On his own initiative a Colonel Harness gave orders for his small force of artillery and infantry to return to camp. James Dalton died in , a broken man. On 22 January , at Rorke’s Drift on the Natal border with Zululand, in South Africa, a tiny British garrison of men – many of them sick and wounded – fought for 12 hours to repel repeated attacks by up to 3, Zulu warriors. One by one, the wounded were lowered to the ground, under constant fire from the Zulus. During the following hours the soldiers occupying the hospital were forced, room-by-room, through the building until they reached the high window facing the British position.

Day of the Dead Moon by David Rattray. In the end, the British prevail because they pull together, hold fast and follow orders without question. Help us improve this article! Rorke’s Drift from the Oscarberg. The British might be armed with rifles, but so are the Zulus, and in any case these slow-loading carbines are little use when you’re outnumbered 40 to one and the enemy is already upon you. The truth is that no orders were ever given to Durnford to take command. History at your fingertips.

Esasy Harbor attack, December 7,surprise aerial attack on the U. He was eventually awarded a VC rories intensive lobbying by the press – but not until Januaryby which time the celebrations had died down.

Dr Saul David is the author of several critically-acclaimed history books, including The Indian Mutiny: Meanwhile Lord Chelmsford was urgently burying all the evidence that could be used against him. British forces invaded Zululand on 11 January Chelmsford knew nothing, Col.

rorkes drift essay

But he quickly realised that the region could not be unified under British rule until the powerful Zulu kingdom – with its standing army of 40, disciplined warriors – had been suppressed. By firing the thatch rrkes Zulus inadvertently illuminated the area for the defenders who were able to keep them at bay until dawn; by then the British had fired 20, Martini-Henry rounds and esay numerous hand-to-hand assaults with the bayonet. It was Dalton who persuaded Chard and Bromhead to remain at Rorke’s Drift when their first instinct was to abandon the post, and it was Dalton who organised and inspired the defence.


Durnford had disobeyed orders, in leaving the camp as he did Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered rorkees to your inbox. This much is clear to me: Explore the British History Timeline from the Neolithic to the present day. In brutal contrast, the war opened with one of the greatest disasters ever suffered by a Esszy army, when a Zulu surprise attack massacred an expeditionary force of souls more than half of whom were native levies at Isandlwana.

So he exaggerated the threat posed by the Zulus to the British, and, when the home government refused to sanction war, took matters into his own hands in December by presenting the Zulu king, Cetshwayo, with an unacceptable ultimatum. The annihilation of a large British force at Isandhlwana slowed the invasion, but imperial firepower ultimately prevailed see ….

The Zulus are at all times depicted as resourceful and courageous, and the scenes in the royal kraal go some way to exploring Zulu essa in all its complex vitality.

Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! In a moment of last-ditch inspiration, Chard turns the attackers’ tactics against them, luring the Zulus into a murderous trap and slaughtering untold numbers with close-quarters rifle fire.

The Queen showered honours on him, promoting him to full general, awarding him the Gold Stick at Court and drifr him Lieutenant of the Tower of London.

Anglo Zulu War Historical Society

The culmination of Chelmsford’s incompetence was a blood-soaked field littered with thousands of corpses. The British soldiers are apolitical to a man, and the malingering Private Hook is downright subversive. While the Isandlwana disaster is documented in the unloved Zulu prequel Zulu Dawnits precursor is seen as one of the greatest war films ever made. Drit was convinced essy the Zulus were gathering to the south-east, and so failed to reconnoitre adequately the broken ground to the north-east.


rorkes drift essay

After being convinced that the Zulu were an obstacle to federation, he provoked a war with them in December Few, however, remember that it was fought on the same day that the British Army essa its most humiliating defeat at nearby Isandlwana. In a firefight that lasted nearly 12 hours and continued into the next day, some British troops shot down more than Zulu fighters.

rorkes drift essay

Thank You for Your Contribution! Many of the lower-rank VC winners from Rorke’s Drift were also forgotten when the media circus moved on.

He had to be reported confidentially as hopeless. Caine is brilliantly cast against type as the aristocratic Lieutenant Bromhead, while co-producer Stanley Baker takes the role of a lifetime as Lieutenant Chard gorkes, despite being Bromhead’s social inferior, assumes command of the outpost.

EMPIRE ESSAY: Zulu Review | Movie – Empire

Disraeli lost the election and died the following year. Far from being an Imperialist fable, Zulu carries a palpable anti-war message. Zulu is a movie of blazing colour, spectacular Natal scenery, gut-wrenching action and superb performances, not least from Michael Caine, who is “introduced” here presumably the 17 movies he’d previously appeared in didn’t count.

Essya of the Dead Moon by David Rattray.

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