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  • #31
    I think in groundhogs first post it says lt Melville was ordered to leave with the colours.

    I think that the awarding of so many VCs was a PR exercise very much like the awarding of the numerious medals of honour at the Little Big Horn.In the case of Melville what's so gallant about being ordered to the rear?The Brits were well aware that reading that the regimental colours were found some miles to the rear in a river called fugitives drift would have upset the Victorians at their breakfast.They also hung the column commander Col.Glynn out to dry and also tried to blame Col Durnford.

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    • #32
      Wasn't the worse dishonour that could fall on a unit in those days to have your colours captured? Whatever about having the regiment wiped out, losing the colours to "savages" just wouldn't do.
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      With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

      Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

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      • #33
        Are you seriously suggesting that the Zulu would have left their wounded on the field of battle if the Brits had applied the same rules as in European conflicts. To be honest I don't know but as a warrior nation with a highly developed military system it seems unrealistic to believe that they would not have recovered their wounded.[worth researching]
        The Zulu's didn't take prisoners, they killed all enemy wounded out of mercy. Why do you think a culture that gave no quarter would have expected any? If the Zulu's were into caring for their wounded, why did they abandon them when they withdrew from Rourke's Drift?

        It is indeed worth researching, rather than making wild assumptions about the will of Zulu civillians to recover hundreds of wounded warriors & care for them.

        And it was not their war. It was unprovoked aggression by the Brits.
        Agreed, the British started it. What has this got to do with the treatment of the wounded?

        It was British policy in South Africa not to take prisoners.[I'll get you the source if you want it]So it had nothing to do with facilities or showing mercy, the Brits were going to kill whatever Zulu fell into their hands.
        Regardless of whether it was policy or not, there was a good chance that British troops would be loathe to take prisoners after discovering that their comrades were killed at Ishandwala. There were several similar incidents involving Allied troops in WW2, the fact that it was not policy didn't stop them.
        "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

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        • #34
          If you lost your colours... effectivly you lost the battle. If you capture the enemy colours you had to keep it it was their identity . A lot of this happened during the Peninsular Wars.

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          • #35
            Why do you think a culture that gave no quarter would have expected any?
            In Europe at the time [and long before] the killing of prisoners and wounded would have been seen as an atrocity.What you seem to be suggesting is that if one side engages in atrocities the other side should feel free to do so as well


            If the Zulu's were into caring for their wounded, why did they abandon them when they withdrew from Rourke's Drift?
            You have answered this yourself

            So you reckon the Zulu's were going to return to Rourke's Drift to recover their wounded, despite having been driven off earlier by superior firepower?
            It is indeed worth researching, rather than making wild assumptions about the will of Zulu civillians to recover hundreds of wounded warriors & care for them.
            I think it is fair to assume that the Zulu were human who would care for their own and not some sub-species to be arbitarily dispatched like wounded animals.

            Regardless of whether it was policy or not, there was a good chance that British troops would be loathe to take prisoners after discovering that their comrades were killed at Ishandwala.
            True, but you are hardly suggesting that supposidly disciplined troops be allowed to take matters into their own hands.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by parkman
              What you seem to be suggesting is that if one side engages in atrocities the other side should feel free to do so as well
              That's exactly how it happens in the real world. The various conventions are an attempt to reduce the tit-for-tat brutality, but history has shown that if one side doesn't follow them, they quickly break down


              I think it is fair to assume that the Zulu were human who would care for their own and not some sub-species to be arbitarily dispatched like wounded animals.
              This is the same Zulu army where King Shaka ordered an entire impi of troops to march off a cliff to their deaths to demonstrate obedience?
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              With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

              Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by parkman
                I think that the awarding of so many VCs was a PR exercise very much like the awarding of the numerious medals of honour at the Little Big Horn.
                This is historically accepted. In fact the proportion of VCs and other decorations awarded has diminished in the last century. VCs for example,less were given out during the second world war than the first,even though there is no doubt that actions were as couragous,and the second world war lasted longer....


                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                • #38
                  What you seem to be suggesting is that if one side engages in atrocities the other side should feel free to do so as well
                  What I'm suggesting is that if one side engages in atrocities, they shouldn't be surprised if the favour is returned. Look at Bosnia.

                  I think it is fair to assume that the Zulu were human who would care for their own and not some sub-species to be arbitrarily dispatched like wounded animals.
                  I'm not suggesting that the Zulu's were anything less than human, are you implying that I am? You're taking 21st Century western thinking and assuming that 19th Century Africans thought the same. We now expect any western soldier who is captured by an emery to be imprisoned & treated in a humane manner. We expect this because this is what we would do with any prisoners of war we take. If the Zulu's did not take prisoners themselves, why do you think they'd expect different treatment from their enemies?

                  The Zulu's didn't have any medical units, they weren't accompanied into the field by stretcher-bearers and doctors, and in the accounts I have read there has never been a mention of the Zulu's making an effort to recover their wounded. This suggests to me that they expected everyone who fell in battle to die, either from their wounds or at the hands of the enemy.

                  Also, I wouldn't expect any civilian to risk their life by travelling to an enemy-held position to recover wounded soldiers. You're assuming that a great number of Zulu civilians would do this to recover the hundreds of wounded. Not a fair assumption in my estimation.


                  True, but you are hardly suggesting that supposedly disciplined troops be allowed to take matters into their own hands.
                  I'm not suggesting that they be allowed do so, I'm saying that it happens regardless of the illegality of such acts.
                  "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

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                  • #39
                    So to sum up The Brits saw the Zulu as a barbaric warrior nation who neither gave nor asked for quarter and who would have expected the foe to act in a like manner and it was not the British intention to disappoint them.

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                    • #40
                      I doubt they put that much thought into it...

                      More like: "Darkies!! Lets kill them and take their country"


                      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                      • #41
                        quote
                        __________________________________________________ __________

                        Originally posted by Goldie Fish

                        This is historically accepted. In fact the proportion of VCs and other decorations awarded has diminished in the last century. VCs for example,less were given out during the second world war than the first,even though there is no doubt that actions were as couragous,and the second world war lasted longer....

                        __________________________________________________ __________



                        One of the reasons that there is a higher proportion of VC's at this time was that the Military Cross (MC) a lesser award for bravery had yet to be introduced (28th December 1914) if it had been avaliable at the time of the Anglo Zulu war I suspect that many of the Rorkes Drift VC's would have been down graded.

                        If you take a look at some of the VC'c of the Indian Mutiny period (1856~8) you see some instances were a VC would not have been awarded and the recipient would in all probability not even have qualified for a Military Cross.
                        Well Hurrah and Hussar!

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                        • #42
                          to back up to the prisoner issue, the Zulu's had a ferociously pragmatic attitude to warfare and because of their prior knowlage in fighting other tribes and the treatment of prisoner's which were rarly if ever taken they thought that the British would behave in the same manner so they did not even attempt a recovery nor were they in any position to do so and the brithish had very little option but to shoot the wounded
                          Dr. Venture: Why is it every time I need to get somewhere, we get waylaid by jackassery?

                          Dr. Venture: Dean, you smell like a whore

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by FMolloy
                            If the Zulu's were into caring for their wounded, why did they abandon them when they withdrew from Rourke's Drift?
                            Pragmaticly, any wounded would have been within rifle range.
                            Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

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                            • #44
                              The Brits fought two kinds wars.One was an international dispute[trade,commerce,borders ect].The other was a war of conquest.The international dispute was of a temporary nature in fact the protagonists could find themselves allies in a later conflict so certain rules of war applied.

                              In a war of conquest the policy of the Brits was to crush the indigenous population.The will to continue fighting or rebelling had to be quashed.To take prisoners was to allow these people to fight you again at a later stage.A good example of this policy was here in Ireland in 1798 when at Ballinamuck the Irish were slaughtered and the French were allowed to surrender with the officers being wined and dined in the Shelbourne hotel.

                              The behaviour of the Brits at Rourke's Drift had nothing to do with facilities or mercy or how they felt about Isandlwana but everything to do with smashing the will of the natives to fight.

                              so they did not even attempt a recovery nor were they in any position to do so and the brithish had very little option but to shoot the wounded
                              Wrong.British reports of the action mention many of the wounded Zulu's being removed by their comrades.Also the Brits may have shot the wounded and captured Zulu but they also bayoneted,clubbed and hung them.

                              Pragmaticly, any wounded would have been within rifle range.
                              Many did not have fatal wounds and were found hiding some distance from where the action took place.

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                              • #45
                                I believe the Irish were pretty good at the hanging and clubbing too.

                                The reason for the different treatment of the Irish and French in 1798 was that the French were foreigners while the Irish were rebellious subjects. The Scottish rebels were treated the same after Culloden in 1746. Undoubtedly only the French officers were treated to dinner at the Shelbourne.
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                                Say NO to violence against Women

                                Originally posted by hedgehog
                                My favourite moment was when the
                                Originally posted by hedgehog
                                red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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