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Osprey Warrior 14 : Zulu 1816-1906

The Zulu kingdom in its independent form existed for a surprisingly short time. It emerged during a period of conquest in the 1820s, and was broken by the British in the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. However, in the same way that the line of the Zulu Royal House has continued, unbroken, into modern times so the ethos of the old Zulu military system continued to dominate the thought-patterns of the Zulu-speaking peoples long after the Zulu army itself had been dispersed. Indeed, the repercussions of the rise and fall of the old Zulu kingdom continue to influence events in South Africa today. The Zulu state and military organisation was, as Ian Knight shows, extremely sophisticated. Warriors were organised into regiments with some form of basic uniform and shields were both state-manufactured and state-owned. Yet, in spite of this sophistication much of the Zulu's military outlook was extremely primitive: firearms and marksmanship were ill understood by Zulu soldiers and between 1816 and 1906 the Zulu's maintained their primary reliance on hand-to-hand fighting. Zulu weaponry is investigated in detail, looking at both the firearms that they did possess and also investigating the evolution of their more traditional weapons; the shield, the throwing spear and the stabbing spear first introduced by King Shaka. Zulu society is studied, as are its beliefs and rituals, particularly with regard to ceremonies conducted before and after battles. Zulu tactics, costume and customs are also carefully examined making this a full and thorough account of the Zulu warrior at his most dangerous. Illustrations by Angus McBride.

    Contents
  • Historical Background
  • Chronology
  • Recruitment
  • The Amakhanda
  • Joining a Regiment
  • Conditions of Service
  • Marriage
  • Organisation
  • Uniform
  • Shields
  • Weapons
  • Firearms
  • On Campaign
  • Experience of Battle
  • Medical Care
  • After the Campaign
  • Disaster and Defeat
  • Places to Visit

 

Osprey Warrior


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