The first major encounter between the British Army and Zulu Kingdom, and one of Britain's greatest military disasters.
On January 22, 1879, a 20,000-strong Zulu army attacked 1,700 British and colonial forces. The engagement saw primitive weapons of spears and shields clashing with the latest military technology. However, despite being poorly equipped, the numerically superior Zulu force crushed the British troops, killing 1,300 men, while only losing 1,000 of their own warriors. It was a humiliating defeat for the British Army, which had been poorly trained and which had underestimated its enemy.
The defeat ensured that the British had a renewed respect for their opponents and changed their tactics; rather than fighting in a straight, linear formation, known as the Thin Red Line, they adopted an entrenched system or close order formations.
The defeat caused much consternation throughout the British Empire, which had assumed that the Zulu were no match for the British Army; thus, the army was greatly reinforced and went on to victory at Rorke's Drift. Isandlwana puts you at the forefront of the action.
by Edmund Yorke, Gregory Fremont-Barnes
by Pier Paolo Battistelli
by Andrew Rawson
by Andrew Robertshaw
by Chris Mcnab, Andrew Robertshaw
by Mike Ingram, Jonathan Trigg, Gregory Fremont-Barnes
by Mike Ingram
by Jonathan Trigg
by Andrew Rawson, Pier Paolo Battistelli, Chris Brown
by Chris Brown
by Gregory Fremont-Barnes
Sign up for our email newsletter