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The current time is: 8/17/2018 3:40:36 AM
 (1866-1899) Other 19th Century Battles
AuthorMessage
Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 3145
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/23/2018 2:23:51 PM
One hundred and thirty nine years ago today, British soldiers at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift did justice to an ancient oath which inspired that epitaph

Go, stranger passing by, tell Sparta that here, in obedience to her laws, we lie !

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

BWilson
, Posts: 4380
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/23/2018 2:36:26 PM
Phil,

 With respect to the British fallen in that war ... I am struck by how that is not really so much farther back in history than the British sacrifices in Northwest Europe 73-74 years ago ... or those on the Somme 102 years ago.

Cheers,

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 3145
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/25/2018 6:04:32 AM
A notice on the London Tube inviting people to celebrate the stand of the British garrison at Rorke’s Drift has been removed by a politically correct management anxious not to offend sensibilities by glorifying an era of British colonial rule.

Oh, Christ !

To make the cup run over, Lily Allen has endorsed the protest.

This makes me sick.

Mutual admiration exists between Briton and Zulu on account of the traditions of the Zulu War.

The Zulu celebrate their victory at Isandlwana, with damned good reason.

A hubristic force of white soldiers was massacred there ; their commander had announced “ Gentleman, the niggers won’t fight ! “....shortly after, the best part of one thousand of his men had been killed.

This was Custer’s Last Stand multiplied five fold, and uncannily close in terms of time and circumstances .

Within the next few hours, one hundred British soldiers stood their ground against several thousand Zulu, and redeemed the disaster at Isandlwana.

This is inspirational and worthy of celebration for both the Zulu and their white British counterparts.

Now we’re being told by people who are narcissistic and totally ignorant about the events of the Zulu War that we must not glorify episodes associated with British colonial rule.

A pox on them.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 3790
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/25/2018 8:26:46 AM
Hi Phil, & BW,

Your right there is a lot to be said about these 2 battles in the Zulu Wars!

(still on of my favorite battle scenes in a movie!)

[Read More]

In all honesty, these battles were horrific!

I shalt not forget,
Regards,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6845
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/25/2018 8:42:49 AM
Chelmsford realised that he would need to account to the government and to history for the disaster. He quickly fixed blame on Durnford, claiming Durnford disobeyed his orders to fix a proper defensive camp, although there is no evidence such an order was issued and there would hardly have been time for Durnford to entrench. Further, it had been Chelmsford's decision not to entrench the camp, as it was meant to be temporary.

Wolseley wrote on 30 September 1879 when, later in the war, the Prince Imperial of France was killed by the Zulu: "I think this is very unfair, and is merely a repetition of what was done regarding the Isandlwana disaster where the blame was thrown upon Durnford, the real object in both instances being apparently to screen Chelmsford.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 3790
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/25/2018 9:01:22 AM
Jim,

This is how the BBC views it!?

[Read More]

Regards,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6845
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/25/2018 11:40:14 AM
Thanks Dave

Disraeli lost the 1880 election and died the following year. James Dalton died in 1887, a broken man. Many of the lower-rank VC winners from Rorke's Drift were also forgotten when the media circus moved on.

But one man prospered - Lord Chelmsford. The Queen showered honours on him, promoting him to full general, awarding him the Gold Stick at Court and appointing him Lieutenant of the Tower of London. He died in 1905, at the age of 78, playing billiards at his club.

Regads

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

kaii
Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 2297
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/25/2018 6:04:38 PM

Quote:

Mutual admiration exists between Briton and Zulu on account of the traditions of the Zulu War.

The Zulu celebrate their victory at Isandlwana, with damned good reason.



Now we’re being told by people who are narcissistic and totally ignorant about the events of the Zulu War that we must not glorify episodes associated with British colonial rule.

A pox on them.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Couldn't agree more Phil. Having walked the battlefields with zulu guides, I was surprised at the very respectful and honourable way they spoke of the British fallen. I think this "brotherhood of arms" is just beyond the grasp of those political moralists.

A pox indeed.

K
---------------
I’m not worried about the Third World War. That’s the Third World’s problem.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1973
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/25/2018 9:53:34 PM
Gotta ask if we're mixing apples and oranges here. More precisely, whether some others don't accept there are apples any more.

I don't want to flog this to death, because I can see at least two sides to the argument. But ...

Honour the battle if it was honourable. My favourite example: Galipoli.

Honour the participants if, in whatever cause, they behaved honourably. Just because of propinquity, in my case that might be the Battle of the River Plate.

Accept the reality of history, however painful or shameful. Militarily. Culturally, Socially. Economically. Accept that British control of a huge empire was based on a belief that on "Englishman" was worth XX wogs, the number depending on which wog was in question. That survived from the height of the Raj long past it's best before day.

I think some time is needed to separate cultural, social and other nastiness from military issues. I think we have to accept that certain terms were not insulting but indicative. And I think we have to see a word like "nigger" as repulsive when we can still use a term like "slave".

Gotta go, though with more I want to say.

Cheers
Brian
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 3145
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/26/2018 2:48:58 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Mutual admiration exists between Briton and Zulu on account of the traditions of the Zulu War.

The Zulu celebrate their victory at Isandlwana, with damned good reason.



Now we’re being told by people who are narcissistic and totally ignorant about the events of the Zulu War that we must not glorify episodes associated with British colonial rule.

A pox on them.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Couldn't agree more Phil. Having walked the battlefields with zulu guides, I was surprised at the very respectful and honourable way they spoke of the British fallen. I think this "brotherhood of arms" is just beyond the grasp of those political moralists.

A pox indeed.

K
--kaii


Thank you, Kai.

Twelve years ago I also walked the Zulu battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.

Our group of British tourists had a Zulu guide.

It was he who, surveying the panorama of Isandlwana , shouted out the words from Thermopylae and the tribute to Sparta.

An audible sob broke from our little group.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 3145
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/26/2018 3:16:21 AM

Quote:
Gotta ask if we're mixing apples and oranges here. More precisely, whether some others don't accept there are apples any more.

I don't want to flog this to death, because I can see at least two sides to the argument. But ...

Honour the battle if it was honourable. My favourite example: Galipoli.

Honour the participants if, in whatever cause, they behaved honourably. Just because of propinquity, in my case that might be the Battle of the River Plate.

Accept the reality of history, however painful or shameful. Militarily. Culturally, Socially. Economically. Accept that British control of a huge empire was based on a belief that on "Englishman" was worth XX wogs, the number depending on which wog was in question. That survived from the height of the Raj long past it's best before day.

I think some time is needed to separate cultural, social and other nastiness from military issues. I think we have to accept that certain terms were not insulting but indicative. And I think we have to see a word like "nigger" as repulsive when we can still use a term like "slave".

Gotta go, though with more I want to say.

Cheers
Brian
--brian grafton


Brian,

There’s a lack of equanimity, I fear, in the way that I’ve been posting on this thread. You’ll forgive me, I hope.

A worker on the staff of London Underground wrote a notice on the message board outside the Tube station, commemorating the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, because, like so many of us, he finds military history interesting and has been especially inspired by the story of the Zulu war...I expect that he, too, was weaned on that iconic British film from fifty odd years ago.

The management of Transport for London reacted to the protests of one or two commuters, and ordered that the message be withdrawn, because it was “ ill judged “.

This decision was endorsed by the singer Lily Allen. Her knowledge of the Zulu War, I expect, would be insufficient to fill the back of a postage stamp.

There is an upsurge in toxic populism . Small wonder, when episodes like this occur.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 2312
Remembrance
Posted on: 1/26/2018 1:05:14 PM
"Whatever you do, don´t mention the war !" - Basil Fawlty

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
Posts: 512
Remembrance
Posted on: 2/3/2018 2:46:32 PM
Lily Allen et al be damned. I was raised on a diet of porridge, toast and stories from the old Empire - the subject is not politically correct, but even as somebody firmly on the 'left' of the British political stream, I find much to be interested in and intrigued by when studying the history of the empire without imposing modern standards of ethics and morality upon the matters at hand.

Interesting about Chelmsford was that he was honoured in public with a raft of medals and titles, but never held another field command again. Too many good men died at Isandlwana and elsewhere to contemplate allowing him a chance to repeat his mistakes. He had instigated a sound policy of entrenching all camps (largely from local advice) but neglected to actually enforce the policy, so Pulleine could not have been expected to entrench a camp designed for 5,000 men within a few hours of Chelmsford leaving on his wild goose chase. Pulleine's blame should be focused on his poor tactical deployment; the artillery wasn't concentrated enough to make enough of an effect, his mounted infantry lacked enough ammunition in their packs for a sustained fight (although the myth about the front line lacking ammo has been largely debunked) and spread his infantry too thinly into what was effectively an extended skirmish line, so their volleys lacked the punch they otherwise might have had. Had he been able to pull back to a more compact area, his concentrated firepower may well have held the Zulus off, to allow Chelmsford's column to get back and support him. Durnford did his best, but had limited firepower at his disposal in holding a critical sector of the battlefield.

The archaeology reveals much; the British, native and colonial soldiers fought ferociously to the end, with those without horses to escape upon perishing to a man. The firing line collapsed fairly late on (and much like Custer's men in his defeat at the Little Big Horn, the British felt they were winning until it was too late to disengage); least a half dozen 'last stands' have been located and identified by the concentration of used cartridges. The withdrawal into the camp was chaotic in some places, but the professional infantry seem to have made a decent effort at a fighting retreat. The Zulu accounts of the battle were unanimously respectful of the British forces; they fought valiantly, with skill against an equally tough foe. No quarter was asked or given, which would largely set the tone for the rest of the war.

Wolseley was scathing in his criticism of the decision to award Lt Melville and Lt Coghill posthumous VCs for escaping with the colours; he felt, as did many serving officers at the time, that they ought to have died with their men. Smith-Dorrien's account (the sole surviving officer from the front line, by virtue of his horse and role as a transport officer) has always felt a tad sheepish; I wonder if he was wracked with guilt over leaving the men behind to be slaughtered, although I impart no blame in him removing himself from the battle as he was under orders.

A final comment on this war from me is reserved not for the subsequent stand at Rorke's Drift, but on the closing battle at Ulundi. The hysteria that had followed Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift forced the British government to change their mood of tolerating (but not endorsing) a cheap, quick war into a full blown imperial reprisal. Thousands of regular infantrymen, cavalry and artillery were flooded into South Africa, with two overwhelming forces under Chelmsford (keen to redeem his name) and Wolseley (keen to win the glory of revenge and publicly scorn Chelmsford) marched through Zululand in square formations, batting off the Zulu attacks until Chelmsford, ignoring orders from Wolesley, made directly for the Zulu royal kraals at Ulundi. Cetshwayo had been putting out frequent and increasingly desperate peace feelers once his forces spent the best of their manhood at Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift; the unstoppable march of the redcoats made defeat a certainty. He didn't want to fight at Ulundi - he was keen to surrender but save face at the same time by keeping his crown. Chelmsford, again ignoring orders to accept what was essentially an unconditional surrender, forced the issue and slaughtered thousands of Zulu warriors trying to defend their King; the rattle of the new Gatling guns, the boom artillery and rockets and thunderous volleys of the Martini-Henry rifles forever destroyed Zulu independence, at an enormous and completely unnecessary human cost.

Contemporary opinions within the army officers knew that a wrong had been committed, but the papers reported a glorious victory and all was soon forgotten. In my eyes, Ulundi was the Dresden of its day; an unnecessary action carried out for all the wrong reasons, which I suppose also rather sums up the Anglo-Zulu War.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 3145
Remembrance
Posted on: 2/3/2018 3:19:04 PM
Thanks for that post, Colin.

Reading that, I feel that I’m walking on a richer earth indeed.

As for those who indulge in narcissistic virtue signalling - especially when they don’t know whereof they speak - they really get me so wound up that I doubt my own frame of mind.


Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 2312
Remembrance
Posted on: 2/3/2018 8:26:24 PM

Quote:
Thanks for that post, Colin.

Reading that, I feel that I’m walking on a richer earth indeed.

As for those who indulge in narcissistic virtue signalling - especially when they don’t know whereof they speak - they really get me so wound up that I doubt my own frame of mind.


Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


"narcissistic virtue signalling" - I like that.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 3145
Remembrance
Posted on: 2/4/2018 5:44:17 PM
You need a strong stomach to countenance the way the European powers behaved on the African continent.

Plenty of mea culpa from British people : Ulundi and the fatal internment of many thousands of Boer women and children ; the nefarious acquisitiveness of Cecil Rhodes....

Who will forgive Afrikaner oppression of blacks ?


We must not forget the rule of the Belgians in the Congo, which was considered scandalous at the time.

The Germans gave a genocidal account of themselves in their onslaught against the Herero.

No doubt we can cite examples of French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish atrocities against natives.

The White Man’s Burden, that Heart of Darkness.

Have I forgotten something.....?

The Zulu, that magnificent warrior race, unleashed an orgy of slaughter, cruelty and conquest under that monstrous military genius, Shaka.

I wonder if there are statues to Shaka ; and, if so, whether the university campus folks of Cape Town have insisted that they be taken down.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes