The events at Rorke's Drift, the iconic defence of a mission station by a small force of British and colonial troops, were immortalised in the 1964 film Zulu. In January 1879, a small garrison of just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the mission against a force of 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The fierce, but piecemeal, Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the defenders but were ultimately repelled. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders.The battle at Rorke's Drift was an early engagement in the Zulu War. Lasting between January and July 1879. Noted for several particularly bloody battles, including a stunning opening victory by the Zulu at Battle of Isandlwana, as well as for being a landmark in the timeline of imperialism in the region the war ended in a British victory and the end of the Zulu nation's independence. This unique collection of original accounts will prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students and all those interested in what was one of the most significant periods in British military history.
by John Grehan, Martin Mace
Sign up for our email newsletter