Battle of isandlwana impi yasesandlwana 22 january 1879. In english literature there are probably about 20 to 25 books. The british expected a quick and easy victory but the zulu warriors were no push overs. The shock of the defeat and loss at isandlwana on 22 nd january 1879 caused a catastrophic drop in morale among the british forces invading zululand colonel evelyn wood vcs number four column, the most northerly british force, invaded zululand on 6 th december 1879. The previous battle in the british battles sequence is the battle of kandahar. The battle at khambula significantly reduced the ability of the zulus to resist the british invasion of cetshwayos zululand kingdom. Isandlwana resulted in the british taking a much more aggressive approach in the anglozulu war, leading to a. Isandlwana was the most disastrous defeat the british ever suffered at. Today, i will tell you about the battle of isandlwana, the battle where the mighty great britain lost to african warriorsyes you heard me right. Isandlwana 1879 by edmund yorke, 9780752462011, available at book depository with free delivery worldwide. Isandlwana is the latest of this highly respected experts studies of this fascinating war in victorias reign against a brave and skillful foe, in particular the story of the british armys greatest disaster and defeat in. All told, the battle cost the british 858 killed as well as 471 of their african troops for a total of 1,329 dead. Nnc is often ignored in the assessment of british battle casualties at isandlwana.
The battle took place in 1857 between the zulu kingdom and the. The battle of isandlwana proved to be the worst defeat ever suffered by british forces against native opposition. The battle at rorkes drift is text book study on courage,perserverance and. Inspire a love of reading with prime book box for kids. The battle was a decisive victory for the zulus and caused the defeat of the first british invasion of zululand. We know the approximate numbers involved, the weapons, the tactics, the commanders, the terrain over which it was fought, the sequence of manoeuvres during the battle and the final outcome.
Although it was a single shot breech loader, the rate of fire would be about 12 well ai. If you read both books, you should have an excellent understanding of. The battle of isandlwana is memorialized in the 1979 film, zulu dawn, a prequel to the 1964 movie, zulu. When you become a member you get access to hundreds of articles from the 34 journals produced to date. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. The battle of nyezane, fought on the same day as isandlwana, indicates a zulu readiness to attack on the day of the dead moon if driven to do so by a tactical opportunity.
Browse the amazon editors picks for the best books of 2019, featuring our favorite reads. In december 1878 sir bartle frere, the british high commissioner for south africa, issued an ultimatum to cetshwayo, the zulu king, that was designed to be impossible to. Restoring isandlwana the battle of isandlwana by charles fripp depicts a humiliating defeat suffered by the british army during the zulu war 1879. I would recommend zulu victory by ron lock for the best written account of the battle and this book for the best written background material to the battle. British empire battles the zulu at isandlwana and rorkes drift. Would the british army have won the battle of isandlwana if.
In this battle, a small british force was defeated by a large but primitive force of zulu warriors. One of the members is travelling to the battlefields in a few days time. Ospreys study of the battle of isandlwana, which was fought on 22 january 1879 and was the greatest defeat suffered by the british army during the zulu war 1879. Battle of isandlwana 22nd january 1879 today is the anniversary of two battles that were fought only miles apart. From the start the 1,700 defenders underestimated the danger descending upon them. A very balanced book in its reevaluation of the battles. The zulu had several battle formations, each mimicking an animal in some way. This occurred in kwazulunatal, where approximately 22,000 zulu. The resounding victory for the zulu at the battle of isandlwana demonstrates how the proper employment of the military principles of mass and surprise can contribute to military success. One a great defeat for the british and the other the action in which the greatest number of victoria crosses were handed out. Battle of isandlwana on 22nd january 1879 in the zulu war.
A zulu army of 24,000 warriors had moved undetected to within striking distance of the british camp in the shadow of isandlwana mountain. On january 22, 1879, the british army got a taste of colonial medicine when it suffered its worst defeat in its history against a native force armed mostly with archaic weapons. It is located 169 kilometres 105 mi north by northwest of durban. Faintly on the right hand side top there is a thin line of trees, just to the left another line.
The result of the blunders was a massacre of all the british forces and their native levies at isandlwana. As the brave warrior fell on the ground, after this selfless act, not a single warrior moved back an inch. Battle of isandlwana on 22 january 1879 was the first major encounter in the anglozulu war between the british empire and the zulu kingdom. Eleven days after the british commenced their invasion of zululand in south africa, a zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the british main column consisting of about 1,800 british, colonial and. Great britain lost to zulu warriors in south africa on 22 january 1879. Mar 28, 2002 description of the battle failed to convey the situation very clearly. Sep 22, 2009 9 when the battle began, there were only about 1,700 british troops at isandlwana, including a few hundred natal native contingent soldiersnative africans fighting for the british. The battle of isandlwana on 22 january 1879, the first major encounter in the anglozulu war, witnessed the worst single days loss of british. In a coercive move to persuade the zulus to cooperate in a federation of british colonies and boer republics in south africa, a field force under lieutenantgeneral lord chelmsford entered zululand in 1879. Hordes of zulu warriors had suddenly spilt over a nearby hilltop a few hours before and now had them pinned against an obscure rise called isandlwana or isandlwana, from which there was no escape. Most people will be aware of the battle via the film zulu dawn. The star power of peter otoole, burt lancaster, john mills and simon ward fuels the film, which depicts british inefficiency and overconfidence as reasons for the disaster. The total british losses included 1 000 martinihenry rifles, two field artillery guns, 400 000 rounds of ammunition, more 1 000 draught animals and wagons.
The zulu victory at the battle of isandlwana 1879 on 22 january 1879, exactly 9 years ago this wekk, some 20 000 warriors of zulu king cetshwayo kampande encircled 1 774 british invaders and killed 1 329 of them within two hours of fierce handtohand combat. Eleven days before the historic isandlwana battle, during which the british army was to suffer its biggest defeat ever at the hands of a native military foe, british high commissioner in south africa at the time, sir bartle frere, had launched an invasion of zululand after the expiry of his impossible ultimatum to the zulu king cetshwayo had expired. Jan 05, 2012 battle of isandlwana 22nd january 1879 today is the anniversary of two battles that were fought only miles apart. In 1874 sir henry bartle frere was appointed high commissioner of south africa and sent to unify the country as a british dominion. The trail marks the route taken by survivors fleeing from the british camp at the base of isandlwana following its destruction by a 20,000 strong zulu army on the 22nd january 1879. The battle of isandlwana, 22nd january 1879 the battle of isandlwana was fought during the morning and early afternoon of 22nd january 1879 when a force of over 20,000 zulus attacked a portion of the main british invasion force. During the reign of queen victoria great britain built an impressive empire that spanned the globe. The british army had suffered its worst defeat against an indigenous foe with vastly inferior military technology. The battle of isandlwana remains the single greatest defeat of the british army at the hands of a native army. The tragedy of isandlwana the anglozulu war book 1, crucible of honour. Isandlwana 1879 by edmund yorke available from rakuten kobo. This miniatures wargame is intended for classroom use with two teams of students grades 68.
May 16, 2016 british empire battles the zulu at isandlwana and rorkes drift. The battle of isandlwana on 22 january 1879, the first major encounter in the anglozulu war, witnessed the worst single days loss of british troops between the battle of waterloo in 1815 and the opening campaigns of the first world war in august 1914. One of their most colorful military campaigns took place in 1879 when the british provoked a war with the zulus in south africa. The zulus in the area were of the abaqulusi, a tribal group vigorously loyal to cetshwayo. The battle of isandlwana fought on january 22, 1879 was the greatest defeat suffered by the british army during the victorian era. Mar 21, 2016 posts about battle of isandlwana written by the zulu kingdom the zulu kingdom is an african culture and heritage blog showcasing the fascinating stories of unsung heroes and heroines. Lord chelmsfords hope of a quick defeat of cetshwayos zulu army was quickly dashed with the annih. The first major encounter between the british army and zulu kingdomone of britains greatest military disasters putting the reader at the forefront of the action, this is the story of january 22, 1879, when a 20,000strong zulu army attacked 1,700 british and colonial forcesspears and shields clashing with the latest military technology. The first major encounter between the british army and zulu kingdomone of britains greatest military disasters putting the reader at the forefront of the action, this is the story of january 22, 1879, when a 20,000strong zulu army attacked 1,700 british and colonial forcesspears and shields clashing with the late. The roving band of warriors that lord chelmsfords scouts had seen was actually only a portion of king cetshwayos planned diversion. Jun 16, 2018 the battle of isandlwana was one of the worst military blunders in history. But before going back on display in battle gallery, this iconic artwork needed some tlc. Eleven days after the british commenced their invasion of zululand in south africa, a zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the british main column consisting of about 1,800 british. Commemorating the battle of isandlwana home facebook.
How accurate was the movie zulu dawn to the actual battle. Jan 29, 2014 the battle of isandlwana is a battle of pride as it reminds us that our ancestors did not quietly accept colonization, and were not easily defeated. The battle of isandlwana was one of the worst military blunders in history. Isandlwana was the most disastrous defeat the british ever suffered at the hands of a native force. It is believed that 3,000 zulus were either killed in the battle or died of wounds. The battle of isandlwana fought on 22 january 1879 was the greatest defeat suffered by the british army during the victorian era. Description of the battle failed to convey the situation very clearly. The british suffered a major reversal at the battle of isandlwana 22nd january 1879. They fought, and even defeated the european colonizers, as is the case for cetshwayos forces. Isandhlwana on 22 january 1879 was the first major encounter in the anglozulu war between the british empire and the zulu kingdom. Jan 01, 2005 the battle of isandlwana fought on january 22, 1879 was the greatest defeat suffered by the british army during the victorian era. Here are a few of the examples of the kind of articles that youll be able to read when you become a member of the anglo zulu war historical society.
The outcome of the battle also exhibits a failure of the british leadership to adhere to the principles of mass and unity of command. Eleven days after the british commenced their invasion of zululand in south africa, a zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the british main column consisting of about 1,800. On 20 january a temporary base camp was established under the distinctive hill of isandlwana. Much of the historical theorising on the battle also tends to focus on events following the arrival of colonel anthony durnford at isandlwana camp at approximately 1030. The battle of isandlwana on 22 january 1879 was the first major encounter in the anglozulu war between the british empire and the zulu kingdom. How accurate was the movie zulu dawn to the actual. The battle of isandlwana was the first major encounter in which the british had used the new breach loading rifles and very little was known about their ammunition requirements. The first major encounter between the british army and zulu kingdomone of. Isandlwana memorial memorial commemorating the battle of isandlwana during the anglozulu war 1879, kwazulunatal province, south africa. Isandlwana must conjure a grisly compulsion over readers judging by the number of books written. It is one of the national army museums most popular paintings. Would the british army have won the battle of isandlwana. The measure of respect that the british gained for their opponents as a result of isandlwana can be seen in that in none of the other engagements of the zulu war did the british attempt to fight again in their typical linear formation, known famously as the thin red line, in an openfield battle with the main zulu impi.
Battles of isandlwana and rorkes drift south african. When the fighting was over, almost all 1 300 british troops had been killed, with a similar number of zulus falling during the battle. By sheer numbers and force of attack, the zulu regiments won the battle of isandlwana. The eighty rounds issued each man would prove woefully inadequate for a rifle which could fire twelve rounds a minute. The battle of isandlwana a great zulu victory was one of the worst defeats ever to befall a british army. The name is said to mean abomasum, the second stomach of the cow, because it reminded the zulus. Aftermath of the battle of isandlwana 1869 last week i fulfilled one of my ambitions by walking the fugitives trail in kwazulunatal, south africa. At isandlwana, they used their buffalo horn formation, in which the large center group the head would charge the enemy head on, while two smaller groups the horns would flank the enemy and attack their flanks and rear. The battle of islawanda was the single greatest defeat of the british army by a colonial force ever.
As luck has it will be the same month the battle of isandlwana, so if you can wait until he returns hopefully he will be posting some photos giving a true colour of how it would have been back in 1879. Casualties among the african forces tended to be lower as they filtered away from the battle during its early stages. The martini henry rifle had a maximum range of around yards and in the hands of a british infantry soldier became seriously effective at around 400 yards. Ram in december 1878 sir bartle frere, the british high commissioner for south africa, issued an ultimatum to cetshwayo, the zulu king, that was designed to be impossible to satisfy. There were two stumbling blocks the boercontrolled south african republic and the kingdom of zululand. Adrian greaves book debunks the myths that all the other recent works have debunked,lack of amnunition etc, but is concise and well argued. Edmund yorke dissects the battle and the military decisions that allowed the massacre in concise and compelling fashion. If you read both books, you should have an excellent understanding of the entire isandlwana campaign. Battle of isandlwana 1879 ad board game boardgamegeek.
The casualty figures quoted underestimate the cost. January 22, 1879 would soon go down as the worst defeat the british ever suffered in a single action against an indigenous colonial enemy, and it would spawn an even more famous second battle, lasting until january 23. If you have not read the battle story series of books, you have been missing some very readable history. Battle of isandlwana 22 january 1879 anglozulu war. At noon on january 22nd, 1879, a british camp, garrisoned by over 1700 troops, was attacked and overwhelmed by 20,000 zulu warriors.1506 1170 1237 1399 92 241 1484 209 808 1343 655 328 1391 1309 530 1302 355 625 1514 1222 512 642 390 1 139 1402 261 823 626 624 402 180 1213 545 906 497