The Zulu Wars

Bootie

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The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Empire.

From complex beginnings, the war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, as well as for being a landmark in the timeline of colonialism in the region. The war ended the Zulu nation's independence.
 

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The Main Battles.

Battle of Isandhlwana

Zulus defeat British

Fought January 22, 1879, when six companies of the 24th Regiment, with two guns and a small force of Natal volunteers, under Colonel Durnford, were overwhelmed and massacred by the Zulus, under Matyana. Of the regulars, 26 officers and 600 men were killed, in addition to 24 officers, and a large number of men in the Colonial force.

Battle of Rorke's Drift

British defeat Zulus

On the night of January 22, 1879, after the disaster of Isandhlwana, this outpost, held by a company of the 24th Regiment and details, in all 139 men, under Lieutenants Bromhead and Chard, R.E., was attacked by a force of Zulus, estimated at 4,000. After a most heroic defence, in which many acts of heroism were performed, especially in the removal of the sick from the hospital, which was fired by the Zulus, the assailants were beaten off, leaving over 400 dead on the field. The little garrison lost 25 killed and wounded. Eight Victoria Crosses and nine Distinguished Conduct medals were awarded for this affair.

Battle of Inhlobane Mountain

Zulus defeat British

Fought March 28, 1879, when a British force of 1,300 men, under Colonels Buller and Russell, attacked a strong Zulu kraal, and after severe fighting, were repulsed with considerable loss.

Battle of Kambula

British defeat Zulus

Fought March 29, 1879, when Colonel Wood, with 2,000 British and native auxiliaries, was attacked in his lager by three Zulu impi. The Zulus were repulsed with very heavy loss, and pursued for seven miles. The British lost 81 killed and wounded. The defeat practically broke Cetewayo's power.

Battle of Ulundi

British defeat Zulus

The last battle of the war, fought August, 1879, between 5,000 British, under Lord Chelmsford, and about 20,000 Zulus. The Zulus were routed with a loss of over 1,500, the British losing only 15 killed and 78 wounded.
 

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I read this bit in our local paper a while back that a survivor was a Plymouth UK bloke-
"Private Thomas Luddington, who fought at Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war in 1879 died in 1934, aged 74, and lies buried at Weston Mill Cemetery, Plymouth along with his wife and other members of his family."

POS
 
D

daisy

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The Martini-Henry rifle used by the British and Colonial troops (pictured above) was a truly horrific weapon - its calibre was .577 and the slugs are truly massive bits of lead

The vast majority of Zulu wounded did not survive and those that did were identifiable years later becuase of the hideous scarring.

I once fired off 6 rounds rapid fire and my shoulder was blue/purple for days afterwards. Those guys at Rorkes Drift were real men.
 
T

Tankworks

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The Martini-Henry rifle was .577-450 calibre which is the British way of saying that it is a .45 calibre bullet on a .577 calibre case. If memory serves it used a 480 grain paper-patched bullet. British factories of the time could not produce drawn-brass cases so used rolled-brass riveted to a steel washer with the Boxer primer in the centre. This construction was one contributor to the jamming problems of these rifles.
577-450001.jpg
.577 Snider round on the left, .450 on the right.
 
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2054172

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I would not of wanted to be there on the battlefield. I am amazed how we humans can stand and fight when all seems but lost.
 

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Privates John Williams, Henry Hook, William Jones, Frederick Hitch and Corporal William Allen fielding at Rorkes Drift Mission Station defend the hospital. All survived and would receive the VC.
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The hospital at the western end of the fortifications became the focus for the fighting. Set on fire and stormed by the Zulus, it became untenable. As many men were extracted as possible, the remaining patients perishing in the flames. The soldiers received the Victoria Cross for their defence of the hospital building, fighting with bayonets once their ammunition was expended, as they contested every room with the attacking warriors.
 
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