Zulu War

Ken wrote this

Origin of Conflict

The British began constructing colonies on the southern border of Zululand. The British thought of the Zulus as a possible threat to their goal of establishing colonies in Africa. Even though the British had superior weapons such as muskets, revolvers, and gatling guns, which they could use to attack the enemy from a long distance, the Zulu army stood over 40,000 strong.

Key Battles

On January 22nd, 1879, a large force of Zulu warriors attacked Isandhlwana. They killed 52 officers and over 800 British troops. Zulu forces managed to secure huge amounts of supply and ammunition, which they had little understanding of how to use, still leaving a huge dent in British supplies.


The same day the standing Zulu forces from Isandhlwana pushed on to Rorke's Drift. Only 145 British were killed and after ten hours of fighting, the Zulus were forced to retreat. This battle had little effect on the war besides boosting British moral. The British would later pass on the story of Rorke's Drift, while ignoring Isandhlwana.


On July 4th, 1879, 5,000 British Soldiers formed up to face 20,000 Zulu Warriors. Faced by the British's heavy artillery and gatling guns, the Zulus managed to only kill ten British soldiers while suffering a loss of 6,000 fighters themselves. Surprisingly, the British built a monument in honor of the Zulus' with their own, in honor of their bravery on the battlefield.

How It Ended

Cetewayo, the Zulu King, was surrounded by British troops. When he surrendered, he walked out of his hut between the British ranks to the tent prepared for him, all the British Soldiers presenting arms as he walked past.