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9th June 2003Where did the zulu main army go after Isandhlwana?
By Miguel
Right after the battle at Isandhlwana, where did the zulu main army go? We all know that the reserve regiment was engaged in Rorke's Drift for the rest of the day and night, but what of the rest of the zulu army?

Why didn't they go after Lord Chelmsford? The zulus knew the main section of the British army was somewhere at the east of Isandhlwana. Chelmsford was undoubtly in no position to withstand a full attack of the zulu army with a high morale after their victory.

So where did they go right after the battle? Ulundi?
9th June 2003Richard Waters
I don't know where they went but they were probably too exhausted to fight the rest of Chelmsford's men.
9th June 2003Miguel
I don't know, Richard, but I don't think that is a plausible explanation.

First, they were 22.000 very strong men (the regiments engaged in Isandhlwana were those formed by the younger Zulus in their 20's and early 30īs) who had fought a relatively short battle and I doubt that all of them were at all exhausted. Please remember that the 4.000 Zulus at Rorke's Drift fought for the remaining day and following night.

As an addition to my first question, I wonder what did the Zulus DID during the hours after the battle.

10th June 2003Peter Ewart

They buried, removed or hid their dead & dispersed to their homes all over Zululand, where they licked their wounds & underwent their traditional post-conflict rituals.

10th June 2003Trevor
You ask a good question! Buy Zulu standards. Their loses were few, and as stated were still pretty fresh. If the Zulu generals had turned there attention to Chelmsford straight away. Who knows if he could have withstood the Zulu attack any better than those at ISAND'R?
11th June 2003paul naish
A very touchy subject! After "victory" there followed euphoria and an orgy of looting
practised to this modern day.There was no 'regrouping' of the regiments. Each to his own! Hence Dabulumanzi's uncontrollable mob who searched far and wide along the Buffalo river and beyond for loot and then proceeded in dribs and drabs to attack Rorkes Drift!

Although "discipline"was the watchword of the Zulu army during King Tshaka's days, it was questionable 50 years later. There are many examples prior and subsequent to what I have said.
Both in Afrca and elsewhere.
Sorry! I know this will raise a few hackles!
11th June 2003Miguel
Good point Paul. That's why in European warfare besieged cities surrendered after a practicable breach was made. Both sides knew that if the besieging soldiers had to deliver a full attack inside, there was no way in hell the officers would keep discipline among their men.

I quote Captain John Kincaid after the Peninsular War:

'The moment which is most dangerous to the honour and safety of a British army is that in which they have won the place they have assaulted. While outside the walls, and linked together by the magic wand of discipline, they are heroes - but once they have forced themselves inside they become demons or lunatics' (Christoffer Duffy. 'Fire and stone' 1996. pag. 189-190)