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DateOriginal Topic
25th March 20022 battles or 1
By James Garland
Are we right in treating Isandhlwana and Rorkes Drift as two separate battles, or should we treat them as one?
If they are treated as separate phases of the same battle then surely Rorke's Drift merely represents the survival of the last remnants of the Central Column in a wide ranging battle, and therefore wasn't a victory at all.
Who actually decides whether geographically close conflicts are separate engagements or part of a larger battle?
In WW2 for example a number of separate engagements were grouped together under the heading "Battle of the Bulge". The "Battle of Britain" also encompasses a number of different engagements.
30th March 2002Mark Hepworth
Logic would perhaps state that as Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift happened on the same day within a few miles of each other, and involved practically the same participants, then they could be classed as the same battle, or at least that Rorke's Drift was an extension of the larger one.
However if this is so then Rorke's Drift was hardly a victory, more of a dramatic last stand that saved face. To seperate the two engagements emphasises the tragedy and heroism respectively of both encounters. At least from the British point of view.
I suppose the powers that were decided to highlight the determined defence of the mission station and treat it as a seperate issue. After all it did take the gloss off the earlier Zulu victory.
10th April 2002Bryce
I would treat them as two seperate battles. My reason being that B company 2nd Battalion 24th foot was not at Isandhlwana. Another reason being that it is my understanding that the Zulu force that attacked Rorkes drift was the reserve force of the Zulu army and was not actually at Isandhlwana. Therefore none of the participents in the battle of Rorkes drift actually fought at Isandhlwana.
11th April 2002James Garland
Adendorf was the only defender at Rorke's Drift to have also fought at Isandhlwana. However there was a detachment of mounted troops who retreated to Rorkes Drift from Isandhlwana and were deployed by Chard away from the post to await the Zulus. They deployed but fled as soon as the Zulus appeared (I can hardly blame them as they had just seen the Zulus in action at Isandhlwana) so to a certain extent they can be said to have been part of both actions.
I really don't have a clear view on whether they should be treated as separate actions. I am just curious as to the precedents that apply when deciding on such things. Perhaps there aren't any and it's just up to the General on the spot.
12th April 2002Bryce
You should note that the battles of Lexington and Concord in the American Revolution are treated as two seperate battles. They happened on the same day only a few miles apart and involved almost the same participents, yet they are treated as seperate battles.So it is my belief that if they are two seperate battles then so are Rorkes Drift and Isandhlwana are seperate battles. They both happened under similar circumstances.