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Come One, Come All! Lets' Discuss all things History.....Past and Present and perhaps, yet to come!


  1. What's new in this club
  2. Correct. Private Henry Hook was neither, but that's Hollywood. As for ''Shaka Zulu'', you will really like it. In The US, it was a 5-part (1 week long) Mini-Series. When I got a copy on VHS (no really) - back in 1987 (yes, really again) - it was a somewhat cut down version - but still good. On DVD, it is a 2-disc set, with extras. O'Toole as Chelmsford was a master stroke. He really portrayed the a typical British General of The Era very well ( He was such a great Actor).
  3. Sorry for the slow reply, I got swamped over the weekend. I loved that overview, I thought it was so interesting. I'm stunned to hear the leadership friction didn't exist. But...then again, I'm sure they changed Hook's character massively as well. So it shouldn't come as such a surprise really. I'm sure someone once told me something about Hook's family taking legal action because of the way they portrayed his character as a drunk and thief, but I might not have remembered that correctly. Sounds like "Hollywood" remade it to glorify things again. Zulu Dawn is a great film too. I'm fortunate enough to have both on DVD which were very difficult to source. I think Peter O'Toole played his role VERY well. Most of the actors did to be honest. I never heard of Shaka Zulu, but I think it'll have a look at it. It sounds like it might be interesting.
  4. Actually the .303 Ammo ''boxes'', but yes. The ''sealed'' tins (which were also lined in canvas as well - were absorbents meant to help keep moisture out (which was clever for the day). And yes, ''Shaka Zulu'' is rather good. Still findable on a variety of Media. Bit long though (it was a Mini-Series), but shortened versions exist.
  5. You indeed "popped my bubble" with that "not a salute". 🙂 Yes, indeed good movies, although I could watch Shaka Zulu again. By the way, about the first two, as I mentioned it before, I also like those details. I remember even how they stored explosive (if I'm not mistaken) in the movie. In was in something like large can. Which does make sense, this way it wouldn't become wet, and if I'm not wrong, cans were invented during Napoleonic Wars for storing food. But it surprised me a lot, I would have taken it for granted that they would store it in some barrels, or wooden boxes. 😄 Instead, I still remember how one of soldiers was opening it as a can of sardines. 😄
  6. Changing ''Time'' yet again........The iconic and ill-famed ''Charge of The Light Brigade'' was renowned in both song and story. But was it really a colossal Military blunder or a masterful stroke of British Propaganda (at the cost of close to 300 Cavalrymen). What are your thought?
  7. Simply put, to answer your query....Terrain. The Drift – a Missionary Post as you recall, was constructed on an open plain (more or less), but was bracketed by foothills and several mid-sized Plateaus. The application of The Horns of The Bull Formation (encirclement by extended flanks), simply would not have worked. The Frontal wave assault was actually how The Zulu originally fought (as did many other Tribes). It was King Shaka in the early 19th Century, that incorporated The Fighting Bull Formation. As for The Films, as you know – there are (sadly) just 3 since 1964. The Classic ''Zulu'' (which is your fav about The Battle of Rourke's Drift), the later prequel 1979s ''Zulu Dawn'' and 1986s ''Shaka Zulu''. I've given you a break down on accuracy. ''Zulu'' While several points are correct, ''Zulu'' is very much NOT how The Battle happened – but was as close as one could achieve then. Filmed actually in Natal, South Africa – ''real'' Zulu where recruited to play Cetswayo's Impis. The Costumer did an excellent job on The 24ths Uniforms, as well as the weapons, hair styles, etc. But.......the perceived leadership friction between Chard and Bromhead did not exist (at least not as palpable as in The Film). Many of the principle characters were actually composites of several actual men. That being said, the Battle and overall feel were very good. It wasn't bad for what it was, and I often recommend the film to watch (if nothing but for the battle). The final ''pop your bubble'' is that The Zulu did not salute their brave Enemy at the end of The Film. They simply retired from the Field without fanfare. ''Zulu Dawn'' By far, a much more accurate portrayal of The Battle of Isandlhwana – How it began, the failure of several key and critical deployments, etc. The Uniforms are very good as well. Although ''Zulu'' was made in 1964, one can watch ''Zulu Dawn'' first and then watch ''Zulu'' quite seamlessly. The staging of the actual Battle was fairly spot on. Highly recommend this one. Good cast with Peter O'Toole, Burt Lancaster and a LOT of other well known British Actors of the time. Obviously the personal relationships of some of the characters are ''pressed'' but once you get into The Battle, it is worth it. ''Shaka Zulu'' While not about The Zulu War, Henry Cele as ''Shaka'' is perhaps the best version of just How The Zulus came into being and rose to be a Force. This is based on several actual early 19th Century Expeditions to South Africa by British Military and Civilian Explorers. I would recommend this as well.
  8. The main question I have is why the Zulus didn't just encircle Rorkes Drift and charge on mass with all their army. Surely attacking in waves is a bad strategy when you're far numerically superior? We obviously all know films are made into match "Hollywood" perceptions and in this case to glorify the British, but how accurate would you say the film was in portraying the Battle of Rorkes Drift?
  9. Well, without too much fanfare, it was Luck and The Lord (to paraphrase). The Zulu (after Isandlhwana), split their Force into three sections (each being massive in their own right). Their Mission was to seek out and kill any British Soldiers. The Force which was detached to fight at The Drift were actually Reserves (including their Leaders). Half had actually fought at Isandlhwana the previous day, the other were held back as ''The Loins'' – in Zulu parlance). The 24ths Detachment at The Drift, were in a somewhat unusual position of not being in the open as the Main Column was at Isandlhwana. This meant that The Zulu couldn't really deploy their trademark ''Bull Buffalo'' Formation, but had to rely on Frontal assaults only (in waves no less). This in it's own right was daunting, nonetheless. The Brits had but two ''saviors'' as it were. A ''visiting'' Royal Engineering Officer – Lt. John Royce Marion Chard and a capable Infantry Officer in command of The Detachment, Lt. Gronvile Bromhead. And while Bormhead may have commanded The Infantry, it was the engineering feats of reinforcing The Drift and developing the tried and true Infantry Tactic of The Volley Fire. And while by sheer numbers The Zulu still should of overwhelmed them, they stalled (although at least three breakthroughs did happen – with hand to hand combat the order of the day. The final master stroke, was Chard's creation of a Redoubt made from sandbags (called Mealies), and rising to a incredible 12-feet (in three levels). A fallback, the remaining Brits were able to create a three level Volley Fire Platform. This allowed the otherwise unreliable Henry-Martini .303 Rifle to be maximized for fire. In other words, 150 round every 10 seconds were poured into the advancing Zulu's that had broken through during the final assault of The Drift. This caused The Zulu's to simply leave The Drift as a mere annoyance by this time. Perhaps no one War Chief wanted to tell King Cetswayo that ''they'' could not reduce The Drift. It short it was one of those few rare happenings in Military History which showed that sometimes courage and determination can far outweigh numbers and Technology.
  10. This is an incredible question. You know I still quite can't explain it or understand it myself. The only "real" explanation I can think of is simply because it was a defensive position and as we all know, the British were historically phenomenal in defending positions. It was also a single army and not split. But we know how tiny the British force actually was. But other than this....... I await the truth M'Lord.
  11. To a point, Prince....by the time after Rourke's Drift, thousands of Troops were poured into South Africa as well as the conscription of Colonial Forces (even The Boers). Sheer numbers would eventually erode The Zulu. This plus the fact that The Zulu never embraced firearms or Cavalry (firearms being seen more un-Warrior-like to the more ''manly'' Zulu and having a superstition against The Horse in general) - would find them surrendering at Ulundi scarcely a year after The War began.
  12. I believe this is a great example how Europeans back in 19th century, and even Europeans now when when thinking about colonizing almost entire world... It's not that advanced tactics and superior technology guarantee victory. It might do if one use it wisely, but not on its own. When reading history books in elementary school we only see how Europeans conquered Americas and Africa just like that, but people who managed to do that were also clever. Almost always we used diplomacy, and often treachery to achieve our goals. So, how to defeat Zulu? Don't go directly on them, especially not when they are at their prime. Patience, and don't make them too angry if you don't have enough strength yet. That's the best way I think. But, beside everything already said, it looks like somebody wanted to earn some glory, beside underestimating Zulu warrior moral. Sent from my Mi A2 Lite using Tapatalk
  13. Exactly. The British High Command (Chelmsford) saw The Zulu as quite inferior to British Tactics and Military Technology. Despite the fact that many of His Volunteer Command (Men who had lived in Colonial Africa for many years), had warned Him of The Zulu's overwhelming and effective battle tactics. By splitting his Force and establishing arrogance rather than prudence, the entirety of The 24th Regiment and it's supporting Units were decimated. I often compare Isandlhwana to The Little Big Horn and Custer. There too is another classical example of arrogance and over confidence in Military Technology. Unfortunately, the large cost of British Soldiers in 1879 would forever place The Battle as the worst defeat of a Modern Army at the hands of a Native Force. But now we move To Roarke's Drift and the following question........ How could so few a British Force using limited emplacements and defensive cover, hold off roughly 3,000 Zulu Warriors?
  14. Now this is one of my favourites! In my opinion one of the biggest blunders they made was by splitting their forces, despite not knowing where the Zulus actually were. BUT... I don't think that this alone necessarily was the sole cause of the disaster. They also massively underestimated their enemy because they only fought with Spears... it was more arrogance and complacency by Chelmsford than anything else. They went into enemy territory and thought it would be an easy victory, but there were far more Zulus than British soldiers and the British didn't even have a proper place to defend themselves.
  15. Switching ''Time'' now....Tell me why you think The Zulu Empire of South Africa was so successful in their complete destruction of The British Expeditionary Force at The Battle of Isandlhwana in 1879?
  16. Okay Gang....switching ''Time and Era''.. Tell me your thoughts as just why The Zulu Empire (South Africa), were so successful in their total destruction of The British Expeditionary Force at The Battle of Isandhlwana in 1879?
  17. I just think it's incredible the amount of personal influence Hitler had in his Generals' decisions.... it's just like on D-Day. I'm sure the local German Tank Commander heard very early on in the morning that the Allies had invaded but without Hitler's personal permission they were unable to move them.... it's just as well, really.
  18. Well put. The ''Atlantic Wall'' (both constructed and assumed), was a direct descendant of The Sigfried Line of WWI. Germany though that such a massively fortified position would serve to stop invasion plans. It did - while The Allies never truly envisioned an invasion in this manner. As we know, Hitler really should have listened to His Generals. But as with most Dictators - He thought He knew best. I love to cite the massive mistake He made at Dunkirk, and had He ''destroyed'' The British army there, this would have greatly altered the course of The War. While He may not have won it, it would have caused it to go on for many more years.
  19. Hitler made so many mistakes really.... fortunately most of the missiles and other technology were never advanced enough to be able to do much with because the war was so close to ending, but he was obsessed with so much. Especially in the early days of the war, he was obsessed with things such as the Atlantic Wall. I may not be the best tactician but my belief is that once you start defending something instead of attacking, you're broadly speaking on a losing streak. The sheer amount of concrete used on it was madness.
  20. A ''Little from Column A and some of Column B'' (My German and English Blood, of course, lol). While The Me (Messerschmitt Class) had a superior Engine and performance ability, the vaunted Spitfire was by far better in aerial combat (with The Battle of Britain being my example). I am by far a Stuka fan, with that Class of German Fighter unequaled. Still, your observations of Hitler is spot on. His constant interference with The High Command, as well as constantly ''gumming up'' many of Germany's future Fighter upgrades (which would have been game changers), were a primary cause of Germany's loss of The War.
  21. Being a "good 'old Brit", how could I possibly choose anything other than my native Spitfire? Tallyho, Captain! That said, I have to admire the German technology and equipment from that era as much of it was way more advanced and powerful than ours. One of the main benefits of preparing for war for nearly a decade, I guess! The main problem as I see it was that (speaking more broadly) the Nazis spread themselves WAY too thinly, not just with aircraft but with virtually everything..... Hitler wanted everything but he wanted it al instantly. So there were so many "secret projects" ongoing it was impossible to get all of them properly completed... and a lot of them were started later in the War as well. By this time they obviously had manpower and resource shortages. Though obviously not the case here with the Messerschmitt.
  22. Which do you think was a more effective Fighter Plane in World War II?
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