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DateOriginal Topic
13th April 2005Zulu command structure
By Paul Cubbin
Just a quickie guys.

I understand that during battle, the Zulu commander would usually take to a spot of high ground (sensible enough), presumably with a few attendants, in order to direct proceedings. Does anyone know how the orders were communicated to the officers on the ground? Was there a system of arm gestures to convey a general instruction? Or were runners used (as in other global armies) in order to communicate more complex maneuvers? What sort of autonomy did regimental commanders wield during battle?Obviously the old 'horns of the buffalo' can't have been the be all and end all, or what is the point of having a commander at all?
14th April 2005Coll

I'm sorry it is only my poor attempt at an answer that you will get for your first reply.

I'm thinking it could be a combination of both, arm movements using the shields and spears, maybe the same as other forces using flags to convey messages/orders.

However, when one of the regiments had stalled, for quite a long period of time at Isandlwana, I'm sure there was an induna or warrior sent down to encourage the men forward, succeeding in his task, but he himself was killed not long after.