On this day, a Zulu army armed primarily with assegais (short stabbing spears) and cowhide shields utterly wiped out an invading British army column which was equipped with modern breech-loading rifles, artillery pieces, and Hale rockets. In 1877, Lord Carnarvon, Secretary of State for the Colonies, wanted to extend British imperial influence in South Africa by creating a federation of British colonies and Boer Republics. 'The Battle of Isandlwana' is one of our most popular artworks. 90th Light Infantry repelling the Zulu attack at the Battle of Ulundi on 4th July 1879 in the Zulu War: picture by H. Oakes-Jones. The Zulus began their advance toward the British camp, forming up into the traditional “horns of the bull” formation. Chelmsford began preparations for a second offensive into Zululand. The British had been given some pertinent advice by Boer settlers in Natal, who had plenty of experience fighting the Zulus.

After exchanges of fire, it became clear that the Zulus would not give ground and Buller withdrew. Anglo-Zulu War: Unlike the two Boer Wars of late nineteenth century, there was only one Anglo-Zulu War.

Chelmsford, by the middle of April 1879, prepared to invade Zululand again with two cavalry regiments (the King’s Dragoon Guards and the 17th Lancers), five batteries of artillery and twelve infantry battalions: 1,000 regular cavalry, 9,000 regular infantry and a further 7,000 men with 24 guns, including the first Gatling battery to take the field for the British army. On 22 January 1879, Chelmsford established a temporary camp for his column near Isandlwana, but neglected to strengthen its defence by encircling his wagons. He chose not to do so, leaving a much less experienced man in charge. 17th Lancers: now the Queen’s Royal Lancers. Winner of the Battle of Ulundi: The British. The Boers had emphasized the need either to engage the enemy from within a fortified position or to create a laager of ox-wagons (a closed circular improvised fortification) to protect themselves. Zulu War Zulu War. Durnford and his men made a valiant stand near the camp to try to hold off the now-unstoppable Zulu charge long enough for at least some men to escape, but they were overrun and slaughtered. Charge of the 17th Lancers at the Battle of Ulundi on 4th July 1879 in the Zulu War: picture by B. Fayel, The previous battle of the Zulu War is the Battle of Gingindlovu, The next battle in the British Battles sequence is the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir. As Durnford’s men retreated back against the left horn of the impi, the 24th Foot’s right flank, which up until this time had been protected by Durnford, was now dangerously exposed. However, the British could not keep up their fire indefinitely. Back at the British camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Pulleine was in charge of the camp’s defence.

The scouts stopped dead in their tracks when they saw what the valley contained. On 5th June 1879, Buller’s irregular horsemen encountered a strong force of Zulu skirmishers. Wood began to march south from Khambula, while Chelmsford prepared to cross the Tugela. By the time of the Zulu War, the total number of regiments in the Zulu army amounted to 34, of whom 18 were married and 16 unmarried. Around 10:00 Durnford and his men arrived at the camp. January 22, 1879, is a date recalled with pride among Zulu historians and cultural custodians, for this was the day that the Zulu nation successfully and quite spectacularly defended itself against the colonial aggression of the most powerful empire in the world: Britain. They were also tremendously physically fit and capable of covering many miles a day. Zulu prisoners stated, after the battle, that they were overwhelmed by the noise of the firing, let alone the impact of the bullets and stunned by the size of the British force. When the sun returned, not one tent was left standing in the camp and the area was now a killing round. Fighting in an over-extended line and too far from their ammunition, the British were swamped by sheer weight of numbers. Furthermore, the British called in more troops and brought in more weaponry over the following months. Wolseley arrived in Cape Town on 28th June 1879 and cabled Chelmsford, who replied that his two columns were within seventeen miles of the Royal Kraal of Ulundi. The Zulus captured some 1,000 Martini Henry breech loading rifles and a large amount of ammunition at the Battle of Isandlwana. Chelmsford had divided his force into three columns to attack from separate directions. Upon hearing news of the defeat at Isandlwana, Colonel Evelyn Wood's left column established a fortification near Khambula. 1. Chosen to lead the invasion was Frederic Thesiger, the 2nd Baron Chelmsford. It took only half an hour before the Zulus began to falter. British forces occupied Egypt in 1882 to safeguard the Suez Canal and British financial interests. Cetshwayo returned to Zululand in 1883. In response to the invasion of his territory, King Cetshwayo of the Zulu nation mobilized his army, a force of around 24,000 – 30,000 men. Unfortunately for them, most were obsolete muzzle-loaders with limited range and accuracy, and few men had the time or ammunition to practice shooting. Thoroughly enjoyed it. He and his men made camp there on the 20th of January. King Cetshwayo refused Frere's demands for federation, or to disband his Zulu army, as it would mean losing his power. Others were picked off by Zulus who had taken British rifles from their fallen foes. Fire was given and some 1,200 rounds discharged without a target, before the troops could be brought under control. The successful defence against all odds has caused many to regard this battle as one of the greatest in British history, despite its relative insignificance in the outcome of the Anglo-Zulu War.

The Zulus had planned to attack on the 23rd, but a chance discovery by British scouts of the main Zulu army – a force consisting of around 18,000 to 20,000 men – hiding in a valley near Isandlwana on the morning of the 22nd forced the Zulus into action earlier than they had anticipated. In the war of 1879 the Zulus had more guns than the British. This drop in fire meant more Zulus were able to press against Durnford’s defensive line, pushing it back towards the 24th Foot who were still holding the central column of the impi at bay. The Zulus had planned to attack on the 23rd, but a chance discovery by British scouts of the main Zulu army – a force consisting of around 18,000 to 20,000 men – hiding in a valley near Isandlwana on the morning of the 22nd forced the Zulus into action earlier than they had anticipated. Why was Canada's involvement in the Boer War so... What Canadian personalities emerged from the Boer... How much did the Boer War cost the British? At the time of the Zulu war, he refused to submit to the British. Realising he could no longer hold the line against the central and left-hand columns of the impi, Pulleine ordered a fighting retreat back to camp. US Venture Recovers 230,000 gallons of Oil From Wreck of WW2 German Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen, Hanks and Spielberg ‘Masters of the Air’ to Start Filming, Britannic: A Century After Being Lost to the Waves, Opened to Divers, USS Nevada Found Off Coast Of Pearl Harbour, German Flagship SMS Scharnhorst Found off Falkland Islands, Live Like a Bond Villain, 3 Remote Napoleonic-Era Forts For Sale, Fantastic News!

The majority of their 1,700 troops were killed. If this is how we treat our friends, many of them wondered, what does that say about us? The Zulu army’s greatest weakness was its lack of a supply train. While with an advanced patrol and dismounted, the Prince Imperial was caught and killed by the Zulus. The British troops moved in a cumbersome hollow square, the mounted troops covering each side and the rear.