring that it may have been him selling MHs to the Zulus. This was of course a cheap shot and unworthy of the position I hold. There is no evidence at all to support this theory. Clearly it is not the official viewpoint of the RW Museum. Having said that, I suspect 8 out of 10 people reading this thread, and who Know Neil, would probably accept it as a given fact !!!!!!

Bill
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 13, 2012 11:04 am

Hi Bill.

Yes, I am not ruling out the possibility that the zulus could have had M-H's at RD, but I think that the ammo for them would be in very short supply indeed.

I would think that all the members on here, and all the regular visitors, will know that it was just a bit of good humoured banter with Neil, even Neil joined in with the humour, so I should think that everyone knows it was just a 'bit of fun', and it would have brought smiles to peoples faces.

Martin. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 13, 2012 11:32 am

Martin, Bill was just having a wind-up with Neil. He was joking with the public apology... :joker:


Bourne account.

"The Zulus had collected the rifles from the men who they had killed at Isandhlwana, and had captured the ammunition from the mules which had stampeded and threw their loads;" could be the answer as to where they got there ammuntion.

I know he wasn't there, but he must have heard it from somewhere, because we know mules with ammuntion did run with those leaving the battlefield.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 13, 2012 12:50 pm

In Knight's Zulu Rising, he writes about the ammo boxes in the camp being smashed open during the end game of the battle, and soldiers grabbing ammo from the boxes, much of which was, and would have been scattered all around.
There was an ammo supply and distribution issue to parts of the firing llines during the main battle. However, there was plenty of ammo in the camp, in the boxes, all over the ground on the donkeys as LH mentions. There was ammo in the pockets and pouches of the fleeing fugitives - more than they would ever have used whilst fleeing on horseback. (I am no expert, but I would guess the MH is not that easy to fire on horseback).
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PostSubject: MH's at Rorkes Drift   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 13, 2012 2:21 pm

Hi All,
If there were MH's at Rorkes Drfit hey would have been in the hands of the sniping team up on the Oskarberg., and not used by the elements of the Impi fighting up at the parapets fighting close up and personal with their Ikwla's. Thus, no such rifles reported being found as the men on the mountain were too wiley and distant to be captured or killed.
Ammuntion would have been no problem at all, as remember, the whole 200,000 rd battalion reserve held in wagons at Isandlwana was captured as well as about another approx 100,000 rds "at the front".
Bolting mules carrying supplies were another source.
Trooper Clarke, NMP, reporting finding on 10/02/1879, during an inspection with Maj Black , two dead pack mules with their loads still intact on the Fugitives trail and large amounts of unspent MH ammmo lying on the ground "up on the hill".
From all of this it would seem there was a good probablity that there were some MH's in the enemy hands at RD

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 13, 2012 2:46 pm

I guess the deciding factor on that would have been, it would have depended on what Zulus had picked up the Martinin Henry they would have been collected by all elements of various regiments. It might be worth considering that they may well have some Zulus that took part in the Battle at Isandlwana, who broke off and joined in the chasing of those soldiers ect that were escaping.
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90th

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PostSubject: No MH Rifles found among the zulu dead at RD.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 13, 2012 7:31 pm

Hi All .
Its probable that some of the zulus who were engaged at Isandlwana decided to continue on to attack RD but I think
its highly unlikely . One must remember that they had travelled for at least a couple of days to get there , what food they had was more than likely minimal , and also the day was stinking hot , about 34 deg if not hotter ! . After what they the survivors of Isandlwana had been through and seen against the troops , I have grave doubts that anyone would want to expose themselves to that again so quickly . Let's not forget that there was much to do and plunder in the camp , cant see why anyone would wish to go and fight another battle in light of what they'd gone through earlier . There are many reports that the zulu attacking Isandlwana were becoming overcome with thirst ! . The zulu have said that they drank anything they found in liquid form , which resulted in the deaths of several . It's like the debate about the rifles , we will never know for sure as there is no hard evidence , also I'm fairly certain I've never read a zulu account in which any state they took part in both battles .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry rifles found at RD   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 16, 2012 12:03 am

Hi 90th.

You are almost right, there were some elements of zulus that went down the trail chasing the fugitives, but these were stopped from crossing the river by an induna, so none of the zulus that were at iSandlwana crossed the Manzimyama, so they were never at RD.

Salute

All.

The two mules were from the rocket battery, and their loads were found intact, however, I doubt that they would have been any use to anyone with a Martini Henry rifle, they were rockets!!

No fugitives on foot got further than the Manzimyama, so there would be no Martini's after that, and the iNdluyengwe didn't attack at the Manzimyama, they came around the northern side of the Mpethe and attacked coming down the valley at the Mzinyathi. The men they attacked would have been mounted men, and they didn't have M-H's, the iNdluyengwe then moved upstream linking up with the uThulwana, iNdlondlo and uDloko to attack RD.

The zulus that killed Melvill and Coghill were locals, probably Gandama's men. And Davies was told that most of the dead at the river were killed by locals and not pursuers, and that they didn't attack anyone that was armed, and the only record of anyone returning fire was the Edenvale contingent.

So it is looking like the zulus didn't have any Martini's at all at RD. All those M-H's that were at iSandlwana and all the ammo, wouldn't have got passed the Manzimyama. The iNdluyengwe could only have attacked mounted men at the Mziinyathi, and they did not have M-H's, and according to Davies, Gandama's men didn't attack anyone that was armed, so no rifles there then, and besides, they didn't attack RD. So if there were any Martini's used by the zulus at RD, where did they get them from, and where did they get the ammo for them? scratch

Salute
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 16, 2012 7:49 am

Martin click on link. See Brickhills account. Page 5

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 17, 2012 5:53 pm

The Zulu regiments that descended on RD from iSandlwana did so because they had missed out on the main action at the camp. The odd individual from the other regiments may have tagged along for the same reason, but any individual who had fought hard and killed at iSandlwana would most likely have sloped off fairly early from the battle of RD, once it became evident that the defenders were not going to lay down easily.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 17, 2012 8:38 pm

As been said before we have two accounts to say there were MH at RD and none to say there wasn't.
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PostSubject: No Martini Henry Rifles Found among the zulu dead at R.D.   rorke s drift - No  Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift. - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 18, 2012 4:06 am

Hi 24th.
Just because you have two accounts saying they were there doesnt mean they were there ! . I think those reports were made by a couple of soldiers who assumed they were there , if your going by Bourne 50 yrs after the event in which he says he heard them ! . As Neil has already explained all the firing of any of the weapons sounds the same . As for Hitch saying he saw them , well no one else did ! . Not Chard , Bromhead or any others that were there . Its up to you to make your own conclusions but I dont think I'd say they were there beyond any shadow of doubt , simply because there is no hard evidence to back it up . No wounds were inflicted by the MH . One would think if they were used for sniping , sooner or later one round would have found its mark !. I'm certainly not convinced one way or the other , the possibility is they may have been , but no 100 % factual evidence has come to light , yet !.
90th.
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