July 03, 2012

Unit Preview No. 6 - Naval Brigade Detachments (~1879)

The Naval Brigade in the Anglo-Zulu War was a force of Royal Marines and sailors. At least individuals of the brigade/Royal Navy were present in every major battle of the war. They were employed as signal men, artillery (gatling, rocket launcher) crews and also fought alongside the regular infantry. They were mainly used in the coastal region.
The men, whites and blacks (the so-called Kroomen*) alike, were mostly from HMS's, "Active", "Shah", "Tenedos" & "Boadicea".
To distinguish the sailors in these detachments different combinations of uniform dress were worn.

HMS Active: Blue jumpers, white trousers, white caps
HMS Tenedos: Blue jumpers, blue trousers, white (later blue) cap cover
HMS Boadicea: White jumper, white trousers, blue cap cover
HMS Shah: Blue jumpers, blue trousers, sennet hat

The men were equipped with the Martini-Heny rifle just like the regular infantry. Instead of the conventional bayonet they used a special type of cutlass-bayonet sidearm.

Sailors in the Naval Brigade (Detachment from HMS "Tenedos") 


Black Sailors (Kroomen) in the Naval Brigade (Detachment from HMS "Tenedos")

Sailors in the Naval Brigade (Detachment from HMS "Active")

Further Reading

Read more about the Naval Brigade in this article by MrGreaves [...]

On wikipedia

Some authentic photographs (scroll down about halfway)

Link to the game thread on TWcenter.net

*Fun fact: Kroomen is sometimes understood as an "africanized" form of the english word crewmen but originally refers to the Westafrican Kru-people to which most of the black sailors, then in British service, did belong.

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