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// Memorial//

Anglo-Zulu War

=====// above Défense de Rorke's Drift. Détail

Image left Attribution - Wiki Commons
Image Right Attribution by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville, Public Domain, Wiki Commons


// //

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11 Jan - 4 July 1879 - duration 5months, 3 weeks and 2 days


South Africa


British Victory


British Empire

Strength 1st invasion:

  • 15,000–16,000
  • 6,600 British troops
  • 9,000 Africans
  • 17 cannons
  • 1 Gatling gun
  • 1 rocket battery

2nd invasion:

  • 25,000
  • 16,000 British troops
  • 7,000 Natal natives
  • 2,000–3,000 civilian transport
  • 10 cannons
  • 2 Gatling guns

British Regiments

  • 1st Battalion 24th Regiment
  • 2nd battalion 24th Regiment
  • 2nd battalion 3rd Regiment (The Buffs)
  • 1st Battalion 13th Light infantry
  • The single battalion 90th Light Infantry Arrived later
  • 2nd Battalion 4th Regiment (King's Own)
  • The single battalion 99th Regiment

Commanders and leaders

Casualties and losses 1,902 killed and 256 wounded

Zulu Kingdom

Strength 35 000

Commanders and leaders

Casualties and losses 6930 killed


Benjamin Disraeli's government made every effort to avoid the conflict.

'We cannot now have a Zulu war, in addition to other greater and too possible troubles', wrote Sir Michael Hicks Beach, the colonial secretary, in November 1878.

In 1877 when Sir Henry Frere, a British colonial administrator, who had been sent to Cape Town to unite South Africa under a single British confederation thought differently. He realised that uniting the Boer republics, independent black states and British colonies could not be achieved until the Zulu kingdom on its borders had been defeated. Frere consulted with the British governor of Natal and the Transvaal, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, for reasons to invade. Shepstone's territories were bordered by Zululand. He outlined how regular border incursions by the Zulus affected the stability of the region and expressed concern over the increasing amount of firearms falling into Zulu hands.

Frere exaggerated the threat posed by the Zulus to the British. In December 1878, when the home government refused to sanction war, he took matters into his own hands by presenting the Zulu king, Cetshwayo, with an unacceptable ultimatum sent to the Zulu king, requiring him to disband his army. Knowing that Cetswayo would never accept these terms, Frere arranged for an army led by Lord Chelmsford to prepare for invasion.


Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 saw over 15,000 British troops invade the independent nation of Zululand in present-day South Africa.


The British captured King Cetshwayo in August 1879, ending the war. Few emerged on the British side with any credit, nor was there any benefit to the ordinary Zulus. Cetshwayo was exiled, Zululand was broken up and eventually annexed. Frere never achieved his ambition to confederate South Africa.


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// this project is in History Link