During the afternoon a message was brought to the drift that the Zulus were approaching the Mission Station. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled. Although the January rains impeded travel and the tall grasses of Zululand blocked their view, the invaders advanced into Zululand without taking normal precautions such as scouts and sentries. This required, among other things, the disbandment of the Zulu Army, and war was the inevitable result. When it finally arrived, he added two names to the six recommended VCs – the names of lieutenants Chard and Bromhead. By firing the thatch the 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 repelled numerous hand-to-hand assaults with the bayonet.
Queen Victoria, however, would not see the truth. In some ways, Bourne is the key character in the film. The Victorian public was dumbstruck by the news that ‘spear-wielding savages’ had defeated the well equipped British Army. You’ll upset the lads. An hour later, as the hard-pressed British defenders fought for their lives, a portion of Chelmsford’s force at Mangeni Falls received word that the camp was in danger of being overrun. The true story of 22 January – the Empire’s longest day – is one of unprovoked slaughter, of heroes being ignored and of the guilty being protected. However, the arrival of the news of the defeat at Isandlwana in London on February 11—one of the major shocks to British prestige in the 19th century—galvanized the British government into a full-scale campaign to save face.
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.
So what am I doing here? But the Esay conflict was unique in that it was to be the last pre-emptive war launched by the British, prior to the recent campaign in Iraq.
The true story of 22 January – the Empire’s longest day – is one of unprovoked slaughter, of heroes being ignored and of the guilty being protected.
The hunt was on for a scapegoat, and Chelmsford was the obvious candidate. Start Your Free Trial Today. About the author Dr Saul David is the author of several critically-acclaimed history books, including The Indian Mutiny: Most of what Chelmsford told the Queen was a pack of lies.
Only one winner The British captured King Cetshwayo in Augustand the war, to all intents and purposes, was over. This dangerous mixture of self-confidence and contempt for their foes infected the whole British force. The annihilation of a large British force at Isandhlwana slowed the invasion, but imperial firepower ultimately prevailed see …. British forces invaded Zululand on 11 January Help us improve this article!
Chelmsford’s recall Back in England meanwhile – with the Zulu War no nearer to being won – the cries for Chelmsford’s recall intensifying. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval.
Zulu: The True Story
Many generals blunder in war, but few go to such lengths to avoid responsibility. Because it suited those responsible for the disaster essy exaggerate the importance of Rorke’s Drift in the hope of reducing the impact of Isandlwana.
But at 4am on 22 January, Chelmsford made the first of a series of blunders by taking two-thirds of his force off to pursue what he believed was the main Zulu army. At 11am, by which time the 1, men remaining in the camp had been swelled by reinforcements, mounted scouts stumbled upon the concealed Zulu impi.
Anglo-Zulu War | South African history |
At crift 8am, mounted vedettes reported large numbers of Zulus on the high ground to the left of the camp. An hour later, as the hard-pressed British defenders fought for their lives, a portion of Chelmsford’s force at Mangeni Falls received word that the camp was in danger of being overrun.
The defended area included the hospital and the store; the defenders were now reduced to men, rorkkes the Reverend Smith and Surgeon Reynolds with his 35 patients. During the second half of the 19th century, the British were interested in Zululand for several reasons, including their desire for the Zulu population to provide labour in the diamond fields of Southern Africa, their plan to create a South Africa federation in the region thereby destroying autonomous African statesand Boer land claims supported by the British on territory held by the Zulu kingdom.
He was eventually awarded a VC after intensive lobbying by the press – but not until Januaryby which time the celebrations had died down.
But he had powerful supporters. Explore the British History Timeline from the Neolithic to the present day. If you esssay to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login.
This could not be further from the truth. Back in England meanwhile – with the Zulu War no nearer to being won – the cries for Chelmsford’s recall intensifying. And who do you think is coming to wipe out your little command?
As a Member you get access to hundreds of articles which cover every aspect of the war in more details. Evelyn Wood suffered an initial defeat at Hlobane on March 28 but brought about the decisive victory over the Zulu at the Battle of Kambula Khambula on March Please try again later. But it had only progressed half a mile when a staff officer rode up with express orders from Chelmsford to resume its original march because the message was a false alarm.
Many of the lower-rank VC winners from Rorke’s Drift were also forgotten when the media circus moved on. In December Sir Bartle DruftBritish high commissioner for South Africa, issued an ultimatum to Cetshwayo that was designed rrorkes be impossible to satisfy: The British government in London had not been fully briefed by Frere about the intended attack on Zululand and initially was not overwhelmingly in the mood for war.