British Forces in Zululand 1879 by Ian Knight

By Ian Knight

On four March, 1878 at King William's city, British Kaffraria, Gen. Sir Arthur Cunnynghame passed over excellent command of the British forces in southern Africa to his successor, Lt. Gen. Sir Frederic Thesiger. The excessive Commissioner, Sir Henry Bartle Frere, was once confident that one approach to the complicated difficulties which beset the sector was once to overthrow the final robust self sustaining black state bordering British possessions – the Zulu country of King Cetshwayo KaMapande. although Cetshwayo had remained at the political shielding. This e-book descirbes the uniforms and kit of the forces that Thesiger led around the border to salary struggle in Zululand.

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In some ways this system was 49 similar to the British Army Service Corps, as they provided horses, vehicles, and transport for supply movement and non-skilled personnel for mechanical units. They were also responsible for the horses and men needed for transporting pioneer bridging trains. Normally based as sector troops, train units operated as echelons—two to each divisional sector and one to each corps. Each one had a staff of five officers and -fifteen other ranks who supervised the working of columns.

Equipment was also to be found there. Men who were; only slightly wounded were treated, and then 'collected for transportation to the nearest entraining station. TjHe badly wounded were taken to field hospitals. There were normally two hospitals per division, equipped with about 200 beds to cater for cases unfit for further transportation. These were normally situated in back areas and established in immediate battle areas ready to increase in size should the situation warrant it. After treatment in the field hospitals, the wounded were then transported, usually by rail, to the war hospitals.

Their duties were mainly confined to the cavalry and horse artillery, although the dependence of the army on horse drawn transport gave them further scope. They also dealt with the dogs, which were used for such activities as guard duty and wire laying etc. Under inormal peacetime conditions each cavalry or field artillery regiment had a strength of three veterinary officers. There were also hospitals at Corps Army and Divisional level to treat injured and sick animals. A hunde-lazarett or "dog hospital".

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