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Missing Five Hours
mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 920
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Peter old sport

Precisely: the title says it all. I believe it was me who coined the expression the 'missing five hours' when we discussed some of this earlier. I've been through your paper very thoroughly since you sent it to me and I think some parts make sense and others don't. In short I personally neither reject nor accept your findings, either in whole or in part at this stage. It will be absolutely necessary to spend some time looking at your contention on the ground in some detail and I will aim to do this very soon.

As you know I am entirely comfortable with the idea that not all the impi was in Ngwebeni and my own book advances the notion that the right horn certainly wasn't. What I wanted to say to you at this juncture, however, was that notwithstanding your title the whole concept of a missing five hours has still not been addressed. By contrast I am pretty comfortable with the fact that you have established beyond a reasonable doubt, that those are Evelyn Wood's annotations. Quite what they prove, in the context of the interrelationship of time and manoeuvre, I think remains highly debateable. If for example 'x marks the spot' and the regimental dispositions are not abiding in the same piece of time and space, (and only the bloke with the stubby pencil in his hand could know that), then the x could mark the point at which Raw's troop opened fire and began driving light UmCijo parties back towards Mabaso. It's not conclusive in itself and we've been all over the sources repeatedly and generally arrived at different conclusions.

I don't like the idea that creeps in of two bivouacs for the chest, the reserve, and the left horn (though right horn possibly because of the necessity for simultaneity in the [eventual] assault). Ngwebeni was the perfect bivouac for the rest - so if they are up on the 'lower plateau' as I call it, they are there because they have been ordered up there with a view to fighting on the 22nd or because the indunas have begun to lose control (possible but unlikely).

There is no way the left horn came from anywhere other than the Ngwebeni - otherwise the good source coverage of the moment of Durnford's contact is undermined. In other words it makes it impossible and hence compels the conclusion that the left horn must have been in the valley - well beyond the Babanango Rd. This is the cleanest run at the right of the camp for the young regiments and thus makes perfect sense. They would have nothing to gain by being on the plateau, except to unecessarily squash up the overall frontage of the impi and thus hinder the advance of left side of the chest. No infantryman runs uphill only in order to run down again five minutes later, when the could end up in the same place by remaining on the flat.

The intentional decoy stuff remains utterly implausible, because Chelmsford's bold/rash decision to advance a flying column at the improbable hour of 0430 could not reasonably have been anticipated by Zulu commanders. Its inclusion weakens your case in my view. Possibility also remains that far from not giving the Z's enough credit, as you always insist, that you by contrast afford them way too much. On that basis, if Wood's regimental annotations and 'x marks the spot' do abide in same piece of time and space, one would have to conclude that Nshtingwayo, having realised he'd been seen, was deploying in a rather lazy and casual fashion, (fits with Zulu warrior arrogance - big induna, big army, what's a few white men to me?) with the idea of fighting on the afternoon of the 22nd, after having sent the deputation of indunas down to negotiate as sourced in Cetshwayo to Robinson and corroborated elsewhere.

Probably more than I intended to say. Interesting though and, like I say, I'm not going to be for you or agin you until I've had a damned good sniff at the views and intervisibility - oh and at the full gamut of sources - heaven forbid you might have accidentally overlooked a few inconvenient ones. Wink

Regards as ever

Mike

PS. Ritual doctoring argument for not attacking on 22nd I have always tended to regard as thin - substantially a red herring - a bit like dropping tents - but let's not go there!
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Denton Van Zan
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Mike

'I believe it was me who coined the expression....'

'I don't like the idea that creeps in of two bivouacs....'

'There is no way the left horn came from anywhere other than the Ngwebeni....'

'The intentional decoy stuff remains utterly implausible...'

Your views - nobody else's - yours.

'oh and at the full gamut of sources - heaven forbid you might have accidently overlooked a few inconvenient ones.' Rolling Eyes

The latter sentence goes both ways - right ?

'Ritual doctoring argument for not attacking on 22nd I have always tended to regard as thin...'

Your view....again.

'...a red herring...'

How many times have you 'coined' that phrase ? - enough to fill an ocean, methinks.

You are trying to discredit this detailed paper, before it has a chance to breathe, whilst being an absent member for a whole year, the site having run smoothly during this period.

'..a bit like dropping tents - but let's not go there !'

Why ?

You give the impression the tents were not a problem. Well I put it to you they were - especially during the retreat of the firing line, which obviously was not considered an option, considering the apparent majority view that after a few volleys the Zulus were likely to run away leaving the camp intact - prim and proper.

Smoke and mirrors - 'red herring', 'let's not go there' - Why say that ?

I'll say why - they are your weak points. Therefore, you deflect from them onto other aspects.

I'm not being disrespectful, but posting the same way you do.

C.J. (Coll)
Mel


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 345
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Denton, Coll, CJ,
I'd hate you to think that the views expressed above by Mike are his alone and nobody else's so I'd like to say that I concur with those views. So there you go, that's at least two. Could you please read the long standing previous threads on the relevant discussions over the last few years where you will see that others also agree with those very views.

It seems that you also consider that this site has "run smoothly" due to Mike's absence. Not sure what you mean by that. Could you expand please?
Written in haste, talk later hopefully.

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Mel
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Denton Van Zan
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Mel

With Mike 'talking' to Peter, he was expressing his own views at that moment, as he appears to be speaking in the first person, not as 'we'.

I stated that the site has run smoothly the past year (2010), but it is you that says 'due to Mike's absence'.

My point being that Alan in late 2009, had been seriously considering this site's future, which was a worrying time, but since then, members have been more careful with their posts and behaviour.

C.J.

PS. Why are you now continuing a post to myself with 3 different names ? - What is the reason for this ?
Peter Quantrill
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Mike,
Many of the issues that you have raised are very much contestable.If you have not walked the ground on or near x, then I would rather wait until you have done your recce.
Please also have a good look at the definition of x, together with Raw's, Hamer's and Nyanda's full reports.
The thrust of the thesis, as indicated, is twofold:
First: The intent of the Zulu army to attack on the 22nd.
Second: The discovery of the Zulu army was not in the Ngwebeni valley, rather as indicated in the article. This backed by a much more serious view of the Wood (and Chatham maps,) having proved conclusively that the hand is that of Wood.
The question that readers of the forum (should they read TMFH,) ask themselves, is whether the evidence confirms that view, wholly or partially.

As ever,
Peter
Mel


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 345
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CJ/Coll
Your reply to me must be your best piece of backpeddling and wriggling todate. Laughing

Peter,
Congratulations and thanks are in order to you for your research paper and the fact that you have presented it to the forum for discussion.

I still don't see a shred of evidence for your decoy theory however.

There are many facets of the battle of Isandlwana that facinate me.

There are the twenty to thirty percent unfathomables i.e. what really happened?

There are the "What Ifs?" i.e. What if Durnford had not gone walkabout? What if Mostyn and Cavaye had not been sent up onto the Ridge? What if Pulleine had withdrawn to a more consolidated firing line as soon as it became apparent he was facing a large Impi? etc., etc.

But, to be honest, I don't see why you have taken so much time and trouble to show that the Impi may have been on the move at the point of contact with Raw. Apart from, perhaps, supporting your decoy theory, there is no implication or impact on the remaining stages of the battle.

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Denton Van Zan
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Mel

Explain yourself, when making such a mocking accusation ?

I repeat. Mike was speaking for himself and furthermore, he left late 2009. This site was 'under consideration' the tail end of that same year.

'...due to Mike's absence' was your comment, so don't be putting 'words in my mouth', then acting like I said it, trying to save yourself any uncomfortable explanation.

2010 has been without any real issues or unease regarding behaviour by members.

BTW I don't withdraw or wriggle as you suggest, or I wouldn't have been involved in several topics, including the recent 'Zulu Rising'.

However, I did witness yourself doing so elsewhere, hoping 'Coll' wouldn't read your post - but I did !

These methods of deliberate provocation outside the realms of the topic subject, are no different from those used by another member in the 'Zulu Rising' topic, including the lack of acknowledgement in recognising a fellow contributor's name, which is undermining the purpose of this forum.

C.J.
peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 865
Location: UK
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Peter

Many thanks to you and Ron for your generosity in sharing your research. I'm reading it through and am fascinated at the detail you have provided.

This statement jumped out at me, given my interest in Vereker:

Lieutenant Hillier, Lonsdaleís Natal Native Contingent. (NNC)
At half past seven a.m. Lt. Veriker [sic] of the NNC who was on picquet duty with Captain Barry rode into camp and reported to Colonel Pulleine that the Zulus were advancing on the camp in large numbers. 6
This report corroborates that of Lt. Higginson, in that Zulu deployment was taking place in the open and in view of the campís outposts.
The words advancing on the camp are unambiguous and show aggressive intent to attack. Note the time: 0730 hrs 22nd January.


6. Hillierís Letter to his father published 28 February 1879 in the Telegraph and Eastern Standard.


In Zulu Victory you write "Vereker...came down to report that the gist of the Zulu calls was unclear." (p. 168).

I thought that the messenger relaying the strength of Zulu numbers was Trooper Whitelaw. (p. 169).

I'm not familiar with Hillier and I've checked England's Sons and he does not appear to be listed. Was he present at Isandlwana? If not, did he assume that Vereker relayed the message delivered later by Whitelaw?

Peter
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Keith Smith


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 540
Location: Northern NSW, Australia
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Peter W. and Peter Q.

Just to be clear about this, Lieut. H. Hillier was not at Isandlwana. He was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment NNC and was out with Chelmsford on the 22nd. He was not, therefore, an eye-witness to the events which he purports to describe.

Coll

I am very concerned at the tone of your posts since you returned to this site (in whatever guise) which seem to be particularly combative. You say that things have been quiet since Mike S. left the forum. May I say that Mike has always maintained a very good-natured, and well-informed, discussion in his posts and has only become belligerent in the face of unncecessary and hurtful comments. I might suggest that you review your own posts here and consider the possibility that it was quiet until your own return.

KIS
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Denton Van Zan
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Keith

I'm very surprised at what you are saying to me in your post.

'May I say that Mike has always maintained a very good-natured, and well-informed, discussion in his posts and has only become belligerent in the face of unnecessary and hurtful comments'.

What an astonishing statement. Has the tone of his posts been forgotten so soon ?

Additionally, you must have noticed the unwelcoming and confrontational posts by Paul in the 'Zulu Rising' topic. Or the unnecessary mocking tone of Mel in this topic, including the addition of words I did not say. Or the objection to my attempts to expand weapons covered in the firearms forum to allow more people to post. Or the criticism by Mike from beginning to end of Peter's paper, without allowing the topic to collect several comments from enthusiasts first, who may now be apprehensive in posting anything he disagrees with ?

I'm curious why no-one objected so readily to one or more of these other members' posts.

This situation concerns me greatly, as I seem to have been singled out, whether because of my own views, the disagreeing with other members or things Ian Knight and Mike Snook said.

This spells trouble ahead for the forum, which I want no part of, as the same situation as late last year will happen again.

Alan will be put in a difficult spot once more, that I will not/can not be blamed for, when it occurs.

C.J.
Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1415
Location: Wales
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Once again, the tone of responses is becoming personal.
Please stick to the content of the paper and discussion of that alone.
I reserve the right to delete anything which strays from this.

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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 865
Location: UK
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Keith

Thanks for the clarification. Is there any evidence to suggest what time Vereker made his report?

We know that Vereker was on Magaga Knoll during the night of 21/22 January and returned there afterwards. I'm assuming (always a dangerous word) that he would have travelled to camp and returned on horseback. Yet both he and Barry were on foot later when pursued by the Zulus.

I wonder what happened to the horse(s)?

Peter
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Keith Smith


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 540
Location: Northern NSW, Australia
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Peter W.

It is quite difficult to tie down just when some events occurred but Lieut. Walter Higginson states (TNA, WO 33/34, Enclosure 3 in No. 96: Statement to the Court of Enquiry) that he and Sgt-Major Williams, 1st Batt., found Vereker and Captain Barry on foot on the plateau. Later, he goes to say on that Barry and Vereker went back to the camp riding turn-about on Williams' horse. The time of their arrival is not easy to determine but fortunately David Jackson helps us here by writing that Higginson would have taken about twenty minutes to reach the plateau. Based on this, I estimate that he would have arrived near Barry and Vereker about 11.50 am, and that the two men might have arrived at the camp some 25-30 minutes later, or about 12.20 pm. Vereker made no written report and we only know what happened to him thereafter by the reports of others. There is no evidence that he returned to Magaga, other than with Williams on the way back to camp, if that was the route they took.

KIS
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Peter Quantrill
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Mel,
Yours dated 26th. Decoy.
You will see that we have written "Having conjecturarally decoyed half the column...."
It is not true to say that there was 'not a shred of evidence for your decoy theory.'
The Memorandum from the Intelligence department clearly states:
"He [Chelmsford] was lead away by the Zulus who decoyed him from the camp."
Whether one believes this or not, more than one officer accompanying Chelmsford expressed a similar view. Unfortunately, having just moved house, my files are still packed and all over the place, but if memory serves, primary source reports from those out with Chelmsford confirm the view that they thought that they were decoyed.

The object of showing that the Zulus were on the move at point of contact was nothing to do with the 'decoy theory' as you put it, rather the intent to mount an attack on the 22nd, such attack being possibly in progress when the NNH reached the ridge at point x, Appendix D, to confront the Umcityu.
Peter
Denton Van Zan
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Peter Q

With getting sidetracked, I forgot to say well done for the work involved researching this paper. I'm not sure if it is possible, but can it be printed out on A4 sheets from where it is on the site, as the computer screen is playing havoc with my eyes ?

Thanks

C.J.
Missing Five Hours
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