Early 1879, The Zulu Kingdom celebrated a tremendous victory against the British army, in what is still considered to be the Empires most devastating loss in Africa to date. History: The British Empire demanded the Zulus submit to a trial but the kingdom refused, causing the British to retaliate - The Zulu's defended their land, winning the battle - But at a later stage, lost the war in Ulundi.
Date: 11 January – 4 July 1879
After King Cetshwayo and his impies defended their land, Natal, from the British Empire, the British demanded that the King and his Zulu soldiers surrender and submit to a trial.
The Zulu kingdom refused to obey colonial rules, and as a result, British armies planned an attack on Zululand, passing theory Rourke’s Drift to the Zulu King’s base.
In the morning of what came to be known as the Isandlwana Mountain battle,
24000 Zulu warriors, attacked 1700 British soldiers, leaving only 60 soldiers surviving. The struggle continued. Months later, the French Prince Imperal and kinsman of Napoleon Bonaparte, was assassinated in an ambush of British troops near Ulundi.
After their initial defeat, the British planned another attack, this time at dawn. The British armies had planned to make up for having less men than Cetswayo by overpowering him, using more technologically advanced arms.
The Zulu’s who knew the land better than the Europeans and were familiar with its peaks and valleys, outmaneuvered the British who were unable to locate the Zulus, until later that morning. But the King had an army of 24 000 Zulu impies armed only with spears and outdated guns.
The skirmish lasted until the next day and the British were defeated. A total of 1329 British soldiers were killed and only 55 survived. 3000 Zulu warriors were killed.
Although the battle was won, the Zulu Kingdom ultimately lost the war and the British Empire conquered Southern Africa, leaving death, destruction and disillusionment in her wake. Unfortunately, the British got reinforcements from London and defeated the Zulus, later capturing their king. The soil of Africa remains drenched in blood and the gaping wounds are still forming a clot and starting to heal.
Author: Thandiwe Matyobeni / Source: briefly ZA
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