Talk:Shangani Patrol

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Featured article Shangani Patrol is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Date Process Result
April 24, 2012 Good article nominee Listed
May 28, 2012 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Is there a Ndebele account of the battle?[edit]

The entry as written appears to rely entirely in English accounts of the battle. Are there Ndebele accounts of what happened? Did Wilson really die last?

I ask because for many years mainstream mass media accounts of the Native-American victory at the Little Big Horn represented exclusively the "American" (United States forces) perspective. This included the "conventional wisdom" that Custer died last, directing the defense of a hill top.

However, from the 1930s (?) owards efforts were made by mainsteam historians and other researchers to record the accounts of the surviving Native-American participants in the battle. Much was learned -- including the belief by some Native-Americans that Custer had been shot off his horse early in the battle, and that this stalled the attack on the Native-Americans' encampment. I believe other Native-Americans disagreed with this, the point is that the battle did not necessarily go as the mainstream American media initially assumed it had.

From what I have read, once the elderly Native-Americans were assured that there would be no retribution for the events of 50-60 years earlier most them them were willing to talk with historians, give them the names of the dead and wounded in the Native-American side, and so on.

Did any English historians undertake similar research in (what became) Rhodesia? There would have been many Ndebele survivors to talk with -- and least for the first few decades after the war ended. Can anybody out there fill this in?( (talk) 12:21, 21 January 2011 (UTC))

I hope I've resolved these concerns. Cliftonian (talk) 03:39, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Shangani Patrol/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Dana boomer (talk · contribs) 22:05, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi! I'll take this article for review, and should have comments up shortly. Dana boomer (talk) 22:05, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    • I'm making a few minor copyedits as I go along. Please feel free to revert or discuss anything you don't like.
    • Okay.
    • Prelude, "Forbes interrogated a captive Matabele," Where did he get a captive Matabele?
    • They regularly picked up stragglers. The source doesn't say precisely, but I presume he was one of them. I've added ", as well as stragglers" to the sentence about regularly finding Matabele camps.
    • Forbes' retreat, "Dawson was the first non-Matabele to learn of the last stand." Didn't Forbes patrol know that they had made a last stand?
    • Forbes didn't know what had happened north of the river, because the only survivors of the patrol were Burnham, Ingram and Gooding, all of whom had left before the last stand. And, of course, all who remained there were dead.
    • Ah, I guess I wasn't getting the implied difference between Forbes' presuming that they were all dead vs. Dawson knowing they were. All good. Dana boomer (talk) 22:10, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Cultural impact, link Mashonaland?
    • Okay.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    • File:Lobengula-image.jpg has a review needed tag
    • For the two photographs in the Men of the Shangani Patrol section, why is it necessary to say the photos are undated?
    • File:Shangani-memorial-panel-rho.jpg - First, this image has several redundant license tags. Second, they all claim life of author + 70 years, yet we aren't given any information on when the author died.
    • Have reviewed Lobengula pic, it looks okay to me. On the next two, I guess it isn't necessary to say they're undated photos. On the last one, I've added a "PD-Zimbabwe" tag, as this is an old Rhodesian postcard. The "Henry Irving, Horley" who took the photograph is not identified further, and we don't know when he died. However, this is a postcard, and I'm not sure what the rules surrounding this are. What do you think? Cliftonian (talk) 23:10, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I'm still not sure if that's the right tag, because we know the author, but not the death date, and that template says if the author is known, it's life+70, which gets us right back where we started. Do we know the original release/publication date of the postcard? In any scenario, I've asked User:Nikkimaria to take a look - she does image reviews at FAC, so I'm hoping she, or one of her TPSs, will be able to help us. Dana boomer (talk) 01:57, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Okay, thanks for that. The image was originally uploaded in 2005 by Humansdorpie, who no longer appears to be active on Wikipedia, having left back in 2006. He describes it as an "original black and white postcard", which would point to its being late 19th century, but I know this is somewhat tenuous. Looking for "Henry Irving, Horley", this appears to refer to a photographer named Henry Irving from Horley, Surrey, England, who appears to have been quite prolific in his time, focussing mostly on plants and so on: I have found references to him here (in 1900), here (in 1904), here (running up to 1915), here (apparently running up to "c.1930s"). I can't find anything further than that. Cliftonian (talk) 11:14, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I found that stuff on the author too, and if he died in the 1930s, then we're good. However, I didn't find anything that stated that specifically (he just seemed to go inactive around then). Per Nikki:
    • "Hey Dana. My understanding is that when the date of death of the author is unknown and cannot be determined through due diligence, the work is considered to be PD 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation in the US - not sure if that applies to foreign works. I also know that some non-US governments consider works where the author's date of death is unknown to be pseudonymous, though I don't know if Zimbabwe is one of those countries. Do we know in what year this postcard was first published? It might qualify under the US pre-1923 rule, or the pre-1978-with-no-copyright rule. Either way, unless it can be demonstrated to be PD in Zimbabwe, someone should probably re-upload it here. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:30, 24 April 2012 (UTC)"
    • So, basically, if I'm reading this right, we need either the publication date or the author's death date to make this image stick. Dana boomer (talk) 19:17, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Hmmm. Well, I strongly suspect if we were able to get the correct information, then this image would be okay, but I simply cannot find a definite answer for either of these questions to back up my hunch. We may have to lose this image, sadly. If you can't find anything else on it, I suggest we get rid of it. Cliftonian (talk) 21:56, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I've replaced the image with one of two gold sovereigns; I actually think this is a minor improvement. What do you think? Cliftonian (talk) 22:05, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree that if we could find the proper info, the relief pic would most likely be OK. However, I like the new sovereigns image. Dana boomer (talk) 22:10, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  7. Overall:

Overall a very nice article. I have a few, quite minor, prose quibbles. I'm mainly waiting on the resolution of the one image issue before passing the article, so placing this on hold for the moment. Dana boomer (talk) 01:59, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Thank you very much for the review and the kind words! I hope we can resolve this soon. Cliftonian (talk) 11:14, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Now that the image description has been fixed, everything looks good to go. Very nice work. Dana boomer (talk) 22:10, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for another very pleasant review, Dana! Cliftonian (talk) 22:14, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Is this story true or just propaganda?[edit]

It seems it exists nowhere but on the English section of Wikipedia (with the exception of Portugese and Dutch). I can't find any mention of it in German or French books about Africa/Colonial stories. It looks it was grossly exagerated for British propaganda purporse. Thanks for any information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:00, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

The story is true—see the list of sources at the bottom. The article makes clear that much of its significance is because of the near-mythological standing it achieved in the contemporary British public imagination and later in Rhodesian history, which I suppose you could call exaggeration for propaganda purposes, though I feel this description isn't really fair. The absence of this subject on Wikipedias in foreign languages can be attributed to the lack of editors who write on Rhodesian/Zimbabwean and other southern African subjects. Those that exist are likely to write in English, the lingua franca of the region (or perhaps Afrikaans). In the event, this article also exists in Portuguese and German (Deutsch, not Dutch).
The story is mentioned in Russian and Hebrew books I have encountered, admittedly without as much attention to detail, but this is to be expected. I would expect a similar event in 19th-century Siberia to have sundry Russian-language sources and not so much in English.
I hope this is helpful. Kind regards, Cliftonian (talk) 12:56, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Zimbabwean viewpoint[edit]

This article discusses how the battle was mythologized in contemporary Britain and later Rhodesia. What about Zimbabwe? Is the patrol still held in high regard there? Is the memorial a prominent tourist attraction or has it been neglected? Brutannica (talk) 16:14, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

I've put a little bit in about this; hope this helps. Basically it is still there as a tourist site but it is no longer the site of national pilgrimage it was in the Rhodesian era. Cliftonian (talk) 17:47, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

With all due respect: I suppose the attackers may have witnessed ...[edit]

... the out-of-ammunition British soldiers standing up and shaking hands with each other, but how was it established that these soldiers sang "God Save The Queen"? Would any of the surviving attackers had any means of knowing or recognizing this anthem? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:45, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

  • The Matabele were not as cut off from the outside world as many might assume. Matabele had visited white settlements before the war, and there had been white people living in Bulawayo for years. Some Matabele had even visited England in 1889 representing Lobemgula. Several Matabele present at the battle recognised the famous scout Burnham and knew him by name. It is not inconceivable that a Matabele might know the tune of God Save the Queen (if not all the words). Alternatively one of the attackers might have hummed the tune later to someone who did know the song. Cliftonian (talk) 20:46, 18 March 2014 (UTC)