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New Isandhlwana To Ulundi Book
Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 298
Location: U.K.
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Saw this today, never seen the spelling of Isandhlwana this way, though I’m sure there are various alternatives, but I find such things jarring to the eye, just like the last book I bought by Chris Peers that put Rorke's Drift before Isandhlwana on the front cover, tends to make me wary before opening the book. The latter book in my opinion was awful, it didn’t seem to have any sort of valid or technical explanation of the precise times given, plus the paragraphs seemed so familiar from other books, but others may have liked it.

I do worry these ‘new’ books have lost their way, grasping for anything to make it different, but failing to impress.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Islandlwana-Ulundi-Anglo-Zulu-War-1879/dp/1445699303/ref=sr_1_53?crid=3KNWNT7FD0QA1&dchild=1&keywords=zulu+war&qid=1616667407&s=books&sprefix=Zulu%2Caps%2C164&sr=1-53

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1501
Location: Wales
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I've never seen that spelling of Isandhlwana. It must be a mistake. The contemporary
spelling and relating to the battle, I've always believed to be Isandhlwana. The spelling for
the geographic location today is Isandlwana. Some of our experts have the 'iS version.

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Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 298
Location: U.K.
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I’ve usually preferred Isandhlwana, as I feel it needs the ‘h’ in the centre, to kind of soften the ‘dl’ which always seemed abrupt.

I must admit to always being uncomfortable with the events at Ulundi, more than any other engagement between the British and Zulus, the latter decimated by previous battles, weak and tired, and quite fearful of the firepower they got to understand by the losses they had sustained at great distances.

It gave the impression of consisting only of the mass shooting of still shield and assegai armed warriors who didn’t use any firearms to a great extent, as the massed ranks of the square would have taken immense casualties, but the Zulus never even managed to close with the British soldiers due to the rifle, gatling and cannon fire was absolute hell, followed by a horse mounted charge of fleeing and exhausted warriors.

It was John Young who I think titled it in his book - Victoria’s Harvest - along the lines of - ‘Ulundi: more a controlled slaughter’, which I used as a basis for a topic when I was on FB, but instead of an interesting topic, I was strangely accused of insulting the Zulus.

To this day this has puzzled me, but then I understood, my comment reflected badly on the British forces who just stood/knelt in place and poured gunfire from all four sides at an ‘enemy’ totally exposed in the open, then pursued by horsemen, that had the ugly comparison used of ‘pig-sticking’ at the time, but the source of which I’m unable to recall at present, so it was an attempt to reverse my topic’s meaning.

Although it destroyed the Zulu army which was always the intention, I find it a shameful end to a brutal campaign.

How anyone, and there are one or two, would want a film about this last engagement eludes me, as unlike against other enemies who had horses/cavalry , firearms and cannon, the Zulus had no chance at all, charging courageously into the deadly fire knowing they were going to be completely destroyed.

The Zulu Army did say something that sticks in my mind forever, when told at the beginning, that the British were coming to take their king - ‘Let them take us instead’ - it gives me a chill even now, as this is what happened, while their king left Ulundi to seek safety, the Zulu ‘ship’ wrecked itself on the British square, to let him get away.

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1501
Location: Wales
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Ulundi, because it was the Kings homestead and the centre of Zulu nation, had to be decimated
in order to undo the humiliation of Isandhwana and a couple of other losses of face. It was to
reinstate the reputation of the British to the rest of the world and to do that, it had to be
thorough.

Of course that should not have been the case but at that time, the British Empire was a major
part of our existence. We would be right now to condemn the 'barbaric' treatment of
the Zulu nation, but we should bear in mind the men on the front line have witnessed their
comrades killed and in an apparent 'barbaric' way.

Like many things these days, we are right to condemn some events of 140 years ago, but we
should understand that the times they lived in forged the way people thought at that time.

Thank goodness we are unlikely to be in the same situation.

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Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 298
Location: U.K.
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Yes, you are absolutely right.

Ulundi, and perhaps less so Kambula and Gingindlovu, I do and have read about, but they remind me in a way, why I was never tempted to study WW1, the scale of life lost, specifically the astonishing tactic walking in the thousands towards fortified positions, not firing with bayonets fixed under heavy machine gun fire, just held no appeal to me, as the sheer loss of life was overwhelming, when unable to or as it was, ordered not to fire back.

It shocked the Germans defending their trenches who mowed them down.

I guess that’s why I stick with Isandhlwana, Hlobane, Ntombe and the death of the Prince Imperial, which demonstrate British carelessness, which kind of evened the odds, where the Zulus managed to gain the upper hand, with excellent generalship, spotting weaknesses, a dawn attack against poorly prepared defences, and of course the assumed safety of an area where the Prince Imperial was allowed to operate with no real protection, but in contrast to them, Nyezane where the British reaction to an attack in the open succeeded, on the same day as Isandhlwana.

The Zulu War 1879, was a whole created of many parts, that as enthusiasts we study it all, but select points to be our main interest.

Such is the attraction.

I just hope this new publication by an author I don’t know, will be a good change from other books by the authors we know well.

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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 333
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I've just finished reading this, and I think that it's pretty good.

It deals with both battles and some other things were happening at the same time in a different style which I haven't seen before, and it's added to my knowledge of the whole thing. Inevitably, there's a lot of too-ing and fro-ing between the places, which takes a little getting used to, but once you get used to it, it's fine.

I'd recommend it.
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Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 298
Location: U.K.
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Scorer

Are you sure you mean this book, as it says it won’t be released until a December 2021 ?

Is it a similar titled book you may have read instead ?

Maybe this is the one you read ? -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zulu-War-Isandhlwana-CASSELL-MILITARY/dp/0304362700/ref=sr_1_20?dchild=1&keywords=Zulu+war&qid=1617999695&s=books&sr=1-20

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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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Location: Newport
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Colin wrote:
Scorer
Are you sure you mean this book, as it says it won’t be released until a December 2021 ?
Is it a similar titled book you may have read instead ? Maybe this is the one you read ? -
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zulu-War-Isandhlwana-CASSELL-MILITARY/dp/0304362700/ref=sr_1_20?dchild=1&keywords=Zulu+war&qid=1617999695&s=books&sr=1-20


Ah thanks, my mistake ... it wasn't this book as you say!

It was Chris Peers' "Minute by Minute" book referred to above ... but my comments are still valid!
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Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 298
Location: U.K.
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Scorer

I found the book by Chris Peers to be a mish-mash of so much that has gone before, anybody who has studied this subject for long enough, could quite easily attach ANY time-scale to events.

The whole work I feel is a guesstimate, that any full-time student could attempt a minute-by-minute, but even with the best intentions, they’d fail miserably.

If it had been at all possible to do such a thing for Isandhlwana, I reckon we’d have less if not nothing to talk about tbh !

Minute by minute...seriously ?

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New Isandhlwana To Ulundi Book
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