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19th August 2005What would have been the 3rd Columns chances?
By David Alan Gardner
Prompted by Mike McCabes answer to an earlier thread, I wouln't mind asking contributors what they thought the whole 3rd column's chances to be had Chelmsford not split it?-after all, it was only a matter of timing and could so easily have happened differently.

I have always assumed the entire column would have prevailed, but now I 'm not so sure?
20th August 2005Dawn
Ladies first
As I'm reading Zulu Victory at the moment, I have great doubts that the 3rd column could have survived even if Chelmsford had not split it. Looking at the camp area I cannot see how even a larger force could defend it. When you look at how the left and right horn came together you could see that it would have been difficult to fight off an attack from both front and rear. There may have been a longer time between the start of the attack and the camp being overwhelmed but I think that at some stage the men would have been cut off from the ammunition. I think the weak link in the defence is the NNC who might still have fled even with the large Imperial force around them, creating gaps in the line through which the Zulus would come. I don't blame them, they were desperately under-armed. (Nothing to do with underarm bowling, chaps) So the outcome would have been the same. However, perhaps with Chelmsford in the camp and a better idea of who was in charge, a good defence could probably have been made. How long it would have lasted is anyone's guess.
Another consideration is the fact that the Zulu army were planning to attack at dawn the next day. If Chelmsford was back in camp a surprise attack in the early hours of the morning would probably have wiped out the camp too, even with the picquets posted out which would probably be overwhelmed in short shift anyway by the larger Zulu force.
Well, that's my 2 bits worth, guys, over to you. I expect a lively discussion.
20th August 2005Chris John
Hi David
I am of the same opinion as Dawn, and i believe that even a force of 2-3000 could not have held the field against the 25,000 Zulus.
Chelmsford would ahve formed up as Pulliene would have, if only a bit closer to the camp and making good use of the topographical features of the Isandlwana Valley.
But the sheer weight in numbers on the Zulu Side would have meant that the NNC may have broken, that Durnford's Mounted Trrops were nowhere close to quickly fill the gaps and so the line would have fallen. Maybe then Chelmsford could have got the 24th and others to form a rally at the waggon park or on the shoulder of the moutain, maybe even moving slowly along the old track towards Rorke's Drift where they knew would be even more supplies.
The battle would have been a defeat of course, but not a massacre nor a disaster as it was, and although there would havebeen losses, i dont believe that the 24th would ahve been wiped out with the death of so many men and officers.

20th August 2005TREVOR
Wouldn't have thought the Zulu would attack the main column as a whole!
They were not stupid.
To attack an enemy that is mobile and persuing you, is one thing!
But to attack the enemy at his strongest. When he is camped, well supplied, with sentries and scouts out. Would be to accept "massive" losses to win the day. But would leave nothing for the next day.
I know later the Zulu did suffer massive losses. But like i say. They where being hunted and had to fight. Well! That's my ten penath. As we used to say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
20th August 2005Tony Ashford
Hi all,
I simply cannot believe that had the Collumn been kept together the result, had the Zulus still attacked, would have been anything but a British victory. After all, until the time the line was withdrawn the Zulu were close to being beaten. With twice the firepower and more decisive leadership how could they have stood up to it? I know the odds were different and the preparation and circumstances different, but just look at Ulundi. I believe had the Column been intact,we would probably be looking back now at what we would regard as nothing more than a colonial skirmish! Such are the vicissitudes of war!
20th August 2005Paul Cubbin
In my opinion, the problem was never the amount of defenders at Isandlwana, rather it was their dispositions. Had Chelmsford, Glyn and the rest still been in camp, would the defence have been organised with any more competence?
Well, for one, Durnford would not have been called up to support Pulleine, so no companies of the 24th would have been sent out in support of his troops. However, since Chelmsford had obviously decided not to obey his own rules and laager the wagons, then what would have been his approach? Well, it's never going to amount to more than speculation, but to my mind it hinges on how quickly he would have reacted to changing circumstances in front of him.
The danger would have been the Zulus circling around behind the mountain; if sufficient lookouts had been posted and word was given soon enough (and I see no reason why it would not have been) then I think even the laconic Chelmsford would have realised the necessity of forming square, or an approximation of same, to guard the rear and flanks. Either the NNC would have been safely encircled within redcoat ranks or they would already have bolted and I doubt whether they would have a bearing on the matter either way.
The issue of whether the Zulus would have decided to attack or not is moot since the only reason they attacked in the first place was because mounted scouts blundered into their position. It was never a decision taken by commanders, rather a knee-jerk reaction by some young warriors that spread throughout the entire army.
20th August 2005David Aklan Gardner
Trevor for me at least, I don't think there's much doubt The Zulus would have attacked whether the whole column was thee or not-and I don't think there was a Zulu grand plan to split the column as some have suggested.

The amazing thing for me is how much turned on a few hours for the sake of impatience to get to grips with the enemy.
I get the impression of Chelmsford as a neurotic introvert -although the term hadn't yet been coined, I'm sure the label applied.

He was a lucky man himself that his detachment was not attacked I suppose-as it well could have.
I do have my suspiscions on how he would have coped at Isandlwana.
20th August 2005Arthur Trent
At Ulundi, some Zulu attackers still got to within 50 yards of one face of the square, requiring reseves to be brought up as a contingency.
This at a battle where the Zulu power was much diminished and British firepower was potentially at its mightiest.
21st August 2005Dawn
The difference between Isandlwana and Ulundi was that Ulundi was flat. well, it was probably bumpy for this discussion we'll call it flat. Isandlwana was a kop surrounded by other kopjies which make great advantage points for an attacking army. Now IF there had a been full force in camp and IF Chelmsford had formed a square it would have been shot upon by those with guns. The guns may not have been great and the marksmen not much better but a hail of bullets would have upnerved someone, probably the NNC who may have fled, breaking the square and causing the Zulus on all sides to rush in. Dongas, boulders and other obstacles would also have been a consideration in an area for a defence. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but there were no lancers at Isandlwana. Whether they would have made a difference, who knows. We're back to woulda, shoulda, coulda, of a previous thread.
21st August 2005Keith Smith

I am astonished that there are still some people who continue to push Donald Morris' line that the NNC were responsible for the Isandlwana disaster. The 'weak link' at Isandlwana could not have been the NNC since of the four companies present, two were in reserve, Barry's had already been scattered on the plateau and only James Lonsdale's was in the line, and then only by chance. If you read Malindi's account, you will see that they only retired when the British troops did so.

Paul is perfectly correct, the number of troops was largely irrelevant but their disposition was vital. Given the disposition was based upon Chelmsford's own orders, then it is likely that the result would have been the same.

It really is a cop-out to blame the NNC for a disaster that was created when Chelmsford (a) decided not to laager, and (b) left the camp with half his force.
21st August 2005Dawn
While the NNC may have only fled when the British troops did, it must have caused confusion in the camp in that, in the melee, the men might have mistaken the NNC for Zulus and perhaps persumed too early that the Zulus had taken the camp. There was only a red piece of cloth to distinguish them, easily lost or just forgotten. I describe the whole battle as a 'comedy of errors' not that there was any comedy, just tragedy and it stated with Chelmsford splitting his force. Well, it started before them but we'll start with that, Durnford riding off (sorry, Coll), Pope stretching the line to right, etc etc. Basically it comes down to the Zulus having superior numbers and tactics on the day. Whether having more men in the camp would have helped, I doubt very much. I still think it would have been a Zulu victory.
21st August 2005Michael Boyle
Deja vu all over again!
I've always had great sympathy for the NNC. They were offered little respect, little training in European style warfare, little in the way of good NCOs and even less in the way of firearms. Natal colonists were wary of arming or even using them in the first place. Lord Chelmsford got his way though and seemed to plan on using them only for recon and pursuit, never as part of a firing line. All things considered I feel they performed well above what could have been expected given their haphazard implementation. It should be remembered that no one from Chelmsford on down thought any of the invading columns would be forced on the defensive, thus there seems to have been little thought given on how best to deploy the NNC in that capacity (other than as reserves for an 'active' defence to follow up counter-attacks, not for a 'last stand').

I'm finding comparisons between Nyenzane (should an "I" be in front?), Isandlwana, Kambula and Ulundi to be quite tricky. I feel Ulundi should be left out because it was a British attack ( albeit in a 'defensive' formation). Of the first three, all they seem to have in common is 'busted' Zulu attacks. At Nyenzane the Zulus were forced out of their attack plan by poor disposition and defeated by a column on the march. ( The fact that that battle was never "hyped", in spite of being a victory on the same day as the Isandlwana defeat does, I think, take some of the steam out of the arguments posited about RD's fame). Isandlwana was (arguably!) thrown off by attacking a day early and Kambula lost because Wood was able to draw in the Zulus prematurely (King Cetshwayo said his orders were for that impi to pass by the entrenchments, establish their position between Wood and Natal/Transvaal thus forcing him out of his entrenchments). The Zulu had impeccable combat discipline but were wanting in tactical discipline.

Isandlwana and Kambula would seem to offer the closest comparison as they involved similar numbers of Zulu. However, Wood knew the Zulu were coming (the hard way!), he had more troops and he had a better appreciation of how to deploy his 'native' troops in his defence preparations. Pulleine and Durnford (and Chelmsford) didn't know the Zulus were coming and P&D seemed to think that Chelmsford was off fighting the main force while the Zulus they'd seen all morning were nothing more than a raiding party and their NNC seemed to be considered an inconvenience (not by Durnford of course!). Worse, there were no prepared entrenchments or plan for defence (Clery's last minute 'instructions' were NOT a plan!).

Cetshwayo most certainly sent out that impi not only to attack No. 3 column but to force them back across the river (without crossing it themselves). With his prohibition on attacking an entrenched position perhaps it can be assumed the plan was to to hit them on the march. If so, had the drawn out ox driven column been hit with 20,000 Zulu it would probably have been 'Good Night Irene' for the lot of of 'em.

Cetshwayo must have known how slow the column was progressing when he sent out his troops (he told them to take their time), may have known how relatively limited their scouting was and perhaps confident that his impi would go undetected. His commanders at least knew the camp at Isandlwana was not entrenched and thus 'fair game' but I wonder if the camp had been entrenched if that would have affected the events that transpired. (Perhaps not as the 'unblooded' regiments were 'hot to trot'.)

Suppose Dartnell had returned on the 21st. Was the plan to move the whole column out on the 22nd (the camp was 'temporary)? If so they could have been hit on the march. If not then the whole column would have been there, un-entrenched, on the 23rd when the Zulu were planning to 'attack at dawn'. (As it happened, it should be remembered that it was Durnford, not Pulliene, who thought to send out extended patrols to find out what the heck was going on. Durnford wouldn't have been there if Chelmsford had stayed. Would Chelmsford have detected the impi?)

As pointed out above and in previous threads, without knowledge of the size and location of opposing troops there is little chance of effecting a good plan. As for forming square, there would be little time to act and no plan was in place to incorporate the livestock and civilians within one even if the 'square' were still a part of tactical doctrine. I believe the advent of 'modern' artillery and rapid fire rifles had rendered the 'square' obsolete. Does anyone know when the square was last used prior to the AZW (other than the modified one used by Wolosley in the Ashanti campaign) and if it had ever incorporated a transport train within it? (Most seem to have been battalion squares.)
21st August 2005Paul Cubbin
Michael - you took right out of my mouth (or keyboard at least) -give them back!
Yes, the NNC. Their role was not to stand in the firing line and their usefulness or effectiveness in a defensive battle (until the end) would have been zero...worst in fact since they may have actually been a hindrance.
As for the square, I think one was formed by the 44th on the retreat from Kabul (1842?) but this was probably more of a 'rally square'. No, I was thinking, in the 'what if' more of a firing line that covered all directions and was thus, kind of, a square than an actual 'form square' order. And I think you're right, it's all down to when there would have been time or not.

Dawb, I'm not sure that the heights of Isandlwana would have handed any great advantage to the Zulus and would have had much the same effect that the Shiyane Heights did on Rorke's Drift. I think the main role the mountain would have played would have been to hide the right 'horn' of the Zulu attack from view until it had already surrounded and cut off the force.
21st August 2005Dawn
Well, we are playing make believe, aren't we? There was only a physchological aspect needed from the top of Isandlwana not a threatening one. The Zulus had enough men for it, but maybe not enough guns?

I think Micheal has done a great job in his posting. Chelmsford was in too much of a hurry, I fear. I read that he was keen to start the war early to avoid losing the 24th to other engagements in other parts of the world.

21st August 2005Paul Cubbin
I apologise to all for my appalling habit of skipping entire words and often typing the wrong word in the middle of a sentence. I have just re-read my above post and am shocked at what I discovered (my wife says I am too impatient and my mind runs ahead of my typing). I don't even have any kind of disorder or condition to use as an excuse, just a whopping great personality flaw!
Dawb, I agree with you as regards the NNC. In an action such as Isandlwana (or, indeed, our make-believe Isandlwana2) I think that they would have been a liability. Armed and trained as they were, their greatest effect on the battle would have been to dishearten the British regulars (and 'reliables') when they fled!
Zulu marksmanship was remarkably poor all through the AZW (although it possibly did improve slightly as time went by) due to many factors, not least of which being the Zulus' reluctance to pull the stock into the shoulder (it hurt when it kicked) and their belief that setting the sights to maximum (on modern weapons with adjustable sights) made the bullet go faster. I think a half-company of marksmen posted on Isandlwana itself would have been a sufficient deterent to keep Zulu skirmishers out of range.
One way to refight Isandlwana in different circumstances would be to actually wargame the thing. Very often this produces accurate results and is used (with much more complex systems) by the military in planning for different scenarios in future conflicts. If anyone out there is able to do this, why not have a go (of course, hindsight is difficult to remove from the equation) and let us know how it goes. A number of 'games' can be played in order to achieve an 'average' result.
21st August 2005Arthur Trent
I'd be very surprised if the close combat battle at Isandlwana could be wargamed inn any meaningful way due to the very great difficulty of modelling the terrain within (say) 3-4 miles of the rock itself. Microterrain was a considerable factor in the success or otherwise of minor tactics employed by both sides.
21st August 2005Paul Cubbin
Oh, that wouldn't be impossible by any means. By using a traditional 'tabletop' wargame, terrain obviously has a limited effect on a 'general's' thinking as all units and the entire area are visible. However, the terrain can be simulated by statistical limitations placed upon the vision and actions of participants. In computer generated wargames (for the government this time, not for fun) probability equations are utilised to predict the possible line of sight, restrictions in moving and cover from fire factors that can be produced by different terrain.
21st August 2005Dawn
Seeing as we're talking about war games and the NNC leaving the battlefield, I wonder if you are aware of an interesting observation that occured in Weta Workshop when they were devising the computer graphics for their battle scenes for LOTR. They invented new software to simulate the battles and gave the 'soldiers' fuzzy logic so that they decided who to fight and how, just like in a normal battle. What amazed the programmers was that, without it being programmed in, some of the 'soldiers' on the outskirts decided to flee! I didn't just hear this but saw it at an exhibition at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington where they showed them designing the programme and the images of what happened when they let the programme run. They were only stick figures on a blue background but some were definitely running away!
21st August 2005Arthur Trent
How relevant can your proposed methods be on a battlefield whose topography concealed the approach of the enemy's main force, the envelopment by his right wing, and (partly and later) his left wing, and in which the need to be able to fire into dead ground was instrumental in particular firing positions being adopted by at least half of the available direct fire units for much of the key and arguably decisive stage of the battle.
22nd August 2005Paul Cubbin
It's all been done before, Arthur, for many historical and fictional battles. It may not be what you or I would recognise as a wargame, but number-crunching computer programmes have been taking such things into account for decades and, surprisingly, they come up with very accurate results. As Dawb has noted above, sometimes the computer can reproduce some very human action.
For a more simplistic approach in a tabletop wargame there can be introduced a random chance element (the dreaded dice roll) to determine who is spotted and when. There are more than enough game systems out there that can represent the effect of a command system under battle conditions, with a wide range of actions that can be taken to counteract the movements of the enemy. Of course, I'm not claiming that any such thing will be a time machine for 'what if's' but it is an interesting distraction that does have a habit of throwing up some frighteningly accurate results.
22nd August 2005Paul Cubbin
By pure chance, after posting the above, I was flicking through an old issue of 'Warganes Illustrated' and found an article and set of Zulu War rules by Ted Brown! I've searched the mag for any copyright blurb and have found none, so if anyone wants a set of the rules I'm going to scan and email them to anyone who wants them (contact me direct).
22nd August 2005Coll

You are right. There are quite a few very detailed rule books available for Colonial campaigns, the AZW being extremely popular, which do, indeed, take into account everything that may have affected the battle(s).

These aspects include mobility of forces, strength of units, fighting from behind cover (barricades, etc.) attacking an enemy positioned at these locations, or inside buildings, etc., etc.

If anything, they really do make fascinating reading and if anyone likes the idea of wargaming the AZW, they should obtain a couple of the rule books.

Unfortunately, after reading many wargames associated magazines, it did appear in articles that I read, that there still is the opinion (by some) wargaming is 'playing with toy soldiers', when the fact of the matter is that it is taken very seriously indeed.

Do you know that many avid enthusiasts have wargaming 'sets', involving highly detailed terrain on the battlefield, buildings, painted armies of metal figures, etc., that can mount up into several thousands of pounds.

22nd August 2005Julian whybra
It has always seemed to me that if Chelmsford has remained at Isandhlwana he would have been able to disregard his own Instructions - a luxury neither Pulleine or Durnford could afford. He might have been willing to sacrifice his camp, cattle, and waggons in order to achieve his desire for the Zulus' self-immolation on the Martini-Henrys. Thus the outcome might have been completely different with a change of tactics. The trouble with 'what if' questions is that ALL the circumstances may change - one can't just increase the number of British troops and asume all the other criteria to be the same.
23rd August 2005Michael Kent
Dawn - You are reading Zulu Victory and that is exactly what it was. We can discuss how the camp should have been entrenched and why it was not until we are blue in the face (as many do on here). However, it was not and the Zulus deserve far greater credit than some on here would allow them. Would they have defeated the entire Column had it stayed together? Who knows. I would like to think that they would have slaughtered every single Englishman, Irishman, Welshman etc that stood against them that day. The Empire was not at all good and on most occasions where we suffered a bloodied nose we bloody well deserved it. We ruined an empire to further our own and perhaps the individuals who perished were not deserving of their demise but neither were the the 10,000 Zulus who lost their lives.
23rd August 2005Paul Cubbin
Michael, might I suggest you read up a little more on the causes and reasons for the conflict. The 'book' to which you refer is not very highly rated by the majority of Zulu War enthusiasts and if this is your main point of reference too then perhaps your extreme views may be somewhat explained.
23rd August 2005Peter Ewart

I would take issue with you when you say Zulu Victory "is not very highly rated by the majority of Zulu War enthusiasts", a rather sweeping statement which took me by surprise.

I've never heard a comment like that with regard to Zulu Victory. I've heard and seen plenty of arguments, for and against, including on this forum, about various points made in the book and can understand many of the arguments, strongly put, against some of the statements made in Zulu Victory.

Like many modern books on the AZW, it is no more perfect than any other and will cause plenty of arguments - without giving the impression (unlike some others) that it has been published merely to be controversial.

It is controversial in places, it does aim to make a few strong points (some would say that the arguments offered sometimes tend to fit an "agenda") but in this respect I wouldn't put it anywhere near some of the recent so-called "definitive works" whose shortcomings have been aired on this forum and elsewhere.

All AZW authors these days put their heads above the parapet the minute they go into print. None of their works will be perfect, even after considerable research, and Zulu Victory is not perfect, including in factual matters, but it has certainly not undergone the coruscating scorn from many quarters which a few publications of recent years have.

For example, despite one or two terrific "no quarter asked-no quarter given" (but highly civilised) debates of marathon length between the authors of ZV and three or four Isandlwana experts on this very forum a few months ago (I fear now lost in the crash which occurred?) I don't recall a single suggestion from those involved that the book was poorly regarded.

Even though some experts will disagree strongly with its findings and claims, I wouldn't describe its reputation in anything like the way you do in your second sentence above. Incidentally, why did you wrap the word "book" in inverted commas?

Lastly, I can't see why Michael's views (are they really "extreme"?) might have been formed by reading Zulu Victory, nor even that the book would necessarily have supported or concurred with these views. Some say the Empire was "a good thing." Extreme? Others say it was "a bad thing" (or "not at all good", as Michael has put it). Extreme?

As has been said, an empire was destroyed in the furtherance of another - that can't be denied, even though the causes are pertinent and that the destroyed empire was a military entity. In wishing that the invaders had all been destroyed, Michael is merely siding with the "goodies" instead of the "baddies" (as he sees it) as, surely, any right thinking person should? So where are the exteme views?

Of course, my mate - :) - it's quite not as simple as that, it never is, but I can see his point.

23rd August 2005Dawn
Yes, I've read Zulu Victory and do not agree with all that is written there, having been tempered by what I have already read extensively. I cannot agree that the attack on the British was already planned by the Zulu leader for that day in spite of it being the day of the dead moon. (I was going to post a topic on this but I suspect it may have been done before.) Once under way, the Zulu attack could not have been defended, I agree. However it is described as a pyhrric victory as they lost double the amount of men. A point sometimes overlooked and I must feel some sympathy for a nation of warriors cut down so severely. It was never the same after Ulundi and I could see that when I lived in Natal over 100 years later. But I wouldn't go as far as your comments. Jingoism was alive and well at that time and the cause was considered worthy ie. attack the Zulus before the Zulus attacked first. The threat was perceived as a very real one. Was it wrong or right? Shall we post a topic? It is not for us to look back with 20th century eyes and judge what people did in a totally different time to us. To use a modern comparision (and I may be out of line here) I would say Britain is under attack at the moment and would anyone question a counter-attack on anyone perceived as an enemy? History always repeats itself.
24th August 2005Coll

Could one of the topics you mention have been - Col. Pulleine's Experience ?

This I think was in May 2005 (119 replies) some of the discussion involving the discovery and movements of the Zulu army.

24th August 2005Paul Cubbin
Peter - oh ye of little memory! Have a look at a little topic entitled 'Who is Saul David?' started by Coll a few months back; there's a rather scathing entry containing allegations of 'plagiarism' and 'rushed publication' in order for 'Zulu Victory' to ride on the 'Zulu bandwagon'. You may recognise the name at the top of the post! I myself did try to read it but found myself choking on it a third of the way through and decided to read a Barbara Cartland instead as the plot and characterisation were better researched.
24th August 2005Paul Cubbin
Oh, and the 'extreme views' to which I referred were those wishing death on every British man present. I feel, if it is a genuine opinion and not just a volatile statement for effect, that it shows the same level of emotional maturity and reasoning capability as a suicide bomber. Thus I recommended a broader base of learning to help Michael to learn that the AZW was not started, or even wanted, by the British government. Bartle-Frere's ambition and reasoning started the war and the 'poor bloddy infantry' paid for it in blood - was it not enough blood for the taste of some?
24th August 2005Dawn
I must admit I've got a 2/3 of the way through Zulu Victory and put it aside. I may go back to it later. I was disappointed that nothing was mentioned about Lt Pope's company going to Durnford's aid and being overrun. In reviewing the overall progress of the battle, how could such a crucial aspect be left out? Especially when other parts of it were so detailed. Even down to the names of the vedettes. I am very much looking forward to Mike Snooks book, however. Hopefully Lt Pope makes an appearance.
24th August 2005Geoff Lumsden
For Michael Kent:

"The Empire was not at all good ..."

This 'Post Empire Distress' is all very well, but it brought peace under the rule of law, safe local commerce, stable co-existant societies of different ethnicity and religion, clean water, basic education, and elementary but effective communal health to vast tracts of the globe and many millions of people - often where nothing as good continues under their new governments now.
The notion of a Barbara Cartland book being a restorative for episodes of choking is also an interesting one, and must call for split second timing.

24th August 2005Julian Whybra
Geoff, I would add Africa and the Victorians by Robinson and Gallagher (Macmillan) - a well-researched seminal work.
24th August 2005Peter Ewart

Dawn referred to "Zulu Victory" (Lock & Quantrill) which you described as "not highly rated", a description which puzzled me.

You have now referred me to the thread started by Coll which discussed a completely different book - "Zulu: the Glamour & Tragedy of the Zulu War" by Saul David. I certainly wasn't defending THAT book!!! Nor was I referring to it in last night's post, other than lumping it into the category of those generally condemned from all quarters. I suspect you have confused that title with Lock & Quantrill's "Zulu Victory", which came out about three years ago.

Yes, I agree about Michael's slaughtering remark being a little "intemperate", shall we say? Obviously I don't agree that his opinion of the empire being "not at all good" is "extreme", even though I don't agree with the opinion itself. I would find it hard to deny that there were very many good - superb - elements of the Empire and its administration and benefits, as well as plenty of "bad." It can't simply be summed up as good or bad, anyway.


Yes, that's definitely one of the threads I refer to. If it's still up on site, it should be compulsive reading for those interested in the details of the battle. Dawn may not have seen it yet and I think Paul was offline at that time?


I suspect the moment of Pope's company's redeployment and demise, although unfortunate and unhelpful, may not be regarded as quite so crucial by some experts as it has been by others.

24th August 2005Paul Cubbin
Ah, Peter, all is clear. My humble apologises for suggesting that senility may have set in prematurely. It seems clear that I as an 'eminent historian' must therefore tar this book with my own wide brush and hope that all right-thinking people across the globe follow my righteous lead.
Geoff - it requires a firm slap between the shoulderblades. The economical use of pages within the late Dame Cartland's publications prevents any risk of spinal damage.
24th August 2005Dawn
Yes, that old thread did deal with the subject I was talking about but I did get a bit cross-eyed reading it. A marathon 119 replies!
Also, while the demise of Pope's company may or may not have been crucial, it did happen and should have had a passing mention, I would have thought. I was interested in the timing of it in comparision to Durnford's retreat and was looking forward to reading something of that.
25th August 2005Peter Ewart

No problem. And I don't doubt that the senility will set in at some time, as long as it's not before mid-Sept (Oval Test!) Meanwhile, the rain at Trent Bridge is making me a bit edgy - we don't want them to escape again!


And Pope enjoyed the game too!

25th August 2005Dawn
I'm sure he did. He looks like the kind of person who would enjoy a round of cricket. Better than fighting natives any day.
Talking of which, our boys are in Zimbabwe at the moment...playing cricket.