February 12, 2012

Another unit preview for African Conquest

Natal Mounted Police
The Natal Mounted Police (NMP) was a fulltime police force in the British colony of Natal which was created, mainly from recruits from England, after the Langalibalele Rebellion in 1873 by Major Dartnell on behalf of the Natal government. The uniforms probably resembled those of all British Southafrican colonial police forces. The force mustered well below 200 men at its peak.
The unit includes a trooper and a bugler model. The troopers were equipped with breech-loading single-shot calibre .577 Snider carbines.

Click images to enlarge

Natal Native Contingent Company
Prior to the planned invasion of the Zulu nation in 1879 a number of native auxilliary troops were mustered. The biggest part was made up of the Natal Native Contingent (NNC) with three infantry regiments where each had 2000-3000 soldiers organized in 2-3 battalions (20-30 companies). These troops were in general fresh recruits, poorly trained, led and equipped. Almost only the European officers and non-commisioned officers (NCOs) in these units had firearms and at times the officers didn't even speak the language of their subordinates. As not enough European quality personnel for these troops could be found a lot of less than desirable officers and NCO's were accepted which in turn deterriorated the quality of these troops even more.
The only uniform piece was a red strip of clothing around the head which served the main purpose of helping the British to differentiate their men from their Zulu counterparts.
The men carried traditional weapons, like clubs, shields and assagai-spears with them.

The pictures show a further unit which is solely made up of riflemen. When several NNC companies operated together it was not unusual to put the men with rifles (normally the black NCO's) in the front ranks. But due to fears of the Natal government only one in ten of the black auxilliaries in a native company was equipped with a rifle and five rounds of ammunition. The rifles were usually five Martini-Henry rifles and five obsolete Enfield percussion rifles.
The unit includes a soldier and a European officer model.

Click images to enlarge

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