Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift 22-23rd January 1879 - Page 2




 
--
 
October 31st, 2008  
03USMC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Makes you wonder what they were shooting at. Surely you would expect a hit rate of at least one in 10 during a mass charge unless their shields were effective to some extent.

I recall a theory that men have to be trained to shoot to kill and during WW11 (presumably on the Western front) most shots were never intended to. Not sure if I can believe this especially if your own life was in imminent danger.
Just a question. During this time period were British Infantry still being trained in mass volley fire? I know that in the US Army during this time period individual marksmanship was secondary to unit volly fire. In that type of firing soliders tend to shoot high. Could explain the low hit ratio.
October 31st, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 03USMC
Just a question. During this time period were British Infantry still being trained in mass volley fire? I know that in the US Army during this time period individual marksmanship was secondary to unit volly fire. In that type of firing soliders tend to shoot high. Could explain the low hit ratio.
Yes it was.Towards the end of the Battle of Rorkes Drift, Lt Chard deployed two ranks of troops, the front knelt while the rear stood. One rank fired while the other reloaded. At the time it was a very effective measure against mass attacks. The old British Square using two ranks was also used to good effect, which is why I believe that if the square was used at Isandlwana, the Zulu could have been beaten off. In the center of the square would what could be called an “F Group” or “Fighting Group” who could be deployed to block any breaches in the square or as back up against a concentrated attack.


One good thing that came out of the Anglo Zulu War, both sides began to understand and respect each other as fighting men. No doubt Lord Chelmsford regarded the Zulu as mindless savages, and no problem to defeat. Never was a man more wrong.
November 1st, 2008  
03USMC
 
 
I think that would go along way into explaining the hit / miss ratio. It was more important using those tactics to put out a wall of lead. Aimming at particular targets was secondary.

In the US Army of the same time period an Infantry officers job included reminding the troops to "Aim low boys."
--
November 1st, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 03USMC
I think that would go along way into explaining the hit / miss ratio. It was more important using those tactics to put out a wall of lead. Aimming at particular targets was secondary.

In the US Army of the same time period an Infantry officers job included reminding the troops to "Aim low boys."
Although only 350 dead were found after the battle, it doesn't take into account the wounded which were carried away and in all probability died later. So in reality, no one really knows what the true figures are as to Zulu dead.

Even so, for the amount of ammunition expended, the Zulu death count was very low.