Rorke's Drift

Rorke's Drift

Book - 2002
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Eighty five British soldiers, in a small outpost, held off six full-scale Zulu attacks with only 27 casualties. But a brand new look at this infamous clash reveals that several things about the story just don’t add up. While there was certainly incredible courage, there was also some astonishing cowardice, and increasing evidence reveals the legend of Rorke’s Drift was created to divert attention from earlier mistakes that led to the slaughter at Islandlwana.

The battle has become legendary: 85 British soldiers, in a small outpost, holding off six full-scale Zulu attacks with only 27 casualties. But a brand new look at this infamous clash reveals that several things about the myth just don't add up. While there was certainly incredible courage, there was also some astonishing cowardice, and increasing evidence reveals that the legend of Rorke's Drift was created to divert attention from earlier mistakes that led to the slaughter at Islandlwana.


Blackwell North Amer
On 22 January 1879 an army of 25,000 Zulus overwhelmed and destroyed the main British invading force at Isandlwana. They were utterly merciless: in less than two hours they had slaughtered and ritually disembowelled over 1,200 British troops. Before the blood on their spears had dried, a portion of them turned their attention on a small outpost guarding the hospital at Rorke's Drift with the intention of razing it entirely.
Lieutenant Chard, the junior officer in charge of the garrison, had only one hour to prepare before the bloodthirsty Zulu Army bore down upon him. Outnumbered by more than 45-1, Chard and his men were about to experience the most terrifying night of their lives. The epic battle they fought, standing firm against wave after wave of attack, won a record eleven Victoria Crosses, and has become a byword for bravery ever since.
Adrian Greaves' masterly account of this heroic battle is the first major reappraisal of Rorke's Drift for over 20 years. Armed with documentary and archaeological evidence, he brings to light many aspects of the battle that have previously been unavailable to the general reader. In particular, he highlights the less-than exemplary behaviour of the absent British commanders, who attempted to use the legend of Rorke's Drift to cover their own appalling mistakes.

Publisher: London : Cassell Military, 2002
ISBN: 9780304359608 (cased)
0304359602 (cased)
Branch Call Number: 968.4045 GRE
Characteristics: 446 p. , [16] p. of plates : ill. , maps , ports. ; 24 cm

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