Why were British troops slaughtered at Isandlwana - Page 7




 
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December 19th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trooper1854
The thing was, the European forces didn't just underestimate the Zulus once, at Isandlwhana, but at subsequent battles leading up to the final battle at Ulundi where they finaly did form a square with artillery and gattling guns. But, by then the Zulu army had lost some of its fighting spirit. They were tired of the war, and knew they couldn't win.
Ultimately its a war that should never have been fought.
Same as the Boer War, another lesson that the British learned and then forgot during WW1.
December 19th, 2011  
Del Boy
 
Great Posts guys. Soaking it up here, mostly news to me in the detail.
December 20th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
The Zulus launched a disciplined and co-ordinated attack on an over confident, ill prepared opposition. Numerous factors were involved, including the expert way the Zulus were able to deceive the British/European force into their where abouts and numbers.
The chain of command on the Bitish side was fragmented and confused.
The man left in charge of the camp had never heard a shot fired in anger.
Lord Chelmsford was arrogant and over confident. He failed to observe his own field directives and ignored what his scouts were telling him because it did not agree with his own views.
The reasons go on and on. We were beaten because we though we were fighting a bunch of savages armed with only spears.
One of the most telling eyewitness testemonies from a survivor was how the Zulus had observed how the artillery crews would step away from the gun before firing. They would then hit the ground to minimise the effect of the shot on them.
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December 20th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Good post Trooper.
December 20th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Good post Trooper.
Thank you, your comment is appreciated.
December 20th, 2011  
muscogeemike
 
Fine analysis - anybody else see similarities between Lord Chelmsford and this action - and Gen. Braddock’s expidition in the French and Indian War?
December 21st, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by muscogeemike
Fine analysis - anybody else see similarities between Lord Chelmsford and this action - and Gen. Braddock’s expidition in the French and Indian War?
You can add so many other military leaders to a list of commanders who have made similar mistakes, right upto and including the most recent of conlicts.
We underestimate our enemy.
We forget lessons from previous conflicts.
Suddenly we incur avoidable losses and then we run around implemented earlier procedures, and tactics like we've had a vision!
December 21st, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by muscogeemike
Fine analysis - anybody else see similarities between Lord Chelmsford and this action - and Gen. Braddock’s expidition in the French and Indian War?
Sorry Mike, I have no idea regarding the French and Indian War. As a boy at school I had enough to contend with trying to remember British History, what prince married who, what year, how old they were, what did they have for breakfast, when did they die and how many children did they produce.

It must be remembered that although only junior officers, Lt's Chard and Bromhead fought the Battle of Rorkes Drift with far more professionalism then senior officers at Isandlwana.

Lt Chard died of cancer in 1897 in Taunton Somerset, a month before his 50th birthday.

Until 2003, the bravery of Lt. Chard was commemorated by the South African Army with the John Chard Decoration.*

Stanley Baker owned Lt Chards VC from 1972 until his death in 1976

Lt Bromhead died in India of Typhoid Fever on 9 February 1891, at the age of 45, at Camp Dabhaura
December 21st, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Stanley Baker owned Lt Chards VC from 1972 until his death in 1976
The sad thing here is that Stanley Baker thought he owned a replica and it was only confirmed as the original after his death.
December 21st, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
A sad end to Rorkes Drift was Corporal Schiess.

He was 22 years old, and a corporal in the Natal Native Contingent, South African Forces during the Zulu War. On 22 January 1879, at Rorke's Drift, Natal, Corporal Schiess, in spite of having been wounded in the foot a few days previously, displayed great gallantry when the garrison had retired to the inner line of defence and the Zulus had occupied the wall of mealie bags which had been abandoned. He crept along the wall in order to dislodge one of the enemy and succeeded in killing him and two others before returning to the inner defences.

Schiess was the first man serving with South African Forces under British Command to receive the VC.

After the volunteer forces were disbanded, he failed to find work, even from British authorities. In 1884, he was found on the streets of Simons Town near Cape Town suffering from exposure and malnutrition. The Royal Navy found him, gave him food, and offered him a passage to England on board the Serapis. He accepted, but became ill during the voyage and died. His remains were buried at sea at approximately 13°00′S 07°24′W . (Just off the coast of Angola) It is unknown if there was a portrait of Corporal Schiess. According to some, in Lady Butler's painting of "Rorke's Drift" he is shown lying at left against the mealie bags.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum (Chelsea, England).
 


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