Don't act like y'all don't know where we be neither.

Subscribe in a reader

Saturday, March 9, 2013


"Roll to your rifle...blow out yer brains/And go to yer God like a soldier"

Last night, on the dinner table, there occurred one of those incidents that will surely be listed among the most glorious episodes in the annals of British entire regiment of the Queen's finest were utterly destroyed by a Zulu impi.

I don't care what anybody tells you...parenting is a grind. Sometimes you have to take half a day off work just to watch a 30 minute school program (which may include a hip hop version of Happy Birthday...Jesus). You have to stand by and just watch as he gets old enough to take over your household chores....and, sometimes, grown man though you may be, you have to play with your son's toy soldiers. So with a six inch ruler and a random dice generator pulled up on the phone, I grudgingly set about doing my duty as a Daddy.

As is normally the case, things started out well for the British. A screen of Natal Native Cavalry got in several licks before being overrun and annihilated. The one artillery battery played hell on the Zulu center...knocking 'em down in clumps.

Soon the Zulus were in range of the British rifles. Between the steady marksmanship of the infantry and the crude carnage of the gun the Zulus were taking an awful beating. Still, they came. They're Zulu's after all.


It was a badly mauled, but determined and angry, bunch of Zulus that finally got their hands on the British infantry. Normally this is where things would go horribly wrong for anybody who wasn't a Zulu but, as we've seen, their numbers had been considerably reduced. The infantry were holding their own in hand to hand combat. There was an untouched British unit in the center as one group of Zulus had peeled off to attack the artillery.

The whole thing was in danger of being a British victory and therefore forgotten to history. It was at this point that umBlake, commander of the Zulu impi, decided that all of his forces had not yet been committed to battle. It was time for the second wave of Zulus. So we recycled some of the dead warriors to form a new unit. The question was...where would they appear? Would it be the loin or one of the horns. We turned to the dice...

Bloody &%*$!!!!

It was the Right Horn! All over but the shoutin', Col. Blake, commander of the British forces, did what he could. It wasn't much. He turned the uncommitted unit of infantry and the artillery to face the onslaught. They were slaughtered. The regiment disintegrated into small groups of soldiers gallantly resisting the inevitable...tiny red islands being swallowed by a relentless brown tide.

The Glorious End

Surprisingly, given the erzatz nature of the rules, we got a fairly historical result. 

Of course, the Boy wants to do it again. My work is never done. I'm gonna have to buy more soldiers for him...proper cavalry and naval ratings...and "23 hundred and 45 boxes of Zulus."

It's a hard row to hoe...being a Daddy.

*Ignore the large group of stetsoned tan fellas in the back...Native Contingent. Depending on who you ask, they hoofed it because they were cowards or, they figured being slaughtered for the white interlopers wasn't they way they wanted to end their day.



  1. I cannot WAIT for shit like this with Godzilla. The F-word takes my master in military strategy seriously when all I really want to do is play soldiers. Like most people who study military strategy, the difference being I'm content to keep them plastic.

    1. You are in good company here then.

      I had to sit through a course on British Philanthropy and post-colonialism in India, etc. but, the only reason I was really there was to read about incidents like the one above.

      There'll be more battle reports. You can count on that...he's settin' up for a rematch now.

  2. Fred Hitch, one of the eleven men to be awarded a Victoria Cross for his part in the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, is buried near where I live in the graveyard of St Nicholas’s Church, Chiswick (he’s the young man seen at 5’12” in this clip from the film, “Zulu”, emptying a canteen of water over his head):

    Private Hitch and Corporal William Allen were both awarded the VC for “holding together at all costs a most dangerous post, raked in reverse by the enemy's fire from the hill.” The London Gazette of 2nd May 1879 goes on: “…they were both severely wounded, but their determined conduct enabled the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital, and when incapacitated by their wounds from fighting, they continued, as soon as their wounds had been dressed, to serve out ammunition to their comrades during the night.”

    Hitch, who fathered eight children, had a rough old time of it after being discharged from the army after the war due to the severity of his wounds, but ended up as a cabbie, living in Chiswick. He was buried in 1913 with full military honours. Many cabbies attend his funeral, and to this day there’s a Fred Hitch Gallantry Award for taxi-drivers. His splendid gravestone/monument, topped by a helmet, can be seen in this brief video posted on YouTube:

    Fitch lost his VC (the circumstances are disputed) and had to buy a replacement. The original came up for auction after he died, and his sons scraped the £85 together to buy it, and the medal – and its replacement – are now in the museum of the 24th Regiment of Foot in Brecon in Wales.

    Don’t know quite why I’m telling you all this, but Fred Hitch’s name came up as the answer to an question in a fund-raising quiz we took part in last night, and I’d just read his story online when I saw you’d posted a new article. Synchronicity or what!

    1. "I wish I were a damned drunkard like Hook or Hitch."

      I don't think either one of them were actually drunks, or malingerers,or "barrack room" they're portrayed in the film.

      John Keegan put together a collection of first hand accounts from famous battles and I believe it's Hook and Hitch who give the account of fighting in the hospital. It is grim stuff.

      I think Woseley once dismissed the VC's given at Rorke's Drift...saying something to the effect that they did what cornered rats will do. That's taking cool to a frigid extent. Rorke's Drift is one of the most compelling stories in military history.

      Feel free to share any time...we love it. From what I understand most of those fellas had a hard time after it.

  3. "Ignore the large group of Stetsoned tan fellas in the back..." That made me smile. There are always some imposters in these things aren't there? Ours is the large black button in the box of Draughts pieces.

    1. Ha.

      I'm surprised they weren't whipped into the game by Col. Blake...he seemed determined that neither side should lose.

  4. This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
    own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to
    say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

    my site -

  5. I enjoy looking through a post that will make men and women think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    my homepage ...

  6. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your
    web site, how can i subscribe for a blog web
    site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.

    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

    my website vertical leap exercises

  7. I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and coverage!

    Keep up the superb works guys I've incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.

    Feel free to visit my weblog ... exercises to improve vertical jump

  8. This really takes me back to my childhood, when my brother and I set up a battle using plastic army men, then took turns using firecrackers for artillery. We determined how many "shots" each got using 1 six-sided die for each piece. Fun and dangerous days they were.

  9. We need to sort this out. Get back on Google Reader. I can't even read the Delta post on the web. Not available apparently. WHAT ARE YOU DOING BARTLAM! COME BACK!

  10. Hi there! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up
    for the great information you have right here on this post.
    I am returning to your web site for more soon.

    Feel free to surf to my weblog; workouts to improve vertical

  11. This is the right site for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic.
    You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).

    You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been discussed for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just great!

    Also visit my homepage;

  12. Hey very nice blog!

    Check out my weblog :: Exercises to increase vertical jump

  13. I read this piece of writing fully about the difference of
    newest and preceding technologies, it's remarkable article.

    my web-site; shell vacation club at vino bello resort

  14. This post is truly a good one it assists new the web people, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

    Here is my site: exercises to Increase vertical jump

  15. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!

    It's the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    Feel free to visit my weblog ::

  16. Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the
    great work.

    Here is my homepage -

  17. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog
    and wished to say that I've really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I'll
    be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    my site exercises to improve vertical jump

  18. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful information specially the last part :)
    I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

    Look at my web blog;

  19. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am going through difficulties with your RSS.
    I don't know why I can't subscribe to it. Is there
    anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anybody who
    knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!


    Feel free to visit my weblog exercises to improve vertical leap

  20. Hey outstanding website! Does running a blog such
    as this require a lot of work? I've virtually no understanding of coding however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, should you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject but I simply had to ask. Many thanks!

    Also visit my webpage - exercises to improve vertical jump

  21. hey there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked
    up anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical
    points using this web site, since I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I'm complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I'm adding this
    RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

    My page: Exercises to increase vertical leap