View Single Post
Old 30th October 2017, 07:24 AM   #81
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi

Originally Posted by kronckew
yes, there was some. most of the zulu's 800 odd dead were at long range tho. three of the brit dead were from the zulus appallingly bad gunfire, 14 brits were killed by their iklwa and iwisa.

i wonder what would have happened if there had been a detachment of gurkhas there instead of the 24th foot. probably a lot more dead zulus.

the brits at omdurman apparently had troubles with bent bayonets, there was quite a scandal in the UK about bad batches of blades being issued that had not been heat treated. some of these were apparently at omdurman, the soldiers straightened them over their knee and carried on, the kink not affecting their use. some picked up a fallen comrade's weapon with a straight one and carried on. again, most of the charging enemy was killed at long range, in the main charge against the british ranks, only one old man with a flag got to within 50 yards of their lines, staggering on most had been killed or wounded or fled at 100. they of course were amazed at this, then shot him. they had enfields, the egyptians had m-h's tho. they also had machine guns and artillery and the dervishes did not. there was again, a fair amount of hand to hand on various parts of the field, winston churchill in particular had some close calls in a charge there.

That is not quite the case at Omdurman~ see

The British position proved unassailable being not only in depth but included gunships to the immediate rear in direct support and covering the gaps. It included recce groups forward as well as various squadrons of lancers capable of offensive action and covered by artillery and machine guns. This was a heavily fortified dug in position and to boot the weapons they had were the most modern of the day. Viz;

Quote"Kitchener’s army of 17,600 Egyptian and Sudanese troops and 8,200 British regulars, was heavily outnumbered, but had at its disposal fifty pieces of artillery, ten gunboats and five auxiliary steamers on the Nile. It also possessed forty single-barrelled, water-cooled Maxim machine-guns, each capable of firing six hundred rounds a minute. The British infantry was equipped with Lee Metford rifles, or its successor, the .303 Lee Enfield. They both had a range of 2,800 yards, and a skilled rifleman could fire up to ten rounds a minute.

The Khalifa’s army consisted of about 60,000 tribesmen, mainly ansars or servants of Allah, referred to as Dervishes by the British. According to the young war correspondent, Winston Churchill, it resembled nothings so much as a ‘twelfth-century Crusader army’ armed with spears, swords, and with hundreds of banners embroided with Koranic texts.

In terms of weaponry, however, the Khalifa’s army was not quite as primitive as it looked. The Dervishes possessed some 15,000 captured shoulder arms, even though they were poorly maintained. Their riflemen were dispersed among the spearmen and swordbearers in the hopes of giving the latter a better opportunity of getting to grips with the enemy. They also possessed some captured pieces of artillery and machine guns but hardly any appropriate ammunition.''Unquote.

Where the enemy went wrong ~and I disagree with the outnumbered situation since when attacking an adversary the number of troops to task should be three to one...The factor here was less than 2 to one...but it was the fact that this was a no surprise, frontal, daylight attack on well trained, prepared troops with support weapons which commenced continuous firing at a range of about 2 miles...If one factor was to play an important part in this battle it was the nonsense of a daylight strike when a night attack would have probably halved the casualty rate and could have been decisive if done with covering fire... They simply weren't trained to do this.

What I find amazing is that many British were left almost out of ammo... and had the enemy brought in reserves at the critical moment the situation could have been different.. Men were down to two rounds... The enemy however were by then shot to bits and still held at range...totally out gunned.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote