Monday, January 22, 2007
This Day in the Long History of Humiliating British Defeats
On this day in 1879, the central column of a three prong invasion of Zulu territory in Natal, South Africa by British regulars is met by several Zulu impis (12,000 men) near the mountain of Isandlwana and most of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot, nearly 1200 British troops, armed with Martini-Henry rifles in .577/.455, are killed by tough, black warriors armed only with cowhide shields and spears (assegais--short stabbing spears).
The three central reasons for this overwhelming defeat are British overconfidence; too stoutly sealed ammunition boxes that cannot be opened fast enough to pass out the cartridges in order to prevent the soldiers, out of ammunition, from being enveloped, overwhelmed and slaughtered; and, Zulu discipline and courage.
Ave Lts. Chard and Bromhead.
Lt. Bromhead did suffer from profound deafness which is probably why he ceded commanded to Chard.
Boy. You don't hear names like Gonville Bromhead anymore except in the NFL.
I have read that Pvt Henry Hook returned to London where he eventually died of TB.