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  • Luzitanos
    replied
    any one know the flag of these guys_ZW-1st (King's) Dragoon Guards-1 25mm test.png

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    You have to remember that the average Victorian Officer was not like modern officers. When Napoleon III's son was killed in South Africa, while staging a picnic near some Zulus, the officer rode back to camp like the fiends of hell were after him. He had no idea what his men were doing as he outran them! He did not get censured until he got back to the UK. Queen Victoria was quite upset a foreign prince got himself killed in her service. That officer won a court martial but was ostracized.

    Pruitt

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  • Kevinmeath
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Why can't you be doing both at the same time?

    Pruitt
    True
    however the 'Victorian heros' , who cut their way out of disaster are often described in more modern texts as only carrying the colour to cover their 'running' away, not so much VC hero's as cowards.

    Didn't think it worth a new thread as related to this topic.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Why can't you be doing both at the same time?

    Pruitt

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  • Kevinmeath
    replied
    Had a disagreement recently so what do people think
    were Melvill and Coghil running away or saving the colour?

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  • Kevinmeath
    replied
    Now to the Drummer boys that have caused such disagreement, well I think there is no settling the argument because we do not know what happened.

    Yes the boys were found mutilated (as all the dead where much to the rage of the British troops) have never heard of castration before (not saying it didn’t happen just not read it before) but they were disembowelled. We can never know if this was done before or after death.

    However as stated this was part of Zulu tradition to release the spirit of the warrior.

    We have also got to remember that these ‘boys’ may well have been fag smoking gin drinking little tykes quite capable of using weapons, perhaps they fought and were treated as warriors?

    Perhaps the Zulu, or some of them, drunk on battle rage, full of narcotics, captured spirits etc decided on some sadistic torture of capture teenagers that does no credit to those brave warriors. None admitted to such after the war (to my imperfect knowledge) but it would have been a very foolish thing for a defeated Zulu to admit to redcoats.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
    Shortly before this there was a little unpleasantness in India. One of the Sikh wars I think. The british cavalry is fairly badly manhandled in the skirmishing.

    The natives are weildiing a supersabre. Forged in the caverns of the Rajput mountains, by learned sage smiths who hand forge the blade while chanting mystical texts and having lots of tantric sex.................................. Well no, not really , but thats the jist of the newspaper reports. What they actually have is the previous british army issue cavalry sabre, withdrawn from service and in a bit of skill and ingenuity seldom matched sold to the highest bidder on the open market even if he is a potential enemy. Then properly sharpened for once in its life and stored in a wooden scabbard rather than left to rattle arround in a tin one and fitted with an Indian hilt.

    Oh yes, and if you think thats bad google the Franklyn Expedition and Tinned Food.

    When it comes to skull incompetance very little matches the Victorian Armed Forces, I am afraid.
    I've got an excelllent book about the Franklyn Expedition and the archaeological digs that disinterred a number of perfectly preserved, former members from their graves. Facinating book!

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  • DARKPLACE
    replied
    Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
    Another case of "the lowest bidder gets the arms contract.".
    Shortly before this there was a little unpleasantness in India. One of the Sikh wars I think. The british cavalry is fairly badly manhandled in the skirmishing.

    The natives are weildiing a supersabre. Forged in the caverns of the Rajput mountains, by learned sage smiths who hand forge the blade while chanting mystical texts and having lots of tantric sex.................................. Well no, not really , but thats the jist of the newspaper reports. What they actually have is the previous british army issue cavalry sabre, withdrawn from service and in a bit of skill and ingenuity seldom matched sold to the highest bidder on the open market even if he is a potential enemy. Then properly sharpened for once in its life and stored in a wooden scabbard rather than left to rattle arround in a tin one and fitted with an Indian hilt.

    Oh yes, and if you think thats bad google the Franklyn Expedition and Tinned Food.

    When it comes to skull incompetance very little matches the Victorian Armed Forces, I am afraid.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
    The baynet used at the time of the Zulu war was a socket bayonet, similar to the old brown bess one. The contract went to a company who instead of making them out of steel. Made them out of iron and case hardened them.
    After a couple of months of energetic cleaning the steel coating formed by the case hardening has worn away and the bayonet was prone to bending and breaking if used.

    The same thing happened about the same time with a batch of cavalry swords.
    Another case of "the lowest bidder gets the arms contract.".

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  • Kevinmeath
    replied
    Originally posted by MeenMutha View Post

    Also, I dispute your contention that only six people survived, and that they were dressed in blue. Many more survived, and they were also redcoats.
    Six men of the 24th survived, a groom who grabbed a stray horse, a couple of men who were in the mounted infantry and several who where detailed as helpers/guards to the rocket battery. The battery was destroyed by a volley from the Zulu (many of the Zulu were armed although qualitiy was variable to say the least), wounded they managed to escape on foot-- but they were not in the main camp, to escape there you needed a horse and a great deal of luck.

    It is often repeated about red coats and escaping if you were not and there may be some truth in it but most of the local South African troops did not wear redcoats and their survival is more likely down to their horses.

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  • DARKPLACE
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Kevin,

    It was not really an advantage with the British bayonets. They were using inferior metal. Many bayonets were found after the battle to be badly bent. Some had even bent back on themselves!

    Pruitt


    The baynet used at the time of the Zulu war was a socket bayonet, similar to the old brown bess one. The contract went to a company who instead of making them out of steel. Made them out of iron and case hardened them.
    After a couple of months of energetic cleaning the steel coating formed by the case hardening has worn away and the bayonet was prone to bending and breaking if used.

    The same thing happened about the same time with a batch of cavalry swords.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevinmeath
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Kevin,

    It was not really an advantage with the British bayonets. They were using inferior metal. Many bayonets were found after the battle to be badly bent. Some had even bent back on themselves!

    Pruitt
    I have read that but some not all, not sure how poor all the bayonets were and 1st 24th were mainly a battalion of old hands so would they have experienced problems before and sorted them?

    I have heard that more about B coy at Rorkes Drift but they were a 'new' battalion -- VC winner John Williams a new recruit (by the way his 'friend' Joseph Williams was recommanded for the VC but unfortunately died-- unlike Melvill and Coghill a working class boy from a Welsh valley didn't have educated parents to badger the war office for posthuminous (sp?) awards.)

    Even with 'bent' or damaged bayonets B coy seemed to do well enough.

    It well be the same as the 'myth' about the lack of ammunition-- something has to explain why 'white proffessional soldiers' lost to 'mere natives'.
    I do not say it didn't happen but not sure if it was a major factor. If I get some time will look into it.

    (Hope you don't me looking up an old thread but 'Zulu War is of interest).

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Kevin,

    It was not really an advantage with the British bayonets. They were using inferior metal. Many bayonets were found after the battle to be badly bent. Some had even bent back on themselves!

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevinmeath
    replied
    Sorry for digging up an old thread but was going to post so did a search first.

    Read about Anglo-Zulu war since I was a child (brought up in the main recruiting area of the South Wales Borderers – the 24th from 1881.) I of course also loved the film Zulu.

    Best book I have read about the battle is “How can men die better” by Mike Snook

    I should say he may well be biased (as we all are) he was Lt Colonel of the Royal Welch who are the descendants of the 24th. He also served as a military attaché in RSA, which allowed him to visit the battlefield many times.

    I found it really interesting and he makes some different points, partly I think helped that he is ex-military. He looks at what happen or what may have happened to the companies of the 24th, most authors focus on those fugitives who escaped.

    For instance one company 24th was left exposed by Durnford’s sudden withdraw (of which he is very critical). All we know is the CSM was identified on the original fire line surround by 20 bodies, most bodies of the 24th were not identifiable as individuals, but the Company commander surrounded by about 60-70 bodies was found almost in the main camp a couple of kilometres away. Now I have read accounts where authors state that no-one can be certain who the redcoats were, the officer could have fled etc.

    Snook applies logic and proposes that CSM Wolfe (I think can look it up if you wish) held a ½ platoon to cover the withdrawal of the rest of the company, who they would then cover. Unfortunately the Zulu advance was too quick and the cover party formed a little rally square on the CSM and was overwhelmed. The main group then withdraws slowly to the main camp until forced into rally square and overwhelmed.

    He points out that the battle did not end when the ammunition ran out (which may have lasted much longer than other people think.) The 24th, like all redcoats, were trained to fight shoulder to shoulder and support your comrade, the Martini Henry plus sword bayonet was actually longer than the Zulu assegai and that the redcoat rally squares inflicted heavy casualties.

    One brave act I had never heard of before was as Snook listen to Zulu’s recount their stories of the battle they described the last stand of troops, mainly redcoats, how they were joined by the ‘Zebras’ who gave up their horses. Snook comes to the conclusion that this is a Natal unit (Carabineers I think) who wore black and white uniforms, who since they had horses may have had a chance to escape.

    He blames arrogant staff officers and Chelmsford for the disaster, although he is critical of Durnford. Chelmsford for splitting his command and being fixated by the idea that the Zulu would not attack him but that he had to get to them, also the staff officers who ignore the concerns of officers about the 24th companies being too scattered and anyway leaving 600 men to defend a perimeter for 1200.

    If none object I'll look through the thread because saw a couple of debates I could stick my two pennys worth in.

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  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    Or it could have been this programme on Britain's Cannel 4

    Lewis, Mark. Secrets of the Dead: The Mystery of Zulu Dawn. [London]: Optomen Television for Channel 4, 2001. videocassette (60 mins.). Produced and directed by Mark Lewis. This video revisits the Battle of Isandhlwana, 22 January 1879, and tries with the help of archaeologists on the ground, and by interviews with descendants of Zulu participants, to find out how the British Army with the latest weaponry were overcome by Zulu fighters armed only with spears and clubs.

    Paul

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