The Anatomy of the Zulu Army: From Shaka to Cetshwayo 1818-1879

Overview

Forces of the independent Zulu kingdom inflicted a crushing defeat on British imperial forces at Isandlwana in January 1879. The Zulu army was not, however, a professional force, unlike its British counterpart, but was the mobilized manpower of the Zulu state. Knight details how the Zulu army functioned and ties its role firmly to the broader context of Zulu society and culture.

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Overview

Forces of the independent Zulu kingdom inflicted a crushing defeat on British imperial forces at Isandlwana in January 1879. The Zulu army was not, however, a professional force, unlike its British counterpart, but was the mobilized manpower of the Zulu state. Knight details how the Zulu army functioned and ties its role firmly to the broader context of Zulu society and culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853673634
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations 9
List of maps 11
Foreword 13
Introduction and Acknowledgements 15
Ch. 1 Breaking the Rope 19
The coming of the whites 20
Frere and Confederation 21
Zululand and Natal 22
The Zulu way of life 24
The rise of the Zulu kingdom 30
King Shaka as a military commander 31
The nature of the Zulu army: the amabutho system 32
The effects of colonialism 35
War with the Voortrekkers 36
Rebuilding the kingdom, 1840-78 37
Zululand under King Cetshwayo, 1873-9 40
The crisis of 1879 41
The end of the old Zulu order 42
Ch. 2 Drinking the King's Milk 46
An ordered society 47
Zulu boyhood 49
The amakhanda 51
The duties of the udibi at the amakhanda 56
Drinking the king's milk 59
The duties of cadetship 60
Enrolling the amabutho 61
Appointing izinduna 64
Life in the king's service 83
Rivalry between the regiments 86
Marriage 88
The 'Marriage of the iNgcugce' 90
The clash between the uThulwana and iNgobamakhosi 92
Ch. 3 The Love Charm of the Nation 99
The war-shield 100
The shield in combat 101
Making shields 102
The colour of the hide 103
Granting shields 107
The spear 109
Weapon training 112
The ceremonial dress of the amabutho 114
Tokens of authority 119
Ch. 4 The Sacred Coil of the Nation 123
The rituals of the umKhosi 124
The soul of the nation 126
Praising the ancestral spirits 128
The great umKhosi 147
The great muster 149
Killing the bull 151
The inkatha 152
Ch. 5 Drinking the Dew 157
Doctoring the army 160
Spiritual preparations 162
'I shall surpass you' 164
The introduction of firearms 165
The gun trade 167
Final preparations 170
The king's instructions 172
War-dress 176
Moving off 177
Provisioning the army 179
Sickness and disease 181
Nearing the enemy 181
Ch. 6 Seeing Nothing but Red 187
Desire for battle 188
Battle tactics 192
Skirmishing tactics 209
Tactics against cavalry 211
The attack 212
Command in battle 215
Running the gauntlet 217
'Seeing nothing but red' 221
'Dead was everything...' 224
Ch. 7 Wet with Yesterday's Blood 230
Medical facilities 232
The dead 235
Post-combat cleansing rituals 237
Apportioning the honours of war 239
The spoils 242
Treatment of cowards 243
The army in defeat 245
The destruction of the Zulu army 250
Military failure in the 1880s 251
The legacy of the amabutho 253
Glossary of Zulu military terms 259
Zulu Amabutho 261
Principal Zulu Campaigns 269
Senior Zulu Commanders 272
Bibliography 274
Index 279
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