Zulu Wars

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The British Army at Isandlwana, Anglo-Zulu Wars

Redcoats The battle of Isandlwana represented a clash of two radically different military systems – a modern, Western, technologically-advanced professional army pitched against an indigenous African tribal army of part-time warriors armed primarily with shields and spears. The British Army was in a state of flux in the 1870s, and many attitudes and practices which […]

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Zulu Warriors – 1879

The organization of the Zulu army was profoundly different to its professional British counterpart, a part-time citizen militia, the means by which a nation of herdsmen came together periodically in national service. At the heart of the system were guilds known as amabutho (sing. ibutho). The amabutho were a means of exercising central control over […]

What was Anthony Durnford’s real role in the Zulu Wars?

In the ‘blame game’ which followed the Zulu battle of Isandlwana, Anthony Durnford quickly emerged as the principal scapegoat. A complex figure who arrived on the battlefield trailing a good deal of emotional baggage, Durnford had been born in Ireland in 1830 to a distinguished military family. He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in […]

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3 Popular Myths of Isandlwana – 1879 Zulu War

The Battle of Isandlwana on the 22nd of January 1879 was one of the most devastating defeats suffered by Britain at the hands of local inhabitants. The clash between British Troops and Zulu Warriors led to a brutal battle that has been retold numerous times, however much of the  tale has proven to have more […]