The Zulu Wars Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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be looked at.” Cetshwayo was restored as ruler in 1883, but the troubles of his people did not end. Nevertheless, today Zulu?s recognize Zwelithini Goodwill, the descendant of Mpande and Cetshwayo, as their king, even though there is no longer an independent Zulu kingdom. The resistance that fueled the Zulu wars would remain to fight the new South Africa and its history of Apartheid. Warrior-king of the Zulu, Shaka was born in 1787 to Senzangakona, a Zulu chieftain, and Nandi, an orphaned princess of the Langeni clan. At age six, Senzagakona and Nandi separated. Nandi took Shaka with her back to the Langeni. Around 1802, the Langeni drove Nandi and her son out and she found shelter with the Dletsheni, a subclan of the Mtetwa. When Shaka was 23, Dingiswayo, the Mtetwa chieftain,

called up Shaka’s age group for military service. As a young man serving in the army of Dingiswayo, Shaka’s acts of bravery won him Dingiswayo’s admiration. Upon Senzangakona’s death, Dingiswayo gave Shaka the military assistance to ascend to power. It was Shaka’s aim to rule all Africans. Shaka implemented a new system of military organization that incorporated regiments from defeated tribes. When a chiefdom was conquered it became a territorial segment of Shaka’s kingdom-at-large. The warriors became a part of his royal army and were drilled and fought beside combatants from other chiefdoms. To maintain his royal army, Shaka established military towns and provided his army with the best training and provisions. He demanded the strictest of discipline and perfection

from his regiments. His soldiers were required to remain celibate during their period of enlistment. Any violation of this rule was punished by death. He also killed any soldier that exhibited signs of fear. Shaka also revolutionized the Zulu army’s weaponry and its military tactics. He perfected several complex battle formations that outflanked and confused his enemies. It was customary for Zulu warriors engaged in battle to throw their spears and retreat. Shaka considered this method both unsatisfactory and cowardly. Shaka therefore designed a short handled stabbing spear, an “assegai”, allowing his men to retain their weapons and advance right up to their enemies behind protective shields. Shaka unified many tribes of the South African region and his efforts are directly

credited with saving that region from European domination during his lifetime. Shaka met with a violent death at the age of forty-two at the hands of his half-brothers. He was repeatedly stabbed to death and his body was thrown to the vultures. At Isandlwhana, the British were encamped in an unaltered formation – which was to lead to their destruction. This column was under the command of Col. Pulliene and served as logistics camp to the advanced column of Lord Chelmsford who was moving towards the Zulu king’s kraal at Ulundi. The colors, as near as I can place them were near Pulleine’s HQ at the start. The Zulu Impi (as their army was called) had outmaneuvered the British who were basically arrogant about their foes. They didn?t believe the Zulu?s would or could literally

march over a mountain range to fall on their unprotected rear areas, but that is exactly what they did do! A younger Zulu warrior could run for over 20 miles and still fight a battle when he arrived and the Zulu?s were some of the finest light infantry ever in military history. The main impi did just that – marched over a mountain and got in between the two British columns. Napoleon would have been quite pleased with this maneuver that he called “the strategy of the central position”. The British did not know where the main impi was and the Zulu?s had detached some regiments (organized by age grouping BTW) to draw Chelmsford closer in to their kraal. The British cavalry units, largely Natal Native Contingent, were all over the place trying to find the main body of Zulu?s.

One troop of British cavalry while chasing down a herd of beef driven by some Zulu?s for food discovered the main body not long after they had crossed the mountains resting in a valley. They did not plan to attack until the next day but seeing their discovery they charged out of the valley after the fleeing troopers who fought a withdrawing skirmish back towards the main camp at Isandlwhana. With the sound of gunfire the camp called “stand to” and formed lines of battle to the Northwest to East of the camp area with the regular infantry and the NNC infantry. Pulliene also had two howitzers (7 pounders) and a rocket battery as support. The Zulu?s drove the cavalry patrol back to the camp and formed along a low ridge overlooking it. The 1700 or so British and native troops must