|29th July 2003||ZULU LEFT HORN AT ISANDLWANA|
By ADRIAN WRIGHT
HAVING READ MANY BOOKS ON THE BATTLE OF ISANDLWANA I'VE NOTICED TWO COMMON POINTS OF DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN AUTHORS ON THE SUBJECT.THOSE POINTS BEING THE NAMES AND NUMBERS OF THE ZULU REGIMENTS PRESENT AND RELEVANT ATTACKING
POSITIONS OF THOSE ZULU REGIMENTS THAT FORMED THE LEFT HORN I.E. UMBONAMBI,UVE AND INGOBAMAKOSI.
CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE CLARIFY THESE TWO POINTS FOR ME.
|30th July 2003||Julian Whybra|
There is coonsiderable certainty about the regiments comprising the centre and right horn but opinions do differ about the composition of the left horn. The reason is the differing Zulu accounts.
Uguku says the uMcijo were supported on the left by the uMbonambi, half the uNdi, the iNgobamakhosi and the uVe. Afterwards he says there was a dispute between the first four as to which got into the camp first and it was decided the uMbonambi were first followed by the uNdi.
The uMbonambi Warrior (Mitford's book) said that his regiment were held up at the Conical Koppie until the iNgobamakhosi extended to the south and outflanked the soldiers forcing them to retire to the big donga. From there they continued to fire until the uMcijo charged in their rear forced them to retire on the camp with the uMbonambi pursuing. It seems then that the uMbonambi were on the left centre and not on the left wing - all the more likely if they were first into the camp as they could have entered through the gap left by the NNC.
|30th July 2003||ADRIAN WRIGHT|
MANY THANKS FOR THAT JULIAN.
DO HAVE TWO MORE QUERIES.
REGARDING THE MYSTERIOUS LONE SOLDIER OF THE 24TH (PRESUMBLY FROM `C' COMPANY) THAT HID HIMSELF IN A CAVE ON THE ISANDLWANA CRAG. WAS HIS BODY EVER RECOVERED BY THE IMPERIAL
DOES ANYBODY KNOW THE STRENGTHS OF THE BRITISH COMPANIES ENGAGED AT ISANDLWANA?
|31st July 2003||Keith Smith|
On the topic of email courtesy, may I suggest that you write in lower case, as do the other correspondents? The use of upper case is the equivalent of SHOUTING.
I have seen no evidence that the body of the last soldier in the cave was ever found, if he existed at all. The evidence for the story is very slender. I am sure that Julian would be better qualified to respond to your query about company strengths than I.
|31st July 2003||Adrian Wright|
My apologies to everyone - a bit new at this email lark. I'll try not to shout in future.
Thanks for pointing that out.
|31st July 2003||Julian Whybra|
Individual company strengths are simply not known. However, at least 71 of the 2/24th were not from G coy (and probably formed a composite coy at Isandhlwana under Dyer). As for the 413 men representing the five 1/24th coys, well, the maths gives you an average of 82.6 men per coy (of course not all would have been in the front line, so discounting 10 men per coy, say, acting as stretcher bearers [bandsmen], ammunition carriers, and various other duties, you might end up with 72 men per front line coy). Who said maths was boring?
|31st July 2003||Adrian Wright|
I have read that a witness to the battle expressed his concern that the companies were undermanned on the firing line - so I assume a certain number of soldiers of the 24th were also engaged in taking down the tents and preparing to move the camp to the Mangeni gorge
|1st August 2003||Julian whybra|
No, it is known that all camp removal was stopped.