On 11 January the British Empire went to war with the independent kingdom of Zululand. The British anticipated a swift and decisive victory, placing great. British Fortifications in Zululand by Ian Knight, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Author: Ian Knight, Illustrator: Adam Hook About this book: On 11 January the British Empire went to war with the independent kingdom of Zululand.

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The Zulu approach was visible across several miles of difficult country, allowing Wood ample time to prepare his position. Inthree guardhouses and stables had been built close by as a barracks for the atal Mounted Police, and in these had been linked to Durnford’s blockhou e with a dry stone wall to provide a large rectangular laager.

Bray were on the march up when news of Isandlwana reached them. I Column begins to cross into Zululand at Lower Thukela. Not so with the British fieldworks the functions of which were purely temporary.

Anglo-Zulu War

In reply, in at least three dispatches, 17 October, 21 November and 18 December, Hicks Beach emphatically states that war is to be avoided and a British invasion of Zululand prohibited. The Transvaal Boers objected but as long as the Zulu threat remained, found themselves between two threats; they feared that if they took up arms to resist the British annexation actively, King Cetshwayo and the Zulus would take the opportunity to attack.

The work was carried out in three-hour hifts known as ‘reliefs’, each relief employing upwards of infantry, who were rotated throughout the day. The Lower Drift was Frere’s appointed spot for the fateful meeting with the Zulu representatives on 11 December, when the British ultimatum was presented.

The British Army and military fortification in the s 8 During the second half of the 19th century, the art of fortification had made huge progress among the world powers.

Battle of Ulundi – Wikipedia

But when the hurdles decayed, as they did at Fort Eshowe within two months, 21 or when time allowed, they were replaced by more permanent sod revetments. During the year a Boer commando under Paul Kruger and an army under Cetshwayo were posted to defend the newly acquired Utrecht border. University of Nebraska Press. As a result, cattle ‘kraals’ were built away from the main complex, but clo e enough to be guarded by the garrison, and were moved several times during the occupation.


Inhe was the Historian advising the Glasgow University team who made the first archaeological survey of the Isandlwana battlefield.

Anglo-Zulu War – Wikipedia

The fort itself was particularly simple in design, even by the tandards of BritiSh works in Zululand. When it whereabouts were discovered by patrols from the camp at about noon on the 22nd, it advanced rapidly to the attack.

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The ostensible reason for this indaba was to present the findings of the long-awaited Boundary Commission to the Zulu people. Durnford had built a two-storey stone blockhouse with bastions at either corner. Conflicts Military chiefs List of wars involving South Africa. Exacting revenge for the Hlobane debacle the day before, they chased the Zulu across several miles of country, cutting down hundreds who were too tired to resist.

Yet even such britisg could be nullified by effective design and construction. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Overall the position measured roughly ft across by ft. Although the fort had no 29 direct line of sight with the Thukela, the mission had been built on high ground, and half a mile away there was a good view towards the border from the edge of the escarpment.

By the s, the importance of a level of professional ni, of theoretical and technical expertise, was first becoming appreciated within the British Army, which had hitherto relied upon a belief in the inherited ability to command, and upon amateur enthusia m. The renewed fighting at the end of March had moved the focus of the war to the northern and coastal sectors, and had left the British decidedly in the ascendant. I had those entrenched the most expo ed parts of the position at [Eshowe] while the Engineers, with the regular soldiers, were making a ubstantial fort within.

Sometimes, as at Col F. Please help to improve this article brihish introducing more precise citations.

During the siege the garri on’s losses to enemy activity were minimal, but 35 men had died of disease, and dozens more had to be carried back to the Thukela in wagons. On 22 January the centre column, which had advanced from Rorke’s Drift, was encamped near Isandlwana ; on the morning of that day Lord Chelmsford split his forces and moved out to support a reconnoitering party, leaving the camp in charge of Colonel Pulleine.


He was a prominent critic of Sir Bartle Frere’s efforts to depict the Zulu kingdom as a threat to Natal. Political history of South Africa. The perimeter followed the lines of Chard’s barricades, ending in the near wall of the hospital – the only one still standing – which was incorporated into the defences.

On 11 January the British Empire went to war with the independent kingdom of Zululand. Bishop Colenso’s concern about the misleading information that was being provided to the Colonial Secretary in London by Shepstone and the Governor of Natal prompted him to champion the cause of the Zulus against Boer oppression and official encroachments. Over the following weeks, helmsford reorganised his forces again, and on 1 June mounted a new offensive, striking into Zululand zluland two fronts.

To the Zulu – who had by now forced an entry into the hospital, fortjfications set fire to the roof, and were fighting with the defenders hand-to-hand – victory mu t have seemed very close; they had captured nearly half the British position.

By mid-February Wood had occupied the best defensive po ition on the ridge, a spot that was destined to playa decisive role in the war. One of the early British casualties was the exiled heir to the French throne, Imperial Prince Napoleon Eugenewho had volunteered to serve in the British army and was fortifixations on 1 June while out with a fortificztions party.

They were made up of both veterans and novices with varying degrees of confidence. With the Zulu attack imminent – in fact, only about an hour elapsed between the first news of the disaster and the arrival of the Zulus – Chard had no time to plan even rudimentary earthworks.