The battle of Isandlwana - a great Zulu victory - was one of the worst defeats ever to befall a British Army. At noon on January 22nd, 1879, a British camp, garrisoned by over 1700 troops, was attacked and overwhelmed by 20,000 Zulu warriors. The defeat of the British, armed with the most modern weaponry of the day, caused disbelief and outrage throughout Queen Victoria's England. The obvious culprit for the blunder was Lieutenant General Lord Chelmsford, the defeated commander. Appearing to respond to the outcry, he ordered a court of inquiry. But there followed a carefully conducted cover-up in which Chelmsford found a scapegoat in the dead - most notably, in Colonel Anthony Durnford. The popular conception of the Anglo-Zulu War is that of a conflict between British redcoats and Zulu Warriors. It is seldom realized that over 60% of Chelmsford's army was composed of black auxiliaries, and that the cavalry mostly comprised colonial settlers. Zulu Victory: The Epic of Isandlwana and the Cover-Up traces the history of the Zulu kingdom and its British neighbors, the Colony of Natal. It also details the composition of both armies from individual Zulu regiments to the tribesmen of the Natal Native Horse who fought on the side of the British. Using source material ranging from the Royal Windsor Archives to the oral history passed down to the present Zulu inhabitants of Isandlwana, the authors shed new light upon this famous Zulu victory in all its bravery and horror, and the scandal that followed.
Subgenre: Africa / South / General, Modern / 19th Century