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The Battle of Isandlwana


by Charles Edwin Fripp

The Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879 was the first major encounter in the Anglo - Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Eleven days after the British commenced their invasion of Zululand in South Africa, a Zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the main British column consisting of about 1,800 British colonial and native troops and perhaps 400 civilians.

The Zulus were equipped mainly with the traditional assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields, but also had a number of muskets and old rifles, neither of which they had any formal training for. The British and colonial troops were armed with Martini-Henry breech-loading rifles considered to be state of the art at the time, and two seven pounder artillery pieces as well as a rocket battery.

Despite this vast difference in weapon technology the numericially superior Zulus overwhelmed the poorly led and badly deployed British, killing over 1300 troops, including all those on the forward firing line. The Zulu army suffered around a thousand killed. The battle though a decisive victory for the Zulus and causing the defeat of the first British invasion, galvanised the British response, leading to a second heavily reinforced invasion and the destruction of King Cetshwayo's hopes of a negotiatated peace.

Open Edition   :   £62.50



The Battlefield of Isandlwana

Overall Size : 39" wide by 27" high

Image Size : 35" wide by 22" high

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