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DateOriginal Topic
19th January 2004Querys on R.D.
By P. F
1) In movie "Zulu" Chard refuses to let Bromhead take a detachment upon a mountaintop overlooking R.D. so Gunfire can
be directed upon the advancing Zulu's. Did this actually occur? Would a squard of the 24th sniping on the Zulu's have made any difference to battle outcome?
2) When the hospital building is turned into a
blaockhouse-why did Chard not excavate from the hospital(to the church) those patients (such as Sgt Maxfield) who could not contribute to the defense of the building in the reported two hours between the news of the British defeat of Isandhlwana and the opening of the battle at R.D?
3) In movie "R.D" Chard tries to keep the mounted Natal cavalrymen be remarking that
the Zulus are afraid of cavalry. Could a
troop of 220 cavalrymen make a regiment of
Zulu Infantry run?
19th January 2004P.F
P.S. Correction for query # 3 I ment to say
In Movie "Zulu" Not R.D.
19th January 2004John Young

I'll try and offer some answers to your queries.

1, To my knowledge, no such offer was made to dislodge the Zulu riflemen. That's not to say it was considered, it is just I have no knowledge of it. I believe it is pure film script, rather than fact.

2, I'm sure with hindsight, if John Chard was to have known where the Zulu attacks were going to be launched he would have considered moving the sick to the storehouse. But obviously he had no idea where the attack would be launched, and therefore his actions were being dictated by events.

3, I doubt whether the one hundred or so men of the Natal Native Horse, could have done much more than they did at the later battle of Khambula. Where they fought outside of the defensive position and 'harrassed' the Zulu forces.

In subsequent actions - Khambula, Gingindlovu & Ulundi where mounted troops were deployed in an offensive role, they were very much the final blow to an already defeated enemy.

I hope that helps,

John Y.
19th January 2004P.F
Thanks for satisying my curiousity
21st January 2004Julian whybra
Re (2) Those left behind in the hospital were judged either too ill or too fragile (ie bones just set) to be moved