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DateOriginal Topic
14th March 2002ZULU CASUALTIES
By James Garland
The Zulus lost about 400 dead at Rorkes Drift giving a 10 per cent death rate in 24 hours. Do any readers know how that compares with say The Somme or Waterloo in terms of death rates rather than "casualty rates" (which would of course include wounded as \well)
15th March 2002Martin Everett
Dear James,
On the first day of the Somme, there were 57,000 British casualties. I do not have a figure for German casualites. It a very much larger affair with more powerful weapons on both sides. The Somme struggle, involved nine battalions of the South Wales Borderers and the Monmouthshire Regiment (about 500-900 men each). The 2nd/24th were at Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916 as part of the 29th Division. At first light they went 'over the top' and before they were replaced by the Newfoundlanders who then made their epic struggle, the 2nd Battalion had lost 15 of 21 officers, 384 out of 578 men of which 235 were killed. Their first day object 'Y Ravine' was not reached by British forces until October 1916 (3 months later) - but it is only 5 mins walk today from the initial British front line at dawn 1 July 1916. At Waterloo, The French Forces were 123,665 of which approx 40,000 were casualties. The British (24th Foot not present!!) were 82,000 of which 22,000 were casualties, and the Prussians were 117, 622 of which 7,000 were casualties. I do not have death figures for Waterloo. I leave you to work out the percentages.
15th March 2002James
I have just been reading the previous topic on Zulu casualties which includes wounded and dead and it appears that the Zulu casualties were about 25%, which seems to equate with your figures for British Losses at Waterloo. (22,000 out of 82,000).
It just goes to show what a determined effort the Zulus made.