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DateOriginal Topic
23rd January 2004Time of Battle
By Andrew Holliday
Can anyone tell me the time that the battle of Isandlwana started? And could you also tell me what time the first attack on the North Wall of Rorkes Drift?

23rd January 2004omar
Andrew, I have a copy of "Isandlwana 1879: The Great Zulu Victory" by Ian Knight in front of me. In the chronology it says- 11.30am Zulu attack begins. 12.20pm....zulu chest descends iNyoni ridge. 1.15pm British Line collapses.

4.30pm zulu attack on Rorke`s Drift Begins
23rd January 2004Tony Livesey
In Ian Knight`s book "Zulu" Captain Edward Essex states "about noon a sergeant came into my tent and told me that firing was to be heard behind the hill where the company of the 1st Battalion 24th had been sent". At Rorkes Drift the 24th`s piquets came in and Fred Hitch shouted from the top of the storehouse and the zulu`s were upon them, the time was about 4:30 pm.
24th January 2004l.j.knight
started at about 7-30 am. weds 22nd
24th January 2004Keith Smith
Sorry Mr Knight - wrong again - you have been reading Zulu Victory! Although Lock and Quantrill argue that the battle started that early, it is more likely that these early monoevres were just that, allowing the Zulu to get into position for the coming battle. Their preparations were disturbed by their discovery.

All the evidence points to the discovery of the Zulu army by Raw et al. about 11.45 am. The battle was over by about 1.30 - 2.00pm, although there may have been one or two who held on a little longer. (The eclipse therefore had no bearing the outcome whatever.)
26th January 2004Ron Lock
What time did the battle start?That poses another question:At what point is a battle deemed to have begun?I would suggest at the first aggressive move by either side.If so, the exchange of fire between the colonial vedettes and the Zulu skirmishers at 7.30 a.m. or thereabouts, ( initiated by the Zulu/s,) could be taken as the opening shots of the Battle of Isandlwana.
Taken a step further,it could be said that the battle commenced at 4.30 a.m.when Chelmsford's column left camp in response to the Zulu decoy--or at the time the Zulu army began to deploy at around 6 o'clock by which time both armies were moving aggressively towards each other.
4th February 2004L.J.Knight
sorry mr Smith..i do of course have my own opinion, i have read Zulu Victory from cover to cover, but which really had no bearing to my earlier truncated answer to the original question, i suggest that the Zulu were already in position well before 11-45, and that the opening shots were indeed exchanged much earlier in the morning..regards
4th February 2004L.J.Knight
by the way the first attack at the Drift was on the south wall.