Military Review

Do without machine guns

30



16 December 1838 of the year in South Africa, along the river Nkome, a battle took place between Dutch settlers - the Boers and the militia of local Zulu tribes. However, it would be more correct to call it not a battle, but a slaughter, because the Boers, armed with flint and capsule rifles, as well as two small cannons, with impunity shot them trying to attack their Zulus, armed only with spears and wooden clubs.

A detachment of Boers under the command of General Andreas Pretorius, who invaded the Zulu lands, learned from equestrian scouts about the approach of large aboriginal forces, took refuge in a wagenburg from wagons built on the cape between Nkome and the dry riverbed of Dong. The high steep banks of Nkome and Dongi reliably defended the camp from the east and south, allowing them to concentrate all their forces in the north and west.

Pretorius had only 464 shooter and 200 unarmed black servants, and Zulu's supreme leader Dingane, according to various sources, from 15 to 20 thousands of soldiers, of whom about 10-12 thousands participated directly in the battle. However, such a significant numerical superiority of the Negroes did not help, as the shaman's potion, distributed before the battle to all the fighters and, according to the witches, made them invulnerable, did not help them either.

The Zulus forced the river south of the Boer camp and bravely attacked him four times for four hours, but all four attacks were beaten off with huge losses. Buram was greatly helped by the fact that many shooters had two to three muskets, which were reloaded by servants during the attacks, and this made it possible to ensure a high rate of firing. To increase the likelihood of hitting, the Boers shot grapeshot, letting the enemy go 20-30 meters. Because of this, they did not miss, virtually every charge hit the target.

By the end of the battle, the killed and seriously wounded Dingani warriors lay around the wagons on top of each other in several layers, but no one was able to break into the camp. According to the memoirs of one of the defenders, the Boers feared only that their ammunition would run out before the Zulus had morale. But the fears were in vain. After the reflection of the fourth assault, the Boers saw that the surviving enemies were retreating.

Then many of them mounted their horses and went after them, continuing, as if on a hunt, to shoot the Zulus from a safe distance. The Aborigines did not have cavalry and even bows, and therefore they could not oppose anything to it. The shooting continued until the Boers had run out of charges for muskets.

As a result, the Zulus, according to the Boers, lost about three thousand people killed and died from wounds, and the Boers themselves had no irretrievable losses and only three shooters were injured with throwing spears - assegayas. Enraged by the defeat, Dingane ordered the execution of his adviser Ndlelu ka Sompisky, who commanded the troops on the battlefield.

The Zulus, who had no written language, left no documents and memories of the battle, but after that day they began to call the river Nkome the Bloody River. In South Africa, before 1994, December 16 was celebrated as Oath Day, as Pretorius soldiers swore before the battle to thank God for building a church in case of victory. But after the abandonment of the policy of apartheid and the coming to power of the Negro party, the African National Congress renamed it the Day of Reconciliation and Accord.

In conclusion, it should be noted that a sudden night assault would undoubtedly give the Zulus more chances. However, they did not dare to attack at night. They were frightened off by trucks mounted by drills and not dying away even in the rain. The aborigines decided that this is some kind of witchcraft, from which it is better to stay away. And on the screen saver, as it is easy to guess, the scheme of the battle at the Blood River.



Chief Dingane with servants and General Pretorius. He was one of three Boers who were hooked on Zulu spears in the Battle of the Bloody River.





Boer vans, which during the wars with the Zulus were used for the construction of improvised fortifications.



One of the two cannons used by Pretorius soldiers in battle with the Zulus. As can be seen in the photo, the vertical guidance mechanism of the trunk is absent, so it was induced by raising and lowering the trunk of the carriage.



On the left - the Boers defend the wagenburg. In the picture, the guns are loaded by women, but there were no women in the Pretorius squadron, and in the battle on the Bloody River, servants were engaged in this. On the right is the Boer equestrian arrow with a flint musket and a Zulu warrior with a short throwing spear.



Zulu warriors with traditional gear - assegayas, wooden clubs and bull skin almond-shaped shields.



Zulus in the attack.
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  1. ism_ek
    ism_ek 21 December 2015 06: 47 New
    +6
    The author, next to an article about Suvorov, whose motto is "Bullet - a fool, a bayonet - well done." Flintlock guns did not give a decisive advantage. You write: "To increase the likelihood of hitting, the Boers shot buckshot, letting the enemy go 20-30 meters. Thanks to this, they did not miss, in fact, every charge hit the target."
    With twenty meters and a spear you can throw very effectively. Yes, and you can overcome the distance of 20 meters in a few seconds, and it takes a minute to reload the gun.
    1. homedition
      homedition 21 December 2015 09: 40 New
      +6
      Exactly. If the Zulus could get to such a distance, they would be guaranteed to trample the Dutch, and the machine gun would not help. All this is strange.
      1. CHILD
        CHILD 21 December 2015 14: 03 New
        10
        You can’t just shoot out the gunners hidden behind the carts ... they came from two directions ... they have two guns for complete happiness ... from the opponents' side, zuluhs, which are doused with some kind of magic potion, with spears, with dubai and shields ... if only there was enough ammunition))) the guys had every chance, they used them ... and then the Boers were always famous as good arrows)))
      2. Bersaglieri
        Bersaglieri 21 December 2015 18: 38 New
        +7
        Nothing strange. When Molody, in 1572, the "walk-city" with the presence of guns and wicked beeps helped to cope with the superior Crimean-Turkish army.
        A wicked squeaky weapon is much slower and moody than a capsule shotgun of the 1830s.
        1. AK64
          AK64 8 January 2016 11: 55 New
          0
          Platov (then still a lieutenant colonel) with 500 Cossacks in Wagenburg seemed to hold out against 20-30 thousand feet a day. (True losses were higher)
      3. AK64
        AK64 8 January 2016 11: 53 New
        0
        The author, next to an article about Suvorov, whose motto is "Bullet - a fool, a bayonet - well done." Flintlock guns did not give a decisive advantage. You write: "To increase the likelihood of hitting, the Boers shot buckshot, letting the enemy go 20-30 meters. Thanks to this, they did not miss, in fact, every charge hit the target."
        With twenty meters and a spear you can throw very effectively. Yes, and you can overcome the distance of 20 meters in a few seconds, and it takes a minute to reload the gun.


        Shooting at 30 meters was a common tactic of European armies for smoothbore muskets.

        The Boers had 2-3 guns each, + 2 guns. That is, when shooting at point blank range, they only shot 1000 Boers with their guns, out of, say, 5 attackers - this cooled the Zulu morality.

        Assigai did not throw the Zulu, considering it a cowardly tactic.

        Plus Wagenburg
    2. Mikhail3
      Mikhail3 21 December 2015 15: 38 New
      +6
      Quote: ism_ek
      Yes, and you can overcome the distance of 20 meters in a few seconds, and it takes a minute to reload the gun.

      Read carefully. The Boers had not only servants, but also an excess of muskets. Two loaders and three muskets per shooter allow you to shoot as fast as it turns out to work with the trigger. That is, more than once every 25 seconds. Given that five to eight to ten buckshots fell into the barrel, the effectiveness of the fire comes out crushing.
      So the archers stopped the horse attacks, not like a pedestrian formation, albeit good spearmen.
  2. timyr
    timyr 21 December 2015 06: 49 New
    +8
    It is interesting, however, those who came here were the Zulus. They came south in the late 18th century.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 22 December 2015 19: 19 New
      +1
      Yes, it is curious that the tribes of the Bantu group, moving from the north, came to
      South Africa LATER Dutch migrants (Boers).
      Before them, in the south of Africa from the Negroes lived tribes of pygmies.

      All the battles that the Boers, that the British were exactly and only
      with the Zulus, because the Zulu profession was war and the racket of neighboring
      Negro tribes who were engaged in agriculture.
      The Zulu fought and the truth is very brave.
      So far, in the South African army, soldiers are Zulus and officers
      - English (by origin).
  3. heal
    heal 21 December 2015 07: 20 New
    0
    In the last (lower) figure on the right, the zulu face looks like Bolo Young, only the skin color is different.
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 21 December 2015 08: 00 New
    +1
    Then many of them mounted their horses and went after them, continuing as if on a hunt to shoot the Zulus from a safe distance. ..Safari is just ..
    1. mishastich
      mishastich 21 December 2015 09: 04 New
      +1
      Afrikaners, sir.
    2. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 21 December 2015 18: 39 New
      0
      From there went the joke about the "Nousers"
    3. AK64
      AK64 8 January 2016 11: 58 New
      +1
      Chasing and chopping fleeing are the usual tactics of all armies. What's the matter? Or do you take Zulu for white and fluffy? So in vain: the hall did not suffer from tolerance
  5. Fox
    Fox 21 December 2015 09: 11 New
    0
    handsome Che.that is not some kind of Ikan Sotnya there. well European ...
    1. Nagaibak
      Nagaibak 21 December 2015 10: 03 New
      +2
      fox "beautiful che.that it’s not some kind of Ikanskaya Hundred. there’s the European ..."
      I read somewhere that the Boers are mentally similar to us.))) They understand our humor, for example, jokes. And they do not digest the Anglo-Saxons.))) Such are the Europeans.))) By the way, they controlled vast territories and they themselves are not cowardly.)))
    2. CHILD
      CHILD 21 December 2015 14: 06 New
      +4
      Yes, the Boers later and the Anglo-Saxons drank good blood ... they even introduced hacks, if only they didn’t fly)))
  6. Villiam wolf
    Villiam wolf 21 December 2015 09: 29 New
    +3
    And now in South Africa everything is on the back, white people are humiliated and persecuted. Many descendants of white colonizers (planters) over the past 20 years have left South Africa, saving their "skins". So that the descendants are paying for the sins of their great-great-grandfathers.
    1. Bashibuzuk
      Bashibuzuk 21 December 2015 11: 45 New
      +7
      Here. right - .. "for the sins of great-great-grandfathers"
      There is only one sin -
      it was not necessary to give screwdriving uninhabited.
      .
      The gun touched. Such a pot, cook.
      But, probably, it was simple and quick to recharge.
      .
      Well, then, then, the British on these augers got a good deal.
      When they created the first concentration camps, moreover, for the wives and children of these Boers.
      .
      Wonderful country South Africa. With blue herbs.
    2. veteran66
      veteran66 21 December 2015 20: 03 New
      +5
      Quote: Villiam Wolf
      So that the descendants are paying for the sins of their great-great-grandfathers.

      What are the sins? Boers lived on vacant lands and niggas do not touch, they themselves were pulled on halyavku and otgrebli to complete. And as soon as the Europeans gave up the slack, they immediately flew out of the colonies, now, as it were, they themselves would not be on the reservations. Conclusion: no tolerance.
      1. Rastas
        Rastas 21 December 2015 21: 20 New
        0
        Of course, the Boers were so cute. But nothing that the constitution of the Orange Republic and Transvaal did not give blacks any rights? They were powerless slaves on Boer farms. Nothing that without a pass, the Africans could not move around the territory of the Boers, otherwise they were beaten with sticks and thrown into prison?
  7. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 21 December 2015 14: 45 New
    +2
    This proves once again that the spirit of the troops, indomitable determination to stand to the end - replaces the decisive technical superiority. With the condition of loading spare guns and reloading time, the rate of fire at the shooter was one shot in twelve to fifteen seconds. This is point blank for a crowd of hefty men with assegai - these are such short swords with long handles. They had strong nerves, and a true eye. Amazing courage. And just like the Russians ...
    1. avva2012
      avva2012 21 December 2015 16: 25 New
      +1
      If memory serves, then some Russians in the Boer War fought for the Boers, and not only them.
    2. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 23 December 2015 16: 41 New
      +2
      "the spirit of the army, the indomitable determination to stand to the end - replaces the decisive technical superiority ...." ////

      tell this to the zulu, samurai, everyone who thought so wrongly - they will cry ....

      NOTHING replaces SOLVING technical excellence. That's why it is “decisive”.
      Personal courage can replace the SMALL technical superiority of the enemy.
    3. Forest
      Forest 12 January 2016 09: 52 New
      0
      Fighting spirit will never replace technical superiority. Even the most enthusiastic soldiers will be thrown at machine guns without fire support - and the offensive will get bogged down.
  8. Lanista
    Lanista 21 December 2015 14: 57 New
    +3
    Note: the Zulu piled on the British. Not until the end, but a couple of times heaped on seriously. But the Boers could not. And the Angles defeated the Boers only after applying a specific genocide against them (guess three times who and when invented the concentration camps ...)
    1. RUSS
      RUSS 21 December 2015 21: 21 New
      +1
      Quote: Lanista
      Note: the Zulu piled on the British. Not until the end, but a couple of times heaped seriously

      Battle of Izandlwane - the battle during the Anglo-Zulu war, held on January 22, 1879. In this battle, the Zulu army under the command of Nchingvayo Khozy destroyed the British detachment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pullein.
      The victory at Izandlvan had a noticeable impact on the course of the Anglo-Zulu war and slowed down the conquest of the Zulus lands - the Chelmsford detachment was forced to retreat [13], later the soldiers were busy building fortifications around the camps [14], and only in June 1879 the British troops advanced inland Zululand [15].

      The news of the defeat of the British troops caused a panic in the Natal province, especially strong in the border areas (but even in Pietermaritzburg, 60 km from the border, the governor spent the next night in the prison building awaiting the Zulus attack [13]). The bishop of the province of Natal, J.W. Colenso, opposed the continuation of the war. [7]

      Britain’s major defeat in the colonial war aroused interest in the events in South Africa in many European countries (including the Russian Empire [16] [17]), while in Ireland it was met with glee [13] [3].

      In Britain, the news of the battle was received on February 11, 1879, the defeat of the "savages" caused outrage and discontent with the government of Disraeli, which lost the next parliamentary election and was forced to resign [13]. The Cape Colony Governor was reprimanded by the British government [3].

      On May 23, 1879, General Chelmsford was removed from the post of commander. [3]
  9. antiexpert
    antiexpert 21 December 2015 18: 15 New
    -2
    apparently the commanders of the natives were completely unreasonable ..
    After all, it was enough to use at least connected logs that could be moved to approach the distance of hand-to-hand combat as light armor ...
    1. Alf
      Alf 21 December 2015 19: 59 New
      +2
      Quote: antiexpert
      apparently the commanders of the natives were completely unreasonable ..
      After all, it was enough to use at least connected logs that could be moved to approach the distance of hand-to-hand combat as light armor ...

      Do you understand what you said?
      The Zulu forces crossed the river south of the Boer camp and attacked him four times bravely for two hours,

      In two hours of battle, the leaders had to understand how and what kind of weapons they kill the recalcitrant Zusulov, to detach a group of warriors to find logs (and not the fact that they are near), cut them down, deliver them to the battlefield (I wonder on what, on myself? ), bind them (with what?) and explain to the soldiers that these logs need to hide behind and haul, again on themselves. Well, well, I wish you success!
      There is a great movie on this subject with Michael Kane-Zulus (Battle of the Roorks Drift).
      I recommend the option in the figure of 33 gigabytes.
  10. Flatter
    Flatter 21 December 2015 19: 49 New
    +1
    Probably the fire-breathing sticks of the Boers demoralized the brave Zulus. From the relatively modern, according to the memoirs of Marshal I. Kh. Baghramyan, at night, in an atmosphere of great secrecy, the Katyush division was delivered under Sevastopol. In the morning the volley was fired. The effect was amazing. Both ours and the Germans fled. Crossed.
  11. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 22 December 2015 19: 11 New
    -1
    However, it would be more correct to call it not a battle, but a massacre, because the Boers, armed with flint and capsule rifles,

    It would be more correct to call him the greatest tactical victory of European Christians over bloodthirsty pagan savages (read at leisure, for example, about the fighting practices of the Zulus, who are still considered the most terrible murderers in South Africa - for example, the police can often determine by the disfigurement of white victims which tribes are involved here ).

    However, such a significant numerical superiority of the Negroes did not help, as the shaman's potion, distributed before the battle to all the fighters and, according to the witches, made them invulnerable, did not help them either.
    Well, because shamanic potions are incomparably weaker than the Forces of Heaven, which stand up for Christians. And the Boers simply did not think of anything else. they were all ready to die, and just decided to sell their lives at a higher price, because they simply didn’t hope to win 20 times more numerous army of pagans.

    Quote: ism_ek
    From twenty meters and a spear you can very effectively throw.
    Simply, the fortrekker vans were quite well prepared for the formation of the wagenburg - for example, the top and bottom were lined with boards that (and not just the tarpaulin) were well protected from darts.

    Quote: Alf
    In two hours of battle, the leaders had to understand how and what kind of weapons they kill the recalcitrant Zusulov, to detach a group of warriors to find logs (and not the fact that they are near), cut them down, deliver them to the battlefield (I wonder on what, on myself? ), bind them (with what?) and explain to the soldiers that these logs need to hide behind and haul, again on themselves. Well, well, I wish you success!
    This is what distinguishes the illiterate savage from the greatest commanders of Europe.

    Quote: RUSS
    In this battle, the army of the Zulus under the command of Nchingvayo Khozy destroyed a British detachment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pullein.
    The English were taken by surprise on an open plain, and they were too few, and they did not form a wagenburg, they tried to fight back in rifle chains, and there was no "abundance of muskets" in them.

    Quote: Lanista
    Yes, and the Angles won the Boers only after applying a specific genocide against them (guess three times who invented the concentration camps and when ...)
    What is there to guess - the British themselves (but this is in the 20 century, before that there were other inventors). But the fact is that the concentration camps were a humane measure compared with the peculiarities of the fighting in Africa - because for example, the same Boers or Negroid tribes in battles with each other did not do any concentration camps, but simply destroyed by the method of total genocide of the enemy.