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The British Army suffered its most severe defeat in Imperial history at the hands of the Zulu impies at Isandhlwana. The authors'' description of the events on that day brings to life the tragedy for the reader whether at home or on the ground.'
Over the space of two centuries, the original Dutch settlers of South Africa, augmented by a trickle of refugees from a succession of religious wars in France and Germany, grew into a hardy breed. In time, these people came to think of themselves as white Africans or 'Afrikaners' though they were generally known to one another, and outsiders, as 'Boers', meaning farmers. This book details the fascinating history of the Boers from the 'Great Trek' of 1836-40, through their many wars with such peoples as the Zulus and the Pedi, to their final defeat of the Venda in 1898.
On 11 October 1899 the Second Boer War between the British and the Boers began. The war saw the most powerful professional army in the world pitted against the unconventional tactics of the undisciplined Boers. Although the Boers were finally forced to surrender in May 1902 the war had taken its toll on their opponents who lost some 8,000 troops killed in action with a further 13,000 dying from disease. This book covers the organisation, uniforms and very different tactics involved in the conflict, from guerrilla warfare to a final war of attrition that the Boers could not hope to win.
Rorke's Drift sums up some of the best traditions of the British self-image: steadfastness against the odds, victory in adversity and the thin red line. The British stand deserves to go down in history as one of the most heroic actions of all time. The story of a mere 150 British and Imperial soldiers defending an isolated outpost against over 3,000 Zulu warriors summed up the experience of the colonial adventure for the Victorians and remains part of our heritage even today. Ian Knight recounts the course of this famous conflict in which no less than 11 Victoria crosses were won.
Zulu military organisation was extremely sophisticated. Warriors were organised into regiments with some form of basic uniform and shields were state-manufactured and owned. Yet, in spite of this sophistication, much of the Zulu's military outlook was extremely primitive: firearms were ill understood, and between 1816 and 1906 the Zulus maintained their primary reliance on hand-to-hand fighting. In this book Ian Knight investigates Zulu weaponry in detail, and also their society, beliefs and rituals, particularly with regard to ceremonies conducted before and after battles. Tactics, costume and customs are carefully examined, as are various battles, such as the war between the Zulus and Boers (1838) and the Anglo-Zulu War (1879), which brought about the end of the Zulu kingdom, making this a thorough account of the Zulu warrior.
In 1899 Great Britain was at the height of its Imperial power. The Queen Empress had been on the throne for more than 50 glittering years, and her domain touched upon every continent. Yet, even at this pinnacle of Imperial pomp and majesty, the British army, guardian of the Empire in countless wars across the globe, was destined to be humiliated by poorly-organised citizen militia consisting of men whom the British professionals despised as back-wood farmers. In one week in December 1899 the farmers of the South African Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal inflicted three serious reverses on British troops.
This work is one of the most widley known military campaigns of the Victorian era. The story is presented through the After the Battle series then and now photographic theme and contains graphic eyewitness accounts from both sides which aim to convey what it was like to give battle in the 1870s. Additional chapters cover what remains to be seen today, both on the battlefields and in museums; the lonely and sometimes unmarked and forgotten graves of the participants; the British forts and their ruins; plus accounts of those film productions that have since been made of the 1879 war.
Osprey's Campaign title for the Zulu War (1879). In the late 1870s the British Imperial administration in the Cape colony in southern Africa began to view the Zulu kingdom as a challenge to their authority.To contain this perceived threat, they engineered a war. The early campaigns went terribly wrong, with the decisive Zulu victory at Isandlwana. Ultimately however, the British won the war. The Zulus, primarily reliant on their skill with the stabbing spear, had no real defence or retaliation against the massed firepower of professional British soldiers. Ian Castle examines the British-Zulu war and its two key battles, Isandlwana and Khambula, with excellent black and white photographs accompanying the clear and detailed text.
Osprey's study of British troops prior to and during the Anglo-Zulu War (1879). On 4 March, 1878 at King William's Town, British Kaffraria, Gen. Sir Arthur Cunnynghame handed over supreme command of the British forces in southern Africa to his successor, Lt. Gen. Sir Frederic Thesiger. The High Commissioner, Sir Henry Bartle Frere, was convinced that one solution to the complex problems which beset the region was to overthrow the last powerful independent black kingdom bordering British possessions - the Zulu kingdom of King Cetshwayo KaMapande. However Cetshwayo had remained on the political defensive. This book descirbes the uniforms and equipment of the forces that Thesiger led across the border to wage war in Zululand.
Due to the spread of British strategic and commercial interests during the Victorian period, the British military was called upon to serve in theatres across the world. Some of the fighting was severe; it took nearly 30 years of intermittent warfare to suppress Maori opposition to settler expansion in New Zealand. In other areas it amounted to little more than skirmishing, as in Brooke's campaign against the pirates of Borneo and the Jamaican revolt of 1865. This book details these various 'small wars' and examines the qualities of the disparate peoples who opposed the spread of the British Empire.
By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, India - some 1,600,000 square miles, ranging from soaring mountains to deserts and jungle swamps, populated by 400,000,000 people with a kaleidoscope of different cultures and religions - was firmly in the grip of a handful of British East India Company administrators, either ruling directly or through Indian nominees. However, the Company's search for a policy in western India embroiled it in a string of military campaigns, including one of the worst disasters ever to befall a British army. Ian Knight's fascinating text examines the absorbing, dramatic and brutal history of the Company's exploits against Victoria's Indian enemies.
The British Army in Queen Victoria's reign fought a series of regional campaigns against various African groups with complex military traditions well-suited to their environment. In many instances, the outcome of the ensuing fighting was by no means one-sided. This book focuses on the large-scale wars in northern Africa in which British regular troops were engaged throughout the 19th century, including those in Abyssinia, Asante, Egypt and the Sudan. Containing a number of rare contemporary photographs and eight colour plates, the book charts the history of these campaigns and describes the African groups against which they were waged.
When Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne in 1837, British troops had recently concluded a war in southern Africa against the Xhosa people, and the seeds were already sown for a clash with the Boers. When she died in January 1901 Britain was fighting the Boers in one of the longest and costliest of the imperial colonial wars. This book details the history of Britain's numerous conflicts with the people of southern Africa, namely the Xhosa, Basotho, Tswana and Boers. Numerous illustrations, including rare photographs and colour plates, detail the dress, weaponry and organization of Victoria's enemies in the late 19th century.
'A very remarkable people, the Zulu', the British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, said on hearing of a fresh disaster in the war of 1879, 'They defeat our generals; they convert our bishops; they have settled the fate of a great European dynasty'. Remarkable indeed, to have taken on the full might of the British Empire at its height, and won, if not the war, at least some of the battles. This book explains who the Zulus were, and how they achieved the fame as warriors which they enjoy to this day.