Why were British troops slaughtered at Isandlwana - Page 10




 
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December 24th, 2011  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
When I visited Isandlwana (as I mentioned previously) there was a strange atmosphere, heavy almost depressing. Immediately on my right when entering the battlefield there was a lone stone cairn painted white (as they all are), then a little way along there were more and more stone cairns. I looked toward the direction the Zulu had come, I saw in my minds eye the thousands of Zulu, and can only imagine what went through the minds of the British troops, especially as the Zulu broke through.
I visied the Custer/ Little Big Horn Battlefield, the headstones are where each body was found. You get the same feeling there of "Oh ****!" that the troopers felt as a tidal wave of Indians came up out of the camps.
December 24th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
I visied the Custer/ Little Big Horn Battlefield, the headstones are where each body was found. You get the same feeling there of "Oh ****!" that the troopers felt as a tidal wave of Indians came up out of the camps.
Its strange that battlefields have that strange atmosphere, perhaps its our own imagination and knowledge of what went on there.
December 24th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Its strange that battlefields have that strange atmosphere, perhaps its our own imagination and knowledge of what went on there.
At Culloden, the dead, and some of the wounded, were dumped in wells or pits.
One group of wounded Highlanders were forced into a barn which was then torched.
There are markers on these sites and you do get a gut wrenching sense when you stand there and read the memorial plaques.
At Tyne Cot cemetry, in the Ypres salient, which is the largest Commonwealth War cemetry in the world, there is a mixed feeling.
As a lot of the burials are post war, where bodies were recovered from the battlefields and taken to a central burial site, you do get a feeling almost of relief that they have been found and are burried.
On the Menim Gate there are the names of 54,896 soldiers with no known grave. The memorial only lists those killed before August 1917.
The remaining 33,783 killed after that date and with no known grave in the Ypres Salient, are on the memorial wall at Tyne Cot.
Still, at most the cemetries within the Salient, the atmosphere is not a gloomy one. The design and layout may have something to do with it, I can't say for sure what it is.
When you go to the sole German cemetry and memorial at Langemark, there you do feel a gloomy, sad pressence.
Its very strange.
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December 24th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Its unusual for a young lad to show so much interest in a subject, that many people would rather forget or have forgotten the sacrifices made. Good for him. I wish more kids his age had the same respect.
My son, Sam, has not just an interest in this, but a true respect for the sacrifices made by people to give him his freedom today.
This picture was taken at the Menin Gate just after the Last Post ceremony. The buglers of the Fire Brigade play the Last Post every day at 20:00hrs to honour the dead named on the monument.
They say they will play the Last Post each night for every name on the walls till they reach the end of the list. Then they will start again.
Sam is wearing the medals awarded to his Great Great Grandfather, my wife's Grandfather who was in the Royal Engineers, part of the 29th Division and fought as Paschendale, as well as at the Somme and other WWI battles.

December 25th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Good for him, he's what I'd call a true "Brit", its no wonder your'e proud of the lad.
January 22nd, 2012  
Trooper1854
 
 
Today is the 133rd anniversary of the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift.

I have just read a book called "If you're reading this..." by Sian Price.(ISBN 978-1-84832-610-1)
It is a collection of last letters from the front line dating from the Napleonic wars up to now.
There is a section in the book covering the Anglo-Zulu war.
One part I have to quote is here. Page 71:

"The Zulu tactic of deception and suprise attack had devastating effects at Isandlwana. With that masacre came the realisation that this would be no small, swift war and that Britain had woefully underestimated its enemy. The Zulu impi was organised into units that were highly disciplined and incredibly fit. The men could march for up to sixty miles per day barefoot, with just a pouch of dry meat for sustenance.
In advance attacks, doctors administered special potions to make the Zulu soldier feel invincible, and they fought with an intensity and courage that came to be grudgingly admired by the British. Cetswayo warned 'Do not put your face into the lair of a wild beast for you are about to get clawed' and the British soldiers in letters home likened this enemy to fearless lions."
January 22nd, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Good lor, so it is. Thanks for the reminder Trooper.

One of the Zulu commented after Isandlwana, "They (British troops) fought like lions and fell like stones where they stood."
High praise from an enemy
February 7th, 2012  
Trooper1854
 
 
Just seen a very interesting documentary on the history of the Zulus.
It was on BBC4 and part of their "Lost Kingdoms of Africa" series presented by Gus Casely-Hayford.
It was about the rise of the Zulus from Shaka's time through to the fall of these proud people after the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879.
A very good programe, worth trying to catch it on BBC i-player
February 27th, 2012  
Trooper1854
 
 
David Saul is a well known military historian and has written alot on the Zulu War.
He has also written a novel "Zulu Heart"
He uses the story of a social outcast of British Society to tell the story of the Central Column in the Zulu war of 1879.
Not too bad, worth a read.
February 27th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
When I was last at Rorkes Drift I spoke with a Zulu guide, he gave me the whole run down on the attack at Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift, including the war cries of the Zulu. Scary stuff.

I met David Rattray at Isandlwana before he was murdered in his home in 2007. A fascinating man and a great loss to us all.
 


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