Rorke's Drift - Where Few Stood Against Many

Discussion in 'History' started by Patrick2, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Patrick2
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    Patrick2 Senior Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWuaSww3JnA&feature=related]‪Zulu‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]
     
  2. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    Men of Harlech, march to glory...
     
  3. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    the movie was well done, one of my beer and pretzel favs...though they did naturally take some license so to speak with the events.

    damn good stand...
     
  4. Toronado3800
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    Toronado3800 VIP Member

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    That was a good movie. Watched it the first time probably twenty years ago. Made me go read up on the battle itself.

    Thanks for bringing it up Patrick.
     
  5. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    Defenders in a fortified emplacement with breech loading weapons against mostly spear toting natives. Although outnumbered 4500 to 139 they were able to withstand the human wave head on assault mainly because of the fortifications and tight interior lines. Unlike Isandlwana where the British had to fight in the open against the hordes and the interior lines were too far extended to allow resupply of ammunition.

    A good site for British battles are located here:

    The Battle of Rorke's Drift - The Zulu War
     
  6. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    Better leadership too. All those issues ZZZ mentioned were because the guy in charge at Roark's drift took care of business. The guy at Islawanda didn't.
     
  7. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    True. Leadership is vitally important in a situation like that. One of the things that people overlook in battles is the morale of the troops. Leadership can build morale and give the troops that extra bit of push when they need it, that is why the officers are always in the front. Leadership is not just about tactics but keeping the troops morale up.
     
  8. Patrick2
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    Patrick2 Senior Member

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    Rifles or no, having 4500 zulus bearing down on you is an awesome thing. Further, note what stalin said when in the beginning of their war with germany, someone pointed out the inferiority of almost all soviet weapons (at the beginning of the war) to german weapons, and that the SU only had a much larger quantity of manpower: "quantity has a quality of its own". The Martini-Henry rifle used tended to foul and jam when used intensively, and the zulus had captured 1000 of them and lots of ammo at Isandlwana. In fact, ALL of the british casualties at Rorke's Drift were gunshot wounds. The zulu leadership can be faulted for not recognizing the significance of the rifles, and quickly training more to use them.
     
  9. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    That is where training and the leadership skills of your NCO's and officers comes in. If you have someone beside you who is supporting you it is a lot easier to hold your ground. That is part of the morale part.

    Yes they captured many rifles yet did they know how to use them? No, and that can attribute to lack of casualties on the British side. Defensive fortifications provide a buffer from spear type weapons just like the forts in America provided some protection from the Native Americans arrows. And having a small perimeter forces the attackers to concentrate in a pack that the British had no chance of missing. The Zulu's were forced to charge over bodies further slowing them down. And in this case using only spears and the small frontal area only a small part of the more than 4000 Zulu's could engage the British at one time. If the British were in a line instead of a well contained circle pattern with the short interior lines the outcome would have been different no matter the bravery of the men.
     
  10. ColdWarVeteran
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    ColdWarVeteran Rookie

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    I love it.

    When the C/Sgt was awarded the Victorian Cross, Queen Victoria asked him about his bravery. He replied to the effect that he was only doing his duty and nothing more.

    A story of the bravery and greatness of the British Empire ... not to mention the bravery and skill of the gallant Zulu Warriors.
     

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