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My Isandlwana Website
Jamie


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Hi,

After my visit to Isandlwana in November 2004, I finally managed to post my photo's on a web site.

www.isandlwana1879.co.uk

I think that people who have not been lucky enough to visit this special place may find one or two of my photo's give a better understanding of the terrain in and around Isandlwana.

I am by no means an expert in the Zulu War of 1879 (or computer skills!!) but I hope they are useful to enthusiasts of the Battle of Isandlwana.

Hope you enjoy it,

Jamie
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diagralex


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 208
Location: Broomfield, Essex
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Jamie

Enjoy it, I certainly did. Great photos and a pleasure to see the sites we have all heard about and know. Congratulations on producing a really interesting web site which I am sure we will all enjoy browsing through.

Graham
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Dewi Evans


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 177
Location: Chwilog, North Wales
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Hi Jamie,

Thanks very much for sharing your excellent photos with us.

I don't think I will ever be able to visit Zululand in person, therefore with pictures like yours I can at least imagine what it's really like.

Regards,

Dewi. Very Happy
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Mike Snook


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 130
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Jamie,

Well done. This is a really first class idea. I greatly enjoyed your site and it made me yearn to return to Isandlwana soon. I have a few observations which are intended to be helpful not critical.

Lord C was not told that the camp had fallen whilst he was at Mangeni or up on Mdutshana. He received indications that an action was being fought at the camp. Quite which of Maori Browne's string of messages reached the general in person is open to debate, but none of them said that the camp had fallen. The messages decided him to return to the camp with an 80 man mounted escort to find out what had happened but it was not until he came up to Browne's battalion on the plain that he was told that the camp had fallen.

Decoys......hmm. This has really grown legs of its own now. Let me put it this way...Ian Knight doesn't think Lord C was decoyed, Julian Whybra doesn't think so, and I don't think so. You will see from lots of other contributions on this site from the very knowledgeable membership that plenty of others share this opinion. Other people do believe in the theory -but its one of the most controversial issues about Isandlwana. You are at liberty to make up your own mind of course, but it's worth a careful study of the evidence (or lack thereof) before you do.

Koppie or sometimes kopje is the usual rendering of the Afrikaans word rather than copje.

Hand to hand fighting on the Tahelane spur. Definitely not. Not a shred of evidence and utterly illogical. No mythical cairns. Later on you say that 3 coys incurred heavy losses during the retreat from Tahelane. Not so. Only 2 coys up there (E and F) and they got back to the low ground intact. Read Capt Edward Essex - whose account leave no room for doubt on this subject.

750 tents is way over the top. The NNC levies had no tentage - they made crude brushwood shelters for themselves. The Europeans had tents. Even an imperial company would have required less than 10 tents including officers tents at one for the coy comd and another for his two subalterns. 12 coys at 10 = 120 tents. Plus arty plus vols plus NNC Euros plus staff. I should be surprised if it broke an upper limit of 250 tents.

24 REs under Lt MacDowel. (Note spelling - I spelt it wrongly in my book HCMDB but have corrected it for LWOTF.) No way hose. I can hear Mike McCabe having an apoplexy from here. Chard left his advance party of No 5 Coy RE (An NCO and 3 sappers) at Isandlwana on the morning of the 22nd. Apart from these chaps and MacDowel, and Durnford, that's it for the REs. There was no massacre of a road party - the cairn at issue could have anybody under it - but they were certainly early fugitives caught out by the right horn or by parties of the Unokhenke slipping down through the hollows between Tahelane and Isandlwana.

In one of your captions you say that the battlefield info board is on Younghusband's position but it is on Mostyn's (F Coy).

Melvill is spelt without an e on the end.

There are no reports which say that Pope made it back to the saddle. Donald Morris said it in the Washing of the Spears but he said a lot of things that have no grounding in the sources (or in military/tactical probability).

At one point you identify four cairns as being the beginning of Fugitive's Drift, but of course you mean the Fugitive's Trail.

It is not true that the Zulu pursuers did not cross the river. Here's Lt Harry Davies:

'The Zulus followed down to the river and fired at us crossing. Some of them took to the water after us, as our natives stabbed two Zulus just as they reached the Natal side.'

Smith-Dorrien also makes a clear reference to Zulus crossing the river - but I do not have the reference immediately to hand and can't quote from it today.

Hence there is absolutely no reason to believe that M and C died at anybody else's hands.

Jamie, as I said at the beginning this is very much intended to be helpful and not critical. So please feel free to ignore any or all of the above, or to incorporate it as you see fit. The photographs are excellent and will really help to bring the battlefield to life for those who have a great interest in the subject, but who for health reasons are unable to get there in person.

Thanks for sharing it.

Regards,

Mike
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Mike Snook


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 130
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Jamie

Decoys - And its well worth a look at the Zulu Vanquished header in the books section where Julian W and Ron Lock have locked horns again on this very subject. This will give you a feel for the passions that the decoy subject arouses! Good luck Julian and Ron both.

But bear in mind that the debate goes on a bound from decoys to deliberate attack/accidental discovery. If Ron and Peter Q are right why did Nstingywayo wait from 0430 until 1200 hrs (approx) to make his attack. And why was Cetshwayo himself so emphatic on the subject in his letter to Sir Hercules Robinson (see HCMDB). And why doesn't Mehlokazulu or any of the other Z sources say and then the indunas spread the word that we were going to attack, so we stood up, organized ourselves and readied for the off. Doesn't work for me.

I'm running for the hills now buckling on my flak jacket as I go before Ron gives me a volley at 400 yards too.

Regards
Mike
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Jamie


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Hi Guys,

Many thanks for the feedback. There are 1 or 2 photo's in the site that may provide another way to look at the battlefield.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the input. I find it a great subject to debate and I bow to your knowledge of the battle. I will attempt to rectify the little errors I have made. I have spent months putting together the site and I was more concerned with getting the photo's on it than the facts I suppose. I have 3-4 new books to read whilst on holiday in 3 weeks time and I shall review the input again. Like you, I wish I could go back to visit soon.

I never had a chance to go up onto the Tahelane Ridge for a look, next time may be. (To look for those cairns!)

Point taken with Chelmsford's Mangeni lunch break.

A lot of the text has come from the books I have read so with all this new evidence onboard this will become clearer.

Having had a good walk around I still like the decoy's idea though!

Thanks for all the constuctive comments.

Regards,

Jamie
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Mike Snook


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 130
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Jamie,

That's fair enough. It's a free country. Great site.

Regards

Mike
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Coll
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Jamie

Excellent site. I can definitely say, as mentioned above, images like these do bring the battlefield to life for people who can't manage to visit it themselves.

Thankyou

Coll
Jamie


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Thanks,

I thought the one taken on Blacks Koppie was great. The one taken with the zoom lens from Rorke's Drift area needs a little bit of adjustment to give you a better idea of the slopes etc.
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Jamie


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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A quick thanks to all those who sent me a note about my web page. Was hoping to update it with a visit to the battlefields in 2006 but still working on a way to get over there!

Jamie
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Peter Quantrill
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Jamie,
Don't let Mike pursuade you about the decoys!

Mike Sahib: Ron is temporarily hors de combat due to excessive time being spent at the golf driving range in an attempt to bring his Cobra Driver under control. At this stage he is not sure if the Cobra is biting him or the ball.
This is in no way an attempt to reopen the issue, rather a quick rebuff of the three points raised in your 2 Nov posting.
So 'Stand to' to receive a Kukri charge. Flack jackets are no protection; neither are prisoners taken and heads are usually lopped off.
1.Ntshingwayo did not wait till 1200 hrs to make his attack, he started at approx 0700 hrs. Stacks of British primary source.
2.Cetshwayo was not there ...hearsay secondary source is outflanked by primary.
3. Melokazulu DOES say that Ntshigwayo attacked EARLY in his second statement taken at Fort Napier in November 1879, and that contradicts the one you refer to.
Works for me!
mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 920
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But not for me, mon ami.

I fear you have been decoyed down a false trail. We saw a large army 'sitting down'. Doesn't sound much like an attack to me.

Give up the ship dammit!

Mike Laughing
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Peter Quantrill
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Mike Sahib,
After the Tulwana [sic] and Ngyaza [sic] regiments were assembled,
' When they had done so he [Ntshingwayo] gave orders for the others to assemble and ADVANCE in the direction of the English camp.'
They hadn't even sniffed Charlie Raw at that time.
As Captain of the lost ship 'Endeavour' do the decent thing, scuttle her, and go down with her.
As ever,
Peter.
(I cannot get the 'laugh' symble to move!) Take it as there.
Michael Boyle


Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 595
Location: Bucks County,PA,US
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Gentlemen,

I for one find that debate intriguing ( as I do Jamie's site, good work!) and am not as reluctant as some to the re-opening of old contested discussions as I often find that the added substance, nuance and/or clarity that can be provided helps to sharpen one's take on the positions being contested.

In this case I must admit to being confused as to the Zulu deployments that morning (pre- R & R discovery) especially as Melokazulu is also quoted as attesting that they were not planning to attack and were unaware of Lord C's departure (though not being on the 'staff' there could have been much that he was unaware of). Although the amaZulu seemed to have had a marked affinity for "Ripen at Noon" I have thus far failed to find a similar affinity for "Attack at Noon". However if Ntshingwayo had decided to move up the timetable at the last minute perhaps the darkness of that pre-new moon night would have prevented early deployment (I'm not sure how much ambient light is afforded at that location with only starlight as the darkness has also been cited as another reason for Dartnell not being able to return to camp). On the other hand I'm not sure of the normal Zulu SOP for pre-attack deployment, surely iziMpondo zankomo was not launched from a compact mass and that the Zulu deployments that morning could have been normal disposition for an attack the following day?

At any rate that's my confusion, for what it's worth!

Best

Michael
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Paul Lamberth


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Rorke's Drift KZN South Africa
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Jamie

Great idea…I stand to be corrected for I think this is a first "pictorial guide of Isandlwana" In addition to the good work you are also very brave and have attracted heavy fire. Errors are a plenty but as you pointed out these can be corrected with time. Same goes with the site setup, and with some help you will be able to turn this into a very interesting site for those who are less fortunate. It is the idea what counts…keep up the good work.

One of the outstanding features of the Zulu military organization was the iron discipline which prevailed and became a way of life.
Battle order, skirmishing, flanking movements, scouting, and taunting tactics were well practiced. Movements were performed with the utmost order and regularity. ( Military History Journal Vol 4 No 4 )

Your courage has inspired me to make comment regarding the subject "Decoy".
Those who have studied Zulu Military Strategy would certainly agree with you seeing that there is strong evidence that the Impi carried out every move as they were best trained to do. Why would they have differed in this case?

Paul
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