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Saturday 24 February 2018

Zulu disaster?

Today, we were supposed to be a foursome, doing Colonial warfare, but David was a no show again, so it was just Phil, Lawrence and myself.

The scenario was that of a British Company column moving between outposts - allowing the garrisons to be replaced from the column.

The Zulu would attack from our flank, and we would have a divided force.

Our advancing column, and a garrison we were approaching to relieve. We had a flank guard of a cavalry patrol on the hills to our right.

The Zulu right horn, facing the outpost.
The Zulu Chest and Loins. 
The Zulu left horn, surprised by our flanking cavalry. 
Our advancing column. 
The outpost, with half a platoon and 2 commissary officers. 
Our column was still a way off joining up with the redoubt. 
 A unit of the left horn swung round to face the British horsemen.
 The Zulu centre began advancing.
 The Cavalry decided not to face the entire Zulu army!
I was in charge, and my Lieutenant decided to keep marching. The option was to stop where we were and fight, but that would leave the outpost garrison unsupported. 
My men quickened the pace. 
Phil, looking uneasily at the nearly 400 Zulus! 
 Keep on Marching! 
The garrison held their fire, mainly because we forgot to shoot with them this turn!!! 
The next turn, the Zulu were within medium range, so we opened fire. 
A very good volley ripped holes in the lead unit. 
The Zulu centre was going through the woods, which would slow them and allow both horns to engage first. 
 The left horn had a clear view of our column.
 At this point, our cavalry turned to shoot their carbines at the unit following them...
...they managed to wound one!
The redoubt defenders fired another volley... 
The first unit had halted, and a second had passed through them, and took nearly the same damage from the plucky Brits. 
Soon, however, the whole right wing resumed its advance inspired by its Induna! 
...the garrison's fire was getting less effective, probably due to smoke???
 My gamble seemed to be paying off, as the column had almost joined up with the redoubt.
 Phil (Using the Sergeant Major) deployed out into a 2 wide column, so a simple right turn would have his men in firing position.
Steady, men, steady! 
Sir, there's Farzan's of 'em! 
 The fire was killing Zulus, but they came on anyway!
Only the terrain stopped the garrison being hit from several angles.
Would the redoubt hold?
At the tail of our column, Phil had begun to fire on the Zulu left horn.
The Zulus were unfazed.
Bring it on!
The detached Zulu company was still chasing the cavalry...
...who finally decided to leave the table.
The Zulus engaged the garrison in close combat, but the redcoats fended them off, initially.
A picture of the positions of both sides at this time.
2 redcoats died as the Zulus scrambled over the meallie bags.
I had my half platoon fire in the garrison's support.
The whole column now began to engage.
Phil and Lawrence's men shredded the lead Zulu unit...
...with controlled volleys.
With my help, the garrison managed to drive off the first attack.
The shattered first unit broke!
The following units now began a more sustained attack on the redoubt.
Again, they held.
On the Zulu left, a unit retired through the second line...
...which was then engaged by the British line.
Another wave of Zulus tried to overwhelm the redoubt.
Phil, too was facing desperate Zulu charges.
Lawrences and my men now had to engage the Zulu centre which had emerged from the woods.
We damaged them, but they continued to charge.
We were soon fighting man to man...
My men panicked having lost an NCO to a spear thrust. They fell back before my Lieutenant steadied them.
The Lieutenant wounded a Zulu with his pistol!
Phil and Lawrence were doing well.
The Zulus managed to break into the redoubt, killing a commissary officer.
My Lieutenant fended of a Zulu with his sword!
The Zulu unit which had chased off the cavalry now charged against Phil's men.
These had bent the line back to engage them.
Having rallied my men we now drove of the Zulus attacking the redoubt.
Phil's men now fought the unit at the rear - but lost two men, including Phil!
His men managed to drive off the Zulus though.
All along the line, the Zulus began withdrawing en masse.
We had held, just. 9 dead redcoats and as many wounded...
...hardly a glorious victory!