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"What really happened at Rorke's Drift?"
Mel


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 345
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Has any one read the above titled booklet by Pat Rundgren?
For those who haven't, his main points are:

1. There were never, at any one time, anything like three to four thousand Zulu at RD. They came and went in dribs and drabs. (page 26)
2. The stories of continuous hand to hand fighting are a myth. (page 30)
3. The fight was a small vicious street brawl. (page 7)
4. The fight begins and ends with the fight for the Hospital. (page 29)
5. The British inside the Hospital set the straw roof alight so that they could justify abandoning the Hospital for the comparative safety of the Store area. (page 36)
6. After the Hospital fight, the Zulu gave up trying to take RD and went into siege mode with only small decoy attacks in order to steal the cattle at RD. (page 42)
7. "B" Company 2/24th was the dregs of the British force. Which is why Chelmsford left them on the border at RD. (page 7)

Any thoughts?

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Mel
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GlennWade


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Swansea
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Hi Mel

Haven't read it but it seems to contradict all evidence.

1. Several defenders estimated the numbers of warriors present to be around that number.

2. Were the defenders lying?

3. The lack of a street and the high casualty figures seem to undermine this theory.

4. What about the fight for the cattle kraal and the 'bloody angle' where Nicholas was killed and Hitch wounded? The dash for the water cart?

5. Evidence from Chard states that the Zulu attempted to fire the storehouse, so it is certain this was the case in the hospital

6. Not one account mentions cattle at the Drift. There are mention of mules and horses, even a pig but no cattle.

7. No more so than any other company in the 24th. The high regard in which Bourne was held as a bright and astute young man supports this.

This is just me, from memory, undermining such claims.

I am sure and hopeful John, Julian, Mike, Peter or any others can only add some kick to my view.

Cheers,

Glenn

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what really happened.
Simon Rosbottom


Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 287
Location: London, UK
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And what about the shots from the grassy knoll....? Confused

One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for the special effects crew?

Regards Wink

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Simon
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paul mercer


Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 37
Location: Tavistock, Devon
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Does he say where he gets this remarkable new information from - as Glenn says, it appears to contradict all known evidence?
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Coll
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Apparently, if I'm correct, this individual has wrote/or in the process of writing a book/booklet about Isandlwana. I can just imagine the contradictions in that version of events !

I bet he even says Durnford had the use of both his arms !

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i guessed it
clive dickens


Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 162
Location: REDDITCH WORCESTERSHIRE
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I knew it would happen anyone who writes a different view to the old and tired Victorian view gets slayed by the apparent brilliant historians (self styled) which frequent this site Pat Rundgren is only pointing out the obvious around 150 men holding off five thousand Zulu's all in one go no fear but then Chelmsford had to push this to save his own reputation
Clive
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Clive

I've read the above post, but you are unclear about who the 'apparent brilliant historians (self-styled) which frequent this site' are ?

If you are including me, I take great offence at such a comment. I may not have written any published material, but I'm entitled to my view, and if someone seems to have veered sharply away from the recognised events, well I'll have my say !

Many times I've given my own description of events or participants on this forum and have been literally demolished by the replies.

So, being an avid AZW enthusiast and this being a discussion forum.....

If we all agreed on the same things, it would just be called Forum, as no discussions, debates or alternative opinions would be included.

Should I not be one of those you mean in your post, I'd be quite happy to have this posting deleted.

Coll (AMATEUR ENTHUSIAST)
Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 437
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I cannot believe that Pat Rundgren has read any of the British or Zulu accounts of RD. He clearly has other motives for writing as he does.
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Sean Sweeney


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 185
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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We have a great little discussion and information forum here. Thanks to Alan et al, and also all the contributors; every single one of whom makes this forum what it is. (Entertaining too, I might add !)

It's great to see everybody's opinions and the debates that follow anything a bit 'contentious'.

I'm no self styled 'apparent brilliant historian', but I do enjoy history, esp military history.

I rely on publications, (and this forum), to educate me into the finer details of what our past generations got up to, and where we all come from.
Opinions, I take in, and decide whether I'm for or against, and make my own mind up at the end of the day.

What I do rely on, however, is 'fact' being qualified by quoting reference material, documents, original source., etc
There are always, however, bit's in the middle, that are possibly a bit grey, and lots just 'missing in action', where we then rely on 'informed' opinion.

I have not read Pat Rundgren's booklet.

Perhaps someone would be good enough to review it a bit more in depth, and tell us on what his 'facts' are based on,
or are they merely his opinion and observation ?
In which case it's then open slather here,
and we can all start sharpening the knives for a good argument.

We have discussed what appear to be just his opinions previously on the old forum;

http://www.rorkesdriftvc.com/discussion.php?topid=14719&forid=1

And Clive, he is also no professional Historian, just an interested party like the rest of us.
I'm sure he is a very nice chap, albeit a bit 'unconventional' in his opinion.

He doesn't need you to defend him.
He can do that himself,.................right here.

cheers,
Sean Sweeney


Last edited by Sean Sweeney on Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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GlennWade


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Swansea
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Clive,

You can assume in history when you need to fill in the blanks but contradicting primary facts without evidence is absurd.

Cheers,

Glenn

(AMATEUR ENTHUSIAST)

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Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Lenton, Nottingham
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Without wishing to misrepresent Mr. Lundgren, and I hope I'm not being too cynical , but could his writings be at all anything to do with ,s......
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private barley


Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Tamworth, England
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OK so dis guy did a book, but where did he get the evidence for all dis rubbish from. fine we might have accidently set the fire in the hospital but look at how flamable straw and powder are and tell me you cant set fire to straw shooting at point blank range through a roof. well I'm sorry if you can't trust the evidence presented in reports of the defenders and millitary historians like ian knight but the evidence is on Rorke's drift VC.com

brother devil

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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 290
Location: Loughborough
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Re setting fire to the roof: Before several of us jump to conclusions on several matters. It is very possible that the roof was set alight by musketary inside the building itself. Let me explain, and, unless you are a regular live firing Martini shooter you will need to know how this can easily happen.

In a Martini round are the following components, a bullet (obviously), 85 grains of Curtis and Harvey No6 coarse black powder, three cardboard discs, a beeswax plug and a wool filler plug. All of which are inflammable.

The resultant flame from the firing of a Martini expels a three feet super heated jet of burning debris. (fire one in the dark and the flame is very impressive). Un-burned powder Kernels will comet from the muzzle and remain smouldering for several seconds. And the card discs will also ignite and burn. These wads were there to prevent the wax making contact with the powder and the bullet. Gents, if you add beeswax to a bullet mould it melts....atomises then ignites, and will then burn for quite a while. Where does this atomised Beeswax go, out of the muzzle with the rest of the debris.

To be even near the muzzle of a Martini when it goes off will burn or blind, I wouldn't fancy being half naked next to one that goes off.

So if anyone has a thatched roof and they want to put me any my trusty Mk2 to experiment???



"I love the smell of blackpowder in the morning!"

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Neil
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WHAT HAPPENED AT Rorke's DRIFT
clive dickens


Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 162
Location: REDDITCH WORCESTERSHIRE
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Coll
Each time someone posts a
letter which is different to your opinion you jump to the conclusion that they are attacking you in person. it happened with you about something I wrote some time ago I told you at that time that I was not pointing my finger at you and the same applies now but I suppose we must go by the old saying "IF THE CAP FITS" I know Pat Rungren very well he is one of my best friends and a lot he say's is with his tongue in his cheek he loves to wind people up myself included. But his booklet he writes what he firmly believes and we must give him credit for sticking his head above the barrier He has studied Rorks Drift thoroughly and he honestly believes what he has written, in this case. I stand up for Pat I am in the UK he is in Dundee Natal
so he is unble to read every attack upon him it is what twenty seven years in the army taught me a little seven letter word "LOYALTY" he is my pal and I stand by him because a lot he says is the truth and thankfully we have a writer on this forum Neil Aspinshaw who is ready to have a look at Pat's ideas with an open and FAIR mind.
Clive
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GlennWade


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Swansea
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Hi Clive

To be fair, I think you have a point. We should be far more open and constructive, or that holds true for me at times.

I am not attacking Pat, I have no wish to do so please don't misunderstand my comments. He has raised some points that I think are certainly worth more discussion. However, stating that B Coy were the dregs of the British force is a bit exteme. Also accusing the men who defended the hospital of cowardice (which is what he implies) also seems rather harsh. Shocked

As Coll said, if someone wishes to agree or disagree, as long as they are polite then they are perfectly entitled to their view. This is only a hobby at the end of the day so lets all crack open a can and relax. Cool

Cheers,

Glenn

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"What really happened at Rorke's Drift?"
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