The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 is one of the most discussed and analysed of all the colonial wars of the Victorian era and remains crucially important in understanding the history of the British Empire. The Battle of Isandlwana, when the might of the British army was defeated by an indigenous foe, caused massive shock waves back home and was a reminder of the perils of taking military superiority for granted. The determined stand of the Zulu nation has come to symbolize the unequal struggle of the southern African peoples against dispossession, and their defeat paved the way for a century of exploitation and oppression.
Drawing on the archives of the National Army Museum, this book recreates this extraordinary campaign, from the opening stages of the war, the Battle of Isandlwana and the defence of Rorke's Drift, to the defeat of the Zulu nation at Ulundi and the capture of King Cetshwayo. Letters and diaries, from the ordinary soldiers' to senior officers', including the British commander-in-chief Lieutenant General Lord Chelmsford, give new insights into the harsh reality of the fighting.
The quiet of the day is shattered by the rhythmical thud of spear on shield and an eerie ululating war cry drifts over the plains. Zulu, the movie, graphically depicted outnumbered British troops - led by a heroic Michael Caine - defending the mission station at Rorke's Drift against a marauding enemy, fresh from victory at Isandlwana. Undoubtedly dramatic and seemingly based on true events. These two famous battles form the backbone of the Anglo-Zulu War and of this book. Victorian society's obsession with empire expansion led them inexorably to crush the Zulus under hobnailed heel, heralding a century of oppression for the people of southern Africa. When steering a pathway through such a complex and controversial topic a lesser writer might easily lose his way. Thankfully, Ian Knight sticks to the trusty adage "keep it simple", without forgetting to include enough meat, plus intriguing contemporary illustrations, to keep even experts well satisfied. (Kirkus UK)
Series: Pan Grand Strategy Series
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 31st December 2004
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1