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Ian Knight - Author

About the Author

Books by Ian Knight

Australian Bushrangers 1788-1880

Australian Bushrangers 1788-1880

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2019

The first 'bushrangers' or frontier outlaws were escaped or time-expired convicts, who took to the wilderness - 'the bush' - in New South Wales and on the island of Tasmania. Initially, the only Crown forces available were redcoats from the small, scattered garrisons, but by 1825 the problem of outlawry led to the formation of the first Mounted Police from these soldiers. The gold strikes of the 1860s attracted a new group of men who preferred to get rich by the gun rather than the shovel. The roads, and later railways, that linked the mines with the cities offered many tempting targets and were preyed upon by the bushrangers. This 1860s generation boasted many famous outlaws who passed into legend for their boldness. The last outbreak came in Victoria in 1880, when the notorious Kelly Gang staged several hold-ups and deliberately ambushed the pursuing police. Their last stand at Glenrowan has become a legendary episode in Australian history. Fully illustrated with some rare period photographs, this is the fascinating story of Australia's most infamous outlaws and the men tasked with tracking them down.

Boer Guerrilla vs British Mounted Soldier

Boer Guerrilla vs British Mounted Soldier

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/07/2017

Waged across an inhospitable terrain which varied from open African savannah to broken mountain country and arid semi-desert, the Anglo-Boer wars of 1880-81 and 1899-1902 pitted the British Army and its allies against the Boers' commandos. The nature of warfare across these campaigns was shaped by the realities of the terrain and by Boer fighting techniques. Independent and individualistic, the Boers were not professional soldiers but a civilian militia who were bound by the terms of the 'Commando system' to come together to protect their community against an outside threat. By contrast the British Army was a full-time professional body with an established military ethos, but its over-dependence on conventional infantry tactics led to a string of Boer victories. This fully illustrated study examines the evolving nature of Boer military techniques, and contrasts them with the British experience, charting the development of effective British mounted tactics from the first faltering steps of 1881 through to the final successes of 1902.

Anatomy of Zulu Army

Anatomy of Zulu Army

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2015

Forces of the independent Zulu kingdom inflicted a crushing defeat on British imperial forces at Isandlwana in January 1879. The Zulu Army was not, however, a professional force, unlike its British counterpart, but was the mobilized manpower of the Zulu state. Ian Knight details how the Zulu army functioned and ties its role firmly to the broader context of Zulu society and culture. The Zulu army had its roots in the early groups of young men who took part in combats between tribes, but such warfare was limited to disputes over cattle ownership, grazing rights, or avenging insults. In the early nineteenth century the Zulu nation began a period of rapid expansion, and King Shaka began to reform his forces into regular military units. Ian Knight charts the development and training of the men that formed the impi which later operated so successfully under King Cetshwayo. He analysis the Zulu's fighting methods, weapons and philosophy, all of which led to the disciplined force that faced the British army in 1879.

Zulu War 1879

Zulu War 1879

Author: Ian Knight Format: eBook Release Date: 06/06/2014

The Zulu War of 1879 remains one of the best known British colonial wars and included two battles whose names reverberate through history. At Isandlwana the Zulus inflicted a crushing defeat on the British; the gallant British defence at Rorke's Drift followed and re-established British prestige. Yet as this book shows, there was more to the war than this. Six months of brutal fighting followed, until the Zulu kingdom was broken up, its king imprisoned and the whole structure of the Zulu state destroyed. Years of internecine strife followed, until the British finally annexed Zululand as a colonial possession.

British Infantryman vs Zulu Warrior

British Infantryman vs Zulu Warrior

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/10/2013

The short but savage Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 pitched well-equipped but complacent British soldiers into combat with the Zulu, one of history's finest fighting forces. The clashes between these two different armies prompted tactical innovation on both sides, as the British and their Zulu opponents sought to find the optimal combination of mobility, protection and firepower. This engrossing study traces the changing face of infantry combat in the Anglo-Zulu War. Three major engagements are detailed: the Zulu ambush at Nyezane, repulsed by the British using their established tactics; the shocking defeat and massacre of outmanoeuvred British forces in savage close-quarter fighting at iSandlwana; and the British victory at Khambula following their adoption of more condensed firing lines and prepared positions.

The New Zealand Wars 1820-72

The New Zealand Wars 1820-72

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2013

Between 1845 and 1872, various groups of Maori were involved in a series of wars of resistance against British settlers. The Maori had a fierce and long-established warrior tradition and subduing them took a lengthy British Army commitment, only surpassed in the Victorian period by that on the North-West Frontier of India. Warfare had been endemic in pre-colonial New Zealand and Maori groups maintained fortified villages or pas. The small early British coastal settlements were tolerated, and in the 1820s a chief named Hongi Hika travelled to Britain with a missionary and returned laden with gifts. He promptly exchanged these for muskets, and began an aggressive 15-year expansion. By the 1860s many Maori had acquired firearms and had perfected their bush-warfare tactics. In the last phase of the wars a religious movement, Pai Maarire ('Hau Hau'), inspired remarkable guerrilla leaders such as Te Kooti Arikirangi to renewed resistance. This final phase saw a reduction in British Army forces. European victory was not total, but led to a negotiated peace that preserved some of the Maori people's territories and freedoms.

Zulu Rising

Zulu Rising

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/2011

The battle of iSandlwana was the single most destructive incident in the 150-year history of the British colonisation of South Africa. In one bloody day over 800 British troops, 500 of their allies and at least 2000 Zulus were killed in a staggering defeat for the British empire. The consequences of the battle echoed brutally across the following decades as Britain took ruthless revenge on the Zulu people. In Zulu Rising Ian Knight shows that the brutality of the battle was the result of an inevitable clash between two aggressive warrior traditions. For the first time he gives full weight to the Zulu experience and explores the reality of the fighting through the eyes of men who took part on both sides, looking into the human heart of this savage conflict. Based on new research, including previously unpublished material, Zulu oral history, and new archaeological evidence from the battlefield, this is the definitive account of a battle that has shaped the political fortunes of the Zulu people to this day.

Voices from the Zulu War

Voices from the Zulu War

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/11/2010

The forces of the independent Zulu kingdom inflicted a crushing defeat on British imperial forces at Isandlwana in January 1879. The Zulu army was not, however, a professional force, unlike its British counterpart, but was the mobilised manpower of the Zulu state. In this ground-breaking study, Ian Knight details just how the Zulu army functioned and ties its role firmly to the broader context of Zulu society and culture.After surveying the Zulu army from its creation during the wars of Shaka in the early nineteenth century, and the subsequent development of Zulu fighting methods, Ian Knight focuses in detail on the structure and condition of the Zulu army on the eve of the war in 1879. This indispensable book describes such key topics as enlistment, organisation, training and equipment. He also considers Zulu war aims and strategy, their view of artillery and cavalry, and how they were perceived by their colonial neighbours. Most of all, he reveals how the Zulu army functioned in wartime, from preparatory rituals to battlefield tactics, and the shock of battle itself.

Maori Fortifications

Maori Fortifications

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2009

The Maori people of New Zealand were experienced field engineers and it was common practice to protect villages with surrounding entrenchments and wooden palisades, known as pas. However, it was not until 1845, with the first fighting between the Maori and the British, that it became clear just how strong and sophisticated the Maori fortifications were. For the best part of 20 years, the Maori held off the dominant and technologically superior British forces, by adapting and developing their defences in response to new British assaults. This book explores the evolution and design of Maori fortifications, and charts the course of a conflict that would ultimately see the British break the Maori pas, leading to a bitter guerrilla bush war.

Companion to the Anglo-zulu War

Companion to the Anglo-zulu War

Author: Ian Knight Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/10/2008

The Anglo-Zulu War was a defining episode in British imperial history, and it is still a subject of intense interest. The Zulu victory at Isandlwana, the heroic British defence of Rorke's Drift and the eventual British triumph are among the most closely researched events of the colonial era. In this historical companion, Ian Knight, one of the foremost authorities on the war and the Zulu kingdom, provides an essential reference guide to a short, bloody campaign that had an enduring impact on the history of Britain and southern Africa. He gives succinct summaries of the issues, events, armies and individuals involved. His work is an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in the history of the period, in the operations of the British army in southern Africa, and in the Zulu kingdom.

A Door to Your Imagination

A Door to Your Imagination

Author: Ian Knight, Heath Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/05/2008

With His Face to the Foe

With His Face to the Foe

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2007

On the afternoon of 1 June 1879, in a muddy gully in the heart of Zululand, the ambitions of France's Bonaparte dynasty came to a tragic and violent end. A patrol of British troops, in the vanguard of an invading column, was ambushed by the Zulu, and fled, leaving three men dead on the field. Among them was Prince Louis Napoleon, the exiled heir to the Imperial throne in France, the last of the Bonapartes. What curious combination of circumstances had brought the Prince Imperial to southern Africa, wearing the uniform of - of all things - a British officer? His was a romantic and melancholy story. Chased out of France after the debacle of the Franco-Prussian War, the Emperor Napoleon III had sought refuge with his family in England, where they were befriended by Queen Victoria. Napoleon's son, Louis, had grown to manhood in exile, succeeding on his father's death to the title of Napoleon IV, and awaiting a call to reclaim his throne, which might never have come. Raised in the shadow of the reputation of the great Napoleon, he hungered for military glory, and by special dispensation was allowed to train as a British officer. As a foreign Prince, however, and a Bonaparte, there was never any hope that he might serve in the British army, but when the Anglo-Zulu war broke out in 1879 he was allowed to go to Africa as an observer, attached to General Lord Chelmsford's staff. The war seemed to offer him the perfect chance for military experience without European political repercussions, and with a minimum of danger. This was not to be.

British Fortifications in Zululand 1879

British Fortifications in Zululand 1879

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/09/2005

Throughout the Anglo-Zulu wars, the British fortified almost every position they occupied in Zululand, from permanent column depots to temporary halts on the lines of communication. This book explores the extensive fortifications constructed around posts such as Eshowe, Fort Pearson and Fort Chelmsford, as well as the lives of the garrisons who manned these sites. These forts were built to defend against infantry attacks of overwhelming numbers, as opposed to artillery bombardment or mining, and the text, illustrations and photographs describe their distinctive style and construction. Field and temporary fortifications are also covered, making this a packed and informative reference work, and bringing new life to this popular subject.

Boer Commando 1881-1902

Boer Commando 1881-1902

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/03/2004

The Boer lifestyle of hunting for sport and profit honed the skills of field-craft, horsemanship and marksmanship, making them a formidable force in the field and well suited to guerrilla operations. This book describes the life and combat experiences of a typical Boer in this key period. Using meticulously researched analysis and comment, and the experiences of a composite character, Johannes de Bruyn, a revealing portrait of Boer life and military operations is drawn. The action at Laing's Neck, Majuba, the Zulu Civil War (where Boers fought for adventure and financial reward above all and the Second Anglo-Boer War are covered in this packed and informative treatment.

The Zulu War 1879

The Zulu War 1879

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/08/2003

The Zulu War of 1879 remains one of the best known British colonial wars and included two battles whose names reverberate through history. At Isandlwana the Zulus inflicted a crushing defeat on the British; the gallant British defence at Rorke's Drift followed and re-established British prestige. Yet as this book shows, there was more to the war than this. Six months of brutal fighting followed, until the Zulu kingdom was broken up, its king imprisoned and the whole structure of the Zulu state destroyed. Years of intemecine strife followed, until the British finally annexed Zululand as a colonial possession.

Isandlwana 1879

Isandlwana 1879

Author: Ian Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/09/2002

On 20 January 1879, the Centre Column of the British invasion force under the British Commander in Chief Lord Chelmsford, reached Isandlwana. Chelmsford's spies suggested a Zulu army was on its way to attack, so on 21 January he took a strong force of auxiliaries into the hills to scout them, leaving some 1700 white and native troops at camp. This action was futile as the main Zulu army of 24,000 men had moved across his front and was marching towards Isandlwana. This title employs new research to describe the formidable battle in greater detail, providing a brand new interpretation of the course of the action.